Men like virtual sex because they find it arousing. Women like virtual sex because they have low self-esteem, and you can’t really expect much more from men anyways, right? Keep those standards low, and men won’t disappoint!

5 Aug

I’ve mostly been ignoring the whole Anthony Weiner sex scandal thing because I don’t find Anthony all that appealing and I have no particular desire to see or read about his wiener. I also don’t get all that fussed about politician’s sex lives, nor do I give a shit what his wife has to “put up with”.  She wants to be the Mayor’s Wife and she’s made her deal and it’s none of my damn business.  As long as Anthony isn’t texting his crotch shots to me, I don’t really care.


But I really had to click on this New York Times Op Ed on “Weiner’s Women”, because I expected to find a nice example of poor lady victims with wieners all over their phones, fainting and blushing at such monstrous acts.  Heh.  Maybe I should take a peek at one of those screencaps and check just how monstrous we are dealing with?

It’s actually even better than just the usual pearl-clutching and denial of agency I have come to expect from any commentary on the role the women played in dressing up the dachshund.


Susan Jacoby goes one better on the rosy-cheeked maiden meme, and tries her best to understand what this whole sexting thing is about.  She begins by tossing a bone to Weiner’s poor wife, who is apparently being regularly deprived of bones, or at the very least, she has to share them with the other bitches.


People ask how Mr. Weiner’s wife, the soulfully beautiful and professionally accomplished Huma Abedin, can stay with him. My question is why hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women apparently derive gratification from exchanging sexual talk and pictures with strangers.

Soulfully beautiful and professionally accomplished? Ho hum.  Let’s not leave out graspingly ambitious and strategically adept.  The lady wants the Mayor’s Laurels, and if she can’t get them herself, she will hitch her wagon to the wiener who CAN get them. Like she didn’t know she was handing her bun to a Ball Park Frank of epic proportions? Oh, bullshit.

city hall

She knew.

And so what?  Who cares? It’s her life.

Then Jacoby puts an interesting little spin on her analysis, agreeing that the ladies who participate in this kind of virtual carnal exploration are in fact fully aware and conscious of what they are doing.  Why do they do it?

Because RAPE, for one thing.  It’s safer than going out into the world with all those dangerous, predatory men who lurk around every corner waiting for an unsuspecting virgin to traipse by. In New York, I suspect the wait would be a long one.

These women are not victims of men like Mr. Weiner (or of ordinary, obscure sex seekers in the digital world) but full and equal participants. There is no force involved here; people of both sexes are able to block unwanted advances. Women are certainly safer on the Web than they would be going home with strangers they meet in bars.

But aside from rape, there is the simple fact that men just suck and the lower your expectations when it comes to having sex with one, the better off you will be.


The morality of virtual sex, as long as no one is cheating on a real partner, is not what bothers me. What’s truly troubling about the whole business is that it resembles the substitution of texting for extended, face-to-face time with friends. Virtual sex is to sex as virtual food is to food: you can’t taste, touch or smell it, and you don’t have to do any preparation or work. Sex with strangers online amounts to a diminution, close to an absolute negation, of the context that gives human interaction genuine content. Erotic play without context becomes just a form of one-on-one pornography.

Nor do I consider it worse for women than for men to engage in this behavior. But I do suspect — because I concede the validity of the numerous studies concluding that men are more interested in and aroused by pornography than women are — that women who settle for digital pornography are lowering their expectations and hopes even more drastically than their male collaborators are.

I guess Jacoby doesn’t know that imagining you are eating some calorific, this-is-why-you’re-fat treat can actually mollify hunger cravings?


Ever wished you could cut down on the amount you eat without going hungry? It turns out all you need is a good imagination. Scientists have found that going through the mental motions of eating, say, a chocolate bar, will help.

Weiner’s lady seem to be more inclined towards sausage than chocolate, but no matter.  The imagination is a powerful thing that can absolutely bring satisfaction without all the pesky need to actually put it in your mouth and swallow.

God, I’m so immature.  Penis jokes.  Makes me giggle every time.

I wonder what studies Jacoby is referring to when she cites men as more interested in and aroused by pornography?  She is clearly not accounting for literary pornography, AKA the romance novel, which appeals overwhelmingly to women.  To the tune of a billion dollars a year.

That’s a whole lot of lady porn.


“Reece, I’m gonna come.” He sucked in a breath as I sped up. “I need…I want you to—“ His hips rose off the bed, forcing his cock through my grasp. If the light was on, I could have seen him. Known whether his eyes were open or closed. Maybe he frowned.

All I knew was his lips parted beneath mine as he gasped for air, and when I kissed from the corners of his mouth along his jaw, he moaned softly.


“I want more.”

Wowza!  I might have to hit the bookshop later today.

But okay, let’s say it really IS only men who enjoy pornography and find it arousing.  How do we get from “men like porn” to “any expectations of intimate connections with men are impossible so lower your standards”?

I say Jacoby wants to have her cake and eat it, too.  She wants to give women agency and responsibility, and yet still find a way to blame men for the fact that some women like the titillation of virtual sex.  Her feminist ideology requires her to cast the woman simultaneously as equal and oppressed, which is generally not difficult for feminists to do, but the whole sexting thing has Jacoby thoroughly perplexed.


As a feminist, I find it infinitely sad to imagine a vibrant young woman sitting alone at her computer and turning herself into a sex object for a man (or a dog) she does not know — even if she is also turning him into a sex object. Twentieth-century feminism always linked the social progress of women with an expanding sense of self-worth — in the sexual as well as intellectual and professional spheres. A willingness to engage in Internet sex with strangers, however, expresses not sexual empowerment but its opposite — a loneliness and low opinion of oneself that leads to the conclusion that any sexual contact is better than no contact at all.

Susan, here is word for you to look up that I think will assist you in understanding why “vibrant young women” might like to engage in a little explicit pictorial exchange with men they do not know:



True story:  I find it very amusing and arousing to take naughty pictures of myself and send them to my husband. While I expect he gets some pleasure out of that, it’s really just a way for me to confirm my own appeal. Check me out! Don’t I look fabulous?

wall projector

I once sent some photos to Mr. JB’s Blackberry, which he then unthinkingly plugged into his laptop which was connected to a wall projector.  He had intended to retrieve a file which he would then be using for a presentation, and his Blackberry decided to download all his image files for safekeeping.


And they were all duly projected onto the wall.  Six feet high.


Thank god there were no women at that presentation!  Mr. JB learned very quickly how to prevent private images from being automatically downloaded after that episode.

It really rather amazes me that Jacoby doesn’t seem to get that virtual sex can be incredibly affirmational for WOMEN, who are really just confirming their own appeal.  It’s a relatively safe way to become the lusted after heroine of the romance novel narrative.  The fantasy of devastating appeal can be digitally controlled, altered and manipulated at the woman’s discretion and for her pleasure.


Deep down, what does a man really think of himself when he must feed his ego with phony gasps of erotic pleasure from strangers in a digital vastness? What does a woman think of herself in the same arid zone of sex without sensuality?

I think we’ve isolated Jacoby’s problem right here.  Phony gasps of pleasure?  Done to assuage a man’s fragile ego?  An arid, dry zone?  No sensuality?

It’s normally rather cliché to suggest that frigid bitter harpies loosen their corsets and try getting laid, but in Jacoby’s case, it seems that just might be the very thing!  And for heaven’s sake, stop faking your pleasure!  Trust me, your man’s ego can take a little direction.

If it makes you uncomfortable, Susan, you can try a few practice runs.  Get yourself a nice photo app and try out a few poses.  Learn to ask for what you want.  Rehearse a bit.  And you don’t need to go it alone.


Get yourself a sexting partner.  And then shoot for Carnegie Hall.

You know how you get to Carnegie Hall, right?


Practice, practice, practise.  And check your camera roll auto-backup settings.

Just in case.

Lots of love,


32 Responses to “Men like virtual sex because they find it arousing. Women like virtual sex because they have low self-esteem, and you can’t really expect much more from men anyways, right? Keep those standards low, and men won’t disappoint!”

  1. LostSailor August 5, 2013 at 16:07 #

    Weiner is a putz. Unlike charismatic powerful men like former President Clinton, who could do much worse than tweet random shots of his junk and actually gain support from women, Weiner is just a putz.

    He’s not going to be mayor.

    As for his wife’s motivation, I’m sure it’s not that she wants to be Mrs. Mayor. She doesn’t need to be. She will likely be chief of staff in the next Clinton administration and then perhaps a cabinet post.

    I have no idea why she’s staying with him. Maybe she really does love him and doesn’t want to break up their family for the sake of their child. I don’t really care. It’s none of my business.

    As for why do men and women engage in virtual sex? Uh, I’m going to go out on a limb here and take a wildly inappropriate guess: it gets them off. People like Jacoby want to imbue all sex with some mystical union-of-souls crap that is somehow “negated” in a virtual context. Bullshit. Not that sex can’t be a mystical bonding experience, because it can. But it can also be just a hot, “lets rip one off in the bathroom of the club” thing. Or a “lets get off in cyberspace just because we can” thing. Now “virtual” sex really isn’t my thing, but if you want to get off that way, again, none of my business. I’m not into hardcore bondage either (discrete inquiries from the ladies on where I draw that “hardcore” line will be entertained privately), but if that’s your thing, go all whippy-and-chainy as you like.

    Jacoby seems surprised by the idea that men are more visually stimulated than women, and women’s porn is found in the emotion of romance fiction. Shocker! Alert the Media!!

    I say Jacoby wants to have her cake and eat it, too. She wants to give women agency and responsibility, and yet still find a way to blame men…

    That not a bug, it’s a feature. That–aside from the suggestion that Jacoby wants to give women “responsibility” because she does not–is the Prime Directive of feminism.

    Now, please excuse me while I check my Snapchat…


  2. EMMA August 5, 2013 at 16:07 #

    Yeh, I’m not so sure about comparing romance novels to pornography. Even though I definitely enjoy curling up with a dirty book on a rainy Saturday afternoon, if I only had to pick one for the rest of my life it would be a simple choice: PORN.

    Dirty novels to me are no different than funny novels or books you read when you have nothing else to do. Porn is porn…big difference.


  3. GrimGhost August 5, 2013 at 16:47 #

    In the romance-novel excerpt, why isn’t he on top, instead of her? Why isn’t he the active one, instead of her? Oh, that’s right, such a thing (even fictionally) would be patriarchy oppression.


  4. TMG August 5, 2013 at 17:14 #

    The amount of women wailing and gnashing of teeth we will see when VR sex / sex robots become more prevalent is going to be incredibly entertaining.

    Single ladies, you better get a man tied down before Cyber Susan comes on the market! Of course you won’t listen, but don’t say you weren’t warned.


  5. Master Beta August 5, 2013 at 17:36 #

    I’m looking forward to my harem of clones.


  6. Wayne August 5, 2013 at 18:15 #

    Women dont need VR Sex when all they need is a vibrator…really, reading anything serious in pap newspaper fillers is a bit rich..they just print stuff to get a reaction and sell papers and therefore adverts.


  7. LostSailor August 5, 2013 at 19:09 #

    Yeh, I’m not so sure about comparing romance novels to pornography…Porn is porn…big difference.

    Actually, not so much. Romance novels are aimed at women because they are emotional porn as much as erotic literature. As I noted above, men are much more visually stimulated, hence the attraction of video porn. Women, on the other hand, are generally more sexually stimulated emotionally, at least primarily, and only secondarily by the visuals.

    Most women won’t buy this not because it’s not true, but because the don’t want it to be true. Feminists object to porn because it supposedly “objectifies” women as just sexual objects which diminishes the whole woman and creates unrealistic expectations about sex in the minds of men. Of course, the exact same argument can be made about romance novels: they objectify men as romantic and sexual objects which diminishes men to a idealized gender role and creates unrealistic expectations about romance and sex in the minds of women.

    There really is no real difference between the two, with perhaps the exception that y’all spin a better story around the fantasy…


  8. reyeko August 5, 2013 at 19:31 #

    People like Susan Jacoby must be horribly boring people. She can’t seem to conceptualize anything which is not in front of her face, I have to wonder if she has ever read a novel and earnestly enjoyed it let alone if she has any hobbies with the way she seems to think it seems unlikely, and that’s true of a lot of women I have known they have no hobby, don’t enjoy reading, watching tv/movies, playing any sort of game video or otherwise and seem to always just want to sit around doing nothing(they call this hanging out) or going out and getting wasted/fucked up on drugs.


  9. TMG August 5, 2013 at 19:35 #

    Vibrators are female empowerment, but men are inferior basement-dwelling neckbeards for seeking sexual gratification from masturbation, toys, porn, etc.


  10. TMG August 5, 2013 at 19:42 #

    Realistic VR sex is only a few years away.


  11. Anon Ymus August 5, 2013 at 19:47 #

    Hey JB (and other readers of this blog),

    The romance novel stuff reminded me of your posts about female authors. I have recently discovered an entertaining fantasy author (legit fantasy, not romance novel with werewolves and vampires) named Gail Z. Martin. Her best known series is “The Chronicles of the Necromancer.” If you have not already, I would check her out!

    Link to her page:


  12. Dude Where's My Freedom? August 5, 2013 at 19:53 #

    I think she’s missing the point entirely here.

    I haven’t followed this case closely either (for basically the same reasons) but my understanding is that most of the women who were “involved” with Weiner knew who he was, and some of them were openly lobbying him for favors/jobs/references.

    In other words, the random women online were interested in Weiner for the EXACT SAME REASON as his wife was. They were drawn to the power he held. If I had to guess, they weren’t “substituting virtual sex for real sex” but rather, they were providing virtual sex in exchange for the possibility of favors/benefits down the road.

    They were virtual whores, which I suppose indeed is much safer than being a real whore.

    Also, I have to wonder if Susan has ever actually *had* “virtual sex?” At the risk of outing myself as some sort of pathetic nerd, I’d just like to reassure everyone that it isn’t *always* a poor substitute for the real thing. I’ve had virtual encounters with women I knew well that have been far more stimulating than many “real” one night stands I’ve had were…


  13. RedPillOverdose August 5, 2013 at 20:55 #

    I used to work in a power equipment dealer that had four females, late 20’s to early 40’s, and never knew what kind of conversation I was going to walk in on going into the office or break room. We always hear about those damn dirty minded men and the way they talk, well women at times I have found are just as bad if not worse. I recall one day trying to enjoy my lunch while the women debated on the best sex lubricants, best positions for anal sex, and what they wanted to try next with which ever guy or guys was frequenting their bed at the moment. A couple of them were married and would brag about their “men on the side”. One of them had a porn collection that would make Larry Flint envious. If they saw a man they liked they would talk about his ass and package for an hour. If one of us male techs would have said things like that about a woman as openly we would be receiving a visit from HR.
    I agree that Anthony Weiner is a putz and a douche bag, and would probably have a better career if he kept little Mr. Weiner in his trousers. But as I recall, wasn’t there some hot rumor some time ago about Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton having a lesbo affair?


  14. TMG August 5, 2013 at 21:32 #

    I used to sit near some incredibly bawdy and foul-mouthed women. Eventually the company moved their whole department to a large office where the door can be closed. I thought that was bullshit, because were it men they would have been fired.


  15. Aye. August 5, 2013 at 22:01 #

    It is possible that some women, possibly even some smut swilling feminists, do actually, truly, legitimately enjoy riding cock.


  16. Aye. August 5, 2013 at 23:13 #

    “Vibrators are female empowerment.”

    Apparently female empowerment is nothing but painful commodities? Seriously, ouch!


  17. Aye. August 5, 2013 at 23:35 #

    Actually, when I consider designer stilettos, lean cuisine, divorce lawyers, and fancy, purebred cats, I may not be too far off…


  18. Sasha August 6, 2013 at 01:14 #

    If you want seriously hot sex in your romance books I highly recommend Emma Holly.


  19. Alex August 6, 2013 at 02:30 #

    this reminded me of “Hold me Closer, Necromancer”. now that i think about it, it seems very feministicly inspired as the main character is a vegetarian who has quite a dominant fey-werewolf girlfriend.


  20. Take Back Your Face! August 6, 2013 at 02:52 #

    “But okay, let’s say it really IS only men who enjoy pornography and find it arousing. How do we get from “men like porn” to “any expectations of intimate connections with men are impossible so lower your standards”?”

    Uh, we don’t. And neither did Jacoby.


  21. Take Back Your Face! August 6, 2013 at 02:54 #

    “I have no idea why she’s staying with him.”

    Because she’s Desi and Desis don’t divorce a lot. Its a taboo in their culture.


  22. Take Back Your Face! August 6, 2013 at 02:57 #

    “In the romance-novel excerpt, why isn’t he on top, instead of her? Why isn’t he the active one, instead of her?”

    Because its normal, common and mainstream for women to get on top. In the future when/if you enter a relationship, you’ll find out.


  23. Take Back Your Face! August 6, 2013 at 02:59 #

    “The amount of women wailing and gnashing of teeth we will see when VR sex / sex robots become more prevalent is going to be incredibly entertaining. ”

    They’ll be wailing and gnashing alright but not in the way you think.

    Wanna know who’s going to drive the VR/sexbot industry tomorrow?

    The same people who drive the sex toy industry today.


  24. Take Back Your Face! August 6, 2013 at 03:01 #

    ” I have known they have no hobby, don’t enjoy reading, watching tv/movies, playing any sort of game video or otherwise and seem to always just want to sit around doing nothing(they call this hanging out)”

    You mean they prefer to engage with real people they know and who know them in real life rather than watch fake characters who don’t know them on screens?

    Imagine that.


  25. reyeko August 6, 2013 at 03:10 #

    When I ‘engage’ with people we do an activity, sometimes we play Magic the Gathering or multiplayer videogames or play Dungeons and Dragons or talk about franchises we enjoy like Star Wars or Mass Effect, or we go mountain bike riding or tobogganing or play some soccer or football or baseball or we sometimes even go play laser tag or paint balling . We don’t sit in a room doing nothing but talking, we actually engage in shared activities. It’s actually quite fun actually DOING THINGS with your friends you should try it.


  26. Take Back Your Face! August 6, 2013 at 05:02 #

    “Women dont need VR Sex when all they need is a vibrator”

    Men don’t need VR sex when all they need is a fleshlight.

    The point of VR sex, as far as I’ve read, is that it creates a realistic experience, catered to one’s own tastes. It’s also supposed to be tactile, so bring on the nipple suction!

    So basically, if the technology permits, we should be able to create a holographic image of the hottest guy we can imagine, according to the size, shape, build and coloring we like with precise features, and “feel” him making love to us.

    I wouldn’t invest a lot of money in it but if I were at a place that had it and I could try it for free? Hells yeah!


  27. EMMA August 6, 2013 at 13:06 #

    You just copied and pasted what I wrote, but left out the entire middle part that was my point. I strongly dislike when people do that.

    Romance novels TO ME is not worth as much as porn. I PREFER porn to romance novels, even though some aren’t half bad. Porn is more direct, to the point and gets it done.

    And yes, in a lot of ways porn is more “dangerous” than romance novels (hence the appeal) and it’s also why I don’t agree with the comparison.

    But I guess it depends on the individual. I’m positive plenty of women who would rather read a novel than bang the man next to them. Same with men who are so into porn, that physical interaction with women is an issue.


  28. GrimGhost August 6, 2013 at 16:22 #

    You mean by that, “in a relationship with a feminist.” Sorry, I’d rather romance a fur mitt.


  29. Take Back Your Face! August 7, 2013 at 05:49 #

    You’ve never had a woman ride you? What do you look like?


  30. Take Back Your Face! August 7, 2013 at 05:51 #

    Says the person who lists “watching TV” as a hobby!


  31. reyeko August 7, 2013 at 16:07 #

    presumably you have been living under a rock since the 1950’s given Star Trek( a TV show oh my!) exists. Do I really need to explain Star Trek’s significance?


  32. Feminism Is A Lie August 8, 2013 at 05:25 #

    So men having their own interests are low-lifes but women being obsessed with Sex and the City are empowered? You need to stop trying to shame those who share interests that don’t match your own.


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