Let's Not Ruin This with Pictures: Why I Hate the After-Sex Selfie
By Alexa Day
I am not a prude.
Take a second and imagine me standing behind a podium saying that to you with my best Nixon-style finger-wagging. That was kind of cool, right?
But I’m really not a prude. I’ve been to Those Parties (the kitchen is the place to be, I think, unless there’s a pool). I fell asleep during Last Tango in Paris (butter-related shrieking awakened me). I helped train a male stripper a couple of Christmases ago (all about education, that’s Alexa Day in a nutshell).
I’m not a prude. But this after-sex selfie thing offends me. When I started hearing about it fairly recently, my knee-jerk response made me curious. So two people take a picture of themselves right after sex and then share it with the world via social media. So what? Why should that bother me so much?
I certainly don’t mind the various photos of other people’s social lives. Little glimpses into people’s personal lives are part of what makes social media great. I like checking out people’s cats and their libraries and their weddings. I love seeing photos of people’s meals; they’re very inspiring to someone who believes in the Power of Take-Out. And if you’re hanging out with me on Facebook, you know I love the pictures of the Naked Men. So generally speaking, I’m okay having a little peek into other people’s business.
Having said that, I’m not big on the dick pic, which is something of a mystery to me. I don’t understand the thought process that leads a man to send a picture of his junk to the object (or potential object) of his affection. And how does any of us know that the dick in question actually belongs to the sender? The frame never contains both heads. Still, the dick pic does not incense me as much as the after-sex selfie.
And I love Cindy Gallop’s Make Love Not Porn, which features videos of real people having sex in the effort to counteract porn as a leading source of sex education in America. Like Gallop, I’m also “pro-sex, pro-porn and pro-knowing the difference.” Yeah. So apparently, I’m okay with people having sex in front of the camera for the whole world to see, but the after-sex selfie really offends me. What’s up with that?
After a good deal of quasi-rational thought, I think I figured out what my problem is.
The after-sex selfie isn’t just an illicit glimpse into someone else’s business. It isn’t like posting a picture of a meal or a wedding or even a baby. It’s not even really about the sex. The after-sex selfie is an affront to intimacy.
More than any other part of the sex act, the interval after sex is about intimacy. It’s the time and place for conversations, even among relative strangers, about each other or about themselves or about how they came to be in the same bed. It’s a place where decisions are made, where oxytocin starts to take hold and both parties allow it to do so, and where physical pleasure gives way to something more important. Intimacy is much more significant and much more rare than the sex act itself.
The after-sex selfie wants to share the intimacy between two people with the world at large. It cheapens this crucial moment between two people. By extension, it cheapens the sex act — as it exists here between two people not performing the act for others in the first place. That offends me.
I hope we’re about to see the end of this lamentable trend. I can close my eyes to the dick pic, and I’ve built my own relationship with pornography. But I’m not okay with devaluing intimacy. Let’s keep the after-sex to ourselves.
Follow Lady Smut. Because we are totally not going to take a picture of you right afterwards and broadcast it to the entire world.