January 12, 2016

Freedom to Leer: It Isn’t Free, But It’s Paid For

You tell me this dude isn't just as real as everyone else.
You tell me this dude isn’t just as real as everyone else.

By Alexa Day

We’re about halfway through January. A long weekend awaits many¬†of us in the U.S.; Martin Luther King Day is this coming Monday. Still, I think of this time as that point in the year when most people have allowed the real world to overtake their pie-in-the-sky resolutions.

In other words, it’s just about the time for “gym people” to start re-entering the gym.

Or so I hear. I am not “gym people.”

This is also about the time I start seeing posts on my Facebook feed about “real” bodies.

One will plead: “I might not be a size zero, but I’m me! And I’m lovable!”

Seen that one? I think there’s a minion in it most recently.

I don’t want to send the wrong message. I am all for being confident in one’s own skin. It’s the idea that some of us are more “real” than others that bothers me a little.

So far as I can tell, the adjective “real” is applied to the more-or-less average figure. The slight paunch that comes with the privilege of age. A little roundness that speaks of good living. That sort of thing.

We live now in a resurgence of the “real.”

Sadly, men are getting more “real” by the minute.

I’ve written about the dadbod before. I think I hoped it would be a short-lived fad, but this was not to be.
My colleague Elizabeth Shore shared a link last Saturday to a sequence of fine art photography. Bare Men is all male nudes, full frontal, and all average-looking men. It’s provocative, to say the least. Go check it out here, using the single most NSFW link I have ever posted.

I really don’t mind checking out the “real” man. But I will admit to a strong preference for the unreal. I will, here on LadySmut, stand for my right to leer.

I have gawked at male ballet dancers. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the male revue. I’m all about staring at firemen and cops, clothed and otherwise. Just the other day, I was checking out a group of firemen as they closed the hydrant across the street from the office and asked my coworker what the proper collective noun for such a group might be.

As backward and politically incorrect as I’m sure it sounds, I am perfectly happy to objectify men, and a great many of them seem to enjoy being objectified, if I do say so myself.

I hear you out there.

Alexa, you’re saying, don’t you understand that the price we pay for objectifying men is that we women must also be objectified by them?

I do understand that. I need you to understand something.


I can show you the receipt if you want.

I have been ogled. I have been catcalled. People have gawked as if they have never seen the human female form before. I say this not because I am some spectacular exemplar of womanhood. I say this as a woman living in present-day America.

Friends, I have been leered at, so that I may leer.

You, too, should have this freedom.

I ask not for the exclusion of our average-looking, dadbodded friends. Of course not.

But let’s make sure that inclusion of the real doesn’t squeeze all the fantasy out of life.

Also, let’s catcall a dude this week. I think firemen might actually be fond of it.

Follow Lady Smut. We know you like the view back there.

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  • Post authorKel

    I personally prefer to objectify those whom I specifically know do not object to such objectification…

    which is to say that my objectification of other people tends to be a bit more… uhm… cerebral? than I think you’re going for? Or perhaps, I’m a bit less visual in my objectification…

    But hey, I support your adherence to your preference for a particular body-type! Leaves me more of what I prefer, yeah?

  • Post authorElizabeth SaFleur

    In a culture where selfies and dick pics proliferate, I believe most people who can be found online to ogle must be okay with it. I mean, if you’re going to go to the trouble to fist yourself holding the cell phone out to catch the best angle (see Bare Men link above), you’re hoping someone will look and admire what you’ve presented. Of course, crossing into someone’s personal space (and I consider cat-calling one way of doing that), can be seen as a whole different level.

    Reply to Elizabeth SaFleur
  • Post authormadeline iva

    My eyes! My eyes!

    I had a long talk with a male buddy one time about the topic of male objectification–if there was such a thing. His argument is that you can’t objectify the objectifiers. That a guy just cannot be rocked from in his privileged position as a guy to feeling like a piece of meat.

    HOWEVER. I don’t think every guy out there is so centered in such confidence and supreme outwardly directed desire. I think some guys are sensitive to being leered at and it pains them. I’ve seen men bullied, objectified, and sexually harrassed. It’s every bit as un-fun and uncomfortable for me as when it happens to women.

    That said — I do think there are some men getting out there for love or money to be leered at and to them I say Go In Peace. Same thing for the women. I have a friend who’s a total exhibitionist. She would wilt if she didn’t get her pretty young thing on and receive attention for it.

    Are there daddy issues there? Well….yeah. But at the same time I think she gets a deep pleasurable bliss from prancing around semi-nekkid that’s apart from her daddy stuff.

    So I say we leer at the folks on line who clearly want us to leer and advertise that fact. How can we tell them apart from Joe Modest on the street? Not easily.

    Reply to madeline iva
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