Empowered Sex Asks: If my sexy photos offend you, why are you looking at them?

Empowered Sex Asks: If my sexy photos offend you, why are you looking at them?

I got an interesting email from a Facebook friend earlier this week. It said:

Patricia: This is a public website. Change your photograph please. It is rather indecent. I have people that have observed this, and DO NOT want to have this on my site. PLEASE ACT IMMEDIATELY…Bob

The photo in question happened to be my profile photo which is posted in this blog.

A public display of sex??? WTF?

At first I thought it was a joke. I don’t really know Bob. He had requested my friendship many months ago and had sent me a few friendly benign wall posts. When he emailed me last summer curious to know more about me, I suggested he check out my website. A few more pleasantries and months followed and then I received the above email. Ok, so I gathered from his page that Bob liked to collect FB friends (he had 2300), he was married, and quite involved with his church. I had no particular interest in Bob, and wasn’t even sure how he’d found me on FB as we have no mutual friends. From his photos he appeared to be a jolly old grandfather type.

Now if you’ve been reading my blog, my twitter posts, or FB page, or you listen to me on Renegade Talk, you know that I do not try to hide who I am or sugarcoat what I do. In fact, I’m a bit of a publicity whore, and make no secret of the fact that I believe we should all just ‘embrace our inner slut’ and get over our sexual hang-ups. If we did, I truly believe the world would be a better place! However, I never email blast my FB friends, or post unseemly articles, links, or pictures of myself on their walls. I respect the right of others to be discreet in their pursuit of information on sex topics, so I keep all my posts sequestered to my own wall.

My initial gut reaction was, ‘this doesn’t sound like the nice old man I’d come to know as ‘Bob from Missouri’. Is this a joke, or did his wife break into his FB account? I replied to Bob:

Dear Bob: I am not sure what you’re referring to. There is certainly nothing indecent about a pair of legs. Do you realize that I write about sex, and co-host a talk show on sex? I use social media as a way to promote my writing and talk show. However, I do not shop for followers, and I’m not sure why you requested me as a friend if you are easily offended. Quite frankly, I am offended and quite shocked by your email. Simply un-friend me and I will do the same, but don’t judge me!

Bob’s response:

Somebody commented on this at church yesterday, and I was embarrassed, if you must know the truth about this….Sex is not for public display here you know!….FYI…Bob

OMG! When did a pair of legs in fishnet stockings become a public display of sex? I am well aware of P.O.P. (power of pussy), but apparently I had no idea that my ‘indecent’ tiny little thumbnail photo off to the side of Bob’s FB page would have so much power as to be on someone’s mind for days and become a topic of conversation in church on Sunday! Sunday in church – when all good Christians should have their mind on God – not fishnets, unless they are the ones being cast into the sea by Jesus and his disciples. Yes, that’s it – perhaps it was something in the sermon that day that made this churchgoer recall my scandalous photo. As ludicrous as this is, what’s worse is Bob’s reaction. Instead of quietly ‘un-friending’ me, he had the balls to tell me to change my profile photo. Well I guess it really is my fault that good Christian men are thinking impure thoughts in church on Sunday. After all, I did post that slutty photo of my legs in fishnet stockings.

The next day I wondered: Who can I inadvertently offend just by being me? I have nothing against Christians, Jews, Muslims, or whatever people believe. All I ask is that you grant me the same courtesy for the freedom of my beliefs and freedom of expression. I probably won’t read the Bible quotes on your page, and won’t be offended if you don’t agree with my philosophy on life. All I ask is that you have the courtesy to un-friend me rather than insulting my intelligence by judging me or trying to control or convert me.

I finally posted this disclaimer on my FB page:

Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by slightly sexy photos, get queasy at the thought of oral sex, have never seen your wife’s ass while boning her, and you judge those of us who are open-minded and comfortable with our sexuality, you probably shouldn’t be looking at my site, listening to me on Renegade Talk, or jerking off to my photos and then blaming me for your guilt. Have a nice day!

Fortunately, after about 100 comments from other FB friends on this topic – all supportive of my stand on the topic, as well as my work, (and complimentary of the photo) I realized the whole world hasn’t gone crazy! Thank God! Yes, I said God – the God who gave me those legs in the first place (if that’s what you believe in)! The legs I shall never be ashamed of, Bob! And God bless you Bob, but a word of advice: Try taking responsibility for your own words, thoughts and deeds instead of judging everyone else.

I end with my favorite quote: “Be who you are and say what you feel, for those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”- Dr. Seuss

Hear this discussion on a recent episode of Renegade Talk
Follow me on twitter at @empoweredsex
Friend me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/patti.sommer17

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2 comments to Empowered Sex Asks: If my sexy photos offend you, why are you looking at them?

  • Say it loud and say it proud honey. Its uplifting to see someone so in tune with their sexuality… in this case with JUST who you are. Again I say, anyone that hates on you or gives you shit about who you are and what you do is jealous. They arent worth your time and energy. However, great read. Keep up the good work. I am going to read all of your articles.

  • [...] But what I don’t get, is why people who are not comfortable with the subject matter can become so obsessed with it that they feel a need to decide for the rest of us what is appropriate. Personally, I find that to be not only ‘classless’, but rude, inconsiderate, and just plain offensive. After all, I’m not forcing anyone to read my material. If the subject matter isn’t for you, then go back to your Bible or The Wall Street Journal. I’m not offended by your choices or opinions, so why are you so disturbed by mine? It reminds me of the time that a FB ‘friend’ asked me to remove my profile picture of my legs in fishnet stockings, because someone asked him about it at church on Sunday and he deemed it ‘offensive’.  Uh, why didn’t he just ‘un-friend’ me so that little ½” by ½” avatar didn’t show up on his page? Apparently this guy’s fellow parishioner found the photo of my legs (half covered by boots) to be so disturbing that he couldn’t get it out of his head throughout the entire service until he could bring it up at the church social hour afterwards. Wow, really? Why was the dude thinking about my legs in church anyway? Was he making some odd connection between Jesus, fisherman, and my fishnets? And am I really responsible for that? That is some kind of power we women have, isn’t it? Anyway, I found the entire incident so ludicrous that I was inspired to write a blog post about it called, “If My Sexy Photos Offend You, Why Are You Looking At Them?” [...]

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