Online Dating After 50? There’s a Problem.
I’ve been thinking about penises. More specifically, why men send pictures of theirs to relative strangers. Last week I wrote an article on “dick pics.”
I expected more article views than normal; it’s a tantalizing term. What I hadn’t expected was the male responses, which generally fall in the category of mansplaining.
My regular readers should know I’m a sex educator and author—a good indicator that I know a little something about sex and masculine sexuality. I do understand, to a certain degree, the relationship men have with their penises (3 brothers, 2 sons, 1 husband and post-divorce dating).
We’re taught that sex is penetration, from a strictly heterosexual perspective. Penis in vagina, referred to as PIV. That’s what sex is, so much so that people assess the possibility of sex by the ability to get erect.
What It’s Like to Date Over 50
I had a twitter conversation the other day with a young woman, asking if sex for older adults dating after 50 was difficult. She seemed to assume couples in their golden years couldn’t have sex without Viagra. The average person defines sex as intercourse. And, I maintain that most men are thinking along those lines when they take pictures of their sex organs and send them to women.
Yes, I’m making generalizations. Often men want to see if you’re receptive, or try to impress you with their large member. For me that’s more of a turn-off than turn-on. When we are dating, show me your intellect; show me your capacity for pleasure. Show me that you’re interested in me—don’t just show me your penis.
This whole story line sprang from a brief exchange I had with a man on an online dating site. He’s in his late 50s and in an open marriage, theoretically. As he explained, he seeks out sexually repressed women, using his term, and satisfies them (with his large penis!).
In an email he said he knew that many women were not receptive to dick pics, so instead he was sending me a picture of himself in his new sweatpants. Sitting in his office, aroused.
The photo was an erection selfie. I think I was meant to be impressed. Objectively I could see that it was of above-average length. I replied that I was not interested in what he was offering. Feelings hurt, he pointed out that he had mistaken me for someone more open-minded.
Why We Send Nude Pictures
It’s a strange phenomenon to me—this sharing of body parts photos as a part of courtship. A male acquaintance, in his 60s, reports to get similar photos from women. So maybe I’m wrong in thinking it’s just a male thing? Another man conjectures that women asking about anatomy are trying to make sure the man can perform, i.e., “get it up.”
I see this as a trading of objects. A sort of sexual bartering. Look at my big penis/breasts, now do you want me? How do you like me? Also, can I get your attention, make you look, make you desire me?
If we simply reduce the act of having sex with another person to body parts and performance we’ve lost the essential attraction of intimacy.
And if sex, as a mechanical act involving body parts, is all one desires then determining size and hardness is essential.
If what you value is finding intimacy with a partner who values giving and receiving, building trust, and connecting with you as a sexual being, then penis size is totally irrelevant.
Want to read more about online dating over 50 from Walker? Read this about the importance of chemistry with online dating.