Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

His Take: “Do Guys Who Ask for Sexy Pics Ever Want a Relationship?”

New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), or submit a question for advice.

DW HIS TAKE LOGOHis Take questions are answered by our panel of smart, opinionated, and funny dudes.

I am a widowed single mom trying to re-enter the dating world after a very long time. The guys are so different now than when I was single before. A lot of them are asking for sexy pics and usually I don’t mind if it’s someone I’m with, but I’m not looking for a “hit it and quit it” thing anymore. If a guy’s asking me for a sexy picture and still plans to date me too, well, I don’t mind playing a little. But what if he is he asking that as a “trick question”? I was married straight out of high school and with my late husband until he died, so I have forgotten how to “flirt and date.” Whatever happened to the men making the first move and asking for the number and all that? Can you give me some insight on what men who ask for sexy pictures really want? I’m so confused, but lonely and ready for a relationship; it’s been more than two years. ā€” Lonely in Alabama

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 7.14.33 PMBrian:
First of all, props to you, hot stuff, for getting back out there in the big, bad world of dating. I wouldn’t wish dating-after-becoming-a-widowed-parent on anyone, and that includes several former employers and the Republican presidential field. Your positive outlook and readiness for a relationship are strong indicators that you will find the latter and probably forthwith.

Of course, there is a caveat, which is that the issue you’re facing is a larger problem with dating in the ’10s (or whatever the media calls it), although ultimately beneficial. First, allow me to update you on dating since your last go-around. In 2015, men who receive your nudie pics before the first date are either a) planning on staying home to touch themselves instead of going out with you anyway or b) going to take the photos as a sign that they are 100% definitely going to get laid and will be furious if they feel tricked. Men who are likely to be serious about you will put on a clean shirt and pick you up at 8, not meet you at a bar at 11:30 p.m. and say, “Hmm. I see why you sent me photos from the neck down.” (Not kidding — prepare for the worst). Men who are likely to be serious will not risk sabotaging a relationship by asking for a nude photo; they will, as you hope, ask for your phone number and make real plans.

As mentioned, there is a benefit to this. A nude photo solicitor is helping you see that you can immediately ignore him. Even more good news: In the past, it might have taken several dates to determine who is being a creep; nowadays, you can easily detect unworthiness in a suitor in just a few “words”: “What r u wearing?”

AndrewDrew:
I’ve been with Wendy for ten years and don’t know anything about dating these days. (I barely knew anything about dating before I met her). Is this really how people meet now? Does everyone just send each other naked pictures of themselves? Aren’t they worried they’ll end up on the internet? Maybe nobody cares? Maybe there’re just naked pictures of everybody all over the internet and it’s not a big deal anymore? I don’t know. It all sounds a little crazy to me. Anyway, I’m sorry you’ve had such a difficult time and I guess my advice is: Try not to let your loneliness drive you to do things you’re not comfortable doing. And, for the record, I don’t think you’re the one who’s forgotten how to “flirt and date.” If these guys want to see you with your clothes off, they need to buy you dinner and take you to the movies first ā€” you know, date the analog way.

unnamedGuy Friday:
Men want sex. Also, water is wet.

No, but seriously, I think you’ve overthinking this. Much in the same way that ancient cavemen probably wanted cavewomen to draw naked pictures of themselves on the walls, men are by and large a visual lot, and they like to see naked women. I don’t think GUYS are different; I think the MEDIUM is different. Online dating has made it easy to connect from the comfort of your own home, but it’s also made it easier to do very little work to get lots of fun. If a guy sends out the same “got naked pics?” message to one hundred women, it probably takes him ten minutes, tops, to cut and paste that. If even three respond with pictures, that’s a solid return for him for ten minutes worth of work. And I think the “newness”, so to speak, that people see this as is really just because the World Wide Web as we know it now is only about thirty years old, and it’s only been about ten to fifteen years at most that it was really publicly used because of the uptick in personal computing. If they had had text messaging and online chatting in past generations, I suspect you’d have seen the same percentage of picture requests.

I like to tell people who are new to online dating that it’s a lot like meeting someone at a bar: You see the perfected image they want you to see, but it’s superficial, and you can’t judge the merits and compatibility of another person in either environment. So no one trusts one another, and it’s easy to be fooled by the right camera angle and filter. If you like the guy, and you trust the guy, and you want to show him a little skin, go for it, but do so with the understanding that you might not hear from him again and you lose control over the dissemination of the picture. With how lonely you sound, I might exercise caution on the naked pictures until you know the guy well enough to feel safe that he won’t show them around.

If you’d like to ask the guys a question, email me at [email protected] with “His Take” in the subject line and I’ll pass your question along to them.

24 comments… add one
  • avatar

    SasLinna September 30, 2015, 8:05 am

    A guy who really wants to date you won’t need sexy pics to do so.

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  • avatar

    Cherlyn September 30, 2015, 8:18 am

    I came here JUST to say that I love Brian’s answer. I got a good laugh when I read “a) planning on staying home to touch themselves”.

    Reading all the guys’ answers just make me happy to know that there are just as many good men as there are jerks out there.

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  • Nookie

    Nookie September 30, 2015, 8:19 am

    Brian’s got it in one, a guy who asks you for a nude before you’ve even met them (or even after) tells you a lot more about themselves and how they respect women than you would’ve known 10-15 years ago. Count it as a win and find someone who’s not looking for pics for his wank bank. Good luck!!

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  • mrmidtwenties

    mrmidtwenties September 30, 2015, 8:38 am

    As a guy who has done a lot of online dating with mixed intentions the past five years (except for the past year, yay for relationships), chances are if they are asking for sexy pics, they’re looking for spank bank material or a woman they can hook up with. Now I have been various situations, where I have had normal conversations with someone I’m really interested in that begin to turn sexual and where maybe some pics have been exchanged. And I have still gone out with those women, and been on the road to a relationship with some of them and it didn’t work out for one reason or another.

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  • avatar

    Moe P September 30, 2015, 8:47 am

    I would never send nude pictures to anyone before I met them, or even after being married, because once they go through your phone, they are permanently in a public sphere and can be shared now or in the future. A man who has any sense of being interested in any sort of relationship would focus on asking you out on a date and not on asking for nude photos. If it’s a relationship you want, don;t be suckered into this by immature fools.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor September 30, 2015, 8:55 am

    I wouldn’t rule out someone just because they want those types of pictures, but no, do not send naked or revealing pictures of yourself to someone you barely know.

    You have no way of knowing if it’s going to be forwarded to to 50 of his closest friends and 1000 of their closest friends. Or uploaded to some site and tagged with your name. Most men probably won’t do this, but you have no way of differentiating those that would from those who wouldn’t.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph September 30, 2015, 12:14 pm

      Definitely true about forwarding! One of my husband’s friends friends is recently separated from his wife and online dating now. When a girl sends him a nude pic (or even a sexy, not nude pic) he definitely forwards it to my husband’s friend (and goodness knows who else), who occasionally forwards them to my husband.
      Once you send the pic, you have no control over where it goes next. I wouldn’t say never send one, but only send once you know them and trust the person to keep it private.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 September 30, 2015, 9:14 am

    No a guy isn’t serious about you if he is just coming out and asking for naked pics of you right off the bat. If you are getting a ton of those requests you need to find new guys to meet, and new places to meet them.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    KMJ September 30, 2015, 9:16 am

    Great answers. Drew’s really made me laugh. šŸ˜€

    No, do not send nude pics to someone with whom you are not in a serious relationship. (Even then, use caution.) Doing so is not the norm for people who are looking for a relationship.

    There are tons of good men who want exactly what you do and to do it “the old fashioned way.” You may have to hold out a little and invest some time before finding someone you really want a relationship with and that’s fine. Number one rule, I’d say, is to not rush things.

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes September 30, 2015, 9:51 am

    Yes, agree with everyone that sexy pictures/sexy talk are to be saved for an actual relationship. Now, I have not done the online dating thing/been out there in the wide world of singlehood for about 3 years now (Im 35), but even back in the dark ages of undergrad in the early 2000s, if a guy got too sexual or whatever before we even were actually dating, I dropped him like the proverbial hot potato. When I was online dating, if the 1st message I got was sexual in nature, I just didnt respond or if it started up before we met up, I did the same. Sure, I had my share of one nighters, or occaisional-hookup-buddy, but that was different. Hold out for what you believe in, and dont compromise on it! Good guys are out there.
    *
    Also, beware of the (strange) heady euphoria of the rush of messages when you first sign up on a dating site. MOst of them (I think, they did a few years ago) have a way to see who the new “meat” on the site is. Omg, I thought I was so popular when I first signed up. Ahaha, ohh , I can joke about it now! But it is a strange letdown- like, you get all these messages! Some of them are so witty and charming!! And then nothing really comes of most of them. But as they say, online dating is a numbers game, so keep at it!

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  • Diablo

    Diablo September 30, 2015, 10:04 am

    There is only one use for a nekkid pic of a woman. If you are in a relationship with a woman or hope to be, there is really no need to have a photo – you’ve got a live girl in front of you. I’m assuming that the majority of the men you might date will be in your age range, more or less. If so, they grew up with the same standards for things. I am 49. I have never seen a naked photo of any woman I have personally known in real life. Or needed to. Then again, i have not been single for a long time, just like you. This is my point – the guys you seek should have similar standards to yours, not only because of similar history, but because these are the people who might be suitable for you to have a relationship with. Why would you WANT to date some squicky fapping 26 yo (or 49 yo) gamer dork who asked to see you naked before he even met you in person? Why would anybody?

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    • Nookie

      Nookie October 2, 2015, 7:25 am

      Wait, are you saying that you’ve never looked at pornographic images?

      Reply Link
  • norabb

    norabb September 30, 2015, 11:01 am

    IF/WHEN you send pics, to anyone, don’t show your face or anything that proves it’s you. I am all about sexy pics, being of the younger generation, but beeee careful, don’t send them out willy nilly, and never show your face.

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    • avatar

      ktfran September 30, 2015, 11:17 am

      Agreed! Even in a committed or exclusive relationship, DO NOT SHOW YOUR FACE. There’s too many outside variables and a holes. You just don’t know what someone would do with that photo and personally, I wouldn’t want to risk it.

      I have sent a couple naked pics to a guy I was in a relationship with who very I much trusted with said photos… however, as much as I trusted him, I still wasn’t comfortable sending my face in the naked photos because again, you honestly just don’t know what someone will do or what the future holds.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover September 30, 2015, 11:42 am

        Not to mention if someone’s looking through his phone or whatever. He can be as trustworthy as possible, but his phone could still be hacked, could be stolen, or he could just leave it unlocked one time and his best friend or brother or someone goes through it and sends the photo to himself. You never know!

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      • avatar

        ktfran September 30, 2015, 12:28 pm

        Oh yes! I didn’t even mention if someone was looking through the phone.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny September 30, 2015, 11:53 am

    These answers are great!! I have nothing to add other than, I’m glad His Take is back!

    Reply Link
  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl September 30, 2015, 1:57 pm

    Also… know that “netflix and chill” doesn’t meant what it used to!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      ktfran September 30, 2015, 2:52 pm

      Oh my god, I just learned that today too. What the fuck?

      However, the guy and I did the old meeting Friday because I literally fell asleep on the couch 15 minutes into a movie. #lame

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  • avatar

    laurahope September 30, 2015, 2:57 pm

    Just today, I was at Toys-R-Us and got in to a conversation with this man about board games and when we bumped into each other again at the grocery store (it was quite by accident–he wasn’t stalking me), he asked me out for a cup of coffee. He did not ask for naked pics. He just wanted to get to know me. So I’m thinking there are still gentlemen out there.

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  • avatar

    RedBlue September 30, 2015, 2:59 pm

    Try this rule of thumb:

    Send nothing to someone else that you won’t mind being posted on the Internet later. Even in a dating situation, the relationship can sour resulting a formerly trusted boyfriend to post your photos in bitterness. There are whole websites dedicated to revenge porn and some have been known to post the information about the person in the photo.

    Basically, if the request makes you uncomfortable don’t do it.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Michelle October 6, 2015, 11:44 am

    OK, I’m Michelle aka…”Lonely in Alabama” and I feel safe enough to share my name now that I have read y’all’s advice and my fear of feeling stupid..never happened, lol
    Firstly, I want to thank all three of you kind gentleman for taking the time out to help me better understand, I am 34, and I was with my late husband for 2 years dating & 10 years of marriage. Flip phones had just came out when he died, and texting became “the thing”, what I loved about the years 2000-2007 was that we had to physically get up and leave our homes to meet people, yet, I agree that then and now are basically the same when comparing the Bar with Online dating. But, I spent the past 8 years focusing on work & my 2 children, keeping myself buried in them, I see now that it was a security blanket to shield myself from the “scary,huge, big, & bad” world. See, ever since my husband died (I was first on the scene 4 miles from our home to find the love of my life & the man who hit him, dead in their vehicles, and BOOM..just like that, I’m alone with children in Alabama and all our family living in other states. So, until now I guess I feared not being good enough & failing. Now however, thanks to my “Trusty 3”, I know its ok to be picky & cautious when it comes to meeting the right man while sticking to my good ol’ fashioned values šŸ™‚
    I am so grateful for your advice because to be honest, I had started allowing my mind to doubt my beliefs & expectations on Dating, and often thought of how, “times have changed the past 10 years, what if I’m wrong on expecting a man to be a gentleman and ask me for my number and a date” lol. It’s a huge sigh of relief to know that (like the 3 of you) there ARE still good men left on this Earth, my question is…How many of the good, single ones are IN North Alabama, HAHA!
    Thanks so much for your kind & straight up advice & for not ripping me to shreds when you realized that I’m a 34 yr old asking advice on what most folks see as common sense questions. Men ask me all the time..”why is a beautiful woman like you single”, yet, if I find them attractive and talk to them, they want to almost immediately ask for pics. It’s nauseating at times but I’m glad it’s not me that is the problem, and I reckon I’ll be patient and wait as long as it takes for a good man to come along, BUT, if I’m still single by 40..I’ll give up and become a Nun lol šŸ˜‰

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    • avatar

      Brian Fairbanks October 6, 2015, 12:14 pm

      “How many of the good, single ones are IN North Alabama…”

      Glad we could help… and, uh… well, good luck with that!

      Reply Link
    • Guy Friday

      Guy Friday October 6, 2015, 5:51 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind & straight up advice & for not ripping me to shreds when you realized that Iā€™m a 34 yr old asking advice on what most folks see as common sense questions.
      .
      You’re welcome, and I’m glad I could help, but I didn’t view it as a “common sense question” in the sense that you shouldn’t be asking it. The availability of online dating and the internet in general has dramatically altered the way society interacts with one another, and so we revisit the “etiquette,” for lack of a better term, with each improvement. Plus, if there’s one thing law school taught me, it’s that for every person who asks a question there’s 10 other people who wanted to ask the same question but were too scared to ask it. So, on behalf of the ten other people whose names we don’t know, thank YOU šŸ™‚

      Reply Link

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