Dangling Chads
October 14, 2020 2:21 PM   Subscribe

It’s no surprise, then, that we’ve come to relish jokes about men who are totally uninterested in sex, because there’s an element of recognition there. There’s pretty much no surprise or shock value left to wring out of being horny on main now, and like the sexless men of the jokes we’ve come to love, we’re refusing to take the bait. From The Rise of the Unhorny Man [MEL] [CW: NSFW language, racy pictures, dubious links]
posted by chavenet (55 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite


 
I plan to read this article but I want to find out more about that air traffic control tower that is for sale in the post below.
posted by Hicksu at 2:27 PM on October 14 [29 favorites]


We laugh at men who don't want sex. We laugh at women who do want sex. We really need to take up walking puppies or something.
posted by Melismata at 2:40 PM on October 14 [19 favorites]


In fairness, this article is about the trend of laughing with men who don't want sex.
posted by explosion at 2:46 PM on October 14 [10 favorites]


...a backlash against traditional gendered humor, which for decades has centered on the idea that men are perpetually horny, and that women are frustratingly uninterested in sex and deny it to willing men.

Yes.
posted by CCBC at 2:48 PM on October 14 [7 favorites]


The Surprise, Not Horny! joke goes back to the 1920's at least:
Ingenue: oooh, Mr. Producer, I'd do anything to be in your new movie.
Producer: (eyebrow raised) Anything?
Ingenue: (bats eyelashes, lowers voice to a suggestive whisper) Annnything.
Producer: OK, here's my address. Come over tomorrow at 11am...
Ingenue: (purrs) Mmm-hmm...
Producer: ...and paint my house, then clean out the roof gutters.
posted by bartleby at 2:54 PM on October 14 [22 favorites]


This article has no historical grounding if it isn’t talking about Married With Children.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:13 PM on October 14 [25 favorites]


Posers. I'm a guy who hasn't been having sex since way before it was cool
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:17 PM on October 14 [10 favorites]


The article's hook is that the joke from the overtly sexual Twitter picture is on men not being motivated by sex and then it builds onto that as some sort of thesis on sexless men in society.

I think she's missing the joke: staged sexual images are cliche and lazy. It is a WWII pinup. The caption assumes we're all unsophisticated 14 year olds, but I don't think that gives enough credit to 14 year olds. I'm not an animal that wants to hump this Venus of Willendorf model.

I mean everything about the photo takes me completely out of a sexual frame of mind. The leg slightly bent to accentuate the butt, the makeup and hair done in a swimming suit?! The question in the tweet begs the question, "See me like this, what do you do?" I ask why there's a FansOnly photographer and halo light in my kitchen and when are you done because I'm hungry. For any male who doesn't have hangups or issues regarding sex this is like if some alien came down and had a twisted notion of what sex is. It is like a Bud Light commercial of a guy getting ready for a meeting and the Bud Man comes out and says, "TIME FOR A BUD LIGHT?!" ... okay sure I guess? Not really a situation where I want a Bud Light. There's a reason commercials show guys being guys on a couch, in a bar, doing guy stuff. That's where people usually want a beer, not in a hallway before a meeting.
posted by geoff. at 3:18 PM on October 14 [26 favorites]


This joke is older than Mr. and Mrs. Roper on Three’s Company.
posted by 41swans at 3:20 PM on October 14 [11 favorites]


Everyone passed through the Horny Event Horizon several months into social distancing, and are now settled into the Listless Zone.
posted by BungaDunga at 3:38 PM on October 14 [26 favorites]


As a kid, I just assumed that you lost interest as you age, per Mr. Roper and Al Bundy
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:54 PM on October 14 [8 favorites]


I mean everything about the photo takes me completely out of a sexual frame of mind. The leg slightly bent to accentuate the butt, the makeup and hair done in a swimming suit?! The question in the tweet begs the question, "See me like this, what do you do?"

Yeah, the thing about those tweets is that the "thirst" is operating in the other direction so obviously, and it's for attention (putting out the vibe). Rarely if ever attractive, much less stimulating.

Of course there will also be a contingent of dudes who will take the bait, so it's heartening that the mockery angle caught its own story.
posted by rhizome at 4:11 PM on October 14 [8 favorites]


This joke is older than Mr. and Mrs. Roper on Three’s Company.

Older even than George and Mildred?
posted by rhizome at 4:14 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


Master and Commander is a great movie though, a really watery distillation of O'Brian's books. Battle scenes, bad weather, a boat, credible dialogue, and an unusually nuanced portrayal—beyond 'buddy' clichés or bro-partnership stories—of a long-term, intimate, supportive and mutually honest friendship between two men. I should watch it again soon.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:31 PM on October 14 [23 favorites]


What? Those tweets aren't about not wanting to have sex. They're about making funny jokes!
posted by graventy at 4:34 PM on October 14 [13 favorites]


thanks, Obama
posted by philip-random at 4:41 PM on October 14 [6 favorites]


I'm sure people are just trying to be funny, but tbh to me these kinds of replies always had the air of "I will not be hoodwinked by the femoids"
posted by airmail at 4:45 PM on October 14 [11 favorites]


So, this isn’t some new “well, I didn’t want to have sex, anyway” incel spin?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:55 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


Omg as a woman who has been married for 17 years...
posted by supermedusa at 5:14 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


this, as well as several other things, is not just one thing.
posted by Reyturner at 5:15 PM on October 14 [6 favorites]


As a kid, I just assumed that you lost interest as you age, per Mr. Roper and Al Bundy.

Those characters were very interested in sex, just not with their wives. #Thatsthejoke
posted by droplet at 5:17 PM on October 14 [9 favorites]


Ctrl-F "Doughboys" "Wiger" "Mitchell"

No results??!?!?!
posted by saladin at 5:18 PM on October 14 [4 favorites]


Anyone remember Community? There were two great moments for this.
One time Troy is given Truth Serum or something, and one of his Darkest Secrets, painful to have dragged out of him, is:
"I prefer women in flannel nightgowns to ones in lingerie! It's sexier for me if I know you're comfortable!"
And then there's the Alison Brie 'Sexy Santa' thing. More than one IRL hetero male, who fancied the Annie character in her cardigans, has admitted that this scene where she tries to make herself an object, a) made them throw up in their mouth a little and b) basically 'lost their boner' for Annie/Alison for years afterwards. Just eeucch, no, turn it off.
posted by bartleby at 5:55 PM on October 14 [9 favorites]


For the first time in history, jokes are subverting expectations!
posted by atoxyl at 7:34 PM on October 14 [10 favorites]


(the various historical inversions of tropes about male vs. female horniness are actually interesting though)
posted by atoxyl at 7:37 PM on October 14 [4 favorites]


jokes are subverting expectations!
In Soviet Russia, the male gaze gazes you!
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:49 PM on October 14 [4 favorites]


Look I'm not trying to be funny. I'm just really fucking tired lately.
posted by srboisvert at 7:59 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


So, this isn’t some new “well, I didn’t want to have sex, anyway” incel spin?

No, this is a few thousands words of what could be summarized as “WOOOOOOSH!”
posted by sideshow at 8:00 PM on October 14 [7 favorites]


The jokes themselves are whatever, but the turn into social analysis at the end did make me wonder what effect rises in anxiety, depression, and especially SSRI prescriptions have had on the popularity of non-horny humor.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:04 PM on October 14 [11 favorites]


I would argue this is different than Mr. Roeper; the “joke” there was that his wife was old and undesirable.

The slick online pornography market is oversaturated, OnlyFans is a rarefied MLM and I see men joking every day that the women on the platform are dimwitted and morally vacuous and that women are genetically drawn to MLMs, etc. The draw for men was apparently that pornography was uncomfortable, outsider and dangerous. Now that women have some (semblance!) of control and just ANYONE can do it, they are predictably disgusted. How dare Becky who majored in Gender Studies make a few hundred dollars when she should be praying for tips as a Starbucks barista right now?

None of this is to support OnlyFans which sucks and is indeed an MLM, but men on Twitter cracking jokes are getting off on low-grade female humiliation as usual, just metaphorically this time. If they cared about how shitty OnlyFans is they wouldn’t be taking it out on the women.

Reminds me of a rich SOB who taught a politics seminar I attended once. He was mad that waitresses told him their first names nowadays, they’re too friendly... as if it was THEIR idea, and not their boss’s, and as if they didn’t literally need the tips besides. Duh these women make these posts to make money. If they didn’t need the money, they wouldn’t make the posts. But humiliating them publicly is just too fun!

It’s Richard Feynman making a waitress spill water everywhere to get her tip. Wouldn’t want these OnlyFans bitches getting too uppity! Gotta prove you’re savvier than them.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:18 PM on October 14 [17 favorites]


Wait, is Onlyfans a real mlm? Or is it that people have to do mlm-like behavior to get ahead on it? I thought it was just kinda like Patreon but for mostly adult content?

I kinda figured people getting mad at onlyfans were mostly incel types mad at women being able to profit off their sex appeal on their terms, which is really a huge misdirection from looking at the platform critically in hindsight.
posted by ikea_femme at 8:33 PM on October 14 [8 favorites]


Wait, is Onlyfans a real mlm? Or is it that people have to do mlm-like behavior to get ahead on it? I thought it was just kinda like Patreon but for mostly adult content?

I think the implication is just that this is the net effect - the people who have made a lot of money on OnlyFans make it look like an easy way to make money, when it's not on average.
posted by atoxyl at 9:04 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


I was going to say I don't think OnlyFans precisely has the dynamics of an MLM as far as cash flow goes but apparently there are (or were?) referral bonuses so maybe that's the root of the comparison.
posted by atoxyl at 9:08 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


I really like and relate to these jokes; it has far less to do with a Ripper-esque denial of my precious bodily fluids to women than relating to the obliviousness of my youth and the always-tiredness of my present. My favorite:

The other day I invited a guy over to have sex and he was like “I can’t I’m eating cheesecake” and I was like “what about after” and he was like “I’m going to be full from eating all my cheesecake”

And now I want to watch Master & Commander while eating cheesecake.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:39 PM on October 14 [16 favorites]


The article focuses on a few examples of unhorny jokes that are quite dismissive of women's expressions of sexuality, so I am not surprised to see some people in this thread referring to them as “incel spin”.

It seems to me (confirmation bias alert) that the rise of unhorny humour is not limited to that. There are many examples of jokes, webcomics, and memes that are more wholesome, in which the expected sexual outcome of a situation is replaced with a non-sexual bonding interaction (such as the literal interpretation of “Netflix and chill”) or just a positive experience (“sex is great, but have you ever…”). The ultimate example may be Ryan Creamer's Pornhub channel (sfw BuzzFeed News link).

As an asexual person, unhorny humour in general feels like a breeze of fresh air to me, because it subverts the expectations that allonormativity instils in all of us. Even though it often suggests as a joke something that I would find normal, I still see a shadow of that representation that asexual people are craving for, and that's why you can see those jokes reposted on asexuality-related subreddits with comments like “This gives me ace vibes”. It's just a shadow though: those jokes and the likes they receive are not coming from actual ace people.

Maybe I'm just hoping that, if those jokes are repeated often enough, people will stop considering a lack of sexual attraction, libido, or romantic interest as an abnormality, and this would help ace/aro people feel less marginalized in our society.
posted by spheniscus at 11:49 PM on October 14 [17 favorites]


So, this isn’t some new “well, I didn’t want to have sex, anyway” incel spin?

That or a humblebrag, suggesting that the speaker is, in fact, having an extremely fulfilling sex life, to the point of being no more inclined to take the bait than a millionaire would bend down to pick up a penny.
posted by acb at 2:29 AM on October 15 [6 favorites]


can we talk abt my day
posted by effugas at 3:30 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


What, no Patrick O’Brian tag?
Now I massively want to derail into a luridly detailed fantasy of how I hope one day they will make a tv show with all my horrible seafarin’ pals in it.
posted by aesop at 4:47 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


Things to shout during etc etc...
“Killick!”
posted by aesop at 4:49 AM on October 15


I’ll have the soup.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:29 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


Wittles is on.

If you please.


sir
posted by jquinby at 8:32 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


I don't know much about the horniness or lack thereof of the youth today, but I had to drop in to say +1 for the title, chavenet.
posted by taz at 9:06 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


Those characters were very interested in sex, just not with their wives. #Thatsthejoke

I did not understand that as a kid
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:07 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


Re: OnlyFans is an MLM. An exaggeration in the sense that the “goods” exist, etc., and I should have clarified it’s a pseudo-MLM. But recruitment pressure + giving your recruiter a cut of your earnings is enough to creep me out in the context of sex work.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:56 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


So OnlyFans thought endless greed was a good growth strategy and now reality comes knocking. They could have limited referral benefits to a year up front, it's not some new innovation, but "get paid when ur ppl join!" sounded more attractive. They would have probably gotten just as far in growth by limiting up front...but they didn't, and now they look bad for cutting things, and the cycle of bumming out the people who helped you early on continues.
posted by rhizome at 10:04 AM on October 15


What, no Patrick O’Brian tag? Now I massively want to derail into a luridly detailed fantasy of how I hope one day they will make a tv show with all my horrible seafarin’ pals in it.

A finger bends on the monkey's paw. Unbidden, two words come to mind: "in space"
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:13 AM on October 15 [4 favorites]


"Rouse out the Article"
posted by aesop at 12:13 PM on October 15


I feel like the article is sort of all over the place and is lacking in analysis... for example, it’s like “young people are having less sex,” but seems to equivocate less sex with lack of desire for sex; there’s been plenty written about the phenomenon, and it’s not difficult to speculate about (i am 27 so i do lol). but what really seems to go over the author’s head is that the reaction to the first tweet/picture isn’t actually “unhorny”; they’re effectively flirting. to reply with obvious horniness is either “simping” or creepy. the picture in question almost calls for an “unhorny” response — what other response would be appropriate? i feel like the article is way off
posted by LeviQayin at 1:27 PM on October 15 [2 favorites]


*opens article*
*Ctrl-F "asexual"*
0/0 results...hmm
*Ctrl-F "ace"*
Nothing, huh?
*closes article*
posted by ailise at 3:06 PM on October 15 [5 favorites]


Judging by the Facebook groups I'm in where women and non-binary people complain about dating apps, this goes against the grain. Those stories are all about men being aggressively, overbearingly sexual at the drop of a hat regardless of consent, social cues, reading the room or treating the person you're talking to like a human being with a brain instead of a Fleshlight that's been warmed up in the microwave.
posted by zeusianfog at 3:40 PM on October 15


I'm at the point in my life, alas, where I want to want sex. Make of that what you will. One would think it's a relief (it is, no doubt, none of that nagging hornies all the time). It just feels like I'm an old man who needs viagra and never got laid enough, and thank god I never got redpilled when I was more frustrated sexually is all I'm saying.

So uh.

is the blue pill... viagra?
posted by symbioid at 4:22 PM on October 15


zeus,

There's a bit of a selection bias there. Those are the guys still horny enough to tolerate dating apps.
posted by effugas at 5:53 PM on October 15


ailise, I came here to say essentially that but less elegantly.

Maybe there's just more ace people coming out of the closet? Possible selection bias, but it does seem like we're more visible now than even a year ago...could be ace memes are having a moment in pandemic times, could be just critical mass. There's certainly a sibling movement of acceptance and recognition of AMAB/masc nonbinary people that looks correlated from where I'm standing.
posted by zinful at 6:29 PM on October 15


zinful, being ace and wanting the actual friend part of "girlfriend" are different things. There's a lot of people who don't identify with the fabulous alphabet but would like to talk about their day. That this is not completely obvious, despite someone being quoted literally saying as much, is sort of amazing.
posted by effugas at 5:34 AM on October 16


> Things to shout during etc etc...

“Never mind maneuvers, just go straight at ̓em!”
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:47 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


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