So Weiner sexted — doesn’t everyone?

The Brooklyn Paper
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The whole country may have a beef with groin-Tweeting Rep. Anthony Weiner, but Brooklynites say his “scandal” is really, um, no big thing.

There’s been plenty of moralizing over Weinergate, but sending sexy photos — via phone or Internet — has become pretty “normal,” say borough singles, sex therapists and shop owners.

“I’ve done it,” said Samantha Bard, owner of Shag, a sex toy shop in Williamsburg. “If you stood on the corner of Bedford Avenue and North Seventh Street, I bet eight out of 10 people would say they have, too.”

Or how about nine out of 10? That’s how many folks we interviewed who said they had either sent or received nude or risqué photos via phone or Internet.

“It’s not taboo; it’s not even weird,” said skateboarding disk jockey Wei Cheng.

Single-guy Jared Christiansen added that technology, online dating — and immediate gratification — has changed the way people hook up.

“It’s almost the normal order of operation now: You text back and forth and pretty soon you’re exchanging hot photos,” he said, explaining he’d sent a few shirtless shots.

But tell that to everyone who has turned Weiner’s online predilection into Watergate, Monicagate and Teapot Dome rolled into one, suggesting the definition of “political scandal” has morphed.

Once, you had to bribe an Interior Secretary (Teapot Dome) or break laws (Richard Nixon) to get a rise out of people.

But today’s scandals — think Bill Clinton’s oral sex, Rep. Chris Lee’s Craigslist shot and Weiner’s anonymous sexting — are trumpeted as horrific crimes against the American people, even as average folks do the same thing behind closed doors.

Consider pornography, for example — oh, wait, you already have. Porn is the single biggest consumer product in the country, ahead of Coca-Cola and Apple — but woe to the politician who gets caught watching the stuff.

“People in the U.S. are bored and need to feign outrage,” said another Williamsburg resident, who had moved from Eastern Europe. “In my country, they’re all laughing about Weiner.”

Sure, Weiner (D–Sheepshead Bay) certainly did himself no favors by lying about the famous photo of him in his gray boxer briefs. And, yes, his “paper” trail was reckless and sloppy.

But the actual act of sending a sexually suggestive photograph to a romantic interest — and even someone that you haven’t met in person — is nearly as common exhibitionism itself, sexperts explain.

“Technology is such a part of our lives; it’s natural that it bleed into intimacy,” said sex therapist Brenda Lewis. “It can be self-destructive, but it’s not uncommon.”

Perhaps the closest thing to a study on the phenomena — which indicates that our typing fingers have evolved faster than our “morals” — comes from LG Mobile, a cellphone company. The firm surveyed 1,049 parents and 1,017 teens on their “sexting” habits last year and found 43 percent of teens and 28 percent of parents had sent nude photos or texts with “sexual content.”

In another study — conducted by the dating website OK Cupid, which boasts a booming Brooklyn “scene” — co-founder Christian Rudder reviewed a sample of 7,000 profiles to find how many users posted “body shots,” including singled-out butts, boobs, abs, legs, etc.

His survey found that 12 percent of female users and five percent of male users had posted photos in that genre — which Rudder called, “a la Weiner.”

Still, even the most randy Brooklynites noted the difference between posting, sending and Tweeting sexy photos to strangers — as opposed to that special someone (or someones).

“I mean, who hasn’t?” said North Carolina transplant Aubin Norwood. “This whole thing has been blown out of proportion.”

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018: An earlier version of this story had a misspelling inside someone's quote. You know how it is.
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Reasonable discourse

Tony from Park Slope says:
Sexted? That's not the problem.

1. He showed incredibly bad judgement. He's a Congressman and, as a Progressive, a target of Conservatives.

2. He completely undermined the tax fraud allegations against Clarence Thomas.

3. He lied and maintained that lie for days. He betrayed all of the people that defended him.

He imploded his political career. He can't blame anyone else - and it is a crying shame for his district, his state and this country.
June 14, 2011, 6:31 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
The best and the brightest - a true public servant, giving of himself and asking nothing in return.

A statesmen - and irreplacable.
June 14, 2011, 7 am
Henry from DUMBO says:
the verb is "feign"
also, agreed that the issue with weiner is not "sexting," it's lying.
June 14, 2011, 8:21 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
This rant says it all; it mirrors my thoughts perfectly:
June 14, 2011, 9:21 am
Liz from Park Slope says:
I agree with Tony 100%-
It's one thing to be a sexting hipster.
It's another when you are a public servant.

If it's an OK thing to do, then why all the beef?
June 14, 2011, 9:43 am
Pam from Carroll Gardens says:
He's acting like a 15 year old boy. He doesn't deserve to serve in public office as such. He did something morally wrong, but more so, he lied about it. Now he can't be trusted at all.

Additionally, as a public figure, it seems he couldn't tell the difference between his private parts and his public (figure) parts. If he used such poor judgement here, even in the "heat" of a few moments, who's to say what else his devious little mind might be capable of.
June 14, 2011, 12:31 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
What a ridiculous article. As others have already pointed out, the "sexting" itself is not the issue. He's married, and he lied about it. It's like saying cheating isn't bad because everyone has sex. How can you not see the difference?
June 14, 2011, 1 pm
Poor Huma from Park Slope says:
It's one thing to sext your wife. It's another thing to sext a 17 year old girl.
June 14, 2011, 3:13 pm
DC Handgun Info from D.C., baby says:
"skateboarding disk jockey" -- nothing against Chinese s/b-ing DJ's, but that's not who I go to reflexively for moral guidance. Remember: If your nude photo gets out there, it's out there forever!
June 14, 2011, 5:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, I am not saying that Weiner did was justified, but it's not a reason for him to resign just because of that. Just because he did something that was innappropriate or even immature in that matter, didn't mean that he did something illegal. If anyone here does this themselves and grills Weiner for this, then they have no legitimacy to say this. What he did was a private matter, and as long as he still has his wife, that's all that matters right now. Weiner has done a lot more than many of those who have criticized him on this have done. There are politician who have done far worse, yet so many of them got to keep their positions. Just leave Weiner alone! He has been through enough already! All this mentioning of him is making him the new Brittany Spears.
June 14, 2011, 8:20 pm
Eazy D from Sheepshead Bay says:
Let's hope Norm isn't sexting.
June 14, 2011, 9:22 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
Sexy vagina baby !
June 15, 2011, 4:31 am
Mike Flynn from Park Slope says:
I now live Up-State in Black River, NNY and I will offer this advice. Anthony Weiner is a champion of Democratic Progressive thinking. Cover his back, since as this article points out such behavior is more main street, than a case of abhorrent behavior; it includes and millions of other Americans who engage in internet diversions. Mr. Weiner will settle up at home and on the job just like any of us would have too. He'll go to Rehab. What could be more fair then that and in my World he doesn't give up his seat. He earned it and he keeps it and that's good for Middle and Working Class families in his Congressional district. Good luck Congressman Weiner.

Mike Flynn 'Middle-Class Mike'
June 15, 2011, 4:29 pm
bob from nassau says:
Don't grieve too hard. You'll elect another Weiner that is representative of you to replace him. Weiner out, Weiner in
June 16, 2011, 10:34 am

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