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.”