It’s Tuesday and the anonymous mailbag is here to save you from your work or quarantine related doldrums.
As always you can send your anonymous mailbag questions to email@example.com, anonymity guaranteed.
Here we go:
“A few weeks ago, I got a text in a group chat with some high school friends about a girl who had also gone to our high school and a recent social media post of hers. According to the post, this girl lost her restaurant job and personal trainer job in a gym due to COVID shutdowns and that she only had enough money for her next months rent and didn’t know what she would do going forward.
A few days later, someone in the group chat came across a new post of hers saying she was going to create an OnlyFans account to help make money while stuck at home. For those who don’t know, OnlyFans is basically a subscription site where people can post and sell homemade pornographic content. For $20 a month, you can access her basic content on her page but could pay more for more customized stuff.
Some key background details to the story: this girl graduated from our school in 2010 and we graduated in 2011. We had mutual friends who briefly dated so our only interactions with her were limited to a couple week period at a few parties where we played beer pong or flip cup. No one in our chat had seen or talked to her since then which is going on about 10 years ago.
This girl looks pretty good, I’m single, and it was only $20 so I figured why the hell not and signed up to follow her page. Two of my guy friends in the chat have girl friends and they signed up as well. I didn’t have an opinion on it but this was not supported by the girls in the group chat. One of the guys has been considering anonymously requesting and paying for a personal video of this girl playing with herself. He travels a lot for work and wants this video for his hotel room alone time because his gf is uncomfortable doing anything on camera like that. He said that because he already pays for a Brazzers membership that it’s okay. This has caused a disagreement among the sexes. The girls in the group chat disagree because he “knows” this girl and it isn’t a random porn star on the internet. The guys argument has been that we don’t really “know” this girl since our interactions with her top out as high school party beer pong partner 10 years ago.
What do you think? Is this okay for our friend to do or should he just avoid her site altogether as some are arguing?”
I mean, it’s certainly “okay” in that it’s legal.
Your friend is helping a girl who would otherwise have no money to make money. He is paying her for a legal service. (This, by the way, is why I believe prostitution should be legal. If someone wants to sell sex and there’s a buyer, why shouldn’t it be legal? Especially since pretty much everyone is selling sex in some way or other.)
But your question isn’t about legality, it’s about relationship morality. The question is essentially this: what’s the line between jerking off to girls in pornography that you don’t know — which I’d guess nearly 100% of the people reading this mailbag agree is okay while in a relationship — and paying for personalized pornography that only you receive while in a relationship.
And if I were his girlfriend I would see a pretty big distinction between these two scenarios. If you log on to a random porn site and watch a public video there you have no interaction with the performer at all. It’s not really that different than jerking off to Cinemax or a Playboy magazine back in the day, it’s generalized pornography directed at a large audience, it just happens to be online instead of on TV or in a magazine.
But if you’re requesting specific videos from the girl, it’s something different: personalized porn. And personalized porn feels much closer to cheating than general porn. (It also sounds, by the way, much more awesome, which is why there’s probably a big market for it.) Instead of getting your porn at the mass market online retailer, the Wal Mart of porn, you’re getting the Hermes bag of porn. (I don’t even know what a Hermes bag is, but they’re supposed to be expensive. I’m not an expensive retail guy — half my clothes are from Costco — so just follow the analogy in the event my knowledge of luxury goods isn’t perfect).
Let’s pretend this guy’s girlfriend finds out that her boyfriend is spending money for personalized porn videos sent to him directly by a girl he pays to follow online. And when she finds out the guy claims that it’s okay because it’s not a girl he knows very well. It’s just a girl that one of his friends from high school dated. Do you think she’s going to be like, “Okay, cool, no big deal!”
That’s because she would rightly think, “Wait, if this girl will send nude videos to people who pay for them, what’s to stop her from eventually meeting up with my boyfriend and having sex with him for money?” I mean, sure, there’s a leap from filming personal sex videos for people who pay for them to having sex with the same people for money, but isn’t that leap pretty easy to imagine happening? I mean, it’s not like the boyfriend was buying art work from an artist and then offered to pay the artist for sex. He was paying for a form of sex gratification already — the subscription — and already advanced to personal porn. It’s not crazy to think that she might accept more money for more services.
I mean, if you will provide sex services for money, my assumption is if you pay more money that you will provide more sex services for more money. Sure, she might draw the line somewhere — and the consumer might draw the line somewhere here too — but this seems like a situation where it could escalate pretty easily. He has the extra money to spend and she has the services to provide.
But even if it doesn’t escalate I think the girlfriend would have a right to be upset here.
Paying for porn subscriptions to individual porn providers seems a lot closer to cheating than just looking at generalized porn on the Internet. I’m not trying to say what every man and woman in a relationship should be comfortable with — you can set your own parameters for acceptable behavior — but as a general rule those parameters should be the same for the man and for the woman.
So let’s pretend this guy found a video on his girlfriend’s phone of a guy jerking off. (Yes, let’s pretend a woman would actually pay for these as opposed to get them sent unsolicited by perverts.)
If she said, “I don’t know why you’re upset. I just paid this guy I kind of knew from high school to send me a jerk off video so I could masturbate while I looked at it.”
Would her boyfriend be like, “Oh, no problem, cool. I thought he sent it to you for free! You paid for it, my bad, this changes everything. I love you. Sorry I got upset!”
Of course not.
Which is why if he’s doing this, he better prepare for his girlfriend, in the event she finds out, which it sounds like she might if he’s talking about it on a text chain with men and women both on it — to be furious and consider it to be a form of cheating.
“What should happen with youth baseball and t-ball this season? Like you, I’m a dad of boys and I’m involved with their sports. Where I live, “little league” practice starts in March and games are April – May, ending around Memorial Day when the school year ends. My kids had several pre-Covid practices in March before it all just stopped. My state’s “safer at home” health order expires May 15 but that could change.
Do we play a summer/early fall season? The reality here is the second half of 2020 is going to be compressed as it is, people will have travel fever and a lot of kids may not come back.
Do we play a short 2-4 week season just to give the kids exposure to the game and then move on to summer?
Note: I coach my five year old’s t-ball team. I sent a group text out to my parents a week ago asking if they would feel safe playing in May. So, 3 out of 11 responded yes; the other 8 did not respond at all.
Or do we just chalk this season up to the Covid and come back in 2021? If so, what are the effects, if any, of kids losing a year of playing ball? Is the result less kids coming back out in 2021 because they’ve moved on to other things, or more kids playing?
I believe sports are vital to kids’ development, not necessarily as athletes (most won’t still be playing in high school, much less in college or professionally) but overall as people. I’m just not sure what the way forward is on this one.”
My situation is almost identical to yours.
We started practicing in early March — I’m an assistant coach — and then everything got shut down when the nation shut down. Then we got an email last week saying the entire season was canceled.
This sucks because my nine year old was going to be on a really good team and I was excited to see how the season went. My nine year old is also scheduled for a summer basketball league, but I’m afraid this will get canceled too.
I don’t presume to know how other parents would respond, but if the league was playing I’d be fine with my kids playing. And I’d be fine with them going back to school as well. (I know my wife would too because she’s been homeschooling our boys for a few hours every day and they are slowly driving her insane.)
I love my three boys more than anything and don’t want them to take unnecessary risks. But you have to look at the data to help make intelligent decisions. And all the data tells us that kids aren’t in danger from the coronavirus at school and that they don’t appear to spread the disease to adults very often.
So what are we protecting by shutting down schools and sports leagues?
I’d be perfectly fine with my kids playing sports this summer and they definitely need to be back in school this fall.
I also agree with you that sports instill important life lessons and I’m disappointed my sons missed a season of little league for a virus that it’s now quite clear wasn’t endangering them or their teammates. My hope is that by the fall sanity will be prevailing in sports and in life. But we have to get more intelligent about the decisions we make as a country. And we have to have reasonable debates without allowing people to shriek, “BUT YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT PEOPLE DYING,” every time you suggest leaving our homes.
“This is probably going to be a weird question coming from a woman, but my fiance and I just came into some money after selling a house. We have all of our debts paid and want to use some of it to get me some new boobs. It’ll be a 40th birthday present for me.
The problem I am having is deciding how big to go. He says that I should get whatever will make me happy. But it’s been my experience that most guys like big boobs. What do you think?”
I always think a woman should go with the, “Man, those are really nice boobs, are they real?” standard of new boobs when it comes to a boob job. You want to look great, but not look like you’re trying too hard to look great.
But some people love going with the pornstar look.
That’s your call, not anyone else’s.
Ask your doctor what advice he’d give you since it’s his job to know what makes women happy in this department.
Your fiance is a heterosexual man, he’s going to be happy with whatever choice you make. This should be about what makes you the most comfortable, not him.
“I need your help with something. Each summer my dad and I take a trip to watch the Cardinals (his MLB team) or Rockies (my MLB team) play a series in a city besides St Louis or Denver. This year we’re supposed to be in Cincinnati for the Rockies vs Reds series in late July. Now that it’s looking like fans won’t be able to attend games this summer the trip seems like a lost cause. However my dad still wants to go and spend the time together, just doing something else.
My dad is in exceptional health – takes no medications and exercises daily – but is in his early 70’s. He’s not subscribed to the medical advice and stayed home the last few months. Even though his age group is at risk, he’s stayed active. He’s the Tom Brady of 72 years old with how active he is. He hasn’t yet altered his lifestyle and tells me that he doesn’t plan on doing it in the future because of Coronavirus. Bottom line – he’s going to keep living and do what he wants to do. Period.
I suggested that we still fly to Cincinnati but instead of staying around there we go camping in West Virginia and Maryland – which is a relatively short drive from Cincinnati – so we can see parts of America we’ve never been and likely won’t ever see if not for this trip. My thought process is we’ll be outside and away from people so it minimizes the risk of getting exposed or what not.
My wife thinks I’m not making the right decision to go forward with the trip. She’s worried about my dad getting on an airplane and getting exposed to people. I feel like the virus risk will be substantially less in three months and therefore it won’t be like it is today. On top of this, my dad and I look forward to our yearly trip together and it’s become a therapeutic experience for me to do these trips. Most importantly, my dad isn’t going to just sit inside and wait for a vaccine so it’s not like going on this trip will be his only time out of his house. I feel like it doesn’t make since to put life on hold and not spend time with him.
So am I being stupid for wanting to go ahead with this trip? Or do you think I’m being reasonable with how I’m viewing all of this?”
I think you’re being totally reasonable here.
But you can’t make decisions for your parents. (I think many kids with older parents have come to this realization during the entire coronavirus mess. They’ve lived their entire lives making choices and they raised us and saw all the stupid things we’ve done in our lives. Why should they trust us? Honestly, now that I have three kids of my own the idea that I’d let any of these idiots make life decisions for me one day is absolutely terrifying.)
So it seems to me a nice compromise here would be for you to pick somewhere you both could drive. After all, the games are not happening and while it might great to camp in West Virginia, is camping in West Virginia really that different than camping in Virginia or Tennessee or Kentucky? (I’m sorry Bob Denver). I’m not sure where you live or where he lives, but if both of you driving isn’t an option, what if you flew somewhere he could drive to? That way he isn’t on an airplane and you don’t feel guilty if he ends up getting sick.
(You would, however, feel incredibly bad if he died in a car accident because you didn’t want him to fly, which is probably statistically more dangerous than the flight would be. The point here is, of course, you can’t eliminate risk. Everything you choose to do has a built in risk. The moment you roll out of bed, your risk of dying increases for the day. But, interestingly, if you never got out of bed, you’d die there too. Humans have to move to survive.)
Having said all of this, the data reflects the virus is likely to be far less virulent in late July then it is now.
It sounds like you’ve already made reasonable adjustments to your planned trip. If your dad refuses to change his mind, I don’t think you need to cancel the trip. He’s a grown adult, you can’t treat him like a child. He ultimately decides what risks he’s willing to bear in life, not you.
“My family and I booked a June trip from the East Coast to Hawaii months ago. Based on the latest news from Hawaii, it seems as though they are continuing their 14-day traveler quarantine at least through the end of May. This seems ridiculous for an economy that is almost completely dependent on tourism, but that’s their current approach.
Do you think their thinking will evolve by then to do away with the quarantine or should we start evaluating other destinations?”
Trying to predict what will and won’t be allowed in individual locations by specific dates is nearly impossible right now.
I’d advise anyone out there with summer vacation plans to pick somewhere you can drive.
That’s the only thing you can 100% control.
“I have been reading old and new Anonymous Mailbags and All That’s from your site. While you do put forth a consistent message of waiting to get married. I think more needs to be said about going child-free.
I like kids but don’t really like being a parent. I’d tell my 18-year-old self to get a vasectomy.
Kids are a pain in the ass at times and any man pondering his future with a woman should remember that and the message you have given-no reason to get married if you are not going to have kids. But if you are going to have kids here are some things men should remember-most of your free time is gone. You can say goodbye to doing many of the things you want to do when you want to do them or not doing things you don’t want to do. Want to hit the bar, sleep in, watch the game, simply do nothing….all that is for the most part gone. Kid games, school meetings, horrible musical concerts at schools-I hate them all. And don’t give me the grandkids argument. The best argument for them is you can give them back to the parents.
Seriously, the problems with kids in marriage comes up time and time again on OKTC. My ex-wife often complained she didn’t have time to run the kids around to all their different activities. I reminded her these are things I warned her about but she had to have “one more.”
Kids consume one’s time, energy, and money. They fight, they constantly make and leave messes, they are dirty. They take a toll on the wife’s body as you talked about in a recent mailbag. They can ruin your sex life. Here is a quote from you in a past response “the best part of my trip was when I could pull the blackout curtains together and just pass out in the bed. No kids waking me up at dawn, no issues anywhere, just blessed silence.” In yet another Mailbag you stated it would drive you insane to stay home with your kids all day. So despite loving your kids you still want to be away from them. And in other Mailbag, “…go to any Chuck E Cheese….and look at the dead eyes of the parents.”
I could go on and on with Mailbag examples.
It seems kids are overrated and many couples have them because they are “supposed to” as opposed to a well thought out decision. I know some people really love being a parent but that hasn’t been my experience.”
I love the idea of you doing research on my comments on parenting in the millions of words in mailbag advice. I’d actually like to read every bit of advice I’ve given so far and see it collated by subject. Primarily because I think the advice would be pretty consistent, which is tough to do given all they hypotheticals we get every week.
I certainly understand that some people don’t want kids. As I presently write the anonymous mailbag my kids are behaving like wild banshees, making it virtually impossible to write anything coherent here. This happens frequently, which is why I regularly have to stop what I’m doing and go ask them to calm down so I can work and buy them the video games they want.
But my life would seem very purposeless if I didn’t have children.
I’d be entirely focused only on my own self. (Even more so than I am now, which doesn’t seem healthy). I would be living only for myself too, doing exactly what I wanted pretty much every day. I’d rarely need to compromise on my own wishes or behave in a selfless manner to make others happy. Essentially I’d be locked in perpetual adolescence.
There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, and I think many people with kids look back fondly on when they were single, but if you never have kids you’re constantly forced to hang out with younger and younger people. (Because most of your friends will have kids too). Eventually you look around and you’re the old guy out at the club.
And no one wants to be the old guy out at the club. (Not all the time, anyway. I’m fine occasionally being the old guy out at the club, but I don’t want to make it my life).
I suppose some people might prefer that lifestyle for the rest of their life, but I enjoy knowing that long after I’m gone (hopefully) there will be people who are (hopefully) productive members of society continuing to make the world a (hopefully) better place than it would be if my wife and I hadn’t decided to have children.
And I’m also looking forward to eventually having grandkids that I can enjoy as well. (I also hope that’s a long time from now).
Are kids often very frustrating, challenging, and nearly overwhelming? Yes. But if your goal is to only do things that are easy, what’s the point of life?
I don’t want to get too philosophical on you here so I’ll simply say that I think having children also, in the end, makes me a better person than I would have been if I hadn’t had children.
Note, I’m not saying I’m a very good person. I’m just saying I’m a better person than I would have been if I’d never had kids.
But the great thing about American life is we all don’t have to agree on every life decision.
As always, thanks for reading Outkick and send your anonymous mailbag questions to firstname.lastname@example.org