Dear Nearly Naked Men on My Twitter Feed

I love you all. I love your manly manliness and your washboard tummies and that little hint of what’s just below the picture’s border. You make my menopausal heart sing. But what the hell are you selling?

I think it has to do with books. I see your pictures with big, scrolling words over them, which I think indicates a book, but I can’t really tell. I’m too busy wiping drool off my keyboard.

I get, I think, why beer and car companies use scantily clad women to sell stuff. It’s nice to look at nice-looking people. Advertisers wouldn’t put those lovelies in their ads if men didn’t seem to greatly enjoy the particular fantasy the ad is selling – apparently, that a large-breasted, young blonde will personally deliver their adult beverage.

But honestly, I don’t buy books thinking a naked man will gaze at me longingly while I read it. Sorry, marketers, but if there is any naked man besides my husband gazing at me, I’m likely dialing 911 about it.

This, despite the fact that manly nekkidity has been on covers of romance novels pretty much since The Snake first sold Eve a copy of “Passion in Paradise” with a figleaf-less Adam on the cover. I’m just not buying it.

I didn’t date buff guys when young. I rarely dated at all. Buff guys were among the legions of men who looked past or through or around me while in search of someone prettier or more outgoing or richer or perkier, or whatever it was that I lacked. I wasn’t ugly or anything, I just shy and self-conscious, in a head-down, nose-in-a-book sort of way, which admittedly hampers meeting people of any sort, hunky or otherwise.

So when I see beefcake adorning my Twitter feed, it’s not going to make me buy that book. It’s going to remind me, rather unsubtly, that this is the sort of man who’d have found me invisible when I was young, and who’d have even less use for me today, at 51.

Fortunately, my subsiding levels of estrogen means I don’t give a shit, but not giving a shit isn’t really the fantasy you’re selling, is it?

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