Decoding Anthony Weiner’s Sexts: A Critical Reading
Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner confirmed Tuesday that the latest explicit correspondences to surface between him and an anonymous 22-year-old woman are indeed real—and they appear to have occurred more than a year after he resigned from Congress. With that out of the way, perhaps we should do as his wife, Huma Abedin, claims she’s done: forgive him and move on.
But first, let’s pause to cathartically pore over the content of Carlos Danger’s “sexts.” The exercise may not be comparable to the “whole lot of work and therapy” Abedin and Weiner underwent to salvage their marriage, as Abedin put it during their awkward joint press conference. But an analysis of Weiner’s most recent sexual exchanges sheds new light on the New York City mayoral candidate. And we’re not talking about his apparent gift for dirty talk and weakness for “fuckme shoes.”
While it’s tempting to dwell on the salacious stuff, this doesn’t reveal much we didn’t already know about the crotch-shot-tweeting former congressman. What is new this time around—and arguably more cringe-inducing than that infamous dick pic from two years ago—is a subtext of self-loathing amid Weiner’s pornographic fantasies.
It’s never a good look when a public figure or politician is caught with his pants down on the Internet (or anywhere else, for that matter). But that image is even more distasteful when the pervert in question spells out his insecurities mid-cybersex. Where Weiner looked like a sad sack when his online dalliances with strange women aired in 2011, he all but calls himself one in the messages published on TheDirty.com.
Whether he’s divulging his fantasies and pleading for affirmation in the same breath (“Staring at pics of you. Pathetic?”) or puffing himself up after putting himself down (“Sadly my pics are out there to look at. Have you ever?”), we can’t help but see Weiner as a weedy, twice-disgraced caricature who nasally proclaims his self-hatred while climaxing on a woman’s breasts.
In other not-so-subtle signs that Weiner feels like a loser, he tells his online paramour he’s “deeply flawed” and wonders, “If I met you in a bar and tried to talk to you, would I have a chance?”
He probably felt particularly down on himself after he resigned from Congress in a tearful TV statement. So what are we to make of him confidently asking New Yorkers for a “second chance” in Tuesday’s press conference, given that the exchanges he admitted to allegedly happened as recently as the summer of 2012, right around the time he appeared with his wife and baby in People and told the magazine he was dedicated to mending fences at home? How can we reconcile the outwardly undaunted Weiner who won’t let the past derail mayoral ambitions with his comically tragic porn-star alter ego?
“Things aren’t much different from how they were yesterday,” Weiner said Tuesday, downplaying the revelations. Though his wife reassured the public that Weiner is a changed man, it’s unlikely Carlos Danger will be so quickly forgotten.