There’s a new brand of social media and it’s spreading faster than legs on a Playboy model.
It’s a photo-sharing site that allows users to “pin” images from the Web or personal pictures onto a virtual bulletin board for others to enjoy. It’s called Pinterest, or as I like to call it, Pornterest.
Why, you ask? Because if a sexy headshot of Bradley Cooper, a decadent chocolate cake, and glossy mahogany wood floors isn’t porn for women, than I’m not gazing longingly at my pinboard right now throwing off more heat than the pipes on my grandma’s radiator.
Pinterest is a forum for photos of people, animals, food, clothing, and “anything you love” except for—brace yourselves, men—nudity. The only breast you’ll see on this site has been roasted to perfection, drizzled with cream sauce and garnished with lemon.
Pinterest brings the world something that’s long overdue—sexy images for women that aren’t spoiled by an ugly penis. And unlike real porn, no one is objectified (unless you think this chicken feels like a manufactured object . . .)
Pinterest is more than a visual corkboard of enticing entrees and dazzling desserts, it’s a 24-hour smorgasbord that allows users to categorize their photos to plan parties, redecorate their homes, transform their wardrobes, and organize recipes. This might explain why Pinterest’s 11 million plus users are reportedly 97 percent female and the other three percent watch Glee.
I decided to find out for myself what all the fuss was about, so I visited Pinterest.com. I discovered that to enter the site I had to be a member. I didn’t know what surprised me more, that a simple site with nothing but photos was exclusive, or that I didn’t have more clout as a lifetime member of Hadassah.
To sign up for membership I entered my email address and immediately received an email back telling me I’d been wait-listed. Unfortunately, this triggered bad memories of the only other time in my life I’d been wait-listed, when I applied to community college . . .
How long would I have to wait? I hoped not long. I wanted to see the site in its full 32- category glory, before images of Jeremy Lin overran the site.
Days went by and I became increasingly impatient. I wanted what everyone else was getting from Pinterest—the triple layer chocolate cake, the buns of steel, and the hot prom date. In other words, the lure of hope for something we want, but can’t have, and the false promise of something we can.
I learned on a random scrapbooking website that a person can be accepted to Pinterest by invitation from a Pinterest member. A comment thread of desperate people asking if members would invite them followed the information. “Oooh pick me, pick me!” I refused to resort to such measures, especially when I had already placed an ad for Pinterest membership on Craigslist. . .
After four days of pacing the floor I was finally accepted. I could have read my teenage daughter’s entire history of text messages in less time.
“Ben and the Pinterest Team” sent me a personalized form letter welcoming me to Pinterest: “Hi Lisa, You are the newest member of Pinterest, a community to share collections of things you love . . . As one of the first members of Pinterest, your pins will set the tone for the whole community.”
I wrote back, “Ben, you can count on me to set the tone, the same way I’ll be able to count on my new Pinterest friends to pick me up at the airport!”
Ben urged me to be passionate and thoughtful, so I posted some creative images of myself doing yoga, with George Clooney photoshopped in. He shot me an email back reminding me not to use nudity.
I tried again, this time taking a more practical approach. I used Pinterest to help me organize my birth control devices (a mouth guard, granny panties, and a Snuggie), remind my husband what gets me hot (tequila shots, organ jewelry, and him taking out the garbage), and share with the world my favorite desserts (cupcakes, ice cream sundaes and of course, George Clooney).
But aside from Pinterest organizing my contraception, charging my engine, displaying desserts I shouldn’t eat, and a lot of people repinning my granny panties, I really didn’t see the point of Pinterest. How many cupcakes can a girl look at and not touch?
Pinterest may feed our fantasy for eating, drinking, shopping and sex, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the reality show that is my life. The way I see it, my life may not be perfect, but unlike the images posted on the virtual corkboard, it’s real, and I prefer to keep it that way.
I don’t want to turn to a computer screen for foreplay. I prefer to turn to my actual husband after he’s taken out the garbage.
Don’t tell Ben, but I think I’m losing Pinterest. I want to have my cake and eat it too.
When Jersey Girl Lisa Tognola traded her job as freelance writer for that of full-time mother of three children, it didn’t take long before her writing was reduced to grocery lists, notes to school nurses excusing her kids from gym class, and e-mails to her husband reminding him to call his mother. Daily life as a suburban mom was fraught with challenges and unexpected dangers like adult dinner groups, town hall meetings and home shopping parties. Rather than fight her fate, this mom embraced it by unleashing her inner columnist. Her weekly column, Main Street Musings, reflects on life in the suburbs---the good, the bad, and the ugly. Visit her blog http://mainstreetmusingsblog.com/. Follow her on twitter @lisatognola