Alison and I have been having a great time checking out deals of the day – we’ve been to half a dozen restaurants in as many months, trying new cuisine or getting drinks at places we’ve meant to try anyway. I’m making an eye appointment and getting frames next week at a ridiculous discount. Hell, I took a HELICOPTER ride around downtown Chicago (post on the way) because Alison saw a great deal and thought of me. But Living Social and Groupon are turning out to be great fun fodder, as well.
And this time I’m not talking about Botox, although the repeated offers are making me chuckle — nevermind the decision to inject botulism into your face, but Alison and I have agreed that people need not select the low bidder for that one. Today’s deal on Living Social is probably the strangest I’ve seen:
90-Minute Boudoir Photo Shoot and 3×3 Fold-Up Little Black Book of Photos
We know you love your sweetheart more than anything, but if you’ve gotten to a comfortability level where it’s not only okay, but expected, to wear a sweatsuit to bed, it might be time to spice things up a bit. And what better way than giving your sweetie the promise of something sexy to come this Valentine’s Day? WoodBurn Photography in Alexandria is offering up a 90-minute boudoir photo shoot, plus a 3×3 fold-up little black book filled with shots of you in your sexy skivvies for just $99 — a $350 value. That’s right, get out your Saturday night best and head to this spot for a full-on photo shoot of you looking your most sultry. While you won’t be able to get the shots before V-Day, just think of the tease you’ll be when you give him this deal… then make him wait for the pics. You little minx, you!
This one seems like such a spectacularly bad idea, it crossed my eyes. Couple of thoughts …
First of all, and overwhelmingly, who thinks she’s going to turn on her* boyfriend by letting someone other dude take sexy pictures of her? This deal is for aspiring “actresses” or dancers. I can only imagine the creepy guys that think, “Let’s see. I’m a total sleaze but I like photography. What would be a good business to start?” And the full price is $350? If you’re dating someone who thinks paying that much for 90 minutes of getting hit on in her* lingerie is a good idea, you probably deserve what you get. Anything sexy about receiving inviting pictures of your lover has to be offset by knowing that you aren’t the only one who saw them.
Aside from not showing your hoohoo to someone besides the one you’re with, you know this is instant accidental Internet pr0n. I’ll wager they make you sign some kind of release on the photos, and somewhere in the tiny tiny print is, “We can do whatever the hell we want to with these shots, besides printing them on our HP Photosmart Premium printer into your little black book.” And even if there isn’t a release, the Internet isn’t a place that’s accountable or censorable. Your seductive “Saturday night” pose isn’t just for me — it’s for a whole host of men out there with memberships to obscure amateur sites and hearty supplies of hand lotion.
To be fair, I visited the site of the company putting this out and I have no idea whether it’s run by a man or woman. There are all kinds of categories and they have a blog set up, but no samples, so I can’t judge whether it’s all companies offering a deal like this that I’d stay the f#ck away from , or just all the others. Strangely, I’ve tried this several times and the inability to see beyond a flashy flash page is not an unusual experience when trying to pick a photographer.
For the record, I’m not even a little bit against giving a set of budoir photos if you go about it in the right way … who wouldn’t love seductive snapshots to set the mood for the next time you see your special someone, or get them through the cold weeks you have to travel for business? But why pay a “professional”? Another option would be letting your significant other pose you and take the photos, so you have some faith that it isn’t some sleaze who’s going to share them, and that it’s what your partner actually wants. You don’t have to worry about shots leaking from the local Ritz developer with advances in digital photography, so your options are workable and private. Trust me, no one getting those pictures is going to critique you because the lighting is slight saturated or you didn’t use the right F-stop.
Hey, if you really want to send some turn-on shots or some racy texts but you don’t want to draw someone else into the whole thing, do it yourself. Just don’t (and the lawyers would make me say this, if i had any) do it if you’re underage. And don’t do it if you’re in high school, anyway, because nobody that age has the maturity to keep them to themselves. And don’t do it if you’re not close personal friends with the recipient – ask Brett Favre or Chris Lee how that works out.
*I do recognize that there are men out there who will take advantage of this offer. I recognize it, and now we’ll never speak of it again.