Overthinking Spam

Anyone with an email account . . . or a Twitter account . . . or a blog . . . or really anything else online gets oodles of spam. I'm no exception. This blog receives endless offers for 'search engine optimization' gizmos and such, but my other online accounts mostly receive solicitations of two distinct varieties. I don't think I'm unique in the two flavors of spam I receive, but I still find the contrast amusing and the overlap enlightening.

Variety One claims to be some nubile lass, or sometimes a go-between with a nubile lass (however that is supposed to work). Often she's a struggling bikini model or something. Maybe she lives in Brazil or Russia or somewhere in Asia, and supposedly she decided that of all the men on the interwebs I, this hillbilly in middle America, is exactly the dude she desires for 'friendship, and who knows what else! [wink!].' Some of this spam dispenses with all discretion and simply announces something along the lines of 'women want to f--- you' with a degree of solemnity (I assume they're going for gravitas?) usually reserved for a cancer diagnosis, except with more slang for genitalia.

Then there's Variety Two: boner pills. Seriously, the sheer volume of spammers offering a solution for my . . . alleged shortcomings and inadequacies . . . boggles my mind (but nothing else). I can't imagine going to anyone other than a medical professional should I have such issues, but apparently at least a few guys out there are sufficiently desperate to take a risk on dodgy boner pills purchased from an unsolicited emailer.

The contrast makes me chuckle. If you assume these communications are legit and sincere (and you should assume no such thing, of course), there's clearly a disconnect. That aspiring Brazilian bikini model who wants me for [wink!] will be disappointed to learn of my supposed masculine inadequacies.

The lesson here, for me at least, is just how the old cliche that 'sex sells' holds true even on the extremes. No rational man has any business responding to either flavor of spam, but apparently enough men are irrational or flat-out needy to make the spammers' endeavors worthwhile.

It makes me worry a lot less about including a sex scene or two in my writing. If it feels right for the story I'm writing (hint: it does), it's going in.

Far from being off-putting, an honest sex scene makes the story more authentic, more appealing.

Plus, sex sells.