NSFW?

The challenges of being horny on main and fucking around in the uncanny valley of professionalism

Setting the scene

Why did Chris Messina and Sonya Mann have a conversation about sexuality and social norms? Before now, the two had never even chatted online. Why discuss such a taboo topic and then publish their private exchange?

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Chris’s Twitter profile with updated bio

Sonya:

I think that your blithe violation of a social norm, and lack of preemptive explanation for it, is what got people riled up. Sex is a touchy issue, so that intensified people’s feelings. And I wouldn’t dismiss the creation of uncertainty as a factor; transgressing one social norm makes people worry (subconsciously) that you might transgress further, or transgress in other ways.


Chris:

I seemed to have inadvertently hit upon an explosive combo with the juxtaposition of sex, the unexpectedness of such a provocative and typically-private statement, being a cis-white male from the tech world, and (I guess) being me.

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An accidentally hilarious license plate


Sonya:

I just read through our conversation again, Chris, and one of your lines jumped out at me: “like yes, dad did leave his Playboys out for the kids to find… intentionally.” I know it’s an analogy, but maybe it’s a telling one?


Chris:

I appreciate that in this exchange, I will be publishing the most adult/sexual content that I have ever published, so here’s to stretching one’s boundaries!


Written by

Inventor of the hashtag. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Previously: Google, Uber, Molly (YC W18).

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