I am quite the follower on social media: Facebook and Twitter in particular. I make no trolling comments, no #MAGA hashtags; I just look with my male gaze. Like critic Laura Mulvey says, it's only natural.

I've lost some interest in pornography, so I use everyday pictures of women, typically selfies. It helps me to know the story behind the face and body. None of these pics are pornographic—just feel-good selfies by young women posted on social media. I don't communicate with these people because that'd be creepy. I'm not worried about whether this is abnormal. I just wondered if people would be okay with this, if people were aware of behavior like mine when they post, and if I should ask for permission to wank to selfies of these "girls next door."

(Not) Anthony Lech Weiner Asking Youngish Starlets

So long as you're wanking alone, so long as you're wanking with a reasonable expectation of privacy, and so long as you're not bothering anyone besides your sex partners and sex-advice professionals about your wanking, (Not) ALWAYS, you can wank to whatever you'd like.*

Your question reminds me of an example I've used before, (Not) ALWAYS: the shoe salesman with a foot fetish. Let's say a guy working in a high-end shoe store has an intense attraction to feet. Is it inappropriate for him to get an obvious boner while helping women try on shoes? Of course it is, (Not) ALWAYS, because then his secret thrill isn't secret anymore. It would also be inappropriate for him to drool and to pant—and it would be super inappropriate of him to ask the women he's serving if he can jack off about their feet after his shift. But if he can be completely professional, if he can go eight hours without giving off any signs of secret perving, that guy can sell shoes IMO.

And he's free to upload mental images to his spank bank for later—we're all free to do so, all day long, every day, and it's only creepy if the people whose images we're uploading/repurposing are made aware that we're uploading/repurposing them.

So in answer to your question, (Not) ALWAYS, under no circumstances should you ask the girls whose selfies you wank to for their permission. On some level people who post pictures to social media—men and women—know they run the risk of their pics being wanked to by random strangers. But there's a difference between knowing some stranger out there might be wanking to your pics and hearing from an actual wanking stranger. Being asked for permission drags the poster into someone else's fantasies and forces unwelcome and unsolicited mental images into their heads—and not only is that creepy, (Not) ALWAYS, it's also no way to show your gratitude. If some stranger makes your day by posting a hot pic, why would you want to ruin theirs—or make them think twice about post less revealing pics—by telling them what you're doing while you gaze at it?

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The internet is a public space like the street is a public space, (Not) ALWAYS, and we encounter weird crap and pretty faces on the daily in both. If you saw a girl on the street that you thought was hot you wouldn't stop her to ask if you're allowed to wank about her later. You would no more ask a stranger that question than you would flash your penis at her because both constitute sexual harassment. (Promise me you wouldn't do either of those things.) You would instead walk on by, (Not) ALWAYS, minding your own business while discreetly filing a mental image in your spank bank. You should behave similarly on social media: don't harass, don't stalk, don't send unsolicited dick pics, and don't ask for permission to wank.

* Not kiddie porn, never kiddie porn.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.