I am in no way averse to ribaldry, but even I am too demur to put the words “Sock on a Cock” in the headline of a blog post. That particular conjunction of footwear and gonads is the
central idea behind a spontaneous social media campaign that started in the U.K. last week to raise awareness of testicular cancer and encourage men to check their family jewels for signs of
As you have doubtless deduced by now, the campaign essentially consists of male social media users posting selfies where they are totally nude except for items of hosiery
strategically placed on their, ahem, hosiery. Two hashtags are circulating with the posts, #sockonacock and #checkemlads (if it needs be said, these hashtags will take you into NSFW territory).
Many of the participants are donating to testicular cancer charities and encouraging their followers to do the same. This being the Internet, some wags have taken the idea in a satirical turn,
with photo-shopped pictures of socks on cartoon characters or in one case, Piers Morgan.
Anything that gets men talking about male health issues is great, and if it’s
participatory, even better, as demonstrated by the success of the Movember moustache movement. Testicular cancer, in particular, is relatively easy to detect and has a very high cure rate when
detected early, provided you can just persuade men to take a moment to do something that comes naturally.
All that said, I have to say from the purely tactical perspective, I have
some reservations about the #sockonacock idea. Let’s address the big issue -- the whole nakedness thing. First, it takes a particular kind of person to want to post an almost entirely nude photo
of themselves on social media for the world to see, and it’s difficult to picture more than, say, 5% of the male social media population doing this.
While lots of guys may
enthusiastically send revealing photos to certain individuals, I’m guessing far fewer are ready to just broadcast themselves in the near-altogether to everyone they know, or don’t know,
online. Rightly or wrongly, it’s the kind of thing that some employers, co-workers, and customers may look askance on, so there could be professional ramifications.
have to consider the issue of audience reception. How many people really want to see an online acquaintance, or even a good friend, just “hanging out” in their social media feeds? With
something like Movember it works fine, as growing a moustache is a relatively minor but noticeable and amusing cosmetic change. Seeing your friends with their nether regions cozily ensconced is a
rather different matter. Some people would doubtless be pleased, but the rest might just figure “he’s lost it” and click “unfollow.”