Raising Testicular Cancer Awareness With... Well, Just Read This

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 cancer.
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.
Second, we 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.”

1 comment about "Raising Testicular Cancer Awareness With... Well, Just Read This".
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  1. rob chili from hot red chili peppers, March 25, 2014 at 7:19 a.m.

    Hello there, we would just like to say that our band started this off on facebook last tuesday! our initial post got shared hundreds of times before someone reported our photo! then the next day 2 other pages were set up and it went viral! credit to dean kehoe and JB who took the idea and ran with it!!! :)

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