I believe the Kardashians provide a valuable service to the American public: They allow us to see what our petty familial and romantic dramas would look like on a celebrity scale, with media commentary. In doing so, they (accidentally) crystallize broader truths about where we’re at as a phone-addicted species under late capitalism. That’s how something objectively banal in their narrative — in this case, the repeated infidelities of basketball player Tristan Thompson, who has a child with Khloé Kardashian — becomes a study of male promiscuity at large. Writer Clarkisha Kent demonstrates:
Kent justifiably takes Kardashian to task for pushing a “homewrecker” view of Jordyn Woods, a Kardashian associate alleged to have made out with Thompson (side note: lol are all these people in middle school?), rather than holding Thompson accountable for his own actions. And in shifting the focus back to him, she drops the unforgettable “Groupon peen,” one of those phrases you wonder how we ever did without. In fact, Kent notes that it’s already in common usage — but she was the one to take it viral.
“Community dick” is a likewise evocative term, analogous to “the town bicycle,” the smear for a woman whose reputation holds that she’ll give a ride to anyone. Just as a recent spate of shrunken-penis memes was a reaction to men who believe that vaginas are permanently widened by penetrative sex, it flips an old standby about “sluts” to remind the male population that they aren’t exactly known for their principled chastity. Yet the Groupon dig cuts deeper, placing the dude’s equipment in the context of something much seedier than fucking: a janky and unreliable e-commerce platform.
“Groupon peen” struck a chord and trended on Twitter because it offers a sharper perspective on what makes certain men “fuckboys,” or “fuccbois” — a label to which true fuccbois always take offense while never quite grasping the concept. It describes physical intimacy with these men as purely transactional, underwhelming and bargain-rate. It also comes with an unpleasant catch, or some fine print: “Not a substitute for an actual relationship.” The Groupon dick belongs to a man who serves it up as recklessly and indifferently as a winery that decides to set up a tasting deal because, what the hell, maybe that’d get more people in over a slow weekend. Most importantly, a Groupon experience is not exclusive — and neither does Groupon peen “belong” to its user.
By name-checking a digital brand, the insult meanwhile riffs on the fact that annoying third-party companies now mediate every human action; truly, if you wanted some Groupon dick, you’d get it through a hookup app. Organizing our social and sexual lives through these systems entails a concession — we give up our information and often our dignity when we resort to their convenience, which is typically overstated. Therefore the Groupon peen is at once readily available and hardly worth the small, bureaucratic hassles of acquiring it. Whatever satisfaction it gives you is tempered by the shame of settling for something so basic. A few commentators were shocked not that Jordyn Woods had jeopardized her lucrative friendship with Kylie Jenner by hooking up with a different Kardashian’s boyfriend, but that she’d risk it all for an unremarkable score.
The best part of this roast, however, is how it puts a guy in the same impossible bind as a woman smeared with the word “slut.” Sluttiness, in our cultural imagination, posits a kind of doubled agency, with the slut being totally passive, utilized and discarded like an object, yet actively engaged in an ongoing sex rampage, a marauding nymphomaniac. The “neighborhood dick”–style burn suggests both that the dude is willing to be disrespected as a dildo with a body attached and goes around door to door pitching this as a good thing.
To call this guy a cheater would grant him too much credit; it makes him sound like a rakish cad, sly in the art of seduction and able to maintain a secret for longer than 30 seconds. To say he has a Groupon dick means he barely pays attention to what he’s doing with it, has no idea how it works and cannot keep it to himself. This unprincipled peen has no real character or intent — it’s just there for the grabbing. Odds are, he’d stick it through any hole in the wall you pointed out to him, then accidentally start an Instagram Live video of the encounter. Groupon dick is nothing if not publicized.
It’s not like these men can’t change, of course. With effort, they could upgrade to middling genitalia such as LinkedIn dick (boring, but comes with great references) or Amazon dick (reliable, though noted for its fast delivery). In time, they might shed the corporate sobriquets altogether and have a regular ol’ cock. Until then, they’ll need to focus on developing a better business model: Groupon is struggling with shrinkage.