The Unsolicited Dick Pic. It’s the stuff of nightmares for all those treading through the murky waters of online dating. I’ve often joked that I would publish a book one day of all of the photos I’ve received over the years (must start saving and stop deleting), and then I realised that it had been at least 6 months since I had received a dick pic, unsolicited or otherwise, and it got me to thinking why.
Am I going for a different kind of man based on their profile? Am I giving off a different vibe when I’m talking to them, or do I just not look like the kind of girl that would appreciate a random photo of a knob (the resting bitch face is strong). I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve received photos in the past and responded with a love heart eyes emoji. They have never been unsolicited, the man has always asked first if he could send a pic, and I’ve often said yes (got to see the merchandise before you test it out sometimes!). In recent months what I’m looking for has changed, I don’t need another FWB, and if I do I’ll find them through another means, connect on a different level first and then graduate to sex. Since changing tactic on the apps, the photo gallery is empty and now I’m sent funny memes and recipes of things I’ve mentioned I might like to try, not a penis or topless gym selfie in sight. I’m still flirtatious, but in a less obvious and graphic way. If I do match with someone who mentions ‘fun’ or ‘photos’ then I’ll instantly un match, or if its moved to WhatsApp, block and delete. Life is simpler without the veiny moles offending my eyes.
I follow a lot of single people that date, and have a lot of single friends, both in real life and on the internet. The single most common complaint is about unsolicited dick pics and how often they are received, enough to think that the entire single male population have sent at least one in their lifetime. But we all know this not to be true, we’ve all got people we are talking to that are respectful, considerate, and would always ask before sending any kind of photo. So where are all these weird fuckers hiding, and how do they get our numbers to send us a photo in the first place? (I’d guess most are POF but without a proper deep dive of research this is unsubstantiated.)
Is it a matter of interpretation? Is one person’s unsolicited another person’s turn on? Would someone keep sending them (let’s not pretend we are the first to receive it!) if they weren’t getting some positive responses along the way. What’s a good ratio for that? If 1/10 don’t delete and block then can this be considered an effective strategy? What are the reactions of the other 9? Do we call them out on their bullshit? I’ve seen a variety of responses to a dick pic. From a panel of emoji women offering shit ratings, to a brutal assassination of the appearance, a return photo of another received dick pic, a witty response. But how many of us actually call the perpetrator out? Threaten some kind of legal action, say we are going to send the photo to their mothers and sisters? Will this stop them doing it again. Can we stop the increase with a mini revolution of sister solidarity?
So when is a dick pic unsolicited? The dictionary definition is pretty straight forward, unsolicited means ‘not asked for’. So it’s easy, if they haven’t asked if you want the photo then its unsolicited. Should they ask every time, or because we said yes the first time is this allowed over and over, often progressing to the good old wanking video? Of course it’s a question of consent, this should go without saying, and in fact reveals a far deeper issue with the unsolicited dick pic than some ugly thing waking you up in the morning. If these guys think its appropriate to send their body parts to us without permission, would they find it equally as acceptable to flash us in a public place, or not take no for an answer when we have expressed our lack of interest in sharing rude photos, so they send anyway? Just because they’ve asked and received consent the first time, does this consent stand going forward? There is a whole can of worms opened when you look beyond the initial ugly photograph.
Snapchat has definitely contributed to the increase in these photos. The fact they disappear after a set amount of time can only encourage someone to send more frequently. I see a snapchat name on a dating bio as an instant red flag, and if it’s the first offer of a communication point then I say I don’t have it (I don’t anymore, lesson learned a long time ago). Add to that the frequency of DM slides on Instagram and Twitter and we will very soon have an epidemic on our hands if we don’t act.
So, this is a call to arms. We need to start treating these dick pics with the intent in which they were sent. There’s no respect here from the people sending them towards the people they are sending them to. Men who don’t send them, do you know men who do? Do you tell them its not an appropriate? People, we have to call these fuckers out. We have to report them. We have to do whatever we can to make this unacceptable sexual behaviour. Let’s stop trivialising this and take it seriously and not stop until these words aren’t even in our vocabulary anymore.