Jef patiently endures editor's lecture about word-counts by playing Doctor Who Legacy on his phone until the mouth-noises stop.
So, I write horror novels for Crushing Hearts Black Butterfly publishing, a house that trends toward female writers. Lots of vampires, chicks with guns, blonds with issues, that sort of thing. I kid; it’s a great place to be and if you’re an aspiring writer in horror, erotica, or urban fantasy I highly encourage you to submit to them.
However, every single woman there has gotten unsolicited penis pictures sent to her in the mail. All of them. There’s just something about a woman in black that makes strange dudes think, “forsooth, she shall want to gaze upon mine pecker.” Sometimes we share them in our private group, and sometimes your humble narrator gets really drunk and turns them into Devo drawings in MS Paint to amuse his sisters.
Let’s talk about dick pics, then, fellow dudes, because more is at play here than is dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio. A dick pic is not something born of a vacuum, you know.
Believe it or not, the nude selfie being sent to another person has a rich history older than I am. The Polaroid revolutionized nude photography because it meant the average user could produce nudes without a photo processor getting involved. Christopher Bonanos wrote a neat article on the subject. That was back when we had to pay Uncle Sam to send them to the other person, obviously. These days, junk mail is instantaneous, and no, I’m not apologizing for that pun, either.
But back then, by necessity, sending nudes required a greater form of consent, if only because you needed the other person’s mailing address. Sure, it was a more trusting time when many people could be found in the phone book, and as such I’m sure more than one woman received images of dick she didn’t ask for, but the very concept was so new it cut down on the flood.
Today, dick pics are firmly established as a thing that happens, and they have their own culture and etiquette and meaning.
I’m going to be blunt here: most of them are not for titillation of the recipient. They are the social-media version of masturbating outside a woman’s window. The penis, in this regard, is meant to be forced onto a woman in a form whether she likes it or not. You can work out the psychological implications of that yourself.
There’s this disconnect guys seem to have about dick. I imagine there’s a weird jealousy because our genitals simply are not objectified in the same way. I literally can’t think of a single mainstream movie where a proudly erect cock was showcased in an erotic manner, but examples of female bodies, even vulvas, are a dime a dozen. The first dick other than my own I ever saw was Cillian Murphy’s in 28 Days Later, and it’s a sad, flaccid thing dangling around the zombie apocalypse. If anyone was turned on by it, I don’t want to sit next to them.
Men, or some men anyhow, tend to view our dicks as some sort of mysterious, powerful force, forgetting that to women dick is abundant and low in value. There’s probably not a woman over the age of ten with a working Internet connection wondering what one looks like. It leads to desensitization. Not because they’ve seen so many, but because so many end up thrown at them.
Most times, when you send a picture of your dick to a woman, what’s going to happens is mockery and blockery because you are never the first. It’s not edgy, or daring. Every woman I know has had some asshole on a bus rub his semi-hard meat-worm up against her. Get this through your head: dick is not a mystery. It’s the background radiation of every woman’s life.
This far in, hopefully I’ve weeded out the illiterates by now. I’m going to tell you a final secret. Ready?
Some women absolutely do want to see your dick.
Seriously, some women cannot wait to see it, and love the thought of it. So what do you do with them?
That’s it. If a PM or Tinder session is getting heavy, ask. Ask like a goddamn adult if they want to take it to the next level and exchange nudes. I cannot overstate how sexy seeking consent is, and in this day and age as I watch my female friends navigate online dating it’s literally all they want out of most people. Just ask if you can send someone a picture of your dick, and if they say no, be a man and get over that. Most women are understandably reticent about such an exchange since the possibility of them being punished for a nude exchange is way higher.
Because, you know, unwanted dick is a problem, and every little bit of it makes the world a slightly worse place, physical or digital. A gentleman always asks a lady if she wants to see his cock. Rapists and oafs flop it out without consideration.