First published on Thursday the 13th of September, 2018, this piece comes in at number 30 in the top 30 most read Villainesse stories of 2018.
First, a humble disclaimer: This story is not about consensual dick pics that people ask for, or that are exchanged during some consensual steamy sexting romp. This is about unsolicited, unwarranted, unwanted dick pics. From now on known as UDPs which aptly sounds like an STI since they too are unwanted and might bring harm if left untreated. This is for anyone really who receives a UDP, though mainly based on CIS straight women experiences.
I’ve done many odd jobs in my life, including watching porn for a living (the basis for future articles for sure) so I am no stranger to the land of genitalia onscreen. Despite my familiarity with penile imagery, I cannot for the life of me understand the attraction of sending UDPs. A number of questions run through my mind. What goes through the mind of the amateur selfie pornographer? Who came up with the idea that UDPs were something women wanted to see? And why? Just why?
I personally have thankfully never been privy to UDPs – this is NOT an invitation to send me some. I am a fragile person, with the soul of a poet maybe. So I decided to undertake some research: by asking about friends’ experiences over some rosé on a Saturday and interviewing a dear friend of mine who for some reason has become the victim of some kind of mass dick pic onslaught. I thank her for helping me on this investigative journey into what we believe are the different stages of receiving an UDP.
Text messages are one of those rare inventions that can herald two radically different emotions – elation at one and dread at the other. In this case, the former applies when you see it’s a message from a certain guy you’ve been conversing with. Excited, you open it and there it is, like an unneeded punch to the face. He’s on his bed or in front of the bathroom mirror as he grasps his manhood proudly (but not so proudly that he’d show his face). Thoughts race through your mind. Is it a mistake? Maybe it’s not him? Maybe it’s not meant for you? You close it, reopen the app and scream one last time. This is what it feels like when doves cry.
The desperation of denial soon finds purpose in anger. UDPs are not nice. They are a form of sexual harassment because the person sending them knows that you did not ask for them so they gain satisfaction from that power. It is a twisted type of sadism that you never consented to. It is the same logic that flashers use when exposing themselves and even catcallers. They are visually assaulting you and this gives them pleasure because let’s face it, like said flashers and catcallers these guys are not expecting a positive reply. I highly doubt they expect a pic of your lovely vulva in return. When discussing sexual empowerment and objectification the two key words are always power and consent. Who holds the power and who gave consent. In this case, you have neither and that rightly pisses you off.
Your anger is then softened by (a bottle of merlot your flatmate tries to hide from you in the bottom of the pantry) your faux-rational thoughts. This guy had great banter. He has a fat ginger cat in his profile pic. His Spotify link is also of ironically bad covers by Chet Faker. Maybe this was his ‘kooky’ sense of humour? Am I just being a prude? Is this normal? Then he sends another message: I’m not even fully erect.
If depression had a motto it would read something like ‘why bother?’ I’d go so far as to apply that same motto to online dating. UDPs are not normal and any man thinking this is a good idea needs to re-evaluate his values in life. Dating in general is soul destroying (even for those without the soul of a poet). Online dating takes this misery to a whole new level where the focus is on instant gratification. You are literally saying no to people based on a finger swipe. It’s very easy to become distraught, want to give up and buy a hundred ferrets (I’m taking back the crazy cat lady stereotype and throwing in some ferrets here because they’re pretty gangsta).
Actually, screw acceptance - apart from accepting that this guy is clearly a dick (pun intended) and not worth your time/eyeballs/witty repartee. This is the stage in which you may decide to get your own back. Perhaps you collect photos of sausages being speared by sharp knives to fire back to exhibitionist creeps. Perhaps you suggest they instead send them to the aptly name Critique my dick pic to be closely examined and ridiculed publicly. Perhaps you reply with a very serious fuck off to said sender or ignore them and block them completely. Perhaps you (should) report them if it becomes too much. Because unlike receiving a UDP, you do have a choice about what to do when an unexpected sausage fest strikes, and if we’ve learned anything from the cesspit of hell that is online dating, choice is everything. Find a man (or woman, or non-binary babe) who won’t send you photos of their genitalia unless you ask for them. Is that so hard to find?
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