If you are a woman looking for a male date through online dating platforms, you’ve probably had your share of unsolicited dick pics, am I right? From my own experience I know that even when I write in my profile I do not care for those and men should not bother to send them to me, I sometimes get them anyways. I do not feel in the least harassed by them, but the woman behind the exhibition I Didn’t Ask For This: A Lifetime of Dick Pigs, Whitney Bell, feels differently. In an interview with Huff Post she calls unwanted dick pics sexual harassment, lack of respect towards women and misogyny. 

Bell’s exhibition was first held at Rhabbitat last year in Los Angeles and received so much media attention, that Bell decided she had to take her collection of dick pics on tour. First stop this year was the SOMARTS Cultural Center in San Francisco, which ended yesterday by the way. Her collection of over 150 dick pics, received by Bell and her female friends, are framed and hanging in a gallery that has been made to look like a comfy apartment. The idea is to experience the sensation of being in your own home, having an unsolicited dick pic appear on your (mobile) device and as a result feel unsafe. To me it looks more like a fascinating wall of fame, but I am happy to admit I am just not easily shocked or insulted. 

unsolicited dick pics exhibition

Exhibition ‘I Didn’t ask For This’ by artist Whitney Bell

I am sitting here in my comfortable living room, wondering about what I have just read about unwanted dick pics being a form of male aggression and making women feel unsafe in their own homes. Now I have to admit I do not have any Tinder and co. experience, so I have no clue what kind of people are hanging around there. The dating platforms I have either checked out for work reasons or privately can be counted on one hand. I have received unwanted dick pics, also for NMHW, but never accompanied with aggressive texts. Verbal assaults would surely make me feel very uncomfortable, but a dick pic in itself… In the end, at least to me, it is just a body part. Could might as well be a nose or an arm.
 
On a platform for people interested in kinks I found that men would write me a short and uninspired hello, nice profile’ message, followed by a hey, I’d like to ask your opinion about something: what do you think about my dick?’, including the photo before awaiting my answer if I am willing to actually give my opinion on anything or not. To me those messages felt like a form of uncontrolled exhibitionism from their side and I usually just answered something like wow, I am so thrilled for you, have fun with that and your hand!’ and that was it. These men simply get their kick from sending pics of their dicks to strange women. There doesn’t seem to be much more behind it. 
 
Then there are the conversations that start out normal and friendly and then, when the picture exchange becomes topic, end up by me getting a dick pic that I have never asked for. Consequently, my reply that they obviously did not read my profile text properly is also my last one. There doesn’t have to be any ongoing discussion, insults or verbal aggression, just one final sentence and bye bye. Tip: profiles can be ignored, blocked and reported. I don’t feel disrespected or scared. In most occasions I only wonder about three things: 1. that if they want to impress a woman, why they do not bother to make good picture of their junk; 2. if it is really theirs and 3. if they actually believe the chance of meeting for real will now exponentially increase. 

I am convinced that some men don’t understand that just because they enjoy to see pictures of pussies and boobies, no matter who they belong to, we don’t automatically like to see pics of their unfamiliar penises as well. The fact that women tick a bit differently in that area just doesn’t seem to sink in. As I have written before, yes, we men-loving women of course like cocks. Still, most of us want to like the rest of a guy first before the dick becomes interesting. There are exceptions, but for many of us ladies a strange dick is… just another meaningless dick. We don’t know how it feels, if it smells or tastes good and if its owner could please us with it. This means that if a woman asks for a picture, she usually wants to see your face (without sun glasses btw.) and your (partially) clothed whole body, unless of course she specifically asks for anything in particular. If she doesn’t ask for a dick pic or a photo of your naked body, just don’t send it. You can ask if she wants it, or she will tell you that she wants it. Just like with sex, it is a question of consent and I honestly do not think that it functions much different in the gay dating community either. They just ask for it sooner.

I do not know what experiences the women who have donated their share of unsolicited dick pics for the exhibition have had. There are certainly men out there in cyber land who label women who are actively looking for casual (sex) dates sluts or nymphomaniacs and therefore believe they want to see their dicks by default. Finding out that this is not the case could trigger aggressive behaviour. Or they have some other serious issues that make them force their dick pics on women. Some people are simply social idiots, no matter what gender they are.
 
It obviously is not possible to completely prevent receiving unwanted photos. We can mention in our profile that we are not interested, but people are more likely to select based on pictures rather than reading a text, or they give it a try nonetheless. Best thing is to either not respond or if you feel like it, respond in such a manner that pleases you, and then ignore, block or report. The topic itself should certainly not be brushed aside, but if we make a huge issue out of it, we give the dick – and its owner – more power that it actually has. The less fuss we make about it, the less interesting it gets for men to show us their willies just because they feel like it. In short: let’s not be dicks about dicks. It’s just a dick pig 😉