It happened to a girlfriend just recently: what started as some flirty text messages between her and a new guy somehow culminated in him sending – completely unprompted – a photo of his erect penis.
You might be shocked at that, but the truth is she’s not the only one lately to cop an unexpected eyeful of pixels.
Dick-pics are becoming a more and more common part of dating. Particularly of the internet variety.
With the prevalence now of MMS, gone is the artful attempt at woo-and-seduce in favour of a more to-the-point message: “Here is my penis. Enjoy.”
I first realised this was a thing on Chat Roulette. If you’ve ever given the site a whirl, you’ll know that at least every third or fourth person you connect with is just a disembodied penis shoved right up against the web cam. Lovely.
Then there was Blendr. I was new on there and asked a guy for advice. “Apparently,” he told me, “guys like to send photos of their penis.” He wasn’t wrong.
To women they’ve never met? Whatever happened to a little mystery?
Call me old fashioned, but until I’ve seen it for real, I have no interest in receiving any kind of correspondence featuring your little admiral posing to attention.
And it’s definitely not an effective, nor approved, pick up method.
“When did sending a dick-pic become courtship?” an article on Mamamia.com.au asked last week.
Unfortunately, there were no answers to be found there among the bewildered commenters so I took it upon myself to do the research.
One theory is that these penis-posting men simply think that us women are just like them: because as men, they would enjoy a photo of a naked chick, they don’t see why women wouldn’t want a photo of their own precious jewels. The most sexualised part of their body they can think of is their penis.
Another is that it’s just a primal urge. All these years of evolution and all this amazing technology we have has allowed man to do what he’s always wanted to: show off his enormous talents to anyone and everyone with a 3G network. The other problem here is that it’s instant snap and send with no time to think of the repercussions.
Whatever the motivator, sending these photos is an attempt to convey only one message, according to writer Anneli Rufus: “I’m ready and willing. Are you?”
A basic working knowledge of Communcations theory will tell you that one of the most important principles of communication is Know Your Audience.
And these chauvinistic show-offs have it all wrong.
We’re not the visual creatures men are.
I don’t want to speak for every woman out there, but personally? I don’t want to see a disembodied penis appear, uninvited, on my phone. Particularly if I don’t have any emotional connection to its owner.
It’s not subtle enough. In fact, it’s waaaay too obvious.
The research is there to back me up. One Dr. Chivers found in a recent study that heterosexual women were no more turned on by pictures of a naked man than they were by pictures of a nice landscape.
Shown images of naked men doing yoga or throwing pebbles into the waves at the beach did not illicit any more response than the slow pans they showed of snow-capped mountains in the Himalayas.
Sorry guys, back to the drawing board. We’re a bit more complicated than that.
Want to turn a woman on? Send a picture of yourself whipping up a three-course dinner, playing a guitar or even cuddling a puppy. Cheesy, sure. But it will get you further than sending a pic of your junk.
Remember: just your awesome smile is enough to make us melt.
Better yet, use some nice words or ask us out on a date. And let us discover everything else for ourselves later on. No preview required.
Women? Men? Got anything to add?
Images courtesy of Ambro and imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net