The last time you received an unsolicited dick pic, your immediate reaction was probably either “lol” or “GROSS!” followed by a long period of scratching your head and wondering what drove them to send that. Do they think that’s what I want? What do I do now? DICK PICS ARE WEIRD! are pretty common thoughts that go through our heads while we’re spiraling. We understand. We all deserve answers.
Unfortunately, there’s been next to no research or studies focused on this concerning sexual issue, but leave it to us at Her Campus to go straight to the source for an explanation. We asked seven men what makes them send confusing AF dick pics, and for once we were not disappointed with what we got back.
When a guy sends you a dick pic out of nowhere.. http://t.co/DLYuoelGTe
— Funny Vines (@FunnyVines) July 13, 2015
Could guys be sending unwarranted nudes because they’re actually just projecting their sexual desires onto us? Probably. That’s just the way we’re wired. It’s not uncommon for us to project our fantasies onto men and women either. Whether we’re holding them to the standard of Benjamin Barry from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, building them up to the point of fiction or saying “I love you” just because we want to hear it back, we are totally guilty of projecting too. But a line should definitely be drawn between something that might be considered sexual harassment and a little harmless idealizing.
“I send them because that’s what I would want sent to me,” says Michael, a senior at Western Washington University. He’s basically confirmed what we’ve been thinking this entire time.
Adam, a sophomore at New York University, feels the same way. “It turns me on like crazy when a woman randomly sends me naughty pictures of herself, so I don’t get why girls I’m talking to get freaked out instead of letting it be pleasurable.”
As the saying goes, we should treat others the way we want to be treated in return, because that means a cycle of mutual affection and respect. However, that doesn’t mean send a dick pic, because you in return would like to receive a vagina pic. That’s not how meaningful proverbs work.
Technology makes it way too easy
Unexpected penis shots aren’t coming from our best friends or people we really know all that well. The dick pics usually pour in from people we’ve met on a dating app or just happened to give our phone number to after meeting briefly. That means that after minimal conversation, people are feeling comfortable enough to reveal themselves and go from zero to 100 pretty quickly. They’re not all fuckboys either. They’re normal people who go to school or have jobs, but still think sending an erect penis via text is fine.
“Why not? That’s the way I think about it,” says Justin, a senior at California State University, Fullerton. “Because it’s digital, sending nudes gives me a level of anonymity. I think it makes showing my penis very casual instead of some grand or maybe horrifying event. I usually do it pretty early too, so if she rejects me I can just stop talking to her.”
Maybe Tinder is to blame for the ubiquitous cock shot, but let’s be honest, technology makes it pretty easy for dick pics. They don’t have to put any personal investment in the message or romantically convey how badly they want to sleep with you. If it’s not going to work, they know early on, but that’s still not any way to get to know someone.
It provides sexual satisfaction
Sending an infamous phallic photo may actually be something guys don’t put a lot of thought into (clearly) before doing. Not in the way that they’re totally clueless about what people really want to see (their abs and nice hair), but because sending a nude just seems like the natural course of action.
“I really don’t know?” says Erich, a junior at the University of California, Irvine. “It’s the same thing as when I masturbate. I don’t plan on doing it or really give it much thought when it’s happening, but after then I’m like ‘okay, cool.’ I guess you could call it sexual release. My body tells me I need something to feel better and then I do it!”
We’re not saying that sending a dick pic is as instinctual as our basic human needs to eat and sleep, but achieving sexual satisfaction could be reasonably thoughtless. We can’t *totally* justify this reasoning, but also we get it.
It’s a power move
A dick pic can definitely make someone squirm––but not always in a good way. While a lot of dick pics just seem harmless and questionable, there are some that make us feel incredibly unsafe. They can be followed by endless messages from a guy coercing us into texting a nude back. They can become threatening. They can be unsolicited to the point that it’s just blatant harassment, especially if it happens repeatedly.
“I’ve never sent an unsolicited dick pic, but my current girlfriend used to receive them regularly from an ex-boyfriend, and it scared the crap out of her,” says Caleb, a senior at California State University San Marcos. “It’s gross. It’s sexual harassment, and I know it’s possible to go to prison for it. I think that guys who do it are just trying to get off on some weird, perverted power trip and also elicit a reaction.”
For a few unfortunate people in the world, the unsolicited dick pic is definitely a sexual power move, and we’re sorry about that. It feels good for them to get a strong reaction from us because it means they’ve won and they got what they came for. It doesn’t matter if their dick is appalling as long as it got a response.
If you are a person who’s receiving these pictures and feeling uncomfortable you can either explain to this person that this is sexual harassment and block them, or you can ignore them completely and block them. It’s not your responsibility to change their behavior, but making it impossible to send you another picture will hopefully make them get the message.
They’re trying to be as direct as possible
If someone isn’t looking for anything serious, then why not cast a wide net, send out a bunch of penis shots and see who sleeps with you first? Yeah, the odds might be 2/100, but it certainly cuts out the time of courting.
“I like to be to the point,” says Nathan, a recent grad from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. “I’m trying to get sex out of this so might as well start with the most sexual thing I can think of: my dick.”
While we definitely like it when people are upfront and confident about what they want, getting a surprise dick picture is definitely taking it too far too fast. At least it means we can speed up the rejection process!
They think it’s sexy
For some people, dick pics can totally be a turn-on when they’re unsolicited—everyone is entitled to their own sexual preferences. But we speak for a good number of ladies when we say that the penis is not aesthetically pleasing or a turn-on unless it’s actually being used for sex. Your penis is great, but it’s really not as sexy as you think it is.
“I like to make women feel good about themselves, and by sending them a tasteful dick pic, I’m telling her that she’s desirable and I want her. I want her to get turned on by all of it,” says Chris, a recent grad from Vassar College who basically confirmed all our assumptions that men are way overestimating their penis power the same way we overestimate how attractive we are in our mirror selfies.
We don’t want to condemn all dick pic senders, and we aren’t saying that collectively we hate them either. Men, our advice to you is maybe to make them less unsolicited. It’s going to make it so much better for us if you strike up a sexy conversation first and then send it (with approval) while we’re at home and relaxed, instead of in the middle of class when we’re trying to review for a physics midterm. If someone wants to see your dick, they’ll tell you—that we promise.
Take control of the situation and let the dick-pic-sender know you don’t want that, and you’d rather get to know them in a different way. If they're persistent with the cock shots, then buh-bye!