Over the years, many of my female clients have related incidents in which they have received “dick pics.” At best these women were amused. At worst they were horrified. Men: Please be confident that the world–and its millions of female inhabitants–can very likely survive the next few millennia without seeing a single photo of your genitals.
But if women aren’t exactly begging guys to please please please photograph their junk, why do some men still insist on sending along carefully lit, thoughtfully framed images of said junk? Some or all of the following may come into play:
Strategy. It’s the old playground negotiation. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Only some guys are being proactive, showing theirs before the woman even knows a negotiation is taking place. Which might be the point. A guy sends you an intimate photo, maybe he hopes you feel obligated to do the same in return. It’s like the aunt you’ve never met who keeps sending you “handmade” birthday cards every year, so you guilt yourself into attending her kid’s high school graduation. Women: Don’t be part of the problem. Don’t reward a skeevy, unwanted dick pic with a revealing pic of yourself.
Projection. From a biological standpoint, men and women have evolved very differently. Most men are aroused by visual cues–a picture of a woman’s private parts, for example. This isn’t typically the case for women, however. Biologically speaking, most women would be more “aroused” by seeing photos of a confident man in a high-salaried professional situation, or a pic of a guy trying to feed a spoonful of mushy carrots to a screaming baby. You know how your grandmother, who has collected ceramic turtles for the last century or so, always gives you a ceramic turtle for Christmas? Even thought you don’t like turtles? Or ceramics? This is projection. Projection is when I assume what is true for me must also be true for you. Some men just assume women take great joy in seeing images of the male “bathing suit area.” Go on a date with this guy and he’s going to tell you, in excruciating detail, all about the new lawnmower he just purchased. Next time a guy sends you an unwanted dick pic, send him an episode-by-episode breakdown of your favorite reality show, or a sketch of your ideal shoe tree.
Power. Not all dick pic photographers are clueless. Some men send images of their genitals–not despite, but because of–the fact it makes many women uncomfortable. It’s a kind of power play. Your boss invites you into her office, but doesn’t offer you a seat. Same thing. Some people try to gain power by putting other people on the defensive. These men may not expect you to actually enjoy their dick pics. But they likely imagine they are conveying masculinity and confidence by sending a questionable image without your prior approval. Hidden deeply behind this power play may be a fundamental case of male insecurity. Many men worry about women rejecting them because of their penis size or shape. So if you’ve already seen this guy’s penis, but still agree to go on a first date, he may feel he has headed off potential embarrassment in the bedroom. If you reject him later, he at least “knows” it wasn’t due to the size of his penis.
But there is some good news for all you male shutter bugs. Studies show that women the world over highly value financial security, longevity and honesty in a partner. So keep your pants on, gentlemen. Try sending a scan of your bank account or credit report instead. Send your cholesterol numbers from your last physical. Snap a quick pic of your Boy Scout merit badges to indicate honesty, or readiness, or whatever Boy Scouts aspire to these days. And as indisputable evidence of your family values, photograph that shelf where you keep all your ceramic turtles from Christmases past, even when Grandma isn’t in town.
About the Author: James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. Learn more about his background by clicking here.