As I begin to doze into a semi-inappropriate bout of public sleep on a bus ride home from school, an event that is too common in my busy undergraduate life, I’m interrupted. Chiiiing! Snapchat from Martin. Who the heck — oh, Martin. Tall, dark and handsome, Martin couldn’t be any more my type, but I’m wary. After all, we met on a dating app; it’s not like I’m going to be his Tinderella. I tap to view the photo and come face to face with a big brown head, and no, it’s not the one on Martin’s shoulders. Utterly disgusted, I grimace and shove the phone away.
The unsolicited dick pic leaves me feeling violated. As Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds famously said in an interview with comedian extraordinaire Conan O’Brian, “I can’t think of anything more threatening to send to a woman than a picture of a penis.” Right on, Ryan. Unfortunately, not all men have caught on to the looming truth.
Public indecency, commonly called flashing, is an offense that can result in a Class C felony in Oregon, as well as many other states. Unfortunately, technology has provided an alternative means for offenders of this sort of crime to carry out their intentions with zero repercussions. If a man revealed his loins in person, would it be any more normal? Wait until I’m looking the other way, pull it out, I turn back and voila! He’s achieved nothing but entirely losing my interest and becoming a sexual predator.
What’s the real difference between being flashed and receiving an unsolicited picture of nudity, besides the legal differentiation? You don’t usually know the people who flash you, so there’s no sense of trust built. While receiving a nude photo from someone you have previously communicated with makes more logical sense than receiving one from someone you’ve never talked to, the impact may be worse, as that person has now visually violated you and potentially lost your trust.
Unsolicited dick pics are an epidemic in the dating world. Men send these photos for purposes largely unknown to my female confidants and me, but male sources have asserted that their peers send these photos to garner pictures in return and ultimately get ‘action.’ This method of picking up women is near animalistic and lacks any psychological insight into the arousal mechanisms of the female brain. By sending these photos — with some exceptions, of course — men may be creating an emotionally unsafe environment, which could lead women to lose interest in dating. Basically, men who send unsolicited dick pics are inadvertently killing the dating world.
The moral of the story is, women, don’t view this act as anything less than violating and disrespectful. And men, for the love of photography and the sake of your love lives, try sending something classier next time.