It was a real thrill this morning to be a guest on the famous BBC Radio 4′s Woman’s Hour hosted by Jane Garvey. I was invited on to talk about ‘dick pics’ a subject recently thrust (ahem) into the media by the LA based artist Whitney Bell, who turned her collection of unsolicited ‘dick pics’ into an art show.
It’s been well received and sparked conversation around the subject of men and their, seemingly, increasing desire to virtually expose themselves to unsuspecting recipients.
It’s a difficult subject when one woman’s treasure can be another woman’s trash, and what some would consider offensive others think of as a bit of harmless fun, or not uncommonly, positively welcome the images and respond to them in an equally as sexual way.
Personally, I think they have their place, and within a relationship or when the virtual flirtation is mutual, there is no reason it can’t be a fun addition to a couples intimacy. There is no escaping the fact we live in an age of technology, and when people seem obsessed with taking pictures of everything from themselves to what they had for breakfast, it follows that the trend spills over onto a more sexual playing field.
However, it isn’t always consenting couples who are known for their ‘dick pics’ and online dating sites are becoming awash with willies, for want of a better phrase. Notably it is the free sites that often attract a slightly seedier caliber of person and my advice to anyone wanting to avoid dick pics when online dating would be to invest in a paying site, where you are less likely to come across men looking for casual hook ups and immediate sexual exchange.
Although, it’s not just dating sites which are known for the images – Whitney spoke before me about where her images came from and I was surprised to here that many of them were sent to her on Instagram – and anyone who reads my blog regularly will know I’ve been sent a few on Twitter.
What to do? Well, block or report if you feel particularly violated – or simply laugh. Whilst it’s not quite the same as being flashed at in the park,my guess is that the men who send pictures of their penis to strangers are more interested in the control than the idea that you might be aroused by the image, and laughing at them will be a far more effective way of defusing the situation than being outraged.
It was a fascinating conversation, with some interesting (and serious) undertones and, whether you love em’or hate em’, they certainly highlight the unexpected developments living in a digital age has brought.
Virtual foreplay? Sigh, whatever happened to a good old-fashioned snog.
listen to the podcast here! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b079m0pf