Juvenile. Hilarious. Sexy. Intriguing. “Literally the worst thing ever.”
These are all terms people have used to describe one of the most controversial trends of the internet era: dick pics.
While the intentions and ramifications of dick pics are often shrouded in mystery, there’s one thing we can agree on: They’re everywhere.
Sometimes they come in the form of a joke, like the Subway worker in Ohio who put his dong on a footlong and got fired for it. Sometimes they spark some much-needed eroticism between two lovers in a long-distance relationship. And other times they land celebrities on the cover of tabloids while their career, reputation, and marriage all burn to the ground.
Dick pics are nothing short of a 21st century phenomenon. But the question remains: Are they a body-positive art form or a menace to society?
When (If Ever) Should You Send a Dick Pic?
When presented with a list of adjectives to describe "dick pics," the most common labels millennial women chose were “gross” (49%), “stupid” (48%), and “sad” (24%).
If you’re trying to impress a woman, this data should scare you away from snapping a portrait of your penis. But there’s a caveat: the respondents were asked about dick pics in general, so what about inter-relationship dick pics?
“It can be hot if there’s chemistry between me and the guy and we’ve already had sex because he’s telling me he wants me,” says Irene (24). “But from a stranger it’s offensive. It shows me you don’t have an ounce of creativity in you.”
Bottom line: Dick pics may be appropriate to keep the flames of lust blazing if you can’t be with your lover IRL. But an up-close look at your genitalia is an awful icebreaker.
Which leads us to…
A Word On Unsolicited Dick Pics
According to a YouGov survey, 41% of women aged 18 to 36 have been subjected to unsolicited dick pics. Maybe you’re one of these dudes who thinks his crotch is so immaculate that a viewer would be gracious to see it, even without warning.
You may have missed the memo, but this is a universal turn-off for chicks. Not to mention, if you live in Texas, sending an unsolicited junk shot is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
If you’re wondering why guys even send unsolicited dick pics in the first place, there are two factors to consider:
- Hope of reciprocity—the old “I’ll show you mine so you’ll show me yours” routine. Good luck pulling that one off.
- A failure to acknowledge that men and women are turned on by different things. Many men would gladly receive (and gawk over) unsolicited nudes from women. Unfortunately, they have a hard time understanding that the reverse isn’t true.
Unsolicited dick pics almost universally backfire. However, if your lady friend is part of the 12% of millennial women who has requested a dick pic, there are some stringent guidelines to follow if you want a successful return on investment.
Dick Pic Etiquette (As Told by Women)
We sifted through the archives of Cosmopolitan, Elite Daily, and a host of other female-focused publications for candid insights into what constitutes an appropriate dick pic.
Make sure you’re manscaped.
Just like you’d get a haircut before a photoshoot, you should give your nether regions a trim (or shave) if you’re putting them on display. Perhaps most importantly, short (or shaved) pubic hair can make your member look longer than it actually is—almost like an optical illusion.
Consider what’s lurking in the background.
You might have the right angle and lighting, but if your shit-stained boxers, dirty towels, and grimy toilet are visible in the periphery, you’ve already lost.
Make it a full body pic
Contrary to popular belief, many women suggest that a dick pic should involve more than your dick. “It’s hot when it’s an actual body shot and not some low-quality up-close-and-personal junk shot,” says Megan (24).
Flaccid? Forget about it.
This should go without saying, but apparently there are guys out there embarrassing themselves with flaccid dick pics. Here’s the deal: If your girl is requesting one, she wants to know you’re turned on by her.
Fluff yourself accordingly.
As you can see, the art of dick pics is far more nuanced than most dudes imagine. It involves timing, etiquette, and reputational risks.
Here’s one last piece of advice. If you’re skeptical about sending your dong into cyberspace, ask yourself this question:
If this gets leaked, will I at least be proud of how I portrayed my penis?
Press “send” at your own risk.