27% of millennial men admitted to sending an unsolicited dick pic at some point. Yet by the same study, 78% of millennial women reported having been on the receiving end of unsolicited dick pics… make it make sense!
By Laura Copley
I remember my first unsolicited dick pic like it was yesterday.
Let me set the scene. I was 19 and I’d just returned home to my parents’ house (big up Devon massive, etc) after staying with my very good friend (who shall remain nameless for shame reasons) at his uni digs. I stayed with him quite often, and everytime I did we’d always go to his uni’s freshers bar with his flatmates and have a right laugh. All was well. He’d been excited to introduce me to one of his new pals (on the basis that he was from the same town as my dad) and promised we’d really hit it off. We’ll call him, you guessed it, Brad. That night I met Brad, and my very good friend was right, we did hit it off – but very much in a friend way (he sounded just like my dad). Brad and I exchanged Snapchat (it was 2014) deets and were on our way to friendhood. Yay!
Now back to Devon. It was pretty early in the day and I was sitting in the lounge watching tv (probs Masterchef) when I got a notification from Snapchat. It was Brad, my new friend! I clicked open the snap and there it was: Brad’s dick. I rushed to exit the snap before quickly reopening it to see if my eyes had betrayed me, but nope, I was very much looking at a peen. I felt gross and totally weirded out as the image burnt itself into my brain: had I said something to suggest this was OK? What could he have possibly mis-interpreted as an all clear to send his wang my way? There had been zero flirting and I don’t recall myself ever saying “please send me a pic of your erect penis”, so why the hell was I staring at it?
After some sort of shit, half-arsed apology, I let it go and put it down to boys being boys – along with every other unsolicited pic I’ve received since then. It’s utter shite that even though my first encounter was nearly seven years ago, there’s been little to no change in the law surrounding UDP’s (I’m abbreviating from now on) in that time. In 2019 the UK’s government began “looking into” criminalizing UDP’s, yet unsurprisingly we’re still waiting on that one…
According to a study run by YouGov, 27% of millennial men admitted to sending a dick pic at some point, with 24% of them being unsolicited. Yet by the same study, 78% of millennial women reported having been on the receiving end of unsolicited dick pics… There’s a whole host of reasons why these stats might not add up, and initially we were going to look into why this disparity might exist (unperceived interest etc etc) but in the end it doesn’t actually matter. The glaringly obvious point from all this, is the fact that men know it’s wrong and aren’t willing to own up. As of right now there isn’t any specific law that makes sending UDPs illegal, so the idea of getting away with it seems to have quite the pull factor.
What is illegal though, is sending these itty bitty dicky piccies to minors, so anyone under the age of 18. Yet, 46% of women in this study were under that age when they had the honour of receiving their first.
Fortunately for me, my first was someone I knew (yeah, it’s interesting what counts as “fortunate” in these circumstances) – I could’ve quite easily got in touch with his mum and made Brad’s life pretty painful for a bit. But in an age where kids are chucking away their Barbie dolls in favour of Tik Tok dances, it’s scary to think about how easy it is for total strangers to anonymously send sexually explicit images/UDPs on any social media platform to kids of any age… blurgh.
What’s the difference?
Once upon a time there lived a french philosopher named Jean Jacques Rousseau who used to pull down his trousers in alleys in hopes women would spank his bare arse. A true connoisseur of fuckboy-ism! Unsurprisingly, the reaction to his cheeks was pretty much “zut alors!”, which he received a big ol’ sexual thrill from. This type of pleasure is what we call Exhibitionism.
Exhibitionism is both a disorder and a sexual consensual kink (there will be no kink-shaming in this house, bare with). Psychologist Carla Marie Manlythe describes the kink as “the desire to reveal one’s physical attributes in a sexually alluring or sexual way”. The disorder is similar – yet the important difference is that the disorder is totally void of anything consensual and is based on the act being unsolicited. Sound familiar?
Around 30% of jailed male sex offenders are exhibitionists, and flashing is seen as a pretty serious crime and can come with hefty fines as well as jail time. The only difference between men who have been peen-alized (sorry lol) for indecent exposure and those who haven’t, is literally just the way the unsuspecting target is seeing a dude’s junk… which sounds mental, right?
Just because a dick is seen on a screen instead of physically in your face, doesn’t make it any less intrusive or mentally scarring. If anything, the ability for UDPs to get to you anywhere and at any time is even more sick, and feels even more personal than if you were to see Jean Jacque’s hairy arse in an alleyway. ‘Cyberflashing’ is the term coined for when a person airdrops a sexually explicit photo/UDP via AirDrop to nearby iPhones, and it’s happening a lot on public transport, yet these photos are still going largely unreported because of the uncertainty of whether it’s a crime or not.
…So whilst this shit is still legal, we’re having to come up with creative ways of dealing with these creepy fuckers ourselves. It’s pretty interesting to see how quickly their casual cock-exposing turns into pathetic grovelling as soon as the idea of “the authorities” (whether they’re real or not) comes into play, or in this idiot’s case, how quickly they can go silent when the prospect of being exposed to their wives and families is thrown into the mix.
While these responses are brill and top fun to browse through, it still sucks that this is something women have to deal with on such a regular basis. Why is this form of sexual abuse – which is what it is – seen to society and the law as nothing more than an internet phenomenon, and that the way we currently deal with UDPs is by reading a fucking Cosmo article instead of heading to the police?!
If you’ve been on the receiving end of a UDP, let a mate know so you don’t have to deal with that shit alone. Send back a creative automated response or just tell Brad that what they’ve done ain’t cool. But most importantly, screenshot that shit and keep the receipts for when justice finally decides it’s on our side!
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