The first time I received a dick pic (DP) was when I was chatting on an online dating site, doing research for my book "Cyber Infidelity: The New Seduction" (2015). At first I was confused, not really sure what it was, then I gasped in shock and felt slight repugnance. I'm a penis loving woman so I had to process my gag response. After receiving a number of DP's I realised my yuck feeling was because I wanted to see the whole person, the man who stood behind the penis. The penis alone was totally unarousing , disembodied and only good for an education on "50 shades of penis's" But mostly I felt invaded as I had not given consent for a random man to send me his private parts.
It seems I'm not the only heterosexual woman who feels this way. It appears, like me, that women want DP's only when they ask for them. And preferably on the man so a context is created, which is helpful in gaining more cues about who this person is.
DP's are a part of sexting, which is the sending and receiving of sexually explicit photos and/or text using cell phones with digital cameras. According to research done by USA Today, 32 percent of single straight men admitted to sending a DP: 61 percent because they were asked for one, 45 percent said they wanted to turn the other person on, 39 percent to flirt and 39 percent to get the other person to send one back. The remaining 40 percent sent a DP without being asked for one and the majority of women had the same negative reaction to receiving unsolicited pics - yuck!
Although 60 percent of gay men have sent a dick pic, 74 percent have received one without asking for it. And some two-thirds of gay men are not aroused or flattered by receiving an unsolicited dick pic. However, 42 percent of gay men are entertained and 39 percent become curious. In a snap survey, gay men see DP's as trade - you see one and send one back.
"Checking out the junk is the essence of Grinder, the honey trap for many men who consensually and in time saving honesty, cut to the chase with one word "pics"
Hands up who has not stepped out of the shower, ripped off underwear, stood in front of a mirror and taken a selfie of any body part and then sent it to either a lover or total stranger. I stress adult in the hope that you get that sexting children under the age of 18 is illegal. My research found women to be 1.5 times more likely than men to have done both sex texting and photo sharing. Women are 1.5 times more likely to film themselves masturbating than men, with 68.6 percent of women film themselves masturbating with their lovers and send these images into cyberspace.
I wonder what motivates you to do this? Is it a turn on for you ? To seduce another person? Grab attention in the business and highly competitive cyber market of bodies ? Exhibitionism? Entertainment? And do you send images of your genitals before you send images of your face? Or is sexting the new Love Note in modern love? And if you are in a significant relationship, are you sexting other people with the notion that this is not cyber infidelity as you're not having sex or anything?! In other words have you become so used to it, as an acceptable societal currency, that you automatically use it as your calling card?
As a sex positive clinician I think sexting is fun, empowering, brave. It has the ability to create sexual connection with a lover, keep the sexuality going in a busy world, and shyly, talk to each other online in ways that are awkward In Real Life. And it may be the only erotic kick you get from each other for the day... Or week... Or month.
According to a recent study conducted by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, published in the journal Sexual Health, 5,805 single adults between the ages of 21 and 77; 23 percent reported sharing the sexts they received with an average of more than three different friends. This translates into No Privacy exists in cyberspace. I have created a guideline to assist you in sexting in a fun and responsible manner:
- Use the same principle as "I promise I'll pull out". He doesn't, so don't trust the recipient not to share your nude photos and videos.
- Put it on record that you request privacy... And then expect none of it.
- Take advantage of selfies - use them to self admire. Do this before sending them out to gain self validation and confidence from admiration of another.
- A successful dick pic is one which includes most of your body.
- Consider whether sexting others whilst in a committed relationship, is cyber infidelity, determine this by asking yourself if your partner would consider this cheating.
- Sexting is fun, flirty, audacious... And may get you a bad reputation - if you're a woman.
- Before sexting images or videos, ask the recipient for permission and consent.
- Sexting is hyper personal, it increases feelings of realness which rapidly leads to a desire to meet In Real Life. Down the rabbit hole into cyber infidelity.
- Sending nude images may convey a message that you are open to sexual activity. Be very clear on your boundaries, especially when you meet face to face.
- Sexting promotes the belief that sex is expected when you meet up. Don't be pressured into any non consensual sexual activity even if this person has seen you naked online.
- Meet in person before you begin sexting images of yourself. You may regret it once you've met up.
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