Okay. So I want to talk about dick pics. Specifically one sent to this woman via a dating website. The facts: it was unsolicited and when she responded negatively he laughed it off, asking if it was ‘to big for ya’. After some back and forthing, (she was called a ‘prude’ and told ‘no wonder your single’) the woman informed him that she would be sending screen caps of their conversation, including his cock, to his mother on facebook. I spent too long reading the comments under this happyplace article and now I need to rant so hold this conversation in your head. I’ll come back to it.
Look, the nature of the game is changing as fast as our technology. Naked pictures have been around since the beginning of forever but now we carry mini porn studios in our pockets and the question shouldn’t be ‘is my child sexting’ but ‘does your child know how to be safe whilst sexting?’ The answer? Like actual sex there is no way to sext without incurring some risk. Whilst the risks of sex are pregnancy and disease, the risks of sexting are more likely to be public humiliation. The potential for feeling immensely violated comes with both activities unfortunately. Yet still, we are not turning to celibacy. What’s with that?
Everyday many, many people are doing the risk verses pleasure mathematics and coming up on the side of pleasure. So how to be safer?
There are programs like snapchat that delete the image after three seconds but honestly, the best way to keep safe is to send it to the right person. As with any other risky sexual behaviour (ie: unprotected sex or fetishes that put you under the control of your partner) , one should only be doing this with someone they trust to not be a dick, to treat them with respect and, above all, with someone who wants to indulge in this type of sexual behaviour. I think this should be taught in basic sex ed. Along with the use of condoms this is the best way to avoid being hurt by sex: have sex with as many or as few people as you want but make sure that a) they respect you as a human being and b) they really, really want to be there with you. Real sex or virtual sex, all the same. Anthony Weiner, your mistake wasn’t taking a photo of your cock it was sending it to someone who didn’t fit into one or both of these categories.
Now onto the unsolicited sex pics. Don’t! Just don’t. In saying that everyone does it and that this dating/relationship/sex game is changing just as fast as our technology is, I am by no means pardoning this idiot’s actions or his sense of entitlement. Unsolicited sex pics are the cyber-version of flashing. It is sexual harassment and just because it is commonplace does not mean that we shouldn’t take it seriously. In addition to this, many of the comments on the article that stated that this woman was on a dating website so what did she expect are the equivalent of real world victim-blaming behaviour such as questioning what the woman was wearing or saying she shouldn’t have been out by herself. She was putting herself in a situation where she had to expect sexual harassment. This talk is dangerous. When we talk about rape culture, this is it! That a woman should be grateful to receive this man’s dick (or cyber dick) or else she a prude and it is up to her to be able to brush it off.
Police were not contacted. Only his mother. His poor, traumatised mother. He could have prevented this. Even after he sent the photo of his dick, he could have prevented this by not acting like one. He could have apologised and pretended the picture was meant for someone else but he didn’t. Instead he treated her as if she was over-reacting and should be grateful to receive his attentions. Oops. The woman is right: Trevor deserves ‘to have that uncomfortable conversation with (his) mother’. Hopefully the next woman to receive a photo of his penis will have requested it.