My friend and correspondent Ms. Flox--- the sex blogger A.V. Flox ---wrote elsewhere not so long ago about a problem of the current dating scene: the flood of unsolicited penis photos being texted to hapless young women. She posted a meme that's been going around the web--- a "prospectus" for a service that promises to show men why dick pics are a poor idea, and, for a nominal fee, to teach men that genitals are not an acceptable conversational opener.
My own response to her was:
I really, really can't imagine ever sending a lovely girl a dick pic. I mean, I don't send pics at all. Reading lists, yes. Hints that I could be dangerous in the theme-park thrill-ride way, yes. I'd consider sending her the heads of her enemies as an introductory gift. But dick pics lack any kind of imagination...and they leave anyone male open to easy ripostes and mockery. Too banal, too cliche, too risky.
I stand by that. In all the time I've flirted with lovely girls on-line--- back to the end of the last century ---I've sent very, very few girls a photo of myself at all. And never, never a penis pic. A girl that I trust may get an "official" photo--- something taken for corporate purposes, something with jacket and tie. It takes a lot for me to trust a girl enough to let her see me. In jacket and tie, I can look reasonably serious and darkly intense. There are bright and lovely girls who can look at my official photos and see more than my age and my appearance. There are a few of them, and deeply treasured they are. But they're a very small niche population. For the most part, I sent reading lists.
I'm male, and all-too-aware that the male body is open to easy mockery. There are risks that I won't take, risks that a gentleman of a certain age can't afford. Penis pics are one of them. The risks are too high, especially in an age of social media. Let's be very clear about how the system works. It doesn't matter if you're in the worldwide top 1% for penis length, thickness, and rigidity. If a girl mocks your penis on social media, you've just been effectively re-assigned to micro-penis status. If you're male, you can't win that battle. Ever. It's not a risk worth taking. Be clear about that.
The whole situation with dick pics may be very different for gay males. Unsolicited penis pics may be the coin of the realm there. I really don't know. But I do know that in my own social world, there's nothing to be gained from dick pics. They're what I was taught to regard as tacky--- never socially appropriate, very much something done by people who lack breeding and social grace.
Reading lists. I stand by that. I would never use an actual photo of myself on a dating site, and I would never send a penis pic. Reading lists are much more about what I'm offering. I'm a creature who's part of a niche experience--- being part of a literary scenario, being a character in a film or novel, exploring things that have the air of the forbidden. I'm sold myself as that much of my life. When I do offer sex, it's far more as a scenario than as flesh. The girls who respond to me want to do things in bed, yes. But they want something else, too--- and the stories being generated outweigh the flesh.