Liz Marsh

In the era of #metoo, a common theme has emerged in conversations with my friends, both male and female. Why? Why do guys send unsolicited dick pics to people they have never met? Why would a man whip out his penis in a professional setting unless a willing party has specifically asked to see it? What is the appeal of masturbating in front of someone against their will? Why is this even a thing?

As a single woman who occasionally forays into online dating, I have been the recipient of more dick pics and inappropriate solicitations than I would care to admit. It used to make me mad. It’s incredibly violating and dehumanizing to have someone force you to look at their junk. And that’s the best-case scenario! In terms of sexual assault and harassment, it’s one of the tamest versions because you only have to feel like shit afterwards; you’re not dead.

In the past, unsolicited dick pics would make me angry. Now it just makes me a little sad. For the person sending them. But I’m starting to consider a new theory.

A few weeks ago, I read a story about male dolphins wooing lady dolphins. These male dolphins find sea sponges and push them around the ocean on their heads before presenting them to the lady dolphin of their choice. It’s the dolphin equivalent of sending flowers. According to scientists, the dolphins presenting these gifts are posing and preening. They are trying to impress.

Maybe, like humans, these would-be Cassanovas are sometimes overly aggressive or clueless in their sponge-giving attempts. I can’t help but wonder if down at the bottom of the ocean, there are annoyed lady dolphins are asking why. “Why did he bring me a sponge? I’m a 21st-century cetacean, and I can get my own sponge! Is this supposed to impress me?”

Maybe a dick pic is just a misguided attempt to impress the ladies. I’m willing to consider the benefit of the doubt, as long as the dudes who send these pics are willing to understand one thing: It does not impress us. It violates us. And it totally sabotages your chances. There are a million other things you could send that would impress us. Flowers are nice. I’m a big fan of wine. Hell, take a cue from the dolphins and send us a sea sponge. Just please, keep your dick in your pants.

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