It?s neither funny nor acceptable
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Dear Aunty Jimothy,
I have many women friends who complain about getting gross dick pics on Tinder and social media. Everybody agrees how terrible and sexist that is. But when I (a gay male college student) complain about getting dick pics on Grindr and Facebook from other gay guys, people laugh and make fun of me. Like I?m stupid for having a problem with it. Is it really OK for guys to send me dic pics I didn?t ask for?
Angry About Double Standards
Child, have you ever opened a can of worms in poor old Aunty Jimothy?s head! I am MORE than angry because I?ve been in your shoes MORE than once. You should have seen poor old me just the other day when I opened one of my messaging apps!
What was staring me in the face but a big ole purple-veined, turgid trouser snake, ?short and curlies? clearly visible at the base. I clutched my pearls and reached for my smelling salts.
Yes, I did!
Seriously, dick pics are pervasive on the Net, and not just on dating or hookup apps like Tinder and Grindr. I first became aware of them when I used to write a lot on Quora.com. Many of my women writer friends there ? intellectual and artistic heavyweights ? used to complain of regularly receiving dick pics in their message boxes.
I never got pics like that on Quora, but that all changed when I started exploring other corners of the Net.
First, let?s examine that Quora.com phenomenon. One fierce and fabulous lesbian friend of mine points out that random dick pics from random men to women who are public intellectuals is probably different from dick pics on dating apps. Men who send photos of their genitals to strong women on public forums are trying to exert control ? to intimidate women.
Hell, I know a teenage girl who used to regularly receive messages like that, even though the men sending them were committing felonies that could be traced back to them. I have to wonder about that kind of man. That kind of behavior. I hesitate to even call it ?toxic masculinity,? because to me, it doesn?t even feel masculine.
It feels bestial.
Any man who would try to intimidate a woman by sending them a photo of his (or somebody else?s) erect penis has serious issues with masculinity, general decency, and basic morality.
But that?s not really your question, is it, child?
What about those brain-deprived men on Grindr who send dick pics because they apparently think that their prepuce-clad pistons are so pulsatingly magnetic that potential dates will swoon? Do gay men have to put up with that nonsense too?
Yes, Child. Sadly, yes.
Let?s just clear one teensy little thing up first, shall we? Lots of gay men use Tinder too. It?s a preferred app among many gay men who are looking for a serious date rather than a quick roll in the hay. You might prefer it over Grindr.
Not that there?s anything wrong with hay rolling ? especially when a hunky farmer?s son with big ole pecs is milking the cows in the barn. Goodness, is it getting warm in here? Aunty needs a moment to find her silk fan.
In all seriousness, my college-age gay buddy Fred Shirley tells me that unsolicited dick pics from men on both Tinder and Grindr can be a real problem. Informal surveys show that numbers are about equal between the two apps.
Gay men get unwanted dick pics too. And we rarely find it charming.
Do you know what Aunty Jimothy did when she got a dick pic the other day? Deleted, blocked, reported. Instantly.
Hell, yes, Child.
And that brings us to the meat (cough!) of the message. Men who send photos of their penises to people who did not ask for them are not good date potential. They don?t understand boundaries. They probably have over-inflated egos. They definitely lack taste and sophistication. And I think they might also qualify as potential abusers.
A dick pic you didn?t ask for is a signal. A signal for you to say, ?Bye, Felicia! Next!?
But what about Facebook and Twitter?
Dating apps are one thing, but what about social media platforms that aren?t about meeting people for romance? Most of the dick pics (none of them wanted) that I receive come from Facebook. The culture there seems tolerant of sexual abuse by men toward men.
Abuse? Yes! Men who flaunt their engorged genitals at other men without their permission are abusive ? are violating sexual boundaries, are engaging in sexually abusive behavior.
Care to take a guess at which group of men display behavior that?s even worse? Let me spare you the trouble! It?s those gay men who laugh the problem off ? who dismiss it as if it didn?t matter. That crowd is just as bad or worse than the ones doing it. They?re trying to normalize sexual aggression and toxic masculinity.
Ignore those men, dear. Your instincts are right on target. The only person who owns your sexuality is you.The only person who owns your dignity is you. The only person who can give permission for sexual interaction is you.
The people who send you unsolicited dick pics are uncouth. That?s a given. But the people shaming you (and me) for objecting? They deserve a special place in hell.
That?s another Aunty Jimothy column on Medium, guys and girls. Got a question? Post it under this story or email firstname.lastname@example.org and she?ll do her best to crank out some pearlescent balls of wisdom.
By the way, I?ve got a whole bat cave full of lesbians, trans guys and girls, and kinky polyamorous bisexual chicks. So when you ask Aunty Jimothy, you?re tapping into a lot more than one cranky old kween.
Ask anything! Love, sex, dating, hooking up, Tinder and Grindr culture, and HIV/STD concerns. Life with your straight family. Coming out. Or not.
This Old Aunty has the Answers. Somewhere. If I can just remember where I left my purse.