Two girls, one podcast. Join Ellie and Eliza as they investigate the naughty side of the digital world.
To All the Dick Pics I’ve Been Sent Before
Ellie and Eliza sit down to have a deep and meaningful conversation about a highly influential and controversial social phenomenon: the dick pic.
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Transcript of podcast:
You’re listening to the E’XXX’periments podcast, hosted by Bare It All: a cheeky peek under the covers of the saucy side social media.
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ELIZA: Hi there lovely listeners and welcome to the debut episode of the EXXXperiments podcast. I’m Eliza –
ELLIE: And I’m Ellie. So for our very first episode, we’re broaching a pretty well-documented and recognised cultural phenomenon: the unsolicited dick pic.
ELIZA: Well… not all of us are as accustomed to the spontaneous dick-pick arriving in our inboxes. Just for context for our listeners, I’ve been in a relationship for about five years now – I kinda missed the whole Tinder revolution. I couldn’t even tell you the difference from swiping left or right.
ELLIE: Myself, by contrast, am something of a dating app veteran. I have been mostly single for over 3 years now……if you can hear the desperation in my voice, I swear that’s purely intentional. So I’ve accrued a fair bit of experience when it comes to online and app dating.
ELIZA: So whilst we’ve got pretty different experiences, both Ellie and I are still aware of the cultural phenomenon that is the dick pic.
ELLIE: However, as self-described veteran, I’ve mostly had limited experiences when it comes to the unsolicited dick pic…up until very recently (haha).
ELIZA: Yeah I found this kind of hard to believe ELLIE, because I’ve heard about and read so many other stories about people – particularly women and non-binary/trans people – who open their snapchat, open their DMs and its like WHAM right in their face.
ELLIE: Well like it has happened to me, but honestly I’ve just got so many precautions set up, I’ve tailored all my privacy settings to prevent that kind of thing from happening to me all that much, and I’m so unlikely to let someone that I haven’t like reasonably thoroughly vetted have access to me like that.
ELIZA: So what kind of privacy settings are you talking about?
ELLIE: Pretty standard stuff, like my insta is private, only followers that I follow back can DM me, only accepted friends can snap me, only friends can FB message me etc. Like you have to have my permission to ever send me a message basically, which means I can regulate to a certain degree what is sent to me.
ELIZA: This got me thinking, what is the point of having all of these precautions? What is it really protecting you from? If you were to put down these barriers, really bare it all – expose yourself to the sleazy side of the internet – what would happen?
So here it is – the E’xxx’periment. I challenged Ellie to see what would happen if she opened up her dating apps to the unknown.
ELLIE: Ok, so here are the parameters of the E’xxx’periment. I used my Tinder profile, my Snapchat account, and my Instagram account. I put all of my privacy settings to as public as they could be. I listed my Snapchat and Insta usernames in my Tinder profile, then widened the age bracket on my Tinder search to 18-100+
ELIZA: just to really cast that net wide hey!
ELLIE: Exactly. And then, I sat back, and I waited.
ELIZA: SO……did you get anything?
ELLIE: oh hoho……..Did I get a dick pic. Just guess how long it took before the first snapchat came in. Just guess.
ELIZA: Uhhhh……Like a week? I don’t know, I presume you had to wait for like a Saturday night or something.
ELLIE: It took…..like I know this because I set a timer, and it took exactly … 23 minutes and 18 seconds.
ELIZA: That’s a joke right. That cannot be possible.
ELLIE: Nothing is impossible.
ELIZA: So was there any contact between you and the young gentleman before he sent the picture? Did you match, did he message you, at least tell me there was flirting
ELLIE: Literally nothing. I was sitting back, dicking around – pun intended / Ha – and then up he popped – ha, I’m on a roll today.
OK ok, truth be told – it probably wasn’t the purist’s idea of a dick pic, clearly he had slightly more modesty than that. It was a point of view shot of his crotchal region, he was wearing underwear but … um … pretty sharp, like you know, the lights of the bedroom outlined his eggplant emoji pretty clearly. It was a soft-core dick pic.
ELIZA: I mean that still counts right?
ELLIE: I mean yeah, it still counts – but the first full frontal penis photo came the next night. Thursday at 9:45pm. But to be honest, I didn’t actually get a crazy amount of dick pics. I left it up for a few days, I got enough to fulfill the sample size required for the rigorous scientific experiment you’re conducting here Eliza. What is worth mentioning is the ridiculous amount of add requests, dms and messages that I got. Most of them were pretty boring, just like a ‘hey’ with a varying number of ‘y’s at the end.
ELIZA: Ok ok is the number of ‘y’s in a hey, like our generations version of the shoe size to penis ratio? The more ‘y’s the bigger??
ELLIE: Eliza, no. Just – no. You sound like my mum. You sound like the mum from Mean Girls.
ELIZA: Anyone need anything, snacks – condoms??
ELLIE: Ok, ok ok, I think this is a good time to wrap it up. We’re just going to take a super duper short break. It’ll be even quicker than your ex-boyfriend.
ELIZA: We’ll be right back!
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ELLIE: Ok so obviously any good experiment, and we are legitimate and rigorous scientists, we should discuss the results. What happened to me, we’ve have a good laugh about, but there’s some pretty serious and concerning elements to this whole thing. I’m fine and not emotionally scarred by this, but I knew what I was getting into. I’m an adult, despite all you’ve heard from me so far, I’m pretty mature, and at no point was in a vulnerable headspace.
ELIZA: Compare that to a young girl, perhaps one who’s discreetly bumped their age up to 18 – and that happens fairly regularly like imagine how emotionally unsure or insecure they can be. Going into a situation where you don’t know what’s normal in a dating relationship, you might begin to think getting these dick pics is normal and expected.
ELLIE: And even if you don’t think it’s normal, maybe it’s just super upsetting. And whether or not that person is affected, from an objective point of view that person is being violated. Regardless of whether they are underage – if they haven’t given consent, they are being violated.
ELIZA: Ok, so let’s talk about something that we mentioned before – this concept of the unsolicited dick pic being normalised. It’s kind of being passed into pop culture canon.
ELLIE: To make an omelette you’ve gotta break a few eggs, and to exist on the internet you’ve gotta see a few dick pics … to paraphrase the idiom.
ELIZA: haha but seriously, as someone who doesn’t use these platforms I want to describe my initial reaction to hearing these stories. Imagine you’re walking down the street and someone flashes you their penis. First of all what the fuck. Second of all you call the police. That is indecent exposure. Harassment. I’m talking legitimate jail time. And yet people do this online literally everyday.
ELLIE: This comes back to the whole confidence with anonymity – you know, online bullying is probably more prevalent – and like don’t quote me because I’m not a psychologist – but I’d say it’s probably more common because not being face to face to someone, the separation afforded to you by the screen, it really emboldens you and encourages you to take it one step further. I’m sure like 99.95% of men would never even dream of exposing themselves to a woman in the streets – or at least i hope??? But as soon as you’re online, and you’re a bit more protected, it’s like suddenly you’re super keen to broadcast your junk to any woman with eyes.
ELIZA: Also they’re taking a massive risk with their own privacy. People don’t consider the severity of the consequences with putting yourself a risk like that. You’re sending a photo of yourself to a complete stranger, who has the power of screenshot. I’m sure we were all told when we were younger – in those boring school assemblies – how dangerous this can be. How damaging to your future, reputation, and also to your mental health.
ELLIE: The privacy settings that can be put in place are of course good, I’m by no means not trying to say they’re not, but I wish they weren’t necessary. Street harassment isn’t a matter of women taking precautions to not be harassed – but instead its people not harassing them in the first place.
ELIZA: It’s a weird and new environment that’s fostering the idea that its ok to send these – when in reality it’s not. We need to better educate people on how sending a “simple” dick pic is actually harassment, and also its really dangerous to yourself. Having public profiles or minimal privacy settings doesn’t equate to consent.
ELLIE: And if you truly cannot help yourself, like you’ve got this monumental itch that only sharing a pic of your peen will scratch, then, like – its the internet. There will be plenty of places where you can consensually and safely share and view pictures of yourself and others in various states of undress. You don’t need to be sending them out to strangers.
ELIZA: Cool. So um I guess we just solved online harassment??? Neat
ELLIE: Yeah wow. Ok we’re totally joking. Obviously this is a massive issue, but we just wanted to get the ball rolling. Get you guys thinking about it.
ELIZA: Basically start a naked conversation.
ELLIE: That’s all from us for today guys, I gotta go update all my online privacy settings! Thanks so much for listening, we’ll catch you ne’xxx’t time for another E’xxx’periment!