Ask Demetria: Why Do Guys Send D--k Pics?


Dear Demetria:

Why do guys send unsolicited d--k pics? I feel like as I talk to guys, we slowly venture into sexting, then the guy just takes it from zero to 100. I'm interested in him, but the picture just came out of nowhere. Do any girls actually like these things? How do you respond? —Anonymous 

Hold up. There’s no such thing as “slowly venturing” into sexting, defined by as “the sending of sexually explicit photos, images, text messages or emails by using a cellphone or other mobile device.” Sexting implies that you are interested in having sex with the person to whom you send the images.

I’m unclear how you do that slowly. Whatever you sent suggested that you were interested in having sex with him. He responded with a picture of his sexual organ to let you know that he’s also interested, to allow you to gauge his equipment and for you to anticipate what he can do with it. I’m unclear where this guy went wrong here.

That said, I’ve heard plenty of stories about men actually going from “zero to 100” and sending penis pictures when there was no indication whatsoever from the woman that they would be welcomed. I’ve received a set of pictures—yes, plural—from a guy out of the blue. (In my first book, A Belle in Brooklyn, I dedicated an entire chapter to that story.)

Probably, like you, I wondered, “Why?” Had I done something to mislead him? Did he think I was that type of girl?

I never arrived at a solid answer, and your letter finally prompted me to get one, as much for you as for myself. I hit up several guys in my circle to get to the bottom of what I’d started to think of as the “d--k-pic conundrum.” The answers, which the guys gave on the condition of complete anonymity, were fascinating.

First, the “why” should be obvious. “I never understood why my female friends were always so confused as to why dudes sent them,” said one man. “It’s clear that the pic is supposed to incite sexual interest or excitement. Whether you’re grossed out or not, you know damn well why he did it!”

But is a d--k pic a sign that he doesn’t respect you? Most of the guys agreed that wasn’t the case.

“Men don't see it as a form of disrespect,” another gentleman explained. “It's our way of being vulnerable. Most women, especially black women, are very vocal as it pertains to their wants in life. This includes career goals, marriage, family and a sex life. They have made it very clear how they want to be pleased in the bedroom. An unsolicited d--k pic is oftentimes a man’s way of saying, ‘I qualify.’”

In simpler terms, another man explained the pictures “as a way of saying, ‘You interested or nah?’ It’s basically just fishing, throwing the bait out there and hoping something [catches].”

Most of the dozens of men I conversed with understood how many women could perceive the photos as uncouth and ill-mannered. Still, the guys also thought that the guys who sent them ultimately were harmless and women were making a big deal out of nothing. Several suggested that the penis pictures might be one of those circumstances that support the idea that “men are from Mars, women are from Venus”—i.e., the sexes are just wired differently.