Dealing online dating rejection
The unwanted dick pic appears on this spectrum of behaviour.
A hypothesis I’m exploring concerns men’s responses to rejection on dating sites.
But this doesn’t explain the underlying motivations to send such images on a dating site.
Do senders really hope to woo a potential date with the equipment on display? In a piece from online lifestyle magazine Refinery29, several of those men interviewed who had sent dick pics said they assumed women would want a nude image of them, because they would be more than happy to receive one from a woman.
In a culture where men are generally still expected to take the lead in sexual relationships, being denied all of these opportunities may make some men feel powerless in the online dating game and so turn to harassment or intimidation to try and re-establish a sense of power.
They reported in the Journal of Sex Research that the 23 per cent of people who said they had watched an “X-rated” film during the previous year were no more or less likely to identify as feminists than those who did not watch porn.
When it comes to the internet, it seems common sense to think that the physical distance and anonymity the online world provides allows, even encourages, people to do things they wouldn’t normally do “in real life”.
If you don’t believe your actions hold any consequences for you, then there is no fear of the social ramifications which might normally keep certain behaviours in check.
Misogynistic harassment is a serious issue for online dating services.
Violent threats, hostile outbursts and being blackmailed into sending explicit images, are just some examples of the potential fall-out a woman might face – even for just ignoring or rebuffing a would-be suitor.