If you’ve ever spent anytime flirting online, chances are you’ve received an unsolicited dick pic; it’s a common horn-dog move. Whitney Bell and her friends received more than 200 unsolicited dick pics from random guys, and so Bell framed them and put them in an art exhibit entitled “I Didn’t Ask For This: A Lifetime of Dick Pics.” The framed cock-shots now line an installation designed to look like her home, the raunchy pictures rudely hanging around her comfortable furniture and pro-feminist decor.
“I want you to feel as if they are in someone’s private safe space, like you’ve been welcomed in,” Bell told VICE magazine, “but that even in this space you are unsafe. That even in this warm comfortable environment they are still bombarded by male dominance and aggression. That there is no escaping the patriarchy.”
Bell explains further:
“This isn’t dick-hating or man-hating. I love a good dick. I just don’t love harassment…
[Sending unsolicited dick pics is] not about sex. It’s about power. It’s about these guys wanting to exert that control. These guys, they get off knowing that they forced some girl to see it. They know that girl is not going to turn around and say, ‘Let’s go on a date.’
It’s not a pick up. It’s like screaming at a woman from a car. You’re just doing this because you can, and because the world has taught you that that’s OK.”
She may have a point, at least as far as heterosexual and bisexual flirting between men and women go. But we’re not so sure it’s always the same between gay men. Sure, some guys aggressively send out pictures of their cock or (shudder) butt holes in hopes of getting laid, but in some cases those unsolicited shots do get them laid. But for every gay/bi guy who appreciates such shots, there’s likely one who considers it harassment.
So are they an aggressive form of hetero harassment or a direct form of gay sexual engagement? No matter your take, you can see nearly 300 shots from the exhibit at Bell’s Facebook page.