Dating apps may have exacerbated the phenomenon, but men have acted on their less-than-palatable penchant for sending women all-too-personal portraits since long before the likes of Tinder. The psychology behind sending dick pics — often unsolicited — has been fervently discussed and wondered upon in the media, because it is one of those things that many men perplexingly and incorrectly think women are attracted to.
But as Newton's laws of motion determined, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. (Yes, we're aware that's reaching.) Women have been blasted with unsolicited photos for so long that it is only natural, perhaps necessary that they handle it with a healthy dose of humor.
Take Sarah-Louise Jordan of southeast England, for example. Earlier this year, much to her surprise, Jordan received a dick pic from a stranger. So what could she do but address it in the most positively English fashion?
Jordan responded to the sender with a formal letter, opening respectfully with "Dear Sir" and closing, "Yours faithfully."
Thank you for the unexpected and unsolicited submission of your penis portrait for our consideration. We regret to inform you that it has failed to pass our most basic standards of quality control at this time.
However, for a nominal fee we can offer you a report that will help you change that.
The A4 report, provided via postal service, will include a personalised booklet that cover the following:
- Why genitals are not an acceptable conversation opener (a step-by-step guide to saying hello)
- How to appear as though you weren't raised by wolves
Jordan posted her letter on Facebook in June, but it gained traction again when it was shared on Twitter by Maelle & Diction.
Policies that protect individuals from being sent unwanted nude photos have yet to catch up to the digital age. As reported by The Daily Dot, one attempt to prosecute an unsolicited pic made it as far as the Georgia Supreme Court, before the archaic language of the law that made that prosecution possible resulted in the case being dismissed. It only restricted nude photos sent via the postal service — not via SMS.
Until those policies join us in the 21st century, firm (and, at times, funny) responses from women like Jordan telling senders that no, that last text wasn't OK, will be the first line of defense.
Jordan told A Plus that when she came up with the idea to respond with a formal letter, it was "something that felt fun to me" and she enjoyed writing it. "I thought it wasn't a response that someone sending that kind of picture would expect," she added. "It was a way of dealing with his rudeness in a way that let him know it wasn't acceptable, while also not being particularly rude in return."
The letter has been widely shared on social media, and although Jordan conceded she's not sure why it's resonated so much, she said she's glad it has. "It's wonderful to know that something I've written has made some people smile," she said.
Cover image via William Iven / Unsplash.