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What would possess someone to send a graphic image of themselves without ever being asked for one, or even thinking to check if it might be appreciated?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’re feeling brave (warning: graphic content), then take a look at Bye Felipe or visit Anna Gensler’s Instagram account for her artistic approach to dealing with the deluge of sexual suggestions and images she receives.Indeed, unsolicited “dick pics” have become such a problem on online dating services that one site, Ok Cupid, actually removed the capability to send images.
Some personal websites are designed specifically for people who seek extramarital affairs.
But to assume that these “misguided” attempts at seduction explain the rise and rise of such cyber-flashing tells only half the story.
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.
The unwanted dick pic appears on this spectrum of behaviour.