Flat White

The upside to my lockdown

31 May 2020

6:40 PM

31 May 2020

6:40 PM

We have a lot to be thankful for.  Not only has the global pandemic given us Coronavirus Porn but dick pics are on the rise, pardon the pun.

According to research conducted by Khoros, tweets that contained the words “nudes” or “dick pics” beside the coronavirus hashtag, increased by 384 per cent between March to April while the world was in lockdown.

I’m absolutely delighted by this news. Why? I’ll explain. I was once a woman who rolled her eyes at unsolicited dick pics and blamed misogyny for men’s audacity to send them but my opinion has changed.

In 2016, as a joke, I decided to do a dick pic experiment. Yes, you read that correctly. Instead of throwing my arms up in outrage — like every other woman on the planet — I decided to orchestrate some reverse psychology.

On the front of my website in the footer, I wrote: “Email Vanessa. Dick pics are welcome!  Be sure to insert length and girth in subject header.” 

I also requested dick pics on my social media accounts. In all honesty, I  thought some folks would get a laugh and the rest would think, WTF?  End of story. 

But that wasn’t the case. Men (and women) were curious. They would send emails to find out if I was serious or not.  Others were more interested in what had caused me to request dick pics. Was I for real? Did I suffer from a major mental illness?


You see, women are conditioned to feel passive and shameful about their sexualities.  Society feels it has to infantilise women and tone things down for them — so they can process it.

Women couldn’t possibly enjoy hardcore pornography, let alone request dick pics. That would be too fierce — too powerful. Talk about gender stereotyping and outright sexism.

Have you ever noticed how female sexuality is packaged by the media?  It’s perpetually watered down or silenced. It usually includes a dollop of romance, two tablespoons of girl power and a teaspoon of sugar for extra sweetness.  I delve into the silencing of female sexuality in a column I wrote for the Huff Post but I’ve digressed.

Blokes from around the world started sending me pictures of their penises — big ones, small ones, beautiful ones, ugly ones. Slack ones, erect ones, ejaculating ones and wrinkly ones. I received pictures of penises with ribbons around them.  I even received a picture of a penis wearing a bow-tie and a straw-hat.

I mean this was absolutely fabulous. Even as an actress and writer I couldn’t make this stuff up.

I was amused, aroused and impressed by men’s creativity.  Every single bloke stuck to the requirements I set, stating their length and girth in the subject header.  And as I opened each new email I squealed with glee.

Much like women craved validation for their looks and bodies. Men craved validation for the appendage that swung like a pendulum, between their legs, day in and day out. The emails that accompanied the photographs were even more revealing. Men had been told by women that their penises were disgusting or micro-sized or unattractive. Blokes wanted to know what I thought? And I responded to each email with care and sensitivity. After all, every human being deserves to feel confident about their own private parts.

Dick pics aren’t about misogyny at all.  They’re about validation and approval from women. They’re about pleasure and the erotic.

If a bloke dares to speak his sexual truth online or in any forum, he will be torn to shreds — just for being honest.  While women on the other hand are permitted to mock the male anatomy, without any backlash.  That’s not sexual equality.

It’s now 2020 and during the pandemic, my dick pic quota has increased.  My late mother used to say, ‘you must try to find the silver lining in everything’.

And during this pandemic, I have.

Vanessa de Largie is a freelance journalist and sex columnist who divides her time between London and Melbourne. You can find more of her work here.

Illustration: Flickr.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.


Show comments
Close