• Andrea Waling

New Paper on Dick Pics: It's Nice to be Appreciated

A bit delayed, but it is exciting to announce the first publication from the M3: Media, Masculinities, and Mental Health project.


"'It's nice to be appreciated’: Understanding heterosexual men’s engagements with sexting and sharing Dick Pics" was recently published in the journal Sexualities.



What's it about?


This paper explores the process that young men in Australia engage in their production and sending of Dick Pics. 15 interviews were conducted with young cisgender, heterosexual men residing in Australia between the ages of 18-30.


These men were asked to talk about their experiences in using dating apps and how they might choose to take a sexually explicit photo to send to partners and potential lovers.



What did you find?


The men in this study noted that they give some thought and consideration to how they produce sexually explicit photos. Such considerations include the setting/environment, lighting, and positioning of their genitalia.


I’d usually sort of do it from my point of view, so the camera would be like on my chest or around that sort of area pointing down

For these men, sexting was a relational act, and they often produce photos hoping for positive engagement and to build up arousal and anticipation.


I think it definitely helps with connecting with a partner especially if you can’t see each other as often as you’d like

Yet sending Dick Pics also brought on insecurities about their bodies.


I am uncircumcised and I do worry from time to time whether women like bigger and more girthier penises or prefer circumcised to uncircumcised ones

Some also noted concerns about such images going public and the potential impacts this could have on their professional and family life.


I think probably, at this stage of my life given the fact that I’m trying to find full time work, and those sorts of things, reputation’s a big thing. And so if it were to get out onto the internet and someone would be able to find it and send it around and whatnot, that’s a big, big thing.

What this study found is that Dick Pics provide men an opportunity to consider and reflect on themselves as potential objects of desire for a female gaze. This means that for them, sexting is a relational practice that may bring with it affirmations of desirability and opportunities to build connection and intimacy, but also body insecurities and concerns about risk.


Where can I read it?


This paper is available at Sexualities. Or please feel free to get in touch and we can send you a copy!


Citation

Waling, A., Kerr, L., Bourne, A., Power, J,. & Kehler, M. (2020). ‘It’s Nice to Be Appreciated’: Understanding Men’s Engagements with Sexting. Sexualities. DOI: 10.1177/1363460720947297.