Do you ever just look at a man and think: 'What's going on here, then?' Because you never really know, do you? I often see them walking about in public, with their T-shirts and their jeans, and it just seems stressful. Have you ever seen two men try to have a meaningful conversation? "So, how've you, uh… How's things since *cough* the breakup?" "Yeah, alright, yeah." It's wild.
What do they do when they're alone? What do they think about in those precious solitary moments before sleep? There must be so much that goes on in their heads that simply does not come out. What is it? Where does it all go? Yeah, they like The Wire and using 2-in-1 shampoo, but who are they? I don't know! I just don’t know.
Anyway, YouGov has produced some new data about dick pics and it turns out men are even more mysterious than previously thought.
As you can see, we're currently experiencing an enormous chasm in perspective between dick pic senders and receivers. We'll skip right past the bit where the vast majority of dick pics received were unsolicited, because obviously. More telling is that the percentage of women who claim to have received unsolicited dick pics dramatically outweighs the percentage of men who admit to having sent them. Of course, there are bound to be some discrepancies, but 41 percent to 5 percent? That seems… Well, I have some questions.
Initially, they were they same questions I always have whenever the subject of dick pics is raised: What is the artistic process of photographing your own penis? Does one consider lighting? Angles? Composition? Or does one simply grab one's log as if stopping to take a picture of a pasta sauce in Asda, before texting your mum "this??" What is the success rate? What is the best outcome that they, the dick havers, are hoping for? What's the standard reply to a dick pic that was actually requested? "Thanks"?
After texting as many of my straight male friends as possible, to a chorus of "FOR THE LAST TIME, EMMA", these questions remain unanswered. The thing is, if you ask any man over the age of 21 if they have sent a dick pic, they will either say "no" or "only for balance" and then quickly clarify their lack of enthusiasm about the situation because, aesthetically speaking, there’s really only so much you can do with a cock and balls. There’s no interesting ways to contort, no curves to arch or element of anticipation to invoke through subtle hand placements; just – yep, there it is. That is certainly a penis.
The Venn diagram of men who send unsolicited dick pics and the men who will lie / get really defensive when asked about it and blurt out something like "SHUT UP I DON'T EVEN HAVE A DICK" is essentially a perfect circle, so we will never truly know their thought process. What goes through a man's head when he's got his dick in one hand and his phone in the other will remain an enigma for the ages, and perhaps that's for the best.
Still, none of this really addresses the 41 percent to 5 percent issue. So in lieu of insight from the sort of men who could provide answers, here are some theories, from least to most likely:
i) There are a handful of prolific dick pic takers who are responsible for almost half of all dick pics.
While this seems unrealistic, it’s certainly not impossible when you consider *gestures broadly at everything*.
ii) Most of the men sending dick pics are old.
IDK. Bit dark, this.
iii) Everyone is lying.
Again, unrealistic, but there really is a much simpler solution to all this.
iv) Men are idiots.
And so we return to where we started: who are they? They are idiots. But, bless them, it’s not their fault. Unfortunately, men aren’t taught how to communicate. They especially aren’t taught how to communicate with women. Don’t get me wrong: there are absolutely loads of dicks flying about the place, apropos of previous communication, in some unfathomable act of dominance and aggression – but a lot of them are also desperate scrambles towards intimacy.
If a picture speaks a thousand words, unbidden dick pics are screaming: "I'd like to get to know you" and "I wish I had a better relationship with my dad" and "Hey!" It’s essentially a mirror of the ideal way men would like women to open conversations with them. 'Well, if I got sent tits, I'd be happy. Sooooo.' That’s the logic.
That’s why you can be sitting at home minding your own business on a Thursday evening, eating a shepherd’s pie in front of the telly, when your phone goes off and, hey, it’s a message from someone you matched with on Tinder because they also like Weezer and full communism and you’re not sure where it’s going, and suddenly: dick! You posted a selfie on Twitter and accidentally left your DMs open for whatever reason, and: dick! Someone you used to sleep with but haven’t spoken to in months has had precisely three beers and is feeling lucky on Instagram: dick! You said hi first, followed by a winking emoji, and she didn’t reply, so that’s as good as consent, right? Dick.
That’s why we have this discrepancy. Not because of a rogue pocket of horny monsters taking endless pictures of their dicks to terrorise strangers on Snapchat, but because men struggle so badly to connect their brain thoughts to their mouth words. So: dick.
Basically, what I'm saying is: are these statistics revealing? Yes. Are they surprising? They are not. But fucking hell, lads, stop sending women shots of your upsetting genitals unless specifically requested. Try a meme or a picture of a dog instead. Ask your dad how his day was. Acknowledge a feeling. It's fine.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.