Unwanted Richard: Life Coaching for the Modern Age

I had a brief conversation with an old friend of mine yesterday evening, revolving around the topic of unsolicited dick pics and determining what suitable responses might be. This blog post is emerging from that bit of conversation. The trigger was a suggestion that the recipient reply with a text saying, “That looks like a child’s penis. I’m reporting this.”

A few years back, when my 16-year-old daughter was around 12 or 13, the topic of boys sending pictures of their dicks came up in the car. I don’t recall precisely how the subject was broached, but there’s a fair-to-middling chance that I’d randomly tossed the topic out there for no apparent reason and with nothing that could be interpreted as an antecedent. Anyone who has known me for any length of time probably isn’t terribly surprised by that.

Perhaps to the chagrin of my adolescent daughter–and also my girlfriend, who was in the car with us–I began spouting off things I considered appropriate responses, if (and more likely when) she received her first unsolicited dick pic. It’s an unpleasant thought, knowing that the odds are high that my daughter(s) are subject to that sort of tacky, uncouth, and disgusting behavior from boys or even adult men (since we clearly seem to be incapable of growing up beyond a certain point in many cases)…but I sincerely believe it’s a conversation a parent probably needs to be having with their children.

These suggested responses are mostly geared toward young girls who receive unsolicited dick pics, but some of them are certainly appropriate for adult women as well (including transwomen, as a dear friend of mine has seen a massive uptick in men sliding into her DMs since she began transitioning). I felt it was my responsibility to share these suggestions with any other parents who might end up reading this blog.

Here’s a short list:

“My dad says you might want to have that checked out by a doctor.” — This one is lovely, in part because it implies the recipient shared the offending picture with her father and that the father felt like there was something wrong with the penis in question. It’s both emasculating and potentially paranoia-inducing.

“Why did you just send me a picture of an overcooked hot dog.” — Because it’s just objectively funny.

“I just showed that picture to my mom, and now she won’t stop laughing. I don’t know what’s so funny.” — This one is predicated on the assumption that the individual sending the pictures is perhaps suffering from a bit of fragile masculinity. The thought of being laughed at by an adult female, and the mother of the recipient, should be suitably discouraging.

“That is way smaller than mine.” — I suspect there’s a bit of latent homophobia lurking not far from the surface inside of anyone who’s inclined to send unsolicited dick pics. It’s an assumption, but I’m willing to stand by that assumption.

“Hey! I know this penis! I saw this one on that gay porn site.” — Again, assuming a certain amount of homophobia that accompanies that sort of toxic masculinity.

“My dad took my phone after I showed him the picture, and he just finally gave it back. He’s all flushed and sweaty and he changed clothes.” — This one plays on both the emasculation of the recipient’s father seeing the image and also on the suspected latent homophobia.

“That sort of looks like a penis, just really tiny. Is it a scale model?” — There is no harm in body shaming someone who’s sending you unsolicited dick pics. Die mad about it!

“Hey! That reminds me of giving my baby brother a bath.” — Again, there’s no harm in body shaming the penis of someone with that sort of toxic masculinity.

“Did you just send me a picture of your dog’s penis?” — Red Rocket! Red Rocket! Oh, come on…that’s just funny.

I think it’s important to force some humor and amusement into these sorts of situations, by whatever means necessary. Riff off of these suggestions, or find your own. Whether you’re a pre-teen or middle-aged, there’s a greater than 0 chance you’ve received an unsolicited dick pic…you may as well have some fun with it. Save screen caps and laugh about it with your friends (or even your family, if they’re not too uncomfortable with the subject).


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