Queer Dating: The Crotch Shot Conundrum


Before I dive into the dick pic debate, I feel compelled to express my gratitude to all of you who took the time to contribute to this article. Your perspectives were insightful and fascinating, and some were so funny they made me bray like a donkey. I wish I could’ve included them all.

I’ll go first

Because so many of you trusted me enough to share your thoughts and experiences about this delicate topic, I think it’s only fitting that I share some of mine too. As a gay man in his forties who has been mostly single, my life has at times felt like a blur of cock and balls. I promise I’m not bragging. It’s just become that common a practice in our community. It seems to me like everyone is doing it and like they have been doing it since Adam and Steve first swapped fig leaves, back in the Gay.

Given the right circumstances, person, time and place, I have engaged in this bartering system over the years, but although I sometimes find it flattering and it’s fascinating to see the many sizes shapes, curves and other unique characteristics there are to be found in the uncovered crotches of other men, it may satisfy my curiosity but it doesn’t particularly turn me on. Pics of meaty thighs and perky buttocks, on the other hand… That’s another article.

It’s Not for Everyone

The appetite for knobshots is a bit like avocado. It’s prolific but not to everyone’s taste.

“Dick pics are a bit like an exclamation mark without the pithy sentence that precedes it,” confided a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. Feeling pressurised to respond in kind when receiving peen pics, he says, “I have felt a little duty bound to reciprocate in one or two instances, but my heart just isn’t in it. And if my heart isn’t in it, neither is my dick. And who wants an apologetic semi-selfie as an answer to their call to action?”

Pulling the dick pic trigger too soon in an exchange may also be detrimental if you’re goal is real intimacy warns Wayno, The Somatic Sexologist & Coach. “In the world of dating apps, dick, ass, and action pics and videos are stealing the spotlight – especially as the opening acts of our digital conversations. Forget a simple hello or a face pic; we’ve skipped a few steps in the introduction manual.” He admits having been guilty of this himself in the past but advises that “defining boundaries and comfort levels should take centre stage in this juicy arena.

We’re all unique individuals with different appetites, comfort levels and attitudes towards sending or receiving sexy or nude content. Some people find it a turn-on, and for others, not so much – and that’s perfectly okay. If swapping steamy content doesn’t float your boat, here’s a simple rule: if it doesn’t feel good or comfortable, there is no pressure to go there.”

Joburg-based Clinical Psychologist, Emmanuel Davel seems to agree. “Moral of the story, before you share your head, use your head… Try and read the other person. Is the chat at such a point (no pun intended) that sharing a picture of your glorious member would be appropriate? If unsure, obtain consent and before sharing such content be mindful of others’ boundaries. Consent and communication are key in any interaction.” There are other risks you may want to weigh up before revealing your revolver online.

Trigger Warnings

There is a lot at stake if our nudes end up in the wrong hands. People set up fake profiles all the time to get people to send them pics under false pretences. If someone asks for a pic featuring your face and genitals in the same shot – beware! It may be a set-up to try and blackmail you. “Never place both your heads in the same picture,” warns my friend S.

Similarly, Cape Town-based Clinical Psychologist and Addiction Specialist, Bryan D. Hellman asks, “Can you trust the discretion of the person you are sending the picture to? Remember that even without a face attached, social media allows for easy access to linking things like [dating] profiles to social media platforms. Be very careful about your privacy. I’ve always recommended that it’s safest to request a person’s contact number on the app and then rather WhatsApp them the dick pick if you want to. That way you can verify the person through their profile pic.”

If the profile pic on WhatsApp is also blank or suspicious, Bryan warns that you may still be at risk of being catfished.

There’s an Art To It

Look, if you’re going to do something, you may as well do a good job – am I right? If you want your crotch shot to slay, there seems to be a right and a wrong way to do it.

Speaking candidly, Angelo C Louw: Activist and former editor of loveLife’s UNCUT says, “If you’re going to share any, make sure they’re fire pics. It’s important to make sure the pics you send out are photos that won’t embarrass you once they’re leaked. You wouldn’t choose your worst photo for your profile pic, right? It’s the same thing here.”

Do some prep. Is it clean and looking pretty? “Before taking that picture look at that head. If it looks thirsty then it probably is, so moisturize it. Having pet hair stuck to it is also a no from me.”, says E on Facebook. J agrees that moisturising is important adding, “Ashy dick gets one nowhere.” You may want to consider the backdrop and setting too. “I just judge the backgrounds”, explains A, also in the comments of my Facebook post.

“How siff the grouting is. Cheap soaps and shampoos, if any, cracked tiles, dirty light switches, head marks on headboards, no headboards, dirty linen, the amount of crap people have in their rooms, open cupboards, keep me entertained for hours, to-do lists on whiteboard markers on their bedroom work office etc.”

Back to the subject matter, “Is the dick pic sexy and appealing?” asks Bryan Hellman. He believes that a semi-hard dick is typically the most attractive. “This shows thickness and size potential and leaves something to the imagination. It’s provocative instead of blatant pornography.” Echoing this, G wrote to me in Messenger, “I like discovering things in real life and leaving things to the imagination.” I’m getting schooled by this advice, I would just add that you should find your flair and let your creativity run wild. Some glitter perhaps? Maybe not.

In a comment on Facebook, P warns that you can go too far (like with the glitter perhaps?). “Some judicious pruning must also be considered,” he says. “One likes one’s topiaries to be tended to…. But not so much that it looks like TOO much effort went into it: that’s always off-putting if it looks hermetically sealed, or coiffed, or plucked like an expectant turkey.” To each his own.

It’s Your Decision

Before just pressing send, you may also want to approach this whole rod-wrangling ritual from a more philosophical perspective, according to Counselling Psychologist, Stephen Laverack, who is also Joburg-based. “I question why the need to share dick pics…what are we communicating by doing so?”, he asks. “I reflect on the pressure as gay men to conform to the culture of sharing dick pics and whether we actually want to, what it means if we do and if we do not. Does it raise our fears of rejection and abandonment if we don’t conform to this?

My mind also goes to the deep psychoanalytic understanding of sharing penises. Something about power, dominance and authority, sexual prowess, and fears around not being big enough, good enough and being ‘castrated’, is very Freudian.

My advice would be, don’t do it if you don’t want to. And make sure your picture is safe, and won’t be shared (although, it probably will). And perhaps reflect on what it means to you and what are you trying to communicate.”

It seems to me that the act of sending close-ups of our jockstrap candy should be something we do after we’ve given it some consideration. We should go into it with both eyes open before we share images of our one-eyed monsters. It’s your one-eyed monster, so you get to choose. Choose wisely.

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