Why Do Men Want Women To Look At Their Dicks?


I just don’t get cockshots. I don’t get snow penises, either. Or dickflashing, including the non-predatory kind. But are they just different points on a spectrum of men wanting to be looked at the way women always are?

I’ve had occasion to reconsider snow penises lately. There was this video posted to #tips, the caption for which reads, “i built a massive cock made of snow in my front garden then filmed my mums reaction to it ahahahah.” (As for the choice of target — take it away, Dr. Freud.)

Snow penises are actually a time-honored tradition. I was recently reminded that in my college days, one was built in the center of campus, with “life-like veins, a urethral bulge, and a sizeable scrotum” and promptly destroyed, which was in turn lamented by unnamed penis defenders at The Economist. The (female) destroyer of the snow penis came forward and declared, “No one should have to be subjected to an erect penis without his or her express permission or consent.” Even the frozen variety.

But what about why it was built in the first place, one of so many snow phalli? Maybe it was a collective act of dickflashing by the anonymous builders. Maybe they just want someone to look at it. Even when it’s not erect, like Kanye West’s wasn’t. Or when it’s somewhat indecisively semi-hard, and even more pertinently, the girl you’re sending it to has already told you she doesn’t want to see you or it, like Brett Favre’s.

Writing about the dudes at Dickflash last week (many of whom are engaging in actual sexual assault, if you take them at their words), I ambled over to the Female Flashers forum to see what was going on there. The girls walking around town with no panties were few and far between, though some did post photos. And where there were female flashers, there were dozens of guys asking not just for more photos, but whether there was some guy there, and did he happen to whip it out while he was at it? And did you like that? In other words, at a more extreme end of the dickflashing phenomenon, looking at a chick is still less titillating than thinking about a chick looking at a guy’s dick.

I don’t mean to blur the distinctions between consensual exhibitionism, harassment and assault, or fratboy pranks. But they all seem to be predicated on the same idea— that the penis can be a visual rather than an active or tactile object. And frankly, how many people just want to look at it? Far be it for me to judge or circumscribe sexual peccadillos, but I have yet to meet a woman, or man for that matter, titillated by the appearance of a man’s genitalia rather than what it can do or how it can feel.

This is not to confirm that canard about men being visually stimulated and women just liking to be held by a warm fire — or be looked at. Plenty of women, myself included, like looking at men’s bodies. Just not their cocks.

And while we’re used to women’s bodies being tradeable visual or commercial objects, how often does that mean just staring at disembodied vulvas, outside of Georgia O’Keeffe earth mother stuff and maybe some porn subsets? Maybe it’s because women have a greater selection of commonly sexualized parts to choose from — boobs, butt — but I just don’t see it as a mainstream force.

What does seem to be an increasingly mainstream force is a male desire to show their dicks, and relative social acceptability of acting on that desire. You can say that it doesn’t tend to “work” if you believe that there’s an end that these guys have in mind. But maybe the only end is being looked at, something that for better or worse, women already take for granted.


The Disturbing World Of Dickflash.com
Is This Kanye West’s Penis? And Why Does It Make Me Sad?
Is Jenn Sterger The Perfect Harassment Victim?
Why Shameless Objectification Can Be A Good Thing

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