Does anyone remember Chatroulette, aka, the penis parade? Guys exposing their junk on the site got so prevalent that in 2010, the service added image-recognition software that filtered out shots of male genitalia.
Penis pictures are increasingly part of the national discourse. Witness recent scandals with celebrities and elected officials such as Anthony Weiner, aka Carlos Danger, being perhaps the most high profile one. The question is, why?
There are a lot of reasons.
Penises turn men on. A study of 100 million people’s online searching history found that heterosexual men search for “penises” almost as often as they searched for “vaginas”. Penises may serve as a sperm competition cue, a hardwired signal that sex has happened/will happen and the man must now rise to the challenge.
Men are turned on by specific parts of female anatomy – boobs, butts, and feet being the most popular search terms. Since men are turned on by pictures of certain wobbly bits, they think women will feel the same part about specifics part of a man. However, there isn’t much to choose from. The female body is highly sexualized and therefore almost any part of it can be photographed in a sexy way (hence the prevalence of duck face selfies). Men’s bodies are not nearly as sexualized. The only real part of a man’s body that is strongly associated with sex is the penis. So if a man wants to take a picture clearly signaling his sexual interest, it’s going to be of his penis.
And finally, men want to be judged, to be objectified and lusted after. So penis pictures are self satisfying. It turns men on to turn women on…even if that is in reality the exact opposite effect of the penis picture (even for porn stars). Though, to be fair, some women DO like penis pictures. Though they tend to only really like them if they like the guy attached to the penis and have an ongoing relationship with him. FYI.
When in doubt, default to science. Because this is a hilariously awesome way to justify penis pictures (Taken from a Glamour Poll):
“I think the only time I’ve ever actually taken a picture of my d*ck was from below it, so I could understand what my d*ck looks like from an bug’s point of view. Because I’m a scientist.”