Why Penis Pictures Aren’t Pretty

Sexting (dirty talk from the safety of our cell phone) can really reach out and touch someone.While women and men both seem to enjoy typing a little naughty back-and-forth filled with sexual fantasy, things seem to get too real for us gals when a guy flashes a camera where the sun don’t shine, and then texts the photo on over.Whether you’re a New York City mayoral candidate like Anthony Weiner, a star athlete like Brett Favre, or a just some dude with a smartphone, the reaction to private parts going public has made it clear—women don’t find penis photos sexy, no matter how jaw-droppingly impressive the man or member in question might be.

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It’s proven by science: While guys seem to be able to ogle pictures of lady-bits all day long, we women require more to put us in the mood. In the famous sexuality study known as “The Bonobo Study,” both heterosexual and homosexual women and men were shown various forms of nude videos, from non-sexual exercises done in the buff to same-sex intercourse to even, you guessed it, Bonobo chimpanzees mating. And surprisingly enough, whether it was our hairy cousins or humans, the study concluded that, “Women respond primarily to the sexual activities performed by actors, whereas men respond primarily to the gender of the actors.”So, although we’ve learned why a trip to Monkey Jungle makes for a great date, we have to wonder: Why is there such a disconnect in what turns the sexes on?

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Men seem to think it is a question of aesthetics. Jason*, 30, jokes that his private part “looks like a half eaten creamsicle that fell in the sand.” As hilarious as that self-deprecating admission is, no matter how attractive or ugly a guy thinks his penis is, looks do not actually appear to be at the root of why private part pics don’t do the trick for women.For Julia*, 34, showing off the family jewels makes her question the integrity of the man it is attached to. “My early experiences with seeing penises were either nudist hippies or worrying about creepy pedophile flashers in the park. So, when faced with a disembodied peen [in a cell phone photo], my first instinct is not to think it’s some bed-ready stud.”

And that line of reasoning, as Dr. J. Michael Bailey from the Department Of Psychology at Northwestern University believes, all boils down to what ladies are looking for in a mate. “Women do not appear to have evolved to be easily aroused by naked men or their penises, or simply by the sexual interest of random men. [Evolutionarily speaking] that would lead to unwise sexual decisions and bad consequences such as getting pregnant by a man without any intention of investing,” he argues.While we all agree that modern women aren’t having sex just to get a baby out of it, still, from an evolutionary standpoint, females are looking for more than just a nice package in his pants, we’re looking for a package deal.

How a man presents himself is key and as the ZZ Top can tell you: “Every girl’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man.” Sexpert Mary Jo Rapini, LPC, MEd, is quick to point out in her article “Women Need Time To Get Their Sexy On” that, “Women need different stimuli to turn them on than men. We don’t get excited when we see a naked man. In fact, most women prefer a man with shorts on to a man in the buff. If he puts a suit on and parades around the house, even better.”With us ladies, it seems the more left up to the imagination, the better.

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We asked a panel of women to dish what “porn” has turned them on and we found a common theme: men in sensitive, domestic settings are simply irresistible. Bianca*, 31, shared, “My fiancé sometimes texts me pictures of him holding cute animals, because he knows that’s how to really kill me.” Christina*, 28, divulged, “the hottest photo my boyfriend has ever sent me was of him reading a book I had leant him on the sofa, shirtless.”  Or as Sara*, a 42-year-old mother responded, “The sexiest photo would be a pile of folded laundry.” Swoon!Of course that doesn’t mean that a good ol’ fashioned porno won’t get the ladies going. It’s just that, well, most gals find the typical mega-thrusty, zoomed-in-on-body-parts (read: created for men) porn to be the opposite of sexy. The research shows that women respond (and respond they do!) to female-oriented porn that is story-focused and uses camera shots that are zoomed out to show the couple’s full bodies.

So, gentlemen, the lesson here seems to be whether you want to make DIY porn for your special lady or not, you have to keep it in your pants until someone else is there to unbutton them for you. You get extra brownie points if you can snag an adorable kitten, rock a well-tailored pair of pants, enjoy fine literature or do some chores to put your main squeeze in the mood for love.*names have been changed

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