As most every woman who as ever ventured onto a dating site can tell you, there are many people out there who seem to have replaced traditional human greetings ("Hi!"; "Good afternoon."; "A/S/L???") with genital-related demands.
Being a woman looking for love (or even just a non-creepy casual sex partner) is hard in an Internet full of creeps. This is something artist Anna Gensler realized quickly when she started using Tinder and received some friendly salutations, such as "Bet your tight," "Titties?" and "Your boobs are even nicer than my mom's." So she decided to give the creeps a taste of their own medicine: by drawing them naked with really small flaccid penises and then sending them links to the artwork. As one does.
"I thought, 'What is something I can do to make me feel the way that they're making me feel?'" she told Amanda Hess at Slate. "Obviously, I couldn't just send them back a sexy message, because they would love that... So I just started doodling how I would imagine them naked … except sad-naked. It was the most immature thing I could think of, because their pickup lines are the most juvenile, basic things, but also still oddly offensive."
Before some wounded dude comes along and insists that OKC-messaging a stranger "Wanna give me head?" counts as a "liberated approach to sexual etiquette," let me preemptively say that it's not. Yeah, some people use Tinder and OKCupid for anonymously hooking up, but that's far from generalizable to everyone. To a lot of women, comments of that sort aren't "direct propositions": rather, they're just an extension of the unwanted harassment they face on a daily basis. Simply put, women shouldn't have to constantly field aggressive sexual advances — and, online, it is both constant and aggressive.
Anyway, it turns out that this project is not only a good way to show creeps how it feels to have strangers making invasive comments about your body and/or sending unsolicited sexts — it's also a good creep-ward. Says Gensler, "I made an OkCupid account and I put a warning to guys on there: 'I'm going to draw you naked if you send me rude messages,' and linked back to the Instagram." (She says she gets messages from normal guys who think her project is funny and would like drawings of themselves, which "defeats the purpose.")
Here's a link to her Instagram, and these are some of my favorite drawings (she recently started including the follow-up conversations, which is a beautiful addition) (also, NFSW, duh):
Dating pro-tip: try to lead with a "Hey, what's up, I'm Kenny" before segueing into the rim job talk.
Lede image via Instagram.