How one woman responded to an unwanted penis photo

By BBC Trending
What's popular and why


A woman who received an unsolicited picture of a penis from a man she didn't know responded by giving him a dose of his own medicine.

It's a familiar tale for many young women in the digital age. You sign up for internet dating hoping to find a suitable bachelor and, before you know it, you've received a picture of a penis.

In this case, Samantha Mawdsley had done nothing more than post a review of a restaurant in Manchester. Before long, she had a notification from a man - calling himself James - whom she had never met. He had sent her a picture of his genitalia.

In a blog post, she writes: "I've read about these mystical happenings but since I've been in a loving, pre-Tinder, three-year relationship, I never thought I'd witness the horror first hand. My initial thought was to ignore it, as we females are taught from such a young age. But... Nah! I decided to mess with him and call him out on all his ridiculous behaviours and double standards."

Samantha's response was to give him a dose of his own medicine.

She replied to him with a series of photos of penises. Then she uploaded screen grabs of the exchange to Facebook, embellishing the inappropriate area with colourful and mocking cartoon-like stickers. One of these showed an image of a penis covered by a clenched like fist with the words "mine is bigger".

Unsurprisingly he didn't welcome the images and and one point messaged her, "I just want to puke! Please stop!".

His final message requested that they keep the conversation between themselves, something which Samantha says encouraged her to call him out.

"I wanted guys to know that not every girl is going to be silent; you do run the risk of being exposed; that you can't do this."

The post has already been shared thousands of times on Facebook, despite only being uploaded on Sunday, and being removed intermittently since. The media analysis executive told BBC Trending that she is "overwhelmed" after being "inundated with messages".

"I feel like Beyoncé. I've had messages from all over the world, including Germany, Netherlands and even Aruba. People have been saying 'You're my inspiration' and 'You've won the internet'. I've also had guys also saying sorry on behalf of men. I'm so shocked.

Image source, Facebook

"I've never received such a picture outside the context of internet dating, where that kind of thing goes with the territory. It's so prolific and this guy came out of nowhere."

Samantha is not the first to receive so-called "dick pics". This year alone has seen a number of women speak out about the issue. Model Emily Sears revealed she has been alerting girlfriends of the men who send her such images. Blogger and model Stina Sanders flagged up the problem by sharing a naked selfie sent to her by a troll.

It also revived an old memory from her teenage years. "I had an experience when I was 15 where a guy sat next to me in a library and started masturbating. Although I was quiet at the time, it made me want to point and scream."

What impact does Samantha hope her actions will have? "I really think guys are going to think twice. I'd rather that they learnt the lesson it's unacceptable but I'd be happy if it just peters out and doesn't happen any more. It's sexual harassment and shouldn't be allowed."

Image source, Samantha Mawdsley
Image caption,
Samantha with her long-term boyfriend Aneil

Another man has already sent Samantha an inappropriate image since her post gained traction. "I didn't even dignify that with an answer - I'm not playing that game." As for the man on the receiving end of the unexpected publicity, the 30-year-old says she "almost feels bad for him".

"Of all the guys that sent them, he's just the unluckiest one. I know there's a person behind all this, that he's the poster boy for them, but for the greater good and for people everywhere, something just has to change. He can be a martyr for the cause.

"If he tried to contact me, I would be scared but I don't feel like I've done anything wrong, I've just pointed and screamed."

Blog by Harry Low

Next story

Image source, Twitter

You can follow BBC Trending on Twitter @BBCtrending, and find us on Facebook. All our stories are at