What is it with men, mobile phone cameras and their penises? I remember being on a date with a man once, who during the date showed me a picture of his penis. Apropos of nothing he passed me the phone and showed me the goods…

Mind you, it wasn’t a bad one, I must admit. If it had been mine I’d have been especially proud. I wonder if he often showed it during random social encounters like a coffee morning or a hand of Bridge?

In the occasionally horrifying days of internet dating (prior to meeting my current partner) I’d often click on someone’s online profile, see a nice face looking back, only to find that the rest of the photos were grisly crotch shots. Worse still would be the profiles of the married men, the not out of the closet men or the shady and shy. They generally had no picture at all and would message you and start a conversation. I’m a little bit shallow, as we all are, and looks do count for something, so would generally ask for a photo only to receive a little dick pic in my inbox a few seconds later. Most of the pictures were like so much meat in a butcher’s shop.

I met Andy (the name has been changed to protect the not so innocent) through an online site and he seemed acceptable. He sent me pictures of his face which whilst not stunning were not bad enough to scare a toddler. He was a similar age, had a good but dull job and seemed fairly polite. We met for a drink and I quickly realised that his pictures were about 5 years and several stones earlier. It’s a strange thing to do. It’s not like someone isn’t going to notice when you meet them that you’ve suddenly gained a lot of years and weight.

He was polite enough. We chatted freely and whilst he was personable I found him a little bit mundane. He rattled on a lot about his love of a certain type of music that I hate, detailing his favourite songstresses and their incredible vocal ranges. He showed me pictures of his recent decorating projects which were Ikea generic and soulless. I’d already decided not to meet him again when he told me the thing that would have sent me running anyway. He was once part of a religious sect.

He’d been thrown out of the sect when he came out and although now ex-communicated; he still believed in their entire creed and longed to still be shouting his views out loud and clear. I’ve got nothing against people with strong religious views and try hard to respect them. I just don’t want to date them. I also don’t really want to befriend them or spend any length of time in their company: anything longer than a minute, maybe.

The date ended and we didn’t kiss. He wasn’t for me. I decided to do the polite thing and just not send a text message or email again. I got home and received three text messages from him. I reconsidered and out of decency, called him and said I thought he was very nice (he was acceptable, in reality) but not for me and didn’t want to meet again. He seemed to understand this and was fine.

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He messaged me five times the next day, three times the day after and six times the next. I decided the best policy was to ignore him. I’d been polite enough to state my case and surely he only needed telling once. I felt like my doorbell was being persistently rung. Finally, he tried a new tack.

What would you do if someone had declined a second date, didn’t want to message you and clearly had no interest? Yes. You guessed it. The next logical step is to send a picture of your genitals.

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My phone beeped and there it was in all its chubby pink glory. Nestling under a roll of stomach sat a small plump, very pink penis in a nest of straggly pubic hair. Needless to say, this object of delight did not set me racing to call him in spite of his bland personality and conflicting religious views. It merely made me gag. I ignored him. He went away. They usually do.

Chris Bridges is a regular writer for The Gay UK and also writes a blog containing reviews, views and observations at: http://www.gayboyinterrupted.blogspot.co.uk/

About the author: Chris Bridges
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He's usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.

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