Did you know, that sending an unsolicited dickpic is a criminal offense?

Has this ever happened to you? You open a dating app, a Whatsapp chat or your Insta-DMs and suddenly you are confronted with a dick pic against your will?

Did you know that this is not only unpleasant, but also punishable?

Dickpics are unwanted, explicit pictures of penises that are usually sent via social media, chats or dating apps and often without the consent of the recipient. It is mostly FINTA* and queer people who are sexually harassed with unwanted dick pics. The unwanted pictures can be stressful for those affected, and they are also stressful and unpleasant.

But watch out: In Germany, anyone who sends unsolicited dick pics can even be prosecuted for disseminating pornographic content. Dickpics are punishable if they are published against the will of the person concerned or if minors are involved. The stalking law may also apply if unwanted sexual messages are sent repeatedly and against the will of the person concerned. Furthermore, dick pics are closely related to sexualised violence. They are often an expression of power and control and disregard the personal boundaries and the right to sexual self-determination of those affected.

The study „I’ll Show You Mine so You’ll Show Me Yours: Motivations and Personality Variables in Photographic Exhibitionism“ (Oswald, F. et al., 2020) investigated why fat pics are sent in the first place. Researchers found out that senders of fat picks often hope to receive a nude picture in return. They also found that people who send unsolicited dick pics are more likely to be self-centred and advocate more hostile sexism than people who do not send dick pics without consent.

Dickpics are also sent at universities in Germany. On campus, they can have particularly bad consequences for the person affected, as the perpetrators often move in the same social environment. Psychologically, the whole thing can be very stressful; problems range from fear and shame to long-term trauma. So it is important to educate about the legal consequences and support victims so that we can create a safe and respectful environment. 

Your voice and actions can make a huge difference by speaking out against sexism and sexualised violence. And we at the University also want to do our part to ensure that a culture of consensus and respect prevails on our campus.

Your voice and actions can make a huge difference by speaking out against sexism and sexualised violence. And we at the University also want to do our part to ensure that a culture of consensus and respect prevails on our campus.

With the awareness campaign OUR CAMPUS – Against Sexism at the RUB!, the RUB and AKAFÖ are committed to educating and raising awareness among students and employees about sexism in the university context. Check out our other posts or follow us on Instagram at @antidiskriminierungsstelle_rub.

What can you do if you receive an unwanted Dickpic?

  1. take a screenshot of the dick pic and save it.
  2. block the person who sent you the dick pic.
  3. Report the sender if the photo was sent to you via social media.
  4. involve someone you trust so that you are not alone in the situation.
  5. use Hate Aid’s Dickstinction tool (https://dickstinction.com/faq.html ) to quickly and easily file a criminal complaint that will compel the investigating authorities to prosecute.
  6. report a criminal complaint.

Counselling and support services for digital violence:

„Sexual Abuse Help Line“ – Call – even in case of doubt!

Telephone number: 0800 22 55 530

Telephone hours:

Mon, Wed, Fri: 9.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.

Tue, Thu: 3.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

The help line provides anonymous, free advice in several languages. Not open on national holidays and on 24 and 31 December. You can also get counselling online.


Hate-Aid offers counselling and legal support in cases of digital violence

Telephone number: 030 / 252 088 38 

Office hours: Mon 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Tues 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Thurs 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Contact possible via registration form or contact form.

Help hotline „Violence against women

Telephone number: 08000 116 016 or 116 016

Available around the clock, free of charge and anonymous. You can also get advice via chat or e-mail. There is also the possibility to get counselling in sign language or in easy language.

You can find tips on the topic of „safer sexting“ at ZEBRA, an advisory platform on all digital topics. ZEBRA is a completely free service supported by the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia (Landesanstalt für Medien NRW).

Sources and further reading:

Alexandra S. Marcotte, Amanda N. Gesselman, Helen E. Fisher & Justin R. Garcia (2021) Women’s and Men’s Reactions to Receiving Unsolicited Genital Images from Men, The Journal of Sex Research, 58:4, 512-521.

Amelia E. Evans, Joseph M. Currin, Sheila Garos, Alyssa Stokes, Kassidy Cox & Cody L. Meyer (2022) ‘Wasn’t This Already Considered Sexual Harassment?’: Exploring the Confusion Around the Law Mandating Consent to Receive a Nude Sext Message, American Journal of Sexuality Education, 17:3, 343-367.

Chris Köver (2020), Dickpics: Anzeige in fünf Minuten: https://netzpolitik.org/2020/dickpics-anzeige-in-fuenf-minuten/, zuletzt aufgerufen am 02.10.2023.

Flora Oswald, Alex Lopes, Kaylee Skoda, Cassandra L. Hesse & Cory L. Pedersen (2020) I’ll Show You Mine so You’ll Show Me Yours: Motivations and Personality Variables in Photographic Exhibitionism, The Journal of Sex Research, 57:5, 597-609.

HateAid (2016), Dickpics sind strafbar – wehr dich dagegen!: https://hateaid.org/dickpics-sind-strafbar-wehr-dich-dagegen/, zuletzt aufgerufen am 02.10.2023.

Lea Römer (2023), „Wehr Dich gegen Dickpics!“:https://www.juuuport.de/magazin/news/aktuelle-meldungen/newsdetail/wehr-dich-gegen-dickpics, zuletzt aufgerufen am 02.10.2023.

Matthew Smith (2018), Four in ten female millennials have been sent an unsolicited penis photo: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2018/02/16/four-ten-female-millennials-been-sent-dick-pic, zuletzt aufgerufen am 02.10.2023.

pbe/dpa (2020), Instagram, Facebook und Co. Mädchen fordern Hilfe gegen Belästigung im Netz: https://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/instagram-facebook-and-co-maedchen-fordern-hilfe-gegen-belaestigung-im-netz-a-df00d7cc-8970-475a-8120-9e021fc00654, zuletzt aufgerufen am 02.10.2023.

Samira El Ouassil (2020), Penisbild-Verschicker, Diese Geschichte wird immer größer: https://www.spiegel.de/kultur/dick-pics-warum-verschicken-maenner-penisbilder-a-32f16306-ef91-489a-96a7-142364cef77f, zuletzt aufgerufen am 02.10.2023.