Sherrie Hewson, a TV presenter in the UK, recently revealed that after signing up for an online dating website she received an unexpected and unsolicited full-frontal image of her correspondent’s genitals.It’s something many women have experienced online and, although Hewson tried to make light of it she was left feeling shocked, and quit the site.

Violent threats, hostile outbursts and being blackmailed into sending explicit images, are just some examples of the potential fall-out a woman might face – even for just ignoring or rebuffing a would-be suitor.

The unwanted dick pic appears on this spectrum of behaviour.

If you’re feeling brave (warning: graphic content), then take a look at Bye Felipe or visit Anna Gensler’s Instagram account for her artistic approach to dealing with the deluge of sexual suggestions and images she receives.

Indeed, unsolicited “dick pics” have become such a problem on online dating services that one site, Ok Cupid, actually removed the capability to send images.

Put simply, if an online suitor can send an image of a disembodied penis to someone they don’t have to face, they are much more likely to do so than, for example, exposing themselves in public with all the social and legal consequences that might bring.

But this doesn’t explain the underlying motivations to send such images on a dating site.

But to assume that these “misguided” attempts at seduction explain the rise and rise of such cyber-flashing tells only half the story.

Misogynistic harassment is a serious issue for online dating services.

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Quite clearly this person meant to frighten and intimidate her.