Internet | June 14, 2021 10:59 am

People Are Turning Dick Pics Into NFTs. Should You?

Dick pics, solicited and otherwise, are being minted as NFTs. Here's what you should know before cashing in on the trend.

Eggplant emoji on blue background
Your dick pic could be an NFT, or maybe it already is one.
Sergey Shulgin

We’re all familiar with NFTs by now, even if we had to have them explained to us like we were 12 years old. If there’s one thing we’ve learned since the trend took over, it’s that pretty much anything can be an NFT, from conventionally styled digital art pieces to toilet paper and, it turns out, maybe even your dick.

Yes, folks are cashing in on digital pictures of their junk — or at least considering it. In fact, noted dick pic sender Anthony Weiner recently announced his own tentative plans to turn an infamous 2011 photo of his member into an NFT. But before you rush to snap that dick pic and upload it to the cockchain for profit, you might want to slow down and be mindful of a few things — like, for example, that someone else may have already turned your unsolicited dick pics into an NFT.

Back in March, Zoe Scaman, founder of Bodacious, a strategy studio, tweeted about doing precisely that. “I’ve figured out a way to stop the Twitter DM bad behavior,” she wrote. “From now on, if you send me an unsolicited dick pic or a shitty message, I’m going to turn it into an NFT, etching it onto the blockchain with your name attached as the artist. You want it gone? You’ll have to pay me.”

Inspired by the popularity of her tweet, Scaman launched a website shortly thereafter. The result, NFT the DP, includes a cheeky primer and basic how-to guide on making an NFT with a phallic twist. “If you feel the urge to send a no-context jpeg of your junk, we’ll give it the audience you clearly think it deserves, by pinning its wrinkly ball sack to the blockchain. Yes that’s right, we’ll mint it as an NFT, for the WHOLE WORLD to see,” reads the copy on Scaman’s no-frills site, followed by a step-by-step guide instructing readers how to mint their very own dick pic NFT and “bombard the blockchain with phallic portraiture.”

While the idea of releasing an intimate image of someone else’s privates — however unsolicited — for public consumption may reek of revenge porn, Scaman insists that was never her intention, claiming neither her tweet nor the site it spawned seeks to fuel that kind of behavior. Her site does not actually provide a space for folks to submit rogue dick pics, nor, she claims, are her directions meant to be taken literally. 

“I just have to keep stressing, it’s not a literal instruction,” says Scaman, explaining that the site is meant more as an ironic commentary on an “unequal power dynamic” that often emerges between men and women on their respective ends of an unsolicited nude photo, and what it might look like if that dynamic were reversed.

“It’s funny,” Scaman says of her site. ‘It’s a commentary, you know. That’s the purpose of it. I just want to stress that.”

But while Scaman’s approach is tongue-in-cheek, sending sexually explicit images without consent is no joke, and beneath its satirical facade, NFT the DP is rooted in a recognition of that gravity, informed by firsthand experience.
Scaman tells InsideHook that she has been subjected to phallic imagery without her consent repeatedly. “It’s actually really — it’s just a really horrible feeling [getting these images]. It’s just that feeling of [being] defeated, powerless,” she says, adding that other women she knows have shared similar experiences, particularly those who have large online followings. “One woman that I’ve worked with before actually had a guy print out a photo of her and then send a photo of him ejaculating on it. A stranger — a complete stranger.”

While NFT the DP may be more ironic commentary than actual dick pic NFT endorsement, there are artists out there who, when consent is in place, fully support the idea of making NFTs with your genitals.

Jen Stein is a Los Angeles-based artist who, after learning about NFTs on Clubhouse, pivoted her handcrafted physical dildos to digital art, selling many of what she’s dubbed “e-cocks” on the blockchain. “I’ve sold, like, over 100 NFTs.” she tells InsideHook.

Stein’s phallic NFT game is fully consent-based, something she emphasizes is integral to her work and this newfound digital art movement. Stein feels the lack of respect for consent that Scaman’s work seeks to highlight is a problem rooted in a lack of educational programs and social literacy dedicated to consent culture. Indeed, as of 2018, only eight US states require sex education to include lessons about consent.

When consent is in play, however, Stein is proof that converting genitalia to NFTs can be both profitable and ethical, though there’s more to it than just minting a photo of your junk. “I think if I were just selling a picture of a dick — like, a photograph of it — I don’t think people would buy that,” says Stein.

If you are interested in making erotic art of your own online, there’s absolutely a market for it. That said, in addition to being mindful of consent, folks looking to get in on the dick pic NFT gold rush should be wary of the ever-present risks of creating sexual content online, where rigid, sex-negative restrictions leave creators of all kinds at risk of having their work literally scrubbed from the internet, and being banned from platforms themselves. Stein warns that she had her Instagram account deactivated last year after the platform changed its terms of service, erasing her entire body of work. 

Before you whip it out and start snapping photos, it may be worth reflecting on the people who may have been subjected to such imagery non-consensually — looking at you, Weiner — as well as the many (often female) creators in the erotic art space who have had their work censored and even destroyed.

Again, Stein stresses that she’s not just selling dick pics. “I have a brand,” she says. “I have a reason for being here. I’ve been super engaged in the [erotic art] community, and my message is bigger than just my art or me.” 

If you want to turn your penis into an NFT, that’s your call. But remember, consent, intent and awareness are key any time you’re navigating new space with your junk. Dick pic NFTs may seem like a lighthearted stunt, but the digital erotic art movement is bigger than you — and your dick.