In an average week, Madeleine Holden receives upwards of 100-200 dick pics.
Which is fantastic, because Maddie is the creator of Critique My Dick Pic, a popular website where she instructs “senders” of all genders how to take thoughtful and artistic erotic photographs! A lawyer by trade, Maddie has a flair for writing and art criticism that makes Critique My Dick Pic entertaining, arousing, and occasionally even heartwarming. Her critiques are gentle and constructive. She assigns letter grades for submissions, and encourages senders to keep upping their game:
Maddie was kind enough to grant me some insight into her mission, and I was blown away by her thoughtful responses to my questions! Read on to learn more about Critique My Dick Pic, what a “log” is, and how to take the best possible dick pic.
Warning: Very NSFW photos ahead.
1. Describe the moment when you decided, “I want strangers to send me their penises.”
It didn’t pan out exactly like that! One morning in September 2013, I woke up to a very good dick pic. It was sent to me by someone I was seeing at the time, so, unlike most dick pics, it was welcome. It was also creative and high-quality. It struck me that it shouldn’t be as unusual as it was to receive a dick pic that wasn’t unsolicited and horrible, and I decided that the world needed a public service to explain to men (and other people who take dick pics) how to take an excellent shot and to impart some dick pic sharing etiquette.
2. Have you ever received an unsolicited dick pic? What do you think of unsolicited dick pics?
Roughly 95% of the dick pics I received before I started Critique My Dick Pic were unsolicited. This is one of the problems with dick pic sharing that I was most keen to remedy: the idea that it’s remotely appropriate to thrust a picture of your dick at someone who hasn’t consented to seeing it. I speak often about the importance of respecting the recipient of your picture and obtaining consent in all spheres of sexual activity, including within the world of nude photo sharing.
3. Would you consider yourself “sex positive” and what does that mean to you?
I certainly consider myself sex positive, but more than that, I consider myself a person who strives to remedy unfairness. I look around and see things like size shaming, body negativity, the neglect of the female gaze and the sidelining of women’s consent, and I think, “this is BULLSHIT.” In its own way, Critique My Dick Pic is a rebellion against each of those things. I refuse to shame senders for their bodies and penis size. I take a deliberately inclusive and positive approach to my reviewing, and explicitly solicit submissions from underrepresented groups such people of colour and trans people. I have created a space where women’s agency and desire matters. That, to me, is what sex positivity needs to be built upon.
4. Can you explain what a “log” is?
A log is a bird’s-eye-view shot of your dick, with your dick taking up the entire frame and with little to no surrounding detail. It’s a bottom-of-the-barrel dick pic, and the most common type. The starting point for most men when they take a dick pic is to try to exaggerate the size of their penises, and The Log is the unfortunate outcome of this obsession with size. I’m constantly trying to get senders to compose more interesting and thoughtful shots and “logs” always receive poor grades.
5. Has the overall quality of dick pics you receive increased, in your opinion?
I think men are starting to think more carefully about their pictures. I still receive a dispiriting number of logs, but I do receive repeat submissions from people who have seen the light and realized that their earlier efforts were sub-par, and overall I have noticed an increase in quality.
6. What do you hope your “senders” will take away from having their dicks critiqued?
I hope they will put more consideration into the person at the receiving end of their picture. As the vast majority of dick pic senders are men, I want them to realise that they can be sexual, too; that women enjoy doing the gazing and not just being gazed at. I want them to broaden their ideas of what is erotic, and to help them move beyond the limited idea that the only kinds of dicks that women want to see are huge, aggressive and in-your-face.
7. What is your favorite submission you’ve ever received?
This one still stands out in my mind:
8. What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a share-worthy sexy photo?
Zoom out and include some non-dick body parts. Consider the setting, and make sure the background is free of clutter and mess. Make sure you’re sending your dick pic to someone who wants to see it. Go beyond simply trying to maximize the size of your penis. Be subtle and enticing. Pay attention to the lighting and framing, and strike an interesting, natural-looking pose. Act in good faith and don’t be scared to be vulnerable, and, for the love of God, don’t include inanimate objects (bottles, lighters) for scale in your picture!
Thank you, Maddie, for sharing your thoughts with us, and thanks for making the world a better place to send and receive dick pics! Be sure to visit Critique My Dick Pic for more stunning photographs and thoughtful critiques!
Published April 10, 2016
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