“A picture is worth a thousand words” is a popular idiom that refers to the notion that still images or visuals can convey complex ideas better than a description of said images. This idiom has been used in reference the importance of photographers, why many prefer Instagram over Twitter and, probably, why men send me dick pics instead of detailing how they’d like to fuck me through text. Yet, despite this sentiment being a staple throughout history, men still refuse to understand that I need to see a picture of their face before I flirt with them in digital spheres.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, perhaps you’re not a womxn on the internet. On Twitter, Tinder, Facebook, FetLife, basically any dating or social media site, men think that it’s completely okay to have no photos of their faces and attempt to flirt with public people. I get inundated with guys on various platforms attempting to “shoot their shot” who have absolutely no chance because they’re not publically showing themselves. While of course, everyone has the right to be anonymous, anonymity isn’t something that people want to interact within a flirtatious context. Here’s why.
Seems pretty obvious, hey? I, like many people, like flirting with people I’m attracted too! There’s no world where I’m going to flirt with someone I can’t tell what they look like. That would be like a person with a bag over their head approaching me at the bar. It’s not a vain thing either, as some people (men) would argue. I’m allowed to want to be attracted to someone who’s flirting with me. Plus selfies and pictures of yourself work as windows into your life and can tell other people what kind of person you are, what lifestyle you live and how you present yourself. Being anonymous online tells people that you’re not open to show the world you, and while that has its benefits in stigmatized communities (hiding your kink identity from your employer), it’s not going to get you any dates.
If anonymity is the utmost importance to you and you’re trying to flirt with people, always offer up an option to see your face elsewhere (example a link to a photo).
Additional tip: a picture with blurred out eyes or faces still isn’t okay when trying to flirt with people. Check out my tips on Tinder profile creation to see what kind of pics you should use.
In relation to my first point of attraction, there are men who try to use the “DM me and I’ll send you a picture” or “let’s text and I’ll send you some photos”. Not only is this asking for the labour of the pursued person to go through extra steps to see something they could easily see on other people’s profiles, they now have to go to a non-public conversation with the person in order to see it. The main safety issue here is that womxn have historically a lot of issues rejecting people (mainly due to men’s reactions to rejection). If I’m not attracted to you and I find this out via the selfie you send me, it now puts the effort on me to directly reject you. This approach is intimidating and doesn’t make us feel safe, even when happening online. It’s much easier to have your picture publically available so people can choose to engage instead of being forced to reject you in the DMs.
No one has the time to go through various private selfies to discover if they’re attracted to someone or not. Glancing at a profile with face picture is all the time I want to put into finding out if I’m into someone.
How do you feel when people try to flirt with you without a photo? Have you ever tried to flirt while being anonymous?
Addendum: This post does not apply to sex workers who blur their faces in order to protect themselves. That is apart of their career and safety needs. They have every right to do so.