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  • 03.26.14

Guys, Have You Taken A #CockInASock Selfie Yet? (Maybe NSFW?)

Bordering on NSFW, but for a good cause.

Finally, there’s a socially acceptable reason for men to take pictures of their penises and post them to the Internet: The latest trend on Instagram and Twitter is #cockinasock, and it’s intended to raise awareness for testicular cancer. As the name implies, guys hang a sock from their nether regions, post the pic online, and add the hashtag in hopes that someone will be inspired to go to the doctor for a checkup.

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The campaign was inspired by a similar project that has already raised millions of dollars for the British nonprofit Cancer Research UK by asking women to post photos with no makeup.

“#Nomakeupselfie has raised awareness for breast cancer, and this is just an idea to generate a little bit of hype for the guys,” says Siobhan Watton, who is working on the campaign with her cousin James Brown. “Our granddad is suffering from prostate and testicular cancer now. We want to raise awareness since male cancers don’t get talked about as much as women’s.” The family is trying to get more donations for Cancer Research UK and help educate men about risks; in men under 40, testicular cancer is the most common form of the disease.


Will it work? It’s possible, though it’s hard to tell how many people will actually be paying attention to the message. And the almost-NSFW subject matter has posed certain challenges. “Facebook has been a nightmare,” says Watton. “They keep removing our pictures and closing our pages. But now that they’ve seen how massive it’s gotten, more of the pictures are staying up.”

About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.

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