We take technology so much for granted that we seem to have forgotten what life was like before we got so connected. It’s so much easier to fall in love, cheat, get married, and break up today. A simple text can do the job. A change of status on Facebook can let the person – and the entire world – know they have been dumped. The case is quite similar when it comes to sending nudes to your partner.
Yet, what happens to your digital life once you have moved on? Given that once something is shared on the internet it stays there forever and takes a life of its own, there’s no moving on from what has transpired between you and another person in the virtual realm. It’s a far cry from the simpler times when you could put a broken love affair to rest by shredding the love letters sent by your special one while sobbing and having a drink. Today, even if a relationship or what transpires between two people while they are in a relationship may be hush-hush, the shame can be very public and cruel.
Risks Involved In Sharing Nudes
What are nudes? You’ve probably heard of the term before or read about it somewhere. For the uninitiated, a nude is “a picture or statue of a person who is not wearing any clothes. A nude is also a person in a picture who is not wearing any clothes”, according to the Collins English Dictionary. In short, nudes are naked pictures of people.
Now comes the question of the risks involved if you want to share nude photos. Is sending nudes bad? Is it normal to send pictures to your boyfriend or girlfriend or partner? Is it ok to send nudes? Well, it’s a huge risk, to be honest. For instance, you have to account for what you’d do if your nudes get leaked. No matter how much you know and trust the person, this whole idea to exchange nudes is a dangerous business. Here’s why:
1. You could get into legal trouble
If you’re wondering “Should I send my boyfriend dirty pictures?” or “Should I send my girlfriend nudes?”, think again because there could be legal ramifications. Getting into trouble with the law is one of the major risks involved when it comes to sharing nudes, especially if you are underage. Receiving and sending nudes can be a criminal act in certain situations. For instance, it is illegal to store or send nudes of a minor. You can’t share nude photos of yourself if you’re underage. It is considered child pornography and is a crime punishable by law.
Related Reading: Sending Nudes? Our Cyber Safety Experts Say You Shouldn’t
2. Your photos could be shared with others and used to harass you
Asking yourself, “Should I send nudes”? Before you do, know that another major risk in sharing nude photos is that they could be shared with others or leaked if the person turns out to be a liar or sexual predator. These nudes can then be used to harass or blackmail you. Cyberbullying is real. You could also fall prey to sextortion – blackmailing someone using sexual content to extort money. If you break up with your partner, how confident are you that they won’t use the nude photos to get back at you?
3. Risk to your reputation
Is sending nudes bad? Yes. Is it okay to send nudes? No. Besides privacy and safety concerns, the risk to your reputation is probably the biggest when it comes to sharing nudes. If the photos or videos are leaked, the damage could be long-lasting leading to public shaming, embarrassment, loss of work opportunities and friends, loss of respect within family, and online shaming and ridicule.
If you are married and cheating, just think about what your sister-in-law or your neighbor will say when they gets an anonymous email or forward showing you cozying up to your lover? If you are single, in a respectable job, and everyone from the peon to the CEO has seen ‘that’ WhatsApp?
Sure you can complain to the cyber cell and all of that but life will never be the same again. So what is the solution? Stop being yourself? Stop having fun? Don’t trust the person you are with? Sure, trust him or her, but protect yourself first. Know the risks involved before you exchange nudes with your partner.
The Effect A Breakup Can Have On Sharing Nudes
Breakups are never easy and if the jilted one decides to get nasty, the amount of ammunition available today is shocking. The seminude pic of yourself that you sent him when he was out of town can return to bite you. The raunchy and dirty text messages with a “for your eyes only” warning could be eyeballed by many. Emails, WhatsApp and online chats, voice messages, video calls, steamy videos – just the thought of how much you “shared” makes you shudder, right?
It’s unfair to think that each time a man or a woman asks their lover for something like this, the thought of using it for a different purpose probably doesn’t cross their mind. Yet once they have been dumped or feel like they have been dumped, it’s another matter. Revenge is a dish best served cold so you should not risk something coming up two years later, a day before you are getting engaged or due for a promotion.
The pain of heartbreak can make people do crazy things. When someone is hurting and looking at ways to lash out it’s obvious that they will look at what you left behind. Sure it’s a twisted mind that would lash out like this but this is the new equivalent of getting drunk and creating a scene outside your home or calling up your friends and bad-mouthing you. In that case, there is a clear villain but here things get messy.
Everyone makes mistakes in love and lust but you can protect yourself by playing smart. Our suggestion is to stick to whispering sweet nothings in person and stay guarded in your other communications – mails, chats, messages, pictures, videos, etc. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Related Reading: How To Have A Sex Chat With Your Man For The First Time
Things To Consider Before Sending Nudes
“Is it okay to send my girlfriend nudes?”, “Should I send my boyfriend dirty pictures?” These thoughts have probably crossed your mind if you’re in a relationship. It is normal to have physical or sexual needs and desires when you’re in a romantic relationship with someone. Sharing nude photos or videos, sexting, or having phone sex is usually what couples do when they’re dating each other, especially if it’s a long-distance relationship.
However, it’s important that you do not take this lightly. As we said, there are risks involved, which could have serious repercussions on your reputation and future. Keeping yourself safe is of utmost importance. If you and your partner are still into sending nudes to each other, here is a list of things you should keep in mind:
1. Do you trust this person?
This is the most important question you need to ask yourself. Are you sure that the person you are sending nudes to can be trusted? Are you sure they aren’t a sexual predator or a romance scammer? Are you sure they won’t use the nude photos and videos or the sexts to seek revenge or blackmail you if you were to part ways with each other? Being nice is not enough. It’s possible that they are being all nice and cute because they want to fulfill their sexual desires, which is why it is imperative that you trust them to be a good person before you send nudes to them.
2. Know the rules
Make sure you know your state or country’s laws before you share sexual content with anyone. Sending, receiving, distributing, or storing nudes is illegal in many places since it increases the risk of cyberbullying, child pornography, and trafficking. These laws have been put in place to protect minors. If you are of age and send nudes to a minor, you could get into legal trouble. Therefore, ensure you check the rules and make an informed decision. Don’t do it if it’s illegal.
3. Make sure you are not being manipulated to send nudes
Before asking yourself, “Is it normal to send pictures to your boyfriend or girlfriend?”, there’s an even more important question – Are you being manipulated or forced to send nudes? Consent in dating matters, whether it’s in the real world or virtual. Is your partner demanding or manipulating or pressurizing you to share nude photos with them? If yes, that’s a red flag and a warning sign that you must not exchange nudes with them.
4. Are you comfortable sending nudes?
Your comfort is of utmost importance. Do it out of your own will and comfort, not because your partner wants to do it or you want to show them how cool and fun you are. If you don’t feel at ease, stop right there. You don’t have to do it. It’s not a compulsion. If your partner is insisting that you exchange nudes with them but you are uncomfortable or reluctant about it, say no. As we said, consent matters.
Related Reading: 11 Virtual Dating Mistakes Everyone Makes But YOU Can Avoid!
5. Is your data and privacy protected?
Protect your data and privacy no matter how much you trust the person you are sending nudes to. The virtual world isn’t a completely safe space. Everything can be hacked into, which is why it is crucial that you keep yourself anonymous. That way, even if the photographs or videos get leaked, no one will know to whom these belong.
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t send nudes to your partner. It’s a good way to keep the spark alive in the relationship and fulfill your sexual desires, especially if you’re living apart, and also have some fun in the process. All we want is for you to stay safe while you do it.
Safest Way To Send Nudes
We live in a digital, virtual world where it’s easy to share and connect with people across the globe. While that’s a great thing, we don’t realize that we might be putting our safety at risk by sharing so much of our personal lives with the virtual world that includes strangers. We don’t realize that what we share might come back to harm us in ways we probably never imagined.
Sending nudes is a risky business. You never know if the person is trustworthy or if your data and privacy are protected. Therefore, before sending nudes, ask yourself if you’re really willing to take the risk. If you still want to exchange nudes with your partner, here are a few safety rules you should follow:
1. Hide all identifying features before sharing nudes
Make sure that you stay anonymous. Crop out your face and any other features that can link the sexual content to you. Hide all identifying features like background, scars, tattoos or birthmarks, posters or frames in your bedroom, and any other unique item or aspect that can be traced back to you.
If the person you share nudes with turns out to be a sexual predator or manipulator or revenge-seeker who shares your nudes with others, at least no one would know they belong to you. You can save yourself from being a victim of revenge porn in case of a breakup.
2. Choose a secure platform
Not all online apps or platforms are secure. Use apps with end-to-end encryption programs like Signal or WhatsApp. If you want to protect your picture from being screenshot, try Privates, which has the provision of adding security measures to protect what you share) or DiscKreet, which safeguards your nudes under a system that would require both the sender and the recipient to enter the password at the same time to view the content. The recipient will have to send a request every time they want to see the photos.
Related Reading: What Is Cyberstalking? Tips To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers
3. Turn off location access and automatic cloud syncing
You need to remain anonymous, which is why you must turn off your location services or access when taking nude photos or videos so that they cannot be traced back to your IP address. Also, turn off the automatic cloud syncing option on your device to protect your personal account.
That way, even if your iCloud or Google Drive account is hacked, at least your nudes will be safe. Also, if your WhatsApp chats are backed up to iCloud, you’ll have to manually delete the chats from the cloud service account. Deleting from the phone will not be enough. Erring on the side of caution is your best recourse in safeguarding yourself against the dangers of online dating or carrying out a relationship virtually.
4. Lock your phone
The best thing is to delete them. If you don’t want to, store it in a password-protected folder on your device, and remember to always keep your phone locked. Nowadays, phones have those fingerprint or face recognition features that prevent others from accessing your phone. You could also store them on an encrypted hard drive in a folder that’s password protected.
If you are not tech-savvy, please stay that way and stick to old-fashioned flowers and love letters. Just don’t put anything out there that would make your loved ones cringe if they read or saw it. You need to be smart and not expose yourself to trouble. Phone sex or sex via webcam is never as good as the real thing, so don’t give in to temptation or bullying. You can’t undo some things, therefore, it’s better to stay away than regret.