Feel empowered, take nudes, don’t take nudes, just don’t let a few wankers stop you from being you.
Send nudes. It’s become so common a phrase that it’s even got a whole meme culture built around it. We’ve all received that text, most likely from multiple different people, whether it’s the person we actually want the nude of or maybe from that creepy random guy who continues to shoot his shot in your DM’s (God loves a trier, especially one that says “hey” 51 times in a row). There’s no shame in taking them, sending them or being proud of them, your body is beautiful and yours to do whatever you want with. After all, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
If that was all there was to say on the matter, wouldn’t that be amazing! But, the problem with photos, especially naked ones, is that once they’re out there they’re hard to keep safe, delete and keep control over. What’s to stop that guy you trusted being an arsehole and sending it to his mates in the group chat? What happens when he does? How do you keep your body yours?
Step forward 14 year old me, chavvy af, not the popular kid but not the nerdy one either, I was seeing a guy from school (and by seeing I mean chatting to him all night on MSN <3). One night he asked for a nude, apparently all the cool kids were doing it you see. I couldn’t see the harm so using my top of the range Sony Walkman phone (you know the one), I took a blurry full frontal naked photo of my clearly underdeveloped body standing in front of my makeup mirror. Surrounded by pink walls and groovy chick bedding, this was the last thing anyone could have considered sexy but I did it anyway. No biggie, or so I thought.
Until the next day, when the whispers started at school. It seemed the guy I trusted had circulated the photo around essentially the entire year, cheers m8. There was barely a soul in the entirety of my shitty little comprehensive school that hadn’t seen my naked body, or at least a low res pic of it. I felt completely humiliated, I was embarrassed to go to school, my life felt like one of those awful US teen films where people whisper slut as the protagonist walks down the corridor. It was an awful awful period, but it’s not one I regret. Ultimately, I placed my trust in the wrong person but the whole situation has helped make me the woman I am today, not to say that makes what happened right or okay.
In 2020, the days of MSN and blurry phones are long gone, replaced by the likes of Snapchat and TikTok (yeah, we know wot tiktok is, aren’t we cool?). With 4k cameras and the entire world a tap away, it’s never been easier to snap a nude pic of yo sexy body and as a result, sexting and nudes are massively on the rise. This has the potential to be a really really good thing, maybe young people will become much more confident in their bodies and how they look from a younger age, maybe they’ll stop wanting to change things, maybe people will understand the female anatomy a lot more and maybe, just maybe as a result of normalising nudity, Insta will actually allow us to post a pic of a gal’s nipple, we can dream.
Problem is, we don’t live in a dream world and the rise of nude photos being taken has brought with it the rise of nude photos being shared without consent, being used by wankers to coerce and blackmail people. No matter how much you trust someone, you can never be sure that their intentions will always remain honest, look at 14 year old me as a prime example, naivety aside. There’s also a problem with the fact society thinks this kind of thing is okay and normal, just look at the reaction to celebrities nudes being hacked or OnlyFans accounts being shown for free. In fact, a recent study found that 99% of people were “okay” with revenge porn. Like, what?! And that 33% of people either were or knew a victim. That means if you are taking and sending pics, you can never be too careful, so here’s our top tips to follow:
Do it for you – Sexting should be something you enjoy, if you aren’t smiling every time you shouldn’t be doing it. No matter who the other person is.
Don’t show your face – Yeah yeah, we know you probs know this one but just in case. Try to keep your face and any identifying characteristics out of it, it’s just common sense.
Use an app – Look away from the mainstream messaging apps. If you use an iPhone, there’s an app called “Privates” which lets you block screenshotting and expires pictures. There’s an app for that.
Go incognito – If you insist on using one of the standard messaging apps, be smart about it. Most of them have an incognito mode hidden in settings so that anything you share isn’t getting automatically saved and backed up to the cloud. There are plenty of guides on Google.
Put a password on it – If you want to save the pictures to a computer, protect them. On a Mac, open the image in Preview, then under File>Export as PDF>Enable Encryption and make a password. In Windows, right click on the Folder, then Properties > Advanced > Encrypt. Just don’t make your password MyN00d$
Ask for deletion – If you break up with someone and it’s a safe situation, ask them directly to delete your pics or sex tapes. Maybe give them their hoody back in return.
Follow those steps and you should be able to avoid most of the risk that comes with sharing nudes, remember there are always arseholes about tho. Butttt even if the worst does happen, there are still ways of owning the situation. Take actress Bella Thorne, she tweeted that a hacker was blackmailing her with stolen pictures and ended up posting the topless photos herself taking her power back, removing the shame, and defusing the bomb. We stan a queen.
Or take little old me (definitely not comparing myself to Bella Thorne, cept the gingerness), forced to confront my naked body from a young age taught me to love it and not be ashamed. Nowadays I love nudes. I love taking them and I love sending them. It allows me to become more confident with who I am and how my body looks. By owning your body and sexuality, you can undermine any sexual shame, and why should you be ashamed? Your body is remarkable and beautiful and yours to do whatever you want with. Don’t let anyone else ever make you think otherwise.