Is there such a thing as “safe sex(ting)”?
A recent article in the Oct/Nov issue of Seventeen magazine gives a resounding ‘NO’! We here at Clarity wish you could just read the whole article in its entirety. There are countless reasons not to send nude photos, but the personal story from the article’s author, Katherine Hogan, encapsulates many of them.
The story begins with Hogan texting a guy she was interested in while she was in college. They didn’t hang out in real life, but the texts kept getting more and more intimate until finally he asked her “Why don’t you send me more?”
AKA: More = her nude.
He was hot, she wanted to date him, and it was fun…so Hogan gave him what he wanted. But the second she hit ‘send,’ she regretted it for a few reasons. The way Hogan viewed herself after, the way he viewed her, oh and shocker: the photos got out.
“As soon as I hit Send, I knew I’d made a mistake…I thought sending nudes would make someone like me. In reality, it made me like myself less. As young women, we have to find confidence within ourselves, and in our friendships with other women around us, instead of seeking validation from guys. The few moments of self-confidence you may get from sharing pics are not worth the aftermath.”
You may be thinking, what aftermath could possibly come from sharing a temporary picture with a guy? Well, that picture, especially if it’s shared via text or if someone screenshots it, can stay around for a loooong time. It can be shared, uploaded to internet, and kept for longer than just that moment (and for more than just his eyes).
If you feel pressured to sext, here’s some pointers to keep your body to yourself:
- B U Y ○ S O M E ○ T I M E – tell them you can’t send a picture right now. You get to decide whether you send it or not, and when. Jill Murray, Ph. D. psychotherapist in Laguna Niguel, CA says, “I know you want to trust him, but trust me: There aren’t many boys who will keep a naked photo to themselves. So take five minutes. Think about how you would handle it if your dad saw the picture, or it went viral at school.”
- S E N D ○ S O M E T H I N G ○ E L S E – carry on the conversation with words ((or send a funny photo that will lighten the mood and help him get the hint)). Oh and if the situation is like Hogan’s where you don’t actually hang out, ask to! You know…a real relationship, in person #imaginethat 🙄
- C H A N G E ○ T H E ○ C U L T U R E – if you see someone else’s nude photo going viral, tell her and support her. She’s probably feeling sad and insecure and needs to hear that she is worth more than the words and pictures going around about her. And if you can, speak up against whoever asked for the photo. Be strong and counter-cultural. You’ll be amazed how many of your friends – guys and girls – that will stand with you.
And this issue isn’t just a magazine article topic. If you’re single or in a budding relationship, you’ll most certainly get asked for nudes at some point. Some students in Hardin County summed it up like this:
“I think the reason so many girls send nudes is because they’re peer pressured into it, and they want a guy to like them, and they feel like the only way a guy will like them is to send them.” – D
“Sending nudes is so normal now. It’s like if girls don’t send them, people make them feel weird because so many other girls do. And it’s no longer taboo or seems like a big deal in the moment.” – M
It’s not too late.
If you have sexted or sent nudes in the past, it’s not too late to stop and change your mind about it. It’s not too late to never send another again. And it’s definitely not too late to encourage your friends to do the same. Your body is beautiful, but your body is only a part of who you are. If he doesn’t want the whole package, he doesn’t get the part he wants. ((PS, any guy who does want/cares about the whole package will respect you enough not to even ask for nudes)). Hogan sums it up perfectly:
“If you’ve sent pics before, learn to forgive yourself. If you haven’t sent photos, don’t. Save that part of yourself for someone who will love you in person.”
Yes! We don’t know about you, but we are team #NoMoreNudes. Come join the team.