What is Sexting – and how can you keep yourself safe?
‘Sexting’ is the term used to describe the exchanging of sexually explicit messages or photos. It can be lots of fun, and a great way to get intimate with someone. But whether it’s sexual messages, nudes, spoken phone sex or video call sex that you’re engaging in, make sure you’re doing it safely and with the right intentions.
Better safe than sorry
First up, the law. If you are under the age of 18, you shouldn’t be sharing OR pressuring anyone else into sharing sexually explicit photographs. This is classed as child pornography, and possession – ie having pictures on your phone – is against the law.
Before you share any sexually explicit content, check with yourself that you 100% trust the other person – especially when it comes to nudes. Once you have sent a message or picture, you can’t control what happens to it – so you don’t want your naked photos in the hands of a person you don’t trust to keep them to themselves.
With this in mind, sexting strangers is a bad idea. Even if you feel like you trust them, remind yourself that you may not know them or what they plan to do with your photos. You should only ever send sexually explicit content to people you can have honest conversations with, and who you trust to delete content if you ask them to.
Taking pictures that don’t reveal your face is a good idea if it makes you feel safer – but if that’s something you feel you need to consider, maybe it would be better for you not to send the nude in the first place.
Remember that absolutely anything you send can be very easily spread, and once something is on the internet, it’s up there forever – even after being deleted. Even Snapchats can be screenshotted.
Consent is key
Sexting is a very intimate thing. If you’re uncertain about wanting to do it, don’t do it. If someone is begging, pressuring you or making you feel uncomfortable, treat it as a red flag and leave the situation. Absolutely no one is entitled to receive photos (or any kind of sexual material) from you. If someone is pressuring you to sext, it’s a good idea to remove that person from your life – online and offline. No means no.
With this in mind, it’s just as important for the person you are sexting to feel equally comfortable. Make sure you know the receiver wants it as much as you. That means no random dick pics or Snapchat spamming sessions! Consent is important, and should always be the very first step in starting your sexting experience. And knowing your partner wants it, is hot!
On that note, showing other people nudes that aren’t yours, without their consent, is a betrayal of trust. If you have naked photos of another person, it’s your responsibility to not let anyone else see them without that person’s consent.
If you’re two consenting adults who trust each other and have discussed the risks around it, sexting can be great fun! It can help you understand what your partner likes through sexting, and you can express yourself in ways you can’t in person.
This can be through the nudes you send or the dirty talk you come out with. It’s a great opportunity to get creative. But creativity works best when you like what you’re doing, so always do what you enjoy – and always be safe. Happy sexting!
If you want to know more about sexting, the dangers of it, or where to find help here are some links: