The advent of the Mobile Age has given many of us the chance to explore and claim our sexuality from a space of comfort, from behind a screen. What usually starts off with sexting might eventually lead to a point when you start (or are put in a position where you start) contemplating whether you should send a ‘naughty’ picture to your partner.
But you’ll be plagued by many concerns – from potential misuse of the photo to you not being comfortable with your body. You wonder if your relationship will take a beating if you say “No” to the request. Would the photo be used to blackmail you at some point in the future?
While we don’t have the answers to any of these questions, here are some things you should keep in mind when someone asks (or you decide to) send ‘photos’.
Why do people ask for and/or send nudes?
Most often, people ask for nudes because your intimacy with them has opened up a channel where they feel they have a ‘right’ to see your nudes. Some feel that exchanging intimate pictures, especially when you are in a long-distance relationship, leads to an increase in intimacy. It helps capture the sexual side between partners who are physically away.
Sending nudes ≠ Love
Are you really comfortable with sending the photo? The foundation of any relationship is the ability to say “No”. If by saying No, your partner will think that you don’t love them anymore, then you should really reconsider being in that relationship. Do not let your partner badger, pester or emotionally blackmail you into sending your picture as your consent should be obtained without the coercion.
Potential harm and legal implications
Sending or receiving sexual photographs of anyone is illegal in India. You can be charged with transmitting porn. But this rarely keeps people from engaging in a little photo fun. The things that hold people back are factors like cyberbullying and blackmail.
Further, the security of apps and their encryption comes into play. How safe are you really?
Every photo ever taken leaves behind metadata and a photo once taken continues to exist. Multiple examples of scandals, hacked cloud accounts or even accidental leaks point to the mountains of problems that can be brought about by a single photo.
Combatting being asked to send nudes or receiving unsolicited nudes
Someone badgering you by asking for your nudes, or sharing pictures of their private parts without you asking for them, can be an unpleasant experience. The first step to combat this would be to inform the person that you are uncomfortable with sending and/or receiving nudes. If the person refuses to understand, it is best if you move away from the situation. You can also reach out to helplines that will help you stand up against such online forms of harassment.
Points to keep in mind if you decide to send nudes
- Ask yourself if you are coerced into sending them against your consent.
- If the other person has not asked for your nudes, ask them whether they are comfortable with receiving them.
- Make sure that your face, birthmarks, and identity markers like tattoos are not visible. This will help limit misuse.
- Send it only to individuals you are sure you can trust.
- Use a safe application that has good encryption.
- Make sure you convey what you expect from the receiver – to delete the pictures, not take screenshots, etc.
Hope you keep these in mind when you are confronted by the ‘photo’ question next time.