So there's someone new in your life. You've been sexting! It's hot! Maybe you've already had sex - crazy, passionate, new lover sex. Perhaps you're still at the playful stage of turning each other on with your words and your promises.
You're in bed.
Your phone buzzes.
It's a message.
There are only 5 little words "Send me a sexy pic".
It's code, right?
Nude photos have always existed. Before the selfie culture exploded or even before mobile phones became attached to our arms it might have meant a teasing lingerie shot or a glimpse of boob. Now, there's no confusion that it means a naked selfie. And the trend continues to grow with every iPhone update and filter app release (and we do love a good filter).
But before you bare all and press "send" here are 5 things to consider.
1. Once you sext a naked selfie you can't take it back
The only way to be 100% confident that your naked photo doesn't get into the wrong hands is abstinence, yep, just not taking the photo. But the reality is sending and receiving naked selfies has become a natural part of modern relationships. And a lot more people are doing it simply because of the tools now available. A 2014 study found that three out of five Aussie males who use the app Snapchat admitted to sending sexual content and one in five women. We'd take a wild guess that for AMM members that figure might be little higher.
But naked photos meant to be shared exclusively with your significant other can end up in the wrong hands. We all dread losing our phone or having it stolen and hackers accessing those photos we have tucked away. And what about the jealous ex or disgruntled ex lover who has kept your photo and shares it with others out of spite.
So it's about being aware of the risk, and managing that risk.
2. How well do you know the person asking for your naked photo?
If you're sexting it's probably a new relationship or not even at the relationship stage yet. It's a fact that more naked selfies are shared at the beginning of a relationship. So you probably don't really know them well at all. You're about to share something very private and so you need to be sure that you know them well enough to trust them.
Have you been clear about your expectations? Make sure they know what is acceptable. Is the photo for their eyes only? Are they to delete it after viewing? If they keep it, does it have to be in a hidden or password protected folder?
Asking someone about their IT security protocols isn't particularly sexy but if you're sending them nude photos it's a conversation you should think about.
3. What's my motivation for agreeing to send a naked selfie?
Sending a nude photo to someone you're into is sexy. We get it! But like consenting to be sexual with someone which we covered in a recent blog post, it's up to you to consent to send it. So think about your motivation - are you sending the photo for yourself and is it something you feel good about?
Let's face it, for most guys getting a photo via sext is pretty much the holy grail so they're going to ask. And sometimes they don't even ask - guys often send an unsolicited pic (hopefully not just a dick pic) and hope you will reciprocate.
Are you being pressured by the person, or are they using it as a bargaining tool? If there is any doubt in your mind about the answers to these questions - just don't! And if they imply they are not going to continue the relationship unless you do - is that someone you want in your life? And always stay within your comfort zone if they've been very explicit in their request and you're not comfortable.
4. How do I keep my naked photos secure?
Are you sexting via your mobile? If the photos are stored on your phone consider a vault app which effectively locks the photos away behind a passcode and blocks those image from coming up in a gallery. You can also invest in remote wipe software for your mobile devices if they're stolen.
And don't forget if you're a member on Adult Match Maker you can load your photos to a Private Gallery and only share them with other members when you choose to. It's another alternative to sexting them.
Are you posting via a social media app eg. Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter? It doesn't matter what social media channel you're using you're putting the photo out there with the potential for others to access it. Use the privacy settings available to you and double check and check again before you share anything - and especially if your mum & dad are Facebook friends.
There are apps available which remove message history or require both people to be logged on at the same time. Explore some options and pick something which works for you.
Are the photos stored on a computer? Make sure your password or access code is strong. If you're backing up to the Cloud then enable a two step verification to protect your account from being compromised. And make sure your virus protection is up to date. The more random websites you visit - read "porn" - the higher the risk of malware or viruses infecting your computer and literally sending ALL of your data back to a third party.
5. How do I hide my identity for added security?
There's no rule which says you have to include your face in the selfie. If you want to ensure that the photo remains anonymous you need to crop, block or edit any identifying features. Keep in mind that if you blur your face there is software out there which can potentially reverse that process.
Files can include geolocation information and can even be tracked back to the device the photo was taken on. Use tools to strip the files of this information if you want to be super cautious about keeping your identity hidden.
So please don't stop taking them and posting them and sexting them. We love them! But just be aware of who you're sharing them with and how to keep them safely hidden until you're ready to share them.