While it is no secret that people have been exchanging racy messages since the dawn of the internet, most people do not anticipate how nudes can dramatically shift the power dynamics of a relationship, almost overnight.

Sending nudes (naked pictures of yourself) can be a fun and private way to flirt or sext with someone you trust, like your partner. It’s usually a spur-of-the-moment thing, and you might not think of the risks that come with pressing that send button on your phone.

In recent days, we have seen several cases of women going through a lot of social backlash and emotional distress after the leakage of sex tapes they recorded while with their loved ones or shared with them. This is a false sense of security that gets people into trouble when they share nude’s footage.

Even if you are certain that your partner will not share your nudes, it is better to remember that once the photo is shared it never really disappears. The internet is forever and there are real-life consequences for the things you share online. Even on Snapchat where photos disappear in 24 hours, there is no guarantee someone would not screenshot your picture or take a picture using someone else’s phone.

So, before you press SEND, here are 6 things to consider:

They might get leaked

Nudes might be leaked by the recipient himself or by someone else (should someone lose the phone), some partner decides to do revenge porn. People do not realize they are dealing with wolves in sheep’s cloth until it is too late. Remember partners that are controlling during a relationship can turn aggressive and destructive after a breakup, and once a photo or a post is shared on the internet, it will always stay there.

 Is it by your consent?

If you’re not into sending nudes, it’s always OK to give them a big N-O. “No means no, so simply declining should always be OK when you are not into sexual activity. Do not ever let a man force you into it. Your body is your domain and if you do not feel comfortable being naked, it is fine not to send it. Consent is demanded every time a conversation about sharing nudes is brought up. However, it is important to remember that your consent can work against you at any point — even after you have hit send.

Can the recipient be trusted?

 Your nudes can be saved and shared after you send them. Even if you totally trust the lucky recipient, it is important to consider that your nudes can be saved and shared before sending them. It is important to make sure you trust the person and have clear conversations about your comfort levels and consent.

It might affect your future.

Trust me it is all fun and jokes until it damages your future career prospects or relationship. So, before dropping a graphic body shot of yourself in your bae’s inbox, try to remember the life-time consequences that might come with that.

Know your state’s law.

It is important to know about your state laws concerning nudity since they vary from one country to another.

For instance, in Tanzania, penalties for publishing online content are stipulated in section 14 (2) of the Online Criminal Code. If a person is found guilty of posting sexually explicit images online, the penalty is a fine no less than TZS 21 million- or 7-years imprisonment or both. The publication of sexually explicit images or the solicitation of persons to do business with the perpetrators is a fine of not less than TZS 30 million or imprisonment of no less than 10 years or both.

We live in a digital world where we like sharing our lives with everyone most especially our partners, unfortunately, what we do not realize is that what we put out to the world can come back and bite us when we least expect it. So, ask yourself, can you risk your nudes affecting you 10 years from now? Remember, sharing of sexually explicit images of someone without their consent is not okay and is an explicit form of bullying and sexual harassment

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