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Ask SSIS

Welcome back to the Student Sexuality Information Services (SSIS) column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid or weird questions! 

(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

 

I want to send nudes to my partner. How can I do so as safely as possible?

Great question! Sending nudes can be a fun way to spice things up, and it’s definitely valid to want to express affection through this medium. It can be helpful to determine what each other considers nudes–full-body nudes, lingerie/underwear pictures, or videos. Trust is an important part of this exchange and talking to your partner about boundaries is essential to sending nudes safely. While nothing is 100 percent safe, we can give some recommendations to minimise the risk and make this process safer. 

A couple suggestions to send nudes safely include making sure you and your partner are not minors, use apps that are password protected or encrypted to store the photos, or use the “hidden” feature on iPhones in your Photos, so other people can’t see them if someone is looking through your gallery app. Additionally, apps that have disappearing chats or let you know if a person takes screenshots may be something to consider if you’d like to keep your photo distribution exclusive. Apps like Surespot, Confide and Wickr don’t use your phone or email to register an account, so these can be something to consider. You can also edit out identifying details of your body, like tattoos or birthmarks, with blurring apps or emojis. 

Another important aspect to remember is communication. If your nudes are for your partner’s eyes only, a way to make sure of that is communicating about where your partner is when you send them, if other people can see their screen, or if they have the space to see them in a safe place. Nudes can be saved and distributed, so it really depends what you mean by “safely,” because some people might enjoy other people seeing their photos! If you don’t want others to see your photos, and they still end up being distributed, know that it is not your fault, and there are definitely options to help you in that situation. Watermarking photos with a tag that you can recognise can help you find out where the photos were leaked in the first place. 

These recommendations may be something you are willing to consider, and, if not, the SSIS office is willing to talk about different options or to listen to your concerns. Happy safe nude-sending!

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