Welcome back to the Student Sexuality Information Service (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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!)
A girl I’m hooking up with wants me to send her nudes but I’m worried about them getting leaked. What should I do?
Thanks so much for asking this question! Sex and nudity are complicated discussions even without adding in the internet and web safety, so sexting can be a really difficult conversation to have. While many schools and organizations teach other aspects of safer sex, safer sexting and sending nudes is rarely taught in any spaces, leaving lots of people confused and in the dark, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Sexting can be an enjoyable experience for all parties once guidelines and boundaries are established.
As with all aspects of sexuality, consent is key. When it comes to sending nudes, make sure that you and your partner are enthusiastic about sending and understand what you each want. It’s always okay to say no and not send nudes, regardless of reason; your comfort and consent come before anything else. You and your partner can also decide what kind of nudes you want to send, maybe partially nude, only of a specific body part or area, or completely nude full-body, whatever your comfort level is. You can also discuss how and when you want these nudes to be sent. A lot of people use Snapchat because the picture can disappear after a few seconds and you will be notified if your partner screenshots it. You can also choose to text or DM these photos at certain times or places so that you and your partner are in private areas. With any method, it is important to remember that there will always be some form of risk.
If you choose to send messages via text, there are a few ways to limit the chance of someone besides your partner seeing the pictures. You can ask her to turn off her text notifications or previews so that they won’t show up on her screen and you can ask her to turn off iCloud downloads so that they won’t be saved. You can also ask her not to save any of them. You can also communicate with your partner if you don’t want your face or identifiable features in the photos. Some ways to mitigate risk can be introduced but ultimately it comes down to trusting your partner and being communicative of your concerns. You can start a conversation with your partner before you ever send a nude to let her know about your concern of them getting leaked. And this doesn’t have to be a one time conversation, you can check in with each other throughout sending.