How safe is sexting? written in black capital letters with a stress level sign below

The Question

Hi Love Lounge. How safe is sexting? My boyfriend and I got together 3 months ago and enjoy an active sex life. We met at the gym and got talking as we both have lost a limb, him to cancer, me to a car accident.

Funny how people come into your life at the right moment. I had recently split up with my ex and was feeling a bit down about myself and he is the pick me up I needed. We are both on the same page when it comes to sex and had been getting it on a lot prior to lockdown.
Now both living separately we’ve started having phone sex, using the video apps to get down and dirty. My boyfriend asked me to send him some saucy photos to keep and look at whenever he likes.  I’m feeling hesitant to do that. He doesn’t understand why and it’s caused an argument. I am wary of photos of me in the buff being stored somewhere and now he’s quizzing me on trust and making me feel bad. But I worry. How safe is sexting? I feel it’s a bit early in our relationship for him to have these pics. The video sex is different as we are both together in the moment and afterwards its gone.
Is it safe to send images to other people? Am I being a prude?

Our Answer

Communication

Firstly, it’s brilliant that you’ve been honest about how you feel about sexting. The fact that it’s caused a row is not necessarily a bad thing, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Setting boundaries and communicating about why these exist, and what they mean to you is important. It’s how we learn to respect one another, appreciate each other’s values and show consideration.

So how safe is sexting?

Good question! Sexting is very popular amongst consenting adults. For me, it comes back to one main factor: personal identification.

Even if you don’t post photos that show your face, your body may be identified by:

  • tattoos or birth marks
  • where you live – (posing in front of your fantastic wallpaper)
  • the data stored within an image

Reducing Risk

I’d recommend you read this article on 7 Crucial Tips to Safe Sexting . It provides information on how to remove the data from any images you choose to send. Remember that screenshots can still be taken from video calls too, so be careful there – especially if your face is in shot.

This article provides advice on How To Sext Safely.  It suggests which sites may be safer and the risks of using an app like Instagram which links to your identity.

Trust

Of course you should wholeheartedly trust anyone you send a nude to, that goes without saying. Try having an open discussion about your worries. Raise the points around the safety of sexting and what your boyfriend might do with the images (no need to argue!). Set some boundaries that you are comfortable with.

Don’t feel pressured

If he doesn’t understand or try to calm your worries by reassuring you, maybe he isn’t the guy you should be sending sexy photos to. Don’t feel under pressure to do anything you don’t want to do. Someone who respects you won’t put you in that position.

Hope this helps, and sending all best wishes,

Emily x

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