Exposing the harm of sending unsolicited nudes

Sending or receiving nudes is a sex act, therefore all parties should consent.

Many individuals might not realize that people may have sexual trauma and it is not OK to force someone to relive that trauma through unsolicited sexual pictures. I have experienced this kind of trauma, so receiving nude photos without any notice can be jarring.

As someone who talks to many guys casually on dating apps, receiving these photos is nothing new to me — and at this point, it is almost expected. I have no issue receiving nudes if I know they are coming or if I happen to ask for them, which isn’t often.

Outside of these consensual conditions, receiving them makes me extremely uncomfortable and as if I have no control in the situation. This discomfort is similar to how I felt when I experienced sexual trauma. However, as rarely as it is discussed, I think many people feel similarly.

Some people may send nudes without knowing about someone’s trauma. Some may even send them to intentionally make someone uncomfortable, which is even worse.

Just like most sex acts, it’s OK as long as everyone consents.

This means that consent can be taken away at any point. If you have sent photos before, that does not mean that it can be done at any time after that without renewed consent. This general rule applies to people in relationships as well. If someone denies consent and still receives sexual photos, that is considered harassment. It’s important to note that these guidelines apply to everyone, not just men.

Anyone who does receive nudes without consent should know it’s okay to block or report these people at any time. It’s also OK to tell the sender that receiving these photos makes you uncomfortable.

Another huge issue comes after the photos are sent. Often a person’s nudes are distributed without their consent.

Although this experience can be embarrassing, there are many resources that can help. The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative is a nonprofit organization that supports and assists victims of cyberbullying and cyber harassment. The organization has plenty of resources, including a 24/7 hotline for victims.

Every state has different policies when it comes to leaks or revenge pornography. In Arizona, it is considered a class-four felony.

On the brighter side, society has transitioned into a place where sex is not as taboo to talk about and slut-shaming is not tolerated. This creates a safer environment for victims to find help and talk about their experiences openly.

At the end of the day, asking for consent is the easiest thing to do to make for a comfortable sexual experience. Before sending nudes, ask for permission.