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DO: Send nudes.

DON’T: Send nudes.

Easy, isn’t it?

Well it’s not because the thing is in 2014 people communicate via text and phone much more than they communicate in person. It’s easy to say, “Ladies, never send a man nude pictures of yourself because you never know where they might end up.” It’s harder to say, “Ladies, if you don’t… someone else will.” Personally, I’ve never thought the act of sending someone a racy picture could harm a relationship. But there was a point a couple of weeks ago when all the drama about “leaked” nudes was at its peak that someone finally raised the most critical and pertinent point: It’s not about the fact that someone takes nudes, it’s about the fact that someone decides to leak the nudes to media outlets.

Leaked nudes are never the fault of the person who decides to take the picture and send it to their significant other, or save it on their storage device. It’s more about trust and common courtesy. People should not be leaking anything that was sent to them with the expectation that it would only be kept between the two of them. (This also a big reason why I believe that people who screenshot text message conversations are dangerously close to the scum of the dating world. It’s such a trifling action that it will almost always lead to the end of a relationship or beginning of certain pandemonium.)

Regardless, it seems as though there needs to be some type of guidelines for which we all need to operate under to prevent people from either stopping sending nudes altogether or beginning to press charges when they are leaked. (Even though we’ve found out that if you didn’t take the picture, you don’t own the picture. So, proceed with caution lol.)

DO: Send racy photos to your significant other to remind them that you’re sexy and that you’re thinking of them.

DON’T: Send racy photos to people you don’t know well enough to trust with your personal and close information.

DO: Utilize text messaging services such as Snapchat to avoid enabling the person you send nudes to save them to their own storage devices.

DON’T: Post your nudes on a shared server such as Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive.

DO: Use software like Skype or Google Hangout so that the pictures are live and not saved.

DON’T: Make hardcopies.

DO: Send a real picture of you, not someone who “looks like” you.

DON’T: Send a picture that has noticeable characteristics of yourself such as a tattoo or birthmark.

Overall, it’s easy to say use common sense. But if common sense was common everyone would have it. The truth is this sexting game is not that easy in practice. You have to trust the person you’re sending the message to, you have to keep in mind that you don’t want to penalize your partner for something that other untrustworthy partners have done and you have to not overextend yourself in a ways that you’ll regret later. While I don’t think that sending nudes or racy photos to one’s significant other is a problem or something that should never be done, I do think it’s important that you’re smart about it. And also, if you’re smart about it, you’ll avoid a lot of the risk associated with the potential for your photos to find their way to the public eye.

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