Picture the scene: a delightful sexy person has either sent you a nude selfie, or allowed you to take nude photos of them. You, proud that you own such a blessed image, are boasting to your pals about its hotness, which is so intense it’s practically burning a hole in your phone. Your mates ask for a quick peek of the treasured pic. Are you allowed to show them?
The answer, as everyone who is not a total bellend knows, is ‘no.’ Not unless you have asked for – and received – explicit consent from the person in the photograph to share it with these specific people.
We all know, don’t we, that it’s not acceptable to forward the photo to your mates, or publish it on a porn site. In fact, like with sharing dick pics, sharing any nudes may well be illegal in your country – not to mention immoral as fuck. But many people still feel comfortable showing their friends the photo. If you’re not transferring data, just showing it in person to one or two of your most discreet friends, where’s the harm?
Nude photos and privacy
I can’t remember if I’ve told you this tale before, or if I’ve just buried it partway through a blog post about something else, but I can’t seem to find it in a blog search so here goes: This One Time I Let A Guy Take Photos Of Me And Then Almost Instantly Regretted It.
I once shagged a hot guy who took a photo of me midway through the act. He’d asked my permission to take it, and I’d agreed. I probably shouldn’t have agreed, as you’ll see, but at the time I was fine with it. It was a pretty decent photo, it did not include my face, and my tits looked great, so when he showed me after the fuck I let him keep it.
On one condition, obviously: do not share it with anyone else.
See, I didn’t know this guy very well – I’d only met him that day at a Big Event we both happened to be attending. But he seemed like an alright dude, and I figured ‘fuck it, there are way better nude pictures on the internet, there is literally no reason why anyone would need or want to see an anonymised one of me, so surely this is an easy secret to keep.’
Reader: I was wrong.
The morning after our fuck, we had a nice breakfast at the shit Travelodge where we’d been staying, said our goodbyes, then embarked upon our respective journeys back home.
I spent a happy couple of hours with my nose buried in a book on the quiet coach. When I got off at Paddington, I performed my usual ritual of train-based efficiency: locating my ticket ready for the barriers, gathering all my bags so I was ready to leap off the train the moment the doors opened, and tensing all my muscles ready for the dash along the platform to the tube.
As I leapt, gazelle-like, through the crowd of flustered passengers, I was annoyed to realise someone nearby was yelling my name. Turns out it was a dude I vaguely knew, who’d been at the Big Event as well and was a good friend of my one-night-stand. I went over to greet him, and this conversation happened:
Me: Oh hey! I didn’t realise you were on this train!
Him: *smirking* YOU had a good night, didn’t you?
Me: Haha, yep! Guessing you spoke to [One Night Stand]?
Him: SPOKE to him? I’ve seen the fucking PHOTOS! *more smirking*
Let’s leave to one side the fact that this guy is a colossal tosser…
Wait, OK let’s not leave it to one side: this guy was (and presumably still is, for I have no reason to believe he’s undergone extensive training in How Not To Be …) a massive cunt. The way he spoke to me – as if his friend had ‘won’ and I had ‘lost’ when all that had happened was we had mutually enjoyable sex – is as good a reason as any to ring the ‘tosspot’ alarm. When coupled with the fact that he literally tried to shame me about this TO MY ACTUAL FACE, it’s genuinely difficult to wrap my head around why he has any friends at all. I suggest that if you ever meet anyone who talks about sex as if it’s something men take from women, you run as far and as fast as you can.
That guy was a prick, but he did give me useful information. Based on that conversation (which I did not explore any further, because frankly I’d rather spend two hours with my face buried in a wasps’ nest than two minutes talking to that weapons-grade arsehole) I now knew that One Night Stand had either forwarded the photos, or eagerly shown them to his friends mere hours after we’d said goodbye.
Ergo: this guy was not one I should ever fuck again.
Lesson learned. I have never again let any guy take naked photos of me.
Just as abstinence is not a sex education strategy, so ‘don’t ever give someone nude photos’ is not a useful solution to the problem of guys like One Night Stand. The solution is twofold:
- Don’t share other people’s nude photos without their express consent and
- If someone offers to show you nude photos without the subject’s consent, tell them no.
One Night Stand and I had a nice night, and I’d enjoyed the fuck. I even enjoyed the photo-taking. But the fact that he couldn’t even wait 24 hours before betraying the trust I’d placed in him somewhat marred the whole experience. Even now, when I think about that conversation in Paddington station, I feel waves of sadness and regret and – yeah – shame. Which is odd and irrational, of course: it’s not my fault this guy was an oozing jizzrag of a person, yet somehow his behaviour still made me feel weak and silly and stupid and small.
I spent a lot of that week miserable. Not because I’m actually ashamed of taking nude photos (as I may have mentioned, my tits looked really great), but because he and his friend took away a bit of my humanity. By sharing photos I’d specifically asked him to keep private, he ignored my agency and behaved as if his desire to boast outweighed my need for privacy. And by sneering at me when I got off the train, his mate behaved as if I was an object that his friend had used, rather than a grown adult capable of making her own choices, and worthy of having those choices respected.
I’ve taken plenty of nude photos since then. And videos. I’ve used waterproof cameras to film myself giving underwater blow-jobs and recorded audio of me reading Sonnets from the Portugese while getting wanked off with a Doxy. Funnily enough, none of those incidents made me miserable the way this one did, because none of those photos and videos have been used as tools (and by tools) to treat me like I was less than a person.
This guy didn’t stop me from taking nude photos, he just made me feel awful for ever having met him. Ruining what could have been a perfectly lovely memory by shitting all over it with nonconsensual fuckwittery.
Nude photos: just say “NO… thanks I don’t want to see them without the consent of the subject”
So… should you share someone’s nude photos? No. Leave them the fuck alone. Even if you think your friends are ‘nice’ and ‘discreet’. Even if you’re sharing them in a complimentary manner. Even if you ‘don’t normally do stuff like this’. Even if you ‘just want to show them what your new beau looks like and you don’t happen to have a picture which isn’t X-rated.’ If you don’t have the consent of the person in the photo, don’t share it with – or show it to – anyone.
You know this already, though, and so did One Night Stand guy. I doubt reading a blog post like this would stop him from waving his phone around every time he scored a new nude. But behaving consensually isn’t just about not being an arsehole yourself, sometimes it also requires you to stand up to arseholes around you. How differently this story could have gone if just one of One Night Stand guy’s mates had said ‘are you sure she’s happy with you showing us that picture?’
Unlikely, sure, but hope springs eternal. And that hope can begin with YOU! Next time someone offers to show you some nude photos, ask if they have the consent of the subject to share them. Check with the subject themselves! They are, after all, a person, not some random meatsack existing purely for your viewing pleasure.
Just by asking, you can help change the conversation, and make people who share photos non-consensually think twice about doing it in future. Sure, you might miss out on seeing a photo of a random person’s arsehole, but there are plenty of those already available on the internet. Just think how much more you’ll enjoy looking at those, safe in the knowledge that you aren’t an arsehole yourself.
If anyone has shared intimate images of you online without your consent, there’s some great advice and info on the Revenge Porn Helpline.