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Is Sexting Legal and Could You Get in Trouble for Sending a Sext?

Ariel Laur is a freelance writer from NYC who shares her wealth of knowledge about health, beauty, and nutrition.

Is sexting illegal, and should you send a sext?

Is sexting illegal, and should you send a sext?

There are many ways to share nude photos. Sexting often involves sharing provocative or nude photos via text message.

These days, many women are being asked to not only send sexy photos of themselves but to send nude photos and even nude videos. While men are often not shy about asking for a photo, it is most often not the best choice of a woman to comply with this request.

Long before there were photographs, men have been fascinated by the female form. Before photography, almost any opportunity to get a glimpse of a naked woman’s body offered pleasure to a man. In the past, pornographic magazines were the only way to view a naked photograph, but nowadays, there are many opportunities of not only glimpsing the female form but seeing full-fledged pornography.

With new laws regarding pornography, digital photography, and the ability to send and receive photos online and in text, men no longer need a magazine to fulfill their desire to view the female form. Many states have enacted laws regarding the sharing of nude photos in order to separate sexting from child pornography.

With the exponential increase of online dating, online relating, and the sharing of digital photographs, it would be a logical progression that men would take the opportunity to ask for a nude photograph of a woman that they might be interested in, already involved with, or even married to. This might seem like an easy opportunity to get a nude photograph, and it might be. But what are the consequences if the woman decides to share this type of photograph with a man?

What If a Woman Says “NO”?

If a woman says “no,” she is making a wise choice. She will never worry about a nude photograph of herself being spread on the internet; she will sleep peacefully at night knowing that her body belongs to her and whomever else she chooses to share it with.

However, refusing to send nude photos might cause friction in a relationship. But would a man that asked for a nude photo ever really love and respect a woman that would send it? The answer is, maybe not. With this in mind, she is not losing anything. Sending nude photos to a man does not help to build a strong foundation for a great relationship and only offers the man a temporary thrill. He will likely want more and not be satisfied with one.

What If a Woman Says “YES”?

If a woman agrees to send a nude photo, she may have mixed feelings about taking the photographs, clicking the send button, and wondering about the effect of the photo. She will now be at the mercy of the man that she sent the photos to. She might get a sexual thrill from having shared the photo—she may receive compliments and gain some sense of self-confidence about herself, but in the long run, these compliments will be superficial and won't have lasting effects.

The saddest part of having sent a nude photo is when a request then comes for more. One nude photo is probably not enough and requests for more will likely follow. This leaves the woman in an uncomfortable position of having to take more photos, send them, or say “no” and risk causing friction in an already precarious relationship. Saying “no” in the first place might have prevented this progression of events.

The relationship might also become overly sexual and drown out any possibility of building a strong relationship on healthy terms at least in the short term.

Do Men Really Want These Photos?

Men may think that they want nude photos, but if they knew of the detrimental effects on both the woman and the relationship would they ask for them?

What Do Men Get Out of It?

Besides the obvious pleasure that men get from receiving nude photos of a woman that they are involved with, there is also the conquest aspect. Men feel a kind of pleasure in have acquired these photos in and of themselves. They feel as though they have won something, a prize as such. This is part of what makes women become objectified by the photos. The man might use the photos as bragging rights and share them with buddies or even acquaintances.

There is a no return policy on nude photos!

All ‘sends’ are final.

Earning Mutual Respect

The real prize of seeing a naked woman historically would have been gained through courtship and the “prize” would be the mutual love and shared experience and respect, not the acquisition of photos. It is important to remember that something worth getting is something worth working for; if it comes cheap then it probably is cheap.

Women need to be careful and thoughtfully consider a request for a nude photo, although men might ask for them more than once, the answer doesn’t have to be 'yes.' If the woman is uncomfortable it is OK to say 'NO.'

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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© 2014 Ariel Laur


Myself on November 30, 2017:

Never send nude photos. The men who ask you probably have asked and will continue to ask you - and others. Stay in control and have self respect. You will be at peace and not have to regret it.

Johng284 on September 06, 2014:

Really informative article post.Thanks Again. Awesome. keebeeegkcdb

Johna727 on September 06, 2014:

An interesting dialogue is worth comment. I feel that you must write more on this topic, it won't be a taboo subject but typically people are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers dbdfdfdeedkf

Ariel Laur (author) from New York on April 19, 2014:


Yes, that is great, an alluring and seductive photo is a great compromise and leaves something to the imagination. Great point, Mechelle!


Mechelle Williams from Dallas, Texas on April 01, 2014:


Ariel Laur (author) from New York on March 27, 2014:


That is one way to look at it, however, some people reconsider after the fact, hindsight is 20/20. If it was a mistake to send a nude photo then they don't have to make it again.


Joan Lewis from Baton Rouge, Louisana on March 24, 2014:

If you have to ask then usually you know the answer!

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