I think one of the things that needs to be discussed is: What is considered ‘sex’ today? Back in my day, everything except kissing was lumped into the ‘sex’ basket. Yet, today it’s not. The only thing in the ‘sex’ basket is the penis in the vagina. In many cases, anal sex between a heterosexual couple is not considered sex, nor is oral sex. And of course, sexting isn’t considered sex either; it’s considered sex for the mind rather than actual sex. Sexting is such a way of life now that when I typed ‘sexting’ into the computer’s search bar, I had almost 17.5 million results.
Whilst I don’t really get the attraction of sexting, if it’s between two consenting adults, I really don’t have a problem with it. But when a person sends you an unwanted picture of their genitals, there’s a huge problem. You see, it’s the same as a guy flashing himself at someone in the park—something that could get him charged with sexual assault. The flasher in the park does not ask for your consent, and neither does the sexter. If sexting is going to be a thing, and trust me, it already is, it is only okay to sext when:
- He/she has asked if you will send a picture of your genitalia. (Coersion is never okay! Remember the Grandma rule: if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see the pic, don’t send it)
- You have asked for permission to send a picture of your genitalia. In doing so, respect that the answer may be ‘no’.
Because if either of these two things don’t happen, then you are taking away that person’s consent. It’s the same as rape, there’s no consent; or that flasher in the park, he takes away the victim’s consent also. When sexting involves harassment, or someone is bothering you to send naked pictures to them, or if they send a naked picture to you that was not asked for, this can be considered stalking, or a menacing, harassing or offensive use of the internet or a mobile phone. It is a crime and can land the harasser in jail for up to three years.
What can I do to stop people sending me nude images
- If a picture is on a social networking site like Facebook, you may be able to report the picture and have it taken off the site.
- For images of children under 13, parents can fill out a form to have that photo removed.
- Set privacy settings to allow you to review photo tags before they appear on your timeline and your friends’ newsfeeds.
- You can also make a report to your mobile phone company if you are receiving unwanted pictures or requests for pictures.
- Call your mobile phone company or go to their website for details.
- Apply for a protection order to stop a person from contacting you or sending out images to harass you.
- Tell someone you trust—a parent, friend, school counsellor or teacher.
- You may also wish to speak to someone from the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
- Be aware that your teacher may feel that they have to report the incident to the police.
- Contact the police if the images are being spread without your consent, or if you feel unsafe or threatened.
- Protect yourself by deleting the images sent to you and never forward these images on to others.