Is Taking Nude Selfies Even Remotely Smart (Or Safe) Anymore?

Jennifer Lawrence
Buzz, Love

With images being stolen and shared to shame women, it's time to seriously rethink nude photos!

You meet a great new guy who is handsome, successful, and interested. Yeah! After a few fun dates, the chemistry heats up and you text him a couple of nude photos. It’s exciting and tantalizing to say the least. He assures you he won’t show the pictures to anyone. Trouble is, once you hit send, you lose complete control of your privacy forever.

Is taking nude pics of yourself in the digital age even remotely a smart idea anymore? Women are constantly told they need to do these things "to please your man", but the aftermath of that act is now HUGE. In the pre-digital world, maybe a few of your man’s buddies saw the photos, but today (in a matter of hours) the entire world can see the images on the web and, worse, it’s there for all eternity.

My Dating Advice for Women Is to Think Twice
The recent sex crime of the hacker leaking hundreds of nude female celebrity photos should make you stop and think. The culprits pulled images from private cell phones via iCloud storage three different times now, sending the FBI and Apple scrambling to investigate this disturbing security breach. The leak continues to be a massive news story with far reaching impact. Turns out your private texts are not so safe once they enter cyberspace where nothing is sacred.

As a dating coach for women, I am amazed at the huge number of celebrities who have nude photos of themselves on their smart phones. Even if your man says he’ll never share the pictures, there have been plenty of women burned by an ex turned jerk who releases images post breakup. Revenge porn sites are based on the idea of using nude photos to socially shame women. Yet, at this point, it’s no longer just a problem for the rich and famous.

Don’t Be Tempted to Take Suggestive Selfies
How do you decide if the short-term thrill of sexting is really worth the potentially devastating risk for you? Let’s take a look at what motivates women to strip, snap and send:

  • She didn’t think about future repercussions
  • The "danger" of the deed added thrill and excitement
  • Playing it safe was getting boring
  • She wanted to spice things up with him
  • She felt proud of her hot body
  • She felt empowered by making such a bold move

Did any of these reasons resonate with you? My dating advice for women is, before you ever take a single nude photo, take a step back and determine why you want to share a permanent legacy of your private parts. Could there be any degree of narcissism involved? If you answered yes, perhaps there is a better way to satisfy this need. For instance, maybe you could spice things up once you meet your man in the boudoir with costumes, props or role playing.

The Difference Between You and a Movie Star
When a starlet’s nude photos are revealed, it can be emotionally devastating and embarrassing. But it won’t likely ruin her career. After all, there is an underlying philosophy that any publicity can be helpful. But this is NOT true for your career. If you are a teacher, health-care professional, or climbing the corporate ladder, revealing pictures could be the humiliating end of your bread and butter-earning potential.

While you may be tempted by risky and risqué while texting, it's no longer advisable. If you want to go for it anyway, be sure to avoid your face or any other identifying marks. Body parts that cannot be readily identified will not be as easily tracked back to you.

The Bottom Line
The hard cold truth about sexting with the man you’re seeing is this: Men do not get socially shamed when their nude pics are leaked to the press or the web. But for women, this is an entirely different story (as absolutely wrong and hypocritical as that may be). Don’t gamble with your livelihood and future when you can easily avoid the devastating consequences of a few “harmless” nude images.

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