Not having much sexual release makes you take photos and send them to people, right?
She doesn’t participate in the exchanges, she says, because these days, everything is forever. My photo mostly went away, but hers wouldn’t evaporate so easily.
People weren’t (yet) telling these companies that they needed to work on their security protocols, so that the people using their devices and services would feel safe, or even that our safety was important. I asked people I knew — and many I didn’t — to talk to me about sexts and the stories behind them, the risks, perceived and real, and why they did it, knowing that they could be shared beyond their control.
Lastly, I asked them to share a nude that they had sent to someone.
This project came to life after the celebrity hacks of 2014 and the condescending aftermath of advice toward women that lectured them — us — about taking photos of our bodies, nude or even scantily clad in bikinis or in a dressing room. Not everyone sends nude photos, of course, for a variety of reasons.
We were told that we only had ourselves to blame for expressing sexuality through our devices, and that we couldn’t expect the companies that sell us these machines and services to protect us if we behaved in a way deemed inappropriate. But many people I’ve talked to define a sext as anything sent with sexual intent, be it a suggestive Gchat exchange, a racy photo, a suggestive Snapchat, or even those aqua-blue droplets of sweat emoji.