This guy I'm casually seeing -- he doesn't even live in the same state -- asked me to send him a dirty picture via text. I was reluctant at first, but after some hemming and hawing, I sent him a cleavage shot that didn't include my face. Now, though, I feel kind of weird about it. I don't really want this to become a habitual thing. Am I being a prude here?
No, you're not. I know it can feel like everyone is sexting and sending dirty pictures and making sex tapes -- I mean, it's practically a high school graduation requirement these days. It also doesn't help that such "news" is often splashed all over the various news media. For instance, there was the recent Scarlett Johansson nude picture leak, and that congressman who resigned over a TwitDick scandal, then lost his Democratic seat to a Republican. What was his name again? Anthony Schlong?
The bottom line is that it's your body. You can do whatever you want with it, but if something makes you uncomfortable, you also have every right to tell that guy to fuck off. No exceptions. You don't even have to give him a reason, other than "I don't want to." Even if it's something most would consider a norm, or no big deal.
Dirty pics are a phenomenon that's become increasingly common, thanks to technology and our tendency to want to always exploit it for sexual reasons.
Recent research at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne found, "With casual sexual partners, flings or hookups not boyfriends or
girlfriends, 70 percent had sent or received sexually explicit text
messages, and 51 percent had sent or received sexually explicit pictures
or videos." When in a committed relationship, the numbers go up to 80 percent for texts and 60 percent for images and videos.
What people forget, though, is that shit has the staying power of fruitcake, and once it leaves your hands, you never know whether it'll someday end up on an amateur porn site, in your fuck buddy's second cousin's wank bank, or one of those awful ex-girlfriend revenge sites. There are also some cases of teens sexting who end up on the sex offender registry for "distributing child pornography." It's rare, but it happens. I doubt you're under 18 (your use of the word "habitual" was a tip-off), but you still have every reason to be paranoid.
This isn't to say that your casual fuck buddy is out to blackmail you or ruin your chances of running for political office. Nor should we all live in fear that those we share our naughty bits with are trying to irreparably damage or harm us. It's possible I've been reading too many Joyce Carol Oates books. Posing for and sending dirty pics can be really hot and fun, but as with other nefarious activities that leave an e-footprint, it comes with an added level of trust and responsibility, which it doesn't sound like you have with this guy.
There's no shame in your discomfort. Also, you don't need to go reaching for the Prudey Pruderton label simply because you have boundaries. I know that talks of female sexuality tend to be rather polarizing, but a wide spectrum exists between the two chasms of Celibate Nun and Attila the Slut. Respect your own desires and you'll be fine. Keeping your face and other identifiable features out of frame was a smart call, too.
PS: If you want the lowdown on how to better protect your pictures/accounts from being hacked, go read this informative piece at Salon.
mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with
others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette
involving technology, shoot her a question at AskAnnaSF@gmail.com.