It’s been nearly two years since politician Anthony Weiner brought sexting to the mainstream media—more about that here—but it’s like not the controversy surrounding erotic texts has disappeared. If anything, it’s been discussed more heavily as we all try to figure out how to exactly this relatively new aspect of dating and what it means for society as a whole. And in thinking about this, I decided to throw together some ideas regarding what you (the reader) may be doing wrong when it comes to your own sexts.
The first bit of advice is so obvious that it shouldn’t have to be said, but let’s be real: there’s always room for idiots to do stupid things. With that in mind, we should be mindful of said stupid things, if only to avoid ever taking part in such activities. OK, here goes: apparently people are using their company cellphones to sext. Yes, this is something that actually happens. It’s so bad, in fact, that this survey from Kessler International lists it as one of the biggest problems employers have with members of their staff. According to the survey, “[unanimously], every single person polled indicated that they observed untimely and inappropriate use of cellphones by their staff.” Look, it’s one thing to use your phone here and there, but inappropriately? As in sending a sext with a phone you only have because you somehow have a job? Stop it.
That same sentiment goes for anyone still including his or her face in that explicit photo you sent via text. And if you think there is an insignificant group of people doing this, you’d be wrong. Enter Adam & Eve’s ongoing survey in which they have been asking more than 1,000 men and women to share their sexting habits. Their latest results, titled “What’s In A Sext?“, show that 20 percent of Americans who participate in sexting have sent a scandalous photo that shows their face. Big no-no, right there. While she’s all for people exploring their sexuality in a positive way, A&E sexologist Dr. Kat encouraged people to keep their faces out of it. Why? Because it’s the best way to protect your privacy when sending a sexy photo or video to someone.
Dr. Kat’s advice is particularly relevant at a time when photo leaks remain a serious issue. Surely you remember last summer when a slew of celebrities (mostly female) had their private nude photos uploaded to the web by dirty hackers. Well, that same thing can happen to you, too. And even though you shouldn’t have to worry about hackers or a frustrated lover sharing your very personal information, you can avoid it all by leaving your face out of it. This is particularly helpful for anyone using Snapchat as a means of sending dirty pics. Sure, the message self-deletes, but people can easily take a screenshot and save that photo for, well, however long as they want.
Another easy bit of advice, particularly when it comes to social media, is to avoid using a screen name that resembles your government name. Go for an alias that’s completely different, especially if you’re sharing tweets, photos, etc. that could potentially screw you over. You wouldn’t complain about your boss under an obvious Twitter handle, right? Then don’t do the same in sending a series of nudes over Snapchat. Common sense, right? Sure, but we aren’t all blessed with that attribute.
When taking part in anything with potentially negative repercussions, it’s really just wise to think about said repercussions before pressing send. If your face is in the photo, take a second to crop it so no one can trace it back to you. If you have a screen name that sounds like your actual name, change it. And if you’re somehow dumb enough to send an explicit message with your work phone… well, enjoy the pink slip, I guess. That one is definitely on you.