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Should people send nudes?  

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno – The Sentry

Sending nudes is not smart  

Opinion by Sarah McLaughlin

Relationships in the digital age have allowed people to be intimate in more ways. More and more people are exchanging nude photos of themselves as a sign of sexual attraction. While sending nudes might seem appealing, it isn’t a smart idea to send them to anyone. 

When someone sends a nude, they might not consider the repercussions it could cause. Even if the person sending the nude trusts the recipient and believes that they won’t use it for malicious intent, the worst-case scenarios still need to be considered. When people send nudes, they need to consider that once the photograph is in the recipient’s hands, that person can do anything they want it with it, which includes sharing it with others, which can lead to the photo being leaked to the internet. In other cases, a person’s phone can get hacked or the recipient of the nude can use it as a way of blackmail. 

While the act of sending a nude can be considered empowering to the individual, it also works to empower the recipient of the nude.  When looking at the definition of empowerment and what it means, empowerment can be described as “giving authority or power to someone to do something.” By applying this definition to when someone sends a nude, they aren’t giving themselves authority or power. Instead, they are giving the person they are sending the nude to power. 

Others might argue that sending nudes can be healthy, because it teaches body positivity. However, this isn’t always the case. In an article written by psychologists titled “Is sexting good or bad for you?” Psychologists studied the consequences of sending “sexts” and argued that “many people experience regret or worry about the pictures they have sent to recent partners, and some even report discomfort and trauma at the time they sent the pictures.” With that in mind, sending a nude can be considered  unhealthy because of the effects to one’s mental health after the photo is sent.

While sending a nude to someone may sound like a good idea, it is safer to just not. In the end, the person sending the photograph is uncertain of what might happen following the exchange.

Sending nudes is a-ok

Opinion by Zoë Sackett

Sharing nude photos has always been highly controversial, and with the rise of social media, the idea of sending nudes has become more prevalent than ever. 

The sending of a nude or illicit image has been widely criticized as dangerous and unnecessary, putting the person sending the images at risk for humiliation, public shame, or blackmail. 

However, any personal relationship involves a level of vulnerability. A large part of being intimate with someone is the ability to trust them with secrets and pieces of information that one might not want shared with the rest of the world. 

A personal secret or piece of information shared in some traceable way, such as via the internet, could potentially be far more damaging than a nude. 

At the end of the day, exploiting someone’s shared nudes is the fault of the exploiter, not that of the person who sent the nudes. Sharing nudes without permission is a form of sexual assault; therefore, sharing nudes is an act not only of consent but maturity as well. 

However, the sharing of nudes can be an empowering and healthy way to embrace one’s sexuality. Choosing to share nudes or not, much like choosing to have sex or not, or choosing to partake in any other aspect of one’s sexuality, is a personal choice. It can be rooted in a wide variety of someone’s values and cultural practices, including their religion, belief system, moral code, or any other personal reasonings. 

The decision to have sex, to send nudes, or to participate in any type of sexual activity has long been dismissed and demonized, often written off as frivolous, irresponsible, or even criminal. However, taking ownership over one’s body and sexuality can be a form of empowerment. Deciding where and when to send a nude and whom to send it to gives one control over their own sexual decisions and the ability to share or not share intimacy at will.     


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