Chapter 3 - Situations Subchapter: Sexting

Consensual sexting

Consenting to sext

Consent applies to sexting, just as it applies to any other shared physically intimate activity.

As a society, we’ve decided one person can’t just take what they want or do what they want to another person.

Every YES must be freely given, otherwise there is no consent. A NO is always a no, regardless of the circumstances. 

 

We can use the Field Model to think about managing shared relationship decisions like sexting.

 

A smartphone text conversation: wyd? in bed. wbu? [eggplant emoji]. haha. wanna see? sure!

 

CAN SEND NUDES?

The Field Model diagram with two characters set to Yes and entering the Action Zone.

 

If both people agree YES to sexting, then both have consented and can enter the ACTION ZONE.

 

The Action Zone is when both people agree YES to a decision. Remember, it’s only the Action Zone for the specific thing that was agreed.

 

A smartphone text conversation: wyd? in bed. wbu? [eggplant emoji]. haha. wanna see? [angry face emoji]

 

CAN SEND A NUDES?

The Field Model diagram with one character set to No, so both move to the End Zone.

 

One person wants to send a nude (YES) but the other person doesn’t want to receive a nude (NO).

If one person decides NO then both persons are in the End Zone.

 

If one person says NO then both persons are in the End Zone.

A person must feel safe to say No and the other person must respect that NO regardless of how they might feel.

 

NO means there is no consent to sending a nude.

 

What does unsolicited mean?

If something is unsolicited it means no-one asked for it.

  • I really don’t like your new hair cut
  • Who asked you!

 

  • That band is so lame!
  • Who cares what you think!

 

  • what! i thought you’d like it!
  • but you really turn me on!
  • ruthere?

Sending an unsolicited message, pic or video to someone means you are doing something to another person without their consent.

If they didn’t ask for the sext, they may not want it.

Sending an unwanted sext is ignoring the other person’s rich inner world and not thinking about their thoughts, feelings, and desires.

If unsolicited sexting is done repeatedly, then it’s harassment.

 

If you receive an unsolicited intimate image or video

  • If you don’t know the sender block them without responding.
  • If you know the sender, delete it without sharing and make it clear you don’t want to receive any more unsolicited sexts.
  • If it is someone from school, you can contact the school.
  • If you are under 16 and an adult is sending you naked images, that’s a crime and you can report the matter to the police or ask a parent or guardian for help.
  • If you know the sender and feel comfortable stepping in, remind the sender they should not send sexts without consent, delete the item from their device, let the victim know their image has been shared without consent.