When I was 19, I got into a long-distance relationship with someone that was over 3,000 miles away. To see each other, it took a plane ride. So we tried to do intimate things without being physically there. One of the things I did was send photos. Most of them were just sexy, but several were nudes.
The understanding was that should we ever break up, he would delete the photos. When we broke up he turned into a gigantic baby about everything and was a total asshole to me. Needless to say, I doubt that he deleted the photos. I’m still waiting for someone to one day send me a link to a porn site and ask if this is indeed me. From then on, I’ve never sent nude photos to a guy that I’ve been dating.
While this might seem like common sense, it’s really not. I’m limiting my interactions with people all because of the chance that one of them is going to betray my trust and specifically do something that they agreed not to. I shouldn’t have to live assuming that everyone is a lying asshole that will share private photos should I ever annoy them. But I do. As open as I am about most things, I’m not open about that. I want my privacy in that specific area and any risk of compromising that is too much risk.
But this is my personal decisions. I shouldn’t have to make this choice, but I have. No one else should be forced to restrict their actions because of unscrupulous people, but the reality is that people are more than willing to blame people, particularly women, whenever they do. When it was revealed that nude photos of famous women were stolen from them and passed around on the Internet some people reacted like decent human beings and condemned the hacker for stealing personal photos of women that were private and committing a sex crime against them.
Oh, but others. Others were quick to blame the women for taking pictures of their own bodies at all. As if that is somehow wrong. Let alone to use modern technology. Let alone think that they are entitled to any kind of privacy whatsoever. It’s always been a problem with people thinking that they own celebrities and men thinking that they own women. But when female celebrities come into play, it’s just naturally assumed that they are for public consumption.
The truth is that every person should be free to photograph their own body for their own personal use without fear of it ending up splashed all over the Internet without their permission. There should be no assumption that a woman is to blame for someone committing a crime against her. But where would society be without victim blaming? We might actually be nice to each other and go after the real criminals; those that break the law and invade privacy.
In the end, if anyone hacks my photostream the only provocative photos they will find will be of penises. I collect dick pics, for reasons that I will explain in good time. It’s sad that I have resorted to this measure of protection. I’ve decided not to send photos to people that I trust and want to explore my own sexuality with, all for fear that they will be dishonest. I shouldn’t have to do that. I shouldn’t have to assume that everyone I send a photo to is a potential betrayer that will ignore my privacy for their own ends. But my photosteam remains, so hack away, hackers. I just hope you like penis.