nude photo etiquette teaser
nude photo etiquette teaser

Is It Ethical to Keep Those Naked Pics of Your Ex?

This post is also available in: Español

There’s not much hotter than that moment while you’re text-flirting when a nude pic slides into your convo. That’s when I personally know I’m sexually compatible with a potential partner, and it allows for exploration of their eroticism and sexual confidence. But what about nude photo etiquette?

Solid relationships are built on deep intimacy and multiple levels of compatibility and, as I’ve written before, sex is intimacy building. Chemistry needs to be assessed, whether it’s done before or after having dinner or coffee. Even though sending nude pics is now a very common form of flirtation, everyone isn’t comfortable receiving them, so send your dick pics with care and consent.

Nudes come in many flavors — raw pics, airbrushed or edited pics, professional pics and XXX — all arousing, depending on your interest. But they’re for you two only, and they are sent as an act of trust.

nude photo etiquette teaser statue

Sexting is a gift of technology, a tool to connect and flirt. But a few people lacking integrity have also made it dangerous.  

Thanks to a multitude of sex-shamers and abusers, it’s appropriately now illegal in many states (due to revenge porn laws) to send, post publicly or share nude pics that are not owned by you. The law supports the concept that you do not own pics that are sent to you, as sending them does not transfer ownership to you.

The sole purpose of snapping and sending each other pics of your bits is to arouse, flirt, connect and form relationships, even if sexually based. To turn that into a weapon used against someone — or to misuse by sharing or showing others — violates this and means the rest of us can’t have nice things.  

The message of nude photo etiquette is to honor when the “dirty pics” are no longer useful as a form of sex and intimacy as the relationship ends, and delete them. There are always more dick pics to come, and tons of amateur sites exist where people will happily sell you new ones if that’s your main sexual thing.   

Show some integrity and remember that what you do markets your integrity to other potential dates, too. Be wary of people who flash and share pics that others have sent them. And don’t support your friends in passing them around or sharing them. It’s a misuse of intimacy and trust.  

For those who want to join in on the fun but have some anxiety, leave your face out of the pics.

Soon the day will come when our naked bodies bring ‘out there’ publicly will no longer harm us or be used to reduce our respectability or to challenge our professionalism. Nude photos will instead be seen for what they are: a reflection of a confident sexual person resisting cultural sex shame and body policing.

Until then, have respect for the gift you are given when someone sends you a nice eggplant.

Dr. Chris Donaghue is a lecturer, therapist and host of the LoveLine podcast, a weekly expert on The Amber Rose Show, and a frequent co-host on TV series The Doctors. He previously hosted WE tv’s Sex Box and Logo’s Bad Sex. He authored the book Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture and has been published in various professional journals and top magazines, including The New York Times, Newsweek, Cosmo and National Geographic. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

What are your thoughts on nude photo etiquette? Sound off in the comments.