I read yet another story of a sext gone wrong – sent to the boss or the mother – and wondered why we are so embarrassed by sexts. Here’s a picture of the real me! Shock! Horror! I wondered, how could different thinking solve this problem?
Sexting is Very Common
While my generation doesn’t seem to sext (as far as I know…), it seems to be very common amongst the young ones. Studies report 15-88% (yes, really!) of respondents sext. It is now a normal part of the process of developing an intimate relationship with someone – the sharing of pictures of body parts not normally seen. Most deny it publically, but privately, it’s common. Like drugs.
Why Are We Embarrassed?
It’s natural for embarrassment to occur when the sext gets sent to the wrong person. But let’s think about that. How many naked pictures have we seen in our lifetimes? They are everywhere, whether or not we want to see them – on TV, movies, magazines, online. These days we are hardly unaware of what human bodies look like. And, as we all have one, we can hardly be unaware, regardless. Indeed, with reputable art galleries, books and magazines offering full frontal displays of the wide variety of vulvas or penises, sexting is almost thrust in our face, let alone what porn has to offer.
What’s another naked body? But our minds seem stuck in the prudish, prurient age where we were quite ignorant, when they images were not available, when it was regarded as rude or deviant or criminal to offer or to view such images.
So I wondered when and how our views of the human body might change, when could we get over being shocked or embarrassed (here we should excuse the Northern Europeans, for whom nakedness is viewed as a normal part of life). And then I had this idea…
What if We All Sexted…?
Imagine if we all put up images of our naked body, perhaps as our Facebook image or similar. I know you’re horrified at the thought…but think…our bodies would become so ho hum we surely wouldn’t pay them much attention after quite a short time. Everyone has buttocks, half have breasts and vulvas and half have penises – all of varying sizes and shapes. You could ‘display’ yourself just as you would now for Facebook, in a way that suits you best, putting on your best show…but it would have to be naked! Sure, we’d like some more than others, but that’s no different from now and we could more quickly focus on the person within rather than the obvious person without.
And we’d do it for all ages – yes children too. We do this for babies and young children now (without their consent…), so it would just be a natural part of growing up. Your body changes, you can change your picture. But we all know that bodies change, so the changes are viewed as ‘normal’ for life.
What if We Sent More Intimate Pictures to the Wrong Person?
Of course, having everyone’s naked picture doesn’t solve sexting errors directly. But, even if the sext was sent to your boss, surely we’d all be so accustomed to naked pictures, and accepting that sex takes place and is pleasurable, that the boss would just smile and say ‘Nice picture!’ or similar. (Anyway, you would have the boss’s naked picture yourself, so no secret there.)
What About Others Sending Your Picture to the World?
This problem would still exist, unfortunately. Laws need to be changed so that sharing intimate pictures of others without their consent is unlawful.
But, even in this case, we would be so accustomed to naked pictures of everyone that there were be considerably less shock and less value for such sharing. Consider. If we had naked pictures of all the celebrities already, what would be the value of taking naked pictures of them on holidays or wherever?
What About Trolls?
A related and important problem about sexting is trolling – the vindictive criticism of the (beautiful naked) bodies displayed, because the troll doesn’t like some particular part of the sexted body, or doesn’t like the person themselves.
Again, this problem would still exist. But, because everyone – including the troll – would have naked pictures displayed, the troll would themselves be vulnerable and exposed. So there should be less trolling and less shock – we’ve seen the whole variety of bodies. What’s the big deal?
So, let’s do it… Oh, ah, perhaps you could go first….