But it didn't, and then it trended on Facebook, too.
I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone -- especially the young people: almost everyone you share a nude selfie with will show at least one (but usually multiple) other person.
According to Fight the New Drug, 17% of people who receive nudes share them with one person, and 55% share them with more than one person. And once it's on the internet, there's not a whole lot you can do about it.
I'm old -- when I started high school, people still used landlines. But slowly, students started getting cell phones. By my junior year, I'd say at least half of us has cell phones.
And a small number of people were sending nudes.
You know how I know?
Not because I ever saw any. I wasn't really into that scene.
I know because, two weeks ago, I was talking to a friend from high school, and he told me the names of multiple girls whose nudes he had seen. He didn't even know them in real life, but he had seen their nudes.
More than ten years ago.
I guess the nudes left an impression.
The point is, ladies (and, to a lesser extent, gents): if you send nudes, others will see them.
To me, this seems obvious. But there is a chance it isn't.
When I was in Costa Rica a few weeks ago, nudes somehow came up. I was having a conversation with another traveler I'd met down there, and he recounted a "funny" story:
"A bunch of my friends and I were hanging out before I left, and someone made a joke about nude selfies and how everyone shares them. Most of us knowingly agreed -- but one girl got super upset and started insisting that guys don't share them.
If was obvious from the way she was talking that she sends or sent nudes, and sincerely thought the guys wouldn't share them. It was a little uncomfortable, but we were all just laughing."
That's sad. Poor girl.
Now, I get that there's a difference in trust and expectations when you're sending nudes to the guy who sits behind you in math class vs. your boyfriend of two months or a year or three years.
But, 1. People get hacked. They lend people their phones. They forget to log out of stuff. Things like what happened to Jennifer Lawrence happen.
And people snoop. I had a really good friend once. A boyfriend, actually. I was hanging out in his dorm room once with him and his roommates and their girlfriends, when my boyfriend had to leave.
After he left, everyone started joking about something this boyfriend had written in his journal.
I knew the exact journal they were talking about. I'd seen it many times -- on his bed, on his desk. But I had never so much as touched it, because, to me, that would be the biggest betrayal ever. It's like emotional rape.
But apparently I was the only one who felt that way -- every single other person in that whole room had read my boyfriend's journal, and laughed about it behind his back.
If they had no problem going through his journal, do you think they would have had a problem going through his phone? If I'd sent him nudes, everyone in that whole room would have seen -- and maybe even shared -- them.
And 2. Lots of people are horrible, crazy people. More than you think. I know people who have been so majorly betrayed by partners of multi-year relationships... that just thinking about it makes me feel like I've been punched in the stomach.
I've had partners I was with for one, or even four, years. I trusted them completely, and I am 100% sure none of them would have ever violated my privacy had I sent them nudes.
But the thing is. That trust. That certainty. That closeness. That's the exact same thing so many women who ended up on revenge porn sites felt when they sent their nudes, too.
Revenge porn is a horrible thing. Anyone who would distribute it is a monster -- there's no doubt about that. But, sadly, legislation hasn't quite kept up with the times, and not all states have laws to protect victims of revenge porn. Those that do often contain shitty language or qualifiers, like, nude selfies don't count as revenge porn, because you took the photo yourself; the intent of the distributer must be to cause emotional distress (but it's okay if the motivation was profit or lulz or whatever).
What makes a good revenge porn law, then?
Illinois has set a good example -- I found this infographic interesting. Credit: Cyber Civil Rights Initiative.
According to Nancy Jo Sales, author of the bestselling book American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, almost every high school -- and middle school -- in the country has a "slut page" -- an instagram account or website where boys post nudes and suggestive photos of underage girls in their school.
Isn't that so horrible and messed up?
They're doing it out of hate.
(Not that doing it out of hurt or anger makes it okay... it's just a sad distinction.)
It's disgusting, it's immoral, and it's probably at least a little related to arousal addiction and porn culture among young men.
According to Sales, it isn't always clear to young girls how they should respond when they're asked to send a nude. They wonder whether they should do it. "Will he think I'm a prude if I don't?" "Will it make him like me if I do?"
Which is exactly why I recently wrote, In One Nasty Tweet, Kim Kardashian COMPLETELY Undermines Her Whole "Nude Selfies Are Empowering" Thing. In it, I wrote,
"I am all about loving your body. I identify as a beautiful woman, and encourage other women to #ChooseBeautiful. But it’s important to know that your true value isn’t just about sex and appearance. Based on the evidence -- including that provided by Kim herself -- nude selfies are neither liberating nor empowering.
Asking a woman for nudes isn't a way to show appreciation or respect. It's a way to objectify and insult her."
Another thing that sucks about nude selfie/porn culture:
It fosters this idea that a lot of women (and girls) believe -- that pleasure and sexuality must be performed, rather than felt, enjoyed or experienced.
That's exactly what Peggy Orenstein found in her recent book, Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. In a recent survey of sexually active high school and college students, girls who were asked when they enjoyed sexual encounters often responded with descriptions of their looks or performance -- e.g., "I liked it because I knew I looked good," as opposed to, "I liked it because he paid attention to my pleasure and the experience was emotionally/sexually fulfilling."
This may be why so many feminists wrongfully believe that the orgasm gap exists because of "the patriarchy." The orgasm gap is very real -- but it exists because women aren't setting boundaries, standards or expectations that encourage (or help) their partners give them pleasure.
Instead of telling guys, "I'm really excited to have sex with you -- but in order to orgasm, I'll need [X amount or kind] of foreplay, first,"...
They send nude selfies. They pay good money to get their pubes ripped out. They accommodate the expectations of their male partners -- which, often, come directly from porn (for example porn often implies force-- e.g., "crushing" and "destroying pussies").
They do what it takes to "be sexy" and fit the porn star look and behavior, without necessarily considering what they want from an encounter -- or even what would feel good to them.
This isn't happening because of nude selfies. But I think nudes are a symptom of this unfortunate social disease.
I'll conclude with one last excerpt from my Kim Kardashian post:
I love the way I look -- but that's not why I value myself. That's not why I want others to value me.In fact, I spent years intentionally wearing unflattering clothing, because I know I have more to offer than good looks.
And! when you value yourself for your kindness, sense of humor, intelligence and other non-sex things, other women will never make you feel bad about yourself. Even if they are skinnier or more beautiful than you, you’re not going to feel bad about it.
For example, I know I’ll never look or move as beautifully as Blake Lively. But I’m so excited about my work, my travels, my surfing and my songwriting, that it’s like, “Who cares? I’ve got so much going on, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!” She's pretty, I'm pretty, and we're both living lives we love. What could be better?