Sexting

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Sexting

Postby Karyn » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:24 pm

Almost every day, I run across something in the media - a newspaper article or a blog post or a piece on the news - talking about young people and sexting. The majority of the time, it's framed as a negative, dangerous thing, that must be stopped. It's linked to other "risky" behaviours, and the general vibe is panic. But not a lot of adults, it seems, have actually bothered to ask young people what purpose sexting serves in their lives, or even if you all see "sexting" as something different to flirting, or being sexual with someone.

So: what are your experiences and opinions? Does sexting warrant all this panic and negativity?
"It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it." -Terry Pratchett
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Re: Sexting

Postby soft_masc » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:47 pm

I feel like sexting as an issue is way overblown. When I was several years younger and experiencing my sexual self for the first time in an abusive relationship, I definitely sent some sexts I regret, but I haven't suffered for sending them. These days I do occasionally sext my girlfriend, usually when I'm out of the country for a while. It's always been pleasant for us and it makes us feel closer when we're apart.

I'm not really sure what the fuss about it being "risky" is about: I understand there have been stories about teenagers (usually vulnerable young women) doing serious harm to themselves when threatened with or faced with some sexual content of theirs being made public. However, if adults address stigma and sex-shaming with their children and peers in a concerted effort to dismantle it, rather than incite panic about sexting and reinforce to vulnerable young people in danger from themselves or others that they should feel ashamed and alone because they have done something morally reprehensible, youth might not feel so devoid of options.
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Re: Sexting

Postby Keda » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:37 am

One thing I always find slightly odd about this whole discussion is that in my experience, a lot of adults sext, and were doing so long before "sexting" was a recognised thing. But as usual, when adults do something sexual, society treats it as their business and no-one else's; when teenagers are doing it, it's suddenly okay to condemn the whole activity.
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Re: Sexting

Postby zeitvogel » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:50 am

I'm actually not sure about the definition of this word, so I have a question. Does sexting always include pictures, or can it be just words?

When I see handwringing in the media it's always about pictures but I'm kinda used to the media getting things wrong :)
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Re: Sexting

Postby Mo » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:44 pm

Sexting can certainly be just text as well as pictures! I think you're right though that most of the "sexting panic" articles and commentary are focused on photos. Probably a big reason behind that is that sexual photos can cause more problems for someone down the road than text, if a partner or anyone else decides to use them as a weapon or if the person taking or distributing the photos is underage.
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Re: Sexting

Postby Karyn » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:00 pm

Part of my problem with the sexting issue is that everyone seems to have a slightly different idea about what sexting actually is. Some people define it as just images, others as text and pictures...it's not clear. Most of the "sexting panic" in the media though is about images, as Mo said, probably because pictures can potentially cause more problems (if the sender and/or recipient are underage, in many places, it falls into the legal category of creating or possessing child pornography, regardless of the intent of the people involved).
"It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it." -Terry Pratchett
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Re: Sexting

Postby Jacob » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:39 am

I am actually a relatively big fan of sexting for myself, and as a teen did a lot of cybersex which was great (and some fine creative writing practise!)

But now I have really felt like I've had to curb that part of my sexuality... because as far as I can see, most employers and/or the general public consider it the fault of a person if their images get leaked, as if they have done something really stupid by trusting the privacy offered to them by partners. I just find that really depressing... if my trust has been betrayed why should I be reprimanded. But, as someone who wants to work with young people, it does seem that something like that would really get in the way if it fell into the wrong hands.

I guess the nerd in me also doesn't like that the internet is largely under the influence organisations who benefit from big data and cloud computing, and so that's where all our activity gets pushed, instead of in our own computers, etc, where we would be more empowered to decide how our info is used.
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