Unprotected Sexts 


Dear Audrey, I (male) have a friend (female) who makes tons more money than me. When she got a new phone, she agreed to let me have her old one. She wiped it, but somehow didn’t wipe all the photos, and there were some nudes in there, which I didn’t realize until this girl I just started dating asked if she could scroll through some pictures. She found them, and when I tried to explain that it was my friend’s phone, she was just like, “yeah, sure” and didn’t bring it up again. I know she didn’t believe me, but she didn’t seem to care. She hasn’t met any of my friends, but we’re getting to that point—I really like her! But I don’t want stuff to be weird between her and my friend. But also I don’t want to tell my friend about the pictures because I know she’d be really embarrassed. But what I really don’t want to have happen is have the girl I’m dating talk to my friend like she’s my ex (which she thinks, because pictures) and have my friend find out from her about the photos. So what do I do?

Tell your sort-of girlfriend again about how you got the phone, I guess? And ask her not to bring it up with your friend? I mean, that option kind of sucks in the sense that now you’re both keeping something from your friend, but new couples love to have cute little secrets, right? Unless you and your friend have, like, super sexual tension energy—which, if you do, consider my eyebrow raised about “accidentally” leaving the naked pics on the phone—your new lady will see that you guys are just bros and let it go. I assume. But, hey, this is a great time for me to reiterate what I always say when a nude photo issue comes up: take all the sexy pictures you want, sext whomever whatever, but assume that shit will come to light someday.

It’s not like a nude getting out will ruin your life these days, but lots of people are not cool with their nakedness being public. Assume your data isn’t safe, because it isn’t. And I don’t even mean like hackerez or heartbleed or anything like that. (Does anyone else have family that puts tape over the camera on their laptops, ha ha?) I mean stupid shit like this, like leaving something on a phone, on a desktop, accidentally attaching the wrong photo, getting your phone stolen, whatever.

I don’t care if you keep all your nudes in a folder called “system updates [old]”; I don’t care if you’ve got passwords up the ass. You should just assume that whatever photos you take will be seen. Anything that exists can get out. I know I sound like someone’s grandma, but trust me: SHIT GETS OUT. It just does. I’m not trying to be shamey; I love that you guys are taking so much sex photography. We just, unfortunately, live in a world in which people run revenge porn sites without being punished. I am a realist, I guess, when it comes to nudes.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m saying if your friend didn’t want her nudes viewed, she shouldn’t have taken them. I don’t mean that at all! I’m just saying that this a great reminder to us all of how fragile our privacy is.


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