How to send nude photos safely

Naughty photos can be fun and add spice to a relationship, as long as they’re sent in a safe and secure environment.

We live in a (cyber)world where just about everyone has a camera phone. This means a lot of fun and games for couples, including sexting and sending explicit photos.

However, with all of this new technology, there are also a ton of hackers with a keen interest in obtaining these photos. 

Only a Google search away are thousands of stored and leaked nudes of celebrities and everyday women. Furthermore, post-Snowden, it’s common knowledge that state-sponsored dragnet surveillance captures and profiles the intimate photos and pornography habits of all users.

Sexting, the sending and receiving of sexually explicit messages or photos, is typically done on cell phones through many different applications. These include texting, Tinder, Facebook and Snapchat. 

There has been a recent moral panic over the ethics and privacy issues of sexting. Let’s wade through some of the controversy. 

An article published in the Washington Post raises some serious points about privacy risks: first, your nudie can be infinitely copied, and second, in most cases it can be traced back to your identity. This can have significant impact on people’s lives, particularly in their social groups and career opportunities.  

However, according to a study from Drexel University’s Psychology Department, sexting is incredibly common, with almost 88 per cent of respondents having sexted at least once in their lives.  

The reality here is that people are doing it. So how do we approach this safely?

It’s easy to get caught up in the dizzying array of warnings about the dangers of sexting and nudies.  However, many of these arguments are centered on underage teens. So let’s say that we’re all of age: what are some strategies that will make sexting safer? 

Communicate consent

One important dimension is consent. Trust and communication is essential to safe sexting. Be sure to consider that you may not be with your partner forever. It’s important to communicate how the sexts will be stored and what will happen to them if you split up.  

Delete metadata

Metadata can link your personal information to your photos. This means that your photo can be tracked back to you. The date, time and location of the photo, as well as the particular device, is all embedded into the image. Research methods to remove that metadata (it’s easier than you think) so you can add another layer of anonymity.

Obscure personal features

It’s important to consider not including your face in the photo, as well as any identifying features, such as tattoos and other personal effects. The goal here is to take or edit the photo in such a way that it can’t be traced back to you.    

Sociologist Danah Boyd calls Internet media  a “mediated public”,  which requires consideration of particular characteristics before posting anything. Information hangs around. It can be searched, it can be copied and it can be seen by an unknowable amount of strangers. 


Sexting is a popular and fun way of sharing intimate moments. However, it’s important to protect yourself in the ambiguous expanses of cyberspace. It’s also of critical importance to consider that whether or not you believe sending nudes is ethical, their use is increasing in our society. This means that we need to develop safe ways to practice sexting.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.