Australia has more phones than we do people. Whether we like it or not technology, is a really important part of our lives, and it doesn’t look like this is going to change any time soon.
Humans have been using different forms of communication to send sexy material for a while, so this is nothing new. Way before any media we have known that people sent erotic literature by mail. When Polaroid cameras hit the market it became much easier to snap a cheeky pic, and have it developed in a matter of seconds. So it makes sense that with so many of us having mobile phones and the clarity of camera features that the next way people communicate sexually is through sexting.
Here’s a list of pros and cons of sexting, to help you decide what’s best for you:
- It can be fun, it can be an easy way to express and enjoy yourself sexually.
- You can’t get pregnant, get STIs (sexually transmitted infections) or BBVs (blood borne viruses).
- If you or your partner/s don’t live in the same place or you aren’t ready for sexual contact yet, it can be a way to explore.
- Legal consequences
- The legal age of consent for sex in Western Australia is 16. But, to be able to send sexual photos you have to be 18.
- If you are 15 and you send a nude (or even just sexually suggestive picture) photo to your partner/s you could be charged with producing and sending sexual images of someone under the age of 16.
- Your partner/s could also be charged with possessing sexual images of someone under 16.
- Even if you say you wanted to take the photos, under the law this is not an excuse.
- If you are found guilty, you won’t be able to work with kids (e.g. become a teacher) and may have your details places on a register of sex offenders.
- Once you send the picture you can’t get it back. Unfortunately, just because you only send it to one person, it doesn’t necessarily mean only one person will see it. This breach of consent can be really painful, and hurtful, but this is one of those risks involved.
If you have had a photo of you shared online or with friends without your consent and want to talk to someone about it, you can call:
Sexual Health Helpline on (08) 9227 6178 (metro) or 1800 198 205 (country) with:
If you have had a photo of you shared online or with friends without your consent and want to talk to someone about it, you can contact:
- Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
- SHQ Counselling on (08) 9228 3693 for an appointment for counselling in person or over the phone. Free for young people.
For information on how to report the image, see https://www.esafety.gov.au/.
How to know if sexting right for you
Before you send nudes to someone it’s important to know what the risks are. By law you cannot take, store or send sexual photos of someone under 16, even if it’s of yourself and even if you want to. There can be serious consequences if are found guilty of this, which can limit your job choices later in life. It’s also important to note that no one should ever be able to force you to take or send photos of yourself if you don’t want to.
Overall, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your partner/s. If you do have any more questions about sexting, check out these websites: