My boyfriend wants us to start “sexting.” I really don’t want to and am embarrassed, but don’t want him to lose interest in me and I’ve watched my friends do it. What should I do?
Dear “Just Say NO to Sexting,”
There are 3 reasons you should not start sexting*: 1) you don’t want to; 2) it embarrasses you; and 3) it’s against the law. From your question, one thing is clear: that you don’t want to start sexting. You should never do anything in a relationship that makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, which is not good for your self esteem. There’s nothing sexier to a young man than a young woman who is confident, has control over her choices and respects herself. Young men are entertained by sexting and girls who are willing to play with them in that way, but what they truly want at the end of the day and to think about is a girl who doesn’t give themselves away in that way – sexting or otherwise. If you’re still unsure, just know that sexting by a minor can be against the law. Minors who send sexually explicit photos of themselves or circulate them can face prosecution for possession of child pornography. And don’t forget, once you send that photo off, he can circulate it to friends or publish it on the web where it will be forever to follow you through life. Your future jobs and reputation can suffer because of a bad choice to hit the “send” button on your phone. Also, SB919 is a California Bill that makes sexting on school grounds a reason to get expelled. All in all, sexting is a serious matter, your gut is telling you not to, and I can’t think of one good reason to do it. You may catch that boy’s attention, but trust me – when all the fun is done, that boy won’t respect you, you won’t respect yourself, and you may find yourself in trouble. Oh and by the way, if you need an excuse, just say your parents can check your phone and you don’t want to risk it being taken away. Good luck and high fives to no sexting!
* Sexting is the sending or receiving of sexually explicit photos. 20 percent of teens have reported sending or posting nude or semi-nude pictures and videos of themselves.