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What you need to know about sexting

You’ve probably heard of sexting. It’s when you send or receive a message or image that has sexual content like a nude picture, sexy words or a video.

Girl posing and winking suggestively as she takes a selfie

To sext or not to sext?

Sexting is generally okay if it's between two consenting adults

Choosing whether or not to sext is totally up to you. It’s NEVER ok for someone to pressure you into sexting.

People express their sexuality in lots of different ways, including sexting. They might choose to sext to:

  • Have fun or flirt
  • Explore their sexuality
  • Build self-confidence
  • Explore their identity
  • Stay connected in a long distance relationship
  • Explore trust and intimacy in a relationship

Sexting might seem like fun but it can also have consequences

When you send a nude photo of yourself to someone, what happens to it and where it goes next is often out of your control. Your photo could end up anywhere.

You may trust the person you're sexting with right now, but people can change and unexpected things can happen.

Breakup with boyfriend or girlfriend
Photo is sent to others or shared online
Phone or account is stolen or hacked
Family, friends or a future boss might find the photo online

Remember - taking, sending or receiving a sexy image of a person under 18 is illegal. Sexting is also a crime if it involves harassment.

What to do after you send a sext you regret

Take a deep breath. We understand how easily things can get out of hand, even when you didn’t mean them to.

Here's what you can do:

  • Ask the person to delete your message and watch them do it
  • Talk to a trusted adult or contact Kids Helpline
  • Un-tag yourself from the photo (if it’s online)
  • Report the image so it can be removed (if it’s online)

“No one has the right to pressure you into doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing.”

What if I get a sexy image sent to me that I don’t want?

Don’t forward it to anyone
Delete the message
Report the image (if it’s online) so it can be removed
Tell the person not to send anymore & block them if they do
Change your mobile number

Report Image Based Abuse

You're not alone when it comes to dealing with sexting! You can make a complaint to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

It’s important to figure out what you feel comfortable with sharing...

As what you share with others could become public.

If you’re worried about an image that’s sent, received or posted online, you can always visit the eSafety website to find out more about what you can do.

If you’re still unsure about what to do and want to talk more about sexting, give us a call, start a WebChat or send us an email today.

This content was last reviewed 15/02/2018

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