Symbiotic Relationships In Sexting

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sexting is the term used to describe the exchange of nude photos between two consenting individuals. The problem is, sexting is not as black and white as it sounds. 

Sometimes, people send nude photos of themselves to others solely because they feel obligated to. Often, people who face a lack of self-worth worry that the receiver of the nude photo would no longer be in the picture if their nudity was no longer in the picture. 

Here are a few environmental science terms I felt effectively described the various symbiotic relationships between adults who send nude photos.

*Not-So-Fun Fact: Whether or not you are under the age of 18, if you get caught with an explicit photo of a minor, you can get charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. 

**BONUS Not-So-Fun-Fact: Snapchat's screenshot notifications is not full-proof. Guess what that means? That 5-second photo you sent could now be all over the Internet without you knowing your nude photo ever made it to 6 seconds on the photo-receiver's phone.

One adult sends a nude photo of himself or herself to another adult in hopes of bringing them pleasure.

Ex.) A woman gets home from work and sends her husband a nude photo of herself as foreplay.

One adult gets pleasure sending a nude photo of himself or herself to a consenting adult; the receiver of the nude photo receives pleasure from getting the nude photo.

Ex.) A man sends a photo of himself to his boyfriend to sexually arouse him, then his boyfriend sends him a nude photo.

One adult sends a nude photo to another adult because they feel obligated to.

Ex.) A woman feels like the only way she can get a man's attention is by sending him a nude photo of herself.

There is a thin line between commensalism and parasitism. As thin as it might be, it is a strict, rigid line. Commensalism is to bring pleasure to someone because you WANT to. Parasitism is trying to bring pleasure to someone because you feel like you HAVE to.  

If naked photos are exchanged between two consenting adults, the risque photos are relatively harmless. They still carry a certain level of risk, however, because there is still the potential that the nude photos will be shared. The distribution of these photos can affect peoples' lives on both a personal and work level. 

Bottom Line: If you are going to send a nude photo of yourself to another person, do it because YOU want to. Do not do it because you feel obligated. If someone is only sticking around because of your naked body, they are not worth having in your life. Hold out for someone who cares about your naked soul more than your naked body. 

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