Sexting. It's not a new practice - it's been going on for years, but with the invention of the cell-phone, sharing nude photos with friends and lovers has become more and more popular. Now if you're married, this blog doesn't apply to you. Do whatever you want. But when it comes to unmarried folk, this is a big issue.
Working with teenagers, I hear lots of thoughts on this issue. Some of them say things like, "what's the big deal" and "it's not hurting anyone." But it is.
Here are some things to think about.
1. You devalue yourself
By sending naked pictures of yourself, you communicate (to that the guy you're sending these pictures to) that he has NO substantial requirements to partake in your sexuality. Your sexuality is something sacred that should be EARNED - not OFFERED. Once he sees a nude picture of you, he WILL begin to equate you with the pictures of porn stars that he has seen and expect you to act and be just like them. Men were programmed to WORK for something - that is how we learn to value. Don't perpetuate his laziness. Make him work for it.
2. You strip your sexuality of its power
You need to start taking your sexuality seriously - and not in a prude, puritan way. You must realize that along with your body, you offer a powerful emotional and spiritual experience. Having sex with you should be considered an incredible privilege - restricted to only one man that has earned that place and paid the covenantal price. By sending naked pictures, you communicate that your sexuality is limited to your body parts, nothing more. You allow a man to pleasure himself to your physical CASING - missing the most sensual and sexual part of you - your soul! Give yourself more credit.
3. You empower a bigger problem
If your man is looking for nude pictures of you, chances are, he is looking at porn. Now, this isn't a RULE, but the reality is that a man who lives free from the sexual trap of pornography has come to the realization that sensuality and sex is not about pleasuring himself to pictures of the female body. He has chosen to wait for the ultimate pleasure - two people coming together as one, prioritizing the other person. If he is asking your for pictures, he is asking for something for himself, without giving anything in return (and no, a picture of his junk is not a worthy return lol). This is a self-centered view of sexuality and hints that he views sex as something for himself. Don't empower his bigger problem - don't even be a part of it!
4. You get jipped
I have never met a girl who was thrilled with the idea of taking her clothes off in front of a camera and sending the pictures over the airwaves. You can think whatever you want - it's not a reality. Girls - listen to me: you don't have to compromise your boundaries to get your needs met. Many girls end up doing physical/sexual things they feel uncomfortable with because they know that it's a way to get a guy to meet their the emotional needs. I am not stripping girls of their sexual desires, but the truth is that men and women are wired quite differently. If he withholds your emotional and relational because you won't meet his physical needs - you need to cut that off. No real man of God will demand you to compromise your sexuality for his own desires.
5. You are being lied to
The mainstream media blitzes our culture with sexual messages. " Sexual restraints are "evil" and "unhealthy." I call this the "lie of liberation." They say, "go for it... your body is beautiful and was made to be seen." Liberation seems to amazing! The world says that this message is sexist and harmful, but it's all a lie. Yes - your body IS beautiful! And yes - you are POWERFUL. That's the irony of this worldly message - promising but never delivering. You may feel liberated for a short while but once that picture starts being sent around, you're anything but liberated - you are exposed. You can think that he won't ever send it to anyone else, but I have heard that time and time again and seen lives destroyed because her man couldn't keep it to himself. Don't be lied to.
6. You settle for second best
Sex is an amazing thing, made for two people. Even if you are receiving some sort of sexual turn-on from sending him pictures, it's not what you're really looking for. The only true, sexual satisfaction comes from "doing sexuality" God's way. That's in covenant and in communion WITH someone else. Plus - you don't want to be the girl who doesn't have self-respect. No real man wants to be with that girl.
Don't settle for second-best. Wait for the real thing. It'll be worth it.
P.S. - if you have partaken in any activity like the subject matter mentioned in this blog, DON'T BE ASHAMED! It's ok! Don't let the devil try to shame you into hiding. It's never too late to start making changes. Reach out to someone who can love you without judgment and help you walk through this.