Rachel Charlene Lewis
August 07, 2016 10:07 am
Warner Bros.

Sexting can be ridiculously fun. There’s a risqué (and risky) element to it that makes everything feel more ~scandalous~ despite it being good, harmless fun between consenting adults. But, unfortunately, the risk is apparently much higher than we thought — because a whole lotta people think it’s totally NBD to share sexts.

The research

New research published in the journal Sexual Health shows that one in four people share the sexts they get with their friends. As if it wasn’t horrifying enough to think about a group of people giggling over your nudes and suggestive texts, it seems like it may be closer to reality than just a silly anxiety. The research, which was conducted by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, surveyed nearly 6,000 adults who weren’t in relationships. The group, which spanned the ages of 21 to 75, got real about their sexting habits. And it got pretty effing scary.

The results

A whopping 73% of participants admitted they’d be totally freaked if their sexts were shared. But, the kicker? Nearly 25% said they’d shared their texts. And not with one friend. Not with two. But with an average of 3+ friends.

The conclusion

So, while we may like to think our sexts are private, because, ya know, that’s all we consented to, it’s not all that rare for a whole three people to sit around staring at your sexts. Which is disgusting, and a total invasion of privacy, and yet another sign that we need to overhaul the culture surrounding sex and consent in our country.

So WTF do we do?

If your friend is one of these ~awesome~ people who shares their sexts? CALL THEM OUT. We’ve been told time and time again not to sext if we don’t want the world to see our messages, but at the end of the day, the issue is not with us trusting someone with our bods and our words, but instead with these people with no sense of boundaries or basic human decency.

So, don’t just giggle if your friend shares what was supposed to be a private sext. Good people don’t share sexts. Call them on their BS, and tell them why it isn’t okay. And be sure you really, really, really trust them not to share before you send!

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