Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

Sexting

I'm a female and this boy keeps asking me for nude photos and he's sent me one.. should I trust him?
Ask Sam

Sam

Hello,

It can be tempting to send pictures of yourself to other people - especially if they are putting a lot of pressure on you to do so. It can be dangerous to this however and the important thing to remember is that you can say no - even if they try and tell you otherwise.

You haven’t told me how well you know this boy, but there are risks with sending nude photos - even if the person asking is someone you know well. The moment you send a nude photo, you’ve lost control over who will see it. It could end up posted anywhere on the internet. You may not want lots of people seeing the picture and you might not even know where on the internet it has been posted.

You might think it would be safe if the boy asking you is someone you know well. But, in fact, there still are risks. For example, what if someone else picked up his phone and saw the photo? A useful rule of thumb is not to text or message a photo that you wouldn’t want your parents, teachers or friends to see. That might sound a bit old fashioned, but our counsellors regularly talk to young people who have lost control of a photo they thought they were sending in private, and it can be a very scary and upsetting thing to deal with.

Your comment that this boy “keeps asking you” for photos makes me think he’s trying to pressure you. I don’t want any young person to feel pressured to do something sexual. But I also know it can be difficult to figure out how to say “no”.

With this in mind, we’ve developed a free app called Zipit, which you can download on Android, Apple or Blackberry smartphones. It’s packed with loads of ideas and pictures you can use to say “no” to something like a nude photo request. It’s designed to give you more choices and control with sexting and I hope you’ll spread the word. You can download it here.

You could also take a look at the sexting page in the Explore section for more information and advice. You might also find it helpful to take a look at the sexting message boards - which is where young people post messages to support one another.

You can talk to one of our counsellors (by phone, email or with online chat) about sexting any time. I hope you know our counsellors never judge anyone and they’ll always do their best to help with any concerns and worries connected with sexting.

Take care,

Sam

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