Smart Sexting

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If Congressman Anthony Weiner has taught us anything in recent weeks, it’s the power of sexting and our cheap fascination with it.

Whether you think sexting is sexy like your kindred spirits, Vanessa Hudgens and Blake Lively, or you think it’s embarrassing, one thing is undeniable: it’s risky business.

If one day you do decide that you’re bored/self-involved enough to send a photograph of yourself stripped down to your underwear—or down to your birthday suit if you’re feeling real dangerous—then please, please be smart about it.

Reese Witherspoon put it simply: if you do decide to treat your “special” someone with a private (or perhaps not-so-private) viewing of all your goodies, “Hide your face!” You get to have your sexy-time with your voyeur without the risk of a humiliating revenge if things go sour. And unless you’ve got any conspicuous, Big-Dipper-shaped birth marks, you can just play it like Shaggy and say “Wasn’t me.”

If your self-portrait photography skills are a little rusty and you’re more interested in showing off your intellect and spelling skills, then there’s an intelligent way to send dirty-worded sexts as well. You can create a code of innocent substitutions for what you actually mean to say. For example: “Meet me at Shamu Stadium so I can transcribe your zamboni all night long.” If someone ever comes across this sext, that person will either be confused or have a sudden, heated interest in the inner-workings at SeaWorld.  Either way, you are left sexually and comically satiated and innocent of all sexual accusations.

Bottom line: smart sexting is safe sexting.

But technology being what it is, hardly any information is safe from the public anymore. So the real bottom line is that if you’re someone who has any regard for reputation, and depend on it to make a living and to affect policy, then safe sexting doesn’t exist for you; every sext will put your reputation and livelihood at risk.

Sexting itself isn’t a problem. It’s the fact that so much media attention has been given to such an unimportant issue. Inappropriate husbands in politics hardly constitute as breaking news, so let’s mention them in passing and focus on the bigger issues, shall we? It’s not like we don’t have enough problems to talk about.

photo credit: http://www.thirdage.com/news-photo/new-york-rep-anthony-weiner/68526

Sophomore > Journalism and Environmental Studies > NYU

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