Revenge porn written out in stamps

Spread and snap: the problem with revenge porn

The act of courting has gone digital. Slowly but surely four-page letters and love notes are replaced by emails, sexting, sending disappearing pictures on various apps.

Or you may be lighting yourself up and use a selfie stick to get your best angles.

Fun with consequences?

But much as a spread and snap is something that can be empowering, fun, risqué, and very sexy, it can also have some very dire consequences. Because: revenge porn.

Revenge Porn (n): A form of sexual assault that involves the sending or publishing of someone’s nude/sexually explicit photos and or videos without their consent.

Mostly women affected

Revenge porn can happen to anyone. With the amount of d**k and cl*t pics floating around the interwebs, one can assume that this will hit all genders equally. But often the victims are women. Studies show that up to 90 per cent of revenge porn survivors are women.

And despite the widespread belief that the online space is not real life, the act of leaking someone's nudes has very real-world consequences. 'Ninety-three per cent of survivors have said that they suffered significant emotional distress, and 82 per cent said that impairment impacted their social and occupational functioning,' a study showed.

It's a form of violence

What needs to be understood about revenge porn is that it is not about getting off on naked pictures or enjoying someone being nude, there are literally billions of hours of consensual nudity online. It is about inflicting violence on someone else. 

Jill says in her piece about revenge porn that it's all about the degradation of women’s bodies. ‘They aren't about naked girls; there are plenty of those who are on the internet consensually. It's about hating women, taking enjoyment in seeing them violated, and harming them.’

You cannot simply make revenge porn about a lover’s tiff, or a slip of the digital space. It is rooted in the ideas that come with certain bodies (especially those of women and vulnerable bodies) being commodities, things that can be shared without the consent of the people involved.

Most advice doesn't consider perpetrators

‘If you do not want your naked ass on the net, don’t send nudes.’ This is the line of advice that is often given when it comes to telling people ‘how to avoid revenge porn’. Much as there are practical steps to minimising the possible effects of revenge porn (putting a watermark on your photos, not including your face or distinguishing markers), the conversation and advice focus on reigning in the victim and not the perpetrator.

Focusing on this line of reasoning does two things. Number one: it ignores the fact that there are completely vile people who would do these things and focuses on making the person who was generous enough to share their beautiful form into the ‘bad’ person.

The second thing is it makes those who have fallen victim to revenge porn to want to blame themselves (whilst society also blames them).

When nudes are leaked, the world descends upon the person who has been abused rather than the abuser.

Often, we know the name, location, and entire life history the person whose body we have seen. But we rarely know anything about the monster who hit post or send.

It is important to not forget that revenge porn is not simply about a bad break-up, or someone getting what they deserve if they share sexy stuff. It is a form of sexual violence that has very real repercussions for those involved. This needs to be the new lens through which this act is seen, as a violent act that no one deserves.

Our awesome friends from HOLAAfrica are talking about revenge porn this week. Head on over there to join the conversations or share your thoughts below!

I think I am addicted to pornography and masturbation, I do it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I am worried I will disappoint my future wife if I dont change. What can I do to stop it?

Hello Ben, if you are spending excessive time watching porn and masturbating or this behaviour is causing you distress, then you could be addicted. It appears your trigger to masturbation is porn. To address the masturbation, you need to address the triggers. Start by avoiding porn or those things that lead you to porn. Behaviour change takes time and you may not have the results you want immediately but do take one day at a time, eventually if you keep at it you will achieve your goal. We wish you well, have a look at the following articles for tips;-

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