We hear from many folks on the Games and Online Harassment Hotline who are blackmailed after sending intimate images or videos. We wrote a guide on dealing with blackmail when it happens, but we also want to push back on some of the shame, regret, and victim-blaming that often happens in blackmail situations. There’s nothing wrong with sharing nudes! It can be sexy and fun way to build intimacy with someone! Everyone should be able to send as many nudes as they want to consenting recipients, and we want it to feel exciting, rewarding, and empowering.

The only person who can 100% stop blackmail or other types of sexual threats and violence from happening is the blackmailer themselves. It’s never your fault for getting blackmailed or harassed, regardless of what you did or didn’t do to prevent it. 

But if you’re interested in thinking through some safety considerations around sending nudes online, here’s our quick rundown. We hope it empowers you to feel more free and confident when sending sexy pics.


The one directive we will state in this guide is don’t send nudes to anyone who hasn’t asked for them or expressed interest in them. If you really enjoy showing off parts of your body to strangers online and want to do so in a consensual way, there are dedicated NSFW communities on Reddit, Discord, and elsewhere that welcome nudes to be posted, viewed, and/or reacted to without needing to obtain advance consent in each interaction.

Think about your own consent as well. There can be many reasons to want to send pictures to someone; it’s okay to have more than one motivation, but it’s worth being intentional in understanding what those motivations are.

Watch out for these red flags:

Trust your gut. If you don’t feel quite right about the situation, or you’re feeling obligated to give in to a demand, pause and listen to that feeling. It’s not loving, kind, or okay for anyone to make you feel like you have to do something sexual for them. 

Still, the situation might feel totally consensual and trusting and good when you send the nudes, but then things change. So let’s get into some other considerations that can give you a little bit of control over things. 


When taking the pictures or videos, think about what exactly they are showing, in addition to your body. The less identifiable it is, the less leverage it has as potential blackmail.


From CCRI’s Sextortion Scam PSA:

Most sextortion scammers use fake website profile pictures and content to contact targets (sometimes referred to as “catfishing), and some accounts can be very convincing. It is a good idea to do online research to determine whether a person is who they say they are before agreeing to correspond privately. 

Remain situationally aware. If you meet someone on a website who asks to move your communications to a messaging app, that could be a red flag and a sign to be extra cautious. Similarly, be wary of unknown friend or message requests.


In a lot of cases, folks want to send nudes over whatever platform they are already using to communicate with the person they want to send nudes to. That makes sense, and (especially when sending nudes to strangers or someone you just met) sometimes you might not want to take the interaction to another channel or account. 

That said, some platforms have more security features built in than others. 

File Security

Finally here are some other considerations, settings, or steps you could take to mitigate some concerns around hacking, identifiability, and security.

Take the time to assess your own security needs, be intentional with what you send and how you send it, and talk to your partners about their security hygiene and safety needs. Happy sexting!