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By Thomas Whitfield

Nonconsensual pornography (i.e., revenge porn) refers to the distribution of sexually explicit video or images of an individual(s) without their permission. There are currently no federal laws that prohibit revenge porn, but they do exist in 40 states and Washington, D.C. New York state is not included; however, as of February 2018, it is a crime in New York City, and offenders can face a $1,000 fine (probably less than you pay for rent) and up to a year in jail. So, if you’re thinking about trying to use anyone’s pics against them, aside from just being a jerk, it’s probably not a good idea.

My ex and I took a lot of pics and videos of our sex life while we were together. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now we’re broken up, and I’m not sure it was a great idea. I’m afraid they’re going to get out. We’re on good terms, but I don’t know if we always will be. Is this something I should be concerned about? There are naked pics everywhere online, so is it even a big deal? – Male, Gay, 24

I don’t know exactly how “the cloud” works, but it’s often in the news that people’s material gets hacked. This is what people should keep in mind when they decide to take sexual pics and videos: It’s not always the person who has them that leaks them. Yeah, it’s extremely common to have them, and if you’ve ever been on a sexual networking app, people aren’t shy. As for being concerned, there probably isn’t a ton you can do about it unless your ex tries to use them against you. You said you’re on good terms—perhaps you can just talk to him about it and let him know you’re concerned. Depending on what you do for work,they could potentially affect you in the future should they get out. There is no way to know for sure.

I have a lot of naked photos and vids from one of my exes, and I still use them to get off sometimes. Is there anything wrong with that? It honestly makes me feel really good to look at them, and maybe I miss him. Is it weird to keep this stuff after the break up? I’ve asked my friends, and they seem sort of split. – Male, Gay, 27

Boo, you’re only hurting yourself, and it doesn’t sound like you see it that way. It seems pretty clear that you’re still at least a little hung up on your ex, and using his pics and vids to get off to is not going to make it easier to move on. I don’t think it’s weird to necessarily still have some of this stuff while you’re single, but for you, it’s giving you a lot of pleasure, and that could be a problem. If you want to move on, you’ve got to delete it—or at least make it less accessible.

Sex/Love/Relationship advice? Send your questions to: ThomasTalksAbout@gmail.com Instagram: @ThomasWhitfield84

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