We asked boys how long it takes them to delete girls’ nudes after a break up
‘I kept them as leverage’
“Should I send this to him?” my friend asked me, shoving her phone in my face, displaying an image of her smiling wide with boobs hoisted up to her chin in a push up bra. We were 13 at the time and that was to be the first nude she’d ever sent. In the hours it took her to perfect her pose and retake the photo countless times, not once did it cross her mind what this boy might do with it when their pre-teen romance inevitably ended. However, I had some forethought and replied, “Crop your face out”.
It’s 10 years later, and most of us can relate to angling our bodies into contorted poses all the while trying to balance sucking in your stomach and finding the best lighting, desperately trying to take at least one flattering photo of your arse. When you finally get one that doesn’t marginally horrify you the process doesn’t end there, you spend the next 20 mins editing out the imperfections and Butt-ne that no matter what you do are very persistent on making itself at home on your cheeks.
The next step is to send to your friends, maybe even the group chat if you’re feeling brave, to get some text message affirmation that you do in fact look “omg so hot”. Then, and only then, do you open up the image in your chat with your partner, finger hovering over the send button. You click send, waiting with baited breath for their response, not thinking that you’ve now shared this private image of yourself with someone who can essentially do what they want with it. But you trust them though, right?
It’s a few months later now, maybe even a few years, and you’re not sending nudes, in fact you’ve broken up and the trust isn’t there anymore. At this point you’re thinking back to all the photos you sent to them, all the photos that they might still have stored on their phone.
When a relationship, and the trust that comes with it, breaks down, you then lose the right to that person’s body in any capacity. What was consensual before, is not consensual now and just because you were sent those images at one point in time, doesn’t mean you have the right to hang onto them.
However, with revenge porn being a full blown epidemic in itself, it is evident that not everyone understands the common courtesy of deleting your ex’s nudes. Therefore, I decided to ask a bunch of guys what they do with their ex’s nudes when the relationship ends, if they delete them and how long it takes them to do so.
Out of the 70 guys that I asked about their nude-deleting habits, 62 said they always delete their ex’s nudes. Those who admitted to hanging onto their ex’s nudes did so for some very questionable reasons with one even admitting, “I kept them as leverage in case the new man starts giving me chat”.
Out of those asked, 41 people said that their friends had shared nudes they’d received with them. However, only nine of those asked admitted to having forwarded nudes they had received onto their friends. Somehow those numbers just don’t seem to add up me.
89 per cent of boys I asked said they delete all nudes straight after the break up
“I delete them on principal, I think it’s an issue of privacy if you don’t”
“I usually delete them soon after they’ve sent them in the throws of shame that come with post nut clarity”
“You only send nudes to people you have a connection with and trust, and when you’ve ended things that connection is over”
“We’re not in an intimate relationship anymore, therefore it’s not my place to keep any intimate photos because we’re not seeing each other in that capacity”
“Why would I keep them?”
“I deleted everything out of honesty and respect. I had always told my ex I would delete everything if it ended”
“I didn’t want to be looking at anyone else, including porn, so I can be focused on my girlfriend. There’s something gross about turning your old relationship into porn”
“It felt wrong to keep them and it’s an awkward situation if you still have them in a new relationship”
“They were sent on the understanding we were together so if new ones wouldn’t be sent now, the old ones shouldn’t be kept”
“I never saved them in the first place”
“Horrible invasion of privacy if you hold onto them after splitting. Also would just feel uncomfortable myself having them on my phone still”
Over 10 per cent of boys I asked said they didn’t delete any of the nudes they’ve been sent
“I’ve never really thought about it. I have never been asked to delete anything, nor have I ever asked someone to delete mine”
“I have been sent a total of about three nudes in my life and I have not deleted any of them”
“I keep the ones that turn me on the most”
“Ultimately, the responsibility of what happens to the photos lies with the person who sent them in the first place”
“I think it’s fine to keep nudes, as long as you don’t show anyone else”
“Yes as long as you never share them and keep them protected with a password. However, sharing or distributing them should be harshly punished by the law. But in terms of solely keeping them I believe its like keeping any other gift you have received from an ex”
“I debated keeping them for a while because she really fucked me over and it was just in case she tried anything which is absolutely very morally corrupt but it was comforting at the time. I deleted them in the end because she started up an OnlyFans and there was no point to keeping them”.