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Your sexts are probably getting shared with others, and it’s not OK

File this under disgusting things that need to stop happening: A new study conducted by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, published in the journal Sexual Health, looked at 5,805 single adults between the ages of 21 and 75 and discovered that 23 percent shared the sexts they received from love interests with up to three friends. Three friends. So disgusting. And yet, it’s not surprising.

The answer might seem simple. Only sext with people you know and love and trust. But even that is a pipe dream. I once knew a man (who shall remain nameless) who sent another person we both know photos of his wife of 10 years nude without her knowledge. He seemed to get off on being seen as some kind of sexual dynamo and the only way to be seen that way was to send out these photos. Sick and pathetic if you ask me. But it does give me pause. Could my husband do this?

I don’t think so. I trust my spouse. We have a very open sexual relationship and talk about everything. If he were the kind of man who needed validation that way, I would expect to know. Even so, it gives me pause. After all, I am sure this friend has a wife who surely trusts him. She has no idea that others now possess videos of some of her most intimate moments.

So who can you trust?

The safe answer, of course, is not to sext at all. But where is the fun in that? I can’t imagine not being able to tease my husband back and forth during the day. It keeps our relationship fresh and fun. That said, I establish ground rules. First, I make sure he deletes everything we send. I don’t want it on his phone. I do the same. I also have specifically talked to him about how I’d feel if he ever shared it with anyone else. That should go without saying, but it makes sense to clarify to avoid any confusion.

We can’t do much to guarantee our privacy. We just have to hope that the people we choose to share intimate moments with understand the meaning of intimacy.

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