I’m being pressured to send nudes
- Being pressured to send nudes or get sexual online is never OK.
- Some people ask you for nudes or to get sexual online because they want to harm, scam or blackmail you.
- Sending and receiving nudes and getting sexual online is not a necessary part of a relationship.
Heads up: This page discusses nudes, consent, dating and pressure, which may be distressing for some people.
On this page:
- Feeling pressured to share nudes
- Why do people ask for nudes?
- What should I do if I’m being pressured?
- What if someone shares my nudes?
- What if someone tries to blackmail me?
- Something has happened
Feeling pressured to share nudes
We spend a large part of our lives online, doing everything from learning to socialising, so it’s not surprising that some people get intimate online too. This can include sharing a moment over Zoom or taking photos or videos to share with a date. But it can be illegal, and no one has the right to pressure you into it – not someone you’re flirting with or dating, not a friend and definitely not a stranger.
If someone is pressuring you to do something online that you’re not comfortable about, it’s probably a sign they don’t respect you enough to treat your image or video with respect either. You have the right to say ‘no’ and not feel judged.
It's time to change the culture around sending nudes!
I've been an avid social media user since I was younger and I love sharing my life over social media.
But what comes with that is pressure to send my body, especially as a developed younger person.
I was pressured into sending nudes from the age of 12.
Originally, getting requests, I'd kind of feel special because I'd be like, 'Oh my God, someone's giving me attention' and when they're trying to get something out of you they try to flatter you, make you feel special.
And when older, cooler guys would be like, 'Oh you're so hot', you'd kind of be like, 'Oh, he's popular, he's older' and you'd feel that pressure on you to send because this older popular guy is asking you.
Everyone's like, 'Oh, don't do this, don't send nudes', things like that.
But when you're actually in the situation where you feel the pressure from this person and you feel like you're being flattered and you kind of feel like you owe something to them, it completely changes.
The stigmatisation around asking for help is very much surrounding the fact that you're doing something wrong, like, 'Oh, people are going to think that I'm bad' or 'People are going to think that I'm a snitch', when in reality asking for help is not only helping you but helping the situation.
What I would tell myself, my younger self, is to think about the 20-second rule.
So I tell myself this all the time: if it's not gonna matter in 20 years, don't spend 20 seconds worrying about it.
You're not gonna remember that. You're not gonna remember who said that. You're not gonna remember that, 'Oh, you're a snitch'.
You're gonna remember that somebody helped you from a really bad situation and you're going to use that information and use asking for help in other situations where you need it.
Adelaide: Seeking help when things go wrong online
Why do people ask for nudes?
There are many different reasons why someone may pressure you for a nude or ask you to get sexual on camera:
- They think it’s a normal part of getting to know someone romantically.
- They feel entitled to your image or video because they’ve seen your body previously.
- They think you ‘owe’ them because they sent you a nude first.
- They want to share it with their friends to boast.
- They want to share it online to embarrass you or get you into trouble.
- They are a sexual predator (or ‘paedophile’) who is trying to trick you into sharing nudes or getting sexual online or in person – find out more about unsafe or unwanted contact.
- They are ‘catfishing’ you – this means using a fake profile to trick you into an online relationship so they can scam you.
- They plan to blackmail you by threatening to share your nudes or a recording of you getting sexual unless you send them more nudes or get sexual with them again, or give them money, cryptocurrency, gift cards or gaming credits.
This pressure can look like:
- someone saying that sending a nude will show how much you love them
- someone saying that everyone does it and you’re frigid if you don’t
- someone threatening to break up with you if you don’t send them a nude
- someone saying you ‘owe’ them a nude
- someone saying have to send a nude ‘or else...’
Our unsafe or unwanted contact page lists signs that someone may be risky.
What should I do if I'm being pressured to send nudes?
First of all, it may be helpful to remind yourself of these facts:
- Sharing nudes or getting sexual online might leave you feeling uncomfortable and may be unsafe.
- No one ‘owes’ a nude of themselves to anybody else, no matter how long they’ve been in a relationship with them.
- Sending and receiving nudes and getting sexual online is not a necessary part of a relationship.
- Someone you trust now may not be so respectful later, especially if you end a relationship with them.
- If you connect with someone online, your conversations or videos can be recorded without you knowing, and the things you share may be seen by people other than the person you sent them to.
- A person who asks for, accesses, possesses, creates or shares sexualised images of someone under 18 may be at risk of criminal charges – even if you’re both young and you agreed to it. Youth Law Australia recommends that you never take or share prohibited or sexual images of someone unless they are over 18 and you are sure they have said it’s OK.
Here are some steps you can take if you’re being pressured:
Ask them to stop
Sometimes in relationships people do things without thinking about the other person. This isn’t cool. If someone is pressuring you and you feel safe to do so, ask them to stop. It might not always work, but sometimes just letting them know they're upsetting you will make them change their behaviour.
Send something else
It’s always OK to say no. But if the person who asked you for a nude is a friend, you might want to get creative in the way you send the message. Why not send something else, like a meme or clever one-liner?
Tell someone you trust
You don’t have to cope with being pressured on your own. You may feel like you should be able to handle it yourself but if the other person is not getting the message or you’re feeling a little out of your depth, talking it through with someone else may help. An adult you trust, like a family member or teacher, can give you a fresh point of view, as well as helping you decide what to do and how to deal with any impacts. Try to stay connected with your support person while you handle the situation – you could show them this webpage so they understand more about it and can give you ongoing help.
Collect evidence, report and prevent further contact
If asking the other person to stop pressuring you doesn’t work, don't continue communicating with them. Follow these steps:
- Take screenshots or recordings of the requests, so you have proof – find out more about collecting evidence.
- Report the person to the social media service, game or app they used to contact you – The eSafety Guide has reporting links for the common ones.
- Use your in-app functions to ignore, mute or block them so they can’t contact you again – find out more in The eSafety Guide. If they contacted you via text message, block their phone number from your devices.
Get more help
If you’re still feeling uncomfortable or a little out of your depth, that’s normal. You can always speak to someone at the free Kids Helpline (for 5 to 25 year-olds) or find another counselling and support service that’s right for you
What if someone shares my nudes?
Even if you send someone an intimate image or video of you, or agree to them taking one, that doesn’t mean they’re allowed to share it with anyone else. If they do share it without your consent, or even threaten to share it, that’s image-based abuse (sometimes known as ‘revenge porn’). Image-based abuse is illegal.
eSafety can help have the image or video removed quickly, so it doesn’t spread online. In some cases, eSafety can also take legal action against the person who shares, or threatens to share, your nudes. Follow these steps to collect evidence, report the image-based abuse, prevent further contact and get more help.
What if someone tries to blackmail me?
If someone tries to blackmail you over your intimate images or videos that’s a type of image-based abuse called ‘sexual extortion’ (sometimes known as ‘sextortion’). If you’re being blackmailed over your nudes – for money or something else – it’s best NOT to pay, and to stop all contact with the blackmailer.
If you’re under 18 and being blackmailed, you should report this to specialist investigators at the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation.
If you’re 18 or older and being blackmailed, report it to the service or platform where the blackmailer first contacted you. If the service or platform doesn’t help you, or if your intimate image or video is posted online, then you can report to eSafety. You can also check Scamwatch to find out more about current scams.
Something has happened
Say no. You don’t ‘owe’ your picture to anyone. You could send him a silly meme instead!
If he keeps pressuring you let him know why it makes you feel uncomfortable – these facts could be useful. Telling an adult you trust may also help you decide how to handle the situation, or you can speak to someone at the free Kids Helpline (for 5 to 25 year-olds) or find another counselling and support service that’s right for you.
‘A girl I’ve been chatting with online sent me some really hot and steamy pics and now she wants me to get sexual over webcam – what do I do?’
Ask yourself some questions. How can you be sure the pics are really of her? Did the chat turn sexy very quickly? Have you ever seen her on camera or face to face? If not, you may have been catfished by a scammer who’s planning to blackmail you. Once you send your nude, these scammers will threaten to share it with your family and friends unless you pay. It’s always OK to stay no to sending nudes or getting sexual online.
Collect evidence, report and prevent further contact. If they keep pressuring you, screenshots of the requests can help when you report them to the police or to the social media service, game or app they used to contact you. Then you can use your in-app functions to ignore, mute or block them so they can’t contact you again – find out more in The eSafety Guide. If they contacted you via text message, block their phone number from your devices.
Last updated: 13/02/2023