Ask Amy

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Amy Dick­in­son Con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via e-mail, askamy@tribpub.com. Send let­ters to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, N.Y. 13068.

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I just fin­ished our ju­nior year of high school. We’ve been a cou­ple for al­most six months and are sex­u­ally ac­tive.

He re­cently asked me to let him take nude pho­tos of me.

He is to­tally trust­wor­thy and I know I can count on him to be dis­creet, but I still worry that some­one else will some­how view them.

You hear sto­ries of “re­venge porn,” and I’ve heard from dif­fer­ent fe­male class­mates that their boyfriends shared their pri­vate pho­tos with other boys.

I don’t want to be a prude or deny my boyfriend’s de­sire, but I’m ner­vous about be­ing out there “au nat­u­ral.”

Is this pic­ture-tak­ing-thing nor­mal, or not so much? — Cam­era

Dear Shy: First of all, use birth con­trol. Be­com­ing preg­nant would af­fect your life even more than hav­ing a nude photo shared. And hav­ing a nude photo shared would af­fect your life in pro­found ways.

Se­condly, if you sub­mit to nude pho­tos, they will def­i­nitely be shared.

Here are pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios: Your BF’s kid brother gets ahold of his phone and ... boom — there you are, on In­sta­gram.

Your BF’s par­ents get mad at him, and in­spect his phone. There you are.

Your BF loses or leaves his phone some­where. You end up wher­ever that phone is — and/or in the “cloud.”

Your “to­tally trust­wor­thy” BF is brag­ging about what a babe you are, and hands his phone (or texts a photo) to a to­tally trust­wor­thy friend of his. Boom — there you are, on Twit­ter. Your BF gets mad at you, or you two break up. This nude photo is now lever­age that he (or some­one else) can use against you.

Think it through. If you and your guy are in a healthy re­la­tion­ship, then why does he need (or even want) a nude photo of you? He’s got the real thing! Is your boyfriend headed to war and he needs this to com­fort him at the Western Front? No, dude’s got first pe­riod Trig class.

Guys ask for these pho­tos be­cause it is a rite of pas­sage for them. It is so­cial cur­rency for them. Guys who were trad­ing Pokemon cards in el­e­men­tary school now col­lect these. It does noth­ing but po­ten­tially dam­age you. Fur­ther­more, if your guy is pres­sur­ing you to do this, it is a red flag.

Has he im­plied that you are a “prude” if you don’t do this? If so, he is gam­ing you. Stand up for your­self. Pay at least as much at­ten­tion to your own de­sires as to his.

You own your body and ac­cess to your body. You own your sex­u­al­ity. If main­tain­ing con­trol over who gets to see your naked body makes you a prude, then let’s get some “Proud 2B Prude” T-shirts made — and own that, too.

Dear Amy: What do you make of a co-worker (and ca­sual friend) who is for­ever find­ing some­thing re­quir­ing her as­sis­tance — with my out­fit, face or hair?

I wouldn’t mind the oc­ca­sional help with tuck­ing in a tag on my blouse, but it makes me feel weird that she’s al­ways find­ing some­thing to pick off my cloth­ing or skin, such as a loose eye­lash on my cheek, or piece of lint or thread on my hair or clothes.

I don’t know what bothers me more, the ac­tual touch­ing or the fact that she’s scru­ti­niz­ing me so closely that she even no­tices these things.

She would be ter­ri­bly hurt if I told her it bothers me, so that is out of the ques­tion.

I just want to un­der­stand what it sig­ni­fies. Is it a sign of ADD, a power play or some­thing else?

Dear Creeped Out: Your friend might have a tic that causes her to do this un­con­sciously. It could also be a bid for a cer­tain type of friend­ship in­ti­macy, or it might just be a bound­ary-cross­ing habit. Some peo­ple are just ... touchy.

What con­cerns me is your lack of will re­gard­ing a very sim­ple re­quest not to be touched. What would it take for you to stand up for your­self? You could very eas­ily say, “I’m a lit­tle un­com­fort­able be­ing touched; if some­thing is amiss, let me know and I’ll take care of it.”

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