Asking for a friend

Asking for a Friend is a weekly Sex and Relationships column hosted by Arts and Culture writer Dana Sparks and fueled by your curiosities.

Asking for a Friend is a weekly Sex and Relationships column hosted by Arts and Culture writer Dana Sparks and fueled by your curiosities. Click here to anonymously submit questions regarding sex, relationships and sex education

Question: “Is there ever a good time to ask for nudes? And if there is, how do I do it? Is there a good time to send a d*ck pic? If so, also how? ” - Needa Nudie


Dear Needa,

Honestly, it’s been a long time since you sent me this question. I have to say that it’s been a struggle to answer because, like most things sex and relationship-related, it really depends.

I would imagine that there are people out there that would say, “Absolutely not, no, nope: don’t ask and don’t try.”

I’ll be honest though — I love nudes and I’m not alone.

Forty percent of men and 36 percent of women send nudes, according to a survey by Zava of two thousand people in the U.S. and abroad. A majority of the surveyed men are in either long-term or casual relationships, which is different than the women. Women report feeling more inclined to share in long-term relationships and with their spouses.

The study mentioned one difference in particular between men and women when exchanging nudes that is important to note: Women are more likely to be mindful of the consequences or risks of sharing naked or explicit photos. And rightfully so, I might add.

Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that a Long Island middle school teacher lost her job over a topless photo that was circulated among students. Allegedly, this woman shared the picture with a now former colleague that she was dating — how the student got ahold of the image is unclear at this point. Despite the apparent involvement of the student and her former colleague/lover, she was the only one that suffered.

The Data and Society Research Institute reported that one in 25 Americans has had their intimate photos shared without consent and a disproportionate amount of those effected are women.

I bring this up because revenge porn is a very serious issue — whether or not you would share, you need to understand that you are responsible for someone’s well being when you send nudes or sext with someone.

If someone’s photos are shared without their consent, it could result in serious trouble for them and you — especially in Oregon. It could result in a misdemeanor for the first offense, but could become a felony for repeat offenders.

If you’re worried about keeping this part of your life private, I wouldn’t keep nudes on your phone, laptop or cloud storage, as none of these things are perfectly secure. If you do, you should be very deliberate in creating passcodes and reading your rights if you’re using a social media platform or messaging system. (For example, do you know who owns your nudes: you or Snapchat?)

So, I mean it when I say I love nudes and so do many others, but you must be very careful and considerate.

Sending nudes can be really nice for a couple that doesn’t get to spend a lot of time together — this could be a long-distance relationship or even just two busy professionals. Sending intimate photos, videos, audio or text can be a way to build excitement, feel appreciated or even just feel sexy about yourself.

If you’re going to ask someone if they want to sext or exchange nudes with you, I would ask in a low stakes situation — meaning everyone is sober, ready for the conversation and able to say no. Have a conversation with who you’re interested in experiencing this with.

You could begin that conversation by saying, “I think it would be really sexy if we could talk dirty or send pictures when we’re apart. Is there a way that we could do that together and ensure each other’s privacy?”

From there, you can ask if they like d*ck pics. Some people just don’t. If you get the green light, I would experiment. Embrace your body and play with what makes you feel good. Sometimes, the best nude is simply what stimulates the imagination.

As Uncle Ben says, great power comes with great responsibility. Good luck!

Yours truly,


Photojournalist and Sex and Relationships columnist

Dana is a photojournalist specializing in long-format storytelling — particularly regarding gender and social justice topics. She is the Daily Emerald Sex and Relationships columnist. This is her third year at the Emerald.