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What does the law say?

This is because creating and sharing sexual images of under-18s is against the law – even if they’re of yourself. 

This can be hard to wrap your head around. You can consent to having sex from 16, and it’s your body, so you should be able to do what you like with it, right? 

Well, yes, it is your body, but the aim of the law is to help you keep your body private and safe from harm. For more information, see our sex and the law section.

Sex and the law

Find out what the law says about sex and what this means for you.

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Once you share a nude, you lose control of where it goes. It could be sent to other people. Or it could be posted online without your consent or sometimes without you even knowing. 

Before you make a decision on whether to send a nude, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions.

  • Why am I thinking about sending this image? Do I really want to send it, or do I feel pressured? Am I sending it for myself or for someone else?
  • How would I feel if this person threatened to share my image with other people? 
  • Would I show this much of myself to this person face to face? Or is there something about sending a nude online that feels less personal?
  • If I share this nude, how will I feel about it in a month? Three months? What about a year?
  • Are there other ways I can feel close to the other person, or intimate with them, without putting myself at risk? 

Asking these questions can help you think about some of the consequences of sharing a nude.