Ladies, you have to stop with the sexting, or even just stop taking naked pics.
Have you ever observed a group of men when there are attractive women around? You’ll notice how men can’t observe a prominent tush without tapping a nearby man, even if he’s a stranger, to make sure that next man sees too. For better or worse, gawking at women is one of those hetero male bonding moments.

So, if you think a man (yes, that includes your man, especially if you break up) is
 going to keep images of you in all of your glory to himself, you’re delusional. As a woman who has always kept a bevy of guy friends, I’ve seen my fair share of naked and scantily clad pics that women sent to dudes. If they show me, you can bet all your money that they are showing their boys too.
Many women who take nudie flicks have been with their man for a while — they trust him completely. Taking these kinds of pics seems like a great way to keep the relationship exciting, especially since men are the very visual creatures that they are. I guarantee you that Rihanna, Amber Rose, Jennifer Williams (“Basketball Wives”), Evelyn Lozada and Cassie thought the same things, and yet we’ve seen pictures of bare tushes/breasts and/or birth canals all over the gossip blogs. 

Since real talk is what we do here, let’s also chat about the other reasons women are spreading and bending for the camera. I’ve been reading comments in reaction to Amber Rose’s latest scandal (the pictures hit the blogs last week showing her pleasuring herself while clad only in upscale footwear). A disturbing number of women rationalize her photos by saying (actual quote), “If you try to act like you don’t or won’t do it for someone you claim to love, then don’t be mad when he finds someone else who does.” (Really?)
Seems like a lot of y’all are taking flicks because you think that’s how you keep a man. If (literally) putting it all out there is his breaking point, then let that next chick have him so it’s her bare bottom or waxed va-jay-jay — not yours — getting uploaded on the men’s ongoing BBM group chat, or posted on Red Tube and Afro Amateur. Those sites may not have the commercial value of Bossip, Media Takeout or World Star Hip Hop, but if your pics make it there, they have the potential to reach your mama, your next man, and your current employer.
All this is to say, I’m well aware that there are women who will read this today and tonight will still be posted-up in the bathroom mirror with the camera phone sending her man (or someone else’s) some “love.” But can you please (at least) keep your face out of the pics when you do? That way when you inevitably see pictures of your tush in a place you never thought you would, you’ll be able to lie and deny it’s you.

Fool some of the people some of the time. Or better yet, don’t have anyone to fool and just don’t do it. Stop the sexting, please!
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: Your Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter: @abelleinbk