Send Nudes

send nudes: an exploration of the sext generation

You’ve just connected with someone online. But just as you start to get to know them, it happens – “want to send nudes?”

Sending nude photographs, through online messaging and apps seemingly designed for this purpose, has become extremely popular. And if you think only teenagers are sending nude photos, think again.

We surveyed 2,000 Europeans and Americans to see how often they send nude photos, what parts of their body they’re more comfortable showing off, and how much better their sex life is because of it. Curious how many naked photos are really out there today? Continue reading as we explore the nude phenomenon.

Who's Really Sending Nudes?

percentage of people who have sent a sexual photo by age and nationality

Sexting isn’t just for young people – even though they might happen to do it the most. Our survey found that 40 percent of American men between the ages of 18 and 24 and 36 percent of American women have sent a sexual picture out into the universe.

In comparison, Europeans tend to send risqué pictures of themselves via the internet and messaging services less frequently. In fact, 31 of European women and 33 percent of European men between the ages of 18 to 24 have sent sexual photos, and those figures progressively decrease as participants age.

Between 26 and 27 percent of American adults 45 years or older and 20 to 21 percent of Europeans in this age group have been brazen enough to send someone a sexual photo at some point in their life.

Even though our survey found men were more likely to send sexual photographs, additional research has found a positive correlation between nudes and sexual satisfaction in a relationship, meaning you don’t have to be young and single to enjoy the benefits of an occasional nude photo now and then.

Time to Bare All

parts of the body exposed in people's sext photos by gender and nationality

Not all nude photographs are created equal, and not all pictures highlight the same body parts.

Our survey found that less than a quarter of those who sent sexual photos to a potential suitor or significant other showed their faces in the photo. Perhaps it's the fear of seeing the picture show up somewhere other than where you intended, but most Europeans and Americans polled didn’t want their faces in the shot.

Breasts, chests, and nipples were the most popular nude subjects, particularly among women. We found that 43 percent of European women and over half of American women sent nudes revealing their bosom. Men, on the other hand, were more inclined to show off their genitals, with only 21 percent of Europeans sending the full “baguette” via nude photograph.

However, men were more likely to send a full nude than women, with between 14 and 15 percent of European and American men admitting to baring all, compared to 4 and 9 percent of European and American women.

When Sexting is Fair Game

the types of partners men and women sext

So if sexting isn’t so bad after all, when is it OK to send one to an existing or potential partner?

Our survey found women were more discerning when it came to sending out a sexually suggestive message. While more men suggested that anyone from a one-night stand (14 percent compared to 6 percent of women) to a new or casual partner might be a good opportunity to share a naughty message with. Over half of women were inclined to send a sext only to a long-term partner or spouse.

Sending a risque text takes a certain amount of trust in the recipient. Specifically, 33 percent of women said they were willing to send a dirty DM to someone they’d been with for some time, and 24 percent said they sent spicy messages to their spouses.

The Effect of Sexting on Sex

does sexting more often make sex better

We asked people who’ve sent nude photographs how sexually satisfied they felt in their relationship, and we found those who sexted quite frequently had a higher likelihood of feeling satisfied with their sex life.

Of those who told us they sexted daily, 61 percent said they felt “very satisfied” with their sex life. Additionally, 42 percent who sexted weekly, on average, were also “very satisfied,” while 33 percent who sexted a few times a month said the same.

We found those who sexted less often were the least “very satisfied” with their sex life. There might just be something to this “send nudes” idea after all.

Unsolicited Sexting

percentage of people who have received an unwanted sext by age and gender

Men and women may oversee when they send out a sexual photo of themselves, but they may not always have a say in when they get one.

Our data found that women were almost twice as likely to receive an unwanted sext message compared to men, and younger women were significantly more likely to receive these images unsolicited.

Of those aged 18 and 24, 52 percent of women received an unwanted sext. Comparatively, only 27 percent of men said the same. Women who were slightly older – between 25 and 34 years old – had a decreased chance of receiving one of these images, and women between the ages of 35 and 44 had a 33 percent chance.

Unsolicited sexts can cause more damage than most people realise. Sending a naked selfie to someone who might be offended can be considered a crime under the Malicious Communications Act. And if you pass a nude photo you receive on to someone else, regardless of context, it can be a breach of copyright or privacy laws. These are just the consequences of sending adult sexts – sending or receiving nude photos involving a minor is completely illegal.

Nudes - What Now?

percentage of people who have saved a nude photo or asked the other person to delete their nude photo

Deciding what to do with a sexy photo once you’ve received it can be tricky business.

Deleting means you might never get the pleasure (sarcasm intended) of looking at it again, but saving it for later means it could accidentally be seen by someone unintended or may end up in the wrong hands altogether.

Nearly half of men surveyed have saved at least one nude photograph. Thankfully, if someone (man or woman) tries to do something nefarious with a nude photo you sent them, there are laws in place to protect your rights and privacy. A third of women have also saved a nude photo at least once.

We also found women were more protective of their nude images. In fact, 30 percent of female respondents have asked a recipient to delete their photo, compared to 22 percent of men.

Illegal Sharing

percentage of people who have had a nude photo shared without their consent

Someone saving your photos or sext messages is one thing, but having them post online without your permission is something else.

Despite the perception that women may be more at risk for exposure through the sharing of nude images without their permission, we found that Europeans reported a higher instance of having their photos shared without their consent. More specifically, 19 percent of European men and 15 percent of European women, compared to 8 percent of American men and 7 percent of American women have had their nude images shared without their permission.

Sometimes referred to as revenge porn, posting an image online without the subject's consent is illegal. As nude photos and the sharing of content have become more popular, laws have been drafted to protect those who may not be in control of how these images are shared.

Capturing the Mood

While it remains to be seen if sending nude photographs is creating widespread empowerment, some respondents who sent nudes more frequently reported feeling more comfortable with their sex life than those who sent them less often. However, sending nude images isn’t always a mutual decision. In fact, 1 in 5 men and 2 in 5 women have received nude images from another person without their consent. While some laws exist to protect people from having their photographs shared without their consent, there’s little to be done when someone sends you a picture of himself or herself. The U.K. government has even launched a campaign to help inform citizens of the rules and laws around consent to combat this issue.

If you’re feeling uncomfortable about your sexual performance or health, don’t hide. At ZAVA, we’re here for men’s and women’s sexual health needs. We provide complete confidentiality and free and fast delivery. Visit ZAVA online today to learn more about the services and support we provide to help you.


We surveyed 1,000 Americans and 1,000 Europeans about their experiences with sending and receiving sexts. Emoji art supplied by EmojiOne.

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