Content, context and consent in young women’s sexting
Drawing on 17 qualitative interviews with women aged 18–22, this paper explores how sexting practices are related to views on and uses of pornography. While pornography was found to be an important reference point for participants in their sexting, sexted images were actively tailored to differentiate themselves from porn in three ways. First, private images were to be less explicit and more realistic in terms of content. Second, unlike pornography, which was seen as one-sided, sex- ting relied on reciprocity and intimacy. Third, participants were careful to explicitly state what they were consenting to when sexting and, although a few were turned on by coercive fantasies found in porn, they clearly demarcated such experiences from those they wanted in their sexting relationships. This paper examines women’s active engagement with pornography to extend our understanding of the relationship between sexting and mundane media use, specifically in this case pornography.
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