My partner says he wants to film us having sex and it worries me. What should I do?
The vulnerability and fear of another person having sexual pictures of you or in a sexually intimate position are not to be underestimated.
In fact, the use of such pictures and phone films let’s say for revenge or blackmail brings this issue into in the legal arena. To protect distress, in April 2015, the Revenge Law came into effect and it means those who share sexually explicit images without consent from the people who are in the photo or the film in question, could find themselves in trouble (prison for up to two years).
But why do people put themselves in such a situation?
When one is in the start of an intimate relationship, lust, respect for each other, sex, trust and other emotions mangle and bring the two people closer. It is harder at this point to separate out and be articulate about feelings and process in the relationship.
In that misty moment, sometimes people can give consent to taking pictures of sexual nature on the basis of their feelings of trust and fun. This, however, becomes a source of anxiety later because something private and personal belonging to one person or to both now have the potential to becoming public.
Sometimes the person who is taking such photos or filming do it for fun or to keep a good memory or even sometimes to use it as a source of sexual arousal. As long as the other person is above the age of 16 years and consented, it is perfectly innocent.
Making a personal sexual film can be a very enjoyable and erotic experience for both of you. But before you agree for sexual photos or films to be taken, make sure you know your partner well enough so not to put yourself in a vulnerable position later on. You and only you will know if he is trustworthy or not.
Do you know why he wants to film you? Are you someone who easily gives into such requests? If you don’t want to have these images taken say ‘no’ and don’t agree to it. Not saying anything doesn’t help either. You can say no and explain why. The decisions is yours and don’t feel you have to give in.
It is illegal to disclose a private sexual photo or film without the consent of the person depicted in the content and with intent to cause them distress.
If the relationship goes sour, possession of footage or photos can become a source of revenge. In the day and age of internet and online communication such as sexting, this poses a threat to many people like it does for you.
1 in 10 ex-partners threatens to expose sexual photos online – a threat which is carried out 60% of the time.
The law can support you if your partner threatens to put these pictures online or in public through various media.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 defines the age of consent to be 16 years. In this act, ‘consent’ is highlighted as the main theme, allowing you to focus on your choice and options. It defines matters related to age and consent, and consent to be filmed or taken photos of in intimate or sexual positions/activities.
There is clear legal guidance on the definition of pornography. You can check on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) website for this. If your photos are used for this purpose and put online without your consent you can seek legal advice.
The law can support you but the advice is not to put yourself in that position in the first place unless you are sure it is what you want.
Rima Hawkins is a professionally trained Sex and Relationship therapist for individuals and couples working privately in London. Rima has worked in the NHS for 24 years and is a Relate Therapist. Information about her services is available on her website.
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