One of the risks of texting explicit pictures is that you must know that the other party absolutely wants to receive them. However, not many people first send a text asking for consent: Instead, they rely on their understanding of their relationship with that person to determine if they want the pictures or not. 

Many couples use these “sexts” as a way to spice up their relationship. Sometimes it starts even before that relationship is official, or both people may feel like they’re in a relationship without having a conversation about it. In situations where both people enjoy it, that’s fine, and it can help them build chemistry together. 

The problem is when someone misreads signals, determines that someone would want such a text, and sends it out without finding out that they actually don’t want it at all. This can lead to accusations of sexual harassment and other serious issues. 

Misreading signals is nothing new. For instance, some men have claimed they thought that outgoing, friendly women were flirting with them when those women were actually not interested at all. It’s easy to imagine going out on a date with someone, deciding that they’re really into you, and opting to send them a photo that you think they’ll enjoy. But, if they actually weren’t interested in a relationship beyond that first date, they may be very offended and even accuse you of harassing them, stalking them, exposing them to content they’re not comfortable with and much more. 

A situation like this can be very uncomfortable, even when you know you had no intention to do anything wrong. If you wind up facing charges for harassment or other sex crimes, be very sure you know what options you have.