Revenge Porn and Relationship Privacy: An After-Chat with @DrJaneGreer

“There is no sexual, visual, acceptable picture without my consent. Without my consent there is only violation.” — Emma Holten

Our bodies and sexuality should not be used as shame-inducing weapons. Who’s with me?

I know Emma Holten is. After an ex posted explicit images of her online, the Danish activist chose to share her own nude photographs on her own terms. *pauses to happy-dance* I adore her for that, and for using her experience as a platform for making positive difference.

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One in ten ex-partners have threatened to release explicit photos post-breakup, according to a 2013 MacAfee Survey. Sixty percent of them act on the threats, and 90 percent of victims are women. Despite these risks, says the report, 36 percent of Americans plan to send sexy photos to their patterns through email, text or social media on Valentine’s Day. I personally don’t see a problem with that. Sharing our sexy selves however we see fit with a trusted loved one (or the world, for that matter) is awesome and should never be shunned.

What bothers me about ‘revenge porn’ is the lack of consent and intentional pain former partners intend to inflict—regardless of the medium. It also saddens me that our bodies and sexuality are so often used to induce shame. If we all embraced our bodies and sexuality as natural and beautiful, folks wouldn’t care whether such images were posted online. (This is probably why none of my exes have made attempts—just saying.) Without associative shame, they can’t be used as weapons. But as a culture, we’re so far away from that.

Last week, I had the pleasure to interviewing the spectacular Dr. Jane Greer, a marriage and family therapist, author and creator of the popular celebrity sex and relationship commentary, “SHRINK WRAP with Dr. Jane Greer.” She also hosts a dynamic radio show I had the honor of appearing not long before Girl Boner Radio launched. (You can find that episode in the show’s archives here, and via YouTube here.)

We explored some of the biggest lessons we can derive from celebrity relationships, how to keep selfishness out of our own relationships and more. She was also kind enough to share a few more thoughts here, including her take on revenge porn. Read our quick after-chat below then check out our interview on iTunes, Stitcher Radio for lots more!

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August: Social media has made it tougher for celebrities to maintain privacy, which can pose challenges within relationships. What can we learn from the ways celebrities use social media? 

Dr. Greer: 

We can learn that it’s important to be open with people and to share; however, be mindful about what you share in order to keep some things private. Maintain personal privacy and don’t feel like you have to share everything. For example, say you’re in a new relationship – you don’t have to share all the personal details of what you did on your first date, all of your common interests, etc. Keep the intimate details of your relationship to yourself.

August: Revenge porn has been a big topic in the media lately. It saddens me that the victims are so often blamed, and that how they decided to express their sexuality becomes a tool to induce shame. What’s your take? 

Dr. Greer:

It’s hard enough to go through a breakup and deal with the loss of shared intimacy, but however angry you may be, violating the trust and intimacy you had with your partner by sharing your sexual relationship with the public really destroys any semblance of trust or respect that may be left. Even though it looks like you’re retaliating against your ex-lover, you’re compromising your own integrity and disrespecting yourself as well. The fact that the victims are being blamed is wrong because this material was to be shared only between the two partners, and if anything it suggests the person sharing the material now was not trustworthy. The victim should be more wary of sharing something so intimate in the future.

August: If you could spend an evening with one celebrity couple, who would you choose and why? 

Dr. Greer:

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. I think they’re the most fabulously talented country couple, and I love their music individually. Not only that, but I find them intriguing as a couple!

****

To listen to my Girl Boner Radio interview with Dr. Jane Greer, visit this link on iTunes, or stream it via Stitcher Radio here.

Dig it? I’d love to hear from you! Post a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or share the links with your friends to keep the conversations going. To learn more about Dr. Greer, visit DrJaneGreer.com and follow her on Facebook.

What’s your take on revenge porn? What about Holten’s reaction? Which thoughts from Dr. Greet struck you most? I love hearing from you. Like, SERIOUSLY. 

Leave a comment

8 Comments

  1. I think that revenge porn is a cowardly way to try to intimidate a woman who in many cases was strong enough to end a relationship that she felt was unhealthy for her.
    In the victim shaming, I think that the online abuse and threats are what cause the most emotional damage. If a woman thinks someone is going to rape her because of seeing her nude picture, she is understandbly going to live with some fear of what could happen.
    There needs to be education for youths in general to help them to understand the implications of this behavior and get them to respect each other’s right to intimacy and privacy in the digital age.

    Reply
  2. I think revenge porn is a nasty way for a guy to try and get back at someone who used to be important in his life. It simply shows me the stupidity of most men. Personally, I wish there was a way to (legally) allow the women this happens to the opportunity to post the guy’s name, city, state, and a brief description of the situation on a website that was searchable. Perhaps, if the guy was ostracized enough, this would slow down.
    Scott

    Reply
  3. In my middle age I’ve had sexy pictures sent to me. More often than not. the woman who sent them to me was incredibly special to me and I was happy to have them. Never understood the idea of revenge porn or the related idea of trying to destroy an ex. The relationship is over. Yes it hurts. But no matter how it ends, putting time and energy into damaging or shaming an ex shows more about how ugly you are than the target.

    Reply
    • I’m so with you there! It’s a shame some folks feel the need for revenge, rather than learn from the relationship and respectfully move on.

      Reply
  4. What a thought-provoking interview with Dr. Greer! She seems like someone you could talk to for hours. She is so knowledgeable and compassionate. Thanks for the bonus follow-up with her. Anyone who has an ex that has trouble moving on–for any reason–will find the interview a great help. Once again, thanks so much.
    Karen

    Reply
  1. Lessons From Celebrity Relationships with Dr. Jane Greer | August McLaughlin

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