My New Favourite TV Show

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Stop. Before you proceed with the body of this review – ideally write, but at a minimum think and acknowledge, what’s your thoughts on Sex and the City (the TV show)?

Have you ever watched  it? Did you like it?

If you haven’t seen it, but have you heard about it, what are you impressions?

If you’d asked me before I started watching the show, I would have told you that it’s a lowest common denominator show that uses sex as a drawcard, and superficial and easy clichés to drive the plot.

To be fair to myself, I do have the book I read and reviewed, written by some of the show writers, which did fit that description.

I love this show. I wish I’d watched this show ten years ago.

The show centres around four thirty-something women, and their pursuits of love and sex.

Each episode tackles a different dynamic, from younger men, faking it, discrimination against single people.

The characters are archetypes, and instead of this being a short coming, it has broad appeal – the audience is easily able put themselves in the characters shoes.

The show unashamedly approaches these dynamics – and whatever your viewpoint, the show provides a good starting point to thinking about these dynamics.

I said I wish I’d watched this ten years ago, and be that as it may, the show has a certain appeal that may have become relevant in the last couple of years – I now identify with the women in the show as my peer group, rather than being the generation older to me.

There was one episode that irritated me – it featured one of the girls dating an uncircumcised guy, and her being put off by it. The guy ends up getting a circumcision, and then the twist being that after he did he wanted to play the field more, with his new penis. The episode irritated me because the focus was entirely on women’s preference for circumcised or uncircumcised penises, without regard for the actual and serious impact removing a part their penis has for men.

The same episode also featured one of the women hitting her partner in the eye, and while it flirted with the idea that this was a bad thing, I think it’s fair to level the charge that Sex and the City can be a bit blasé at times.

Nb. I actually stopped watching the show about the time I wrote this review. I got through about two and a bit seasons. I think the first season is definitely worth watching, because it does confront sexuality, but it does quickly lose steam. Perhaps the characters are too rigid, and it becomes difficult for the audience to empathise as they seem to go around in circles.

 

Why, if you’re going to sext, you should use Snapchat

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Snapchat is a popular mobile application that allows users to send each other photos that delete themselves and are unviewable after 10 seconds.

When I first heard about snapchat about two and half years ago, I, like many people who aren’t already using it, assumed that it was an application that’s primary purpose is for sexting.

The research shows that this isn’t true. A University of Washington poll of 127 users shows that their primary uses of Snapchat are sending photos of themselves, ‘they they’re up to’, or funny things, and that 15% have used it for sexting before.

This mirrors my own use and experience of Snapchat.

At the same time, research shows that about around 15% of teenagers, and 20% of 20-30 year olds have sext before, though these statistics vary from study to study.

Common advice given is that one shouldn’t trust photos sent via snapchat to be deleted forever, pointing out that there are plenty of applications soneone can use to capture Snapchat images without notifying the person of the screenshot. This is true, there are many such apps. There is also the possibility that your, or the person you are sending your photos to, phone could be compromised by a hacker or malware, and snaps be captured that way.

However, I would still argue that if one is going to send nude photographs, then Snapchat is the safest medium for doing it. While Snapchat can’t protect you from people who have the intention of capturing your snaps, it can protect you from someone sharing your snaps retroactively.

That is – if the sexting is occuring in the context of a romance where you both like and trust each other, and implicit in the use of snapchat is that neither of you are using screen capturing software, then the photos are not going to be captured. This relies on your own judgement of a person and their integrity as to whether you are correct about them not using a screen capturing software afterwards. Sexting a charming person you’ve just met on Tinder probably isn’t a sensible idea if you’re concerned about your images being shared, but sexting your boyfriend/girlfriend of 3 months who you trust in other regards has a much lower risk.

If the relationship later goes sour, the snaps that were sent at the time before the relationship soured can not be captured retroactively, and thus can’t be shared out of malice or spite.
This is in contrast to sexting via other methods where the image is persisted, such as MMS, email, Facebook messenger, Whatsapp etc, where the images can be retrieved at will by an aggrieved party and shared.

Bottom line: No, of course Snapchat isn’t 100% safe if you’re concerned about compromising photos of yourself being leaked. One shouldn’t discount a phone being compromised by hackers or malware, or your sexting partner using a Snapchat screen capturing software. If you can accept those  risks, Snapchat prevents the malicous or spiteful sharing of photos in the event that the feelings in the relationship change. If you can’t trust the person you’re dating not to be using a screen capturing software, then perhaps you’re dating an asshole and you should be considering whether you should be dating them at all.