“Nik” is actually Steve Sweet, 47, a mobile phone salesman from Plymouth.He, it is fair to say, looks as unlike Keanu Reeves as it is possible to be. They are avatars, online characters who were created by Kristen and Steve in Second Life, an internet fantasy world, where you can reinvent yourself and embark on the kind of adventures you’ve always dreamed of – including a WAG-style white wedding with 20ft train, and even, as we have seen today, the phenomenon of cyber-adultery.Flirting is a basic instinct, part of human nature.This is not surprising: if we did not initiate contact and express interest in members of the opposite sex, we would not progress to reproduction, and the human species would become extinct.The practice is not illegal when photos are shared between consenting adults, but when minors are involved, sexual-exploitation and child-pornography laws can come into play, so great care is needed in the handling of sexting cases involving people under 18.However, although there have been some highly publicized cases, prosecution of minors for distribution of sexting photos has been relatively rare in the US. “Sexting” is a relatively new word that typically refers to sex-related or nude photos taken and shared via cellphone (most sexting happens on phones and doesn’t make it to the Web, according to research in the medical journal Pediatrics).Some experts say sexting can also be just sexually explicit text.
In Second Life I could be who I wanted to be, and when I met Nik I was in control for the first time in years.
But it can definitely be a form of victimization either from the outset or after a break-up or conflict in a relationship.
These two types of victimization, premeditated and reactive, are what education about sexting’s risks needs to focus on: * Sexting as sexual harassment.
Flirting is much more than just a bit of fun: it is a universal and essential aspect of human interaction.
Anthropological research shows that flirting is to be found, in some form, in all cultures and societies around the world.