Every person has a lowest point: A moment in their life where, whatever the cause, it seems impossible that things could get any worse. These intensely personal experiences come in many different forms, but they all share one thing in common: The question of, how will I ever dig my way out? In this series, we’ll be talking to the people who somehow managed to pull themselves from the deepest depths and once again find steady ground.
Rock Bottom Moment: Tricked into sending a dick pic, then blackmailed with it
I’d been trying online dating for about a year. I was 21, a virgin and an introvert. I’d only ever had two dates with girls I met online, and while they were nice, it didn’t work out.
One night around midnight last year, I was on my computer and met a girl on Plenty of Fish (the site is a bot- and scam-ridden shithole and deserves to burn, in hindsight). I messaged her expecting another bot, but to my surprise, it was a real woman. We talked for a bit and she gave off a really flirty vibe. Let’s just say things escalated quickly: She sent me a back-to-the-mirror nude and asked for one in return, specifically asking for my “face and dick,” and that she’d pose however I wanted if I did.
Before this, I had two previous cases where the woman and myself were comfortable sending pictures to each other. That includes dick pics, but always with direct consent. Also, no issues ever came of it, so I didn’t hesitate. I was in a phase of “pre-nut confusion”: My emotions and hormones were telling me what to do, and I blindly followed.
She sent me a full frontal next and then said, “So what do you want to see now?” I gave my suggestion, and this is where my heart sank: The next three pictures she sent were pictures of my family and I. Then she showed me my full list of contacts on Facebook and said that unless I cooperated with her, she’d send the picture I’d sent her to everyone on my contacts list. Next, she showed me screenshots of her doing it to someone else to prove she wasn’t messing around.
In hindsight, everything was sketchy, from what she wanted to how she responded to me. She knew my first name from my Plenty of Fish profile and got my last name from me when we were talking. All she had to do was search me on Facebook, since she also knew what I looked like.
My family and I are Christians, and we’re very close. I couldn’t even bear the thought of them seeing the things I’d been sending and saying. I’m sure lots of people send nudes, but good lord dude, she was going to send it to my damn parents and grandparents. I was trapped.
I asked her what she wanted, and she told me that I was going to sign up to her websites. She sent me a link saying, “Make sure you register through the link I sent you.” I clicked the link, and it was a dark-web hookup site that most of us have never heard of. This was the endgame: Getting my debit card details on as many malware-ridden porn sites as possible. There is a dark corner of the internet where women use lesser-known (and lesser-trusted) cam sites to exploit their visitors. Most of the time on these sites you’re not allowed to view anything other than the homepage without a membership — I assume they get a certain amount of compensation for every person they get to sign up for them, as she asked me to sign up for three of them.
This is when I started thinking with my other head. I managed to convince her that fraud detection was blocking my card from the site and for her to wait. I spent this time screenshotting everything we had said and sent to each other, including the photos of her. I was speed researching what to do in this situation, legally, all while trying to figure out how I was going to explain nude pictures of me to my family, because there was no way I was putting my card on the dark web.
Finally, I told her that I wasn’t doing it. She said, “Ok. Goodnight.” A minute later, she sent me a picture of her sending my nudes to my dad over Facebook Messenger.
By now it was 2 a.m., but this was an emergency, so I called my mom. No answer. I called my dad — thank God he picked up. I explained my situation to him, trying my best not to burst into tears because I could only think of how disappointed my parents were going to be with me. Luckily, they said that they wouldn’t think any less of me for what happened — they said they love me unconditionally, and this was just a stupid mistake to learn from.
We’ve never spoken about it again, and I hope we never will.
The Lesson Learned
I made a vow to myself never to try online dating again. I never had a single pleasant experience in the year I tried online dating, and this was the final straw. I’m also no longer an active user of social media anymore. My Facebook page (the one she found) was already pretty inactive, so now it’s gone, and so is the email address associated with it. Occasionally, I check out Snapchat if my close friends want me to, but other than that, nothing.
I was already pretty depressed when this happened, due to my lack of social and love experience, and me being a bit of a hermit. My depression worsened for a few days, but I came back to my senses when I realized that everything had blown over. After that night, I never heard from the woman again, and to my knowledge, nobody outside my immediate family knows anything. I have no doubt she just moved on to the next poor, horny sucker.
I considered approaching the police, but I ended up not informing any law enforcement for two reasons: One, my parents had my back; and two, my dad said — and I agree — that since mine is such an insignificant case in the grand scheme of cybercrime, I’d just be wasting my time.
When it comes to the internet, always assume the person on the other end isn’t who they say they are. Try to leave your footprint small, and never send any NSFW pictures to people you haven’t met or don’t completely trust. However, if you still choose to do so, do not put your face in the picture. The only reason this person was able to find my Facebook profile is because she knew my face. Your identity belongs only to those you know, so don’t give it out just because there’s a minuscule chance you’ll get your dick wet.
Trust me, it’s not worth it.