Blackmailing people with nudes, sex tapes or anything else is a crime and of course, the absolute ghetto. It can have devastating financial and social consequences, subjecting the victim to intense psychological trauma, yet, people do it and get away with it. Yesterday, a Nigerian Twitter user, talked about being blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend. This reminded us about the Sex Life story of the woman who was blackmailed after having a threesome. It’s something that happens to a lot of Nigerians, but not something we talk about enough.
So we decided to ask 6 Nigerians – 4 women and 2 men – about their experiences with blackmail.
“My ex-fiance threatened to release my nudes if I didn’t agree to marry him.” – Tolani, 26.
It was unexpected. I trusted him. He was my boyfriend for about two years. We broke up because our genotypes were not compatible and he really wanted to get married. The breakup wasn’t even that painful on my end. What was painful was his refusal to let me go. I can’t say he became a monster because they say that the signs are usually always there. I don’t know how I missed them in the two years we dated.
At first, he went to my parents, friends, neighbours asking them to beg me. Then he started buying me a ton of gifts. At some point, I entertained the possibility of getting back together because we were good together up until the genotype thing came up. Then he started threatening to tell my parents stuff that I had told him. Just silly stuff that my super religious parents would die if they heard. When that didn’t move me, he said he was going to post my nudes online — nudes he had taken of me while we were in the relationship. I begged him, but he wouldn’t listen. He said it was either we got married or nothing. After a while, I got tired and told him to release it. It was only then, he backed down.
It often hits me that if not for the genotype issue, I might have married him.
“My then girlfriend and her friend tried to blackmail me with my nudes.” – Segun, 31 (Male)
This was ages ago. I cheated. I cheated on my babe with her friend. It was bad and I know. I was sorry, but sorry doesn’t solve anything. They conspired to release nudes I had shared with my girlfriend. We hadn’t even broken up and my girl was getting back at me with the person I cheated with. My face wasn’t showing in the picture and I wasn’t going to beg, so I told them to do it. They didn’t. My girlfriend decided to forgive me on a whim. However, I just knew I couldn’t stay with her after she pulled that off. Call me a 30+ man, but now, I don’t even take nudes again.
“A stranger on the internet was going to release my nudes if I didn’t send him credit.” – Janet, 25 (Female)
I had just finished secondary school and it was a long holiday and I was almost always on Facebook. I met this guy who was a friend of a friend and we got chatting. Soon he started asking me for nudes and I didn’t mind; I had sent nudes to guys in the past, it wasn’t a big deal. I sent him a couple of pictures and that was that. A few days later, without provocation, he told me he’d release the photos if I didn’t send him recharge card. I didn’t know if he was joking or not. I was scared. So I got him credit of like N3,000. He asked for more which I didn’t have.
So I lied that I had told my family and church members about it and they were going to back me up if he released it. This was a lie. I couldn’t tell anybody. What exactly do I tell my parents was the reason I sent nudes to a stranger? I blocked him on Facebook and never heard from him. For the first few months of uni, I was scared that he had somehow tracked me down and was following me. I don’t know how I got past that phase.
“My guys tried to extort money from me with my friend’s nudes.” – Bade, 28 (Male)
It wasn’t my nudes. It was photo of my best friend – or so they said. They were supposed to be my guys, so when they came to me, I assumed it was banter at first. They told me that if I didn’t send them some money, they would go to my friend and threaten to expose her nudes on Twitter. I didn’t want them to go to her. So I sent them the money. It wasn’t a lot of money. N2K, N3K, but it began accumulating because they kept asking for more. One day, something told me to ask them to show me the photo of my bestfriend and to ask how they had gotten it. Long story short, there was no photo at all. I had never felt so stupid in my life.
“He sent my sex tape to my parents and my life hasn’t been the same.” – Esther, 21 (Female)
I was dating this guy and we recorded a sex tape. I thought he deleted it, turns out he didn’t. One day, a few weeks after we broke up — amicably — I got a DM from a burner account threatening to send my sex tape to my parents. I thought it was spam at first, so I ignored it. The messages became consistent and they came on different platforms. I then realised this person was being serious. I tried to have a conversation to find out who it was. The person didn’t reveal their identity and I couldnt decipher who it was.
I could only suspect my ex. So I hit him up and he said he didn’t know anything about that, that he deleted the sex tape. I believed him. Why would he release a sex tape that he featured in? I assumed the person sending me messages was just fooling around. Turns out he was not. My sex tape was in my parent’s WhatsApp soon enough and I was getting calls from everywhere.
The first thing I did was cut myself. My mental health, everything went to shit. It was only then that my ex confessed that he did send the sex tape to a friend while we were dating, before he deleted it. Worst part – it wasn’t even that friend who sent it. It was someone else who had gotten hold of his phone temporarily. When we were able to track down the guy to ask why he did it – not that it mattered, the damage had been done, he said that he just felt like doing it. He had no motive, nothing. He just wanted to destroy someone’s life.
“When I was 15, I was blackmailed with a picture of my cleavage.” – Nonso, 23 (Female)
When I was 15, I got close to some people online. There was this particular guy who was 18. We had a lot of sexual conversations mostly surrounding how my first sexual encounter was going to be. I was a curious virgin. I was also very naive. One day, he sent me a dick picture out of the blue. That was the first nude picture I ever got. I took a photo of my boobs (I was wearing a bra) and sent it to him. It was more of a cleavage picture, but back then, it felt like my entire body. He complimented it and asked for more. I refused.
Months later, we had a fight and while we were arguing via chat, he sent a message saying he still had that photo I sent him. But he told me that he had deleted it since, so I was confused. When I confronted him, he said “I lied. I still have it.” I asked him to show me. He refused. I thought he was bluffing but I was low-key scared over a cleavage picture that didn’t even have my face! He said he would make it his WhatsApp profile picture and at that point, I told him to go ahead.
Eventually, he confessed that he didn’t have it and apologized but that was it, I blocked him. There were others like him who try threatened me and couldn’t carry out the threat. This experience didn’t exactly scar me but I made changes to my privacy. Now I’m super careful when I share nudes. I can never get blackmailed with nudes again.