In September of last year, some five hundred private photographs of various celebrities were leaked online to a mixture of condemnation and finger-pointing. This did nothing to stem the tide of distribution.

It’s hardly news that certain dark corners of the web harbour individuals who would joyously steal and view personal images that contain nudity. When it’s not celebrity photo leaks, it’s revenge porn (posting nude photos or home movies featuring an ex-partner online in order to get back at them) or doxxing (disclosing an ex’s personal information out of spite). It’s also no secret that these are weapons primarily used against women.

Allegations of female sexuality, it seems, still serve as a cudgel, to be employed when a woman sets foot out of line.

Little wonder, then, that even popular titles in the romance and erotica genres prefer their heroines to be chaste before they meet their one true love. An untouched or more or less inexperienced female character can hardly be accused of sluttishness. Once she has found her way into the arms of Mr Right, of course, all bets are off… But what if Mr Right isn’t Mr. Right?

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