NEW in Essence: "My Boss Saw Me Naked!"

  Check out my latest print-published article in the new issue of Essence :-)

Alicia* called her boyfriend to tell him she wanted out of their relationship. After all, she was a married mother of three and had only taken a lover to get revenge on her husband, who had cheated on her years prior. Her logic in starting an affair was shaky, but Alicia, 44, had been thinking with her broken heart, not her head. Three months into her side relationship, with a high school classmate she had reconnected with during a chance encounter, Alicia started to send him full nude images, and the pair recorded bedroom romps on video. ”I thought we were having fun and everything would be fine,” she says.

It wasn’t. After a year, the relationship went from sweet to sour. When Alicia called to break things off, he joked about sending the photos and videos of her to her social circle. And her job. And her husband. “I knew him well enough to know there was truth behind the threat,” she says. She was right to be nervous: One in ten former partners threatens to expose risqué photos of an ex online, according to endrevenge And 60 percent follow through.

So Alicia pretended the talk of breaking up was a joke too. She spent the next two months pretending to be happy with her boyfriend on the side and feeling held hostage by the evidence of her bad decision. Alicia slowly phased out communication and has made peace with the fact the pictures may still be shared. “This is the situation I’ve put myself in—I used this man for payback against my husband,” Alicia shares. “I allowed it to happen and there’s nothing I can do. If I had it to do over again, I definitely would not have  created photos and videos.”

Usually when sexting and sex tapes are discussed, the conversation is prompted by the latest celebrity “accidentally” baring all across the Internet. There have been several instances: Love & Hip Hop Atlantastar Mimi Faust and boyfriend Nikko Smith found themselves at the center of a media storm this year when their (slickly produced) sex tape was allegedly stolen and sold to porn distributor Vivid Entertainment. Instagram star and rapper wife Amber Rose saw the intimate pics she took splashed all over the Internet, as did Rihanna when the private racy shots she took for ex-beau Chris Brown hit the Web. All the women claimed their pictures or video had been stolen. And all put on a brave face through the barrage of publicity.