Redditor “ThrowRAoboy” is a 21-year-old woman who made the discovery that someone she considered a friend had commissioned a sexually graphic drawing of her.
This friend—who the Original Poster (OP) referred to as “James”—allegedly had a reputable NSFW artist draw an illustration of her in the nude—complete with identifiable birthmarks—performing a sex act, without her consent.
The OP stopped talking to James without explanation and sought Reddit’s advice column for guidance on what to do next.
For context, the OP wrote:
“We are college students (I am 21F[emale] and he’s 21M[ale]) who met freshman year (we’re juniors now) through mutual friends and have been acquaintances until this January, when we were in a discussion section for a class together and started talking more.”
“It was just friendly, and stayed that way the whole time (I have had a string of not great romantic/sexual experiences in college and have sort of put a full pause on flirting, dating, etc. for a while and have always been very blunt with my friends, including him, about it).”
“Since the pandemic hit I moved back home and we only communicate over text now. Let’s just call him James.”
“James’ roommate, Leon [22M], is tight with one of my best friends, Sam [21M]. Leon decided to move back home when school shut down as well, and while he was packing, he came across a rolled up small print in the back of their [he and James’] shared closet, and unrolled it to see if it belonged to him or not.”
“The image was a drawing of a girl nude performing a sexually explicit act, and she looks…. exactly like me.”
“Like I’m not even really friends with Leon and he immediately thought ‘oh, that kind of looks like OP.’ Face, body type, even BOTH of my birthmarks (one in a very noticeable spot and one he would only know about from me mentioning it in passing) is all eerily similar to me.”
“Leon immediately got spooked and took a photo of it and sent it to Sam because he thought I should be notified of the print’s existence.”
“Sam forwarded it to me and I found the original artist’s Twitter handle off the signature.”
Disturbing details behind the drawing emerged as the OP did some research.
“He’s an NSFW artist who also does commissions and will often post those commissions after completing them, and sure enough, I scrolled back far enough to find what is basically my naked body drawn on this man’s timeline, posted all the way back in FEBRUARY, which means James had paid for it like months ago, maybe right when we found out we had a class together.”
“I’ve been talking to him for months and he’s had this for basically the whole time.”
“This discovery was two weeks ago and I feel f’king disgusting and honestly violated. I stopped talking to him for the most part—but I am afraid that he will circulate the image more if I stop speaking to him entirely or tell him that i know.”
“His roommate promised not to say anything because he was pretty disgusted too and as far as I know he’s stayed true to that.”
“I want to cut James off completely and I want the artist to remove the post of the commission from his Twitter, but I’m so scared and ashamed to reach out because I hate drawing more attention to the fact that this drawing even f’king exists, and I shudder thinking about the artist possibly using reference photos of me for the drawing.”
“So I guess my advice requests are:”
“Should I bother trying to get the post taken down and if I do, how do I make sure he does it?”
“Should I confront James? I never want to speak to this man again but I would be mortified if he circulated the image at all. Should I just block him? Is there someone I should report him to or something?”
“Is this an overreaction and should I do nothing? I haven’t told any of my friends besides the one who informed me because it makes me so uncomfortable and I need an outside perspective.”
“I have never shown any kind of sexual interest in this man and just wanted to be his friend, and she showed absolutely zero interest in me as well.”
“He’s had this image for months, all while still talking to me and it makes me feel so f’king icky and brings back memories of aforementioned sh*ty sexual experiences and I just don’t want to be around him.”
“Sorry if this was overly long, I’m just really over my head here.”
This Redditor encouraged her to contact the artist to have the drawing removed and to cut James out of her life for good.
“Yes, get it taken down. Send a polite message to the artist explaining the situation in a paragraph or less from a THROWAWAY EMAIL. Explain you’re the reference and your stalker paid for the picture and you want it to quietly go away, if they could please.”
“Never, ever, EVER talk to James again. He’s a f’king creep and you need to avoid him forever.”
“No it’s normal. Yes you have a right to be upset. And you don’t need to tell anyone unless you want them to know what happened. I would tell (if anyone) the people you trust to help you deal with this only.”
“Personal note: Creepers gonna creep. Please don’t stress that you gave him some kind of signal that this was okay. You are not AT ALL to blame for this.” – permthrowawaybcuz
This Redditor assured her that the artist shouldn’t have a problem taking down the illustration in question.
“Just to add on, idk if anyone has mentioned this yet but that artist has already been paid for their work.”
“They also apparently have a decent sized portfolio on their twitter. So them taking down the one drawing of you is neither unreasonable nor something that would hurt them in any way.”
“They likely get more attention on any nsfw drawings of recognizable characters/people too, which is another reason why taking down a drawing of you (a very specific random person who isn’t a celebrity) wouldn’t be of any harm to them or their reputation.”
“Basically they have every reason to be completely fine with taking down the post.”
“They’ve already been compensated for their work and are more likely to feel embarrassed about being tricked into doing some non consensual artwork than dox you or draw more attention to the situation.”
“That would likely harm their business more than anything, so there’s a more cynical reason for them to be reasonable in this situation. I hope everything works out.” – Nonsensical-Niceties
There was a discussion about the NSFW artwork qualifying as revenge porn.
“Revenge porn is illegal in many places, if you decide to confront the d*ckhead about it you can check if that is the case and inform him of that.”
“If it gets released by him it can very easily be construed as revenge porn. The image is clearly pornographic, whether drawn or not. That’s a sex crime and could end up being on some excruciating lists and severe punishment by the law.” – NimbaNineNine
However, this person disagreed.
“This would almost certainly not fall under revenge porn laws as they currently exist in most places. Revenge porn laws are generally explicitly targeted at actual images and videos of the person; a drawing of someone, however accurate, would not trigger those statutes.” – Aethelric
Many of the comments suggested the OP should contact the police, but this person commented it would be a waste of time.
“I’m surprised that calling the police keeps getting brought up. What are the local police going to do?”
“Most likely scenario, the bored officer behind the desk tells you it’s a civil matter and tells you to call a lawyer. (This is the most likely outcome since nothing remotely illegal has happened.)”
“Best case scenario, he helps you file a police report, gives you a case #, and that’s the last you hear of it for the rest of your life.”
“Nothing illegal has happened, the police are not going to call this artist guy, and any interaction with the local PD would be a waste of time for all parties involved.”
“Check your states bar referral program and go right to a lawyer.”
“Edit: I should probably add that I don’t think a lawyer will be able to help either. I’m not aware of any tort laws with regards to art of a person’s likeness, and if the artist lives in another state, that’s a whole other can of worms. ” – my-other-throwaway90
In an update to the overwhelming response, the OP posted “I’m pioneering a new front in revenge porn” and thanked everyone for their input before adding few more developments.
“A couple more things—I’m seeing some hate for NSFW artists in the comments and I don’t want it to sound like I agree with that.”
“Might not be my cup of tea but it’s still valid! But I hope maybe this is can be a reminder to artists (NSFW or not) of the power you have with your depictions, and to make sure your commissions aren’t going to unknowingly hurt anyone.”
Several artists indicated where they would draw the line in various scenarios dealing with commissions.
“Hey! I’m an artist who does commissions and it honestly never occurred to me that the people who I get commissioned to draw wouldn’t want me drawing them like that and I’m kinda having a holy sh*t moment.”
“I don’t do sexual art though, so it’s a bit of a different beast. That said, if someone contacted me and asked me to remove a piece of art I made of them because of something like this I’d delete it in a f’king heart beat, no doubt about it.”
“If it was a particularly good piece that I was proud of I might keep the process files just because I try not to destroy my old art because it’s important for my growth but even then I’d still probably end up deleting it and at bare minimum never showing it to anyone else.”
“If the artist doesn’t want to get rid of it he’s an a**hole and you have every right to be mad.” – ughnamesarehard
“Another nsfw artist here. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them privately, most artists are respectful enough and it may make them think twice before taking those types of commissions again.”
“They most likely didn’t realize the impact it had and, as others have said, it won’t hurt their gallery to take take down such a personal image.”
“Long ago when I first started doing nsfw art, I actually had a client get a private commission of his g/f and her friends comparing boobs. I was a bit naive then and assumed the commission was consensual but looking back, really felt gross about doing it and gladly won’t share it anywhere.”
“Soon after that image was commissioned, I never allowed any more like that that were based on real people.” – Kassarie
“I do art commissions of various sexy things, and have specifically had to turn down this exact thing so many times. You’d be amazed how often it comes up.”
“Someone will want to send me photos of a friend, and have me imagine the rest for them. When I say I don’t do likenesses (including celebrities), they’ll ask if I’ll do random people with the same color hair and in specific clothing belonging to the person.”
“I’ve even had them ask for the person to seem battered in some way, which is a whole other kind of skeevy and awful.”
“Look, I’m fine with all kinds of kinks, but if you don’t have consent I’m not helping with this kind of request. It’s too murky for my tastes, and feels like I’m helping you violate someone’s trust.” – Perpetually_Restless
The OP continued with her update.
“Second, for people asking I don’t really have an update to give right now because I haven’t done anything yet or formed a plan but I guess I can edit again or post an update when I do?”
Lastly, the OP had some choice words for those who discredited her concerns.
“To the Angry Men who think I should be grateful and take it as a compliment because ‘hey it’ll keep him from raping you’—I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I tell you to go f’k yourselves.”