WOMEN
09/02/2014 09:15 am ET Updated Sep 02, 2014

On Hacked Nude Photos And Stealing A Piece Of The Soul

Tommaso Tuzj via Getty Images

As the superstitions of various pre-technological cultures throughout history are said to have held, photography was thought of as an act of theft in which a portion of the subject's soul was removed from the body and imprisoned in another realm. We're likely to have a chuckle at the notion now, but the news from Sunday about hundreds of intimate photos from dozens of celebrities being hacked and distributed online has me rethinking whether or not there might be some truth to that way of thinking after all.

As any consumer of internet pornography, myself included, can tell you – where such hacks, authentic and staged, are now commonplace – there's something different about looking at images that were not intended for our consumption that separates them from the run-of-the-mill feelings of titillation we experience when looking at professional pornography. It feels like we've stolen a piece of the woman's soul.

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