It’s not merely tawdry that the private sexual conversations of partners are now being disseminated like memes. Sharing these images is not the same as making a joke including characters such as Doge, Grumpy Cat and Sad Keanu. It’s an act of sexual violation, and it deserves the same social and legal punishment as meted out to stalkers and other sexual predators.
Violation it is, too, because whatever the medium of communication between lovers (whether it’s a telephone call, a text message or the sexual act itself), the conversation is private and to intrude upon it is sexual involvement that has occurred without consent, and it has the same resultant harms. That a mobile phone used to facilitate a lovers’ conversation can also be used as a means of mass communication is irrelevant, because mass communication was in no way agreed to by the lovers, who had every right to believe their security would not be compromised. Actors and other entertainers may certainly offer their image to public consumption as their professional practice, but what they are not trading is their intimacy.