I’m not proud, but I learned a lot.

Call it a power trip. Call it selfish. Call it creepy. But every time a girl sent me a nudie photo of herself, I’d leer appropriately, send an encouraging response — and save a copy to an old email account I rarely used. And over my decade-long sexual career, I amassed dozens of shots of the multiple women I’d dated. Yes, it sounds pretty sleazy, but every once and a while, I’d take a trip down naked memory lane and admire all the ladies who showed me their secrets at one time.

Until one day, they were all gone. Every single photo. After a rollercoaster ride of emotions in the following days, this is what I learned from the loss of my private stash.

1. The people running Hotmail.com are complete assholes

Since I wanted to hide the photos so completely that no one could ever, ever find them, I dropped each and every one of them into a folder in the Hotmail account I made back in high school. Not only did none of my lady friends know about my SadDashboardConfessionalLyrics@hotmail.com account, but nobody has legitimately used one of those accounts in about eight years. It was the perfect disguise.

Turns out, if you don’t at least log into your Hotmail account every 12 months or so, they just wipe the damn thing and you’ll be left with an empty email. There’s nothing you can do. Every correspondence you’ve saved just melts into the ether. Sorry. I googled it a lot, and thousands of other people have had problems with their disappearing Hotmail account. All Microsoft can say is, “Sorry. Too bad for you.”

2. Having a naked photo of someone is a power trip

After the initial shock passed, I asked myself, “Why did I keep these pics in the first place?” After each break-up, I’d systematically scour Facebook and delete every photo of them, implementing a scorched earth, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind–style extraction of them to make sure our past would never bother me again.

So why would I keep shots of the naked fuzzy tingle times? Turns out, it was all to feel powerful. And loved, more or less. The fact that someone would send me nakey photos of themselves made me feel important and special. And every once and a while, I’ll fire up the Hotmail account to feel good about myself. Plus, there was the opportunity to blackmail any of these ladies if crossed me — which is an incredibly psychotic thing to think, but that helped me justify keeping the images in the first place.

3. Anyone's privacy should be treated with respect

If someone sent you a picture of their penis, what would be your reaction? Yup, 99.9 percent of the universe agrees with you. Gross. Big time. Even as the owners of penises, men don’t like looking at them either. They’re unsettling.

Women’s bodies, on the other hand, are works of art. Seeing one without clothes is a gift from the heavens, and should be treated as such. Especially in today’s culture that glorifies Photoshopped Barbie-doll stick figures with big plastic jugs, any lady that confidently can photograph their bod and say, “look at my milkshake” deserves praise. And should a lady send that nudie photo to your phone, it should be treated with adoration and reverence and respect. 

4. Delete them as soon as you break up

As soon as you hit send on the final break-up text, you should delete every single boob and butt cheek you’ve received from that special someone right then and there. There’s absolutely nothing good that can come from you having those photos. Not one thing. “But what if I need them later?” you might ask. You won’t. Looking at photos of the good times when that nice person would gift you with images of their naked bod will drastically slow down the “getting over your ex” phase — or freeze it altogether.

“But I hate them so much! I’m gonna hold on to these and blackmail them with naked selfies if they ever try to run for office!” you might also drunkenly slur. And while that sounds like a reasonable plan now that your heart just got shit on, you need to realize that’s a monster-sized dick move and nothing good could ever come from it. Delete them all right now. You’ll thank yourself later.

Just look at “The Fappening.” Over 100 famous people got their naked photos leaked to the entire universe back in 2014, and while many people love looking at disrobed celebs, it was really just one of the most depressing things to happen in a long time. Those pictures were shot specifically for another person they loved (or at least lusted after at the time). After the leak, a friend showed me a video of a certain famous sitcom star masturbating in front of a bathroom mirror, and it was the opposite of hot. That video wasn’t for me — it was for her boyfriend at the time. And I felt like a total creep for watching it.

5. Maybe use Snapchat instead

It's human nature. We show affection for other people by sending each other photos of our naughty bits. That makes sense. 

But there’s a great reason why that app with the ghost in the yellow box is so popular. It was basically created for people to send incriminating photos back and forth, without having to worry about people holding onto the evidence for a later date. The timeline for someone else seeing your naked body should be just like in real life: brief, followed by some sex and then the clothes come back on. Easy peasy.