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‘Sharing nudes is actually phenomenal’

Publishing Date : 06 January, 2020

Author : TLHABO KGOSIEMANG

The age of sending nudes is upon us. Sending naked pictures has long been possible, but in the 21st century it’s astonishingly easy. There is time to send them, how to shoot them and how to keep yourself safe. There’s no getting away from it, we’re a world of over sharers.


Whether popping political opinions in a Twitter thread or Instagramming a pain au chocolat, it’s never been easier to let the world know who you are. Technological advances have revolutionised dating experiences and sex lives too: apps, sexting, sex over FaceTime, and, of course, the big one. Nudes.


The term ‘’send nudes’’ is such a second nature for anyone on a dating app or social media that it quickly became a meme and can be seen graffitied all over the world. Although sending a naked photo has been possible for years- albeit more grainy, slow to load, or even in print, the farther back in time you go- it’s only in the last few years that the act of sending a photo of, or including, your tackle has become a regular NBD pat of the seduction process. High spec cameras, filtering and high-speed internet connections mean you can have the idea, whip it out, take the snap and send with barely a moment’s thought.


In the reader survey to mark GQ’s 30th anniversary, it was revealed 40 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds have agreed sending nudes was the new normal. But why the change” is this purely a generational thing? Journalist Calvin reckons it’s an extension of the already popular thirst traps, the next level of seduction. ‘’Theoretically people have more dating options than ever. It’s a bit like in a game show when they wheel out the grand prize. ‘Here’s what you could win!’’


The rules around sending nudes seem fairly simple, but boundaries are overstepped constantly- usually by men. Most people would say an unsolicited dick pic is unwelcome- it’s much more polite to ask if they’d like one, or respond to a request- and yet men can’t seem to help themselves. There’s the view, perhaps, they ‘’might as well’’, but given they’re up against men actually using their charm to encourage a dick pic request, do they really think it’ll get them one straight back in return?


Unwelcome nudes are the top turnoff, but a close second would be a nude photo with zero artistry. There’s something quite depressing about asking for a nude and then being sent a snap, shot from above, of a red, angry penis subjected to the mercy of ugly lightning and a careless photographer. Obviously, turn-ons can vary, but context is key. Most women agreed that they tended to take more time over them, composing them to look not only sexy, but feel confident too. Men, however, preferred a more direct approach.


Lingerie designer Marisa says a topless pic does much more for her than a gonzo-shot dick pic and she much prefers to send than receive- when she can. ‘’Sending nudes is great fun; I haven’t had anyone to send them to me for a while and I kind of miss that adrenaline rush,’’ she says. Unprompted nudes can have their place, she reckons, but ‘’generally with someone who I’ve been chatting with or dating’ I wouldn’t send them to a stranger’’.


In a relationship, of course, nude photos are a way of keeping the passion alive and they’re especially useful in long-distance relationships. No more fiddling with a Polaroid or hoping the Snappy Snaps guy developing your film won’t call the feds- digital photography allows us to be right there and ready. It can build excitement and maintain intimacy, no matter how far apart you are, says one man, who’s been with his wife for 15 years: ‘’It’s become our regular thing on a Friday afternoon. She’ll send me a down-the-top shot- or more if she’s at home that day- and I’ll nip to the loo and give her a quick peek. Sometimes I’ll do a decent one at home and save it to send to her on Friday. I usually have a spare nude ready to go. We love it.’’


Often overlooked is the normalisation of nudes and its effect on body positivity. It’s well-known the regular, jeans-on selfies can be a confidence boost- either to reaffirm your attractiveness or garner interactions on social media- so it’s fairly obvious nudes can do the same for sexual confidence. Photographing yourself nude forces you to appraise your body afresh, there’s nowhere to hide; and while there’s every risk it could confirm your worst fears- photographing yourself from below can help you appreciate its wonder.


One body positivity in her forties says ‘’Taking nudes has gone from being something that scared me because I didn’t think I was hot enough to something that’s increased my confidence hugely. There are literally hundreds of naked photos of me online now and I’ve photographed over 20 people in their forties with varying degrees of good and bad relationships with their bodies’’


In the gay dating arena, perhaps, there’s more of a demand for nudes. Although straight dating apps are also popular with people wanting hook-ups, it could be argued gay men pioneered the openness around casual sex and specialist apps, born both of convenience and necessity: gay dating apps offer gay, bi and trans men a safe space to express themselves, on the understanding that everyone is there for the same reason and an approach will not offend. But with such freedom comes expectation. Bisexual guy Alex says he gets asked for nudes ‘’within minutes of initiating conversation. There definitely seems to be a culture of pressuring for nudes in the gay community’’


If you want to send nudes that you’re oh-so-proud of, by all means, go for it, just make sure you follow these rules first. Set your own boundaries. Nude doesn’t have to mean completely naked. Do what you feel comfortable doing- you’re in control of this situation. Partially nude photos can actually be way sexier than baring it all anyway. Try a sexy pose in your underwear only or a really cute bathing suit. Leaving more to the imagination sometimes gets guys more excited than the alternative.


Be prepared for other people seeing your goodies. You have a damn good body, so be prepared that your recipient is going to want to show off that photo. If you haven’t met his friends before, just know that the first time you meet them might not be the first time they’ve seen parts of you that you don’t to be seen. Be prepared for this but also be good person and don’t share nudes you receive with others without their permission.


Keep that pretty face out of it. On that note, make sure to keep your face out of it. Send a selfie you want, send nudes all you want, but for the love of the sexting gods, don’t send your face and nudes in the same shot just in case he turns out to be a douchebag who spreads the picture everywhere or just in case the phone gets into the wrong hands or whatever other horrible tragedy that can occur.


Don’t send nudes to men you don’t know. You may be very close to someone you haven’t met in person yet and feel comfortable sharing nudes. Only you can be the judge of whether or not you truly know someone well enough for this kind of intimacy, but please don’t send nudes to brand new guys. You don’t know them or their motivations and you need to protect yourself. And again, don’t send nudes under the influence. As most everything goes, sending nudes under the influence is a bad idea. You’re bound to forget all the other remaining rules.


Next thing you know, your whole body is in the picture, face and all, and you’ve sent it to your boss and then accidentally uploaded it to Facebook. Check your lightning and angle. A little bit of advice that’s different than the rest. If you’re going to send those nudes, I want you to send your best self. Take photos from above or straight on. Never take a photo from below looking up- everyone has a double chin at this angle. Try for natural light instead of harsh fluorescent light. So now, go for it, send nudes- just make sure your clean and well shot.

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