Since the dawn of the Internet and the invention of the camera phone we have been warned against the dangers of sending nudes. However, let’s be honest, things happen. In my case, things happen pretty often and I have sent many pictures I would never put in a family photo album. As I am an adult woman capable of making my own choices just like all the celebrities involved in the recent leak, I struggle to see a problem with my expression of sexuality through digital photos. Though this seems to be an unfathomable concept to some, I am free to do with my body whatever I please and you are, too. And you know what? I really enjoy sending nudes to the people of my choice.
Along with the glorious benefit of turning someone on without even touching them, there come many potential side-effects which also must be addressed. Unfortunately, sometimes people are shitty. They can be untrustworthy, rude, and sometimes ungrateful. As a seasoned amateur, I’ve created a list of tips to take into consideration before posting pictures of yourself into the endless wireless world.
1. ONLY DO IT IF YOU WANT TO
The cute barista you gave your number to seems to REALLY want something to think about later while they keep their hand busy in their pants, but does sending them explicit photos benefit you? If you’re feeling it and want them to see you naked then by all means go for it. If you aren’t comfortable with them knowing what’s under your clothes, next time you buy an iced dirty chai, then don’t do it! They might whine about it, or stop responding to your texts, or whatever their “punishment” for your denial is, but that makes them a jerk, not you. Who wants a jerk around anyway?
2. THERE IS A CHANCE SOMEONE ELSE WILL SEE THE PICTURES
Personally, I embrace the idea of a casual verbal contract. It may be optimistic of me, but once I have established a sense of trust with my sexting partner, a quick playful line like “If you promise to keep it between me and you, I have something you might like. ;)” seems to do the trick. I know you’re thinking that in the heat of the sext, anyone would make that promise to progress the conversation. Probably true, but I typically only trust people with a conscience and people with a conscience don’t often make promises they intend on expressly breaking. The underlying message here is to make sure you trust your sexting partner… or, you know, ask them to reciprocate with a photo of themselves. If they trust you with their naked ass, you can hopefully trust them with yours.
3. BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU SEND
I’m into weird stuff. A lot of us are. Those weird things work their ways into explicit photos. If you have a kink you want to keep buried in the box of S&M gear you have hidden under your bed, you are solely responsible with keeping that secret. As I said in tip #2, sometimes it isn’t just the barista admiring your photo in those thigh-highs and ball gag. If you can’t accept the possibility that the barista’s roommate, the bartender at your favorite dive, knows what makes your juices flow, maybe settle for something vanilla over the leather and lace. I know it hinders that artistic and sexual expression you so deeply want to express, but if you’re uncomfortable it is certainly not worth it.
4. KEEP WHAT YOU CONSIDER YOUR “PRIVATE PARTS” HIDDEN (If You’re Looking for Anonymity)
We all have different ideas of what constitutes a good nude, which is why “private parts” has those little quotation marks around it. For me, I keep my face out of most pictures and my tattoos indistinguishable. I typically also keep my panties on. It is a bit of a puzzle to get the images to fit my criteria, but for me it is worth it. I know I am no celebrity and there is no mass market for my nudes, but the thin layer of anonymity some cropping and lighting provides is enough to help me sleep at night.
5. ANTICIPATE WHAT YOU HAVE TO LOSE SHOULD THE IMAGES BE CIRCULATED
If you intend on becoming a straight-laced public figure, it goes without saying that you must constantly work to maintain the image you want to represent you. I’m not saying that if you’re a rising starlet in Hollywood who won over theater audiences in your portrayal of an emotionally vulnerable widow who helps heal a broken-hearted man struggling with mental illness through the power of dance, you should not send nudes. You can do whatever you please. However, the risk of exploitation does exist. Be careful about who you trust. Be cautious where you store or save your photos. This also extends into the realm of anyone who is in a position that could be compromised by scandalous photos surfacing. I personally don’t believe nude photos are much leverage, but until the rest of the country agrees, know that your choices may have career consequences.
The culture of victim-blaming is pretty apparent when it comes to scandals like the celebrity nude leak. Don’t take the pictures if you don’t want them everywhere, right? No. Not right at all. It is absolutely your choice to send private pictures to someone you want to get hot and bothered. If that person uses them inappropriately, the shame is on them, not you. You’re just a total fox sharing what the universe gifted you. Know what’s comfortable for you, go forth, and blow some lucky recipients minds.