I’m talking about sending nude photos to someone who wants them. And I’m referring to adults of consenting age.
The first topless photos I sent were taken on a digital camera – the kind your parents bought to take on holiday. I wore heels and made my eyes smoky; teased my hair to look post-sex. Confidently, I didn’t filter – my ex boyfriend, first love, has seen me in the shower before with racoon eyes from black eyeliner.
Sending nude photos: why it’s mostly women
Publication The Swaddle, produced an article on a study suggesting women (compared to men) “were four times more likely to send nudes” to keep a person interested. Additionally, the study found women sending nude photos are more likely than men to feel empowered. As discussed in my post Male Sexual Privilege and Female Contradiction, women aren’t given the same freedom to explore their sexuality.
A man can sexually assault a woman and commit a horrendous crime – the woman – the victim, can be blamed because her clothes are revealing. A man can share photos of a naked woman online – commit revenge porn, and the women can receive most blame. It’s 2022; we’re in long-distance relationships – we’re walking round 24/7 with a camera and communication to partners who find us sexy. The ‘you should know better’ attitude is absurd.
Whoopi Goldberg criticised Bella Thorne for her naked selfies hack. Whoopi said someone famous should know better than to take nude pictures. Bella might be famous, but she’s also a young woman figuring herself out. Where else can women own their sexuality? Sure, there’s Instagram – where all eyes can judge and any creep can send horny DM’s. They can show their bodies in public – an open gateway to car beeps, wolf-whistles and lewd comments. Yes, there’s the bedroom, but having entire dictatorship of your sexual image is incredibly empowering.
Archaic views of the body
When first meeting a guy, I’m a little shy and awkward – that’s a lie, I’m more nervous than a child with clown phobia, meeting a clown. I started taking nudes to show guys (and myself) a side of me more daring, racier and uninhibited. Their reactions, and my willingness to be vulnerable, helped me begin to appreciate my figure. Excuse me for crafting myself like a victim who deserves a bravery award, but when you have a twisted spine, there’s nothing like compliments on a photo of your bare backside to uplift body acceptance.
As discussed on my Free The Nipple Movement post, male artists and religion has influenced how we perceive female bodies. There was a time when males showing their nipples was illegal in public. Presently, men can publicly wander without a shirt, and even if you think it’s disgusting or wrong, you won’t believe it as immoral as a woman doing the same. The sex industry has designed itself on the stereotype men always feel horny and women who are less so, have to oblige to keep men satisfied.
That’s why women are sexually shamed and why studies reveal the female gender tend to receive less bedroom pleasure. Haven’t we all heard the jokes about a man deciding to clean in the hopes of getting some action? Or a man spending cash on a first date to get a woman in bed? What if a woman wants first date sex? A piece on Australian NBC, revealed research suggesting just one in four women self-pleasure regularly. For men, it’s so casual to acknowledge and admit doing.
Sending nude photos – what’s the problem?
In 2014, an ICloud hack of celebrity nude photos distributed across the internet. One famous victim, Jennifer Lawrence, refused to apologise or justify her photos. According to Vogue, the scandal and destruction caused by nude snaps has “weakened”. Society is slowly beginning to understand a person shouldn’t be humiliated by their own body. The more we normalise the act, the less control revenge p*rn seekers have.
Why should a woman or man feel ashamed? Our naked bodies are gifted by mother nature and have inspired countless art. I was once asked by a successful photographer, published in fashion magazines, to model for photographs. The condition – I had to expose my female parts. The photographer shoots only high-fashion, editorial style, using artsy corset pieces – think see-through, caged skirts. Due to the stigma associated with nudity, I said no.
If cultural attitudes changed, more people – especially women, would arguably feel more comfortable about sending nude photos. Two years ago, a photo of me on holiday slightly showed my nipple through my bikini top. A guy who I had known on insta for a while, had to comment: “Someone’s a little chilly [insert wink face]”. The next day, he DM’d me a dick pic, because of course, my nipple was meant for him to get excited. As a woman with only personal male stories, I’m writing from one perspective. I’m aware both genders are victim to acts such as revenge p*rn and non-requested images.
There’s always a caution
I don’t regret sending nude photos. They represent me at a certain time in my life, attracted to certain people. And I wouldn’t be opposed to sending more. I’ve no idea whether my exes have kept or deleted, shared or kept hidden the racy photos I sent them. It’s not something I think about. Anyone can break your trust – including the love of your life who shares your bed, so it’s good to assume the worst and accept a picture meant for one person could possibly be viewed by many.
If that does happen, your nude photos don’t make you cheap, naïve or slutty. It simply makes the person who illegally shares, pathetic, immature and basically a (insert your favourite nasty swearword). By the same token, not wanting to send nude pics doesn’t make you a prude or old fashioned. I have no qualms in saying no to someone asking me. And if any person reading thinks it’s cool to send unsolicited pics – it’s not. Seriously, your dick is not doing anything for me.
As long as you’re not forced or pressured, nude photos can increase your empowerment and view of how you see your body. When I was experiencing moments of insecurity, it was nice to have a guy I loved, happily stare and admire my physique when I wasn’t beside them. We use phones to maintain relationships – why not also with sex? I knew I’d never become a teacher or someone in a career field facing determinantal consequences, which is another caution to consider.