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How not to be a dick about nude selfies (a bonus guest blog)

Today I have a BONUS GUEST BLOG. I know. It is literally more excitement than I can handle and I have had to go for a lie-down. Luckily, I can hand over to the more-than-capable TNW, who is here to talk to you seriously about nude selfies.

I didn’t write anything about the recent ‘Fappening’ because, in all honesty, I found the whole thing so miserable that I just wanted to cry, and then punch internet twats, and then cry again while punching internet twats. As someone who has taken nude selfies before, and been torn with the panic that ‘oh God someone will find them’ as well as banging the drum of ‘it’s your right as an adult to take pictures of your body if you wish‘ I just couldn’t bring myself to wade into the murky mire of sex shame surrounding the debate. However, TNW has picked up the mantle, and written a comprehensive breakdown of just what is wrong with the ‘fappening’ and some tips for your own nude photos.

Editor’s note from GOTN: I don’t agree with his third tip, but that’s only because I have received so many cock shots in my time as a sex blogger that if I sent as many as I received I’d be the most documented person on the planet.

How not to be a dick about nude selfies

When I was 19 years old, I used to send off my camera rolls to a company who would process them, and post them back. They would send you a normal print, and a smaller print attached. My then partner and I decided to snap ourselves whilst having sex and we could split the photos like trophies with each other.

With some considerable pride, we got our photos back with a warning slip, which flatly stated that some of the photos we’d taken were illegal to send in the post, as it was tantamount to the developers “distributing pornography.” That was trophy enough for two little show-offs like us.

Later, with a different partner, we took some dirty photos and brazenly got them developed at the local camera shop. On picking them up, the developer winked “you might want to get a couple of those enlarged.” The absolute cheek. We later bought a Polaroid.

Of course, people wanting a record of their sex, proof they were good-looking or just the thrill of wanting to do something risqué, is nothing new. A lot of people have indulged in their exhibitionist sides, from sending photos to Reader’s Wives or fucking outdoors on the promise that there’s a chance they might get caught. People go dogging or attend sex parties. It’s all great if you’re into it and tutting in disapproval just makes you a shit-wipe.

The element of being caught has been a titillating thrill since someone invented shame.

When digital cameras became commonplace, things changed. People were now allowed to have some fun without the need of getting caught. There was no need to include anyone but yourselves. Computers with webcams, phones with camera’s built-in – there was now a whole new crop of people wanting to get naked and shoot the results.

Soon enough, everyone had an email address and rudimentary photo-editing skills. While many still hide under the bedsheets and fuck with the lights off, there’s an entire generation of people who now completely accept that naked photos are part of a healthy sexual life. You can now creep off to the toilets at work, take a naughty photograph and send it to the object of your affections through Snapchat or WhatsApp without anyone noticing you’ve been away from your desk. Couples can now make short movies with their phones and watch them back together.

Naturally, some of the more shy people get a flash of panic at the very idea of it, which is fine. Nothing is mandatory. The more conservative will wag a finger of disapproval at anyone who dare mention that they might indulge themselves in this way. Quite why, is something to scratch your head over.

It is with the latter that things get ugly.

With the ‘Fappening’ that took place recently, where a lot of young, female celebrities had their naked selfies stolen from them, there was an idea that they were somehow to blame. “If you don’t want people seeing them, don’t take them in the first place!” Of course, no-one ever applied that judgemental, dim-witted logic to having your money stolen from your bank account. “If you don’t want people stealing your money, don’t get a credit card – you should hide all your money under your bed where only you can get at it.”

What is particularly odd about this kind of Mary Whitehouse response is that there’s an incredibly positive thing in all of this. People are much less Catholic than ever, no longer believing that they have to be chaste and pure for no good reason. People are getting more and more expressive with their sexuality, which can only be a good thing.

There’s millions of Tumblrs where people proudly show off what their momma gave them. Some stay anonymous by leaving their faces out of shot. Other men and women don’t care – they’re proud of what they’ve got and are Teflon to any potential leaks because they were public all along.

However, for those more reluctant, there’s a very real worry. While the ‘Fappening’ was dismissed as only a problem for the famous, and celebrities deserve everything they get (they don’t), there’s been a dreadful rise in ‘revenge porn’. Sites are dedicated to bitter exes or flat-out arseholes who completely betray the trust of someone by sharing their naked bodies with anyone who wants to look.

Predominantly a problem among young men, there’s a competitive element to gathering naked photos. They’ll bark at people with sex Tumblrs, saying exactly what they want and throwing hissy fits when they don’t get it. They’ll slut-shame someone for not spreading their holes open, when they should’ve been grateful for the photos they did get. They’ll try and amass as many naked selfies as possible, rather than getting turned-on by the few who wanted to send them.

See, it isn’t the naked photo that’s a turn-on. We’ve all seen enough nude bodies online to be desensitised by that. The real thing that gets your blood moving more quickly is that someone actively wanted to send you a naked photograph. There’s many people who have a folder of pre-taken photos ready to send, because sharing cheeky photos is so commonplace in 2014. However, the thing that makes your heart leap and your groin tighten is when, after the initial flirt, they take and send photographs just for you.

Sadly, in all of this, a lot of men have an attitude that is utterly dumbfounding, and it goes like this:

“You’re a slut for sending naked photos and you get what you deserve if someone sees them and you’re a bitch for not sending me a photo of you out of your underwear and I’ll share these photos online if you piss me off… but please, please, please, please, I’m begging you, please, please send more nudes.”

One of the most fulfilling things about sharing naked photos together is the exchange of trust. I know that, should someone send me nudes, one of the things that makes me dizzy with excitement is that they trust me enough to do so. I won’t betray their trust. Partly because I’m a decent human being, but if I’m being brutally honest, I don’t tear their trust apart because I’m greedy. I’m greedy for more photos from them. I’m excited and want to send more back. I’m absolutely consumed by the experience. It’s foreplay. It’s the tease. We might never even meet up in real life, but there’s this thrilling, abstract intimacy with someone wanting to show me their tits or dicks. Two people, showing themselves off to each other. It’s incredibly exciting and no-one should ever be burned by it.

Through this, I’ve developed amazing relationships with people. With that trust comes bucket loads of other amazing things. Sometimes there’s a hook-up. Sometimes you end up being much closer to someone that you imagined you ever would. Often, because they trust you with their naked body, they’ll also load you up with enviable or embarrassing sexual anecdotes.

Sadly, the ‘Fappening’ has underlined that women are still treated with a huge unfairness when it comes to sex. Women are still not allowed to own their lust. Even in 2014, you’ll be drowned in clucks of disapproval from all sides. Women shooting other women down for having the temerity of being sexually confident. Men laughing along at a woman being violated, even though it actually makes them feel uncomfortable, but they’re blighted by an old-fashioned masculinity that really needs to die off now. Some of the men who have laughed in the face of women during these photo-leaks are the same shits that send ugly, badly-lit, unsolicited dick pics through Tinder. If someone shared those with their parents, you imagine they’d be suddenly more reflective of the whole thing (but alas, women are so weary of these types of messages that they simply delete them because getting revenge on them would be a full time job).

Collectively, humans have always wanted to show off to each other. They’ve always wanted reassurance that they’re vital objects of desire. The only difference now, is that the process and technology has changed behind it. For the most part, people play nice and quietly get off on each other without fucking it up. Sadly, for the Fappeners and the Dick Shot Crew, they’re taking the whole process two steps back. People will never stop taking nudes – I know I won’t – but sadly, we’re in a situation where it is going to take twice the reassurance to actually enjoy the process.

Here are some tips for nudes:

  • Be grateful for what you receive and don’t pester someone for more than they’re comfortable sending.
  • Never, ever, ever, ever share them with anyone under any circumstance. Seriously. There’s no reason where it is acceptable.
  • Try and send as many nudes as you receive. It’s only fair. Don’t demand a dozen when you’ve only sent one.
  • Only send sexual photos to someone you’ve struck up a rapport with and even then, ask. Sending unsolicited photos is akin to walking into a pub with your junk on show and saying “GET SOME OF THIS!” If you think that’s funny, try it in your local and see how long you last without someone smacking you in the mouth.
  • Don’t shame anyone if you don’t get your way. Life doesn’t work like that and something as delicate as sex certainly shouldn’t. Tantrums never result in anything good. What are you? A baby?

8 Comments

  • Yingtai says:

    Never, ever, ever, ever share them with anyone under any circumstance. Seriously. There’s no reason where it is acceptable.

    Yes. Thank you. See Consent Outlives Relationships.

    Try and send as many nudes as you receive. It’s only fair. Don’t demand a dozen when you’ve only sent one.

    I’m with GOTN on this one. This tip is just not appropriate for us – it would be tantamount to “Here’s a free gift, now send payment by return mail.” How about “Try and reciprocate when you ask for nudes? If desired, that is.”

  • Confession of a dickhead says:

    I’m probably going to get a lot of shit for this, especially here, and on this topic, but I did look for the pictures when they first leaked, and looked at others when more leaks occurred.

    While I find it detestable at how exactly they got out, and the frankly bullshit explanations and excuses from the stealing and sharing the photos and I hope the person who did this gets punished to the full extent of the law, I looked, and enjoyed, because I wanted to see naked celebrities.

    Honestly, I feel sympathy for the ladies and the gents who had photos leaked. But my sympathy did not cover my lust for seeing Ms X’s tits, Ms Y’s Ass, Mr W’s dick pics and Ms Z’s videos of cunnilingus. Now I understand by admitting this, I am probably a bad person. But in the end, I looked as they were out there, nothing more.

  • Agree broadly with this, but there’s an inference that being sexually liberated somehow tallies with taking/sending nude selfies. Great if it works for you but it’s not the case with everyone.
    I love being a filthy pervert, but not all pervs are exhibitionists. I am the most camera averse person on the face of the planet. I loathe having my picture taken, and once stopped a threesome halfway through because the guy started taking photos on his phone.
    “Women are not allowed to own their lust” absolutely true. I want to own my lust on my terms. And those terms include being asked if I want to be photographed (I’ll always say no) and NOT being hassled by other pervs into sending nude photos (something that happens far more often than it should! So annoying!)

    • Girl on the net says:

      TNW’s replied above, but I wanted to chip in as well as I actually find this quite hard sometimes. I get all loud and stampy about sex, and obviously want to encourage people to do what they enjoy sexually (within boundaries of e.g. consent etc) and I frequently find myself double-guessing and wanting to add caveats onto everything along the lines of “but obviously it’s fine if you don’t want to!”

      You’re totally right, CavaSupernova – no one should ever feel like they *have* to send nude pictures. I have only done it a very few times, and I’d never be offended or shirty if someone didn’t want to do it. But I think I’d usually take this kind of thing as read, and although TNW mentioned it in passing, as a general rule I’d probably always assume that no one *had* to do something.

      I’m waffling massively here, but basically I think I often fall into the trap of going “hey EVERYONE likes this right” so it’s good to keep it in mind, and I definitely need to be reminded of it sometimes, but I don’t think TNW’s done it here. Although, if you want to see a massive and spectacularly shit fail of an example, here’s one of my early blogs in which I did it wholeheartedly, and which I still cringe when I come across: http://www.girlonthenet.com/2011/09/27/do-you-like-spanking/ It’s awful. AWFUL.

  • TNW says:

    I should point out that when I said; “Try and send as many nudes as you receive. It’s only fair. Don’t demand a dozen when you’ve only sent one”, I was mainly thinking of those people who have already started mutually sending them to each other, but one person ends up simply demanding for lots of photos without reciprocating. It’s usually spoiled men demanding boobs from women.

    I didn’t mean that you should reply to all the unsolicited nudes – that’d be madness!

    As for those who don’t want to do it, please note I said: “Naturally, some of the more shy people get a flash of panic at the very idea of it, which is fine. Nothing is mandatory.” Any criticisms to conservative people is aimed at those that don’t do it, but judge those that do (I’m pretty sure people who read this who are shy or uncomfortable are equally 100% at ease with the idea of other people having a nice time doing it).

    Great to see the responses though. Such a good crowd on this site x

  • Azkyroth says:

    I’d say it’s okay to share photos someone sent you of themselves, with individual people the sender-subject specifically gave you permission to share with, according to any terms attached to that permission.

    Maybe that goes without saying…

  • mouse says:

    The thing I find most interesting with the ‘fappening’ is the lengths and fuss people will go to for amateur, badly lit, unairbrushed nudes… The internet is awash with willing nubile, flawless porn stars and yet….we would rather look at the selfies!
    For me it says a lot and gives me a huge confidence boost. Men would rather look at normal girls in normal pants! Hoorah :)

  • SomeGuy says:

    Hey-
    thanks for the article. Maybe this is just me being not sufficiently digitally native, but while flirting a lot with women via messenger apps, I’ve never actually asked for nudes. I mean, sometimes I’d like to, but I’ve always considered it inappropriate given the risk of hacking, dissemination, and, generally, I didn’t want to appear like a guy who’d ask for nudies. So, unsurprisingly, I didn’t get a lot. One of the women once sent me a very sexy Underwear selfie, and another one wearing some stuff I had given her earlier the day. I still cherish these pictures… so I’m not exactly sure where the attitude you write about is coming from. It is most certainly unacceptable.

    On the other hand, I for one would really like to know how to steer the conversation to a point where it’s not awkward to ask for such pictures, and how to actually ask for them without coming across as a creep. Do you have any advice on that? Thanks!

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