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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?