To be sexually active in the 21st century is to have at least considered taking and sending nudes. Throughout all of history, it’s never been easier to snap a pic of our naked bods and send it to our (consenting) partners, crushes, and best friends. (Yes, friend nudes — frexts! — are a thing.) But the question of how to send nudes safely and confidently is a whole other can of horny worms.
Facing the lens in your birthday suit comes with a slew of considerations, from the highly practical (which body parts do I include? What is proper lighting? What should be in my background?) to the emotional. And of course, there’s always the need for consent.
Before hitting send, Toronto-based sexologist and author Dr. Jess O’Reilly suggests first asking your partner what would excite them — if anything at all. “Ask them if they’re in the mood and ask them what they want to see,” Dr. O’Reilly explains. “You can ask something like, ‘Want to see what I’m (not wearing)?’ Or, ‘I’m awaiting your requests…’ Start with dirty talk to express what you want to do to please them and what you want from them. Be playful and build anticipation.”
If your partner is on board to see you in your skivvies (and, even better, what’s underneath them), knowing how to take nudes that perfectly balance sexiness, suggestiveness, and fun can do a lot to spice up an existing relationship or heat up a new one. Read on for everything you need to know about how to take and send a nude that will boost your confidence and leave your partner panting for more.
Be Careful With Showing Your Face
It's simple: If you show your face or any identifiable features, the pictures can be traced back to you if they somehow wind up where they shouldn’t. Dr. O’Reilly recommends keeping your face and other identifying features out of frame. “If you don’t know/trust [the person you’re sexting], limit your exposure by only sharing pics of your body from the neck down,” Dr. O’Reilly tells Elite Daily. “Leave your face out just in case the photos get leaked. I know some people who even add fake tattoos as an extra precaution.”.
The decision to send a nude is always a bit of a risk, but it's best not to get overly paranoid about it. You can explicitly tell your partner that you don’t want your private images to be shared anywhere or with anyone else. If they don’t respect those boundaries, that’s grounds for a serious conversation — and in some cases, a breakup.
Don’t Stress Over The Angle
While your naked pics belong in the Sexting Hall of Fame in our hearts, the reality is that you’re not posing for Playboy. Your casual Tuesday-night nudes will be just as hot without any pulled muscles; don’t be afraid to keep them lowkey. Dr. O’Reilly recommends investing in a selfie stick to help you get the shot with minimal effort.
Au Naturale Versus Photoshop
Some people feel compelled to Facetune their bodies before hitting send. And while that’s always an option, taking and sending nudes is also an opportunity to exercise some serious body positivity. Selfies that flaunt authenticity — stretch marks, cellulite, one boob bigger than the other, or a love handle — are smokin’ hot. Nudes are a celebration; for some, the greatest thing about taking a naked picture is the feeling of having nothing to hide.
If filters and photoshops make you feel most comfortable, then go for it. Otherwise, experiment with shots that capture your natural bod in all its perfectly imperfect glory.
Highlight Your Favorite Body Part
You’ve got it; now flaunt it. Focus the camera on your chest to show off your gorgeous boobs; draw the eyes to your booty by arching your back or playing with the flirty “Didn’t see you there” over-the-shoulder pose. You can also try using lighting (like a muted lamp) that accentuates your favorite body parts.
Tech Is On Your Side
There are so many more ways to send a steamy message than with a plain, old text.
For iPhone users, San Diego–based sex, intimacy, and relationship coach Tari Mannello recommends playing around with those quirky built-in text effects that most people don’t think to use. “There’s a great feature on iPhones called invisible ink,” he says. “You can text someone a photo with the invisible ink and they have to finger it off, kind of like a scratch-n-sniff, to see the whole photo, and then their phone hides it again.” Outside of iMessaging, Mannello says Snapchat’s a great way to share photos that will disappear the next day.
There are other benefits of moving your nude exchanges to a different app too, Dr. O’Reilly explains. “Consider using a separate app for sending photos so they don’t get mixed in with your regular text chat. For example, you might text for regular chatter and switch over to WhatsApp or another app for sexting so that you know what to expect when you see the notification pop up.”
Think Beyond The Pic
For explosive results, Dr. O’Reilly encourages you to explore sensual messages that don’t rely solely on still photos. “Don’t get hung up on images only. Play with voice notes that let you tap into your lover’s audial desires,” she says. “For those of us who are auditory learners, the sound of a lover’s voice (even if they are not talking dirty) can be overwhelmingly hot. Use a low, soft voice to tell them what you want to do. Ask them for what you want. Tell them what you have been thinking about. Convey your desire and desperation for their touch.”
“And don’t forget about video, which can be even more enticing,” Dr. O’Reilly adds. “You can pre-record short clips of yourself in the dark or engage in live chats. You might string photos together and zoom in over your body parts and even consider looping audio in over your video file. If you want to keep it simple, record your naked body in movement, film yourself fondling your hot spots, or film an unclear masturbation scene in the dark allowing your sounds to convey your pleasure. Clips can be as short as a few seconds, so do not feel pressure to produce a professional-quality performance. There is a reason why amateur porn is often more appealing than high-budget films.”
Dr. O’Reilly recommends doling out your sexy messages slowly and mindfully. “You do not need to begin with pics of your genitals,” she tells Elite Daily. “It’s worth noting that some (many) people are not specifically turned on by genital closeups — less is often more. Instead ... pick another sexy body part and shoot it from multiple angles and zoom distances to encourage them to create their own visual of what it looks like in its entirety. For instance, if you want to take a picture of your upper torso, take it from each side, take it from up top, take it from the bottom, and take it from other angles that you think are flattering. You might send a deluge of photos all at once or send one picture per day or hour to draw the tease out over time.”
When sent with care, nudes are a totally healthy form of self-expression and sensuality. Exchanging a nude here and there can light your relationship on fire and give you all new reasons to love and respect each other’s bodies. Ready your flame emojis.
Dr. Jess O’Reilly, sexologist and author
Tari Mannello, sex, intimacy, and relationship coach and founder of Closeness San Diego
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