You might want to get familiar with your camera settings (or at least brace yourself for a slew of NSFW incoming photo messages) because according to a recent survey of 400 people conducted by sexual-wellness brand Lovers, approximately 55 percent of participants are now more inclined to send nudes because the pandemic has made the sense of touch less accessible. And no matter whether you’re already a visual-sexting aficionado who finds this news entirely unsurprising, someone who’s never considered sending one and has equal disinterest in receiving one, or or you fall somewhere in-between, experts say there is value to be had in giving the practice a chance—no matter your age or relationship status.
According to Tatyannah King, a sex educator and sex coach with Blex Technologies, sending and receiving nudes can be empowering for your self-esteem, sex life, and partnership. “Researchers at Drexel University found that more sexting within a relationship was associated with a higher level of sexual satisfaction,” she says. “Part of the reason behind the satisfaction of sending and exchanging nudes can be explained by psychology. The ventral striatum—the part of your brain that is responsible for reward-processing and motivation—lights up upon viewing at erotic imagery.”
If you’re in the camp who’s still not convinced about the pleasure rewards that sending nudes may hold for you and your relationship, during a pandemic or not, consider the alluring power of riskiness. According to neuroscientist and sex therapist Nan Wise, PhD, author of Why Good Sex Matters, one of the secrets of long-term sexual potential with a partner hinges of taking risks—and having the courage to send a nude photograph for the first time can certainly feel risky. Furthermore, she adds, sending nudes can also help mitigate body-shame issues. “Being comfortable in our own skin and appreciating our bodies is a very important part of emotional well-being. If we can be playful and artistic in capturing tasteful photos of our nakedness, we can celebrate our bodies with our beloveds.”
“Always get permission from the person that you intend to send the picture to in advance. And keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to send explicit pictures of our bodies to people with whom we are not well acquainted.” —neuroscientist and sex therapist Nan Wise, PhD
Warming up to the idea but still not sure how to send nudes? Fair enough, but first, two disclaimers: 1. Remember that no matter how much you trust the recipient, there’s always a risk they may share your photo with other people or even post it online. 2. Know that consent is absolutely key. “Always get permission from the person that you intend to send the picture to in advance,” Dr. Wise says. “And keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to send explicit pictures of our bodies to people with whom we are not well acquainted. When you send things on the internet, they can live there forever. What might seem like a good idea in the moment might end up being a very bad idea in the long run.”
Otherwise, knowing how to take nude photos can be empowering and a fun way to be sexually expressive during these pandemic times. Below, King shares four tips for how to take nude photos (and send them).
Not sure how to take nude photos? Here are a sex educator’s 4 tips:
1. Leave a little to the imagination
That can sound a bit counterintuitive when you’re also very much trying to get the best lighting to make your nipples really sing. But what we really mean is that when it comes to sending nudes, being identified should the photo be released is a common fear. So, one great way to titillate with fewer worries involved is to not include your face or other defining features, like a unique tattoo.
“People can share images of their body from the neck down and leave their face out of it to hide their identity as well as tease their partner,” says King.
2. Add some movement
Research supports that dynamic body language is connected to coming across as attractive. That principle can apply to your nudes by adding a little motion. To try this, King says to try making a Boomerang nude photo loop on your phone.
3. Use apps with end-to-end encryption
It’s extremely unideal to have your nudes leaked to people who weren’t meant to see them—but there are ways to protect yourself. “As opposed to iMessage or Snapchat, free apps like Signal are fully encrypted and prevent hackers from stealing photos,” says King. “This could be a great option for polyamorous couples who may be interested in group sexting, but want to make sure that they’re being as safe as possible. Though, it’s important to keep in mind that the recipient can still screenshot messages, so always remember that when dealing with technology, nothing is 100 percent safe.”
4. Take a vintage approach
Just don’t want any digital evidence of your nude photos on any device? King suggests trying a Polaroid camera instead, since only one copy exists and no third part is required to process the photo.
And, of course, if the problem is distance and you feel comfortable doing so, buy some stamps and snail mail it. Support our postal workers, you know?
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