Love & Sex

Nudies: Naughty or Natural? Nude Photo Etiquette for Dating in the Digital Age

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Recently, I was set up on a blind date by a friend, and prior to meeting each other in person, he and I exchanged text messages over the course of a few weeks. I know this defeats the original purpose of a blind date, that by talking to him beforehand I wasn’t really going into the date “blind”, but as someone who has seen her fair share of Oprah episodes and Lifetime movies, I wasn’t totally comfortable with meeting up with a complete stranger on my own. Even if he was a friend of my friend, I had to have my guard up, because even the Craigslist Killer had friends. My mama did not raise me to be a fool. We went through the typical early phases of a textual courting and flirting; we would ask each other about our days, he would send me funny selfies or pictures of elaborate meals he had made, I would respond with a witty comment or a winky face emoticon. Occasionally I would reciprocate with a selfie, especially if I happened to have some Miss Jessie’s on hand and knew I was looking particularly cute that day, and he would shower me with compliments. He was incredibly polite, we always had great conversations, and we also had a lot in common. I had grown accustomed to hearing from him regularly, and as our series innocent exchanges riddled with LOLs and LMAOs became more frequent, I found myself really looking foreword to the prospect of meeting him. He seemed like a really great guy.

The evening before our scheduled date, I was out to dinner with girlfriends and spent the entirety of our apps and cocktails course gushing over how great he was and how I was so excited to meet him in person. He and I had even been texting all throughout the day, as usual, so I shared with my friends some of the sweet, romantic texts he had sent to me over time. He almost seemed to good to be true, so I really wanted to gauge their impressions of him via our usual girl talk. Because I am usually so guarded, they were all really surprised I had warmed up to him so quickly, but were happy to hear that I was no longer nervous about meeting him and was actually starting to like him. Everyone was in unanimous agreement that there weren’t any serious red flags, and that he seemed like a genuine, nice guy. For once, I finally felt I had a date lined up with real promise. Suddenly as our dinners arrived, my phone ringer went off. I didn’t want to be rude and check my phone at the table, but I had been expecting to receive a message from work, so my friends were understanding. In fact, my friends actually encouraged me to check my phone, in hopes that my it was really this guy messaging me another adorable, share worthy romantic text or cute selfie.

While taking my first bite, I opened my phone screen and looked down…. I definitely had a text from the guy, and it certainly was a selfie, but it was neither romantic nor cute. His selfies had suddenly taken a turn downtown, and there, protruding from my phone screen, was a photograph of a penis. I was shocked!

Was this his penis, or did he send me a photo of a stranger’s wang? Does he like collect pictures of stranger’s penis’?! Or, was this his penis? Was he pulling some sort of exhibitionist themed prank, or did he really think I would enjoy this? My brain had become so overloaded with questions, I almost choked on my food. Had I given him the impression that I am the type of girl that would appreciate this sort of gesture? Had I said something that had even mildly alluded to interest in receiving a dick pic? I scrolled through all my previous messages, desperately searching for any sort of sign or signal, but there was NOTHING. I literally couldn’t find a single thing I had said to preempt this, nor could I recall ever asking for a side of throbbing, veiny sausage on the side of my meal. I did, however, tell him I was going out to eat with my friends, so why he thought this was an appropriate time to whip it out and have a photo shoot, is beyond me.

My friends were practically in tears from laughing so hard, considering the perfect timing of this visual assault. I had literally just finished going on and on about how incredibly maturity he was and that I was so excited to finally meet a “real gentleman.” They demanded I show them the photo right away, and under other circumstances, maybe I would have, but for whatever reason, I really wanted to believe that this guy was really the man I thought he was, so respected his privacy by not parading his penis around the table. It was so random, so maybe it had been a mistake? Maybe it wasn’t really meant for me to see. If it was meant for someone else, how many girls is he talking to and sharing this with? Does he just mass text his peen pics to a bunch of girls regularly, and I was fortunate enough to make this month’s roster? Despite this one strange display of affection, he had maintained the heir of a considerate, polite, gentleman, and a gentleman would have a legitimate explanation… right?

I asked him why he felt the need to do that. His response was, “Well, I thought it might turn you on, to see how much you turn me on.”

When I reminded him that I was with friends, he then begged me to share the nudie with them because the notion of a collective of women admiring his ding-a-ling over dinner, actually aroused him. Then I received another text from him, which said, “I get one of your beautiful boobs, right? Go in the bathroom and take one of yourself right now. I’ll be waiting.”

Keep in mind, I hadn’t even seen his face in person yet, only in photos, but then I suddenly found myself involved in this tangled web of nudie negotiations. His thought was that because he put himself out therelike really OUT THEREin that way, it was only fair to him that I reciprocate. It had become one of those “tit for tat” situations, or I guess, in this case, it was really “tat for tits”. Even though I never asked for the picture in the first place, he felt like I now owed him. Needless to say, I kept him waiting, and we did not ever meet up for our originally planned date.

Call me old fashioned, but I am really baffled by this cultural phenomena now turned regular courtship ritual. I remember a time when flowers and a compliment were enough, but I guess the instant gratification provided by technology has altered people’s expectations, and now the exchange of nude is practically a societal norm of the digital age. I even have friends with private folders on their phones, all dedicated to nude selfies they have taken. While I don’t have a problem with nude photos themselves, I do have an issue with the cavalier way people just shuffle them around to each other, as if their bodies have no real value. But there is a polite, healthy way to exchange nude photos, avoiding any muss or fuss. Here are my tips on proper nudie etiquette:

  • First and foremost, do not send pictures to random people, only to those you know you can really trust.
  • Respect the privacy of the person sending you the image. Do not instantly put their private parts on blast, by showing it off to all your friends. Chances are, the nudie was intended to be for your eyes only, so leave it that way. If you do want to show off your partner’s sexy bod, ask them first, and respect whatever their decision may be. There always needs to be a mutual respect, trust, and understanding between partners.

Remember what happened to Paris Hilton? Or Kim Kardashian? Or that politician, so aptly named, Anthony Wiener? Ladies, if you are going to send nude photos of yourself to a significant other or share them on social media, remember that the Internet isn’t foolproof in protecting your content, no matter how many privacy settings you apply. Don’t forget the celebrity cautionary tales of our timethe moral of the story being that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, things get leaked! Once something goes live, your privacy is always at risk of being violated. Also, remember that should your intimate images appear online, it could potentially changes how people perceive you, and though totally unfair, it is just the truth. Though harmless in practice, it could have long lasting, negative effects on your reputation. If you really want to do something special for your partner, consider delivering them a hard copy of your nudie, as that runs less of a risk of getting lost or leaked somewhere without your permission. Plus, I’m sure your partner will be more impressed by the thought you put into the photos, as opposed to a random picture of your boobs in a bathroom mirror.

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Guys, don’t take your ladies with a surprise blitz of dick pic. If we don’t ask, assume we probably don’t want one, especially if you are just getting to know each other and still in the “friend zone”. This will not persuade us to bump you up from friend zone to potential boyfriend material, but we will most likely do the exact opposite and avoid you completely. Guys should also remember that they are the visual creatures, and women are driven more by emotions, therefore it is unlikely that a women will have the same automatic, arousal response you intend to provoke. So while we ladies can appreciate the thought and effort you put into fluffing and polishing yourself up for your photo shoot, do not expect us to be “turned on” by just a photo. We are much more likely to either get uncomfortable or laugh to ourselves, so please just save yourself the humiliation. Also fellas, there is no rule that explicitly states that because you send someone dick pic, you are “owed” anything in return. Nude photos are up to the prerogative of the individual, so pressuring someone to send one just because you did is not ok- just rude.

DO NOT take and send or post naked photos of yourself, if you are under 18. It doesn’t matter if you intend to keep them for your own private collection, or only show them to one special someone. Legally, if you are under 18, you are considered underage, and possession of such content is not only against the law, but is considered child pornography. Parentstalk to your children about responsible use camera phones and social media, and keep them informed about the risks and consequences of their actions. One photo in the wrong hands could change everyone’s lives forever, so best to keep the nudie play between consenting adults.

Have you ever had a nudie proposal? What do you think about exchanging of naked pictures? Is it a naughty taboo, or the natural thing to do? Please share your thoughts belowwe want to hear them!

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