At 21, I told myself that from that point forward I would go into relationships with class, dignity, and self-respect. And of course, a few weeks later that all went to shit when the guy I was casually dating asked me for a very risque and revealing selfie – AKA a “nude.”
“Send me a picture baby,” he whispered seductively into the phone late one night.
“Okay,” I said naively and started snapping frivolously, my face fully made up. I hit send and waited, hoping to squeeze a compliment out of him on how pretty I looked. Instead, he chuckled.
“No baby,” he snickered. “I meant send me a picture of you naked.”
“NAKED!” I yelled back. “Why would you want a picture of me naked?!”
“Pleaseeeeee,” he pleaded. “You are so beautiful and I miss you so much. It would really turn me on.”
While I was flattered by the compliment, I was a bit disheartened in what was being asked of me in exchange. “Is that what girls are doing now?” I asked.
Up until that point I had never been propositioned for a nude pic, and I was terrified that it would come back and bite me in the ass – literally! I’ve read and heard so many stories of celebrity phones getting hacked and their pics winding up all over the Internet; and, while I am no celebrity, I didn’t want to run the risk.
“My ex used to do it for me when we couldn’t see each other,” he responded, growing impatient. “And nothing ever happened to her pics. No one but me ever saw them and I deleted them if she asked me to. I promise you’re safe,” he attempted to reassure me.
So there I sat, wondering if I should go through with it and send this guy who I had only been casually dating for a few weeks, a naked selfie. I was hesitant, I was scared, and if I decided to go through with it, I had no idea how to even go about it!
Fast forward a few years to the present. In the last few months I’ve had several men ask for nude pics. What was once considered taboo has become the norm as it’s a new type of foreplay many millennial men and women embrace. And it makes me wonder: when exactly did this become okay and why? Perhaps it has something to do with the advancement of smartphones and selfie sticks. I mean, I know women who have received the infamous “send me a pic” text while at work only to disappear to the bathroom for 15 minutes. Or maybe it’s also that millennial women are more confident and comfortable with their bodies than previous generations. They find it flattering and enjoy showing off their bits. “It’s flattering when a guy asks for a nude pic because that means he finds your body (flaws and all) sexy,” said Charlotte, 20, from New York City.
Speaking of what’s considered sexy, it’s no secret that sex sells and that mainstream media and pop culture is flooded with Instagram models, Kardashian look-alikes, and postings of nearly-nude sexy selfies. With the hashtag #nudeselfies becoming more popular, millennials are openly embracing it. Nude pics have simply become an added bonus in the “sexting” game. It’s a more provocative and straightforward way of flirting, and millennials aren’t subtle regarding what they want. They are literally laying everything out on the table.
As for those of you wondering if I ever did go through with taking and sending that naked selfie, well now, that’s a story for another day.