My partner and I had been together for just a few years when I decided I was the kind of person who hires a photographer to take artful nudes as a birthday gift for her beloved. I selected one of the photos and blew it up, big as a poster: full-frontal in a half-kneeling, seemingly relaxed but hard-to-hold pose. The background is a flat, black void from which I have emerged with a joint pressed between my ringed fingers. Or primed for a kiss. When Jen and I moved in together, the framed photo hung on the wall of our too-small bedroom. It was huge, absurdly so, imposing itself over the bed like an awkward third in a three-way. We took it down every time the landlord came over to apply tape and chewing gum to whatever needed fixing in our overpriced Oakland shoebox.
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Sending nudes used to be such a taboo thing to do—no one talked about it but everyone did it. Then people started realizing sexting was hot , which led to more and more nudes being sent, which led to women getting their nudes leaked on the internet. Set your own boundaries. Want to send him a photo in your bra only? Partially nude photos can actually be way sexier than baring it all anyway. Try a sexy pose in your underwear only or a really cute bathing suit. Leaving more to the imagination sometimes gets guys more excited than the alternative. Be prepared for other people seeing your goodies.
Here, 50 women speak candidly about their first sexting experience, how nudes make them feel, and the unspoken rules. Nudes are not an invention of the digital era — any art museum is proof of that. Neither is dirty talk — just read James Joyce's wildly, er, imaginative letters to his crush. But the Internet sure has encouraged us to take the art of sexting to places our parents could have never imagined. AIM introduced the concept of cyber-flirting. Chatroulette gamified it. Snapchat pulled off a vanishing act. Leaks like Emily Ratajkowski and Kim Kardashian 's confirmed the realities of slut-shaming. Eggplant emojis provided a shorthand for requests. The AirDropped dick pic epidemic assaulted our inboxes.
Technological advances have revolutionised dating experiences and sex lives too: apps, sexting , sex over FaceTime, and, of course, the big one. High-spec cameras, filtering and high-speed internet connections mean you can have the idea, whip it or them out, take the snap and send with barely a moment's thought. But why the change?