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What I Got Out of Sending Nudes

Last week, I sent nudes for the first time.

I’ve always been cautious about sexting. Endless assemblies warning students about the consequences had always outweighed any potential positives to sending nudes. Just witnessing the repercussions that fellow classmates went through after having their nudes leaked was enough for me to vow never to do it. Besides, I’ve only ever had one boyfriend prior to the one I have now; other than that, there weren’t too many guys I’d consider sending something so personal to. The lack of opportunity, as well as my own personal morals and beliefs, stopped me from sending nudes.

Eventually, it was just a lack of opportunity stopping me. Not that I stopped having personal morals, but they changed over time. As I got older, I noticed a difference in maturity over sexting and my fears faded. Still, I’d only want to send nudes to someone I trusted and was committed to. I found that level of trust when I started a relationship with my current boyfriend. He has never pressured me to do something out of my comfort zone and never really asked me to, either . This experience was completely random. Honestly, I did it because I wanted to. Without any rhyme, reason, or warning.

What was meant to be a fun distraction became a long personal journey. When it comes to confidence on physical appearances, I’d rank myself at a solid B. Yes, I find myself attractive, but there are a lot of things I would change about my body. However, my boyfriend makes me feel like a goddess, so I almost completely forgot about those insecurities. Until my iPhone camera reminded me.

Honestly, taking a “belfie” (butt selfie) is really difficult. I can’t understand how people reach that angle. (Ladies, you know what I mean when I say that angle). I’m sorry, but my arms don’t reach that low. When I finally – sort of –  got the angle, my butt looked flat! How could I send a flat booty pic? I aggressively bent my back, but no level of contortion could achieve the dream arch. Then I started to notice the little things. The hair on my back screamed “old italian man” and my butt looked liked it desperately needed lotion. I felt repulsive.

Something in me felt determined to take the perfect picture. I was not going to end the night feeling ugly. This wasn’t about my boyfriend at this point. It was about how I felt about my body. With that in mind, this became a full on photoshoot. I manipulated the lighting in the room and the positions of the mirror. My poses were obviously intentional and at one point, I put on heels to make my legs look longer. I played with filters and edits and even sent him a black and white picture. There was an embarrassing amount of effort on my part, but that’s when I started having fun. I rummaged through my panties drawer to see what I could wear. I put on lipstick even though my face wasn’t in the picture. I enjoyed making myself feel sexy and I continued to take pictures even after I decided what I’d send.

Eventually, I anxiously sent them. The 7th grader inside of me freaked out a bit, worrying that the pictures would somehow travel back to 2008 and get leaked to everyone in my my middle school. This clearly didn’t happen, and now I feel secure with him having these pictures. From this entire experience, I was reminded that I was in control of how I perceived myself. In the past, doing what would make me feel more attractive felt like a chore. I actually had fun doing taking these pictures because I wasn’t concerned with how he would perceive them. I did it because it was fun! I could have never sent him anything and felt just as sexy. Even if I hadn’t sent him anything, there would still be a point in taking the pictures. I probably got more out of it than my boyfriend did.

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