The Naked Selfie Issue

The Naked Selfie Issue

Exhibitionism has existed for ages, in many different forms. Every village had its local looney who loved to drop his pants whenever a woman passed by. And even the not so loonies have regretted the times when they pulled out their business in the bar after drinking too many shots of tequila. Those things happened and more often than not they didn’t harm anyone and neither was there any serious harm intended.
Today, exhibitionism has been taken to a whole new level because of that little device in our pocket which has two cameras… You’ve guessed what we mean.
Our smart phone in combination with the availability of the internet has made the action of exposing ourselves to others a lot easier and the risk of getting caught doing so a lot lower.

 

If you’ve been following us on Facebook, now and then you’ve been seeing a very polite message popping up with the request to stop sending us penis pictures. Really, it’s ridiculous, the amount of those pictures we receive on a daily basis. And we wonder why people keep doing this. We are nudists and our goal in life is to visit as much nudist places around the world as possible. Needless to say that we see lots of nudity. In fact, while we were in Thailand, we’ve probably seen more naked people than clothed ones. Then why does someone send us a picture of his penis? It doesn’t shock us, it doesn’t impress us and it’s not like we haven’t seen ten of those in the last half hour. Maybe they think that it’s the standard introduction among nudists, that we just wave our genitals at each other instead of shaking hands… Well… It’s not.
But that’s not what we’re going to talk about.

Why would we take naked selfies?
More and more we see articles in the newspapers about nude selfies that have gone wrong. It goes from teenagers being humiliated among their friends to fully exposed pictures of yourself on some kind of dark porn website. It causes stress, depressions and in some cases even suicide.
And then you wonder, aren’t kids smart enough to know that these things can go wrong? Why do they feel the need of taking naked pictures of themselves and sending them around?
In fact, when we were kids, we did kind of the same.
Even in our very young years, when we weren’t yet sexual active at all, we played doctor with the neighbouring kids. Just because grown ups made such a big deal about hiding what’s in our pants, we were curious about what the others had to hide.
Later at school we dropped our pants behind the gym to compare ourselves with the others and after our first couple of beers we played strip poker or went skinny dipping.

 

If you want your kids to hide something, the worst way to do so is to make a big deal or a mystery of it. This is a huge advantage for naturist kids by the way, they know what’s in other people’s pants, they’ve seen it and for them it’s nothing special anymore. It’s just human.
Today kids are taking naked pictures of themselves and send them around, it’s the same principle as what we used to do. The big difference is that our exposure was on the moment, now you see it, now you don’t. A picture can last a long time and travel far, now you see it, tonight you see it again, tomorrow you show it to your friends and a week later a jealous friend or angry ex puts the image online. And you have no idea where that’ll end up.

The pressure
The need to explore our body and the one of others is very human. The question is whether doing so by sending and receiving naked pictures is a good way to do so.
Teenagers are often very insecure, they want to fit in, they want to be accepted and they are willing to sacrifice a lot for that. In the gangs in South America it’s a custom that new members, often not older than sixteen, have to receive an incredible beating from the other members before they are accepted. Blue and bruised they become part of the gang. And that’s exactly why they stand through this torture, they want to belong. We see a similar thing among student clubs where newbies often have to go through a series of humiliating things before they are part of the club. It’s the group pressure that does the trick.

 

The insecurity of teenagers in combination with their need to belong is one of the major reasons why they decide to send nude selfies to others.
Unfortunately, the number two reason is love. Teenage love can be huge, it can take over someone’s whole life and it completely stops rational thinking. Teenage love is forever, although it rarely lasts. When a teenage girl receives a late night message from the love of her life to show him “a little bit more” before going to bed, it’s often hard to resist. Even when they doubt or reject the first time, often a little bit of pressure is enough for them to cave in. They want to satisfy their lover and they want to hear how gorgeous they are. And of course he’s going to delete the picture immediately after he’s seen it and even if he doesn’t, they’re going to stay together forever, right?

Should we stop sending nude selfies?
Maybe nude selfies are part of evolution? Maybe eventually they will help normalising nudity? It’s hard to tell. Ask us again in a couple of hundred years and maybe we can give you an answer then. And who are we to say something about it anyway? Almost daily we’re putting naked pictures of ourselves online on Instagram.
But there are a couple of things we keep in mind and we think you should do so too.

 

Never ask yourself the question “Who will see this?”, because you just can’t be sure about this. Yes, she’s the love of your life and of course she won’t share the picture with anyone else. Today, maybe tomorrow, but what about in a couple of months when things between you too have gone terribly wrong? Always keep in mind that there might become a day that everyone can see the photo. Your ex-partner, your friends, your grandma and a number of perverts on the internet. Just consider this before you hit the send button.

 

Never let pressure be the reason. Although we’re strong advocates of the normalisation of nudity, you should always do so from your own will. That’s really important. Share with others as much as you want, but only because you want it, not because someone tries to convince you to do so.

 

Show what you want to show. We are nudists and we like to be naked. A lot! Since we also try to show the world that nudism isn’t something pervert or some kind of disease, we often post naked pictures online. But you’ll never see a close up of our breasts or genitals. Because that’s not what nudism is about. It’s about the joy of being naked, with our without other like minded people. It’s not about seeing breasts or vaginas or penises. We can go on and on about this, but we already did so in our article about Full Frontal Nudity.
What we want to say is, that we don’t feel a need to put a close up of Nick’s penis or Lins’ breasts online.

 

And one last tip, don’t send the pictures of your penis to nudists, really, they’ve seen it all before, in all shapes and sizes. You won’t shock them and you certainly won’t impress them.

34 thoughts on “The Naked Selfie Issue

  1. Would you still hide your privates even if there was no restrictions on social media? Also again this points to the false freedom that nudity offers.

    1. What false freedom?

      FBook is not the totality of social media. There IS social media where one doesn’t need to censor. Blogs like this are one of them. My blog frequently has full nudity when discussing nude activities. Why not?

    2. I post nude selfies on my own photo web site (see profile link) and on social media where its not as censored as Facebook. I post nude selfies on Me-We, Twitter, Similar Worlds, and others. I’m an older gentleman who has battle scars from a long and joyous life. Its not about being young and the perfect model body. Its about being real and being “out” as a real human being who is not afraid of being seen.

      Humans have a deep desire to be seen and accepted by other humans. We are a very social species. We fight the restrictions on being seen, keeping hidden. A lot more of us than many would imagine go out as teens to run naked through the night. In the 1960s we had the streaking incidents. We have naked bum photos at monuments. Monuments are places where nobody knows us. Our fear of social punishment is diminished because nobody who knows us will see us naked as we expose our bodies to many strangers.

      We have teens sending naked selfies to each other. It answers a deep psychological need. We also devote half of the total Internet traffic to viewing nude/porn photos. We desire to see other members of our own species as much as we desire to be seen by other members of our own species.

  2. I live in Thailand, and nudity is a ‘no no’ here.

    Thailand is very very conservative and public nudity is illegal. If you saw ‘more naked than clothed people’ in Thailand, it was probably foreigners who didn’t know any better.

    The police tend to turn a blind eye to a lot of tourist nudity, but it seriously can get you arrested and thrown in jail. Please don’t give people the wrong idea that Thailand is a nudist destination. It is not.

    1. Thanks for your comment William, although we’ll have to tackle this. For the last 8 years there have been naturist resorts in Thailand and the number keeps growing. Today there are already five, by the end of the year there will probably be 7.
      Please note that we’re talking about private resorts, we’re well aware that nudity in public places is certainly not allowed.

  3. Being a naturist isn’t motivated by wanting to show people your private parts – that’s being a pervert.

    Naturism is all about experiencing the joy and freedom of being clothes free, often with other like-minded spirits.

    So you’re being naked for yourself, not to impress/shock others!

    Nick and Lins – i’m glad you post interesting, fun and tasteful photos of yourselves doing cool things in exotic places – which are way more interesting than just more breasts and penises.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. L&N oh nooo not again!! hahah 🙂
    You know these subject always bring out the beast im me .. and well , in every1 else ,cause its a provocative subject.
    You want me to be honest?
    As ive said b4, exi is not only connected to sex .. i dunno why ppl always use that word only when it comes to sexual stuff …
    If a guy pops up an iPhone X on the table here in my Trump`s aka shithole country ,thats exi to me ,cause he wants to show off and see? It has nothing to do with sex or nudity.
    So as i said ,you want me to be honest?
    What you guys are doing is basicly exi as well.
    But not in a sexual way but in a promo way ,promo of your pages, places you been and stuff.
    Cause im like totaly the oposite of it, i dont like being on pics nor anything similar related.
    So what i wanna say is that exi can be sexual,assholish aka the dude with the new iPhone that costs like 3 avg sallaries here, it can be promotional , and such.
    As for the seflie thing, you really got a damn good point there.
    Very interesting and very correct, just that, the thing that young ppl teens or kids do, not only they dont think ahead ,but its techincly also illegal.
    Im one of those ppl that dont like bending/compromiseish things ,laws .. cause one, it can get you confused AF , two ,i find it dumb to treat the same thing differently ,like , on Twitter thats an 13+ app u can have the most perv hardcore porn with no problems to acces, while on as u mentioned FB , u cant even show boobs and its also a 13+ app. So it makes no sence.
    I understand that all these are private companies ,and they are allowed to make their own rules as they wish ,sure, but it just makes no sence to me .. so hence speaking of young ppl trading nudes or lets say it the way it is, trading sex pic of each other, they are using these same apps for that ,or Insta or Snapchat.. so in that sence they are doing something that isnt legal and those apps are providing that as well as they are providing sharing those pic to public, rather they like it – agree with it or not ,but thats what they are doing.
    Its like saying ,hey i made/have drugs .. but its not my fault u are using it ,i didnt force u , u choose to .. true ,butttttt ,why do u make/have drugs then? Cause u wanna sell it …
    So to me things should be pretty clear and simple in general .. either allow it all, or ban it all .. floating in between just causes chaos and can/gets ppl in trouble.

    1. Yeah… We’ve had this discussion before 🙂
      Indeed , exhibitionism is more than just the sexual part, but for the sake of this blog post we’ve purely focused on that part.
      And there isn’t of course it’s not simple nor clear. And even if it was, people would always find workarounds. Illegal businesses work best in grey zones and will make sure that those zones never cease to exist. But of course these things give us stuff to write about 🙂

      1. I know haha ,but ya ,i didnt mean just illegal ,i ment more like things that are floating.. its legal but its not ,depends who does it how u look at it ,when its done how its done … it just bull… like ,how hard is it to say yes or no? …

  5. The reason for naked selfies is because you don’t have someone else to take your photo. Sharing ourselves and being appreciated is a very deep human desire. The harder the culture works to block it, the more people want to share themselves with each other. We are a very social species.

    I started sharing naked selfies a while ago. I’m an ordinary old gentleman. If you don’t want to look you don’t have to visit my photo web site.

  6. Nick & Lin’s, This is a very nice article and once again it’s relevant and timely! ~ The current touristy trend is naked “Bum photos” with people posing in front of scenery and well-known landmarks. How are they able to take these pictures? The opportunity must be EXTREMELY rare that a well-traveled, frequently visited landmark be unoccupied or nearly so, with the exception of the person’s appearing in the photograph! Did they awaken extra early in the morning in order to “beat” the tour groups in arriving at the location? This appears to be the case since more and more locations of cultural significance are being monitored by video surveillance to capture unwanted, abusive or illegal behavior – SO my point is maybe people are “looking for a challenge” in finding unmonitored places to bare all! And this may also be one motivation for younger people to pose for naked selfies, not because they were asked, but because the act is perceived as daring, audacious, bold, or unexpected – and will be tantilizing to the recipient! If the very last thing we would expect of someone is to “see their butt” (a.k.a. your ass is showing; a derogative comment, typically) then is all of society outright DARING them to, in fact, do it?? Maybe that is the underlying definition of the exhibitionist impulse and the urge could be applied to practically ANY behavior. Drinking? Yes. Driving fast? Yes. (for some, anyway) Skydiving? Absolutely. The impulse to “push the envelope” or “live on the edge”, some edge, any edge, is commonly described as life-affirming, or something people do to “feel alive” and we humans certainly have a penchant for doing these things! Once a “social envelope” or expectation is defined and well-known, the next most likely thing to happen is for someone, somewhere, to find a way to surpass it! ~ Our tendency to question these behaviors, put up signs forbidding various acts, and in some cases enact laws banning the SPECIFIC behavior is the other half of human behavior – concern, caring, or a rationalization the majority’s judgement is more favorable than the individual freedom, and part of me thinks that is completely wrong. The good of the many may be the basis of Vulcan logic, but the healthy acceptance of the few is Naturist logic!

    1. Yeah, the bum pictures are a real hype. How do people do this? Waking up early is indeed a very good trick but also, it only takes a couple of seconds, so often very few will even notice or when they think they saw something the moment will already be gone. Although we agree that it’s quite a funny hype, it does create some controversy. Many of these shots are taken at holy places, temples, ruins, etc where it’s not really appropriate if you respect other people’s culture.
      Why do they do it? We completely agree that it’s the adrenaline that probably does the trick. The effect of the dare. Is that a good reason to do such a thing? We’ll leave that in the middle.

      1. AH this kind of reminds me of .. porn.. what do i mean with that?..
        Well,im not saying and a im NOT like a religous freak or anything, i dont go to church unless its a wedding or a funeral ,but ,i can compare with what u wrote with porn, in sence that , we all saw that there are porn movies based on let say Santa .. or Easter Bunny ,or some cartoon caracter n such .. im not a fan of porn in general, but even if there is porn, must they make one with Santa? LIke ,we all know who believes in Santa and whats the point of Santa when its xmas .. must they make Santa be a dude gives lolipops to big girls or boys? .. i mean , for real , like i even saw some pic in Aussie where there was a bilboard on the street with obvious sexual connotation towards Santa .. like what will kids think of it? Let alone if one manages to see somehow a Santa porn ..how will that kid react when he/she seez Santa ..i mean like ppls should chill and have some dignity and respect towards some things, cause if not, i already said last summer hah, that the next thing will be all around public nudity ,sex .. like where do we stop?
        Of course, if all this ,is some future world we are heading towards to, if its a future aim, then it should be said like that ,we may not like it or we may do, but at least that way we know on wich road we are on.

      2. That’s why streaking as once big. You get the double thrill of adrenaline and very publicly ‘sticking it to the man’. It was also a demonstration of chutzpah and moxie to your friends. Doing it just to show you could get away with it. Counting coup.

        Bum photos are a very pale and subdued copy of a streak.

      3. Why did people climb Everest? Because it was there. It is the same logic and it isn’t a bad thing.

        Happy are people who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true. – L.J. Cardinal Suenens

  7. I wouldn’t need to do “naked selfies” if I could find someone else to hold the camera. 😉

    Seriously, the risks of being photographed nude decline rapidly as you age. My sad carcas is not going to end up on some porn site and if someone “leaked” the picture to my friends, they’d laugh.

  8. Why is it called exhibitionism and frowned upon if you’re naked but not if you’re Clothed ? Surely it’s more the suggestive nature of the photo rather than what you are or aren’t wearing ?

    1. The problem is that a large majority of people things that being naked is wrong. So even if you know there’s nothing wrong with it, you’re still a minority.

  9. Seriously. We’re nudists here – mostly – right? Or some variation on the theme.

    I don’t have a problem with a nude person anywhere at any time. Society may disagree with me. Fine. If you want to run the risks and do a nude selfie somewhere, knock yourself out. You make your choice and you take your chances. I’m not going to say you are wrong to do so but I might say you were stupid if you miscalculated. At least you weren’t so crippled with body shame you couldn’t do it. And the people who do nude selfies probably won’t be offended if they encountered a nudist.

    I did my share of streaking 45+ years ago. Nothing but adrenaline, risk-taking, sticking it to “the man”. Overcoming a challenge of sorts. A bit of shock value. Freaking the mundanes. But the best of all possible responses was applause. Appreciation for an act of defiance.

    I also did my share of naked dares. Same thing, only with the objective being to do it under “the man’s” nose without being seen. Doing it right requires research, planning, timing, and logistics. A limited audience but each is egging the other on to greater achievements.

    As I got a bit older and consequences became important, I became more concerned about legality.

    There is nothing wrong with a naked body any time anywhere. You can be perfectly right and still be punished for it. Lot of other things people got fined or jailed or even killed over even though they were “right”. Civil rights, LBGTQ issues, feminist issues. Every one of them was considered criminally and morally offensive at one time or another.

    My feeling is that public nudity is no different than gay people behaving “in your face” was a couple of decades ago. People were literally sickened when they saw two guys kissing. The truth is they sickened themselves, not what they saw. The truth is also that seeing it repeatedly lessens the shock as people get used to it.

    My theory is that you have a right not to be robbed or physically injured but no right not to see or hear things you don’t like. Some countries allow a fair amount of freedom to be offensive. It is called freedom of speech. The wise man recognizes that the only speech needing protection is offensive speech.

    Others don’t and will crucify you if you dare to do on their turf that which is trivial where you grew up. Risk assessment is important.

    I am not so sure that a majority thinks nudity is so wrong. I think a very vocal and active minority thinks that many people find it mildly unsettling of it shows up unexpectedly and a fair number couldn’t care less. Events like the WNBR or the Bare to Breakers or Spencer Tunick’s photo shoots couldn’t happen if a majority were really opposed.

    If you are free enough that you don’t care whether your picture joins a million others on the internet, nobody else should care either. Freedom is a good thing. You are never going to compete with the ubiquitous full frontal nudity on cable television. Who cares?

    I am happy to find the many chinks in the armor of the legal system and work on widening them.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Fred.
      We also like to make the comparison with the gay movement because we also think that some nudists should get in the front line if we want anything to change. But as you say, before acting you have to consider the consequences and make sure you’re okay with them.
      An advantage the gay movement had was the lack of phones with cameras and social media at the time when being gay was not yet accepted in the western world. A guy could kiss another guy at some gathering and chances were very low that any evidence would be spread around the world.
      For us, times are different.

      1. “An advantage the gay movement had was the lack of phones with cameras and social media”

        I see that as a BIG advantage for promotion of nudism. We can put human bodies in front of millions of people without having to have millions of bodies. Even on Facebook, with a blank out genitals, it can be very obvious that we are comfortable being naked wherever we were photographed. We can “come out” to the world as naked humans.

        When I was a child growing up in a small American town, I didn’t know gays or nudists existed and there was NO way for me to find out. Today all the children grow up with Internet and know that images of nude bodies are part of their everyday experiences. They see that people can be completely comfortable being naked. W have a huge advantage for promoting nudism and legal body freedom.

        1. Don’t get us wrong Bob, for those willing to promote nudism the cameras and social media are of course a huge advantage. This blog and our social media channels are probably the best example.

          But in this article we’re also talking about nudists who don’t want to be in the front line, many who are still hiding their nude habits for friends and family. And we’re also talking about those who do send naked selfies to each other but don’t identify themselves as a nudist (yet).

          1. As the song, Me and Bobby McGee” says, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Freedom ain’t worth nothin’ but its Free.”

            That’s an essential feature of nudism, being FREE of having to hide our bodies. As long as someone is still afraid to be seen naked he or she is not free. Forty years ago I learned that any visit to the clothing optional hot spring could result in having my picture taken by an unknown photographer with a big lens on the next hill. I smiled and waved. Then I put “nudist” and AANR on my government security clearance form. Only then was I FREE of concern that someone, somewhere, would see me naked.

            People who are still hiding from friends and family are never going to be free, or even honest about themselves. They will live in fear of being seen by the guy with the long lens. And for what? So being seen naked is a “secret” perversion? I’m not buying that. The FREEDOM in being naked is to take off your clothing and claim your body.

          2. We fully agree, but such a thing doesn’t happen from one day to another. It took us two years into nudism before we started telling our friends and family about this newly found lifestyle. If during those first years someone had told us that the guy with the long lens is just part of the deal and that we had to be ok with it… We don’t know if we would have remained nudists…

          3. Yet at the same time when we see nudity all over the internet, I believe more and more people are becoming phobic of nudity in real life. We have gone from naked swimming at the Y to wearing swimwear in the shower at the gym. It is primarily the fault of the internet but also do-gooders who see pedophiles and deviants under every rock and SJWs who think seeing people with nicer bodies than you have in the locker room will traumatise you.

            People never experience even same-sex nudity today. (Outside of sex. And even sex is becoming less common. I blogged about that.) Looking at some idealized bodies online will never help people to understand what a normal range of bodies looks like.

            In fact, the whole digital revolution is making even clothed interpersonal relationships less common. This can’t help but make their own nudity (and socialization of ANY kind) problematic and them less likely to “take the plunge”.

          4. You’re certainly right about that and it’s one of the reasons why we promote nudism. Especially for families. Teach your kids what a real (or let’s say average) body looks like and they’ll probably have less body issues than those comparing themselves with photoshopped pictures they see on the internet.

  10. Not everyone needs to be the tip of the spear. We need more people to quietly support change rather than hiding in ghettoes and thinking it is good enough.

  11. Exihibitonism is not a bad thing. Every entertanet who ever lived, every serious artist and every author is an “exi”. Every model and every photographer who ever displayed their work is. Most pro athletes are.

    If you’re posing on a car seductively in a bikini to sell it with sex appeal, you are a sexual exi. The same as porn hub, just with more money and fewer consequences. Intent is the difference in the mind of the doer and perception is in the mind of the perceiver.

  12. I think it’s up to the comfort of the person whether they post naked pictures of themselves. Plus some people may not want to broadcast to the world that they are nudists for a variety of reasons.

    1. Well, Andrew, some nudists may never go naked outside of their own homes. But taking off your clothes in a public place is a deliberate act to share your naked body with the world. There is video surveillance virtually everywhere we go in the modern world. Individuals now record something like a billion pictures per hour. If some people still pretend that wandering around naked in the world is not broadcasting their nudity to the world then they need to stop, take a deep breath, and look around themselves.

      1. The “solution” is not to care. To be in that situation one has to deliberately work to change their life. It is an extraordinary amount of effort that could mean the loss of some friends and even a change of employment.

        I’d be happy if the world would just let me be what I want to be. There are enough sick people out there who want to prevent that from happening due to their own insecurities to make it difficult on a person. That is why only the boldest will do a World Naked Bike Ride or a Bare to Breakers even when perfectly legal and officially sanctioned.

  13. Bob,
    Again it’s up to the comfort of that person whether they want to display their nude body for the world to see whether it’s posting a picture on the internet or going out in nature. As Nick and Lins mentioned, they waited two years before telling people. As Fred said, you might have to keep it secret from some, especially if your place of employment would not approve.

    I don’t know where you live, but last time I checked there are no cameras in my house. Again, I think they can choose how open they want to be about their nudist lifestyle.

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