I recently tried dating again.
After months of processing my disdain for dating and the men I’ve dated.
It didn’t go so well.
I mean I tried apps, which isn’t really the greatest option. But that’s beside the point. The one guy I actually did “hang out” with, because apparently men in my generation don’t like taking women on dates anymore, ended up being so insecure and narcissistic that I ghosted him.
Honestly, ghosting is not my preferred choice, but he was a dick. And the crazy thing? He was the older brother of someone I went to high school with.
So anyway. The context. This guy. He didn’t want anything serious. Even though he said he was looking for something genuine initially. But I was feeling daring, and it had been a while since I was with anyone, so we hooked up.
I knew from the get-go this thing wouldn’t last long and was upfront that I would continue dating because my end goal is to actually be in a committed relationship. He agreed to this, grudgingly.
Well, we couldn’t hang out one night because he had his kids. No big deal. But since we weren’t hanging out, he asked me to send him nudes.
I told him “no” in the nicest way, explaining why I wouldn’t be sending them (even though I was not obligated to).
He delivered a very flat “okay,” which told me he was less than thrilled with my response, so naturally, I was triggered. In his following texts, he told me that he hadn’t asked anyone for that in two years, as if trying to make me feel bad, guilt me into sending them because, well, he hadn’t asked anyone in a while.
Giant red flag. And here I am immediately shutting down. Because this wasn’t the first thing I told him I wasn’t comfortable with doing it and this also wasn’t the first low-key temper tantrum he threw for not getting his way.
Look, I don’t know you, even if I knew your brother in high school.
With all the things he asked of me and me saying, “Nah, I’m not comfortable, my man,” I was brought to the conclusion that this will probably end faster than it started. So in a nice and loving way, I said, “Hey, it seems like there might be certain things you need and value and maybe I am just not the person who can give them to you. Maybe I am the wrong person to be spending your time with if I can’t give you those things.”
That’s not verbatim.
A reasonable thing to say, in my opinion. Not to him, apparently, because I got an additional slew of texts from him throwing a full-on temper tantrum because, again, he wasn’t getting his way.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would think the “Oh, I understand where you’re coming from and I’m not going to pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to” response would be much more appropriate, kind, and loving.
Just wondering where that sh*t got lost here. Maybe some girls like being totally dominated, but I would actually like the person I’m dating to be kind, loving, understanding, and, I don’t know, not try to use manipulative tactics against a woman for his own personal gain.
So back to the nudes. I said “no.”
There are a few reasons why I say no to sending people nudes.
1. We don’t know each other.
I didn’t know him. I don’t want some random guy out there with naked pictures of me. And I feel it’s a little inappropriate to ask someone you barely know anyway.
That being said, if you’re down for that, that’s your choice and I definitely don’t judge. I just choose not to do that.
If you want nudes that bad, I’m sure you can find some on the internet and then pretend it’s me. I don’t know. Use your imagination.
Either way, you’re not going to get nudes from me, especially if we don’t know each other.
2. Sending nudes is a personal and intimate thing.
I’ve sent nudes in the past to the men I’ve dated or spent a lot of time with. Basically, people I had a relationship with.
At the time, I saw things playing out long-term. And when I felt that way, I felt it was appropriate for our relationship to send them, at that time.
But it’s my body. My body is sacred, and I’m choosing to share it with you.
If I’m sending you nudes, it’s because I feel safe, protected, and secure in our relationship. It is a symbol for me that I trust you with this intimate part of me and I trust that you will keep it safe, cherished, and to yourself.
There is something thrilling about giving a part of yourself over to someone who could completely destroy you in an instant.
Any time someone I don’t know or don’t have a great relationship with asks me to send nudes, I don’t feel comfortable with sending them, even if the sex is great and thrilling.
If I don’t feel safe and secure in our relationship, I won’t be sending them. Plain and simple.
3. If it doesn’t work out, that person still has my nudes.
A longtime lover of mine, who I was pretty sure I would end up with after nearly eight years of back and forth, had a lot of pictures of me.
We had this unspeakable attraction going on between us, unable to really understand that gravitational force always pulling us together. But after nearly eight years, we never seemed to get anywhere. Inevitably, I told him I was ready for him because I wanted more and he told me he wasn’t ready at all, and basically, that he didn’t want me.
I was heartbroken.
After this long period of time coming to an end, I moved on and asked him to do the same. Because if someone wants you, they’ll do whatever they have to to keep you in their life.
Before this all happened, he showed me a picture of a woman giving him a blowjob, thinking it would be a nice bit of kink to add to our…whatever the hell we were.
He had kept that photo of this woman even though the picture was from years ago.
All it made me think was, he probably still has the pictures I’ve sent him from over the years stored somewhere. The thought made me sick. I could ask him to delete them, but there is no guarantee he will.
Like some of my previous exes I have sent nudes to, there is no telling if they kept those images or deleted them. So someone out there is walking around with my nudes.
The fact that I can’t fix that now because of how naive I was and how desperate I was for their love haunts me daily.
I don’t want more people who don’t have any intention of staying in my life to carry such intimate parts of me.
4. Nudes take away from the real intimacy experienced in person.
So this is just my opinion. I know people send nudes to spice up their relationship and that is all good. All the power to you my lovely sex fiends.
I don’t find nudes thrilling at all. I don’t enjoy sending or receiving them. Like thanks for sending them and all, and that looks nice, but they do nothing for me.
In my experience, I’ve noticed that sending nudes takes away from the thrill that happens in person and in the bedroom because after you see those nudes, there is no mystery left.
Personally, I like the idea of such intimacy happening only when we’re alone. I like not having documentation of a person’s body parts when I can:
>> Imagine the sensations of our time alone together.
>> Get all hot and bothered just thinking about you.
>> Look forward to our next meeting and whatever magic happens next.
If we’re sending our nudes back and forth and we already know what we’re working with before sex even happens, I lose my attraction and excitement instantly.
Having nudes sent to me and vice versa is this instant gratification that I feel completely takes away from the spontaneous and surprising moments that happen when we’re together, and I’m not about it.
I like the anticipation, the sexual tension, the buildup before you completely blow each other’s minds. It’s reminiscent of the times before cell phones when you had to wait a week for a crush to call you.
Lord, the anticipation!
I love that. The buildup is sexy and thrilling to me.
5. I feel objectified.
I said before, and I will say again, this is just my opinion and feeling.
Someone asking me to send nudes makes me feel like an object, especially knowing now that men I have been with collect nudes from other women like they collect baseball cards.
Honestly, those men (or women) are probably holding onto images of lovers who are such high-value people, and either they know it and don’t care or they are completely oblivious to what they hold in their hand. If they are holding onto them like a collection, those are treasures they don’t deserve.
I am not an object, neither is my body and by keeping that all to myself, I keep myself from being objectified.
What I have to offer—body, mind, and spirit—is valuable. Whether or not I give a nude doesn’t depict my value, but there is a stigma attached to sending nudes that can instantly devalue a woman from the male perspective.
I’m not interested in being a part of that male perspective and think that by keeping nudes to myself, I am upholding my value as a partner, lover, and friend.
You want to call me a prude? Well, I don’t really give a f*ck.
That’s just another manipulative tactic that turns me off instantly and I have no problem saying goodbye to people like that.
Damned if I do, damned if I don’t, and I’m over it.
At this point, I’m not even sure I’ll ever give nudes out to anyone again.
While the tarnished relationships of my past have definitely influenced that, I just can’t envision sending them to anyone no matter how safe and secure I am in our relationship—especially knowing and accepting for myself that sending nudes back and forth really doesn’t thrill me at all.
Whenever I become a famous author someday and that sh*t resurfaces because someone wanted to make a quick buck, enjoy it, I guess. But just know, I was young and naive sending those, and I can’t take it back, although I wish I could.
I like my body and I’m not ashamed of it. So if it resurfaces, so be it, but let’s hope none of them do.
Also, this is not indicative of how comfortable you are with your body. I stand by the fact that all bodies are beautiful and we shouldn’t be ashamed of the skin we are in.
Sending nudes to someone is a personal choice, one I am choosing not to engage in.
With where I’m at in my life, where I literally have no more time for games with people who see me as an object, I will unapologetically tell you to f*ck off if you try and pressure me into sending them or doing anything else I don’t want to do.
Here’s my advice to those in the moment when nudes are requested or you feel compelled to send them:
>> If it makes you feel uncomfortable in your gut, don’t send them.
>> If someone gets upset because you choose not to send them, tell that person goodbye. (That is the start of something super unhealthy.)
>> You should only send them if you feel comfortable, in yourself and your relationship.
>> Be mindful of possible long-term impacts if you send this to someone. People do strange things if they are ever hurt.
>> Ultimately, it is your choice to send nudes and no one should tell you differently.
Overall, I think if you’re comfortable with sending nudes and you feel it does something for you, then by all means go for it.
Above all else, trust in your value and love yourself enough to say no, or yes, to sending nudes.