Good sex starts with yourself. It starts with knowing what you enjoy, recognizing that you deserve pleasure and having the confidence to claim what you want. This can be a difficult practice, especially for those of us who were socialized not to prioritize ourselves and pleasure. One way we can begin to shift this narrative, however, is by claiming our sexuality for our own sake; by recognizing that our sexuality is sovereign, that it deserves to be explored and tapped into, regardless if we’re in a relationship or not. One way we can begin embracing our erotic nature and exploring our relationship with sexuality is by taking nudes, or sensual selfies, that help us see ourselves as beings of our own desire. By controlling how these selfies come out—by deciding on the lens through which our bodies are viewed—we can form a connection to our sensuality in a physical way. We are both muse and artist in this scenario, transforming our bodies into our canvas. We reclaim how we’re seen—for ourselves, by ourselves. Whether we choose to share these photos or not is irrelevant.
Taking nudes can be a powerful way to connect more deeply with yourself and your body, it can be something that brings you and your partner closer together, or it can simply become a ritual of self-love and adoration. Read on for your B Swish guide to taking nudes.
Set the intention
Before you begin snapping away, taking the time to ask yourself why you want to take these photos can help you curate the best nudes possible. Asking yourself how you want to feel in these photos can also help you explore what to wear, what background to use, and what props you’ll include, if any. Expressing your sweet side may include pink lingerie and a rose, while expressing your subversive side may include red latex and a collar.
You can also create a ritual out of your x-rated photoshoot, especially if this is something you’re doing for yourself. Dim the lights, burn some incense or candles and set an intention with your shoot. Maybe this is to open your heart, to embrace your sexuality, or to share your desires with a partner. Use this photoshoot as a way to share and channel the energy of your intention.
Once you know why you’re taking the photos, you can more easily set the vibe and start curating the photos.
Decide your location and vibe
There are many ways to take nudes- taking photos of yourself in a mirror, taking selfies using the front facing camera on your phone and using self-timer are some of my favorite methods. Once you know why you’re taking a sensual selfie, you can decide the environment to take this in. If you’re showing off lingerie, you know you’ll want to show off your full body, so taking a mirror selfie or using self-timer would make the most sense. However, if you’re wanting to explore your boundaries and power dynamics, you may wish to take your nudes in a bathroom somewhere public—maybe even sending this to a partner you have consent to send nudes too. You don’t need to take all your clothes off to take a good, in-public nude either: flashing the camera a little (like the ever popular one boob out photo), showing off some lingerie, or even implying some nudity through silhouette are all options.
But don’t be afraid to be bold. If you want to take nudes in the comfort and privacy of your own home, I highly recommend this approach. This way you can curate a mood and enjoy the process of taking these photos in your own space. When you take these photos in your own space, you can connect with your body and sexual energy without the worry of other people interfering, in an environment you hopefully already feel safe in. You can also control the background, lighting and props more easily in your own space.
Decide what you will (or won’t) wear
Before you begin your erotic selfie photoshoot, you may want to think about what you will—or won’t—wear. You don’t have to be nude at all to enjoy taking sensual photos. You can wear a pair of boxers and a tee-shirt or leather jacket with nothing under it, or your favorite lingerie set! You can also be naked, partially naked, in a robe, in something sheer, in just jewelry, under some sheets or whatever else you’d like. The key here is to connect with your intention and wear something that’s true to you. Taking nude photos may be boundary pushing for you, and it may make you come up against your personal edge. It may be incredibly uncomfortable. Remember—you don’t have to do anything you want to do. That whatever you’re feeling is okay! And that sometimes the best thing we can do when something scares us is for us to do it anyway.
This photoshoot is a chance for you to embrace your inner fantasies—to explore your desires—to crawl through the jungles of your inner erotic landscape and come out transformed. Don’t be afraid to do it up- get dressed up in your best, do your makeup or hair, put on some perfume or scented oil. The point of these photos is to capture your sexual essence, and the more you feel yourself the more it will shine through on camera.
Set the scene with lighting, background and props
Once you know what you’re wearing, why you’re taking your sexy selfies and where you’ll be doing it, you can decide on background, props and lighting. The best lighting for nudes is natural light; try taking some sexy selfies of your body in bed against your sheets in the morning light! Or pose near a window for the best lighting possible. If you’re into drama, however, you can always choose to use a flash for your photos, keeping in mind this won’t work for a mirror selfie. Even if you don’t use a flash or natural light, you can always edit your photos after you take them to even out any yellow coloring from fluorescent lights, so don’t be discouraged!
As far as background, this comes down to intention and how much time you have. Posing on a piece of satin or some nice sheets and using your selfie/ front facing camera can create a more personal effect for your sexy photos. Close ups of your body stretching, of your breasts, chest or butt, or even neck and lips can all be steamy as hell. You can also use thumb tacks or tape to place a piece of satin against a wall and pose in front of this, using self-timer to capture these photos. Posing on your bed, on a couch or in front of a wall in your home and using self-timer can also work well, as can taking a mirror selfie in your space (just make sure your room doesn’t look a mess!)
You may also want to incorporate some props into your nudes; you can incorporate flowers, jewelry or even sex toys like a flogger or a vibrator into the photos. Even lipstick or a mirror can be alchemical additions to your photoshoot.
Practice makes perfect
Capturing yourself in photos in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable takes some practice- it’s often a learned skill to be photogenic! Play around with different poses: try kneeling and sitting on your heels, laying down and taking a selfie, playing with shapes with your arms above your head like you’re dancing. Try taking a video of yourself moving and dancing around slowly- you can pause it on different poses, even screenshotting any shots you like, so you can see how your body looks in space. Have fun with this! Put on your favorite sultry album or playlist and let yourself feel into your body. You can also take selfies (either a photo or video) of yourself as you masturbate, capturing your body in a state of pulsating pleasure.
Don’t beat yourself up for not looking “perfect.” Instead, use this as a chance to capture your body and you feeling yourself. Practice by taking more photos! Collage your nudes and turn them into art! Save them for a day when you want to remind yourself of your beauty. Don’t waste time getting angry at yourself for living outside of society’s micromanaged and whitewashed idea of beauty; instead, use this practice to remember how radiant and sexy and vivacious you are.
Once you’ve taken your selfies and edited them, you want to make sure you’re keeping them safe! I recommend downloading a password protected app like “Photo Vault” to store nudes in; you can delete the photos of your phone and keep them in this file that’s only accessible with a password. Or keep them on your computer in a protected file.
If you want to send your nudes to someone else, make sure you have their consent! Surprise nudes are fun when that method of communication has already been established, but not so fun when they come from someone who you don’t want to see naked. Consent and communication are sexy and necessary; don’t be afraid to ask if you can share something erotic with someone you care about. Regardless of what happens, you can always take nudes of yourself. Enjoy the process and your body through this glamour magick, never forgetting that your pleasure is something you have every right to prioritize. Next time you’re having a bad self-image day, you’ll have plenty of hot photos of yourself to look at and enjoy!