I am the master of setting the mood for taking nudes. I like to feel happy, confident and lush AF. As the saying ‘when you look good, you feel good’ goes, when I feel good, my nudes look good. It’s a loving circle: I take nudes when I feel amazing because they look wonderful and I, in turn, feel increasingly in love with the body I live in.
It’s taken me some time to be able to speak positively about my body and the forbidden section of my camera roll is one of the reasons for it.
‘I can confidently say that I’ve seen at least 50% of my mutual Twitter following naked’
When I was still within Filthy Twitter, I used to have my DMs constantly flooded with nudes – consensually, of course. I could very easily put out a tweet stating that I’m craving nudes and a couple of people would oblige in minutes. I have no idea what it was that made people so trusting and comfortable with sending nudes to me, but they did. I can confidently say that I’ve seen at least 50% of my mutual Twitter following naked. We’ve bonded over it.
‘Every couple of days someone would surprise us with a picture of them … looking breathtaking’
A year into growing comfortable enough with my body to start taking pictures of it, I began making WhatsApp groups filled with mostly women and GNC babes, where we shared the pleasure that was our bodies. A group of people who barely knew each other, we set up rules we were all comfortable and happy with and started sharing the joy.
‘We found a monumental amount of freedom and pleasure in sharing nudes’
Every couple of days someone would surprise us with a picture of them posing in front of a mirror, sometimes wide legs open on their bed, back curved and looking breathtaking. There were others who’d send images of themselves in their underwear, as they learnt to embrace the nudity in the group.
Every image was met with reactions that would make you feel like Beyoncé. We found a monumental amount of freedom and pleasure in sharing nudes, knowing that we’d not only be safe but also affirmed and gassed-up.
There is such a sense of trust in these WhatsApp groups that I’ve very rarely felt. While I may pause a bit before sending my nudes to a new person (and the moment I pause, I know to trust my gut and not send them at all), I can easily send four or five naked pictures to this group, knowing that I’m cradled in the most gentle (and sometimes thirstiest) hands.
‘A space where my nude body didn’t elicit strictly sexual responses’
While everyone has their own reasons for sending nudes, whether sexual or not, I was happy to be in a space where my nude body didn’t elicit strictly sexual responses. To have women swoon in unison at how beautiful our nipples were, how the folds of our bodies looked, how we allowed each other to be completely vulnerable about our own insecurities yet still loving our skin, curves, lumps and bumps.
The groups became a place where we’d pilot new lingerie, chat about which angles look great for our asses, a place where we’d just send a picture just because we were feeling ourselves and, at one point, start a thread on all the wonderful shapes, sizes and colours of our nipples.
‘It’s the only WhatsApp group I’ll never complain about when I see notifications’
We cradled each other through tough times, sent nudes to cheer up those having bad days, suggested home remedies for dark inner thighs, and encouraged others to get new piercings they were nervous about. Charmed? I would be too.
Allow me to stretch before what I feel may be a reach, but I do believe that these little pockets of happiness have been yet another way we’ve allowed ourselves to take a little power back from men. When many of them feel that pictures of us looking moisturised, glorious and sexy are for their own consumption, we gave ourselves a space that I found so simple, yet beautiful. It’s the only WhatsApp group I’ll never complain about when I see a flurry of notifications pop up on my screen.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of our nude bodies as a site of reclaimed power, vulnerability, pleasure and confidence. Long live the WhatsApp Group for Nudes.
By Tshegofatso Senne
Ed’s note: always beware of the potential dangers of sending nudes. Make sure you trust the recipients, and to find out more about revenge porn and how to deal with it – as well as how the law protects you, click here.
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