Asking For Nudes? Proceed with Caution and Anticipation

Last Updated 17.11.2022
7 min read

Thanks to millennials and Gen Zer's, today's attitudes toward sex and sexual activity have changed dramatically and thank God. No one has to hide who they are, what they are, and how they pursue sexual relationships. It's basically a "free for all," especially on the Internet and related digital activities. And so, what used to be pornography is no longer; Ward and June Cleaver are no longer relevant; semi-nude bodies are all over cable TV as couples of all gender identities have sex.

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Streaming online platforms, Internet chat rooms, cell phones, and dating apps and websites happily show and allow nudity, even the exchange of sexy photos. And sexting is not just common, but often expected among those who are involved in dating and/or romantic relationships.

Honestly, we are in a very different world than we were even 20 years ago in terms of sexual openness and visibility. And a small part of this world is requesting and receiving nude pics among people who are even in the early stages of their relationship. So, just how does this get done? Usually by request. So, let's take a look at how to ask for nudes or to send nudes without getting shut down.

Getting to a Mutual Yes

First Overcoming the Concerns

This can be tricky for a couple of reasons. You may be ready to send over that perky hot pic, sure as hell that they will love it and be happy to reciprocate with a nude of their own. Not so fast.

There are some things to think about here.

  1. Your dating match may be self-conscious about their body and may very well hesitate to send you unflattering pics that display their bodily flaws - some flab here and there, an unflattering paunch, etc. And to rely on filtering is just not a good idea if you intend to meet up in person.

  2. There is also the issue of trust. When someone sends nude pics to anyone else on the web, cyberspace is not forgiving. They are there for all to see, should your dating partner decide to dump you or vice versa, and take some revenge by posting that nude anywhere and everywhere, along with your name and maybe some other personal information. It’s sort of like the days of old when bathroom stalls were filled with graffiti, such as “for a good time, call (name of person) at (phone number). Only this time, the audience is so much larger.

  3. And here’s a word of caution. If you do send nudes, leave your face out of the photo. That way, it will be very difficult for anyone to prove it is really you, and your denial carries more weight.

So, if you have made such a request and been turned down, it doesn't mean they are  not into you. It means they are taking precautions. And if you turn cold because they have refused, well, you're probably just a creep.

So, You're Not Creepy and You'd Still Like to Get to "Yes"

There are several tips and strategies that you need to think about when you decide to ask for nudes. Here are your "keys to the kingdom:"

First Rule - Move Slowly

The worst thing you can do during early conversation with someone you don't know all that well is to ask if you can send a nude pic or if they will send one to you. And NEVER send a nude pic without explicit permission from the intended recipient (unless you are on some adult site where everyone is using fake names and there is no shot at ever meeting up for real dates, much less relationships).

You can work up to popping the big question gradually. As Sofiya Alexandra, co-host of the sexualities podcast Private Parts Unknown says"I think a fun way to get to exchanging sort of slowly raising the stakes. Like, start with a partial shot of a nice part of your body that isn’t really exposing your private parts. Wait for them to send a similar photo back. You can keep going until you get really explicit. Plus, if they back off and don't match you pic for pic, you get a good idea about when to stop."

Second Rule - Be Polite, Respectful, and Tactful

Whether it is through texting, a phone call, on a coffee date, or even out for dinner, if you are interested in someone and want the relationship to grow, then you don't want to ruin things by being too blunt or forceful. If you have been dating for a while and you have moved to a point of affection and some intimacy, then you can always ask, for example, "How do you feel about sending sexy pictures back and forth. I'd love to have a picture of you to look at when we are not together." You'll get a sense pretty quickly of how they are  feeling about it. If you sense they are uncomfortable, drop it for now.

Third Rule - Be mindful of Remaining Social Mores Regarding Nude Pictures

Sending explicit photos is still frowned upon by much of society - probably some of your family members or theirs. Great Aunt Lucy would be appalled. And once those nudes are out there, it’s not only Aunt Lucy who can see them. Co-workers, friends, acquaintances and others may not be as liberal in their thinking as you and your partner. Just be mindful that there are many who will not be accepting or forgiving. Indeed, those who are employed in certain career positions have lost their jobs over this behavior. Think of politicians and teachers, for example. 

Fourth rule - Don't Expect an Answer Immediately

You are getting deeper into a relationship. And they  have even given explicit permission for you to send them sexy photos, maybe even some nudes. But when you ask them to do the same, they hesitate or honestly tell you they are not ready to do that yet. That's their choice and you have to respect it, regardless of what your desires may be at the moment. If this is the first time they have been asked, they are probably a bit nervous and hesitant no matter how strong the feelings are for you. Hang tight. Everyone  wants to go at their own pace. And don't you dare snap a nude photo of them when you are together, and they aren’t looking or are asleep. This is the height of disrespect. And if they ever discover it, you are doomed.

Now Let's Recap More Simply

1.     If you've paid attention to what you have just read, you understand why there may be hesitancy when you ask for nudes. Sexting is one thing; getting visual by sending nudes is quite another. People  rightly worry about bad breakups and sending nudes may eventually become publicly distributed by a jilted or angry lover.

2.     People may often give explicit permission for their sex partner to send nudes while not being willing to do the same. That partner must respect that choice and drop the conversation.

3.     There are good ways to ask someone  for nudes. These include moving very slowly and engaging in some hot texting for a while before popping that question. They also include sexting a "warming up" picture or two of various parts of your body, and perhaps asking for them to do the same.

4.     If you really want to be a romantic partner to the person you are dating, sexting, or actually having sex with, you will be respectful and tactful when asking for nudes, and you will honor the boundaries they have set about doing that. Better to have a picture of them in a sexy swimsuit to look at during a hard day at work than nothing at all.

5.     Never ask for nudes during the "getting to know you" phase of dating. If you have a huge desire to see nudes, get on an adult site, but don't ruin a good thing that is just starting out.

6.     Finally, sending nudes is a deeply personal thing. There must be trust, a strongly developing romance, and a real comfort level on the part of you both.

Are There Exceptions to These Simple Rules?

Absolutely, there are. You may be someone who just wants to be a "player" in the world of dating and sex. And that's perfectly fine. You are looking for one-night hook-ups or very short and uncommitted dating relationships that are all about the sex and nothing more.
In this case, you get online, and you find those who feel just as you do. You begin sexting, and you send nudes of yourself. You won't need their explicit permission or consent. They’ll welcome them and probably send some back to you. There's a "world" out there of very loose sex, and as long as both partners consent to it, everything's good.

You Get to Choose

Be who and what you want to be. Anything goes in this wonderfully open world of dating and sex. But if you are looking for something serious and long-lasting, and you are trying to get a dating partner to send some nudes for your own private pleasure, get your "keys to the kingdom" in the right way.

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