This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Taking nudes is difficult. You might be snuggled in bed, wearing your pajamas when the person you're seeing texts you asking for one.
Panic sets in—how does one act sexy? You must pretend your life involves something other than watching Netflix cooking program featuring perfumed onions and dry barbecue rubs you will never make. Your face appears pallid and purplish, like a faded bruise. You grab your only nice underwear out the dirty laundry basket; humans can't see smell. Balancing your phone tentatively on the radiator, you try to stick your ass out, but you lean out so far your belly is protruding more than your butt cheeks. The camera flash is so unflattering you are almost tempted to put an MSN-style sepia filter on it to get rid of the redness. Your genitals appear in the final picture like some sort of mini-demogorgon, tentacles and all.
Another problem is that there are only two angles known to women: selfie with boobs or a mirror shot of the ass. For men, there is the dick pic, which in my experience involves a pixelated close-up of an erection. Surely there are more angles? In fact, I know there are because I’ve seen hot people on Instagram doing them. Their ass splayed on a kitchen cabinet, so perky the cheeks are smiling. Women wearing gingham two pieces which somehow make them look more naked than dressed. Antoni from Queer Eye in boxers in his kitchen, abs tensed, but not in that buff gym way that makes you think they might pop like bubble wrap.
So, to find out how to take a good nude, I contacted the experts, cam boys and girls who make a living from looking incredibly sexy.
How to Find a Good Pose
Chloe Cherry: My favorite nude pose is full frontal because most people fear seeing themselves that way. I like to show my natural physique exactly how I see it. Clients always say, "Put your hair in pigtails and your hands on your hips." I also love up-skirt shots. Skirts are hot because it teases people when they see a tiny slice of your booty; it will make them want to see more. A good way to make your ass look big is to sit on the edge of a counter that has a mirror and turn around and take a picture with your cheeks propped up. As you sit down, they get squished to maximum size. Another useful porn star booty trick is to pull your pants right under your butt and use them to scoop it up.
Kira Noir: I stretch every morning and every night, mostly so I can get a dramatic arch in my selfies. I would suggest not focusing on hiding things you consider flaws—instead, pick the things you love about yourself and try to accentuate them. I really like my lips and my butt, so when taking a lot of my nudes I try to put the focus on them.
Ona: I'm into extreme angles, which makes a selfie stick essential. A close-up of your butt from behind makes your waist look tiny; other times, I face backward, looking over my left shoulder towards the camera. I also love doing open leg splits—it shows how flexible you are while also making your ass look plump. I take hundreds of nudes. Depending on what I'm going for, it can be quick or it can take hours. Whatever the pose, I always prefer natural daylight. I always use the Ludwig filter, or sometimes Juno. Photoshop is also a lifesaver.
JP and Philip: A tripod with a remote can work wonders. Also practice in the mirror. Tooch the booty, turn your waist, tense your abs and don't forget to breathe. Doing something unexpected, like a slim guy flexing or a muscled guy taking an androgynous pose, can create the most beautiful picture. Penis-wise, all cocks are different. Some curve left or right, some down or up, some are super straight. Most people try to make their dick look bigger by taking a low angle and shooting the picture upward. But for curved ones this might not work; in that case, take a picture following the length of the curve.
What to Wear or Not Wear
Chloe Cherry: I've taken a lot of nudes with a tampon string out, which is pretty distracting, so don’t do that. When you’re taking a nude, the best thing to wear is something that makes you feel confident. Accessories make nudes extra fun and personal. I like to wear sneakers, stockings, or baseball caps. Normally, these items are associated with innocence, so corrupting them is sexy.
Kira Noir: Not everyone is comfortable doing a full nude with spread legs and bright light—and that’s totally fine. I often use my hair to hide my nipples. You should wear—or not wear—as much as you want. I personally love implied nudes. For one, these kinds of photos are nice, but also it's easy for close-up shots of your junk to look weird.
Ona: I'm into every variation of nude—clothed, panties coming off, and fully off. Instagram forces one to be more suggestive, so people pay attention to the picture—you need to stand out. But that's super fun too. I've found, during shoots, that I'll be working hard to get something exciting with clothes on, but as soon as I’m naked, the images get more exciting and I reach maximum aesthetic perfection. But there's a difference between nudism and nudes. Nudism has nothing to do with arousal—being fully naked is actually anti-arousal—but nudes are made to sexually excite; they’re more of a tease. I like the latter because I like sex. In my opinion, the arousing nude is under-appreciated as an art form—there are lots of non-arousing nudes in art—which is something I'm looking to change.
JP and Philip: Never wear something you are uncomfortable in. It will always show in the picture. Mixing fashion with sex confidence can make for awesome results; we love to balance the two big Fs: fashion and fetish.
When to Send One
Chloe Cherry: The best time to send a nude is when the person you are sending it to is at work or with friends and they aren’t thinking about sex, so when you send that nude they’re reminded. It’s exciting to crave someone you can’t have yet.
Kira Noir: Make sure the recipient wants your nudes, and you’re sure you want to send them. Never, ever send surprise nakedness. If they didn’t want it, you just end up looking like a creep. Asking, "Hey, want some nudes?" is seriously underrated, in my opinion.
JP and Philip: If it's welcome, there’s no bad time to send a beautiful nude. But we would suggest mornings and evenings. Most of the time we wake up horny and go to bed horny too. But a lunchtime nudie might just perk up their day.
Their Best Nude Ever
Chloe Cherry: The best nude photo I ever took was a full frontal and I had a really short haircut and a cute little bush, so everything looked very symmetrical and compositionally sound. I was in a perfectly white bathroom where the light was all soft and hazy. I looked like a doll. I ended up sending it to some guys I was talking to and they were all blown away and showed it to all their friends—which I personally like.
Ona: I took a selfie in the mirror and shared it everywhere. Someone noticed my friend was in the shadows in the background; they reposted with a red circle around him. It had been seen thousands of times without anyone noticing. It was pretty funny. But my favorite was one outdoors on a trail just outside of Zion. I was standing on a rock fully naked and the wind was blowing in my hair—it was sublime.
JP and Philip: We had a shoot on a beach in Miami with a photographer who was a little lowkey. So when we dropped our pants in the water he turned completely red, but we ended up with amazing pictures. Another time, one of us took half a Kamagra for a nude shoot that was meant to be sensual rather than sexual, but we couldn't stop getting hard. Also, we had a little crush on the photographer, so that made things awkward.
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This article originally appeared on VICE UK.