If you've ever found yourself lying uncomfortably with your back-arched in an awkward but hopefully sexy position trying to hit the "take photo" button on your phone before the lucky person on the other end realizes your effortless naked-on-a-Tuesday pic was nothing of the sort, you know that taking a good nude is an art form and a difficult one at that. Luckily for us—and even more-so for those on the other end of our sexts—model, actress, and seasoned nude taker Barbie Ferreira is here to end our struggle in pursuit of the perfect naked selfie.
While nudes haven't been taboo since everyone realized slut-shaming is dumb, nude etiquette is real. Consent online is as necessary as it is IRL. Though it should go without saying, Barbie warns that we should never be sharing other people's nudes. Yes, this rule applies to your best friend and roommates. (Also important, if you're under 18, it's very possible that both sending and receiving nudes is illegal in your state.) That said, nudes can serve as great relationship enhancers for those of us who can legally take and send them. "I think nudes are a completely amazing thing," says Barbie. "It's something that people who are not together all the time can send [to] share an intimate moment with each other."
Still, there are definitely things you can do to kill the mood. Save the genitalia diagrams for anatomy classes, and get a little more creative. “It has to tell a story,” says Barbie. For that, lighting can be a big help, easily changing the vibe from sweet to mysterious and sultry.
Though you will be the main attraction, what’s going on behind you is also important. Avoid the bathroom—unless you’re in the tub and scan the background for dirty dishes (unless your sexting partner is into that). Hands are helpful to both hide what you’re not ready to share or accentuate everything you are.
Last but not least, don’t limit yourself! While classic selfie camera nudes are never disappointing (save random dick pics or any nonconsensual nude in your inbox), Barbie says eliciting the help of a self-timer only adds to the many ways you can show off everything you have to work with.