Bucket List: Why Every Woman Should Pose Nude

When it comes to taking naked pictures, the general consensus — among friends, family, and even our local sex advice columnist — is that you MUST. NOT. DO IT. In the wake of celebrity sex tapes and teenage sexting scandals, the very existence of nude photos makes mortification for their subject seem like a foregone conclusion. And if you tell someone you’re thinking of taking your clothes off in the vicinity of a camera, they’ll probably respond by telling you all the reasons should never, ever be naked on film.

“Nooooo! Someone might put it on the internet, and you’ll end up like Vanessa Hudgens!”

“Nooooo! Your boss/dentist/mother-in-law could see it!”

“Nooooo! Your vagina will get REALLY COLD!”

What they don’t tell you? That posing nude isn’t necessarily risky… but it is exhilarating, exciting, and something every woman should do at least once before she turns 30.

Yes, even you. (No, your vagina will not get cold.)

As an artist’s and photographer’s model, I’ve spent substantial portions of my early-to-mid twenties standing around in front of strangers with no clothes on. And while it might be initially nerve-wracking, it’s also one of the most interesting and worthwhile experiences I’ve ever had — so worthwhile that I firmly believe it belongs on the bucket list for any young woman, no matter what her shape, size, or level of confidence with her own naked body. Why should you take a photo or two in your birthday suit?

  • Your body is beautiful. Really, it is. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re plump or slender, reedy or Rubenesque; your whole self — top to toe — deserves its day in the spotlight. Women put in huge amounts of effort each day just to meet society’s standard of beauty, only to get bogged down by stress and insecurity over failing to fit within that narrowly-defined (and often unhealthy) ideal. Stripping down and showing it off is a celebratory, powerful, even subversive act — and it’s exhilarating. And when you see those photos in the days, months and years that follow, it’ll be with a lasting appreciation for your body as the glorious, gorgeous machine it is.
  • It’s a confidence boost. Between diet culture, celebrity obsession, and the airbrushed images that we see every day on billboards and in magazines, women have developed an utterly warped idea of what a healthy body looks like. And the effects go way beyond simply disliking what we see in the mirror; at this point, many women are battling body dysmorphia and/or too afraid to even look at themselves naked. Seeing your own body given just a fraction of the star treatment — with makeup, lighting, and a skilled photographer to help you pose — is a powerful way to fight back against that fear and insecurity. Basically, you are so much hotter than you think you are.
  • It’s totally vain… and completely awesome. When it comes to balancing your busy life, you’re always being told to take care, take time out, and take one day a week to do something nice for yourself. Well, go big or go home, lady. Your “just for me” weekly manicure only lasts as long as it takes your nail polish to chip, but a private album of drawings or photos that show you at your prime — young, healthy, and before childbirth, gravity, and the vagaries of time have taken their toll — is a memory you’ll have forever. (Not to mention a great conversation-starter when someone pulls it off your bookshelf in 2072 and says, “Grandma! Was that YOU?”)

So, are you ready to get naked? You’ve got options, but they’re not all good. Unless you’re the edgy type, avoid amateur photographers with seedy apartment “studios” and no portfolio to speak of; chances are, they’re just looking for spank material. And even if your boyfriend is a totally trustworthy dude who would never, ever blackmail you with your sexy shots post-breakup, he may lack the photographic skills to do your naked body justice. (And while an unflattering photo is never pleasant, an unflattering naked photo is a special kind of hell.) Instead, plan to drop a little cash and consider the following:

  • Boudoir photography. If you want to look gorgeous and play coy, hire a professional boudoir photog to snap some sexy, low-lit photos of you in your favorite lingerie… or less. (Check with your individual photographer to see how he or she feels about topless shots, straight-up nudity, or tasteful draping.)
  • Go retro. Love the look of old-school pin-up shots like Marilyn Monroe’s famous series with Bert Stern? Photogs specializing in vintage-inspired photoshoots have begun cropping up all over the country; if you’re nervous about taking it all off, some studios also offer costumes and wigs to get you into character.
  • Sexiness optional. Naked photos don’t have to be porn-y; if looking lascivious isn’t your thing, skip the sex factor and work with a fine art photographer to shoot some artistic, black-and-white nudes that explore your body’s form in a non-erotic way.
  • Put it on paper. Taking nude photos absolutely isn’t the recipe for disaster that people make it out to be — you retain the rights to pictures you’ve paid for, but even if you didn’t, a naked body isn’t a moral evil in and of itself. (Meaning that if someone sees them, it’s not like your life is over. Just ask Carla Bruni!) But if you simply can’t stomach the thought of actual photographic evidence that, at one time, you did not have clothes on, consider posing for a figure drawing or painting class. The in-practice terror factor is substantially greater — instead of one photographer seeing you nude, it’s a dozen aspiring artists and an instructor — but the sketch that one of your new artist friends gifts to you at the end of class will forever be a cool and unique souvenir of your brass-balled bravery.

Now take your pants off, and say cheese.

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    • Pam

      Why don’t you write an article to tell about why men should pose nude??

      • UR

        Maybe you should hire William to pose for you Pam. ;-)

      • Ramaniait

        I’m with you Jean, we need to see little bits. Go fo it UR. Let your bits flow in the wind.

      • Pam

        Then UR can pose too. That would amuse us :)
        Now do you all get what Ms Jean said about men supporting each other. Do you all see how UR jumped in like a chicken with his neck cut off?
        He didn’t even have anything valid to say, just jumped in to attack another woman with an opinion. 8/29/13

      • Bagofnuts

        UR, maybe we can hire you to pose nude and let it all, hang out to dry

    • Greg

      Great article, especially the note on
      “it doesn’t matter whether you’re plump or slender”. My
      wife loves to pose nude, especially outdoors. I don’t know why but it
      always feels more spontaneous. Something about a woman naked in
      nature that is very appealing.

      • Jean

        I am eagerly waiting for this country to pursue the notion of nude males. Why women do we continue to allow men to tell us what to do? Many of us (women) want our mates to pose nude for us just as we are told to pose nude for them.
        Women, let us stop allowing men to make all the rules for us. We need to stand united. And no I am not crazy, I am not a troll, I am not trying to start for an argument. I do not hate men. I have not been hurt by a man. I do not need to get laid. I am just tired of men making rules for women’s bodies……….from abortion, to shaving arms and legs, to walking down the street topless, to allowing your male relatives in the delivery room, to being ladylike, to tightening your va ja jay for your man, to dancing on a pole, to staying a 21 year old, to being skinny, to posing nude.
        Men do not have the right to tell women what choices they should make. Do women put all these demands on men. Um no! Listen ladies, do you really think that men would allow us to make rules and standards for them? And do we want our daughters and granddaughters to suffer through this same type of evil, unfair, patriarchial society, that we are now going through? Then speak up now. Talk to your girls and do not allow your husband in the room while you are talking to your daughter. Remember, he is still a man. He will still try to put his male view in the conversation. Tell him to go and talk to your son.
        Young females, stand strong. Do not let your daddy, boyfriend, and husband tell you what choices you should make. Do not let your male relatives validate you. Be a strong female. Talk to your mom about choices, not your dad!!! or husband !!!!

      • greg

        No bodies telling women how to act or what to do. We are just
        talking about consenting acts between a man and woman.

        The reason you feel that way is because you are not in touch with
        yourself. It’s natural for a woman to want to pose nude for a man and
        show him her feminine charms. The man is the pursuer and the woman is
        the prize. But don’t take that in a negative way, think about it more
        deeply, language always forces people to see things in a preconceived
        light. Don’t get so bent out of shape just because men enjoy seeing a
        woman pose nude and women enjoy posing nude for their man. It’s how
        nature has designed both of us. Maybe you should try it. You’ll love
        it, just let go and enjoy the moment. Start easy do topless side
        angles and as the feeling sets in, as they say “Take it all off,
        baby”. Enjoy being a woman, life is short and all that other
        garbage you have in your mind is outside programming that is
        debilitating , it’s not the real you. No one says you have to publish
        your photos on the web, it’s between you and your man.


      • Jean

        Greg said, “The reason you feel that way is because you are not in touch with yourself. It’s natural for a woman to want to pose nude .”
        Greg, why don’t you pose nude and get in touch with yourself? It is so natural for a man to want to pose nude! It is so natural for men to pose nude in nature. 8-5-13

      • William

        I agree with you Greg. It’s a good article. Posing nude in nature is absolutely appealing. It’s very natural. (literally) I applaud your wife for being so open to posing nude and having fun with it. And I applaud you for being fine with her doing it.

      • Greg

        Thanks William, we are 2 peas in the same pod. Most women enjoy showing themselves like that to a man that appreciates and cares for them. It is natural. Good luck in your pursuits.


      • Jean

        Don’t generalize like that. Most women do not want to show themselves. Your data is incorrect.
        Anyone with common sense would know that women ARE GENERALLY modest about showing themselves. Stop trying to create another man made doctrine that accomodates men.
        Everything is not about you men. Everything is not about satisfying a man. WTF is wrong with somen of you all? When do we women get some woman made doctrines working so that you all can pose nude to satisfy us? 8/29/13
        Double standards are rampant.

      • Jean

        William, my previous comment applies to you too. If you are a smart common sense man, as I believe you are, then you would be able to recognize, what a gross violation you, Greg, and other men set forth when you promote women posing nude and not men posing nude too.
        Do you respect women and their opinions? If you do, don’t try to silence women when they express their opinions.
        Yes, women do want to see men pose nude. You men have all the power especially over the media to establish the rules of what will and will not be shown in screen, print, or voice and then women have been brainwashed and told that they should pose nude anytime and that they do not want to see men in the nude.
        Respect women and their voices please. And according to your comment “posing nude in nature is appealing.” If that is true, then what objection do you have to men’s testicles being shown side by side with women’s breasts? 8-29-13

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    • Jay

      All hot women should pose nude and show the insides of their pussies and assholes so men can know what they are getting

      • Jean

        All men should pose nude so we women can see what we are getting. Turn the penis inside out so that we can see

    • William

      I am a male and think that some people here have some legitimate points, while others have obviously not taken this topic seriously at all.

      First of all, this article is not sexist. It simply addresses the topic of women posing nude. I’m certain someone else has written an article or two about the topic of men posing nude. Perhaps there are people commenting about those articles, and stating that they are sexist because they do not address the topic of women posing nude.

      To put my perspective and thoughts about this topic into context, I must mention that I have a background in art, and have posed nude (and clothed) for art classes and photographers. I also know a few women, married and single, who have posed nude for photographers, a few of whom have had their photos included in various publications. Additionally, I have been involved in fitness for the majority of my life. I am therefore accustomed to and comfortable with seeing the human body in various stages of dress and undress in a wide variety of situations. I certainly understand why some women are skeptical about posing nude and why some men are not comfortable “allowing” their wives to pose nude for a photographer, an artist, or anyone else. However, the fears women have about posing nude are mostly based in fantasy and ignorance of what actually occurs during and after the experience. Additionally, it seems to me that the objections husbands have to their wives posing nude say more about their own self-esteem and lack of trust in their marriage partner than it does about anything or anyone else.

      As for me, I would never pressure my wife to pose nude or otherwise for anyone or anything. But, if she wanted to do so, I would certainly support her wishes 100% and have no issue whatsoever with her doing so. In fact, if my wife had a desire to do so, I would actually encourage her to do it, because I know personally how much fun it can be (as is stated in the article). As for the debate/dilemma many people create pertaining to the “porn-y” (as the article puts it), aspect of nude modeling, I quite simply would like to say, “To each their own.” What is “porn-y” to one person is not “porn-y” to another. There is always someone who will claim that the tamest of photographs and pictures are “porn-y.” So, if a woman (or man) is thinking about modeling nude, my advice to him or her is to ignore everyone else and do what you want to do. As for the concern some men have about how “allowing” his wife to pose nude might negatively impact their marriage, I see it as somewhat of a false or unnecessary argument. If a woman suddenly starts living the life of a stripper or a prostitute and is personally and sexually interacting with other men, I certainly would agree that her marriage would be negatively impacted as a result. However, I fail to see how a marriage would be negatively impacted when a wife who poses nude is seen by a photographer and/or is later viewed by a group of men and women who have never met and will likely never meet her. It seems that if a marriage is negatively impacted by doing such a thing, the marriage did not have a strong foundation before she did so. If the marriage is strong, posing nude should have no negative impact upon it at all.

      And for the husbands who are not comfortable with the idea of other people (or men specifically) seeing their wife naked, I would suggest that they might consider viewing it as I would if my wife poses nude one day.: “Yes! That’s right! She’s my wife, and she comes home to me! Isn’t she great!? I’m proud of her! And I’m proud to have her by my side!”

      • UR

        Well written William! I agree with what you said. – I’ve posed nude many times for my husband and a few professional photogs. It’s always a blast! My husband is my biggest fan and I love him for it. You’re so right about marriage! My husband and I have a strong one and my nude modeling has only improved it. It adds a little excitement and spice…. He enjoys watching me pose and knows I love it too. I hope your wife poses one day…. She’ll love it!

      • Jean

        What about you discussing that men should pose nude too. We must stop these suggestions to women that they should let it all hang out. So much subliminal persuading. Let us spend as much time getting men to strip . And do not say you men do not want to see a mans bits dangling.
        We women do not want to see women’s tits hanging, but you men have convinced these willing females, to strip. This country is so loaded with double standards, and this is a huge one!!! 8-5-2013

    • BootsofEarl

      I am a straight male stripper. i have stripped professionly for about 8 years. I overcame my apprehension, because at first I thought of what people would see this as. My girlfriend doesn’t mind and she loves my posters. I have several photos taken of me when I had nothing but a cowboy hat on my head and boots on my feet. I believe that ladies do like for their men to pose nude. It has been a long struggle for them to get what they want because the media caters to us men more than the ladies.
      I do not insist that my girlfriend do this. They do not owe this to us any more than we owe it to them. It is a personal decision.

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