When I first started blogging and subsequently ventured into the kink community, photography wasn’t something I imagined would be part of that journey. I’ve always enjoyed having a nice camera and was usually the person at family parties or family days out who made sure we had a decent collection of photos to remember our time together by. Outside of family snaps and the odd piece of nice scenery I really didn’t think much about taking photos at all.
Where Did It All Begin?
All that changed when Instagram came into my life. When Instagram wasn’t being such a monumental douchebag of a platform! I’d already been sharing some images on Fetlife, and I’d be doing some rope bondage bottoming that was photographed and shared on various platforms, but it was Instagram that got me taking photos of myself.
I’m not sure what initially prompted my posting of bum photos, because that is where it all began. Bum, bum and more bum. Perhaps it was attention, perhaps validation but most of all I think it was curiosity. I was curious about the process of sharing my images publicly and I wondered how I would see my body if I looked at it through a lens more often.
I have had some interesting, infuriating and insulting conversations about the images I share of myself. Sometimes even people who think they’re being complimentary are in fact being incredibly demeaning. It is not always a smooth ride sharing the content that I do. Which begs the question; why do I keep doing it?
The truth is I do it for myself because I enjoy it. All the photos I have shared on this blog and on Instagram have been taken by me and I am damn proud of some of them. The fact that I managed to execute them in the at I did and got them to look how I wanted is a great achievement. That’s not to say I think they’re the best quality or composition you can find, but for me, they how growth and that means a lot.
The reason my bum took centre stage when I started sharing sexy pictures because it was the only bit of me I didn’t scrutinise to within an inch of my life. My boobs, my belly, my legs, my arms, my face, everything else had its faults and they were so glaringly obvious to me I couldn’t bear to share them with anyone else.
Thank the Lord For Filters!
When I discovered the use of filters that was when my perception of what photos I should share changed. When I eventually started posting to Sinful Sunday I did comment somewhere along the way that I felt like a bit of a fraud when people sai nice things about my images. Especially technical things, all I ever do is play around with settings on a photography app and share what I like. At the time someone said it’s about taking part and sharing the images you enjoy and how you arrive at those images is totally valid and I thoroughly believe that they were right.
Today I was browsing through the current Sinful Sunday images and came across Boobs and sheets; revisited and she posed some questions that are very relevant to this post and I wanted to include the thoughts I had when I replied to her post. The main element of my response was about using filters and whether or not we use them to make the picture more dramatic or to make ourselves look better. Which is a question posed by Zebra Rose.
I think all our reasons for filters and edits are all good. If their use helps us to see ourselves in brighter lights I think that can trickle down into our everyday life when we are looking at ourselves sans filter. I know 100% my boobs without a bra boost and a good edit, look nowhere near as massive as I can get them to look in images, but knowing I can see them like that in photos makes me think they’re rather clever. Which means I’ve taken to liking my smaller boobs more than I ever did before.
Limiting The Licentious
Now I share boobs, bum and a whole lot more, especially on the blog. One of the questions posed in the Food for Thought Friday prompt was … ‘What are your limits in terms of what you would/wouldn’t show/do in a photo you share?’ It is a question that definitely got me thinking. My face is there, my vulva is there, photos of me masturbating are there too. Which to a lot of people means I’ve shared my most intimate parts, so realistically what limits are there for me to have in terms of what I share?
I don’t have a concrete list of image content I’ll never share. The main stipulation I place on the images I do share though is that I am happy with them. That my reason for sharing them gives me some kind of feel-good factor. Also if a photo involves something kinky you’ll only ever see me engaging in kinks I actually have and actively enjoy in some way. You’ll also never find images of me engaging in activities that are illegal or to my mind immoral. Although some folks will argue that my whole blog is immoral so I guess that part is up for debate. Except I don’t care to debate it.
The experience of sharing the kinds of images I do has been largely positive and the most positive aspect has possibly been finding a new creative outlet. When I joined in February PhotoFest this year I honestly thought I was punching above my weight. I amazed myself with some of the images I created though and so many of them I truly loved. I think some of them actually had a level of artistic quality to them and that is a huge feeling for me.
Personal Growth and Process
During February PhotoFest I decided I didn’t want to add a commentary to each image, but I didn’t just want to post a stand-alone image. I decided that perhaps other peoples words would be a good accompaniment and set about finding a quote to go with each image. This has become part of my Sinful Sunday process too. I have a Pinterest board full of quotes I love and finding the one that seems to tell the story of my image is definitely something I have come to love. Sometimes they seem to makes sense to my readers as well and other times I think perhaps the link passes them by, I’m okay with that though. Again, part of the word/image collaboration is about pleasing myself and I think that counts for a lot. Below is one of my favourite February PhotoFest images and the quote I chose to accompany it.
When we are asleep in this world, we are awake in a another. -Salvador Dali
One of my ongoing aims with photography is to try and take some outside images. I am constantly in awe of my fellow bloggers who venture outdoors and the stunning images they capture. I am hoping summer 2019 might be my season for this. Up until that happens all my images have been taken in my home, or at a kink event. God bless my friends for not finding it strange when I say I’m just off to take some photos for my blog before positioning myself in a gynaecology chair to pose. Which is how I came by the shots that my featured image is from. My limited photography locations means I’ve not had any awkward or embarrassing moments while taking photos, and in all honesty, I’ve never done anything too out of the ordinary to capture a shot. The fun begins for me when I unleash the images on social media.
Taking The Rough With The Smooth
The sex blogging community is by far the most wonderful bunch of folks around. When you share images they are supportive, kind and unbelievably generous with their praise. I love you all for that so much. You can share an image that you are openly unsure of and they will raise you up and offer some solidarity that we all get those feels and you are not alone. Sometimes though various social media platforms have the odd unpleasant character who just can’t keep their unpleasant thoughts to themselves.
- I’ve been condemned more than once for ‘the type of woman I am’ due to what I share online.
- I’ve been called a cock tease, saying that I’m clearly up for it (because see my Instagram) so why am I saying no.
- I’ve had people ask what my parents would think!!! I’m 34 years old and in charge of my own life quite honestly I couldn’t give a shit what they think. Plus I think my Mum has more interesting stuff to occupy in the afterlife that what is happening on Instagram!
- I’ve had women tell me I’m smart and kind so why do I feel the need to flash my body so much. Spoiler alert: you can be smart, kind and sexy all at the same time.
- The same image that triggered the above comment saw a man tell me I should be showing more of myself and I’m selfish to keep any bits of me private.
- I’ve had people support me right up until they discovered I was selling nudes (and or sexy action shots), deeming that to be a step too far. I personally disagree and only wish I had what it takes to make money with my body on a more regular and permanent basis.
- I’ve had people threaten to out me to Bakji! Seriously folks do your research he’s tagged in half my images, mentioned in every other blog post and only discusses this stuff with me on the podcast. He’s my number one fan and supporter and I have zero secrets from him, least of all secrets about sexy images.
The worst part of all this is that these incidents are tame compared to what other people put up with. The exchange that upset me the most from the above selection was the woman telling me I should cover up. Purely because she is someone who seemed to be supportive of my account, the blog and the podcast and the fact her views on me could be based on how many clothes I do or don’t wear in my image was actually a little upsetting. The additional fact that she saw the selling of my sexy products as somewhat demeaning was even worse. Sex workers are fucking legends for the hours of work and dedication they put into creating their content and they have my endless respect and support for what they do. My respect for the person placing all that judgement and cover up bullshit on me though diminished rapidly.
I won’t even go into the lewd tirades and dick pics that sharing sexy images has brought my way. We all know they happen, we all know they’re annoying and we all know that most of us don’t want them. If you do want to read a good post on dick pics then check out Let’s Talk About Unsolicited & Publick Dick Pics by Mx Nillin.
Sharing our images should be a liberating and positive experience. Our bodies don’t become public property just because we put them on a public platform. We shouldn’t be subjected to ‘well what did you expect’ when someone sends us a message so disgusting or insulting that it upsets us. Especially when the comments some folks receive extend to threats of rape or hope that someone will die. Those messages are abhorrent, I have personally never received them but many, many folks have. Too many. One is too many.
It’s also possible to just scroll past a picture you don’t like. Which some people don’t seem to know. They seem to think that if they see an image of some they personally find unattractive it is their duty to let that person know. Guess what assholes? You don’t have to let that person know you think they’re boobs are too small, or they’re too fat, or too gay. You don’t need to let them know you find their tattoos a turn-off, because I couldn’t give a shit and doubt most tattooed people would. Backhanded compliments can also be put where the sun doesn’t shine, either say something nice or just move along.
I’m not saying we have to love everything we see. Hell, I’m human, I’ve got my own personal preferences in life. I personally love images of heavily tattooed folk and will probably trip over in my rush to press like on a picture of a good cleavage and that’s okay. Pictures are there to be enjoyed, that is I suspect part of why many of us share them publicly, so folks can enjoy them. It’s great to brighten someone’s day because they loved one of your images. Oh, how I wish folks just left it at that and we could be done with the negative nellies trying to ruin our fun.
Will I Keep Sharing?
Overall though my photo sharing experience has been wonderful and I have no intentions to stop doing it. I’ve recently started joining in with Lingerie Is For Everyone, hosted by the awesome Violet Fawkes and that has been another boost to my image repertoire. Digging out all the lingerie I hardly ever showcase and seeing what pictures I can take with them has been a lot of fun. I’ve also managed a few weeks of Boobday too, hosted by the lovely Hyacinth Jones and hope to share even more titillating (see what I did there? TIT-illating, yep I’m too funny) pictures there soon. Hyacinth herself actually has a great post on why she shows her tits.
For anyone wanting to share sexy images but worried about exactly what counts as sexy, whatever you feel good into and want to share counts as sexy. It can be a cheeky glimpse of a nude shoulder or a seductive pair of lips. It doesn’t have to be bared vulvas and full frontal nudity. I’ve seen some incredibly sexy Sinful Sunday images where the participant was fully clothed. My favourite of these being I am … from Tabitha Rayne. Seriously you need to click on that link because her image is truly delicious.
For me sexy isn’t about the level of clothing you are wearing, it’s about attitude and that little voice inside you that whisper ‘hot damn I feel good like this’. Sharing images of the moments that voice is active in your mind is to me what makes an image sexy.