AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

AskMiriam about Nudity on the Internet

Q: You seem to be sexually “liberated” (if that’s not too old-fashioned a term), and so I’m just curious to know your opinion regarding women who post nude pictures of themselves on the Internet.

(1) Do you believe, as some would assert, that, despite the “average housewife/girl-next-door” image that many websites seek to promote, the majority are in reality professional, or at least semi-professional, prostitutes?

(2) Do you feel that they contribute to – again as some would maintain – a general decline in social morals or are they rather brave pioneers opening the way to a better, sexually freer future?
A: I find this question very interesting for several reasons. First of all, I’ve done nude modelling. I’m fortunate in that, with a few exceptions, I’ve not been made ashamed of my body. As for the first part of the question, I don’t take well to women being categorized as prostitutes. There is nothing wrong with women who choose to be sex workers or women who have lots of sex, and this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with whether they are posting nude photos of themselves or not. I’m sure that there are some sites that use women’s photos to promote sexual services, but I hope that the majority do not. Women should have the choice to post nude photos of themselves without those photos being misappropriated. Women also have to contend with the fact that, as an example, Facebook will not allow photos showing women’s nipples. However, it’s perfectly ok for men to show theirs. This double standard needs to end.
As for the second part, I’m more inclined toward the latter, but it’s a complex issue. Our sexual mores have changed and will continue to change over time. Nude photos are just one part of the equation. Women post and send nude photos for all sorts of reasons; men do the same. Men send pictures of their penises to both men and women all the time, often without being asked to do so. Does this indicate that we are sexually freer? Perhaps, but I also think that being sexually free involves consent. I think that we should all have the freedom to post nude pictures of ourselves without being nervous as to what that could entail. Many people are afraid of the consequences for their careers, their children and other family members, and on their social interactions. As we continue to live in a sex and body negative culture, nudity will be seen as taboo. Will this change as a result of women posting nude photos on the Internet? Maybe. I think it’s a matter of how those women are seen by those close to them, and by society in general.
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