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Don't Ask a Mom for a Nudie

There I was, sitting in a tub full of bubbles, trying (for the first time in my entire life) to take a sexy (but tasteful) selfie.

This wasn’t really a thing, back when I was dating. No one had ever asked me for a nudie, and I had never felt the need to explain why I had no interest in sending one. But somehow, during a two year hiatus from dating, the world changed. And suddenly, this had become a thing.

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On more than one occasion, I said no. But this was a guy I was actually spending a fair amount of time with; someone I had been seeing for a few months now. I liked him. He was a nice guy. And he was out of town for work, so I wanted to send him … something.

Just not the full-monty something.

Which brings us back to that tub. The bubbles were expertly placed and I was shifting, stretching and bending every which way, trying to snap a photo that hinted at my nudity, but didn’t actually show any bare bits. I wanted one that captured my sexiness, while eliminating my face, a shot that had me arched just right, without looking like I was trying too hard.

It turns out, taking a sexy selfie is kind of an artform.

Over an hour later, after first sending the final image (which pretty much just featured my neck) to several friends and asking, “Is this sexy?” I sent it off to him.

He didn’t respond until the next morning. He had fallen asleep in the time it had taken me to actually make this happen.

All that for a photo that ultimately would have been rated PG. Maybe PG-13. But only because of the faceless, quarter-inch of cleavage it hinted at.

The lesson I learned is that I am not cut out for this sexting thing. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and I am too concerned about the type of images of me that could end up out in the world. Kimmie K., I am not. I have no interest in ever sending a full nude to anyone. And taking sexy selfies that wouldn’t make my dad cry in a corner if they ever wound up on the Internet is hard.

At what point during my dating hiatus did it become socially acceptable for dudes to request nudes from girls they otherwise know only superficially?

That guy was kind of my training wheels; my reintroduction back into the dating world. We didn’t last much beyond that failed sexy selfie attempt, not because the photo itself was so lackluster, but because our chemistry just wasn’t really there. Still, he was a good guy, and I was thankful to him for helping me slowly dip my toes back into the dating pool.

What I didn’t realize at the time was how tame his request for a sexy shot would ultimately turn out to be, compared to some of the major creepers I would soon come across.

I’ve only been dating for a few months now, and I haven’t even been going at it full force. But it is shocking how many men have requested I send them nudies far too early in the getting-to-know you process.

And each and every time, I am left a little more disheartened by humanity.

The thing is, I’m not a body-conscious girl. In fact, most of my friends would tell you I’m kind of a nudist. I’ve often joked that I’m glad camera phones didn’t exist back when I was 16, because I surely would have gotten myself in trouble. I like being naked. I even think I look pretty good naked. A few years ago, in fact, I set up a boudoir photo shoot with an amazing photographer friend of mine. I had no boyfriend; no other intentions for those photos. They were 100 percent for me. I loved everything about them and that shoot.

OK, so there were different reasons behind that shoot. Part of the motivation was learning to love my body again after it had so monumentally let me down through infertility and failed IVF cycles. But the point still remains, taking those photos was one of the best things I have done for myself in the last few years. Those pictures made me feel sexy. They still do.

Even the image above, which shows less skin than you would see of me in a bikini shot at the beach and wouldn't ever make my dad cry, but that still managed to make me feel beautiful in a way I hadn't in a long time when I had those pictures taken. Still, the vast majority of them have, to this day, only been seen by me and my closest friends.

I prefer it that way.

And while I am fine sharing one of those images here, and don't shy away from the idea of it being seen — I don't like the thought that some man might decide he is deserving of an image that shows even more, simply because I am engaging in a text conversation with him days after we met.

In the confines of a relationship, I have no qualms about letting you see me naked. But even then, I probably don’t want you walking around with nudes of me on your phone. Phones get lost. Computers get hacked. And even the most well-intentioned of guys gets drunk every now and again and shares a nudie he shouldn’t with a friend.

An offense which, for the record, I would probably cut a guy for.

So if I’m not going to text a nip slip to someone I’m in a serious relationship with, I’m sure as hell not going to text one to the guy I haven’t even let get to second base with me yet. Or the one who contacts me out of the blue, after years have gone by since last seeing me, and basically opens with a request for an image of me working naked at my computer.

As if I was just sitting around thinking to myself, “Man, I wish I had someone to send a nudie to.”

When did this become a thing? At what point during my dating hiatus did it become socially acceptable for dudes to request nudes from girls they otherwise know only superficially?

The last thing I want is my little girl growing up and one day finding naked pictures of her mom online.

Not even just request, but expect. There is a sense of entitlement there—this pressure that makes it seem as though, if you don’t comply, you’re the odd one out. There are plenty of other girls willing to take your place.

Guess what? I’m fine with that. I have no problem with nudity. I am not, in any way, ashamed of my body. And I don’t think anyone would ever call me a prude. But I am a mom. I have a daughter. And the last thing I want is my little girl growing up and one day finding naked pictures of her mom online.

Or on my phone.

A flirtatious phone call or an intimate shared moment in person with someone I am truly into? Sure, of course! But a sexy shot for the viewing pleasure of some douche I hardly know, who is sure to share it with his 10 best douche friends that I don’t know at all? Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather be single.

Listen, ladies, the only thing I can figure is that guys have come to the conclusion they are entitled to these photos because so many of you are already sending them—without even having to be asked. I’m not one to tell other people what to do, and I certainly advocate doing whatever you want with your own body, but I just hope that you know, most of those guys aren’t keeping your photos to themselves. And they also aren’t going to settle down and commit just because you send them an image worthy of Playboy. I’ve got my fair share of single guy friends, and I’ve got sad news for you: At least 10 other girls have also sent them images that could rival your own.

This week.

I hate that this is what the world of dating has come to. I even further hate that I am being introduced to scuzzy men who seem to think I owe them images of my naked body. But I refuse to succumb to it. I’m a mom! Even more than that, I’m a woman—and I have the right to decide who does and does not get to see me naked.

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So, if it’s all the same, I’ll go ahead and plan on preserving my nudity for in-person viewings—and even then, only for the men who make it past the very high bar I have set as of late.

Call it getting older, maturing or whatever you will, but I’m suddenly feeling like seeing me naked is a kind of prize. One you have to earn, not expect.

Dudes, stop asking for the nudies. Internet porn is free. Getting to know me takes a little more effort than that.

Photograph by Robin Haws of Studio Eleven Photography

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