by Bea Dux
To put it plainly, I’ve long forgotten the rush that comes with sharing a nude photo. This has been my job for such a long time now, I’ve forgotten the nervous fear and excitement that I first felt. Now, if a friend were to confide in me that they were worried their ex might be the particular kind of shithead to publicly share a private nude, I’d struggle to identify with their panic. Your naked body should never be something shameful - your body should be celebrated! One of the best parts about sex work is the fact that people are literally paying to celebrate your body, just the way it is. If you’ve listened to my feature on the GYBO podcast, you’ll have heard Alex and I talk about this already.
But let’s say, for the sake of those of you with that urge to share what’s previously been hidden, that I’m yet to do the same. With my current knowledge, what would I say to a young me, brand new to the world of online nudity? What do I wish I’d know back then?
(The main one, the big one)
Your friends and family WILL FIND OUT.
I’ve always been fortunate enough that if my mum (the only family member who’s opinion I truly give a fuck about) didn’t agree or revel in my choices or opinions, she respected me enough to listen and support me regardless. My experience, sadly, is far from the norm. Even with a supportive parent, my career choice was met with serious judgement and negative energy.
Sure, it’s possible to keep your saucy activities a secret for a while but trust me when I say, eventually, someone you know will find out - and more often than not, they will tell everyone else. OWN IT. You have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be teased for. Fuck anyone who tries to make you feel otherwise.
If there’s one thing this job has taught me, it’s that EVERYONE is a deviant. And while I say that lovingly, it can be weird. Your dad, aunties, uncles, siblings, teachers and hair dresser are all aware of porn and where to find it. If you’re naked on the internet, there’s always the chance that someone you know will stumble across, or actively look for your nudes. OWN IT.
Your content WILL be stolen.
Regardless of how many safeguards you put up, how many passwords or paywalls there are between your body and the random internet window shopper, your nudes WILL be out there, somewhere, for free.
Once it’s out there, it STAYS there.
These days, there’s no such thing as a ‘delete’ button. Despite the crushing feeling you get when you accidentally lose a shit ton of work, or a video you’ve been editing for forever - it’s never really gone. You just have to be savvy enough to find it. And if you’ve shared something to a public domain, someone else has definitely screen grabbed or saved your content to their own system - ready to be shared wherever and whenever they feel like it (refer back to the first point)
The selfie you wish you’d never posted will haunt you.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen old photos of me pop up in random corners of the internet. Whether it’s bad quality, an angle that just did NOT work for me, or that one time I decided to fill my eyebrows in to the point I resembled a really shit Mr Bean impersonator, they consistently crop up to this day. Some of my least favourite photos of me are the first images that come up on google image search. And since joining Reddit, I’ve discovered that seemingly ALL of the shittest photos of me ever taken have been shared mercilessly on message boards and forums.
Toughen up, the Radifems are coming.
Radifems (red-i-fem, noun) is what I’m calling Radical Feminists now. They’re the women who insist all sex workers need saving and attack them when they disagree. These women, if they catch you, will insist with sharp tongues and stench breath that you are a victim. That displaying yourself to strangers to see is sinful and no one in their right mind would do such a thing. If you disagree, taunts and insults will be thrown - trust me, your body is BEAUTIFUL. Anyone ashamed of theirs to the point they’re putting down others should be met with pity, and then left in the dust. You are a fucking magical sun beam and if you are brave enough to show your sparkling skin in all of it’s glory, you are braver and more powerful than they can imagine. There is serious strength in owning who you are, and the biggest dick energy award goes to all those who monetise that strength.
I asked Instagram what they wish they’d known before sharing their glorious bods with the internet and here are some of the answers:
That you will lose friends but gain so so many more from doing it!
That people will approach you in the street to tell you they have seen you naked and you are expected not to be incredibly uncomfortable by this
That I would be able to earn a full time wage from it!
You don’t just earn a killing immediately. Sex Work is tough. You’ve got to have the skills that go along with taking a good selfie.
You have to explain that being a sex worker isn’t the same thing as being a full service sex worker (escort/prostitute) at any gathering.
You’ll be judged on your body type. But everyone is into something different!
My butt is my best ass-et! I wasted months focused on my boobs when my butt was way more popular!
There are more freeloaders online than you first realise. If they aren’t paying, don’t waste your time!
Anything can be a fetish. Don’t get suckered into giving a fan something for free when that’s the one thing they would actually pay for.
Watermark your images!
It’s a full time job and then some. All of my day is taking nudes and all of my night is promoting them.
You’re going to want to compare yourself to other models but DON’T DO IT! Your uniqueness is your greatest selling point!
Got something to add to this list? Get in touch with me! I’d love to do a part two to this blog.
Stay safe out there, sunbeams!