Have you ever taken nude selfies and posted them online? It’s a little scary, a bit of a rush, and (for those of us who enjoy it), empowering and exciting. Whether it’s self expression, a social statement, or purely to turn yourself and other people on, erotic photography is a powerful form of expressing sexuality.

 

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For anyone who thinks that nude selfies are an invention of the 21st century, think again. Since the beginning of photography itself, we’ve been taking picture of naked people for a variety of reasons, many of them sexual.

The 19th century introduces wide scale photography and nude selfies

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By Unknown - http://www.imagemakers.mb.ca/postcards/vintage/vintage1.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4645761

In 1839, erotic photography, as we know it today, was born. Louis Daguerre presented a new form of photography, known as daguerreotypes, to the French Academy of Sciences. At the time, the nude body was used (officially) to help artists master their ability to capture the physical form. Photography was a new “art form” and so nude images weren’t uncommon. However, there’s a big difference between using an artist’s style and sensibilities to depict nudity and the full frontal reality of the nude form caught in a photograph. The latter is almost automatically more erotic.

Male Erotic Imagery: Male nude selfies and the (possible) birth of the dick pic

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By Giovanni Dall'Orto - Online auctions., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4672035

It should come as no surprise that men were depicted in erotic photography although the female form was most common. German photographer Wilhelm von Gloeden is recognized as the first photographer of nude men. He traveled to Italy and focused on Sicilian boys and men, both fully and partially nude, alone and together.

Celebrating Feminine Sexuality Before It was Cool-and female nude selfies

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Source: Huffington Post

You may think that the in-your-face, over-the-top images you find online are unique and new in a world of social sharing, free porn, and overt sexuality. You would be wrong. Long before it was the cool thing, a photographer known as Monsieur X traveled to Paris to photograph sex workers in all their glory. Disease, abuse, and early deaths were common, but these women also formed bonds and became comfortable with their bodies in ways that most other women of the 1930s probably could not imagine.

20th Century Postcards: Send nude selfies- the post office will love you for it

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Long before we started taking selfies, filming ourselves fucking, or sexting the one we want, erotic postcards were a thing. Common in the 1920s and 1930s, many of the images were tame by today’s standards, but not by much. Nude men, girl on girl action, couples, and women alone, among other subjects were about as common in erotic photography as they are now. What was old is new again.

Queen of the Pinups- okay they weren't nude selfies but close enough

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Source: Netflowers

With the quaint image we have in our mind about pinup girls, and how they compare to what we’re used to seeing in the 21st century, it’s easy to dismiss pinups as less than erotic. In a time when seeing a woman’s shoulder was considered inappropriate, the scantily clad or suggestive nature of pinup models was downright scandalous. Bettie Page, considered the Queen of the Pinups, was just as enticing in a swimsuit, little black dress, or (my personal favorite) when she was shown in fetish gear and kinky poses. No matter how you look at it, she could probably melt the hardest heart and turn the softest cock to steel.

Art imitates life, and erotic photography is often a stylish, air-brushed version of reality staring us in the face - especially in certain corners of the internet. But don’t think it’s a new form of expressing desire or sexuality. As long as there have been people with eyes to see, some of them (us) have looked for the erotic, the sensual, and the overtly sexual.

Kayla Lords is a freelance writer, sex blogger, and a masochistic babygirl living the 24/7 D/s life. Follow her on her website or on Twitter @Kaylalords.


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