The next 'Queer Eye' reboot? Four expert thirst-trappers delve into the overlooked artistry of sending pics
words Louis Staples
Here's a mandate for loving yourself. This week we're encouraging men to get into the habit of dosing up some self love. Whether that's admiring their own beauty, exploring what feels good to them and why or finding out why they have crumbs in their beds, this is a week of self exploration, because you can't love anybody else if you don't love yourself...
More of our romantic and sexual lives now happen online than ever before. There’s an app for everything, from long-term relationships to no-strings fun and all kinds of kinks. In the digitised dating landscape, the defining vibe is cringe: making your dating app profile, talking to people who say they’re looking for someone who “doesn’t take themselves too seriously,” and re-drafting messages to give off just the right amount of flirty energy. And finally: the inevitability of being ghosted by someone you weren’t even that interested in.
For a lot of people, having a go-to library of nude pics is part of the dating game: whether you’re looking for a relationship or hookups. Sometimes it seems like men in particular struggle with taking nudes, from weird FBI interrogation-style lighting to not knowing their angles. In the spirit of helping you up your dating game, woo decided to help with this situation by asking four gay men who (trust me) are prolific thirst-trappers for their go-to tips on taking the perfect nude. It turns out that it’s somewhat of an art – and there are simple ways to take yourself from “left-on-read” to flame emoji replies in no time.
Just remember, don't send nudes without getting explicit consent!
What makes the perfect nude?
Luis tells woo that there are many things which go into the perfect thirst pic. “Give me a story, a background, a setting. The perfect nude is the combination of a good angle, lighting and the big picture: I want to be transported to the situation when that nude was taken, that is the hot part,” he says. “I also think the perfect nude is the one that makes you feel sexy and empowered – the receiver of said nude will be able to tell, believe me.”
Phil agrees that nudes are about selling people a real life fantasy beyond the screen. “The best nudes make you look human, because people want to be able to feel like you’re relatable and imagine themselves being with you.”
Self-care for men
How should I pose?
Poses are completely dependent on your body and what makes you feel good. Everyone is different. “My go-to angles for a body picture are side on, full length as I like to get the curve of my bum in a good light,” says Phil.
For the “classic” dick pick, Adil goes from the shaft upwards. “I’ve heard some lads say they use wide-angle, but I think that’s an estate agent’s trick and I don’t sign up to that. For shirtless pics I tend to do post-gym, where I feel confident and those pics are reflected in the ‘pump’ after,” he says. “I also like the classic gay pose is the arm over the head. I think I often ‘wholesome trap’ – a casual sofa pic in good lighting but maybe with a bit of armpit. Gays love an armpit!”
Chris thinks that everyone has a good angle, which is best learned through trial and error. “Take photos from different angles and compare. Try holding your phone at different heights – for example, at shoulder level, above shoulder level, further down,” he says. “Remember that the pros don’t take one shot and send. They take several. After a while you’ll learn your best angles.” A good way to find this out, he says, can be experimenting with the self-timer feature. “Find a windowsill or a shelf and, if you’re feeling fancy, a little tripod for your phone. Again, use it as a way to experiment with angles, or try new positions.”
Should I show my face?
To serve face or not to serve face, that is the central question. Particularly in an era where nudes can be leaked or shared without consent, how much of you should you show? “It’s up to you. You’re a grown-up. But people can be dicks and these things can get passed around. Just ask anyone,” says Chris. “For safety’s sake, some people like to send the face shots and the nude body shots separately. It saves blushes.”
“I think the perfect nude is the trifecta of face, body, and dick and the fact that they are rare kind of makes them hotter,” says Adil. “I swear by no face, no trace so I never put my face in a dick pic and would never ask for one with a guy’s face in it either, but I think thanks to ‘view once’ photos on Insta and WhatsApp I am getting more of them.”
How do I know if a dick pic is a keeper?
If you’ve spent time photographing your dick from different angles and now have more frames than an America’s Next Top Model contestant, how do you know which one is a keeper? “Some days you feel bigger or harder and those are the pics that I tend to keep,” says Adil. “I know the reaction I’ve had from favourite pics in the past so any that show it in its full glory are the ones that I like to send.” If there’s a particular picture which tends to get a good reaction, put it in your favourites and keep it aside for whenever the time is right to share it. (And while we’re at it: never send a dick pic without consent).
Should I suck in and clench?
Let’s be real: we all want nudes which we feel shows us in our best light, whatever we think that is. Is it okay to suck in or tense muscles? “It’s fine to do a strategic clench on photos. As a guideline, however, it’s easy to tell when someone is sucking in. Your abs will look better if, instead of breathing in, gently breathe out as you take the photo,” explains Chris. “It’s better if your photos look like the real you, albeit on a good day. Because that’s really what you want the other person to see and appreciate.”
Winter skincare for men
So come on now lads, let’s get our skincare on.
How important is lighting?
Never underestimate the difference that lighting can make to a photograph, whether it’s a selfie or a nude .“Lighting is important! The pigment on my dick is darker so I like to make sure that you can see it properly,” says Adil. “And some people get off on certain things, like how protruding the vein is for example.” Phil has a simple philosophy: bright is best. “It creates a sharper photo and shows everything off,” he says.
Luis agrees that lighting is everything. “A nude should be alluring, appeal to our imagination and tell a (sexy) story in a way. For that, you need to create good conditions: make sure the light is enough to see the goods, but not too bright,” he says. “Don’t just take a shot of your dick/butthole up close or you risk resembling a medical consultation, and, more importantly, you should have fun with it.”
Should I clean my room?
It would be a shame if, after going through all these steps to take a nude, a messy room were to distract from your achievements. Is bedroom cleaning recommended? “Yes! Especially the mirror,” says Chris. “And that pair of pants in the background of that nude. How long have they been lying there? Your beloved wants to think of the wild abandon you’ll have together, not anticipate a life of picking up your shit.”
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