Master The Art Of The Sensual Thirst Trap With These Pro Tips

Taking the perfect sensual selfie is an art form.

Human Interest

The term selfie was coined, curated, and continued by the ever-innovative millennial. Sure, other generations were taking selfies with their disposable kodaks but we were the group to give this concept life. And while many of us mastered the necessary nooks, crannies, and angles to aim the target at in order to take the best of the best selfies, we're still mastering the art of the sexy selfies, er, thirst traps depending on who's asking and who's telling.

Sexy selfies are more distinguished, poised, sophisticated than your run of the mill nude pic. It leaves just enough to the imagination while also allowing the imagination of your target audience to get a sneak peak of what they're actually missing...at least for the moment.

Sexy selfies say "stay ready, so you don't have to get ready" should a nosey mofo somehow find their way into your private collection, in the case that you reserve them for a special someone (yourself included). Regular nudes scream "basic" and "amateur." At this grown age, we should all take pride in our sexy selfies, regardless of who they're intended for—if for no reason other than if I go out (because I've been tried), I'm going out with a lawsuit and hella pride. Nothing less.

Sexy selfies run the gamut when it comes to the attire. You can be as naked as you please, but as you'll know from your experience with regular selfies, it's the pose and angles everytime that put the sex in sexy.

While it does take patience, it's not impossible for any of us to pull off our own little boudoir photos. But, if you've ever seen your homegirl or fave influencer or whoever, post sexy selfies and wonder "how" — wonder no more. I reached out to the sexiest, most sensual selfie-taking people (myself included) that I know of for the best tips on how to execute and shoot your own sexy selfies.

Kiarra Sylvester, She/Her, Sex Educator

Courtesy of Kiarra Sylvester

"It's far from a perfect science and I'm far form being the perfect scientist but here's what I can say as the underdog of sexy selfies: Seduce yourself! View yourself from the same lens that a romantic partner might view you from — that's the type of self-love and unwavering lusty confidence that makes for a good selfie.

"Also, be committed to trying various angles! For a good one man shoot, I've gone as far as taping my phone to a ceiling fan for a flattering aerial view. As always, accessories are a girl's best friend! I, personally, have used everything from wigs, hand fans, and mirrors.

"Lastly, it's give and take. Give a little thigh, take a little thigh. Much like a game of operation you want to try moving all of your parts until you've got a match. The mind-fuckery of using a little thigh or arm wrap as a makeshift boa drives people wild, adding a touch of mystery."

Orixa, She/Her, Founder of Bad Girl, Good Human

Courtesy of Orixa

"I developed a level of comfort with my sensuality and self-portraiture by paying attention to myself and studying my reflection daily. Wherever I can see me, I pay attention. However, translating poses into stills isn't the greatest takeaway. It is emoting. Whatever you feel in that moment. Remaining fluent in your movement while in the act is what brings a sexy selfie home."

Tailah, She/Her, OnlyFans Entrepreneur

Courtesy of Tailah

"Taking a sexy selfie is not as simple as it looks. But over time, it gets easier. Like anything, you get better with practice. Knowing your angles is the first step. The saying 'one size fits all' does not apply to selfies angles. Find yours. You want to accent the sexy parts of you. Curves, curves, curves!

"Next step is to laugh. Literally, laugh out loud. Laughing at yourself will relax your face and body. It reminds you that it ain't that serious, it's just a selfie after all. Step three is the 'smize.' Yes, Tyra Banks' advice of smiling with your eyes is for real. They say 'the eyes are the key to the soul' or something like that. Look into that camera like it's the guy or girl of your dreams.

"These three steps should give you a good sexy selfie to work with. Don't skip the small details like moisturized lips, good lighting, an outfit that makes you feel like a snack, a clean space. But this is common freaking sense. All that smizing in front of a dirty bathroom sink? No baby."

Ev'Yan Whitney, They/She, Sexuality Doula and Sex Educator

Courtesy of Ev'Yan Whitney

"Two of my favorite go-to tricks for my best sensual selfies that I teach in my sensual self-portraiture classes are angles and flowers. Going into it, it's important that you're familiar with your body type, its curves, features, and how you're able to position it. I recommend doing some posing in the mirror and trying out different positions; this is a great way to get to know your body. Once you do that, you'll begin to find ways to angle your body to accentuate what you've got or boost what you don't.

"I'm a member of the small booty club but in this photo, you wouldn't know it based on the way I'm sitting—which, I'm squatting on my toes, arching my back, and strategically cropping the shot in such a way that makes my thighs and ass look bodacious (wearing thong underwear really helps too). I like to add flowers to all of my sensual selfies to bring some color and sensual softness to the shot. If all else fails, flowers are the perfect prop to play up, censor, or accentuate your sexy selfie. Buy yourself a bouquet and have fun exploring the ways you can wear flowers like an accessory."

Kendra, She/Her, Sex Educator

Courtesy of Kendra

"Personally, I like to tell stories with my selfies. So my first piece of advice to the selfie-taker is, ask yourself what you're trying to say or share through your selfie: is it just a 'look at me because I'm hot' pic? 'Decipher my brooding eyes' pic? WHAT if anything do you want your viewers to pick up on?

"Secondly, choose your setting. Whether it's predetermined or an impromptu decision, setting can add or take away from your photo. Decorate accordingly. This entails moving items and/or furniture around. Choose your lighting. Are you working with superficial light or those 8 a.m. rays coming through your window?

"Decide if the photo should be touched up or untouched (i.e filters, Photoshop, etc). There's no shame in editing. Filters aren't always about making blemishes magically disappear. You can add some shimmer here or there, fade a background, or blur some parts."

Allie J, She/Her, Hair Stylist and Model

Courtesy of Allie J

"When taking sexy selfies, I always make sure that I smell tasty. Smelling tasty makes me feel good and gets me hype for pictures. Knowing your angles is important, whether you're taking a picture of just your *assets*, your silhouette or just your face. For example, for my baby booty girls, the best angle is having the camera almost angled under it, making it look more juicy.

"Lastly, lighting is key for creating whatever mood you're in or trying to create. Dim light for some sultry vibes, different color LED lights for artsy vibes, or just natural golden hour for a flawless face/body pic. But the most important tip is confidence, confidence yields the best pics because the energy shines through!"

Sheriden Chanel, She/Her, Managing Editor of xoNecole and Podcast Host

Courtesy of Sheriden Chanel

"First and foremost, I take photos of myself for me. No matter what state I am in, clothed, unclothed, whether it makes it to the 'gram or just to my man's phone, I am operating from a space where I feel beautiful and connected deeply to myself. My self-portraits are one of the ways I make love to me and remind myself I am worthy of adoration. Sexy selfies definitely take that up a notch (or several) by reminding myself that I am also a sexual being. Moreover, I can tap into those sensual and sexual sides of myself without penetration, without sex, or without a partner.

"For me, it's all about good lighting and the mindset. My best tips for taking a sexy selfie is to first do something that makes you feel connected to your body. For me, that's dancing. I am reminded of hips, of softness, of the strength and the subtle fragility of my womanhood. I like capturing myself after those moments. I find a window to act as my source of light and light sheen of sweat that covers me adds to my glow. And then it's about seduction. Connect with the camera but also connect with your body. Accentuate your favorite parts of your body and find beauty in the simple things: displayed shoulders, the expanse of your back, exposed tattoos that feel like whispered secrets, the curve of your peach, parted lips, and hair.

"I have other photos, but perhaps this is the one that felt safest for work to me to share..."

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Featured image courtesy of Ev'Yan Whitney

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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