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
Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
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How Our Favorite Black Women Celebs Spent Their First Paychecks
Do you remember what you did with your first real-job paycheck? I mean that check that was the answer to all your prayers. You could finally afford rent, groceries, and happy hour. Maybe you were able to put a down payment on your dream car. Maybe you bought your first house or bought that Fendi bag you'd been eyeing since childhood. (Was that just me?)
Spending that first major paycheck is both a moment of celebration and a way to acknowledge your hard work. It's a dream realized. It can also be the biggest mistake of your life. (And that's okay. Life is about making those and moving on to bigger and better from the lessons).
When I got my first nice-sized paycheck that was over $1,500 after taxes, I spent it on an overseas trip. I'd never been allowed to travel abroad in my teens and in my 20s, I spent the bulk of my paychecks on my half of the rent (Roommate life, anyone?) and coping mechanisms for burnout. (Think lots of Hennessy, four-day-a-week club nights, 7-nights-a-week eating out, a few emergency room visits, a couple of run-ins with toxic boyfriends, and impulsive shopping at Century 21, Forever 21, and H&M.)
Let's take a look at how our favorite Black women in sports, music, and entertainment spent their first big paychecks, if not just to remind ourselves that they, too, are human and have the usual feelings of power and vulnerability when receiving a large lump sum:
Dimitrios Kambouris/Staff/Getty Images
The UnPrisoned star also shared with The Hollywood Reporter that her first purchase from the proceeds of one of her first major acting gigs to buy a laptop, hoarding the per diem cash she was given during her time shooting Save The Last Dance--her second movie role, ever---under a mattress.
Actress, producer and entrepreneur Issa Rae told Buzzfeed Celeb that she bought a Tesla with her first big paycheck after getting a major role. She also told US Weeklythat after buying it, she got into an accident a month later and was without a car for a whole year.
Stefanie Keenan / Contributor/Getty Images
Kelly Rowland reportedly did what many of us do when we finally get our hands on a nice sum of money: splurge, especially on things that we didn't have easy access to in childhood. She told Instyle that she bought groceries that her mom used to tell her were "too expensive" and had a party where everyone enjoyed the food and had fun. (Same, sis. Same.) She further talked about the lessons she learned from buying a 5-bedroom house after becoming a millionaire at 20.
Enjoying the fruits of her Destiny's Child labor, she recalled that the home was "too big" and that she was "too young" to buy such a home. She'd later make informed choices about how she spent her money and used credit cards.
Both Serena Williams sisters have always acknowledged the valuable money lessons they learned early on from their father. When Serena got her first check, she reportedly took it straight to the bank, rolling up to the drive-through (as if it wasn't $1 million!) She also said in an interview that she wouldn't just go pick up her check and the tour directors at the time had to eventually come and give it to her. Talk about discipline!
Daniele Venturelli / Contributor/Getty Images
Regina King is the ultimate legendary actress who has range (from 80's classic 227 to '90 cult favorite Boyz In The Hood to iconic western The Harder They Fall) and looks damn good after decades in Hollywood. She told The Hollywood Reporterthat when she got her first big paycheck, she invested in something many of us promise ourselves when we've gotten to a certain salary or status: a car.
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