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Sharing nudes is actually phenomenal

The age of sending nudes is upon us. Sending naked pictures has long been possible, but in the 21st century it’s astonishingly easy.

There is time to send them, how to shoot them and how to keep yourself safe. There’s no getting away from it, we’re a world of over sharers. Whether popping political opinions in a Twitter thread or Instagramming a pain au chocolat, it’s never been easier to let the world know who you are. Technological advances have revolutionised dating experiences and sex lives too: apps, sexting, sex over FaceTime, and, of course, the big one. Nudes.

The term ‘’send nudes’’ is such a second nature for anyone on a dating app or social media that it quickly became a meme and can be seen graffitied all over the world. Although sending a naked photo has been possible for years- albeit more grainy, slow to load, or even in print, the farther back in time you go- it’s only in the last few years that the act of sending a photo of, or including, your tackle has become a regular NBD pat of the seduction process. High spec cameras, filtering and high-speed internet connections mean you can have the idea, whip it out, take the snap and send with barely a moment’s thought.

In the reader survey to mark GQ’s 30th anniversary, it was revealed 40 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds have agreed sending nudes was the new normal. But why the change” is this purely a generational thing? Journalist Calvin reckons it’s an extension of the already popular thirst traps, the next level of seduction. ‘’Theoretically people have more dating options than ever. It’s a bit like in a game show when they wheel out the grand prize. ‘Here’s what you could win!’’ The rules around sending nudes seem fairly simple, but boundaries are overstepped constantly- usually by men.

Most people would say an unsolicited dick pic is unwelcome- it’s much more polite to ask if they’d like one, or respond to a request- and yet men can’t seem to help themselves. There’s the view, perhaps, they ‘’might as well’’, but given they’re up against men actually using their charm to encourage a dick pic request, do they really think it’ll get them one straight back in return?

Unwelcome nudes are the top turnoff, but a close second would be a nude photo with zero artistry. There’s something quite depressing about asking for a nude and then being sent a snap, shot from above, of a red, angry penis subjected to the mercy of ugly lightning and a careless photographer. Obviously, turn-ons can vary, but context is key. Most women agreed that they tended to take more time over them, composing them to look not only sexy, but feel confident too. Men, however, preferred a more direct approach.

Lingerie designer Marisa says a topless pic does much more for her than a gonzo-shot dick pic and she much prefers to send than receive- when she can. ‘’Sending nudes is great fun; I haven’t had anyone to send them to me for a while and I kind of miss that adrenaline rush,’’ she says. Unprompted nudes can have their place, she reckons, but ‘’generally with someone who I’ve been chatting with or dating’ I wouldn’t send them to a stranger’’. In a relationship, of course, nude photos are a way of keeping the passion alive and they’re especially useful in long-distance relationships. No more fiddling with a Polaroid or hoping the Snappy Snaps guy developing your film won’t call the feds- digital photography allows us to be right there and ready.

It can build excitement and maintain intimacy, no matter how far apart you are, says one man, who’s been with his wife for 15 years: ‘’It’s become our regular thing on a Friday afternoon. She’ll send me a down-the-top shot- or more if she’s at home that day- and I’ll nip to the loo and give her a quick peek. Sometimes I’ll do a decent one at home and save it to send to her on Friday. I usually have a spare nude ready to go. We love it.’’ Often overlooked is the normalisation of nudes and its effect on body positivity. It’s well-known the regular, jeans-on selfies can be a confidence boost- either to reaffirm your attractiveness or garner interactions on social media- so it’s fairly obvious nudes can do the same for sexual confidence.

Photographing yourself nude forces you to appraise your body afresh, there’s nowhere to hide; and while there’s every risk it could confirm your worst fears- photographing yourself from below can help you appreciate its wonder. One body positivity in her forties says ‘’Taking nudes has gone from being something that scared me because I didn’t think I was hot enough to something that’s increased my confidence hugely. There are literally hundreds of naked photos of me online now and I’ve photographed over 20 people in their forties with varying degrees of good and bad relationships with their bodies’’ In the gay dating arena, perhaps, there’s more of a demand for nudes.

Although straight dating apps are also popular with people wanting hook-ups, it could be argued gay men pioneered the openness around casual sex and specialist apps, born both of convenience and necessity: gay dating apps offer gay, bi and trans men a safe space to express themselves, on the understanding that everyone is there for the same reason and an approach will not offend. But with such freedom comes expectation. Bisexual guy Alex says he gets asked for nudes ‘’within minutes of initiating conversation. There definitely seems to be a culture of pressuring for nudes in the gay community’’

If you want to send nudes that you’re oh-so-proud of, by all means, go for it, just make sure you follow these rules first. Set your own boundaries. Nude doesn’t have to mean completely naked. Do what you feel comfortable doing- you’re in control of this situation. Partially nude photos can actually be way sexier than baring it all anyway. Try a sexy pose in your underwear only or a really cute bathing suit. Leaving more to the imagination sometimes gets guys more excited than the alternative. Be prepared for other people seeing your goodies. You have a damn good body, so be prepared that your recipient is going to want to show off that photo.

If you haven’t met his friends before, just know that the first time you meet them might not be the first time they’ve seen parts of you that you don’t to be seen. Be prepared for this but also be good person and don’t share nudes you receive with others without their permission.Keep that pretty face out of it. On that note, make sure to keep your face out of it. Send a selfie you want, send nudes all you want, but for the love of the sexting gods, don’t send your face and nudes in the same shot just in case he turns out to be a douchebag who spreads the picture everywhere or just in case the phone gets into the wrong hands or whatever other horrible tragedy that can occur. Don’t send nudes to men you don’t know. You may be very close to someone you haven’t met in person yet and feel comfortable sharing nudes.

Only you can be the judge of whether or not you truly know someone well enough for this kind of intimacy, but please don’t send nudes to brand new guys. You don’t know them or their motivations and you need to protect yourself. And again, don’t send nudes under the influence. As most everything goes, sending nudes under the influence is a bad idea. You’re bound to forget all the other remaining rules. Next thing you know, your whole body is in the picture, face and all, and you’ve sent it to your boss and then accidentally uploaded it to Facebook. Check your lightning and angle. A little bit of advice that’s different than the rest. If you’re going to send those nudes, I want you to send your best self. Take photos from above or straight on.

Never take a photo from below looking up- everyone has a double chin at this angle. Try for natural light instead of harsh fluorescent light. So now, go for it, send nudes- just make sure your clean and well shot.
 

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WeekendLife

Given Carter fools Batswana – again

11th May 2021
Given Carter

Pranks, for a common man, is designated to the 1st of April- April fool’s day. Usually it’s the only day out of the entire 365 days one can make a fool of others and get away with practically anything, anything legal that is.

While there are fanatics who do it for amusement, there are some who do it to earn their daily bread and butter. Some obviously saw a niche to keep people fascinated especially in these emotionally straining times of COVID-19. For the record, they don’t play ordinary cards as you may think.

Their pranks are as big and as real as marriage wrecking and all the drama that comes along with it. Given Carter is not just your ordinary boy next door. The Tonota born prankster is currently taking the entire country on an emotional rollercoaster from the comfort of his home in Francistown.

At only 32-years, Carter BW’s skills of planning and executing a prank is what sets him apart from the rest. In fact one can go as far as to say that he’s the only prankster Batswana know.His ideas are unique and relevant, telling a tale that someone can sit and think about, perhaps learn from it because they are everyday life happenings that most people can relate to because they have a way of really hitting home.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, the versatile Given Carter (who is also a photographer) says the inspiration behind pranking was to introduce something not so common in Botswana, and challenge typecasts associated with art, especially modern art.

“Growing up, we only saw pranks on the television dominantly done by the whites. We never thought this is something we can do, or maybe we didn’t understand the logic behind it. But I guess, pranks are real life lessons we need, its only that they are shared in a more hilarious and sometimes obstinate way,” he said.

Given Carter told this publication that, he spends most of his time on the internet, learning more tricky skills. This is quite a remarkable observation because in this era of advanced technology, one doesn’t necessarily have to go to school to learn from the grassroot. The use of technology has made it easier for people to acquire skills and knowledge, and still do exceptionally well without being in class.

“Of course, a bit of it is common sense but I make use of the internet to learn more on how I can improve my craft. It is quite unpretentious to do a prank because they are real-life situations, so its not much of a big deal. I needed people to learn and I think I came at the right time because most people are online, and the reception is just incredible.”

He however shed light on his first video shot in Shakawe that went viral, subsequently leading to speculations of his crew’s arrest. Given Carter was however not arrested instead he was brought before the police for questioning.

“We were not arrested as people may think. We were called to write statements on what the prank was all about and we were released the same day. I believe maybe we went too far in what we depicted in the video because it’s something that the society is not yet ready to accept, but it has been happening for a long time,” he told WeekendLife.

In many Western countries, pranksters do this for a living through YouTube accounts and subscriptions. “As it is currently, I do not have a YouTube channel. I am still building a platform and I’m certain very soon it will be up and running. I am primarily focused on taking my craft to the people, and let people know more about what I do. So technically, it has been about familiarising people with the art.”

Even though that’s the case, Given Carter says there is room for paid partnerships and endorsements. After all, there is an entire crew which need money to pay the bills. He says with so much ideas spinning in his head, there is need for financial support to be able to dish out more seeing that people love his works and how realistic his pranks are.

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WeekendLife

Vee, Charma Gal battle it out for fellow artistes

4th May 2021
Vee, Charma Gal

Odirile Sento, popularly known as Vee together with Magadeline Lesolobe (Charma Gal) took the liberty of playing as big of a part as they could to consolidate some resources for musicians which might be of assistance during these trying times.

In these unprecedented times of the overwhelming and the deadly COVID-19, it is only critical that people stand together and remain committed to helping each other, being kind enough to lend a helping hand in any way possible.

The contagious virus left people confounded, deprived and depressed. The pandemic shuttered many economies, industries and the entertainment sector was no exemption. If anything, the entertainment industry took the biggest hit of all the sectors but this was a hit felt in every country in the world not just a local tragedy.

There were tear-jerking testimonies of creatives, in particular artists, suffering from extreme hunger as events were given a rain check. Technically, social events have been shut for sixteen months now.

There were series of protests calling for the immediate opening of the creative sector, in a phased manner. Some brave yet unfortunate artists were arrested for taking up arms and protesting the strict COVID-19 regulations placed on the entertainment sector.

When protests failed and their laments falling on government’s usual deaf ears, prominent artists Odirile Sento, popularly known as Vee together with Magadeline Lesolobe (Charma Gal) took the liberty of playing as big of a part as they could to consolidate some resources for musicians which might be of assistance during these trying times.

COVID-19 has created untold challenges for musicians in Botswana, but there are possibilities- challenges have a way of breeding solutions nonetheless.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Wednesday, Vee said the Battle to Develop Artists Welfare is aimed at inspiring artists to learn diversification, which has been lacking for quite a stretch amongst fellow artists. A lot of local artists depend solely on music, which on its own has been performing below par, and COVID-19 has brought that into clear view, showing how most artists in Botswana live off scraps, barely making money off their beloved passion- music.

“This project was born out of compassion. The world as it is now is experiencing a rough patch, and you can imagine how other artists are coping. It is really a struggle, and we saw it critical to jump on-board and help our fellow colleagues. It will help artists start small businesses, some will start short courses which will enable them to find employment in the long run.

For it to have weight, we incorporated it into a challenge on stage, performing our songs. We hope this will inspire business moguls to sponsor and pledge some monies towards this initiative,” said Vee.

Charma gal indicated that the live battle on stage has been supported with musical instruments, further indicating that this is a volunteerism project with no proceeds to gain from.

“We will divide and disburse proceeds to our fellow artists, I mean these are people we have been working alongside for so many years. There is no how we can be reckless towards them when we see how hard the situation is.

We are in this together, and we are going to stick together like that. Some have started already doing something, and meeting them half way is only fundamental,” Charma Gal told WeekendLife.

The duo stressed that Gaborone North Member of Parliament, Mpho Balopi, has pledged P50 000 towards this battle, further calling on other businessmen to come to the party. Vee says Balopi supported the initiative from the get-go, brushing aside allegations that the project is politically influenced.

Initiatives brought forward to aid the entertainment sector have caused controversy, with Vee emphasizing that not all artists will benefit from this particular charity cause. “We have artists who are struggling, and sadly so. Some of them were bread winners and there is no income coming in, making it hard for them to cope with the economic challenges.

There has been an increase in VAT recently, and such developments make the situation worse. Rigorous assessments will be done to identify our desired beneficiaries.”

Vee and Charma Gal will be battling it out on stage with the battle scheduled to take place on the 28th May 2021. Because events are still striped, the show will be online with COVID-19 protocols to be adhered to.

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WeekendLife

BOMU, MYSC kiss and make up

27th April 2021
BOMU-VEE

Early December last year, scores of disgruntled artists congregated at GSS grounds seeking government to address their plight in the face of the COVID-19 restrictions.

2020 was a depraved year for the local entertainment industry. Music festivals, large gatherings and concerts were given a rain check as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the deadly Corona-virus. As for an industry that depends solely on events for survival, the move to shelf gigs was literally kicking a dog when it’s down.

There was no revenue coming in, and depression found its way into the already devastated industry. Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare, was fingered in this muddle. He was censured for being hushed. The relief fund also sparked controversy, with many creatives of the belief that it’s prejudiced and impractical.

Early December last year, scores of disgruntled artists congregated at GSS grounds seeking government to address their plight in the face of the COVID-19 restrictions. The situation became chaotic as police officers told the artists that the gathering is illegal and that they should get a permit first. Artists decided to go the right way, applying for a permit to hold their meeting, and this time around in Old Naledi.

Creatives (most of which are BOMU members) came out swinging as they packed Old Naledi grounds in a show of strength against the COVID-19 Task team and politicians. But gathering a large crowd at the Old Naledi grounds was like playing a game of Russian roulette, as most of the attendees were potentially exposed to the Corona virus because there was no social distancing, wearing of masks, nor sanitization.

Artists however were clearly making their voices heard – they wanted their industry opened, but by the look of things the Task Force team will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat for this to be given the greenlight before another year comes to pass. Till date, the creative industry is still abandoned.

Following a series of protests, the custodian Ministry (MYSC) came up with virtual gigs and engaged artists for performances. However, this fuelled tension between upcoming artists and those who are already household names. In late December 2020, a group of young artists demanded answers from the Youth Ministry on how the so called ‘Big Artists’ secured virtual gigs from the Ministry.

A new BOMU Executive Committee was ushered in August last year which saw the Union and the custodian Ministry smoke a peace pipe. Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) is an organization that works as an intermediary between registered artists and the Youth Ministry.

On Friday (16th April 2021) at a press conference to launch the 10th BOMU music awards, BOMU President Phemelo ‘Fresh’ Lesokwane said the Union has effectively managed to rebuild and earn back trust with its stakeholders, including MYSC and De Beers.

“These two entities have been BOMU music awards’ top sponsors for the past 10 years. We have managed to revive the awards and appoint a person who I will refer to as a brand marketing specialist. There has been a lot of miscommunication peddled around and as a leader of BOMU, I will be irresponsible to ignore all of it,” Fresh said.

Fresh is definitely not MYSC nor Minister of Rakgare’s spokesperson, but he had this to say: “It is very important I clear up the distortion of facts out there. MYSC and BOMU leadership have been hard at work, and in the previous year, we managed to push 90% of our members to register with COSBOTS so as to benefit from the subsidy. For the matter of fact, this did happen.

BOMU says it managed to convince MYSC to fund their 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM). “The Ministry accommodated, paid all costs of accommodation and food for all the delegates who attended the AGM. This was a first for BOMU for as long as anyone can remember. I was so happy to see Minister Rakgare attending our AGM, which was for the first time also.”

Rakgare and his associates have been given a pat on the back for the national consultative meetings they took last year. They met with industry representatives and discussed calendar of events and how they should be rolled out. BOMU also pleaded with the Youth Ministry not to cancel events this year, and according to Fresh, the Ministry agreed.

“This is why they are helping with BOMU music awards and in due course, we will be calling the media to reveal the sponsorship. And on top of that, BOMU has access to the Minister and his circle of associates. They have their doors open for us, and we can’t be fighting with the Ministry while we see how welcoming it is to us. Lot of noise is made by non-BOMU members, which should be condemned in any way possible.

The Youth Ministry however, says it will engage on consultations with organizations, not individuals. This is why it is very important for artists to join BOMU now.”

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