(ADULT) Admit it. If you haven’t done it, you’ve probably thought about it.

You’ve at least contemplated (if not taken) that cock pic, that ass shot, or that sultry pose (or many), all for that hookup app, that dating site, or to answer that oh-so-tantalizing Craigslist ad.

We live in a transactional, short-order, Twitter-fied, fast-food culture where split decisions are not only convenient, they almost always are necessary. Even when it comes to sex, friendship, or long-term relationship, getting to the point is not only preferred – it’s essential.

It’s no surprise, then, that images have stepped in to play such a powerful role in how we get connected, how we find love, and how we get off.

But if you choose to “Snap shot your sex,” either by phone camera or photographer, should you worry about what this action says about you?

Self absorbed?…ain’t always so

A mythic tale brought to us by our Greek brothers cautions us not to fall in love with our reflections, as Narcissus once did. It not only hurt him – it killed him.

The message from that fateful tale is clear: Don’t become obsessed with yourself, and how others see you. Or, you’ll die.

Now, I don’t doubt it’s possible to become so self-focused that you end up miserable because your looks are all that matters. Truth is, I think it’s a huge problem in our society.

But what we tend to forget is that taking images of ourselves, particularly sexually suggestive or even sexually explicit ones, can help us to heal as well.

You see, for many of us, sexual shame has been a huge part of our lives.

We’re taught to be ashamed of our Eros, our desire for, and our actions to achieve, the “P” word.

No boys, I’m not talking about penis, I’m talking about pleasure.

And this influence has been so powerful that it’s disconnected us from ourselves. It’s a form of control. So, the idea goes, as long as I can keep you from your pleasure, I can keep you from your own ability to transform your life and to heal, and ultimately, from your own right to your joy.

So, getting back to the “naughties…”

So that does this have to do with sex selfies? Well, when we take images of ourselves, of those parts of our bodies that are targets of shaming, we begin to reclaim what is ours. Our cocks. Our asses. Our armpits. And other parts. When we start to take pictures of those parts of our bodies, we can start to reconnect with “us.” And we can do it out and in the open.

Oh, and what does it mean when you start sharing those images with others? Well, at that point, it’s a true political act. Because not only does it say “I own my body,” but it also says “I want others to appreciate it, and celebrate it as well.”

Want to test this? Just let your most prudish friend know what you’re up to. See how quickly the judgment comes. See their reaction? That’s control in action.

And so, as judge-y types may see you flagrantly “objectifying yourself,” you are most certainly also offending the status quo. You are simultaneously declaring to yourself and to others that you recognize your beauty, you appreciate your body, and you welcome others to do the same.

And that act can be incredibly freeing and powerful.

Awareness is empowerment; Experimenting is key

So even if ultimately you decide not to share that cock pic you took, or forward that shot of your ass in a jock to that guy you’ve been wanting to meet because you’re thinking you’re not “good enough,” recognize that just becoming aware of those feelings is a major step to self-love and self healing.

The truth is, few people love everything about themselves, especially when it comes to their bodies.

But if you can at least look at those images, and notice what it brings up for you, that’s a huge step. You now know where you are, and where you can start to finding the real lover in you.

So pull out that phone camera, find those sexy undies that make you feel good, and snap a few pictures. Bring in a lover or friend, if you think you’re ready for that. Then sit with the images you take, and see what they say to you.

I think you’ll find some comfort once you accept what you see as “this is me.” That awareness will be freeing, it will help you get closer to others, and yes, it can even bring you unbridled joy.

“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Demille!”

This article was originally written for publishing on Himeros.TV, a project of Davey Wavey, Digital Storyteller.

Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash.