“Love is blind, but just in case, send nudes.” —ancient African proverb
I may have added that last part, but we now live in a world where pictures are worth a thousand texts, and apparently people can send and receive nude photographs on their phones. (I know using the word “photographs” makes me sound ancient, like when my uncle hears a song and asks me who made “that record.”)
Anyway, I’ve heard rumors that people sending nude pictures to each other’s phone is apparently de rigueur now. I wouldn’t know because I’m still using the throwback burners the corner boys used on The Wire and texting with the number pad.
However, as one of the noted legal experts in the fields of man law and hood rules, I teamed up with The Root to create this handy guide on sending nude pics. These international rules were agreed upon at the 2014 Geneva Convention, where two dudes and a couple of women gathered at Geneva’s house on 19th Street and wrote them down during a spades game.
Of course, some people will think this is in response to the Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna controversy, and it probably would be ... if I had the slightest idea who either of them is. My mother had some black China once, but then my sister broke one of the teacup saucers and ruined the set. Also, isn’t “rob Kardashian” what they did to Kim when they tied her up and stole her diamonds in Paris?
Anyway, here are the rules:
1. Don’t ask.
I know you probably thought rule No. 1 would be “Don’t send nude pics,” but we’re six paragraphs into this article, bruh. How do you think we got here? If anyone heeded that warning, there wouldn’t be a need for this conversation.
Maybe it’s me, but asking a woman for a nude picture seems a little creepy (or, as the kids call it now, “Cosbyish” or “R. Kellian”). I wish I had enough moxie to ask a woman to get nekkid and have a photo shoot in my honor, but I wasn’t born with that kind of self-esteem.
This rule is basically for men because women apparently receive unsolicited dick pics all the time. In fact, a 2016 Pew Research Poll that never existed says that 83.2 percent of all black women have at least one unsolicited picture of a penis and two photos of the Obamas on their phones.
2. Know to whom you’re sending them.
This seems like a fundamental statement, but apparently, people leaking nude photos is a thing. If the receiving party has ever revealed his or her homegirls’ or homeboys’ most intimate secrets to you during a moment of weakness, he or she will do the same to you. Especially a Kardashian. Sending confidential photos to a Kardashian is like asking to DMX to watch your crack.
You know how that’s gonna end.
3. Always have plausible deniability.
If your photos leak, there are some steps you can take to make someone believe that it is not you in the pic. Never include your face, and cover all identifying marks. In fact, I suggest that everyone who considers sending a nude photo get a fake tattoo—or, even better, a fake birthmark. That way, if someone ever questions you about it, you can always say, “I don’t know who that is, but I don’t have a butt tattoo that says, ‘Handle with care.’”
4. Look good.
Because ... vanity. I’m not saying that you should be happy your photos leaked, but if they do, at least you can be proud. As with all photos, lighting and staging are key. And please use a good camera. Ninety-nine percent of the pictures I see on social media look as if they were taken in a cave with a convenience store security camera. On average, it takes about 1,028 tries to get a satisfactory selfie, but you must be careful not to make it look too good, because it raises a question: “Who was holding the camera?”
5. Never send a picture unsolicited.
Here’s a sentence that no one has ever uttered in the history of words: “I was on the fence about dating Brad until, one day, a super-close-up picture of his private parts showed up in my phone, and when I saw his scrotum, I knew it was meant to be.”
OK, I heard it once, but it was the worst wedding reception ever.
6. When you end the relationship, you have to erase the picture from your phone.
I know you’re not going to do that, but you have to assure the person who sent you the picture that you deleted the picture from your phone.
7. Never share.
Not even with your best friend. It is best not to even open the picture when there is someone within a 2-mile radius. The only safe place to view a nude picture is in your bedroom closet with the light off. Treat a nudie like a precious secret. Like you are Frodo Baggins carrying the One Ring. Like you’re holding DMX’s crack.
This is why I am not on board with the nude-photo trend. My mother always taught me to do unto others ... and I am very uncomfortable posing for pictures. I never know whether to smile or look serious, which is why I always look away from the camera, as if something better is always happening in the room. Plus, according to rule No. 4, I gotta have 1,028 pictures of me just to receive one in return?
I don’t have that kind of storage on my phone.
9. Never mention it again.
If you are lucky enough to receive the gift of a nude pic, tell the other party how much you like it. (This is not a time for “honest critiques.” Just say it’s beautiful.) Once someone gets the courage to share with you, don’t keep bringing it up or make more suggestions. Let it stew in your mind as an unspoken moment of intimacy. Sending a nude picture is the equivalent of walking in on your parents having sex. They know. You know. That’s enough.
10. Count your blessings.
This is the key to life. Be thankful that you live at a time when your boo can turn you on even when he or she isn’t there. Recognize the pain she went through to get her back to arch like that. Appreciate how he had to do complex geometric equations to find the perfect angle to make him look that way. Remember that selflessness and primal urge. And even if you are reluctant to do it, when asked, just respond: “New sensibilities. Who dis?”
Those are the rules. Feel free to add your own in the comments section to be considered at the 2017 Council of Nicaea (we’re playing dominoes at Nicaea’s house next month). As for me, I’m gonna sit here and wait for my Pulitzer for including a French phrase in an article about nude photos (don’t act like you didn’t see that).
And always remember, as my great-grandmother used to say:
If a woman loves you, she’ll do anything for you ... or to you. Especially if she sent nudes.
I may have added that last part.