NSFW Sunday Is Taking Nudes With A Feminist Lens

All of the photographs in this NSFW Sunday come from Switch Leather and were taken by Beth Olson Creative. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the model’s gender identity or sexual orientation. If you’re a photographer or model and think your work would be a good fit for NSFW Sunday, please email carolyn at autostraddle dot com.

Welcome to NSFW Sunday!

+ Coding Rights is a feminist hacker group that’s trying to approach nudes and digital privacy through a feminist lens:

“‘Society tells us to hide our bodies and our sexuality so we will be safer — not to mention trans, queer, bodies of color that are basically told to just disappear,’ says [Natasha] Felizi. ‘But that is not the kind of safety we are pursuing. When one advises a women or a QTIAPOC person to avoid showing images of themselves, to avoid showing their bodies in their sexual power, they are in a certain way telling them to refrain from producing self-representation or from being who they are.’”

Instead of saying “don’t send the nudes you’ve already sent and will send anyway,” Coding Rights is pressuring governments for better privacy laws, pressuring tech companies for better default settings, and recommending other ways to obscure your identity, like editing identifying features out of photos, using apps that don’t require personal information to sign up and deleting metadata before pressing send. Also maybe if someone sends you nudes don’t be an asshole, okay?

+ Pair with Tina Horn’s discussion of nude modelling and conversation with erotic photographer Ellen Stagg:

“I asked Ellen what she thinks her Stagg Street members love about her nude stills as opposed to, say, hardcore porn. We discussed curiosity about bodies, and the transgression of looking at something that’s supposed to be private. The voyeur can imagine being with the model, and they can imagine being the model. Photography will always have the allure of a window into another world, a tease at something to which you may be permitted access, or possibly just a peek into something that could never be yours.”

+ All about your ex: When your relationship starts to be a chore, maybe it’s over. Here’s how to have a better breakup. Here are some suggestions for how to forgive a terrible ex. Or here’s how a witch would bind a toxic ex if you can’t yet. Plus, eating alone is great.

+ BDSM can feel so good because of fun neurochemicals (even if research mostly points to the need for more research):

“‘Like many potentially stressful or extreme experiences (e.g., sky-diving, fire-walking), individuals’ bodies react to that stress when they engage in BDSM,’ Science of BDSM researcher Kathryn Klement told Broadly. ‘We interpret these cortisol results to mean that when people engage in BDSM play (as the receiver of sensations) or extreme rituals, their bodies release a hormone usually associated with stress. However, we’ve also found that people subjectively report their psychological stress decreasing, so there is a disconnect between what the body is experiencing, and what the individual is perceiving.'”

+ Wash your hands before fingering someone.

+ This is what you need to know about herpes.

+ “Clearly, the conversation about interracial relationships, like the conversation about the many complex layers of social oppression—including racism, ableism, sexism, heteronormativity, and cis sexism—needs to shift with the coming administration,” writes Morgann Freeman at the Establishment.

+ The thing about pick-up lines is that the only line that actually works is an expression of genuine curiosity or respect for the person you want to talk to with no expectation of anything more. Compliment her on her whiskey, ask them about their earrings, but approach people as people and not as objects onto whom to project a fantasy.

+ You also don’t actually care about a lot of your dating preferences.

+ Thongs! They are old.

+ If you have labia and a period, maybe don’t glue them together as a tampon alternative.

+ Straight women have the least satisfying sex.

+ We need intersectional sex ed.

+ This article starts with the headline “inside the sex party that lets straight women be gay for a night,” and, well:

“The invitation to Skirt Club, a women-only, bisexual and bi-curious sex party, tells you one thing, loud and clear: This may be a girls-only orgy, but it’s not lesbianism as you know it. This is Katy Perry singing ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it.’ This is an Agent Provocateur window display. This is the kind of awkward, lighthearted, lesbianism many women either had – or wished they’d had – in college. It’s ‘lesbianism’ that lesbians will recognize, but have a hard time endorsing without some irony. It’s lesbianism as a side piece. It’s lesbianism: our little secret, for women whose bi-curiosity has become too overwhelming to ignore.”

Carolyn Yates was formerly the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles by way of Montreal and Toronto. Find her on twitter or instagram.

Carolyn has written 989 articles for us.

15 Comments

  1. The pick up line slideshow examples. Any of those-I’d think the person was just being polite b/c they thought I looked sad or something but pretty sure I fall into an ‘oblivious-to-most-everything’ category. For instance,

    Them: “Hey girl, you tired? ‘Cause you been runnin’ through my mind all day.”
    Me: “Ha, ha, good one! Like I’d run anywhere. Lol.” (sips drink)

  2. The Skirt Club article left me thinking. I’ve spent a decent amount of time in the SF/ Bay Area LGBTQ+ scene. I’m bi and felt erased if not actively excluded from queer spaces there, even when I was dating a woman. I long for a bi-specific queer spaces where I can find women who won’t resent my bisexuality. But is there a way to create bi-focused spaces without perpetuating that we’re “confused” and “homosexually-curious?”. That may be true for some bi folk (and maybe that’s who these events are geared towards) but it’s not true for me and hits a bit close to home for comfort.

      • Not just that it’s embarassing. He “admits” women are actually more creative and smarter than men, it’s just that they are distracted 25% of the time by having to wear “diapers”. If women weren’t so distracted, his invention *would* have been created by women first (because obviously this is the product women want and need) and now that he invented it, women will no longer be distracted a quarter of the time! What the fuck.

    • I read half of an interview with this guy earlier this week before I started feeling physically ill and rage quit the browser tab. I’ve been thinking about it so much, and I’m so furious that this guy decided that THIS was the problem he was going to solve. Especially because it’s such a piss-poor — PUN VERY MUCH INTENDED — solution because I pee all the goddamn time so I’d have to…reapply? this disgusting product so many times a day that I would probably lose my job because “brb gotta glue my pussy lips together” isn’t going to fly with my clients.

      Of all the bullshit that everyone in the US (/world) is going through right now, this bullshit guy just made it all come crashing down on me. He’s the worst. I hope when he gets old someone suggests that he just glues his ass cheeks together instead of wearing Depends because it’d be a shame for his little mind to be distracted by basic human needs and when that happens I hope he weeps and repents.

  3. Leaving aside the terrible results of gluing your labia together, it wouldn’t even work for me as he says it would. My inner labia don’t cover my entire vaginal opening. I know everyone’s anatomy is a little different so it might not be like that for everyone, but I thought the inner labia were supposed to protect the urethra while still allowing menstrual blood to get out. (Or does he mean the outer labia? I wouldn’t be able to walk if I glued my outer labia together.) Just, it’s a terrible misogynistic idea AND it wouldn’t even work!!

  4. The ‘girls only’ policy of The Skirt Club is VERY trans and non-binary erasing, and I think it should be acknowledged directly in this article.

    Too many times myself and other trans and nb friends have felt excluded from queer events marketed as women/girls/ladies only. It can make transwomxn opt out because of the fear of not ‘passing’ or being acknowledged as a womxn, and as a non-binary person there is just 0 space.

    • I kind of got the same feeling too, it also seems very femme(or femme aligned) centric as the article says something to the effect its for feminine women, which erases non-binary, butch, and other non-femme iding women and women aligned folks.

  5. Suggestion, maybe have user submitted images for NSFW Sunday? Like users can post images of themselves(pending it’s all verified by the crew by say posting another image that has their name and email?).

  6. I’m gonna push back about your “Straight women have the least satisfying sex” comment. For what it’s worth, I’m female, bisexual, and currently in a long term relationship with a cis man.

    The article you linked to summarizing the study only presented survey results about orgasms. The results said nothing about sexual satisfaction. For people (of any sexual orientation and gender) who have difficulty orgasming or who choose not to focus on orgasms as the be-all and end-all of sex, being sexually satisfied may have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not they orgasm during sex. The article also conflates sexual pleasure with orgasm, suggesting that straight women don’t have pleasurable sex unless they orgasm.

    I’m not trying to suggest that most straight men are actually good at having sex and satisfying their partners, but by presenting satisfaction and pleasure as being purely about orgasm, articles like this are encouraging a very simplistic understanding of what makes sex enjoyable. In fact, I would argue that straight men’s single-mindedness about the goal of sex (that is, that they are only “good at sex” if their partner orgasms every time) is part of what makes them bad at sex in the first place. This single-mindedness is indicative of a very cis-male-centric model of sexual interaction, where the only goal is orgasm, the achievement of which signals the end of the interaction. We should be discussing how to move away from a model of sexual pleasure that has such restrictive success conditions, not simply reinforcing the idea that a man’s sexual prowess is tied to how many orgasms his partner has.

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