Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Naked fury

How would you feel if your ex-lover had taken photos of you naked (or worse) and was holding onto the photos against your wishes? Or even circulating them to other people or putting them on the net?

This was the query on a newspaper problem page this week. An embarrassed woman wants her ex to return or delete the photos but he's refusing. Or rather, he's saying "Come and get them" and she's nervous about what will happen if she does.

It's not unusual these days for lovers to take intimate photos of each other - particularly when it's so easy with a digital camera. And such photos have often been sent into cyberspace, particularly if the ex feels bitter and wants some sort of malicious revenge.

Personally, I wouldn't be too bothered by my naked body gracing the net. As if anyone would want to see such an unpromising physique anyway. But I would be furious if it was accompanied by belittling and snide comments from someone out to stick the knife in.

Mind you, I wonder why people take nude pics of each other anyway. It's hardly necessary if you see your bedmate every day. What are you recording it all for?

You'r hardly going to stick them in the photo album to show your parents. "And this is Tracy in the buff. Look at those knockers, eh?" You're hardly going to line them up with the family snaps on your office desk. So what's the point? My mind wanders to frankly obscene and scurrilous motives....

And now I'm wondering what photos Jenny's been taking of me while I've been naked and fast asleep. I'd better take a closer look at that camera she's been so furtive about....

29 comments:

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Well if someone wants to snap you in the buff with their phone, mischief is never far off I'd say!

Grannymar said...

I think I'll stick to photo walking, thank you!

Nick said...

Xbox - My feelings exactly. Something devious is always afoot.

Grannymar - Very principled of you. Glad you're resisting the temptation for intimate momentoes of all your toyboys!

bodhránbanger said...

OOOOOOOOh scary stuff Nick :) I would be raging at someone who did that - and much as I adore my new hubby I can't see myself taking photos of him in the nuddy to show friends.."this is us at pompeii, and this is him in the shower..."

the devil makes work for idle camera phones, I say!

Nick said...

Hi again, BB. Glad everything's going fine with your new spouse! It is a bit scary isn't it? If your guy/gal is casually taking pictures of you, you don't really think about how they might be used sometime in the future.

Dave Hampton said...

Is it safer if an artist-intimate wants to sketch you in the all-together? I've had that proposition and put it in the same bin as you put digital camera pix.

Besides, I can only imagine the result...

Thriftcriminal said...

Yeah, I can't see a good reason to take them, so by process of elimination, the motives must be dubious.

Baino said...

Mobile phones have cameras? Well I never! *note to self, learn to use mobile phone* As for Jenny's phone . .better check to see Voluptua hasn't been snapped!

Nick said...

Dave - I suppose it depends just how realistic the sketch is! If it's an unidentifiable abstract it wouldn't matter very much. But if it's totally true-to-life that's another matter. And of course the painting can be snapped and put on the net. In which case, yes, much the same.

Thrifty - Indeed, very dubious.

Baino - Oh no, I've put ideas into your head! Goodness, I hadn't thought of Voluptua. That day when I saw someone lurking in the bushes as Voluptua rushed back to the penthouse....(Note to occasional readers - see my post Resisting Voluptua)

Caro said...

Things like that always end up in the wrong hands.

Then again, it did Paris Hilton no harm...

Textual Healer said...

I take the opposite line here. Being photographed/drawn naked by your lover or vice versa (or a potential lover) can be a stimulating and affirmative experience. Posting such photos on the net wihout their permission and often from revenge motives is of course disgusting and spiteful -but says more about the lowlife person doing it than anything else.
Its all about context. I did work as an art school model to help pay my way through college - I have been phoographed nearly naked by a close friend wjho isa photography student. Presumably those images exist somewhere in public spaces. However if an ex was to post intimate or compromising photos of me as a form of revenge I would be outraged.

Maybe our ideas of what are intimate and compromising are (or will) undergo a radical change. Not so long ago people could lose their jobs for being homosexual. In the west those days are now (more or less) over. Since so many people now do have erotic images of themselves on display to the world (think of all the web cams and girly sites that feed the 'other half' of the net) maybe people will really be prepared to shrug their shoulders and say - youthful indiscretion. Unless there are obvious levels of hpocrisy involved like 'family- values' politicians getting caught with streetwalkers and then they deserve everything that is coming to them.

Nick said...

Caro - That's true, Paris Hilton's career (for want of a better word) is thriving despite all the salacious pics. It does depend on how the photos are used and whether the subject objects or not.

TH - It is about context, that's true. Nothing wrong with taking photos as such, but using them maliciously is another matter. That's also true about things becoming more acceptable. Seeing people naked on the net is only sensational because we're not used to seeing naked bodies, but they're just our natural selves after all. Again, it's only a problem if the person concerned feels violated or humiliated.

Textual Healer said...

Nick
You said - Seeing people naked on the net is only sensational because we're not used to seeing naked bodies, but they're just our natural selves after all.

Not necessarily - even the most perfectly featured peopel are digitaly touched up to remove blemishes, enhance neckline, whatever.

Nick said...

TH - Well, you're right, no doubt some of them are digitally (or surgically) enhanced, but my point is that it's just the human body, which is nothing extraordinary.

Fate's Granddaughter said...

Any former partner of mine would know I don't even like to be naked in front of the mirror, nevermind captured for posterity...but I think that says more about my own self-image than my feelings about intimate photography.

I can see why for someone who felt confident about their body it might be an exciting thing, being photographed nude. However surely there must be some level of trust in a relationship that these won't be used against you later.

Anyone who abuses that has some warped ideas of intimacy!

Nick said...

FG - This is the point, if your lover takes photos of you, you don't normally think of posterity and what might happen to them later. You just see them as a passing bit of fun. As you say, you have to trust the other person not to misuse the photos.

Quickroute said...

I must be getting old as I was just discussing with the missus the days when taking fotos was expensive i.e. 24 or 36 to a roll - now we have digital anything goes and you have peeps taking photos just cos they gigs of space - cctv etc ! - time to retreat to the outback with umbrella to avoid satellite!

Textual Healer said...

fate's grand daughter

actualy for me teh proces of being an atists model was about challenging my own negative body image :-)

Fate's Granddaughter said...

TH,
That's an interesting one. I hadn't thought about the potential for posing nude to improve your body image. Don't think I am quite there yet, but maybe someday...

Nick said...

Quicky - That's true, the potential for taking photos has greatly increased. But it's only a problem if you're in front of a lens and doing something embarrassing. Or your lover's up to no good!

And even in the outback, you can probably be caught by Google Earth!

TH and FG - Never thought of artistic posing as body-image therapy. Sounds like a good idea. Though negative body-image is a complex thing based on all sorts of factors. I would think being drawn could be only one part of a rethinking process.

Wisewebwoman said...

Nick:
I think it all part of that vengeful-punitive-violation thing that ex-lovers brawl into. Like stuffing the ex's luggage with dead meat, like scissoring their clothes to shreds or throwing their jewellery down the drain, etc. Spurn begetting rage. Posting the pics is just a natural step from that.
It was always thus. Breakups are hardly ever civilized....
XO
WWW

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I also wonder what the point is.

Cindy Crawford, who is not known for the smallness of her ego, has posed nude for Playboy twice in her career. She stated that she wanted "documentation" of how lovely she was when she gets old.

I would prefer that people cultivate the beauty of their souls so that when the body declines with age, there is something which is arguably even better to replace it.

Nick said...

www - I can't imagine resorting to that sort of mindless, uncontrolled rage and jealousy but as you say there are plenty who do. It can be difficult to deal with deep hurt and bitterness.

Heart - That's a strange pretext for a nude spread. Surely a few photos of the younger you are enough? Yes, if only we could put more emphasis on our inner beauty instead of the transient outer version.

Medbh said...

I let one boyfriend take some *ahem* compromising photos of me many years ago. I cut them up long before we broke up.
He wasn't the type to make them public, btw.

Nick said...

Very farsighted of you, Medbh, to destroy them before they could be misused. Even if you didn't think he would get up to mischief with them, who can be sure?

dj mikey said...

I am a born exhibitionist. I love to be in the changing room or the sauna at the gym, because people are always commenting on my body. They're impressed by it, and I work hard on it.

Gym, Jogging or Rollerblading and Swimming 4 times a week, Hurling, Football, Gaelic Football, Wrestling, Tae Kwon Doo, Aikido and Yoga are all part of my fitness plan. I also go Rock Climbing.

My body is a Temple, if people want to snap pics of me, then let them. As to an ex holding on to naked pics of me, I have naked pics of my ex too. Beside I am a born exhibitionist, I would publish my own pics on the Internet, just to beat him to the punch.

Your Blog is Great.

Nick said...

dj - Nothing wrong with having naked pics of your ex if he/she is happy about it. The problem is when they aren't happy about it, didn't even know naked pics existed, and if the pics are being misused. That's when things get ugly.

dj mikey said...

My ex knew about the naked pics, I would not be the sort to use them against, at least not publicly. They do have their uses, most notably being taped to a dart board, with his nether regions as the bullseye.

Yes, this is petty and vendictive but he hurt me very badly. I view, my current behaviour as a form of therapy.

Nick said...

dj - I'm sorry to hear you were so hurt. Sounds like a productive use of the pictures! I hope the future holds something better.