As the famous saying goes, every woman should feel comfortable taking naked pictures of herself. 

Okay, that's not a famous saying, but I don't see why it shouldn't be. After all, taking naked pictures of yourself is an art. When done right, it can make you feel GREAT about yourself. If you haven't figured out how to yet, don't worry - just follow our handy guide and get your phone camera out!

Nudes don't have to be for anybody but yourself 

Lots of women associate nude pictures with the thirsty guys on OkCupid and Tinder, which is a shame. Sure, Gareth_from_Bumble may have sent you twelve annoying begging messages ("can I see some hot pics now plz plz"), but you're not taking nudes to please him - you're doing it for you.

Here's the thing: you don't have to wait for a guy to ask before you take a naked picture. You can do it for yourself, on your own time, and on your own terms. Nobody else has to be privy to the contents of your camera roll, do they? 

We live in scary times – the fear that your nudes might be used as revenge porn is always a possibility – so do keep that in mind before you send nudes to anyone else. Sending nudes can make you feel sexy and carefree, but make sure you’re sending it to someone you trust! You want to feel empowered, not anxious that they’ll do something shady with the pictures. 

It's okay to feel a little silly at first 

Make a ritual of it. Drink a glass of wine, lower the blinds, slip into a bathrobe (or lingerie, or nothing at all), and play some music meant for sexytimes. 

Do you feel a little goofy about it? Embarrassed? Well, that's perfectly normal! Just remember, the embarrassment will go away. What's embarrassing about liking your naked body? Absolutely nothing. Lean into it. Look at the mirror and say "Hell yes. I am a hot bitch and I have no shame about saying that." Do a little dance. Pose for your selfies like you're Marilyn Monroe blowing a kiss - or maybe Dita von Teese. Pretend you're making your own little porn movie. Channel the spirit of all the sexy women before you who have felt comfortable getting naked! Practice various poses and expressions from various angles until you find the ones that feel easy and comfortable. It's a process, after all. 

Focus on the things you love about your body  

When you take naked pictures of yourself, you're likely to have a hypercritical gaze - what about that cellulite on your upper thighs? The little tummy roll, the stretch marks on your ass - that prevents you from seeing the beautiful whole. 

Remember Gareth_from_Bumble? Do you think he particularly cares about the cellulite on your upper thigh? What would happen if you said "Hey, Gareth, let's have sex - if you don't mind the cellulite on my upper thigh?" Do you think that would stop him from tearing off his trousers in two seconds flat? 

The answer, ladies, is a big fat NO. No matter what you look like - no matter WHAT the shape of your particular flesh sack is, someone is dying to have sex with it. Someone is going to look at you with your clothes off (and with ALL the lights on) and go "Wow, get over here, you sexy thing." 

Don't see it yet? Start small. Focus on your beautiful, full, lips. Maybe the shape of your nipples. Your long legs. Look with kind, loving eyes at your own body and find the things to embrace about it. The beauty is in the details. Once you find it, you can take a photo of it. And that's something you can always keep with you: a precious memory of what it looks like to love yourself. 

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