Once You Snap, You Can’t Go Back

Monday, I wrote about how Millennials are doing their best to hide their nudity in the locker rooms, but on the flip side, they are all too willing to trade naked selfies with one another, be it through texts, snapchat, or various other ways. A growing numbers of youngsters are swapping naked selfies. When I was teaching one of the first things that the computer teacher taught was that once an image is uploaded online, it is there forever. Kids may think they can delete it or that a SnapChat is only there for a few seconds, but once there, someone can always find it if they know where to look.

As a teacher, I heard a lot of students talking when they didn’t know I was listening, or didn’t care that I was listening. One of the things I heard a lot was that so and so sent a naked selfie on SnapChat or they would talk about other students sending often naked or revealing pictures of themselves in text. It was happening earlier and earlier. I’d heard of this with kids as young as fifth grade.

When these Millennials get to college, they are even freer about sending nude selfies. Take a look on Twitter any day and at all the “Anon” accounts and there are constantly headless pictures of nude or nearly nude guys. I have no doubt that it is the same with women, but I don’t particularly want to see that. Anon Twitter accounts will often show their face with these pics for a limited time and then delete them, but the picture is already out there. 

The same is true with webcams. With sites like Chaturbate and Chatroulettle, people do all sorts of things for others to see, often showing their bodies but not their face. I guess this is the big difference, they don’t mind showing off to others as long as they don’t show their face. Others though don’t have a problem showing their face, and even when they don’t show their face, most everyone knows their friends SnapChat name, so whether it shows their face or not, their peers know who it is and they are showing off what they are hiding in the locker rooms.

Celebrities and non-celebrities alike often have no problem showing their nude butts, especially men (women it often comes down to their breasts), but butts have become so commonly shared that they are almost not considered nudity anymore. Let’s face it, mooning has been a thing for high school and college students for many, many years. It is the penis that is most hidden, and celebrities with particularly large ones will often allow themselves to have very brief frontal nude scenes or they “allow” their own nude selfies to be leaked online. It is always claimed to be an invasion of privacy, but once you take those pictures or videos of yourself, you have to realize that the possibility of it being leaked online is quite high.

The point that I am trying to make is that live and in person Millennials don’t want to show off their bodies and they hide behind their towels in the locker room, but these same guys who do the towel dance will send out naked selfies to all their friends later that day. While certainly not everyone, or probably even a majority, send naked selfies, a large number of Millennials do. While SnapChats, tweets, texts, and the like might be contained with just a few people, often those they hide from in the locker room, all you need to do is check out a dating app to see more dick pics than you might ever want to. Granted, dating sites are a different beast than all the others, but it shows that they don’t mind showing off the “goods” as long as a face isn’t attached or if it will get them laid.

I think that nudity is probably less an issue for gay men than straight men, but it is more of a body conscious issue with gay men. However, the SnapChat and texting phenomenon that I heard so much about as a teacher was with guys and girls (mostly guys) sending out pictures of themselves to both genders. It was a joke, at least that’s the way they saw it. Of course, like the celebrities who have their pictures leaked, there are always people who are proud of their goods and have no problem sending out dick pics. I had one incident when I was a teacher of a kid whipping out his penis to a girl in class. From what I was told, for a small guy he was quite large and quite proud of his size. In another such incident, the guy claimed that he’d been scratching his balls when it just flopped out when he removed his hand. Both instances were ridiculous, but the point is they had something they wanted to show. 

Not all guys are that brazen. Many, if they can get away with it, will post dick pics online anonymously to get a response and see how they measure up. Without the more free nudity in locker rooms, guys don’t necessarily know the vast array of penis sizes. Even when there was more nudity, I don’t think many understood the difference between growers and showers, because that is a secret you only find out with an erect penis. It is one of the advantages to being a gay man, we get to see the penis at all stages from flaccid to erect.

I have a feeling that the selfie is here to stay. With all things people will get more and more extreme with the selfie and the headless nude shot will become ever more common, while the towel dance will continue in the locker rooms. Privacy it seems is something that is only desired in live interaction, but behind a camera, privacy means very little as long as you can hide your face.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

5 responses to “Once You Snap, You Can’t Go Back

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