Unlearning Shame
June 25, 2021

How To Take A Sexy Selfie: 9 Tips On Lighting, Poses, Props And More

If you’re wondering how to take a sexy selfie, we got you covered. Here are nine tips on how to get it just right.
Written by
Ella Dorval Hall
Published on
June 25, 2021
Updated on
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Taking a sexy selfie can be a great way to get a long-term partner, casual hookup, or dating app match excited about you and to build some anticipation for what’s to come. It can also be a fun thing to do for yourself. Seeing yourself in a hot pic may help you build body confidence, connect to your own sexiness, or switch up solo play. Regardless of why you’re taking the sexy selfie, it can still feel vulnerable, awkward, or hard to take a photo you like. If you’re wondering how to take a sexy selfie, we got you covered. Here are nine tips on how to get it just right.

1. Get Consent

Before sending a sexy pic, be sure you have consent that the photo is solicited and that you and the receiver are of legal age. You can ask for consent by texting something like, “Hey, I would love to send you some hot pics of me to get us in the mood, what do you think?” Or you might try saying, “I just took some really sexy pictures of myself. What do you think of me sending them to you?”

If you’re planning on sending sexy selfies, it's also important to communicate if you don’t want those photos shared. Consider whether you truly trust the receiver to respect your privacy and boundaries. 

2. Get into a sexy mindset 

Regardless of if you’re taking the photo to send to someone else, or if you’re just taking it for your own viewing pleasure, get in the mood before taking pics.

“Sexy is a state of mind, if you feel like you’re sexy, then it’ll show,” Honey, a plus-size model, tells O.school. You might try listening to music, dancing, fantasizing about what turns you on, looking in the mirror and moving your body in ways that make you feel hot. Once you’re feeling it, start snapping the pics. 

Portrait photographer David Suh recommends people think about what makes them feel sexy as opposed to what other people might think is sexy. 

3. Get the lighting right 

“Set the mood with lighting. Play around with shadows and light. Use candle light, or close your blinds slightly and use the light created. Be as dramatic as you want and use a colored light bulb,” Olesha Haskett, owner and photographer of OhExperience Boudoir Photography, tells O.school. 

Evgenia Ribinik of Evgenia Ribinik Boudoir Photography told Self that when it comes to selfies, natural light is best, even if it's dim. Try to find a place where light shines directly on you as opposed to coming from behind you. You’ll usually find the best natural light when the sun is rising or setting. 

4. Dress up (or down)

“Wear clothing that makes you feel sexy or nothing at all. You don't have to wear lingerie. Wear a robe if you like or a regular t-shirt,” Haskett tells O.school.  

If you’re taking a photo with someone specific in mind, you might ask them what they’d like you to wear. This can be a fun way to incorporate each other’s fantasies into your sexy pics. For example, if your partner loves your feet, maybe they’d like to see you in some strappy sandals or heels. If you or your partner are into cosplay, wear the outfit of a sexy character you love. If you have any costumes, uniforms, cheerleading outfits, lying around, try that. For something simpler, you might try knee high socks or fishnets. Simply experiment with whatever you have lying around to see how it makes you feel. It really doesn’t matter what it is — so long as you feel sexy in it, that’ll come through in the photo.

If you’re wearing something simpler, you can accentuate the outfit with poses. For example, if you’re wearing briefs, slide your fingers just inside the waistband. If you’re wearing a big t-shirt, you might slightly lift up the bottom to draw attention to what's underneath.

5. Think about your face

Knowing what to do with your face can sometimes be the most difficult part of taking a sexy selfie. Like Honey says, “if you feel sexy, it’ll show,” so try to let your facial expressions convey what you’re feeling. 

If you’re feeling fierce and confident, try looking directly into the camera with a more serious expression. If you wear makeup, consider a darker, bolder look, like a smokey eye, winged-tip eyeliner, or deep red lipstick. If you’re feeling shy and playful, you can turn your gaze away from the camera and play with lighter and more colorful shades of makeup. Think about what you want to do with your mouth. Slightly parted lips can convey that you’re turned on. You might try slightly puckering or biting your lips, without going too overboard to a duck face.

You also don’t have to include your face in the selfie at all. You might choose to simply focus on other body parts, like your butt, boobs, legs, or mouth. Your back, shoulders, and inner thighs can also make for a sexy close-up. If you’re sending a pic of your junk, check out our tips for sending a dick pic. To avoid showing your face, turn your head away or angle your arms to cover your face. You may also want to take silhouette photos.

6. Find your angle

When it comes to angles, Honey has some advice: “My biggest tip would be, look in the mirror, find what YOU are most proud of and confident about yourself, and focus on that. If it’s your boobs; emphasize that area, your lips; touch them with a finger or slightly part them. Your ass; make that the main focus on the camera.” 

“Whatever you do, do not hold your phone straight out, or below your chin...By holding your phone at least the height of your face, and then slightly off to one side, you’ll instantly have a more flattering angle.” says Ellarre Boudiour, a Minneapolis-based photographer. You can also try “dropping your chin a bit and pointing a cheek bone toward your phone” instead of taking a straight-on photo. 

If you want to get your jawline to pop, hold your phone slightly below your face and turn your head dramatically to the side to accentuate your jawline. 

When taking a selfie, it can sometimes be difficult to capture your entire body. Haskett suggests using a tripod with a wireless remote. “It will allow you to pose how you want and snap away.” If you don’t have a tripod or remote, you can try to prop up your phone against a stack of books and use the timer. 

7. Incorporate props

Props can help dramatize the parts of your body or face you find most sexy. For example, if you want to draw attention to your lips, you might want to suck on a lollipop, exposing your tongue just a bit. If you want your selfie to be more risque, you might want a picture using a sex toy, like a dildo, to show your partner how you like being touched. 

If you’re taking a sexy pic in bed, try using pillows as props. You can position a pillow between your legs, or put it under your back to create a more exaggerated arch to your silhouette. You could also lie on your tummy with your head resting on the pillow and your feet lifted behind you. 

If you and your partner are into bondage or share a kink, you might want to use props like a collar, rope, ballgag, nipple clamps, whips, or handcuffs. 

8. Strike a pose

Before you choose a pose, pay attention to what positions you feel sexy in. Do you feel sexy laying on the ground or on your bed? Do you feel hot when you lean against the wall? What about when you’re sitting in a chair with your legs spread? 

Consider how you’d like to pose different parts of your body. For example, you can put a finger in your mouth, run your hands through your hair, place a hand on your hip, or slightly down your pants. Focus on touch that feels good and snap pics of it. 

In one Reddit thread, someone suggested posing “with one or both arms up, hands behind your head. This is a vulnerable yet confident pose, which just happens to stretch your chest and belly vertically. This reduces any tendency to sag or fold over.” Another Redditor suggested taking “pics of your natural, bare body laying down comfortably in the bed or standing in the shower.” 

9. Have fun with it!

When taking a sexy selfie, it’s important to be able to laugh and enjoy the process. If you take yourself too seriously, you run the risk of coming off a bit cheesy. In a GQ article titled “The Gentleman’s Guide to Taking and Sending Nudes,” Sophia Beniot writes, “You don’t need to shift your persona into Joe Manganiello mode to take a sexy picture. This should not feel like a chore or a great endeavor. You should be enjoying the process as you go. Sending someone a nude should turn you on, too. If you’re too serious or intense about your nudes, you risk coming across a 50 Shades of Gray cornball.” 

What do people think makes a sexy selfie?

To reiterate, a selfie is sexy when you think it’s sexy. That said, you might be wondering what others have to say on the matter. While everyone is different, generally, people agree that confidence is hot. We culled some quotes from the Internet to find out what some people think makes the best sexy selfie. 

“If you are confident in your un-ripped body that would be sexier than a ripped dude who is a shrinking violet,” says one Redditor

“I personally like candid pictures, ones that don't look like you set out to take the pic, like the camera caught you laughing,” another person says.

“The best nude photo I've ever received was a guy pulling up his shirt with his teeth, revealing his abs and pecs...Sounds super cliché but he pulled it off,” Marina, 23, from Drammen, Norway, tells GQ.

“I actually love dick pics that don’t show everything. I’m just way more attracted to a photo of a clothed boner than a naked photo. Like, hard dick laid flat underneath boxer briefs and I’m donezo. Or in gray sweats or athletic shorts. Leaving something to the imagination is hotter than a bare dick to me,” Dia, 26, told Cosmo

The bottom line

Your selfie is going to be the most sexy when you feel sexy, but having some practical tips can help- like using natural light or a colored lightbulb, incorporating food or a sex toy, or using a tripod to get a better angle. And remember, you don’t need to show everything for it to be sexy.

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Ella Dorval Hall (she/they) is a white, eating disorder recover-er, sex and pleasure educator. She's worked at a national sexual health organization, Healthy Teen Network, training educators how to teach evidence-based sex education curriculums. Ella now hosts workshops, writes, and does 1:1 education that brings people the information and skills they need to actually enjoy sex. You can find more of Ella’s work on Instagram @unlearnings3x.

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