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Why I Posted Naked Photos on Instagram

I saw a post on Instagram about the challenge the day it started. My friend and pleasure teacher Ev’yan Whitney was running a Sensual Selfie Challenge, and without thinking too much about it because I knew I would probably talk myself out of it — I yanked my shirt off at 3 pm in my office, took a few selfies on my fuzzy sheepskin, and went live with the one I found most sensual.

I basically have zero filter, and telling MY truth outloud is one expression of my purpose. And after two weeks of trying to survive a new school year and preschool lice surprises, I was not feeling sensual.

It was both exhilarating + nerve wracking to allow the interwebs to witness this first image. I had to go journal my feelings out and check in with my “whys” to make sure it was worth it to me.

Here’s what I came up with for my very personal “whys”…

→ I am figuring out how to feel sexy with my newly short hair. I understand all the media messaging that is influencing this — but I admittedly feel less feminine without my long hair + I want to challenge that feeling. And I’ll do anything to combat the word “matronly” that came up in HoCo last year!

→ I’m still having a lot of convos about pleasure + relationships + body image + sex within the safety of Reclamation or at Camp — but it feels like this piece of my work is hidden in the real world right now. I’m not afraid of this piece of my life or in other’s lives and I want to make sure you all know this about me.

→ I’m craving that nervous/excited energy of doing something outside of my comfort zone. Being seen/judged/misunderstood feels like a good challenge to take on right now and I feel strong enough handle whatever comes at me.

→ My purpose statement is to  “celebrate my life authentically + inspire others to do the same” and this 5 day challenge feels like a celebration of my sexuality + my body love + my creative artist side. I could do it privately, but the inspiration piece calls me to publish.

And those “whys” felt compelling enough to continue.

I won’t lie + say I was feeling totally comfortable about the whole thing.

I didn’t publish to FB where more of my IRL acquaintances/family are and I didn’t tell Ken about it until the weekend rolled around + I needed to spend naptime awkwardly perched in our backyard jungle trying to get my goddess shot…

But I did it. I feel proud of pushing myself to get shots that I love + publishing each day. 

And now, I’m sharing here to allow you to witness both my fear + my pride.

Because I decided I hadn’t done enough things that truly scared me for #couragemonth. Thanks dear @evyan.whitney (one of my beloved #pleasuremonth teachers) for giving me the perfect opportunity to push my own boundaries. 🔥🙏🏼

Today’s prompt was about holding space for ourself and vowing to honor our own individual beauty for a lifetime. Hands on body? ✔️ (Head pets are part of my love language.) Fabric? ✔️ I’m a 100% denim flavor of sexy. 

“Take a selfie that is unflattering or outside of your comfort zone.” For today’s challenge, I went with the guiding word raw instead of unflattering. Because honestly? Finding a sensual angle to my gummy squirrel face or ridiculously jacked traps is outside my selfie ability level. And for me — these 5 days are about reminding myself that I can express my sexuality in ways that turn ME ON.

So yes, of course I could share pictures of my belly rolls or my flat ass or the spider veins I’ve had up and down my legs since I was 15 — but do they make me feel turned on? Not really. Do I care? Not all all. (I know so many other ways to access my turn on!)

After many years spent trapped in binging + purging cycles and validating my existence through male attention — I’ve made gentle peace with my body. There’s so much to be loved about how she moves and feels and yes, looks — but there’s plenty I’m just happy to simply feel neutral about. Not neutral like I don’t love + appreciate + take attentive care of her, but neutral like I simply don’t spend energy or brain space fretting about her.

So, this may not be a specifically unflattering shot, but it is raw + outside of my comfort zone.🔥🚿

I was definitely not going to post a picture of my boobs when I started this challenge. But black + white adorned goddess prompt? My inner goddess is definitely outside + definitely naked + definitely doesn’t give a fuck about showing nipple. Honestly, I’m kinda sad I had to blur them for Insta…

(Anyway— most people who know me in real life have already seen my boobs that #breastfedtwobabies because of my love of skinny dipping! 🤣)There you go @evyan.whitney! #free18 in a whole new light…👑 Thank you for guiding us, sweet sister.

Last day before we return to regular programming of nature, travel, tiny humans, musings on life and smiling, fully clothed selfies…
Thank you all for witnessing me and for the thoughtful messages + memories you’ve been sending. And menfolk? Bravo! I loved your respectful notes just as much as I loved my sisters #affirmingtheshit out of me!

Today’s affirmation from @evyan.whitney was a good one for me — “When I am soft, I am strong. When I am connected to my senses, my body, my breath, my sexuality, I am powerful.“ Soft AND strong. Feminine AND masculine. Receiving AND directing. Pleasure AND power. I’ve been working on occupying these particular “ands” since #pleasure16. And after 4 days of pushing my flavor of badass, today’s prompt was the perfect reminder to soften. ❤️

That’s what we do at Stratejoy.

(No, not get naked… I mean, that part is totally optional!)

We tell our truths, honestly + vulnerably — knowing that we can’t control others’ reactions to our choices, but that we do get to control our experience of our life.

My experience of my life right now?
An embracing of juxtapositions. Fully embracing the “and”.

Full of creative risk/adventure cravings/badass sexual energy and handling a gazillion school pickups/lice/soccer Saturdays. Goddess vibes and twice monthly biz accounting. Fine-tooth-combing the new website for clear calls to action and devoting myself to our sisterhood with a full heart of love.

And naked selfies? Just proof that I’m showing the fuck up for my life, on my terms.

Whatever your version of naked selfies may be — go for it with all your heart, honey.

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