Moment Of Clarity

What Selfies Say About Our Self-Esteem

The trend for couples to take selfies after intimacy makes some uncomfortable but others are joining in. Discover the real purpose of the after-sex selfie.
Credit: Thinkstock

There is a trend on the Internet where couples take a picture of themselves post-coitus.’s digital managing editor, Kyra Kyles, wrote about #aftersex selfies last week and while some people are ‘weirded’ out by it, others are joining in.

A number of people are wondering, “Why? This is a very intimate and private moment, aren’t you supposed to be cuddling or something? Anything but taking a selfie.”

The reasons people take selfies range from having fun to seeking attention. The following is my clinical take on “The After-Sex Selfie.” Generally speaking, selfies are fine. I mean, who doesn’t want to show off her new dress, remember a special moment with friends, or demonstrate how to throw some killer shade?

However, if done in excess (think: multiple selfies per day), the trend can indicate that there is an issue with self-esteem.

Self-esteem refers to our feelings of self-worth, which is determined by how, and what we see as being our abilities/gifts. Do we view them positively or negatively? Self-esteem is internal and created by the beliefs we have about who we are and how we impact the world, again, either in a positive or negative way. When we have low self-esteem, we need positive external proof to get rid of negative, self-defeating feelings that tend to linger.

The problem is that the positive feeling is only temporary and usually goes away quickly. That is why we see an excess of selfies. In the case of the after-sex selfies, we can surmise that those involved don’t necessarily feel good about their sensuality or sexuality.

In looking at the after-sex selfie, what we see aren’t two people who want the world to know that someone found them desirable, but instead proof to themselves that they were desired and perhaps felt good about themselves.

The messages that are contained in after-sex selfies are elementary. These are messages that should have been conveyed to the individual as a child from the parent or guardian, but in a way that develops a healthy sense of self and worth.

The mirror held by the selfie serves as validation to the message(s) the individual is receiving thereby allowing the individual to hold onto the positive experience in the moment.

The following are examples of the messages after-sex selfies sends:

*  I am desirable
*  I am worthy
*  I can please someone
*  I am special to someone
*  I can make someone happy
*  I am happy
*  I have value
*  I am good at something

The following are examples of how the after-sex selfie can act as a mirror to the person(s) taking the picture and validate the message being sent and belief that is held:

*  Look at how beautiful/handsome you are
*  Notice how happy you are
*  This is proof that you are worthy
*  This is proof that you are desirable
*  No one can doubt that at least one person wants you
*  There is a different side to you
*  Hold on to this moment. It can help you get through the tougher days ahead
*  You are an adult

Whether taken after sex or in the bathroom mirror, selfies captures the images of both our bodies and our minds – we just don’t realize it.

What do you think of the after-sex selfie? Yay or nay? Have you taken one? If so, how come?

With love and light …


Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

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Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90% success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!