Once again, I've been inspired by the Model Mayhem forums. A female model recently inquired as to whether Bad Things had ever happened to anybody who had nude images on the internet. She had commented that it didn't seem like it was necessarily that big of a deal. And really, most people can probably have some nude images up online and keep that fact unknown to those who they don't want to be aware of it.
There are steps that many models take to minimize the chances that somebody in their day to day lives will recognize them. You can work under an alias. You can refrain from telling anybody on more than a need-to-know basis. You can request that your face not show in any images. All of these steps can reduce the chances of somebody stumbling onto your nude modeling work and identifying you.
But you can't bank on that. As soon as something hits the internet, it is out of your control. If there is anybody at all that absolutely cannot know about, or see, nude images of you, then you should not model nude for photographers. Painters, sculptors, and drawing groups? Yeah, those are probably safe, and less likely to create a stir even if discovered. But photography is another beast all together.
It can be a wonderful, liberating decision for many people. It certainly has been for me. But it is not a wise decision for everybody. So please- if you're considering modeling nude, really think through where you are in life now, and every direction in which you might possibly go in the future. Because once you're naked on the internet, you can never take it back.