A photo essay, studying what it means to pose nude

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I once posed naked, one of the university papers here was looking for people for an issue about sex.

I thought about it, and realized that if someone recognized me, it might be a good thing. They’d have to admit looking. But I was also around 34 at the time.

But it was odd. I felt like the photographer was doing me a favor, a chance to be bold. And I realized I was most uncomfortable when she was looking through the camera, which meant I wasn’t sure where she was looking.

I’m not sure I felt vulnerable, but it was a passive role, being naked while she had her clothes on. Women often are portrayed that way, but men less often. And for men to be naked like that, it often seems to suggest being in control.


I found this post much more interesting than the video or book concept, which is yet another depiction of women of a given age and body type in the same role of passive nudity that you described. Thanks for sharing.


The closest I ever got was posing for the flyer advertising our senior art exhibition because nobody else in my class was willing to do it. I think the girl behind the camera was more embarrassed than I was.


As I get older I just don’t give a shit anymore if people see me naked. I’ve never posed nude on purpose but after several stints in the hospital with those pitiful gowns I lost all sense of modesty.

Same goes for the locker room - while the teenagers are desperately trying to change underneath a towel I just let it all hang out. I figure that I don’t really wish to see them and they sure as hell don’t want to see me, so why care?


Interesting topic. Many of my college friends were artists, and they drew nude models in class every week. I was kind of stunned to learn it’s just a job, and also to learn most of the models weren’t pretty. I was disappointed.

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Artists generally learn to draw people in the nude before learning to draw them clothed because it’s easier to draw a clothed person if you have a basic understanding of what’s going on underneath all that fabric.

In fact many figure drawing classes start with models that are even MORE nude:


there’s hundreds of drawings of me out there (probably in the landfill at this point, lol.)

I used to pose for the life drawing classes at my uni for extra money. my mom wasn’t a nudist, but she was a hippie type and an artist, so the human body was never stigmatized to me. I was also majoring in art at the time–it didn’t dawn on me that all the other models were not in uni or in other curricula; I was modelling for a bunch of people I knew and/or at least saw around the building. Maybe that was awkward for them, but I couldn’t be bothered. I mean, I’m playing it off as cool but that probably points to being “socially blind” on some level. In the end, it didn’t seem to matter much.

I wish I had a few of those drawings, though.


“We human beings are paradoxes of lust and awe, blood and psychology. We crash into each other, we slip against each other. It is impossible not to react.”

It’s a giant artist statement created as a kickstarter! This guy is good at taking nudes, but he is brilliant at marketing!

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Yeah. I’m 39. Fuck it. I figure in another 30 years I’ll be one of those weird old dudes just hanging out naked at the Y.

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I like a naked woman about as much as you possibly can and I’m generally in favor of sexualzed nudity. But I have to say that having kids has greatly changed my view of nudity. They’re young (4 & 6), and I bathe them every night. I’m in awe of how perfect and beautiful they are. I was never comfortable naked as a child (Nekkid, actually. I’m from the south). I blame my fatness and my bible-thumping, conservative family. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I became comfortable with my body. So it’s interesting for me to see how completely at ease my kids are with their own bodies. I don’t want them to turn into exhibitionists or anything, but I hope they maintain that comfort with their physical selves.


Isn’t that the real key to modern art? Convincing someone that whatever conceptual crap they’ve made up is “art”, even though it may exhibit the technical skills of of a 5 year old?

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Definitely not! I would say that the biggest failings I encounter in art, media, entertainment, etc is the pervasive notion that it somehow matters how many people like what you do. Trying to appeal to people strikes me as always a deeply insecure gesture, and I think this undermines the deeper motivations of why such works demonstrate the need to exist for their own sake.

The irony is that being an egotistical person looking for attention and validation is a very common and banal outlook - yet people keep doing it, and hoping to impress with it. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything particularly modern about this. The key to art is that it needs to be made, regardless of what anybody thinks about it.


Ooooo! We haven’t had a ‘What is Art?’ thread for a while.


Yeah, about that, much of my favorite art got made because it was commissioned based on pleasing the client.

I am not sure that we are having one now, either! My remarks were about the motivations behind artistic work, rather than what content, form, or technique it might embody.

But can it be certain that this is true causation - as to say, that it would not have been made for any other reasons, under any other circumstances? There is not anything wrong with favor, money, pleasure, or survival in and of themselves - so long as one is ambivalent about them, rather than allowing them to motivate oneself as a personal problem. Compared to artistic impulse or enriching society, pleasing a person for their patronage sounds like a stereotypically fickle motivation for any sort of worthwhile undertaking. I am happy if some people have made the best of those circumstances, but I am very skeptical about regarding them as being essentially necessary.


I’ve never posed nude, but the spas around here are basically all mixed gender and “Textilfrei”. Unlike clothing optional places that I’ve heard about it the US, it’s certainly not just old people who go. While people generally put on a towel when walking between areas, it’s kind of nice to spend a few hours in an environment where nobody has anything to hide. (I mean, some couples are a little too open about their feelings for each other, but most people are pretty relaxed).


We haven’t had a ‘what is @popobawa4u really saying’ thread for a while either. I refer you to the chair .gif :wink:


I just decided to ignore the opening salvo; popo, on the other hand…

I had a drawing class in high school where we had a skeleton to draw.

I used to make it talk to the people in my group.

Later I found out, it was real, because artificial skeletons cost more money to manufacture than to just take one from a med school cadaver.

That made it much more amusing. At the time, anyways. I am an adult now.