IN MY HUMBLE OPINION… Nude modeling is great. I am not ANY kind of exhibitionist, but I highly recommend the experience.
I have a lesbian friend who is an artist. One day, she and my boyfriend and I were hanging out. She had brought over her portfolio and supplies, to show off to my boyfriend who also is interested in art. On a whim, she asked if she could draw us, and we both replied, “Nude?” We were kidding, of course, but she wasn’t.
So we stripped off our clothes for her and laid down on his bed, cuddling innocently. She took her shirt off, so we didn’t feel any more awkward than necessary, and began to draw. Though the results were only sketches, done in blue and purple, I thought they were beautiful.
I think I learned a lot from this experience. Being naked with other people in a non-sexual way was very freeing. I now feel that the body is not a sexual object, or a thing to be hidden, but a work of art. Being given compliments like, “You have textbook porportions” and “I love the lines between your shoulder and breast” made me feel beautiful in a natural, innocent way. I stopped sucking in my stomach, wondering if my breasts were big enough, and trying to make sure no one noticed that I hadn’t shaved in a while, and just completely accepted my body. Of course, the worries have crept back in, but I’m still really glad I did it.
Model nude. I highly recommend it.
I took it to be an unwritten rule, so I never spoke to the model in class. The drawing class met weekly at 6pm and although we all knew in advance that nudes would be part of the deal, it was still odd for some of us. Samantha would come in wearing an old gray robe, sit on a stool or a chair, the teacher would lock the door and then would make a quick motion and Samantha would drop the robe off. The first couple weeks I heard a couple of shhuuuu sounds, but more recently-nothing. Most of the class was female, and if there were guys who had a reaction to her body unrelated to the assignment, they never said anything to me.
Samantha looked like an athlete; strong tight legs, lean hips and small breasts. Her hair was short, with a razor cut on the nape of her neck. Her eyes were bright blue and when I made contact with them-brief and furtive, they seemed unafraid and calm. I was always the one who looked away embarrased. I tried to focus on her curves and angles and the way that she held the corners of the chair with her hands (white knuckles?). I would spend half the class trying to recreate the strands of dark hair circling around her ears or the back of her legs, hamstrings, straining from a position the instructor had suggested. It was rare that I spent any time on the parts of her body that would have made me perspire. The instructor walked by my easel once and whispered in my ear: She is female, you know…try and get that next week. But I never really did.
A month after the class was over I went into a small sandwich shop near campus for some coffee and a bagel and there in front of me was short dark hair, Samantha’s hair, sticking out from a parka and a bright red scarf. I looked at my boots, and waited my turn, but I happened to glance up at the exact moment she turned around- “Hello,” she said, the small smile I never got right (it was a little crooked and mine weren’t quite…)
“Hey ,” I said, still inspecting the tile of the shop’s floor.
“Don’t be shy, I’m not, obviously.””
Well, you know, it’s kinda awkward for me…I don’t want to rude or whatever…” some quick looks, still stooped over like a Hunchback.
“Well, maybe you could share something about yourself and we would be equal – can you reveal something?”
“Well, OK, maybe, sure…I write, I mean, I write stuff, fiction and you know, whatever…I like to write about people. Do you want to hear a story?” This time I look her square in the eyes, waiting for a sign of some kind.
“OK, that would be nice. Tell me a story about the boy’s locker room. Now that would be revealing, wouldn’t it? ” Sneaky smile now, and I can see she is not going to make this easy. We sit down and I start talking about the rules for lockers and basic towel abuse. I hope I can level the playing field, cause she has one hell of a head start.