Why I Like Nude Modeling

When I published my horrifying story about Terry Richardson last year, a lot of people asked me why I still did nude modeling after having such a gross experience with it. The answer, basically, is this: because I like it. Contrary to popular belief, posing for nude photos is not an inherently fucked up thing to do. If I’d let one bad dude spoil this hobby for me, it would’ve been sort of like letting the terrorists win. And this is America, dammit.

Why do I like it? I’m so glad you asked. The simplest reason is this: naked time is the best time. When was the last time you hung out naked in the sunshine? I don’t want to sound like too much of a hippie here, but there’s nothing like feeling a warm spring breeze whoosh over your outer labia to make you feel alive. I like wearing clothes and all, but once in a while it’s fun to go natural.

It also forces me to fully inhabit my physical self. For quite some time, I had trouble reconciling what I felt like on the inside (nerdy, cerebral, socially awkward) with the weird, woman-shaped meat bag I was walking around in. What the heck was I supposed to do with all of that junk in my trunk? I imagined human beings as disembodied brains hovering over their avatars like players in a video game. Nude modeling helped me integrate my physical self into my whole identity, making me much more comfortable in my own skin. Taking the time to acknowledge and enjoy one’s own body, and sure, one’s vanity, is a source of pleasure I think everyone should experience, whether or not they decide to pose for pictures.

And then, there are all the friends I’ve met. I should probably mention that most of the naked modeling I’ve done has been for Suicidegirls, and I met one of my very best friends on there, without whom my life would be significantly suckier. I’ve also met strippers, sex workers, designers, fellow writers, scientists, and various other cool, tough women from all walks of life who I never would’ve gotten the chance to talk to otherwise. Wherever I travel, I know there will probably be a like-minded lady who wants to hang out with me and show me around, or even put me up at her apartment. It’s like a worldwide sorority for ugly ducklings!

Lastly, what I do on SG is part of my general philosophy of body acceptance. Like I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve worked pretty hard to like the body that I have, despite the fact that it’s not as thin as the fashion magazines tell me it should be. I know how to pose, but I’m also not afraid to let my belly and love handles show a bit in the photos, because that is what I really look like. If people see a non-emaciated girl looking confident and happy with her own naked body, there’s a chance they might feel slightly better about their own bodies. Non-skinny people can be sexy, too!

Basically, SG is my safe space to hang out in my birthday suit and be all sincere and positive and touchy-feely for a change. I realize this type of thing isn’t fun for everyone, but if you think you might like to try it, I’d urge you to do so in as safe and enjoyable a way as possible. Either on the Internet like a fucking exhibitionist, or solely for yourself and/or your special someone. Just make sure to stay away from creepy male fashion photographers, and you’ll do fine.

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    • matbo

      I nude-modelled for a croquis-class and it was a very wonderful experience. To me it was incredibly liberating to get up in front of a bunch of strangers and reveal myself. They viewed my body only to draw it and the drawings were so gorgeous (even though they were “photoshopped” a bit).
      I think it’s good to scare yourself every once in a while.

    • set terry free

      you are the worst

    • shutupalready

      i agree, you ARE the worst.

    • Haley

      I pose as a nude model for art classes because I like money.

    • Ashlee

      I absolutely LOVE how comfortable and happy you are with those pictures. However, I’ve only heard bad things about SuicideGirls. I’m glad you’re having a positive experience so far, but I’ve heard horror stories about trying to get out and they won’t delete your pictures, and if you speak out against it they’ll delete your account but keep your pictures. I’ve even read about them using girls pictures on other websites with a completely different name. That’s all just very scary to me.

      • Ed Manzeer, PE

        We’re trying to hire a woman who will need to get her Suicide Girls pictures off the web to complete corporate security review. SG will not agree to removal of the pictures even when the woman offered to pay back the modeling fee she had received. So SG management is definitely anti-woman, interested only in how much money the pictures can bring in.

    • Female Photographer

      Just for the record, shooting since high school then transitioning into the modeling world traveling all over the world in front of the lens, now a professional photographer who shoots everyone from celebs to models, I find the style of on camera flash from the disposable camera (people have shot since before digital) type of look my mother can do drunk off two bottles of wine and there is nothing different/creative/ about that photography its middle of the road..anyone can shoot that..Meaning, why don’t people shoot with photographers who actually know every type of lighting and know the camera instead of hiring assistants who do….who aren’t in this to just get railed by models?! Wack. Exactly.
      Have a nice evening. Kudos for speaking out about your experience and people need to actually learn their own craft before calling themselves a professional. Maybe they should’ve stuck with the band ;-)

    • Jamie

      In response to you guys’ concerns: SG does not sell pictures to other website, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get stolen once in a while. If you see SG pics where they don’t belong, you can email their legal team and they will try to take care of it.

      And re: the refusing to take pictures down part, well yeah…when you sell your photos to them, you sign over the rights to those photos forever. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of having your naked pics live forever on the internet, you shouldn’t sell them to a website that promises just that. It’s laid out very clearly in the contract we all sign going into it. Just because a business is somewhat woman friendly doesn’t mean it’s going to break its own contracts just to be nice.

    • Jess

      I’m in college studying art, and I just finished up a term taking a figure drawing class. I loved it! The model was great. She was confident and happy and chatted with the students, and had no qualms about standing naked in front of a large window so we would practice drawing with different lighting effects. She sort of made me want to do nude modeling myself, she just seemed so happy to be there.

    • edo deweert

      to pose naked (i prefer that word to “nude”) is living on the edge. i am vulnerable, yet, totally in control.
      there is something thrillingly sexual about being in a studio with a nbaked woman when all of us are clothed.
      drawing her breasts, her buttocks, her pussy is like touching them vicariously.
      i am an artist, but i am also an older guy who poses naked for artists and at art schools and groups.
      funny thing about that, people are always asking me about this erection thing.
      i know, i have read lots of posts on line about it, but really, it’s mind over matter.
      i’d love people to fantasize like ” i wonder how big he is when he’s got a boner”, or, ” i wouldn’t mind feeling that inside me when it’s hard”
      no, a boner they will never get from me, though nowadays it’s very easy for older dudes to get an erection with a little help from the blue friend….
      no, what they get from me is nipples….that’s right, nipples.
      check out my blog at http://www.themodelundraped.blogspot.com