Friday, March 28, 2014

The Initiation

Lighting is spotty in this apartment. It looks gorgeous in front of the windows, but then you have these dark corners. I put a large mirror against the wall to reflect the light and shine it into one of those corners (where the bed is strategically placed). I didn't think there'd be enough light to get a decent picture, but look how it turned out. Surprisingly bright, and very clean and white.

I was in a picture-taking mood, and started wondering about a thing that's been on my mind. Namely, how does one go about shooting a subject that is blatantly and explicitly pornographic, in a way that makes it "artistic", and maybe even beautiful? I'm not sure if I succeeded this time around, but I am very happy with the result either way.

Basically, I came to the conclusion that it would depend primarily on the light used (hence my acrobatics with mirrors). This light may be a little too harsh, and not dynamic enough for a truly "artistic" portrait - it even looks kinda flash-y, though a bit prettier than your typical head-on flash.

But where an amateur pornographer would only be concerned with exposing the subject and getting the audience's blood pumping, I, as an artist - in addition to those goals - am concerned with posing my model in an aesthetically pleasing way that is as flattering as possible.

Success or failure is ultimately going to be a matter of subjective opinion. Obviously, there are some who would curl their nose at the most artistic depiction of human sexuality, and others who think the raw act is the very definition of beauty itself. Me? I'm content to produce an image that I think covers both goals of being aesthetic and erotic. That's what separates me from the non-erotic artists and the non-artistic pornographers.

And I'm not concerned, either way, with whether my art is suggestive or whether it is explicit. There are merits to both approaches, and I see no reason why an artist should limit himself to one or the other. "Going all the way", so to speak, does not prohibit one from continuing to appreciate subtlety. It's not quite like tasting the apple and being expelled from the garden. I see it as more of a revolving door.


  1. I like the sexual energy of photo number 1, especially with the two really nice hard cocks pointing toward one another.

    Can you tell me what you imagine happening in this "Initiation?" I'd love to know your thoughts on that. Would love to see photos showing further stages in the process. BTW, nice mix of gender cues!

    Nice pose in the kitchen photo. I like your "outfit" and the lighting. Is that a dragonfly on the wall, or just my imagination?

  2. Lol, yeah, that's a dragonfly. I think it's part of a wind chime. My roommate loves things like that - they're hanging all over the place.

    As for The Initiation, I would love to do photos demonstrating later stages, but I think this is about the limit of what I can do with clones. Since I'm not very good with Photoshop, and there are limits even if I was, contact is mostly out of the question, and so occasionally with these clone shots I just try to see how I can make the most sexually explicit interactions between different visual representations of myself. (It's a challenge).

    This image in particular was actually inspired by an image I came across on the web, that depicted a woman on a bed flanked by men preparing to have sex with her. I wanted to recreate that situation, but also, as I was taking the photo, I started thinking that it could be some kind of really perverted hazing ritual, or maybe something like out of the movie Eyes Wide Shut. I actually shot an alternate version of the image with the two figures on the sides wrapped up indiscriminately in black hooded cloaks, but I didn't think it was as visually interesting (or suggestive) as the fully nude version.

    That's actually another one of my sexual fantasies - pagan ritual sex. Something to do with hooded, anonymous figures, and bonfires in the woods at night, and sacred sexual rites. That kind of thing intrigues me. I actually attended a real life druid ritual once, but I was kind of disappointed by how un-sexy it was. Nobody even took their clothes off! (Though it was pretty cold that pre-dawn morning).

  3. It's funny to imagine how people who think of you as angelic (and, of course, you do look angelic) would react if they knew you attended a druid ritual – and especially if they knew you found it a bit too dull for your tastes, lol.

    One of my sexual fantasies is not exactly a pagan sexual ritual, though something like in Eyes Wide Shut would be cool, but just some nice "normal" everyday CFNM. I've always enjoyed pictures like that, with a nude guy performing for a group of clothed women, either as a stripper or as a nude model. A performer for Hen Parties would be a good job, lol. Of course, the women can get nude too later on – that would be all the better!

    My girlfriend in college told me she took an art class not long before we met, featuring life drawing from nude models. She said that during one of the breaks, the nude male model came to her to chat – still nude and sporting a bit of a semi. He kind of displayed it prominently right in front of her at eye level. She enjoyed chatting and flirting with him. He then asked her out for coffee after the session. She said she turned him down, though was intrigued – at least, that's what she said she did, lol.

    Have you ever thought of hiring out as a nude model? You could get paid to model nude for a room full of people who are all looking at you intently. Maybe you could hire out as a male stripper for bachelorette parties. I seem to recall some pictures of you and a stripper pole. Something to think about, lol.

  4. Yeah, CFNM seems to be a popular niche. I like CMNF at least as much - even though people will say, "well, duh, isn't that 90% of porn?" There's still something about a formal environment where the men are dressed and the women are all completely nude that I think is exciting. The feminists might complain that it's sexist and all that, but I still like it. But yeah, even when you flip the roles, as an exhibitionist, I could totally understand the appeal of being the naked one.

    Sure, I've considered modeling nude for an art class. There was one at my college that I almost went to, but ultimately, I chickened out. I was still coming out of my shell at that point, and that was before I ever got into social nudism. But it's definitely one of those things I've thought about trying.

    I'm a lot more experienced as a nude model nowadays, and I occasionally do my work in front of my partner. But I have yet to really stretch out and try modeling nude for someone I don't have an intimate relationship with. That's something I'd like to do, in addition to shooting other people nude. But I'm a bit of a recluse, so meeting people with these interests is a bit of a challenge.

  5. Yeah, you should try modeling sometime. Would probably be a fun experience.

    I know what you mean about chickening out, though. In college I was picked to play piano for a burlesque show. I enjoyed doing a few rehearsals, but then the fact that there would be some actual strippers in the show (which I was totally fine with) made me chicken out. Oh well, seems so silly now because I'm definitely not shy anymore.

    I wish you lived somewhere nearby, because I would totally love to volunteer to be a nude model for you. That would be so much fun on so many levels! Of course, you probably wouldn't be interested in a male nude model, so that's another strike against the whole idea. Still, it would be fun to work with you to do a shot like your Initiation photo, where I could be one of the two guys getting ready to have sex. Or now that's it's October I could do some fun shots with a pumpkin, kind of like the ones you've done. Fun fantasies.

  6. Yeah, I'd be much more enthusiastic about working with a female model. I wouldn't rule out working with a male model completely, but it'd have to be a special someone, with a particular body type that I felt inspired to photograph.