13 November 2007

Male Art Model Concerns

During the month of October, I reviewed a book on this blog by Sarah R. Phillips, "Modeling Life...". I was familiar with every issue, concern, and aspect of modeling that she brought up because I have been an art model myself. I mentioned she covered male models dealing with erections, but I did not elaborate as to HOW they dealt with them. Since then I have received a lot of questions regarding men who want to know how to deal with this issue should it arise, (no pun intended). Soooo, I think it may be a blog worthy topic to cover. Bear with me here. I hope my mom doesn't see this.

Okay, first there are birds. Then you have bees. Suddenly, an errant thought crosses your mind. What happens? You'll get an erection despite the fact that you are naked in front of a mass of people and a woody is not a desired outcome. Sex stats say men think about sex 70% of the time during the course of a day, so laws of probability say its likely to happen if you model at some point during your career. It won't happen too often because posing is not a sex thing. You are mainly concerned with not moving a muscle, the ache that's in your neck and shoulders, and the fact that you KNOW 20 minutes MUST have elapsed by now.

If it does happen, its probably gonna be when you are in a comfortable position and relaxed. For me, I would try to position myself at some angle whereby I would be facing one of the studio lights. If I even thought for a second that an erection might be coming on, I'd blind myself with the lights. Was that smart? Maybe not, but to not pop a boner in a class was worth the temporary blindness. If for whatever reason, that didn't work, I begin a thought changing process. Two thoughts that worked for me was 1.) puppies in a bag floating in a river...look don't hate! I love dogs which is why it tended to be effective. There are 3 boxers running around my house right now; 2.) imagining what my grandmother would do if she walked in on me right at that instant. In all of my days getting naked, each of those things failed to work on 4 occasions. In 2 of those instances, I faked a cramp. On the third one, I didn't break the pose because only one girl had full view, which was why it happened to begin with. She was 2 feet away from the platform sitting on the floor while my legs where open. We both whispered apologies to each other and acted like all was normal so everyone else was none the wise. The forth one happened when I fell asleep. There ain't nothing you can do about that one. Play Nightmare on Elm Street and "Don't fall asleep!"

Well, I hope that helps. Its brief, but effective, I think. I thought I'd throw in some more fun pics from Colorado. They all have titles too. Tune in next time when I cover female issues... To shave or not to shave!


Iris Dassault said...

Well - at least you are giving us a fair intro into the hair/no hair discussion with a frank review of this male situation. I really enjoyed reading your perspectives and honesty on this. What a great post!!! Thank you for sharing

ArgentoLuna said...

Great post on a somewhat taboo subject in the art modeling community. I have been an art model for 10 years now (started at age 18) and have loved every minute of it. Males get spontaneous erections. It's just a fact of life, and they do happen on the modeling stand. I get erections every so often, and in all ten years and the several dozen times it has happened I've never received a negative comment, and have always been asked back by the class or group. I have had some positive comments, but have never been explicitly ask to pose with an erection.

Thank you for addressing the subject. It would be interesting to hear from other male models on this. Do you know of a blog specifically for art models, or at least a message board? This topic among many others would be fascinating to discuss...

TLNeasley said...

I don't know of a specific one for art models. I will be starting a blog for art models sometime in then next few months as my Las Vegas Artist's Models Group gets up and running. I am sure you can do some web searches for forums and the like. Thanks for the comment!


shamanalix said...

I agree with argentoluna. As a model, if it happens, it happens -- just another nervous twitch or itch that one deals with and ignores the best one can, and maintains the basic pose. If I'm not going to flinch when a hornet lands on my cranium during a pose, an erection is nothing. It happens too quite often when a male clenches buttock muscles to try to prevent passing gas; so it's just part of the job, doesn't really mean a thing.

I would be interested in your view on shaved male genitalia from the artist's view (npi), as I've pondered doing that.

Sorry I didn't get to meet you, t, on my recently completely Vegas visit; I had a great week! Keep up the fine work, and happy holidaze all...

soFLAmfigure said...

I concur. Erections happen. If it were possible for men to control erections, then there would be no market for those little blue pills that are in such high demand these days.

One experience that convinced me that a model should not break a pose was during a session at one of my regular college art classes. It was the first time these kids had drawn from a model and the instructor could not be there so she left the class in charge of a graduate student. This brought a lot of responsibility with it to make a good first impression. I was in a 10 minute standing pose when I started to get hard, so I knelt down and drank some water from my bottle. Every one of the students was puzzled why and exclaimed "Hey! What's going on?"

It is unlikely that any of them noticed or cared about it at all, they simply wanted to continue drawing and I failed in my job to continue the pose for them. From that day forward I have soldiered on even if my soldier stands at attention and have been hired back numerous times since then. It helps that I show up on time and am friendly and communicative, also.

There was an odd situation last Spring when I got a call from a nice young lady who runs an art studio in Miami. She was throwing an "art party" for a group of older women who would be making a day of it together. They showed up, she had easels in a U-shape in the narrow studio, and she had me come out of the back room draped and then to a little mini strip-tease.

I picked up pretty quickly that these women had seen it all and were out to have a little fun. A couple of them made pointed remarks designed expressly to get me aroused and it worked. We all had a great time, some of them drew some good art, and the shop owner was pleased that everything went so well.

With this and other experiences I know better than to think that a common natural occurrence like an erection is a problem. It is not. The problems come from how the owner behaves.