While I was an undergraduate at university, I posed nude for art classes with the university’s School of Arts, Media and Humanities. It was not a problem for me as Alex, my identical twin brother, and I had for years been allowed to be clothes-free while in the room we shared in my parent’s home. First year students weren’t allowed to be nude models so I posed without clothes from my second year at university through my graduation two years later.
I was thrilled at the prospect of being bare for pay. I remember thinking at the time that this was the very best job imaginable. Doing something that I enjoyed (being completely bare) and getting paid for doing it. All that was required of me was to meet the class, remove all my clothing and then pose as the professor instructed. Life just doesn’t get any better than this! I thought nothing could be easier than being naked in front of a class with all their eyes focused on me.
I guess this was me being young, foolish and being completely naive. Just as all roads are not paved in gold, nude models are not paid for idle work. They have to labor for their financial rewards. Holding the same pose for fifteen to twenty minutes without any motion quickly becomes boring and monotonous, especially if you have to tense a particular muscle. Holding an accessory such as a shovel, a sword or even a gourd for a specified amount of time can become quite tedious. Who knew a handful of grapes could be so heavy?
Posing while seated wasn’t too uncomfortable, unless I had to stay in an unnatural position. But having to stand in one position for more than a few minutes was positively gruelling. It’s amazing the number of sensations, real or imagined, your body experiences in a short span of time. Stifling a yawn or ignoring an itch are just a few of the inconveniences of bare modeling. Standing and remaining stationary was challenging as one becomes prone for muscle cramping and spasms.
The second academic semester that I posed, the classroom instructor requested that I shave all my body hair for a specific assignment that she had in mind. At this time in my life, I had just turned 19 years old. I remembered waiting for an eternity, or so it seemed, while in secondary school to grow hair on my chest. There was no way I was going to shave myself for a one-time posing session. I relayed this to the instructor. She was upset and promised that I would never pose for any of her classes again. Several other male student models asked me about this and agreed that they felt the same as I about shaving their body hair.
Within two weeks she contacted me to pose for her students. Nothing about posing with a hairless body was ever mentioned again to either myself or the two other male models. I imagine they weren’t too thrilled with the idea of using a razor in the proximity of their “manhood.” The subject was a mute issue for the remainder of my undergraduate days at university.
During my graduate studies, when people first met me and learned that I’d posed nude for art classes, usually one of the first questions asked was if I was self-conscious or uncomfortable posing naked in front of women. Until asked this question, I honestly had never even considered that aspect. I suppose the reason is that I was always comfortable with my bareness so it wasn’t an issue.
Another reason is that none of my posed sittings were for an all-women class. The art classes at university were always co-educational and there were always several males in every class. Later, it was revealed to me that the question wasn’t all about gender as much as it was about the fact that I was the only person bare/naked/nude in front of a class where everyone else was fully clothed. My thinking then was the same as it is now: why didn’t they ask me that?
I’ve never been very body-conscious. My nudity, or lack of clothing, wasn’t an issue for me. If I was bare and all those around me were textile (clothes wearing), I didn’t experience any discomfort or shame. I still don’t. I always viewed it as a small price to pay for my clothes-freedom and gave it no more thought. It was my choice, my decision and it was my preference.
I honestly enjoyed my experience in posing nude for the art classes as an undergraduate. My favorite benefit was, of course, in being bare while those around me were forced to wear clothes. The next favorite was in being paid for doing something that I really liked – being without clothes for a legitimate reason. The opportunity instilled in me an appreciation for those who pose professionally for artists and photographers, as they can be a very demanding and tempermental group of people by nature.
Last, but not least, it felt good to know that everyone in the classroom was focused on both myself and my body. Most definitely food for the ego to feast upon!