Sex and Photography

I was recently reduced to posting to my local Washington, DC craigslist in search of work. I shouldn’t be so mean to craigslist- it’s an awesome resource. But, on with the story.

Within one email exchange the following came up:

I’m married and discretion is a must. Weekdays work best for me as I can take time off from work and my wife won’t know.

I couldn’t go on with the shoot. The first was because I’d feel guilty about helping someone do something their partner wouldn’t approve of.

The second was because this shoot wasn’t about art or fun or creating images; it was about someone getting off on photographing me.

But, how much of what I’ve done overlaps into that area- that place where someone gets turned on by photographing me?

I’m not talking about creating images of a sexual nature, or being attracted to the person you’re working with- I’m talking about what happens when I’m fufilling someone’s kink. Is there a real way to tell? And so what if I am- is there really anything wrong with that?

I think the line is fuzzier than it first appears. How many photographers started out taking pictures of their girlfriends? That’s what sparked my interest in modeling, after all- my boyfriends took pictures of me. The vast majority of photographers that I’ve worked with have been straight and male- it’s pretty safe to say that they like naked girls in their beds as well as in their studios.

I’m always telling people, “It’s not like sex. It’s completely different.” But is it really that different to every single person I’ve worked with- and is it always completely different with me?

Is it possible to create sexual images without being sexually intimate on some level? I suppose it depends on your definition of intimate- and what you see as sexual.

Photography by Bryan Davis Ltd, taken in December, 2006.

P.S. The blog is broke. Something went horribly wrong with my ability to upload entries to host them myself; from now until I bother to figure out why that is, this blog will be located at

6 Responses to “Sex and Photography”

  1. on 13 Dec 2006 at 11:45 amCharles

    Have you considered doing photography yourself? Perhaps to understand this better, you could go to the other side of the lense. The way you feel when you take nude photos of others may help you understand the relationship and intimacy between model and photographer.

  2. on 13 Dec 2006 at 2:19 pmCandy


    Photography is something I’d love to attempt in 20-30 years, when I can afford the extra stress, cost, and trouble.

    I don’t think the fact that some people get off specifically on photographing naked women(or men, for that matter) is up for debate.

  3. on 17 Dec 2006 at 6:48 pmAnonymous

    Candy - your photos rock, you rock. An honest sensuality - much more valuable than ‘barely-legal’ nonsense.

    Howard Wall.

  4. on 27 Dec 2006 at 4:03 pmGreg

    I picked up a camera because I adore women. I started using rope (i.e. bondage) because I am a Control freak >:-)

    I admire your openess, while not all that unusual in the fetish scene, it is unusual in a model.

    Be Well,

  5. on 06 Jan 2007 at 2:17 amNick

    The relationship between artist and model isn’t about sex, it’s about desire. We live in a culture where the naked body is automatically associated with sex and where sex is not a natural act, but highly coded and controlled (both internally - hangups - and externally - conventions, laws etc.). Therefore the naked body represents, for us westerners, not just a wonderfully articulated structure of forms, but also the potential crossing of limits. Were you from a culture more at ease with the body and its functions, you might be asking yourself why anyone would have the need to photograph you let alone pay.

    Being a westerner I can see why people want to photograph you - and you have a body the camera likes.

    I’m not a photographer and I have never modelled - might do me some good, but I always feel that there are more aesthetically pleasing things out there. I do and have drawn a lot from the nude model, and it is still my main ressource when I am looking for forms.

    Have you tried modelling for a painter or other artist? It is, I suspect, a different experience from being photographed. First there is the time it takes and this creates a different intimacy. The work comes from the artist’s eye and hand and his mind that articulates the two, but in some indefinable way the model contributes just as much. It really is a joint effort.

  6. on 06 Jan 2007 at 3:02 amcandyposes

    Yes, I model for artists. I’ve found the experience physically painful and that it pays shit. The one time I was 100% sure my primary reason for being somewhere was to get someone off was posing for an artist.

    There is no one sacred photographer/artist-model relationship dynamic.

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