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My boyfriend of almost six years (now my fiancee!) is an aspiring photographer. He’s been into photography since high school (he’s 30 now). He shoots a wide range of subjects, but he talks about wanting to shoot nudes/scantily clad photos of women, and I’m just not comfortable with it. I have no problem at all with him watching girls online in porn. But that’s a fantasy world and it’s no one we know or will ever know.
My fiancé’s not a sleazy guy or anything like that, and he’s not just a GWC (guy with camera) trying to get girls naked. I know it’s for his art and he thinks nude photos will progress his photography career. And while I believe all of this, it still comes down to the fact that he would be seeing other women — women he finds attractive because those are the only women he’ll shoot — scantily clad and posing/dressing in ways that turn him on. I don’t believe that he would physically cheat on me, but I don’t like knowing that these real-life women will be his masturbation material later on.
I feel bad because I would never want to hold him back from doing what he wants, especially when it comes to his art and career, but I know I won’t ever be able to feign comfort. Photographer friends of his shoot women this way, and he wonders why their girlfriends/wives are OK with it and I’m not, but I’ve told him I don’t really care about what other people are comfortable with; I’m not! This is a difficult situation that doesn’t really seem to have a solution. Please help! — No Nudies, Please
You say this is a situation that doesn’t have a solution, but the truth is it has a very obvious solution; it just happens to be a painful one. If your fiancé is determined to make something that really upsets you part of his regular life, you can either learn to live with it or break up with him. Both options are going to leave you unhappy and feeling like you’ve compromised more than you should have to. The big question is: which option is going to leave you feeling worse?
If you marry a man whose job — whose actual way of living — hurts you each and every day, what is that resentment going to do to you — and your relationship! — over time? it can’t be good. On the other hand, if you leave him, you’ll hurt quite a bit — maybe for a very long time — but eventually you’ll move on and hopefully find someone whom being with won’t require such sacrifice on your part.
Of course, the third option — the one you’re really hoping I address is that your fiancé give up his dream of photographing nude women, which is about as likely to happen as you magically waking up one morning and being totally fine with his line of work. You already know you’re not going to suddenly get over the idea of the man you love ogling beautiful naked women all day, so you could make one last ditch effort to see if your fiancé would consider giving it up. If he had to choose between you and the nudes, which would he choose? If it isn’t you, would you want to marry him anyway?
If the answer is “yes,” and you really, truly cannot see yourself walking away from this man — this man whose number one passion isn’t you but photographing other women — I suppose there a few steps you could take to try to become okay with what it is he does. You could visit him on a set a few times if he’d allow it and see if you built a sort of de-sensitivity to it over time. You could talk to the wives and girlfriends of his photographer friends about how they cope with their significant others’ careers. Or … you could develop a really extraordinary imagination and picture the women your man photographs as fully-clothed Susan Boyle look-alikes, and any time your fiancé wants to show you his newest pictures, you could squeeze your eyes shut, stick your fingers in your ears and shout, “I can’t hear you!” over and over until he drops the subject.
As I said in the first sentence, the most obvious solution is probably the best one, even if it is painful.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
milli May 2, 2011, 7:44 am
I have to disagree with you, Wendy. This is clearly a case of trust issues. What if the fiance was a gynecologist? Why would watching porn be ok and not taking nude photos?
honeybeenicki May 2, 2011, 7:52 am
LW, I had a very similar problem. After my husband gave up playing the drums to have more time with his kids, he wanted to find another creative outlet. After trying a few things, he LOVED photography and now aspires to do it as a career. At first he was doing pretty scenery, family photographs, etc but eventually he wanted to expand his portfolio further and approached me with the idea of photographing nude/partially nude women. At first I reacted the same way you do – No Way! But, after sitting in on a few of these shoots, I saw how happy it made him and how it really wasn’t inappropriate (he wasn’t touching them or doing anything inappropriate with them). I realized if he really wants to do this as a career (its been 3 years since he started and he still wants to), he is going to run into times where he needs to do these photo shoots. In the “real world” of photography, unless he specializes in something completely different, he’s going to run into situations and possibly paying jobs where he will need to do this (and possibly have proof that he can in his portfolio).
Now, I was able to get over it and I’m comfortable with it now. That doesn’t mean you will be able to, but I can tell you DON’T make him choose between his passion and you. Even if you ultimately “win,” he will resent you for it and you may feel guilty for it.
And just to address one thing you said: “I don’t like knowing that these real-life women will be his masturbation material.” To be honest, I don’t know nor do I care what my husband uses to entertain himself in that way as long as another real-life person isn’t involved while he’s actually doing it. You don’t know that he doesn’t fantasize about someone at work or in your neighborhood. Sure, those people are probably not parading around naked when he sees them, but I guarantee that they are in his fantasy. If you trust him, then trust him completely. If you don’t, then its a lost cause. There is no relationship without trust.
Kerrycontrary May 2, 2011, 9:51 am
your last paragraph is so true. I read that many men fantasize about our best friends, relatives, and coworkers. But like you said, as long as there isn’t a real person involved who cares?
Callifax May 2, 2011, 12:00 pm
My boyfriend is also a photographer and I think the point you made about your husband not touching or being intimate with his subjects is an important one. There isn’t a lot sexy about photographing nude women – they are often in difficult poses, potentially cold, with bright lights and usually more than one person surrounding them. It’s like sex scenes in movies – it LOOKS hot, but you have to remember there is a lot going on, as far as equipment and crew, behind the scenes.
LW, I’d try to go to a few of these shoots and see what it really entails. I think it will make you feel much better.
honeybeenicki May 2, 2011, 12:22 pm
You are certainly right about it not exactly being comfortable.
SpyGlassez May 2, 2011, 4:59 pm
I remember when my roommate was in college (she’s an art major) and they had to do live drawing sessions. Yes, that meant nude, and while it was a little different (the models were not necessarily the most attractive people, just people willing to model for art students), I used to wonder how the girlfriends of the guys in the class felt about their boyfriends working over charcoal sketches of naked women. But my friend explained it to me thus: while you are working on it, you are working with one part here, one part there; you get caught up in the parts and don’t look at the whole. It becomes an exercise in light and shading and composition.
LW, there’s a difference between artful nude photography and porn. If your boyfriend is really an artist, he can differentiate. If he’s not being inappropriate – and he’s not keeping the negatives for his own personal amusement – then he probably doesn’t really see your problem with it.
However, as we’ve said many times to other posters, everyone is entitled to their comfort level. If it makes you uncomfortable and hurts you that he might do this, then you two might not be best suited for one another.
Adam February 25, 2020, 12:54 pm
Hi honeybeenicki. I am the guy in this very similar situation .the two of you. If you get to read this massage 10 years later. I’d be very curios to know how things turned out between you.Looking for a bit of wisdom ATM
Anonymous March 1, 2021, 8:44 pm
I’d love to hear your perspective if that’s okay, from the guy in this scenario.
My boyfriend is an artist, his work is about borders and freedom of movement. He always takes clothed photos of people usually within installations of metaphorical borders, or documents himself confronting metaphorical borders.
Once day we were chatting, and he was doing what I took to be testing my boundaries, describing different scenarios he was suggesting would be ‘just between friends’, saying he might have a female friend over, and they might have a few drinks and get close, laying across each other or sitting arm around each other, or he might have a friend stay in his bed but saw it as ‘just friends’, but then also slipped in that “and sometimes we just can’t remember what happens if we are drunk” – I was understanding as I have male friends, and have when we were much younger (I am now 33 and he is 38) I stayed over at guy friends houses just as friends and nothing happened, but we were a lot younger, and I wouldn’t want to give a male friend the wrong impression now so wouldn’t do it and haven’t in a long time. It wasn’t until he said the bit about sometimes getting too drunk to remember what happens that I was like ‘hang on a minute’ and got upset and thought he was trying to bring up grey areas to cheat (we are monogamous, he wants me to be monogamous, and when I asked if he would be comfortable with me doing any of this with a guy friend he said no).
The next morning he said “what about topless?”, I didn’t know if he meant taking topless photos, or being around his friends if they are topless, he later claimed he meant, what if I wanted to go topless on a beach but I could tell from his face that he didn’t.
We agreed that actually he wouldn’t want me to do any of those things, and we agreed we were both looking for monogamy but he later passive-aggressively “joked” I was “conservative” and “churchy”, even though he said he wouldn’t be comfortable with me doing the same things he was proposing he do or for me to go topless, although he had clearly wanted it to be ok for him to be around topless women.
We were talking tonight and he said he had meant him taking naked photos of women. As I understand it, the situations he was describing, taken collectively, are contexts where he was creating grey areas to cheat, but let’s say he wanted to take photos, without any of the other sleepovers or scenarios, just photos – do you think there is always a sexual element to taking naked photos of women or no? or can it be more detached, just seeing natural beauty? Should I be worried?
I’d really appreciate your honest opinion, as I have been with unfaithful, and emotionally and physically abusive guys who gaslight before and lie about their intentions and cheating, and I really don’t want to get hurt again or be left to wonder what’s going on / if he is just doing it as an excuse to get close to naked women / get women he knows naked.
LTC039 May 2, 2011, 9:05 am
It’s hard to take in, but Wendy’s right. We cannot stop another human being (even our partner) from doing something that they’re passionate about. (Trust me, I’ve tried). If your fiance is really, truly, the right person for you, you guys should be able to sit down & have a heart-to-heart & maybe come to a middle ground.
But, think, if YOU were really passionate about something & your fiance tried to stop you, what would you do? In life, we got to go after what we’re passionate about, & trust me, he WILL resent you if you frobid him, just as you’ll resent him for doing it.
Talk about it. Come to an agreement. If you can’t, as hard as it may be, you guys should go your seperate ways.
Kerrycontrary May 2, 2011, 9:54 am
I agree with Wendy that you either need to learn to deal with it or leave him. The only thing that is concerning me here is that this is clearly a case where you said to your fiance “this bothers me, I wish you wouldn’t do it” and he goes and does it anyways. Is this a one time occurrence or a pattern throughout your relationship? Either way, I would first try to get comfortable with the situation and if you really cant, then I think your only choice is to break up. Don’t get married until you work this out.
fast eddie May 2, 2011, 9:07 am
I’ve done a little photography and it’s a lot of work. No matter what the subject is you have to be somewhat detached from it to maintain objectivity. As honeybeenicki pointed out it would be a benefit to yourself and him if you joined the project. Obviously seeing a beautiful woman nude or partially nude is mentally stimulating. Were it not there isn’t any point of capturing the image. To have some idea about what the goings on check out the videos of Sports Illustrated swimsuit photo sessions. Best case, there isn’t any time for hanky panky at those. The point here is that this is a matter of trust. If you have doubts about it then your relationship’s in jeopardy already. Excluded from shooting nudes for your sake will most certainly leave him feeling resentful and adversely affect the relationship.
LTC039 May 2, 2011, 9:34 am
I agree she should talk to him about joining the set, but there’s a fine line b/w being a supportive wife & becoming the crazy jealous wife who stalks her husband on the set. If she’s THAT against it, he might not be comfortable with her being on the set, photographers take their work seriously. He might tell her “No, I don’t think it would be a good idea if you joined me,” & that would lead to an even bigger problem…
That’s why I mentioned they should talk things out. If he tells her “sure, tag along,” great! But who knows how SHE’LL react, maybe she’ll want to be there *every* time & that won’t be good for either of them. She’s got to accept it 100% & trust him 100% before she can join him on set.
honeybeenicki May 2, 2011, 9:41 am
I completely agree. When my husband started doing this, we set a few ground rules including I was allowed to come to a few (we decided on 3-4, I only went 2 times), I had to stay out of the way and keep my mouth shut, and I wouldn’t interfere with anything going on. I suppose it helps that I’m not really a jealous person for the most part, but once I got used to it I LOVE seeing his work, including the ones with nude women. I believe the human body is a beautiful thing and a good photographer can bring out the best. We even have a few of them framed in our house and they are all tasteful and not pornographic (he has two kids so we wouldn’t be able to have anything pornographic).
Christy May 2, 2011, 10:08 am
Let’s be clear: according to LW, her BF has never photographed these women, he just would like to. He’s been very respectful of her wishes. It’s another sector of the photography market; if he’s hoping to have a photography career, he would do well to break into as many sectors as possible.
Would you have the same problem if he were passionate about drawing and he drew nude models at an art school? It’s just a matter of practicing with the human form–it’s another subject, that’s all.
SpaceySteph May 2, 2011, 10:41 am
I was thinking the same thing… sort of. My father is a gynecologist and throughout my life (and I’m sure my mother had it the same for the 26 years they’ve been married) I’ve heard people suggest that he’s either enjoying seeing naked women or that he must be so tired of seeing naked women that he doesn’t even want to see my mom naked. (Yes hearing about my father’s sex life is not pleasant, but I got over that years ago.)
Anyways, I guess my point is that when you go to the Dr, LW, you don’t assume he’s (or even if its a she) enjoying himself, right? Even though he’s looking at you naked and touching your naked body. You don’t assume he goes home and fantasizes about you while having sex with his wife, do you? Probably not, because he’s a doctor and this is his job. He likely views you in a detached clinical way. So why not cut your fiance the same slack? Assume he’ll be professional and view these women only in the context of his art and his work, not as if they are there for his sexual gratification. If you can’t trust your fiance to do that, then you have no business making him your husband.
Desiree May 2, 2011, 10:52 am
I am not sure a direct comparison works here. Doctors, by the very nature that makes them good at their craft, have a detached scientific objectivity. There is no imperative to admire the subject’s beauty; in fact, it’s discouraged. The photographer MUST connect with the beauty of his subject to do his job well. It’s different.
SpaceySteph May 2, 2011, 11:03 am
Maybe but I think the larger comparison is that you expect professionals to be professional. If you can’t trust him to do that, be he a doctor, a painter, a photographer, or a pornographer, then you have no business seeing them personally OR professionally.
demoiselle May 2, 2011, 11:18 am
You might be surprised–my experience has been that the best artists (once again, I work in theatre) are “analytical” — perhaps they are not thinking like a mathematician, but they are not getting lost in the beauty or eroticism of their subject. In fact, they are creating something “with a difference” — art requires the ability to recreate something in a way which makes it remarkable, beautiful, interesting, profound … in many ways, that is also a “craft” which requires detachment as well.
Passion does not necessarily lead to art …
Desiree May 2, 2011, 11:57 am
I do understand where you are coming from (my boyfriend is a talented artist and photographer). Though there are some interesting stories in history that present an alternative scenario.
demoiselle May 2, 2011, 12:20 pm
Yes, this is a long-standing debate . . . going back at least as far as Diderot’s Paradox of Acting…
ArtsyGirl May 2, 2011, 10:17 am
I am an art historian and I have to say there are some confusing issues with this letter.
Is he taking pornographic images or art images? Normally when you photograph artistic nudes, the body is portrayed in a very non-sexual way and would make really uninspiring ‘personal’ material. The photographer wants to show the beauty of the human form which is one of the reasons so many nudes do not show faces (they do not want you to be distracted by the individual). Has your fiancee stated that he is planning on masturbating to this material later? If yes, then I would exit stage left because I would feel that he was using his influence as a photographer unduly. Is he insistent that he only plans for photograph nude attractive females? Again this would be a red flag for me since most photographers will work with both genders (be it painters, sculptors, and photographers) and all body types. I just saw an amazing exhibition of elderly women posed like 1940s pin ups.
I am biased about this subject since I am immersed in art everyday and the nude has been desexualized for me to the point that I am more likely to be surprised to see figures that are clothed. I follow the advice that Wendy has given you – speak with other people who deal with this situation and sit in on a photography session. This just might be a deal breaker with you and that is ok.
Also I do suggest that you might want to view some images of artistic nudes. Alfred Stieglitz took some amazing nudes of his partner Georgia O’Keefe and Man Ray has one image titled Minotaur which is possibly my favorite photograph of all time- this might increase your comfort.
Eagle Eye May 2, 2011, 10:35 am
Eh, as a fellow art historian (photography specifically) don’t push the Stieglitz/O’Keefe angle, since he mostly took those photographs because he DID want to sleep with her…
ArtsyGirl May 2, 2011, 10:44 am
I was actually speaking about the later years when he did the images in the southwest
Eagle Eye May 2, 2011, 12:20 pm
ah, ok, I was thinking about that the photographs from their first meeting…which are some of the most erotic photographs I can think of!
ArtsyGirl May 2, 2011, 11:05 am
Eagle Eye where do you work? I am always excited to find other art historians!
Eagle Eye May 2, 2011, 12:38 pm
Eh, I hate to divulge too much information over the interwebs (I’m paranoid like that), but suffice to say, I’m working for a private collector right now and I’m going to be starting on my MA in the fall…so excited to be down with the whole application process!
ArtsyGirl May 2, 2011, 1:32 pm
Good luck – MA programs are rough, but I loved mine. I work in a large museum in the midwest and teach at a local satellite campus with only an MA which is nice since a lot of places now want PhD.
Eagle Eye May 2, 2011, 3:51 pm
Yeah, at least with this program, once I complete my MA I can choose whether or not to go on for the PhD…I like not being forced to commit to just the MA or just the PhD
sarolabelle May 2, 2011, 10:28 am
I got the impression that it is like bordeaux type photography. Sorry if I spelled that word wrong.
ArtsyGirl May 2, 2011, 10:46 am
Well then if he is being commissioned to take nude images (say for wedding/anniversary gifts) and was then using the material to provide personally inspiration then he just broke the creep-o-meter.
MissDre May 2, 2011, 10:55 am
@sarolabelle, do you mean boudoir?
TheGirl May 2, 2011, 12:36 pm
I personally prefer Bordeaux photography… because its DELICIOUS.
sarolabelle May 2, 2011, 12:31 pm
niki May 2, 2011, 12:22 pm
I agree. A true artist sees the human body as a work of art and will want to photograph, paint, sculpt, etc all different ages and body types. If the boyfriend is looking only to photograph women the he finds attractive, it sounds more like erotica or soft core pornography. While that is an art-form intself it sounds like the LW and boyfriend need to come to an understanding about what type of work he’s really interested in doing and whether she personally can handle it.
TECH May 2, 2011, 10:23 am
If the LW is really interested in making it work, she could consider accompanying her fiance to a photo shoot or having a heart to heart with other wives and girlfriends who have made it work for them. Maybe by understanding their thinking it will help to shape hers, and help put things into perspective.
Many of us have boyfriends and husbands whose jobs or hobbies bother or worry us. These are imperfect comparisons, but what if your fiance was an actor and had to kiss his costar on stage, or even simulate a love scene? What if he was a camera man on a movie shoot and had to film a simulated love scene? These are certainly legitimate functions of people in those professions.
Your letter raises a red flag in mind. You say you’re not afraid that he will cheat on you, just that he will end up using pictures of “real life” women for his personal pleasuring time. I agree with other commenters, if you’re okay with him jerking off to someone other than you, what does it matter? For all you know he’s thinking about your neighbor, your best friend, other people you do know. You can’t regulate that.
Also, I don’t know if Wendy is fair in making it seem that the fiance loves his job more than he loves his fiancee. She makes it seem like if he truly loved her, he’d quit what he’s doing. You could also look at it on the flip side. Maybe the letter writer doesn’t truly love her fiance enough to accept him for who he is. While I don’t think it’s a matter of either partner not loving each other enough, we shouldn’t paint the fiance as the bad guy.
Christina May 2, 2011, 10:25 am
I don’t think actual nudes are a must-have part of a professional photographers portfolio. It is something he wants to do so it is a problem though. He says his friends’ wives and girlfriends are okay with it but that might just be something he is saying to try to change her mind. The other question is where the models will be coming from. Will he be paying a professional model? Where did his friends source their models. One of my close friends had her long-term boyfriend approach her about the same thing and he ended up having an affair with the girl. They all worked in the same building. (That guy was a sleaze and doesn’t sound like her boyfriend’s personality.) What a tough situation to be in. I’m not against a hobbyist or pro photographer taking nude photos but I wouldn’t want my fiance doing it.
Hana May 2, 2011, 8:08 pm
I agree with you Christina. I am a photographer and my aunt and boyfriends parents are professional photographers as well. None of us have done nudes, although I am not objecting to the idea. Nudes are not a must-have in a portfolio at all, these are just the types of photos he wants to take. Personally I don’t mind classy nude photography, but some people do take it very extreme. Not saying he will do this. I think there is no reason she should have to learn to live with it. If I was dating a man who suddenly wanted to work with porn, that would be a deal breaker. It is not wrong of her to ask him not to do this kind of photography if she does not approve. Only if he does it does she need to make a decision to leave. She should not feel forced to accept this for the sake of art or his career. That being said, I think some nudes are very classy. But that does not mean they are needed.
MsMisery May 2, 2011, 10:35 am
I am getting the impression both the LW and Wendy are slightly exaggerating. At first the LW says her fiancee wants to branch into nude photography. Then he wants to “only photograph women he’s attracted to that he’d masturbate to later.” That seems like quite a leap, and one you made only in your frantic mind.
And Wendy keeps stressing his “dream and passion” of photographing nude women. Maybe I missed it, but that also seems to be overstating things. I just got the impression it was something he wanted to try to expand his portfolio… not something he’s had his heart set on since he was 12. Nor does it sound like he’d be doing this 8 hours a day, every day, forever and ever.
In any case, I think the LW needs to do a better job of explaining why she’s uncomfortable with this, and not just tell him that she’s not. Just telling him “no” is kinda motherly. If you can’t enunciate and communicate your feelings about it, you’ll be unhappy no matter what happens.
mf May 2, 2011, 11:05 am
Yeah, I agree with your second paragraph. Would the LW be okay with it if her fiance did only a few shoots of nude women (rather than making a career out of it) to expand his portfolio? Would she be more comfortable with it if she visited those shoots?
Artsy Girl (above) also makes a good point that artistic nude images are rarely sexualized. Maybe she could ask him to show her some photos in style that he wants to shoot. That would help her get an idea of whether the his photo shoots would be more artistic than pornographic.
parton_doll May 2, 2011, 11:12 am
I completely agree with you on both your observations. As an actress, I have to do love scenes that I know will make my husband uncomfortable. But in order to keep getting work, I have to be open to doing them (to a degree). The first major love scene I did, I gave my husband the opportunity to express his opinions about it openly and to discuss his concerns. He wasn’t comfortable with it, but he agreed that I should go through with the filming so that we could work through the issues that the situation presented and then see where we’d go from there. In the end, it all turned out to be a non-issue.
It wasn’t that I was dying to do love scenes with other men or ignoring my partner’s concerns. If I want to get more work, I have to be open to these scenes. So he and I just communicated about it. No simulated sex. No full nudity. That’s our agreed upon boundary. My husband can come to the set (not stay) to check out the surroundings to make sure that he is comfortable. Whenever possible, I share the script with him so he can be as informed about what is going to take place as possible. And then, in the end, he trusts me and knows that I will not do anything to jeopardize our marriage by cheating.
It doesn’t always have to be black and white a case of your partner ignoring your concerns or them needing to stop something that is important to them because you have concerns or issues. And honestly I don’t think this is the case here. I think there needs to be a better commuication plan between the LW and her fiance. It may be uncomfortable at first but I am sure that they can work it out without having to break up or without one person having to make a full sacrifice for the other person’s comfort.
Eden May 2, 2011, 10:36 am
I’m not gonna lie, his interest in nude photography isn’t a big deal, personally. The human body is a natural beautiful thing. Are you upset that he doesn’t want photos of you? Perhaps if it’s masturbation material he could take private photos, if that’s what you think. But if he’s doing this as a career move, then let’s face it— he’s being logical about his career. There’s nothing wrong with that.
It seems like you’re insecure about this aspect of the relationship but if you have complete trust in his capabilities as a partner then all will go well. Nude photography is not at all pornographic; it is an artistic celebration of the human body— one unscathed by photoshop, make-up, or clothes. He is trying to acknowledge this with his work.
Although, it seems like your boyfriend should look at other forms of photography as well. Nude photography can definitely build a portfolio but there are other ways as well that he can explore! :]
Addie Pray May 2, 2011, 10:43 am
LW, nude photography doesn’t seem to be a big deal to a lot of people, but if it is to you, then you don’t have to put up with it and you can MOA like Wendy said without feeling bad. (Why do we all need approval to act on our dealbreakers??) But if you think you can control what he fantasizes about, you can’t. Let’s say he gives up nude photography (either because you are more important to him or he moves on to his next hobby du jour), don’t kid yourself into believing that now he won’t fantasize about other women. Someone else said it above: you have to have complete trust. Maybe that’s the deal here, you don’t have complete trust. So MOA until you get that. But don’t blame it on photography.
Nina May 2, 2011, 10:50 am
Well said Wendy!
I honestly wouldn’t be okay with it either-regardless of how many photographers do it, how proffessional he would keep things, etc…I know there are people out there who it wouldnt bother one bit, but for me I would rather just not have to deal with that/go down that road. I would most likely leave them, as hard as that would be-at least you wouldnt have to struggle every day/each shoot feeling uncomfortable inside, second guessing and always wondering if he is using that material to get off.
reading these comments I see a lot of people wouldnt be upset if their SO was using the pictures as material, but I think I wouldnt feel comfortable with it too…
I wonder how he would feel if she was the one photographing nude male models?
demoiselle May 2, 2011, 10:51 am
Two things seem off about this artist/photographer:
1. He’s only willing to photograph women he finds sexually attractive.
2. He wants to pose them in a provocative and sexual way.
If the LW’s understanding about these points is correct, it sounds like he’s more interested in erotic photography than in artistic nudes. And that’s not going to be a solvable problem, I fear. Artistic nudes aren’t necessarily erotic. Like life drawing, a wide variety of genders and body types can make interesting photos. In fact, I think in nude drawing classes non-traditional bodies are sought out for being more interesting and challenging. If her fiance is interested in artistic photos rather than sexually provocative ones, he’d be willing to experiment with more body types, genders, and contexts. The fact that he is NOT interested in a broad range of types suggests that he is not actually interested in the artistic possibilities of this work.
Nudity in art is usually not explicitly sexual. I work in theatre, and when we have naked people, it can be about many things: the aesthetic beauty of the bodies, shocking the audience, revealing brutality or ugliness, and so forth. But it is rarely explicitly sexual.
If the LW is wrong about her fiance’s goals (photographing sexy women in erotic situations), there might be compromises: he could photograph different types of individuals; he could do group shots; she could always be on the set with him (in fact, he’d probably get more models that way) when he’s shooting; he should have some kind of release form for his models explaining how their images will be used, too. If he’s not willing to do all this stuff, I expect that he actually IS one of those creepy guys on craigslist, and he’s hoping to make an entree into the world of porn…*
* ETA: Or just erotic/sensual work. My use of the word “porn” sounds more judgmental than I necessarily intended–but I think that the LW would have big problem with her fiance being a professional pornographer. . .
Desiree May 2, 2011, 11:01 am
You make an excellent point. He is defending his interest on an artistic basis (and somewhat financial, I suppose), but his interest doesn’t SOUND artistic, it sounds erotic. My boyfriend is an incredible photographer, and he has an artistic interest in a variety of subjects (he does not shoot nudes, generally). But this guy’s interest seems sexual, and that might be why the LW is unhappy. Because she knows his intentions are dubious.
mf May 2, 2011, 11:09 am
YES! “this guy’s interest seems to be sexual, and that might be why the LW is unhappy.”
If his interest is indeed sexual, I don’t blame her at all for being upset.
honeybeenicki May 2, 2011, 11:31 am
I would have to agree if his interest in this is sexual, it probably isn’t appropriate for a) a man in a committed relationship and b) a professional; however, we have to keep in mind we are hearing from HER not him. We are getting her take on why he wants to do this which isn’t fair to him if thats just how she perceives it and not how he really feels. My husband has done maybe a handful of nude/scantily clad shoots and prefers scenery and animal work more.
demoiselle May 2, 2011, 11:40 am
Yes, it is very difficult to discern whether the two points I listed above are coming from his stated intentions or her concerns. It might also be that his intentions are not even clear to himself (he’s rationalizing but she’s picking up on his underlying interests). I guess the bottom line is that if his interest is chiefly artistic, then sex and his own sense of the erotic shouldn’t be a chief concern.
SpaceySteph May 2, 2011, 11:35 am
I think she contradicts herself a bit… ‘he’s not a sleazy guy’ but he only wants to photograph women he finds attractive and then masturbate to their pictures…
So which is it? It could be that he his sleazy, or it could be that her worst case imagination scenario has him jerking off to these attractive naked photors when he has expressed no interest in doing so.
Hana May 2, 2011, 8:15 pm
He could be not sleazy in other senses and this is unexpected or she could be justifying dating him. I don’t find her to be contradicting herself on purpose, I think she is confused about if she should stay with him so she’s listing pros and cons.
callmehobo May 2, 2011, 11:03 am
THIS. Those two points were what caught my eye as well. If the LW is correct that her bf ONLY wants to photograph beautiful women, and he only wants them to pose in sexy/titillating ways; that doesn’t feel like celebration of a nude form, but rather, exploitation.
Maracuya May 2, 2011, 11:17 am
Yeah, this. Other people are saying, “Oh, she’s clearly jumping to conclusions!” But I’m going to take the letter writer at face value. If he really only wants to shoot attractive women in sexual poses then, yeah. That’s doesn’t sound too artistic to me.
demoiselle May 2, 2011, 11:21 am
I am sure that it is also possible to shoot *artistic* images of sexy women who happen to be in sexual/provocative poses … but I doubt the photographer who creates those images is *only* interested in shooting that kind of body and narrative. 🙂
Maracuya May 2, 2011, 11:22 am
Also, that makes the comparison between nudes in art and photography off for this guy. In life drawing, don’t you draw a range of people?
cmarie May 2, 2011, 11:49 am
I have to say that most artists focus on things they find attractive whether it is a flower or a human. Art is about celebrating what you find beautiful and sometimes it’s a lovely young co-ed and sometimes it’s the beauty of a middle aged mother. I would also ask whether he actually said he wants to pose them in provactive ways or if the LW is just making jump assumptions. I would also say that a lot of art is meant to be provactive, it’s meant to make you think. “A Fire in my Belly” comes to mind. This video is beyond disturbing but it’s art, it’s supposed to disturb you and in doing so it makes you think. Just my two cents.
GerietheDino May 2, 2011, 11:09 am
Oh, honey. No. Sounds to me like someone is very worried that her future hubby will “physically cheat.” It’s time to sit down and have a good chat. Maybe he wil change his mind, or maybe even you will.
Maracuya May 2, 2011, 11:26 am
Oh! One thing that I suddenly thought about. If he’s an aspiring photographer since high school–let’s conservatively say senior year, that’s 12 years–why hasn’t he shot nudes before to expand his portfolio? I would assume that’s not uncommon in photography classes when you get to a certain point. Is he actually a photographer, or is it a hobby? Is it a sudden desire to shoot pretty ladies nearly a decade after picking up a camera that has the letter writer unsettled?
honeybeenicki May 2, 2011, 11:35 am
Its possible he is either just doing it as a hobby that he hopes to expand to a career or he is “self-taught” and has never been in a photography class. My husband started as a hobby and decided he really wanted to consider doing it full time as a career, so we have been looking into classes and degree programs for him and he has been doing it for about 3 years now. Who knows. Sometimes I wish this site was like a talk show where we could question the LW and the other person involved 🙂
LTC039 May 2, 2011, 11:38 am
Maybe he hadn’t focused on it until his friends began doing it. Maybe he thinks “It’s been a while since I’ve started this photography thing & I want to expand/progress.” I wouldn’t question why now all of a sudden he wants to photograph nudes, I don’t think he’s doing it to be a jerk. At least I didn’t get that from how the LW explained it.
Maracuya May 2, 2011, 12:25 pm
That’s quite true. I’m just trying to provide another angle. The letter writer didn’t really give us that much information. There are two scenarios: 1) She’s overreacting and he doesn’t want to exclusively shoot sexy naked women forever, just things to pad his portfolio and give him more experience 2) She was accurate when she wrote,”…women he finds attractive because those are the only women he’ll shoot — scantily clad and posing/dressing in ways that turn him on.”
The difference is that Wendy answered the letter assuming scenario 2 and everyone else is answering assuming scenario 1. It’s probably a mix (i.e. he’s shooting photos of sexy women, not all day long as a career, but to add to his portfolio.) I think it’s alright for her to feel uncomfortable but she also has to accept that will be part of his work. And it’s unfair for him to compare the way she feels with the way his friends’ girlfriends feel. Basically saying,”Why can’t you be a cool girlfriend?”
Cherry May 2, 2011, 11:44 am
My boyfriend is also into photography and so am I. I was never comfortable with my body until I was with him, and he makes me feel so secure and beautiful that I found myself even buying him some cool art books, like Suicide Girls and even looking at them with him- me, the (used-to-be prude!) Anyway, my suggestion is to become his model for him. You don’t have to go completely nude, but it can be done in an innocent, pin up doll way. When my boyfriend suggested that to me, I was automatically about to say no but then thought about how I love pin ups and secretly wanted to do it but never had the guts or trust in anyone to do it. Anyway, it was the coolest thing ever!! I got dolled up and we set up the lights and everything in our house. drank a few beers and put on some cool music and had a blast! It was one of the coolest things we had ever done together. Would I have let him go shoot other girls that I thought were beautiful? Hell no! But by modeling for him, I got to share it with him and gain a whole new confidence. It was like playing a character and the behind the scenes stuff was fun too- setting up the shots and thinking of props, lighting, and ideas. Oh, and I guess I don’t need to mention what happened after- THAT was even more awesome *blush* Anyway, since they are not nude and total cheesecake I don’t even care if he uses them in his portfolio, they are awesome, arty and he made me look beautiful. So, my suggestion is to share his passion with him, and turn yourself into his muse- you will love it!!
SpaceySteph May 2, 2011, 12:06 pm
“Would I have let him go shoot other girls that I thought were beautiful? Hell no!”
So very disagree with this. First of all, presumably your boyfriend is a grown man and you don’t get to “let” him do anything. Second, yes it might be fun to be his model, but you can’t expect to be his ONLY model and neither can the LW. If he wants to shoot nudes as part of a career in photography, then Wendy is right, she can either be ok with it or leave, but she can’t force him not to do so.
Cherry May 2, 2011, 12:23 pm
Presumably you assume a lot about our relationship. I was only suggesting that she be a part of it and share it with him, it may help her to see that it is about the art of it, and not something sleazy. Yes, in my comment about “Hell no” I was being factitious, but in no way would I stop him if he wanted to it was a light, offhand comment. Don’t be so quick to judge.
plasticepoxy May 2, 2011, 2:48 pm
It’s so hard to read tone, Cherry! I thought you were serious too, until I read the second post clarifying that you were joking.
Cherry May 2, 2011, 3:03 pm
New here, I guess I need to be more literal and give background when I post stuff. No worries though, I’ll learn!
Desiree May 2, 2011, 7:25 pm
While I realize that an adult woman doesn’t “control” her adult partner in any official way, all relationships have boundaries that permit the relationships to continue. These boundaries will vary widely from couple to couple. A woman in an open relationship with her mate will have different boundaries than a woman in a more conservative relationship. Both women have the right to establish what they are comfortable with. It is all about open communication. At the start of relationships, I always establish my personal boundaries. If a man doesn’t like them, he is free to date someone else. I think the problem is when couples get stuck in the sort of limbo the LW is in; the partners aren’t happy with the boundaries, but they aren’t coming to any resolution on it.
Hana May 2, 2011, 8:51 pm
So true… I think the most important thing to remember when commenting is that everyone has different boundaries. Who are we on this site to tell the LW she is wrong for not liking or wanting her boyfriend to take nudes? She is not controlling him, he can leave if he would rather pursue nude photography. She may have personal, moral or religious reasons not to like this style, and he may know about them or not. But if it is out of her comfort zone it is. He does not have to stay with her if he doesn’t want too. I don’t think she is a controller or dream-stomper. For those who are in nude scenes on camera, taking nude pictures or letting your partners do those things good for you. It takes a strong person to not be turned off by their partner doing those things at least at first. How many people can honestly say they have never had a moment when they did not like something a significant other was doing or wanted to do? And how many people can say they have never asked someone else not to do something because they did not approve?
Painted_lady May 2, 2011, 11:46 am
Honey, if you don’t want him to use another woman he meets in real life to masturbate to or ensure he never cheats or even acts inappropriately with another woman, you should probably lock him up and throw away the key and then give him a lobotomy. He already masturbates to other women. And if he’s going to cheat, he doesn’t need scantily clad women to do it. However, I think it’s a pretty good guarantee that you’re going to lose him if you try to control both his dreams as well as what goes on inside his head. I realize real naked women are more threatening than 2D naked women, but I think Wendy is right in saying your choices are either to learn to live with this or learn to live without him. Figure out ways to compromise, figure out what the other wives and girlfriends do, and maybe try what Honeybeenicki did and see exactly how non-sexual the environment really is. In fact, photographers who are inappropriate with models often end up with awful reputations – even models willing to do nude work aren’t willing just to take all their clothes off whenever. If the photographer has a skeezy reputation, then no one will work with him.
ArtsyGirl May 2, 2011, 11:54 am
sorry accidentally misclicked you down (damn touch screen)!
Painted_lady May 2, 2011, 12:00 pm
I think I’ll survive 🙂
redessa May 2, 2011, 11:47 am
Okay, I’m a little confused here. Would your BF actually be getting turned on by these women and using them as his own personal porn (cause that would totally creep me out if I were his client) or is this just your own insecurity?
Cause if this guy is serious about being a professional photographer, I can understand him wanting to have some nudes in his portfolio. You, however, say he’ll only photograph women he finds attractive and would be dressing/posing them in ways that turn him on. That really struck me the wrong way. If he’s going to start working with nudes in his photography, first, he should be open to photographing men as well as women and he needs to be able to veiw his models with the same professionalism & detachment that health care professionals are expected to have.
While the pictures may actually turn out to be quite sexy, I would hope he would veiw them with an artistic eye rather than a lustful one. If he’s able to maintain that objectivity then I would hope you can learn to accept that this is part of his job. If not, well, I’d have a problem with it too.
ETA: Looks like demoiselle already said it better than me. Maybe I should read all the other comments before I post. 🙂
missmolly May 2, 2011, 12:11 pm
I kind of said the same thing you did, too. Oops 🙂 Guess we’re all on the same page.
BabyBlueXO May 2, 2011, 11:54 am
LW, What kind of nudes will they be? Is he saying he wants to be a porn photographer? How will the women be portrayed in the photo shoots? (sex objects vs. works of art). Think are they more Boticelli or more Joe Francis?
You need to decide whre you would draw the line IF you decided you could accept it. Would you be okay with him say photographing for VOGUE or National Geographic but not Playboy?
One thing that jumped out to me is that he “wouldn’t photograph women he doesn’t find attractive”
1. If he was genuinely interested in building a portfolio he would want a SUPER wide range of subjects
2. So say he makes a career out of this…is he going to turn clients away because they don’t match his ideal of beauty? Good luck being successful…
That one statement alone makes it seem as though he has non-ethical motives
missmolly May 2, 2011, 11:54 am
I noticed in the letter that she says he’s not a skeazy guy, then she says she’s not comfortable with him using it as masturbation material. How can you be certain he’s going to do that? Did he say he’s going to use it as masturbation material? I also wonder if he actually plans on posing them provocatively or if the LW is just assuming he’s going to do that. It wasn’t clear to me in the letter. Also, in his defense, of course he wants to use models he finds attractive. I really do understand why that makes the LW uncomfortable, but I also understand that it’s his art work and he wants it to look a certain way.
I’m an art student, so I’m probably less sensitive to nudity than most people. That said, I hope the LW will at least try to open her mind to her fiance’s interest. I’m not saying she HAS to approve of it. But the photos could come out to be very tasteful. Nude photos are not inherently sexual. If the fiance turns out to be a creep, then she can dump his ass if she wants. It seems she is worried about something that hasn’t happened yet, which is understandable, but I hope she gives him a chance before making any permanent decisions.
Zel May 2, 2011, 12:15 pm
This is really neither here nor there, but this LW reminded me of a Dear Prudence LW a couple years back whose photographer boyfriend wanted to take boudoir photos of his own mother for her wedding. Yikers:).
HmC May 2, 2011, 12:26 pm
“women he finds attractive because those are the only women he’ll shoot”
Huh. I’m no photography expert, and I’m not sure exactly what your fiance plans to do with all these nude shots (portfolio? sell to a reputable business?) but I’m not understanding why, for business purposes, all of the women have to be *attractive* to your fiance. Some of the most beautiful photography I’ve ever seen finds beauty in the most conventionally non beautiful places. Which is what makes photography an art. Anyway, this part of the letter irked me. Is this really just about him personally only feeling comfortable with photographing women he finds attractive? Because honey, to me that is majorly sleazy.
I don’t know… LW you say your fiance isn’t a sleazy dude. But, who thinks their significant other IS a sleazy dude? Basically no one, because then you wouldn’t be with them. Yet this is a guy that is insistent about doing something that makes you highly uncomfortable.
I understand your desire to not hold back the career and passion of someone you love, but this seems like a pretty fundamental difference. As in, you guys have different values. And that’s a huge compatibility problem. If the nude photography is a long term thing, do you really think you could be happy married to someone that was doing that? It doesn’t sound to me like you could. And if the nudes are a short term thing, then maybe it is something you could compromise on… but even then, are you prepared to carry that with you and not be resentful for the rest of your marriage?
convexexed May 2, 2011, 12:33 pm
If the LW’s boyfriend is an amateur or beginning photographer, the models are probably going to be, also, trying to ‘break into’ their field and will be exchanging their time for image files or prints to build their portfolios. Unless he asks attractive acquaintances to pose, he will be contacting these aspiring models over Craigslist or some other listing. Speaking from experience, many will likely be a bit wary about circumstances–asking if they can bring a friend, etc. This can work in the LW’s favor if a set visit, as others suggested, could help her see the shoot as professional, rather than intimate. When he advertises for or makes arrangements with models, he can emphasize that his girlfriend will be on set. The presence of another person (who is female) will help assure new models of the photographer’s seriousness, and gives the whole thing a greater level of safety—there is a witness around if any misunderstandings, propositions, etc, go down, and the setting actually becomes more relaxed, the awkwardness funny and social, rather than intense and suggestive.
This may seem like a comment more in sympathy to the models than the LW, but I think here, she can either see these females as a threat, or she can remember that women can be each others’ allies and support. She will probably learn that many of them have boyfriends or girlfriends themselves, and may not be at all interested in trying to hook up with hers.
It’s also good for the photographer boyfriend to have an extra person around so he can practice cultivating his professional manner. He has an audience, who can give him feedback later, and it’s always important to learn how to put your subject, especially if she’s cold, naked, and possibly nervous, at ease without acting *too* friendly.
Basically, if the LW can’t deal with this, it’s her choice to move on, but it’s worth thinking about how this situation can be managed to be at least tolerable, comfortable and eye-opening for all parties involved.
Amber May 2, 2011, 12:54 pm
It sounds to me that the LW is making a lot of assumptions.
I have to wonder if he actually said all of these things – him only using attractive women, masturbating to them afterwards – or if these are just thoughts running through her head.
Britannia May 2, 2011, 1:03 pm
I have read through the responses, and I agree full-heartedly from their perspective that he most likely has good intentions, but I want to include my side of things simply because I have had a different experience doing nudes with photographers.
I got onto Model Mayhem, a modelling/photography community, which makes it easy to browse portfolios and set up shoots. I was interested in modelling simply for the fun of it, as were most of the photographers I came across. I specifically never let my lower genitalia show because I was uncomfortable with that, but often did “simulated nudity” and other things. Sadly, the vast majority of the male photographers who contacted me about doing “boudoir” or “glamour” shoots ended up trying to push me into full nudity and have a very skeezy vibe to them – saying sexual innuendos and texting me days later trying to “hook up”. So, in my experience, many men use “nude photography” as a springboard for getting laid. Most of them, also, tried to “talk me down” out of the amount of money we agreed upon, or tried to have me sign a contract giving away all rights of the photograph to them, to do as they pleased. I was paranoid that this meant I would end up on porn ads, so I had my own contract that I would have *them* sign that protected my interests. So far, none of the images of me have been abused.
On the flipside, there were some really great photographers who I could tell were not viewing me as a sexualized subject and were really just trying to get some artistic photographs, and I had an amazing time with them and did more work with them over time because I trusted them and enjoyed the experience. It really does depend on the photographer’s professionalism and ability to control their sexual side to determine the “appropriateness” of a shoot.
Turtledove May 2, 2011, 1:03 pm
I think going to some of the shoots is a good idea– as long as the model agrees. I’m an illustrator and work with a fair amount of nudity/partial nudity. My husband has been to some of my shoots for reference material and thinks they’re the least sexy things imaginable (lots of stage directions, adjusting of lighting, etc). He is, however, hugely entertained by my other artist friends and I waxing eloquent about a naked man’s collarbones or the tendons in his neck… it’s kind of “Yup, them’s balls… but have you seen his knees? That shadow right there is beautiful.” Your fiance definitely needs to go through the whole rigamarole with model releases, and it’s usually a good idea to have a chaperone the first few times you work with a model.
Have you really talked with your fiance about this or is this a gut reaction? I would be interested to know what his reasons are for wanting to take these photographs if I were you… and why he’s fixated on women as opposed to men or mixed genders. Why does he want them in his portfolio– they’re not always necessary and failure to include both genders could work against him depending on who he’s trying to sell that type of work to. People hiring photographers want to know that he’ll be comfortable and professional in a range of situations. If he’s making an artistic statement with these, what statement is he wanting to make? Is he looking to show them in a gallery, if so which one and do they have a history of taking this type of work? You should be comfortable asking these questions and he should be able to answer them. There’s nothing wrong with photographing naked people– even in a manner that suggests a still from a porno but you should both be able to talk about it. You should be able to express your concern and be heard and reassured and he should be able to offer explanations other than “all my friends are doing it and I think it would be hot.”
On the other hand, if your boyfriend is skeevy, don’t you want to find that out before you marry him?
Desiree May 2, 2011, 2:38 pm
I really appreciate your professional perspective on this. It made me consider more sides of the issue.
justpeachy May 2, 2011, 3:31 pm
I may get torn apart for this suggestion but why don’t you be a nude model for a different photographer? I’m sure your fiance has some photographer friends that he trusts that both of you would be comfortable with. By being a model (and not letting your fiance on set), you’ll realize quickly that it’s uncomfortable and awkward for all parties involved, not the least bit sexy. Also, your fiance will probably feel at least a little pang of jealousy similar to yours and better understand the importance of making sure you’re okay with what he’s doing.
The downside to this method though is you have to be comfortable enough with yourself to be nude in a room full of virtual strangers…
Leyahn May 3, 2011, 11:01 am
If makes the LW feel better – he can photograph me – I am middle aged and “rubenesque”.
Fairhaired Child (Boyfriend Extraordinare) May 3, 2011, 1:49 pm
There seems to me to be one completely obvious solution to this problem in my mind. Your boyfriend wants to shoot good-looking women in little-to-nothing type photographs. You do not want him to see and be aroused by strange women. The solution would be to let him shoot YOU in close-to-nothing shots. This way, he would still be able to fulfill his desire to engage in this new type of photography of the human body. As well, you would have the comfort of knowing that the only naked woman arousing him would be yourself. If you can get over the fact that he will have to show these pictures of your nude or close=to=nude body to other people in order to further his career, then I think that you have your solution.
Cherry May 3, 2011, 2:27 pm
I suggested this same thing, but got many thumbs down 🙁
Fairhaired Child May 4, 2011, 12:11 am
i dont know why – it sounds like an ok solution to me – so long as he would be happy with only having to photograph one woman and not expand to other women as well. Of course he could also get jealous of other people seeing “his woman” and would decline to shoot her naked because he doesn’t want any other men oogling his lady’s bits. But depending on how he would phrase “no i dont want to photograph you nude” it could cause her huge self esteem issues if it sounds to her like he doesnt want to shoot her because she may not be attractive enough
(btw the previous post was from my bf not myself – i’ve got him hooked on dear wendy too)
Tanisha August 2, 2011, 6:57 am
Its weird how I just found this website. I had a massive arguement with my boyfriend of 4 years. We have been through heaven and hell together. He loves me to death and would do anything for me. He is an excellent photographer and he has been wanting to do erotic photography…take pictures of nude women. I am NOT AT ALL a jelous person usually but I find this so hard to accept. I do not know what to do. He thinks I am coming in the way of his ambitions and that is the LAST thing i want to do. I want him to pursue whatever he wishes in life but I am having really hard time accepting the fact that he is looking for women he would like to take photos of then taking nude photos of them in different poses..I do not know whrere I am going wrong..I trust him I really do but its just the fact that he will find them attractive and he will be looking at them naked and that will stay in his mind maybe even after the photo shoots. I just dont know how to accept it. I would truly break him If i left him and myself…i dont know what to do 🙁
Sugarcane July 2, 2012, 5:20 am
I feel lucky finding out this thread from the search, as I have been in this such situation and feel like it is about time to get personal. My boyfriend and I have been with each other for almost 2 years. Our starting point is different from it now as we met up at some sorts of education conference and I did not see the other side of his desperate hobby of nude photography by then. When I know more about him and his photograph network, I have already been in love and can not get out of that. Similar as Tanisha, we also have been through heaven and hell; I did talk out many times with him, struggling with his hobby and my acceptance. Anytime the battle comes, he tries to tell me that is a clean work and he does not look at the erotic side or so forth of nude photography, if he does it, he no longer can not take a good picture. I do believe him whenever he says in that persistent way; but later on when I see or hear any conversation on phone or chatting on social networks or even hanging out for coffee with some nude models, I feel too bad. I told him that many of his nude models are pretty or very sexy or sexually elicit, and from their facebook pages (which are often open to public or at least Friends of friends), they are kinda the types of liking to show their bodies or their sexual stuffs up to their networks. Yes I understand there is true art somewhere, but how can a man can mind their head all the time? Additionally in the very early phase of pur relationship he also accepted his friends’ invitation to hang out overnight to another beach cities with them to take nudity, that time I have no business to go with him. He promise to take me along when he has shots if I want, but I feel fear somehow. It is hard for me to trust and understand him only with respect to this stuffs. I have a technological education background and science job, which I do not see many people like him with artistic desire.
I know that the only way to solve out and go further step with him is to trust and to understand, but I can not estimate how long it will take to do so.
pidru December 21, 2012, 1:06 am
it all comes down to one issue. insecurity. yours.
Bryan January 14, 2014, 2:06 pm
In my humble opinion, you need to work on your insecurity. In this case one way to do it is to ask your fiance if you could go to a couple of these shoots. Sweeten the offer by offering to work as his assistant. Photographers always need an assistant, plus having you there will help to prevent an unscrupulous model from falsely accusing him of being inappropriate with her, since you would be a witness. This could be a win-win for both you and him!
Mina September 10, 2014, 10:18 am
Why do nudes at all? If it’s for financial gain, that’s one thing. If it’s for portfolio, this will affect his career opportunities in different ways. I know a couple who opted not to use a particular photographer simply because they had taken nudes of women in the past. What kind of reputation does he want? Not to say that being known for nude “art” is necessarily a bad thing. Moreso, every action on this world will bear a consequence. If he wants to do nudes for purely artistic purposes, he may be better off single because otherwise he would knowingly be puttigyou in a situation he knows you are uncomfortable with. Jist the fact that he’d be willing to do that is as harmful as actually doing something to break your trust. Think about it like this: would you put your partner in the same situation? There are many opportunities tocreate art without nudity being necessary. Some people even believe it belittles women because really what are the women modeling gaining from having nudes taken of them? Are they hoping tll ge published? Is their goal financial gain, career advancement, or just attention/to fell pretty? If it’s the latter, I personally believe these girls need to find a better way to feel beautiful than exposing their bodies in that manner. There are other ways to get positive self esteem and show off/feel proud of your body without potentially harming their own reputation. You just need to fully understand who, what, when, where, and why, in order to make the best possible decision. Same goes for your fiance. If you love each other, you’ll want to make each other happy. You can do this by listening to each other, making sure you both understand each others’ viewpoints, and discuss possible solutions. You have to put your own needs first, don’t forget!
HeartBroken February 6, 2017, 2:40 pm
I am glad I came across this site blog I have read through the opinions expressed by others here.. My husbands photography hobby led from artistic scenery Hugh fashion head shots nature and animals right into nudes and sexual explicit boudoir shoots with women he finds attractive he has brought this into our home and has disrespected our matrimonial home it has ended our 30 year marriage as He says get over it deal with it.. Trust me I have done all of the suggestions above and it will always lead to an end result.. And it just keeps getting harder to deal with how is it respectful to female models when there is no respect to the wife of 30 years?
Scared July 15, 2021, 3:39 am
I’m extremely late to this post but I’m glad I found it regardless. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 years and we’re almost 30. He’s also an aspiring photographer and I initially voiced my concerns stating that there are so many different types of things and people that you can photograph of, why just predominately females? He brushed it off aside saying that I was insecure and I didn’t want to push further. Shortly after, I found his Craigslist post about shooting boudoir, which he never discussed with me. Likewise, he was on a dating app to find models. I was rightfully upset and he removed both the post and app.
My deepest fear was of course him cheating. It’s partly a trust issue but also that I understand how temptation works. Once he has a taste of taking pictures of pretty girls in normal poses, it’ll lead to more provocative pictures, etc. Logically I get it. The human body is an art form but emotionally I can’t get past it.
As I predicted, he recently took a picture of a girl without a shirt (her hair covered her boobs). I understand this was for a campaign but that doesn’t make me feel any better. Another shoot he had, the girl had overalls on and you could clearly see that she was wearing nothing underneath. Just tonight I saw him on FaceTime looking at pictures of models he’s shot in between watching porn and masturbating. He was obviously masturbating to the pictures as well. I personally think this is completely different than fantasizing about someone from work. Not only does it feel like a breach of trust between us two, it seems like a professional breach between him and his models as well. I wouldn’t want to work with someone who’s going to be touching themselves through pictures I trusted him to take.
I would really love to hear back from anyone who has had similar experiences. I work in corporate and none of my friends are in the arts industry either so I feel like it’s hard to relate.
Kate July 18, 2021, 3:07 pm
Come on. You know this isn’t an “arts industry” thing that you just can’t relate to because you’re a businessperson. Your boyfriend is a creeper. The “aspiring photographer” thing sounds like an excuse to meet women. You know that these pics he takes are on the same level for him as porn. And going on a dating site to find models? Sure.
None of this is about the “arts.” He’s trying to cheat and/or take gross advantage of women who are looking for an actual photographer for legit reasons. You need to wake up and stop lying to yourself.
Hazel July 17, 2021, 10:33 am
I’ve been a life model as has partner (just like lots of artists, we are not lookers, it’s just a practice) So I’m very comfortable around nudity. What I am not comfortable with is your guy masturbating to photographs he has taken in boudoir shoots. I’ve never had one of those but I know some friends who have, and were so happy about how respectfully they were treated, and really appreciated the results–and they would be utterly disgusted (as you rightly highlight) at the breach of trust. Regardless of his faithfulness to your relationship- I’d dump him for that alone. It’s not as if there is a dearth of material if he wants something for his spankbank, porn is easy to get, there are people who do onlyfans and the like, yet he is deliberately choosing to abuse the trust of people who have paid him to be respectful while getting images probably for their loved ones. He’s spoken to them, he knows them, and then he does this? Not cool.
Hazel July 18, 2021, 4:13 pm
sorry LW I didn’t really answer your question, about whether this was likely to be a precursor to cheating– I was just so shocked at his behaviour. Yes definitely but more than that it shows a horrible attitude to women. This will always include you. He has no boundaries and no respect of others, just leave him. Also yes, looking for models on dating sites? really? If he wanted models, yet again, no lack of people happy to pose for shoots. Why not look on sites specific to that? He sounds really damn creepy to me.
Maureen Farrell December 4, 2021, 8:02 am
I am a 67 yo woman. My husband of 42 years died in late 2015. I worked in medical profession and my husband worked in computer industry. In September 2020, in the middle of Covid-19 pandemic I met a great guy. He is 68 and an artist, photographer. I didn’t know much about art, photography, etc and had little exposure to this area. The man I met mentioned early on that he did life drawing and photography. I didn’t really understand what that meant. Meanwhile, I fell for him. Then I learn about his hobby of working with nudes and it hit me like a brick. He was married 27 years until his wife died and said he has always been faithful. I trust him as he has always been honest and open. I admit I still struggle with this aspect of him. It is clearly my own insecurities and jealousy that I struggle with. Being an older woman I worry that my body is less attractive to him. He prefers to hire young, beautiful models. I struggle with this… I recently asked him to photograph me. This is a complicated issue. Thanks to all for their comments.
Samraggyi September 12, 2022, 4:20 am
Well I would only say that your fiance is still like a perverted teenage person who has difficulty controlling his testosterone or he wouldn’t pick up a field like that.