Posing Nude as a Figure Model

  • SpikeJock

    Posts: 51

    Aug 01, 2009 4:52 AM GMT
    Posing nude as a figure model for an art class is something I've always been curious about and wanted to do. Over the last 10 years or so I've made multiple half-assed attempts and making it happen. Usually nothing comes of it, as it's a pretty hard job to come by, the community is pretty closed and tight. Once in a while, however I'd get a nibble on the line for someone who wanted to hire me to do it, but I'd always then make an excuse and chicken out.

    The urge to do this would come and go depending what was going on in my life at the time, but nothing serious ever happened until this week. For whatever reason, maybe it's the summer heat, maybe it's that I've been doing some really solid working out and enjoying my body much more lately, or maybe it's that I've been dabbling in dating for the first time for many years and gaining more confidence in myself; but whatever the reason I put out one of those feelers again to do some modeling.

    It was a lame attempt on my part, I sent a crappy email to a college and got a "thanks but no thanks" back. I replied to the email asking if they could offer any advice and was told rather succinctly to "sell myself" if I really wanted to do this and take it seriously. That kind of slapped me in the face that someone was calling me on my crap. So, I replied again, this time with a more sincere and genuine expression of interest replete with full body statistics (he said I should include) and with a much more conciliatory and polite tone. The guy told me he "had no availability at this time, but I might try such and such for work." So I did.

    Along with my newly awakened humble and sincere attitude I tossed in a few upper body and face pictures to help "sell myself." Wouldn't you know... not 8 hours later I got an email from an instructor who had an opening for the next two weeks and asking if I'd be available. Now, I'd come to this bridge before and I'd always made up the excuses of being busy, not a good time, I have volleyball that night... whatever. This time I replied back that I was interested and available. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I still thought I'd change my mind and cancel. He had me call him to confirm the next day, and I did. I'd never taken that step before. He wanted me to model for his painting class on Thursday, THIS THURSDAY?!!?!?

    I agreed, still somehow thinking I wasn't really going to do it. Sunday came and went.. Monday..... finally on Wednesday the reality of it hit me. I couldn't really cancel now because it was late, very late and they'd be stuck with no model for the class. Whatever my failings may be, I'm dependable and reliable and I wouldn't bail on someone last minute and leave them hanging. I was now committed to really doing this and the full impact of that hit me full on!

    I desperately began scouring the internet for information on what to expect. Four basic tenets of truth arose about this topic: don't cancel/no show; be prepared and know what you're doing, remain utterly motionless while you're posing and don't get an erection.

    Well, I wasn't going to cancel. Ok. Done.

    Be prepared with poses... more searching on the internet and I found a wealth of information on figure drawing poses and practiced for 3 hours in front of a mirror. Done.

    Remain utterly motionless while posing. Hm.. ok... how hard could that be. Oh wait, the instructor said this would be one-single pose for the entire 3-hour class. True, I got a 5 minute break every 30 minutes, but 3 hours? OMG! This worried me the most. I was going to get insanely bored.

    Don't get an erection. Ok... uh, sure. I'm a guy. As you know.. that thing has a mind of it's own. True he's my best friend, but it can be very demanding, totally inconvenient, notoriously unpredictable and very uncontrollable. Again I surfed the internet for what to do to avoid this pitfall and found "first time nude male model experience" rather lacking. None of these bitches were talking about their first time or what to expect or do in this situation. The most I got was to "concentrate" and not let your mind wander because as we all know.. once the process starts of getting an erection when you don't want one, there is almost no way whatsoever to stop it. The more you think about trying not to think about it, the more you think about it until a few seconds later Willie has been free'd and is waving around saying hello to anyone that is interested.

    The day arrived. I had to work. I couldn't concentrate to save my life. I was a jumble of nerves and totally unfocused. I was alternately dreading the click of the clock and wishing it would hurry up and arrive to get it over with. Traffic was a bitch... 90 minutes from office to the class. Parked and walked into the school and found the classroom. My heart was going THUD THUD THUD in my chest.

    There were about 25 students in the room. Most were in their 20's and early 30's, a few were older. Two thirds men, one third women. At least three or four of the guys were gay. The instructor, a bearish man approached me and introduced himself warmly and asked if I was "the model." I affirmed and he showed me to the dressing room in the back of the classroom.

    The classroom smelled of paint and charcoal. It was messy, filled with easels, paint on the floor, just what you'd expect. In the DEAD CENTER of the room was a platform, with a chair on it with fabric draped over it. There were spotlights. Oh Gawd! I could feel the eyes of the students on me as I put my head down and followed the instructor to the back where I'd get changed. I swear I was trembling. What the f*** was I doing?

    The instructor promptly left me alone to get ready. No instructions, no nurturing advice, he assumed I knew what I was doing and evidently we weren't going to "hug out" my fears. I got naked, gave a very stern warning to my penis NOT to get any "big ideas" for the next three hours and I'd reward him with something special over the weekend. I was dubious the promise held any weight.

    I put on the robe and flip-flops and came back into the room. I stretch for about 5 minutes. The students were arrayed in a semi-circle in front of the platform (stage), patiently waiting for me. At this point things become very surreal and dream-like. You know that "I'm not really here and this isn't happening to me" where nothing is solid. I walk to the platform and climb up. It is silent. Some people are looking at me, although not in an adversarial way. Others are looking away from me as if they can imagine my terror.

    I stand there. The instructor coughs slightly and says "ok" giving me an anemic smile. This is it. Slowly I kick off the flip-flops, delay as long as possible maybe there will be a fire, earthquake or tsunami. Nope, none of those things happened. I hear a barely perceptible nervous cough from the back of the room. I untie the robe, and slip it off my shoulders and drop it to the floor.

    Ok. I'm now standing buck naked as the day I was born in front of 25 total strangers, who are clothed and staring at me. No doubt I'm being judged and evaluated in their eyes I think. How do I compare with previous models. What exactly are they checking out. I KNOW what they're all checking out. I move to the chair and sit down and strike a pose where my legs are somewhat closed. The instructor wrinkles his nose. Hmm... not good.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 01, 2009 5:01 AM GMT
    Are you going to finish the story? It just kinda cut off. Maybe there's a word limit and you're still working on the rest. Maybe I should shut up.

    Is it ok to ask how much the job pays? That's something I've always wondered. I had a friend at art school say she was offered $10/hr., which seems kinda low for being naked, but at the same time you are just doing nothing without clothes on.
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    Aug 01, 2009 5:08 AM GMT
    Good for you.

    I like to hear stories about guys who try something...fail...try again......and ultimately go after what they want.

    Congratulations
  • SpikeJock

    Posts: 51

    Aug 01, 2009 5:21 AM GMT
    I pivot and try another pose again in a vain attempt to bring some semblance of obscurity to my nudity and the instructor looks perplexed. Crap. Ok, I sit back, sit normally, with my legs slightly apart, one hand on my knee the other on my other leg, somewhat wide-open (in my mind at least) and the instructors face brightens up immensely. "Excellent, that's the pose" he says. "Now hold that for the class." Of course this is the pose, the one where my legs are facing two women. Fear. Abject terror settle in now. I'm naked and sitting there as the object of their art.

    There is classic music playing. Spotlights are on me and it's hot. I feel a trickle of sweat roll down my back. There is a tingling.... NO NO NO!

    I've prepared for this. I'm sitting motionless, staring at a fixed point on the wall. I begin counting and breathing in my head focusing totally on only this and blocking out everything else. I zone. I count to 100. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. "Alright, time for a break," I hear. Huh? It's been 30 minutes already? Wow.

    I get up, put the robe on and go to the back of the room to stretch and work out some of the tightness in my muscles from sitting motionless. One of the older men approach me, business card in hand. "I teach the Wednesday class, would you be interested in modeling for me?" he says. Seriously? Me? You've GOT to be kidding me. I've got no idea what I'm doing. "Sure," I say. There is a woman behind him, also card in hand. "I teach on Saturdays, do you do short poses too?" she asks. "I do." I hear myself say. I don't!!!

    Break is over, back to work. This time it's easier to drop the robe, but not by much. I manage to do it and resume my pose. After a few corrections to adjust me, the instructor is satisfied and things resume. No rustlings below this time so I'm more aware. I can hear pencils scratching on paper. I hear pain brushes on canvas. No one talks to each other whatsoever. I'm staring at the wall. Thirty more minutes go by.

    During this break I walk around and look at the various paintings. Each is distinctly different. Some are only of my face, some are upper body, some are full body; surprisingly all really do look somewhat like me although unique. I feel some embarrassment when I see the paintings that show "everything." Wow, there is my penis," I think. People are friendly but seem intimidated to talk to me, as if it's inappropriate. I'm unsure myself so I try to just be professional. Eventually one girl says to me "you're an excellent model." Another says "you really sit perfectly still, it's awesome." I'm flushed with pride.

    I look around and discover a board where other models have cards, pictures and advertisements of their modeling abilities. I'm surprised to find, most, except for one, have a body less athletic and defined than my own. I feel somewhat gratified that this is true. In a few minutes, the instructor indicates it's time to resume and says I'm doing a great job.

    The next two hours go by in a combination of agonizing slowness but also surprisingly quick at the same time. I'm not as bored as I thought I would be, but sitting perfectly still is a LOT more work than you'd ever imagine it would be. Eventually I began to get somewhat more comfortable with being nude and stared at. I'm very aware that I'm unclothed and they are not, but there is a professionalism and sincerity to the students. Yes, they're looking at my nude body, but I got the impression they were very appreciative of me taking the risk of modeling and being so vulnerable and intimate with them in sharing my nudity. It is an intangible thing, respect perhaps, not necessarily admiration; but an acknowledgment unspoken that I was sharing something very personal and that they couldn't do their work without it.

    At the end of the night, I again looked at the paintings and realized something. I was now immortal. The artists perception of me was captured forever in paint on canvas. More than a picture, much more personal, much more intimate, their reality and experience of me was there forever. That pleased me. Each drawing was different, but each was me and it was amazing to see.

    I received compliments from over half the class, on my professionalism and being a good model. I'm beaming with pride. I also received 5 business cards with offers to model for other classes. I committed to doing this same class next week one more time as part of my original agreement, and will follow through on that. As to the rest of the offers, I'm unsure right now what I'll do. The experience has given me a great deal more confidence in myself.

    Perhaps most important of all, I did something I've always wanted to do. Despite very real and justifiable fear, I met the challenge head on and proved to myself that there is nothing I can't do if I set my mind to it and really want to do it. Today I'm sore, bone sore, but really pumped up for having the guts to do this and experiencing a feeling of freedom and energy from having done it. It also helps that I never popped a boner icon_smile.gif
  • SpikeJock

    Posts: 51

    Aug 01, 2009 5:22 AM GMT
    Dezmo saidAre you going to finish the story? It just kinda cut off. Maybe there's a word limit and you're still working on the rest. Maybe I should shut up.

    Is it ok to ask how much the job pays? That's something I've always wondered. I had a friend at art school say she was offered $10/hr., which seems kinda low for being naked, but at the same time you are just doing nothing without clothes on.


    Sorry, evidently there is a limit and it cut me off. Posted the second half. Doh.

    This job paid $25 per hour.
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    Aug 01, 2009 5:37 AM GMT
    Thanks for sharing your pay. Have any special plans for the $75 or $150 after next week?

    Sorry for jumping the gun on finishing. I think some of the middle cut out. You jump from walking into the room to being corrected in your pose. Don't want to sound overly interested in that point where you first bare yourself to the world, but if I was like you hunting for the stories about first experiences, that would be the moment that I'd be really interested in.

    What did you think about to stay focused? I would be freaked out about the constant changes in my junk. My art friend confirmed that most models aren't in very athletic shape. A lot of older people and extremely skinny dudes. I'm sure they be happy to draw someone with more pleasant proportions.
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    Aug 01, 2009 5:40 AM GMT
    Damn. Ignore my thought about the cut out part. It showed back up in the first post. Sorry.icon_redface.gif
  • SpikeJock

    Posts: 51

    Aug 01, 2009 6:28 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidI've done nude modeling before for photographers. I unfortunately lost a lot of very beautiful work from my 20's. I have some from just a few years ago. I should find a site to put it on an post links here. icon_smile.gif


    Let me know if you need some help; always looking for friends to trade taking pictures with icon_smile.gif
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 01, 2009 9:47 AM GMT
    Modeling can be fun and it can be boring or drudgery depending on how you look at it or the venue of where it is

    I haven't done a lot of nude work
    but when you do you have to completely forget that's what you are .... naked

  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Aug 01, 2009 10:31 AM GMT
    way to go. overcome a fear and make some money.
    good for you
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    Aug 01, 2009 12:02 PM GMT
    wow! First, congrats on doing something you've always wanted to do! Second, thank you for your wonderfully written narrative of your experience....I, too, have something I've always wanted to do, and so far have always "chickened out" at the last minute (It's not nude modelling, btw) From your story, I got, and this is only MY reaction, that you were afraid of making a "fool out of yourself"...that is my fear as well....and your story has certainly started me reconsidering my fear of doing something that I always wanted to do...

    SpikeJock...thanks for your story and your bravery!


    Hats in the air and three cheers!

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    Aug 01, 2009 12:32 PM GMT
    SpikeJock saidIt also helps that I never popped a boner icon_smile.gif

    Yeah, that would be my biggest fear, too. Congrats on being successful with your dream.

    In college a female friend of my girlfriend (yes, I had one) was an art major and wanted to sketch me nude. She said the school didn't provide that many male nude models, just mostly females, so sometimes she recruited her own men. Well, that was HER story, anyway. She wanted to do it in her dorm room, which had a big window and where she did do other drawings, and said my GF could be present if I wanted, or another guy if I preferred. She didn't realize, nor did I fully understand why at the time, that a man looking at me would be even worse.

    I'm afraid I didn't prefer at all, and never did it. But as I was offering her my objections, she bluntly said I shouldn't be afraid of getting a hard-on in front of her, if that was my problem. It commonly happened to the college's male models, and besides, she had a boyfriend and it wouldn't shock her, as she'd "seen it all." Well, she hadn't seen MY all, and I still declined.

    And I knew hard-ons were a problem for me, exactly as you describe: once it starts and you begin to think about it, you're doomed. So that I used to have problems in men's saunas & steam rooms, and with nude pool swimming when that was still done. But I learned a trick.

    I found that certain decongestant meds blocked me a bit, even the over-the-counter version of the original Sudafed (I think it's changed now). I'd pop a pill about an hour before going into those situations, so that I wouldn't pop a boner at the wrong time, and be a little better controlled and feel safer and more confident while naked.

    It also tended to shrink me a little when soft, but that was OK, because I was kinda oversized anyway, another source of self-consciousness that helped contribute to things getting out of hand. With age that problem has "lessened" on its own. icon_sad.gif
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    Aug 01, 2009 12:36 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidMy only fear is when I'm naked in front of a camera and it's cold. Daaang my manhood really goes into hiding then. Where's a good fluffer when you need one? icon_razz.gif
    *raises hand*
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    Aug 01, 2009 12:44 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidMy only fear is when I'm naked in front of a camera and it's cold. Daaang my manhood really goes into hiding then. Where's a good fluffer when you need one? icon_razz.gif

    My dick doesn't shrink much at all in the cold, unless it's truly frigid. Instead, it's just my sac that pulls way up and tightens, and I'm a guy whose balls can actually disappear entirely back into my body, making me look like a castrated eunuch. Now THAT'S embarrassing, and not the male look they'd want for a modeling class.
  • musclefun8

    Posts: 39

    Aug 01, 2009 12:53 PM GMT
    Congratulations!
    It's funny that you were afraid of getting an erection. When you do porn it's just the opposite...afraid you can't get one!
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Aug 01, 2009 1:25 PM GMT
    You got thrown in head first, holding a pose for 30 minutes at a time on your first time out. I've taken art classes with a live model and gone to the local figure drawing night and they usually have short poses to let people get warmed up before going into a long pose.

    You are right, most figure study models are not athletically built. Most are average.
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Aug 01, 2009 1:51 PM GMT
    Funny that I should come across this forum as I am heading out the door for a 3 hr session. I'll get back to this when I come home but just a quick view from me. I too have shrinkage problems but I've gotten over that concern. But 3 hrs of on again off again posing sometimes for 45 minutes (!!!!) is more of what I dread.
    I do quite a bit of this even at age 66 but I'm in good shape. Shave down and trim to give more attention to my musculature.
    The groups I pose for differ greatly too. Today's teacher is a neo Nazi and I'm always glad to get my check and go. Other groups are fun to pose for. Oh, BTW, I've only posed for 1 male and I knew him as well. Both were surprised to see each other.
    More later. Time to get nude!!!
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    Aug 01, 2009 1:58 PM GMT
    Good for you SpikeJock. I hope people read this and more consider nude figure drawing modeling as something they could do. When I was in school for art we had about 3 or 4 classes in a row without a model and it really impedes your progress. It sounds like you were a really good model and held your poses well to.

    The thing to remember is that the students, even if they find you attractive, are seriously only looking at you to draw. It may sound cold but the models just become an object to draw. I even had a few hot models when I was in class but I was more concerned with getting my drawing looking good.

    I thought about modeling since other art students did it too. I was also afraid I might get an erection. Sometimes these things just come up!

    This is a rare situation where you can be naked in front of a group of people, make good money, and not feel dirty about it the next day. Ha ha. I'm glad you were finally given this opportunity.
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    Aug 01, 2009 2:22 PM GMT
    I've only modeled clothed, but it was a pretty cool experience...
    Here's the resulting painting:

    Photobucket
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    Aug 01, 2009 2:33 PM GMT
    someguy saidThis is a rare situation where you can be naked in front of a group of people, make good money, and not feel dirty about it the next day. Ha ha. I'm glad you were finally given this opportunity.

    When on a nude beach with both men & women, I keep in mind the following things, that make me relaxed and unconcerned about it, and which may have applications for nude modeling:

    - everybody has voluntarily agreed to this
    - they aren't here by accident, like they've been suddenly surprised & scandalized by this
    - it's a select & approving audience
    - most have seen this before and know what to expect
    - it has similarities to a locker room situation, except women are included
    - I don't much care if women see me naked, because there are no sexual overtones in my own mind
    - straight men mostly don't care, and try not to look too much

    As for the specific situation of nude modeling:

    - any gay students are likely too sexually experienced & sophisticated to lose sight of the task at hand, or so I would choose to believe

    BTW, I've only modeled for my own portrait, clothed and posed as if at the piano keyboard. Took a week, an interesting experience. Under modeling lights and much as the OP describes, holding still for long periods, and having to maintain a particular facial expression the painter wanted.
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    Aug 01, 2009 3:13 PM GMT
    Great story.... and probably the most interesting (and well written) thing I've ever seen on this site!!
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Aug 01, 2009 3:31 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    muchmorethanmuscle said...and not the male look they'd want for a modeling class.


    The author of the story also expresses a bit of nervousness over the fact that the drawers are judging him and comparing him to other models, etc. As someone who's taken quite a few nude figure drawing classes, none of the artists 1)Care about how your body looks or 2)Whether you can see your testicles or not. It's about learning to draw the human body in all of it's forms, learning about musculature and fat and how light plays on the little creases and contours of your body. Anyone, no matter the body type, can be a figure model. And he COULD be a castrated eunuch, that wouldn't make any difference. icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 01, 2009 3:36 PM GMT
    The ancient Greeks, and many other classic cultures have always celebrated the human form and its beauty,,,,,,,,,,,Being a figure model must have required a lot of focus and work back then, as it does today......... the artist needs the right kind of model so that he can do his work...........




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    Aug 01, 2009 4:06 PM GMT
    what a flashback...being a spiraling out of control alcoholic/addict in college - I used to sell my blood/plasma and model for art classes for the extra money. In fact it was a pretty good deal - I think I was doing it 3 or 4 days a week for classes and then for cash on the side.

    It never bothered me going commando in front of the class...I figured they didn't care ... I was just a piece of meat they needed to discect and translate into 2D.

    Of course being in a perpetual black out helped...icon_lol.gif

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    Aug 01, 2009 4:09 PM GMT
    FRONT2BACK saidOf course being in a perpetual black out helped...icon_lol.gif

    WOW, that's a heavy admission. I presume, and hope, those days are past?