Nude models and relationship complications

I’ve worked with many nude models over the past decade, and I hear about relationship / insecurity / trust issues a lot that they have to deal with. Both those I’ve personally worked with and on the Model Mayhem forums. Like with anything, I have worked with some who are complete drama queens and their life will be a mess, their modeling has nothing to do with that. And others are very educated and polished, and have their affairs in order. But to do nude modeling of any kind takes at least somewhat of a free spirit, which I think is a good thing. First, let’s address why models choose nude modeling. They love modeling but do not meet height requirements for fashion or commercial modeling, and feel liberated without wardrobe hassles. Many love the art and do it for a hobby, and some supplemental income. The schedule can be flexible and it can help with college or other expenses. Others are professional traveling models who plan tours to different cities, and they go if they can generate enough interest of people who will hire them in that area.

Now, depending on the nature of the shoot and the release / terms of use contract between the model and photographer, images can be used for portfolio development, gallery showings or art print sales, selling images licenses online, publications, etc. With that said, a model who does this work knows how to promote herself, and how to bypass deals that don’t feel right. Also they know how to keep things professional during shoots etc. They aren’t there to hook up with the photographer or anyone else. It’s a job, like any other. Model does her job well, takes care of her body, works out and gets proper rest and nutrition, gets paid and goes home. Anyone who dates a nude model needs to understand those things. There are some gross misconceptions about nude modeling. Being a photographer specializing in nude imagery, I understand how it works. But many on the outside are not so accepting, and are quick to make rash assumptions. Which is wrong, because how can you love and care about someone without at least trying to educate yourself about their world? Just because they work in the nude while on camera or being painted doesn’t mean they are prostitutes or romantically / sexually involved with others on set.

Models are people. Like anyone else. Nudity does not make their work any less relevant or make them an unfaithful person to have a relationship with. I hear about a lot of guys who are jealous and insecure about their girlfriends’ modeling. Not something I want to be caught in the middle of. You manage your personal life, and I’ll manage mine, I don’t need the drama, lol. So, just because the spotlight isn’t on them, they get butthurt. Or because she shines on set and develops a working bond with photographers she works with…..that does not mean anything else. Dating a model, especially a nude model is not for every man, I don’t have a problem with that. But trying to use ultimatums or other manipulation to get their girlfriends to quit modeling for them is wrong. If you’re in a relationship with someone, you accept them for who they are, and not try to change them. Trying to brainwash them into giving up what they love to do just because you’re insecure, is a huge red flag in a relationship…I always hope the model will find someone who trusts them and supports what they do, and knows she only gives her love to him….you know, that foreign concept called trust and security in a relationship. Otherwise, why be in one at all?

Being controlling and jealous only causes future resentment. And it’s a negative force. Basically there are two choices. Work through it and try to educate yourself, and be interactive from a healthy distance in her modeling….or be up front and say this isn’t for me, and find someone more conservative. it doesn’t go both ways. I can tell you that jealousy, lack or trust, control, trying to change someone, or talking down to them are not ingredients for a successful relationship. I’ve hosted traveling nude models, and several have done the same for me when I traveled to do a shoot. Doing something shady would destroy my reputation I worked years to build. But also I hear a lot of these relationship woes from them. I’m always happy to hear when they have a healthy relationship with someone who loves and supports them, and trusts them. Others, unfortunately, I urge them to find someone who will because control works in stages. It starts there, and never ends there. And can turn into abuse. There are real men who can accept nude modeling of their significant other, some who cannot…..but no real man tries to control a woman and give ultimatums. No self respecting woman should settle for that. Life really is too short!

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