I have realized that, in a weird way, life modelling gives me a kind of intimacy I only used to feel in romantic relationships.
When I’ve been dating someone a while, obviously there comes a time when I’m comfortable being naked around them – not just during sexytimes but, like, while hunched over a bowl of soup in front of the tv. This person knows and respects me as a human being and has seen my entire body from many angles, and still likes me. The feeling of acceptance is lovely. So is being able to drop any sense of primness or self-consciousness and just be me.
Today in class (a sustained pose) I was just coming back from break and was taking off my robe preparatory to getting back into my pose. I’d expressed some concern earlier about the chair I was posing in, which had been making some ominous creaking noises and sometimes shifting a bit without warning, as though the back was about to come off from the weight of me leaning against it. The instructor commented that he knew what I was talking about now because during the previous posing session he saw me hitch slightly as the chair shifted.
Whereupon one of the students punned “Is the chair on its last legs?” and we exchanged grins and I said “that’s horrible” and facepalmed. Just a silly, normal little “life moment” between two people – except I was naked.
The people who draw me see me from many angles; even if I’m doing one pose for the whole class, there are breaks during which I’m getting up, reaching or crouching to retrieve my robe, etc. These people will often banter pleasantly with me and seem to like me; if anyone doesn’t, they keep silent about it. They generally seem to think I’m physically attractive, or at least worthy in some way of being drawn/painted; if anyone thinks badly of my physicality, they keep silent about it.
So I’m being totally myself in these classes – no façades, no clothes even – and (as far as I know) I am valued as a human being. Just like when I’m dating someone. And that’s really fulfilling.
I got through the week without the chair breaking, by the way. 😀