July 9, 2010

There are a lot of erotic images in my head that I feel I need to get out. I normally do that on paper via drawing. Something I’ve noticed about myself, though, is that even though these images are only about what I want to see or do, and shouldn’t have anything to do with what anyone else thinks, I find myself looking for approval or affirmation that what I put on paper is acceptable.

It’s not about drawing skill. I’m well trained and well practiced. The content itself is what I’m concerned that others approve of. When I do find the boldness to actually put a truly erotic image on paper, that itself is an exercise in self acceptance, so it’s already a big step for me. Showing that drawing to someone else is always another matter altogether, because in my mind, that entails telling another person “This is something that I want. I’m sharing it with you because I want you to tell me that wanting this is ok.”

Of course, this is why I share it with VERY few people. I fear the reaction. What I HOPE for, isn’t terribly much. Just a “that’s hot!” or a “hey, that looks pretty cool” if commenting on the technical aspects of the drawing and not the content. What I’ve most often gotten is neither. The people from whom I expect revulsion don’t see anything. Those from whom I expect acceptance, have only shown indifference. My wife, chief among them. This in particular I find disconcerting.

My wife, when it comes to things sexual, is generally accepting of just about anything anyone else wants to do with another consenting adult, or depictions thereof. So, when I drew a picture of a couple that looked a bit like the two of us, lounging on a couch naked watching tv while the woman idly went down on the man (both of their eyes on the tv, not each other) I thought she would at least find it amusing. To me, such an image is pretty durn awesome (duh, I drew it) and is something that I would love to have actually happen. It indicates a kind of connection between the two subjects, and also a very relaxed openness. I suppose I think of it as a more fun type of cuddling (note to self, try to depict a similar situation where the guy is going down on the girl). But my wife was like “meh,” essentially. Part of that came from not being an artist herself, so she’s not one to try and judge a piece on artistic merit. She wasn’t shocked in the least, but it also isn’t something she personally finds arousing. So, my two fairly low aforementioned standards for “crit” were pretty much out the window there. To top it all off is her indifference toward porn (and the fact that I have a fair amount of it on my computer) in general. So, given this, I suppose that I should have expected her reaction to be “meh.”

But I didn’t. And i felt hurt by it. I think it was because that indifference wasn’t a default kind of acceptance. It felt more like a “well, that’s fine for you, but I’m not interested,” and to me that felt like a passive rejection. Which in the end, is rejection.

Which sucks.

It’s similar with my photographic endeavors. Now, I’m not as hardcore about this, since I don’t take pictures anywhere near as much as I draw. But the principle applies the same way if a friend of mine has agreed to model for nude for me (btw, I ONLY shoot nudes with people I know and to whom I have a prior connection), but certain things are off limits. It’s less of a rejection in this case and doesn’t bother me as much because these kinds of details are typically worked out well in advance of the shoot, so I’ve already mentally dealt with the fact that we won’t be going as far as I might like. Also, since they’re so directly involved with the final result, as opposed to a drawing were I truly control EVERYTHING, it’s easier for me to just be like “ok.” With photography, the model has to feel free enough to share herself with me, as opposed to art where i’m doing the sharing. So, if she’s not comfortable going as far as I might want, I just have to accept it, and I’m fine with that. I’d really like to have a photoshoot where the model and I connect so well that absolutely nothing is off limits and where I truly feel free to suggest ANY pose as freely as I might write about it.

But then, there’s another issue. I’m so afraid to say things, even to myself. So how would I suggest a more erotic or exposed pose to a model if I can’t say the words? Or if I can’t say the words without stammering or giggling? I feel like I need to do that dirty talk exercise where I write down the things I want to say, then read them to myself silently, then whispered, then out loud.

I might try that, actually. Might help me get over myself a bit.

2 Responses to “3”

  1. Lee Gilliard said

    I can totally see what you mean in terms of acceptance you crave when you show someone your artwork. It’s a shame that you can’t necessarily get the reaction you’d like out of your wife, but unfortunately, when we share things like artwork with people, we leave ourselves open for that type of rejection. The same thing with photography and a model having limits.

    We live in a world of limits. No one is truely free until they recognize and come to terms with these limits. I’m not condoning our country’s sexualization and simultaneous “taboo” label of simple nudity; I am simply saying that we either come to terms with it and live as freely as we can, taking advantage of every opportunity to realize our dream within those limits, pushing them all along, or we suffer. I’m glad to see that you’re pushing the limits. 🙂

    • I am definitely trying to push them. I’m really not a fan of limits that I don’t impose myself. I work with them as best I can, and usually it’s fine, but lately I’ve been really having a problem with them; especially with my artwork. I feel stifled a lot of the time, because i feel like people won’t understand what i’m trying to put across. It’s tough but i’m working thru it.

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