Category Archives: Practical Considerations

6. Length of Sessions

There are three basic types of modeling sessions with a group.
The first is a two-hour or under session.  This kind is non-tiring,
but likely to be unsatisfying both for model and for artist, because
neither can get “all the way into it.”  For models, it is likely not
to provide enough income to make it worthwhile, unless it is very
close to home, and does not interrupt other activities.  The
three-hour session is likely to be exhausting, but far more
satisfying to everyone in every way.  A marathon session – lasting
for at least eight hours – can be terrific as an occasional
experience.

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7. Holding Poses

A)  When you take a long pose, take time to settle into it.
First take a pose, one you can be comfortable with. If a
pose you take turns out to be uncomfortable, change position.

B)  In long poses, try to balance weight evenly, and be sure to
use padding (folded cloth or pillow) at pressure points such
as knees and elbows.

C)  Concentrate attention on something of interest that isn’t
moving much: one of the artists, or something outside a
window, for example.

D)  Have an artist mark the places where your body rests on a
surface, with chalk or charcoal, if you will be resuming a
pose after a break; also mark positions of furniture you
are using.

E)  Pay attention to the feel of a pose, as well as to its shape.

F)  Practise holding poses in front of a mirror, to see which
ones you find particularly expressive.

G)  Work out time limits on your own poses.  Usually, about
twenty minutes is a maximum for a single pose before it
becomes rigid; then you need a break: for your own sake,
for the sake of the artists, and for the sake of the pose.
Different people, at different times, may find a longer pose
appropriate.  This is especially true in private sessions.

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8. Breaks and How to Use Them

A)  There should be a short break (about five minutes long),
every twenty minutes, to help artists and models to
concentrate properly, to change position, and to get a
fresh perspective.

B)  It is useful to have one long break, during sessions that
last two hours or longer, for conversation and refreshment.

C)  During breaks, it is helpful for models to move around and
socialize (without clothes, if the situation is sufficiently
comfortable).

D)  If possible, it can be helpful for models to have a look at
some of the artists’ work.  This enhances interest and
respect on the part both of models and of artists, and helps
make the art work more satisfying as a mutual endeavor.

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9. Exercises

A regular course of exercises can help you gain greater control
of your body, especially for moving poses, stretched poses, and long
poses.  Yoga is especially helpful for long poses.

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10. Models and Artists: Terms of Address

To safeguard their privacy, models are often addressed by first
name only.  Models can follow the same system in addressing artists
and group leaders (e.g. instructors).  To increase recognition,
interest, and respect, models can introduce themselves by full name
at some point in the session, and offer a little background
information on themselves.  This points out to other people that they
respect themselves as members of their profession.  It is good to
overcome tendencies to hide personal identity, since fear of
discovery will inhibit self-expression, and actual discovery of a
hidden identity may cause embarrassment.

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11. Sexual Stirrings

During drawing sessions, a model may experience sexual
stirrings.  The more intense a session is, the more likely it is that
they will occur, as part of the overall intensification of the
experience.  They occur for artists, also, for the same reason.
These stirrings are not usually very noticeable, and are most likely
to be taken in stride by people who do notice them.  Partial, and
even full, erection of primary sexual organs (genitals) and of
secondary sexual organs (most noticeably nipples, both male and
female) can be caused by all sorts of factors other then sexual urges
– and sexual urges are as natural, and as respectable, as anything
else that causes bodily changes.  Erections on men are seen unjustly
but understandably, as threatening (because of cultural
conditioning).  This conditioning should be unlearned, and models can
help with the unlearning.  A good joke from a moderator, the model,
or an artist – even a joke about the erection – can be an especially
good way to help it subside.  A sarcastic joke, on the other hand
offers injury to a self-consciousness already made tender by the
erection.  In itself, an erection should be recognized as a
compliment to members of the drawing group.

Some models feel that masturbation to ejaculation can prevent the
occurence of erections during a drawing session that takes place
shortly after the ejaculation.  This approach, first, is likely to be
futile, unless the model is awfully adept at self-suggestion.
Second, it is deceptive even if it does work.  It contradicts the
revelation of self which, at least symbolically, is the essence of
modeling as an art.  Third it is unnecessary, since someone’s sexual
organs are just as appropriate for art when erect as when flaccid.

Men are required to wear G-strings covering their genitals in
some modeling situations, because cultural conditioning places the
possibility of penile erections in an aura of fear.  Some models feel
they should refuse to pose in places where G-strings are required;
others find that mutual aquaintance can free them, after a short
while, from obeying the restriction.  In itself a G-string does
interfere and should not be required.

This section has been lengthy because the issue of sexual arousal
offers intense worry to some artists and to many models (or potential
models).  As a practical problem, it is almost non-existent.

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12. Unexpected Visitors

A)  Friends and Relations

Sometimes people you know from your role in life as a stock
broker (or something) turn up at a session where you are modeling.
This may embarrass you, or your contact, or both.  There are several
possible responses.  Here are several suggestions – one of them,
where you are “up to it” by far the best; one of them by far the
worst.

1)  Ask the contact please not to take part in the session, since
your  relationship is in other areas of life.  This is honest
and fully respectable.

2)  Pretend there is no connection between you and your contact;

model as though your relationship did not exist.  This
approach, if it seems to be working, is very likely to change
a sense of embarrassment into a feeling of offense which can
cloud your regular relationship, as well as inhibit the
drawing session.  What is more likely to occur is that
either of you will quietly change your minds as the session
goes on, and straighten things out during breaks, or –
better – one or the other of you, recognizing the absurdity
of your subterfuge, will break out laughing, thus revealing
the situation to the group – in this way enriching all, and
moving everything into approach number:

3)  Welcome the contact publicly, by name, recognizing that
sharing this unexpected mutual interest can enhance the
aspects of life which you already share.  Your relationship
with a group member enriches the group as a whole.

B)  Photographers

Photographers should be sure ahead of time that a model expects,
and allows, photographs.  If someone comes to a workshop with a
camera, and you were not notified of this ahead of time, you should:

1)  Ask the photographer to give you the names and addresses of
three personal references, whom you will check out before
allowing pictures.  Work out plans for future photo
sessions, if references check out (and do check them out).
Don’t let yourself be persuaded to skip this step: too many
people have been personally or financially embarrassed by
neglecting to attend to it.  Use this pamphlet as back-up
when you insist on this safety measure; responsible
photographers and group leaders will respect your insistence.

2)  Show the photographer a model release, and agree to co-sign
if references check out and if you are willing to be
photographed.

3)   Refuse to be photographed unless both conditions 1) and 2)
have been met, even if someone at the workshop had been
aware that a photographer was to be present, but had
neglected to tell you.

4)   These suggestions apply when you are posing with clothes as

well as when you are posing without them.  Every other member
of a drawing group should also be informed when photographs
are to be taken, and should not be photographed without
prior permission, and signing of a release similar to the
one offered in Appendix D.

C.  Societies, Clubs, School Groups, and Scout Troops

Sometimes people wander into a school or museum studio,
previously unaware that there would be a naked person in the room.  It
is good not to cover up or to leave the pose.  The best thing to do –
recognizing that you belong there and they don’t – is to welcome them
in, explain what is happening, and invite them to stay awhile, so they
can get an idea of what is going on.  A moderator or artist could take
the initiative here; the moderator has a special obligation to do so.
A model – being most uniquely present – is quite likely able to do it
best.  This approach puts things back into perspective, puts the
drawing group at ease, and provides an amazing amount of consciousness
raising – often with life-long effect – to children and adults in the
visiting body.

D.  Anything at All

The unexpected is always unprepared for, and “automatic reactions”
are a matter of course.  These reactions are likely to be mistaken
ones.  “On second thought” only comes later, of course.  An
unwelcoming automatic reaction can usually be bridged over by a mild
apology or a gentle joke, followed by a deliberate welcome – which may
be, freely, either accepted or refused.

E.  Taking Advantage of the Unexpected

Anything unexpected can serve an extremely valuable purpose.  It
reminds us that each experience is – in fact – a new one; it has never
happened before.  Renewal of this “newness of experience” is
essential; something unexpected jolts us into it, if we have
forgotten.

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13. Group Poses

Some models are asked to pose nude with other people.  As in the
case of photography sessions, the situation should be arranged ahead
of time, and may be refused, even then.  At the very least, models
must be compatible with each other, and the qualifications they
require for posing with someone else (what age or what sex a partner
should be, for example), needs to be respected and accepted.

Posing nude with someone else is basically an intimate experience,
if it is meaningful at all, and must have advance preparation on the
part of willing models.  Each pose requires mutual agreement on the
part of the models; the most practical way of working this out is with
models who are already thoroughly comfortable with each other.
Intimate poses bv people who are thoroughly comfortable with each other
are very deeply moving, to models as well as to artists, and can inspire
wonderful works of art.

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