Photographing naked women–When is enough enough?

Sculpture of Venus by RodinShooting pictures of fully naked women came with the territory. About every two months I’d be driving somewhere new in the United States to cover the Pure Talent Agency’s feature showcases (which I won’t describe here because I’ve already done so at Amazon.com where my latest book, Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World is being sold. For example, I traveled to Providence Rhode Island to shoot hundreds of pictures a night at Club Fantasies for Pure Talent while staying in the same hotel as the feature entertainers who were performing in the showcase. Three times I’d travel to Big Al’s in Peoria, Illinois to shoot Pure Talent feature showcases. I did at least one showcase at the Lumberyard Strip Club in Des Moines, Ia. (The place really is an adult night club). Later I’d return to cover Miss Nude World at the Lumberyard, and after that I’ve lost count of how many times I’d come back to cover numerous adult events such as SPEW (Sexy Professional Exotic Wrestling) for Big Daddy and Big Mike (the Lumberyard’s G.M.) There would be a feature showcase at Lafayette, Indiana for the Continental Agency, two feature showcases for Pure Talent at the Candy Store in Mobile, Alabama, two more feature showcases for Pure Talent in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and so on. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s no telling how many digital pictures I wound up taking, but it’s has to be 100,000 or so, and after shooting the Rhode Island Showcase I turned in my Canon G-2 digital camera for the Nikon D-1 X, Nikon’s top of the line professional camera which set me back over $5000 for the camera body plus another $1300 for my favorite lens. By then I had decided that within the limits of what I could afford the women I was shooting deserved the best. Furthermore I was shooting for Pure Talent while writing for Xtreme Magazine, and I was doing professional work with an amateur camera which I felt was like bringing a BB gun to a gun fight. The Nikon D-1 X with the lens I had gotten could easily deliver over 1000 pictures a night at a quality level the other photographers around me could not match. That lens was so fine that even today I marvel at how it was able to produce a Three D effect. The entertainers seemed to literally be jumping out of their backgrounds. Lesser lenses simply wouldn’t do it. During all of this I met so many naked ladies that I cannot begin to count them. Such superior results came not because I was the superior photographer. It simply took a lot longer for other professional photographers to catch up. Several of them were having their equipment provided by the magazines they were shooting for and it took awhile for such magazines to catch onto the fact that shooting with film simply was no longer competitive. Photographers shooting next to me had to keep reloading their expensive Nikon film cameras while I was able to shoot over two hundred pictures before I had to pull my memory card out and put a new one in, a process that took less than 10 seconds. Other photographers covering the same events I was covering were using lesser cameras than the D-1 X that were fitted with cheaper lenses. Even today, I can tell a big difference between the heavy 28-70 mm Silent Wave Nikon lens and my much newer 18 by 200 mm Nikon that has anti vibration and all the other bells and whistles that retails for around $600.

And now, with my publishing Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World, once again the question has come up over how much nudity I should allow in the pictures I was publishing?

For me, the naked female body can be a beautiful thing. But during the past thirty years or so the average American has put on over 25 pounds, and although the guys compose part of this average the women have been even worse. Meanwhile clothing styles have evolved into what I will call the gunnysack cut. For men most of whom have pot bellies once they reach a certain age and fat behinds, this amounts to a lot of extra material in the legs and seats of their pants. For women, garments have evolved into gunny sacks of shapeless cut. Oftentimes they are called suits. But make no mistake, these “suits” were designed to hide the human body. But for those who’ve got it, it’s best to flaunt it. So show it off if you’ve got a nice trim waist or finely sculpted back muscles (Leah Layne comes to mind here who I’ve featured with the Tec 9). As for naked breasts, if they look nice show them for God’s sake. Most people wouldn’t shirk away at all from a woman who’s breast feeding her baby in public. But for a stripper to expose her breasts on stage, that’s bad. And why is it bad? It’s bad because strip clubs are bad evil places in the eyes of many people. But which is really more beautiful, a trim naked stripper showing off a pair of nicely formed breasts or a woman who’s recently been pregnant, pulling her breasts out of her bloated body to give milk to her baby? If you ask me the reason so many are offended when a stripper shows off her body, is jealousy compounded by the fact that whenever a prettier, more physically attractive woman shows off her well proportioned body, that act of displaying her beautiful body acts as a sad reminder of the far less attractive woman’s shortcomings. So, for those who appreciate real beauty in the female body, nakedness is good while wearing gunnysacks amounts to a huge cover up for all the bad habits the Western world has gotten into these past thirty years such as gluttony, unwillingness to exercise, too much drinking, and the denial of what one has become. But now that I’ve said all of that, I’ll also contend that too much of a good thing is just too much.

Even today now that I’m living in Pattaya, Thailand which probably has the largest number of the best looking women in the whole world, if you were to take me into six Pattaya go go bars, a couple of my friends might be inclined to say that two of them are good because the go-go dancers are completely naked whereas the other four are just so-so because the women are partially clothed. But I could care less because I’m far more concerned with how beautiful the women are, are they friendly or not friendly, will I be treated as a number or are at least some of the girls more willing to put in a better effort to get to know me just a little, even if ultimately their bottom line goal is to make as much money off of me as they can. The same was true in all the American clubs I used to visit. In the U.S. not only was it important for a club to have good looking women, it was equally important for me to establish some kind of meaningful rapport with at least one of the girls. In the course of establishing such a rapport I’d start to look at the women as much more than strippers taking off their clothes–I’d look at them as real people who I either really liked, despised or was ambivalent about.

At Nudes-A-Poppin all 100 of the female contestants would be roaming around the outdoor nude beauty pageant completely naked. Here I’d first meet Dirty Heather, Darien Ross, Pleasure and Pain, Leah Layne, and Amy, all six of whom would later be featured in my Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World articles. The thing about Nudes-A-Poppin is that after a few hours and definitely by the second day all that nudity started to get a little too overwhelming and one would find oneself once again wishing to find women wearing at least some clothing. The problem was that any slight physical defect in a contestant’s naked body would detract from her overall sexuality. The whole thing would start to become just a little too clinical. The other thing that started to bother me about shooting women in the nude was when the nudity started to go just a little too far.

My personal feeling on the subject is that a woman’s privates should remain private. Now I really don’t have any problems shooting pictures of naked women from a distance or in such a manner that her private areas do not appear in the pictures. Here I must draw a distinction between showcasing a picture of the most exquisitely formed breasts and all those vaginal shots that get so much attention in practically all porn. A sculpture of a naked Venus by a Rodin or Michelangelo would be considered art while I’d consider a picture that displays a woman’s privates while she’s playing with a dildo to be grotesque. Such pictures diminish the real woman lurking inside the body that’s showing off its most intimate areas. As for ass shots, I see nothing wrong with taking pictures of a woman’s ass so long as the picture suggests only that her body is very beautiful rather than showing something else, that is the stuff of porn.

Once in awhile I’d be called upon to shoot pictures of an entertainer who’s sticking a dildo up her private areas. I can’t say that I was actually disgusted by someone doing a show that featured weird tricks with a dildo, but I was at least more than a little bored by doing those kinds of pictures. The same would be true about shooting pictures of women having oral sex during a shower show. Once again, I felt that those kinds of pictures diminish the women who whether they are pretending to get it on in during the shower show or really getting into doing the real thing. In fact this is exactly what happened that weekend when Lolly Topps and her boyfriend visited me during a photo shoot I was doing of her for the SKS Xtreme Magazine article. After doing the shoot with Lolly Topps posing with Vic Meyer’s SKS the three of us had dinner together and then I took them to one of my favorite St. Louis Metro East strip clubs. Danny and I were talking and enjoying our beers together when Lolly Topp came back from visiting the club’s restroom fuming. Lollytops announced to both of us that one of the club’s customers had tried to grab her breasts and that she had almost slugged the man on the spot. A few minutes later two of the club’s naked entertainers started to practice cunnilingus on each other in a shower show as the club’s male customers cheered them on. Lollytopps kept repeating over and over to us, “I can’t believe this. I’ve never seen anything like that done in a club before.”

Plainly Lolly Tops was just flat out disgusted. Yet how many times had I taken nude pictures of her? And while being announced at Club Maximus while competing for MS. Texas, not to mention at other adult events the M.C. would be announcing Lolly’s credits including her being a porn star. When? I’d like to know because if I can imagine Lolly Tops doing porn at all it would probably have to be with her boyfriend alone in a bathtub filled to the brim with bubbles as they proceeded to sail a little toy boat back and forth in between the bubbles.

I got to know Lolly pretty well, and whenever I was around her I’d get the most wonderful vibes that I rarely ever felt when I was around a woman. I’m not sure but I think it was during the Miss Nude World pageant that I fell asleep in Lolly Topps room for a few minutes while she quietly talked with one of the other entertainers. She was just good people and that’s the best explanation I can give of her.

I really don’t know what Lolly Topps is doing right now. I’ve been living in Thailand for seven years now. And although I talked just three days ago with Arianna a Del on Skye I doubt if Arianna could tell me what Montana Steel is up to even though both women are from Louisville and that when I first became acquainted with them they were rooming together in a hotel room Big Al was paying for during a Pure Talent Feature Showcase. But I had gotten to know Montana as a very intelligent personable woman who was as common, ordinary and unpretentious as they come. I sure don’t want to be publishing any pictures of Montana where men can gawk at the display of her privates. And so it goes. As a group these were some of the finest women I’ve ever gotten to meet. It’s been a real privilege to work with them on the Extreme Magazine photo shoots not to mention all the other times we got to work together.

So here we are. There are now three distinct versions of Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World. Although I’ve already mentioned that I tamed some of the pictures down in order to attract a wider readership, I’ve eliminated the display of a woman’s privates out of respect for both myself and the women who did such an outstanding job in the photo shoots. And I’ve gone even further by covering up all shots of a woman’s breasts even though I have no personal problems displaying them. What I wanted was for the totality of my models’ overall attractiveness to shine in the pictures in a book that will hopefully be around for a long time. Because if I can, if I ever had the talent to do it, I’d prefer for this book to later on be considered as pure art.