Afraid of the Vagina. With @AmythiaGG.
When Amythia and I set up the shoot concept, there was a concern that given the poses in yoga, some of them might be a bit too revealing. So we started out the shoot with underwear. I didn’t have a problem with that because that’s not where I go as far as subject matter goes. As you can see by the final results though, cleaner lines make more sense as far as this kind of imagery goes.
But at some point you realize that you are a little afraid of the vagina — not in the conventional, feminist sense of the idea but that it feels like the thin veneer between an art photographer and a pornographer is how much of the vagina you show. I always ask about a subject’s boundaries when discussing a shoot. It’s common courtesy and once you know, you don’t push it unless:
A. You and they are fairly comfortable with each other or
B. You are invited to push those boundaries.
In all the time I’ve been shooting, the only boundary I’ve ever heard on a consistent basis is a desire to avoid “the pink”. Because i have no interest in doing that as subject matter, I’ve always followed up with a quick reassurance that, no I don’t do that. In fact, I suspect I could omit the question altogether and just say up front, no I don’t do pink.
I’m not about to change that quickly any time in the near future. At least, not in a conscious deliberate way. But I do have to wonder: Is this avoidance of the vagina a good, holistic model of understanding the female body? It seems as if a particularly distorted view of human sexuality (don’t get me wrong — this is not a diatribe against explicit sexual content but the dominant mode by which mainstream pornography presents the human body and sexuality) has managed to usurp the overall presentation of the female body and that showing the entirety of the female body requires justification over and against that distortion. Without a good answer as to the alternative, it still feels wrong to me.