It’s been a bit quiet around here lately. There are a few reasons for that, but nothing dire. I have low energy at the best of times and I’m even more tired than usual, which I think is partly a side effect from some medication I’m taking.
My interest in the blog, both writing and photography, seems to be going through a low patch. (Hell, I’m having a hard time even replying to comments, never mind creating content.) But my interest in some of my other hobbies, such as dance and sewing/costuming, has been higher than usual lately. So it balances out – at least, it does for me.
The Sinful Sunday theme this week is “outdoor photography”.
Looking out over the Umbrian hills from the castle. There’s no model, but the photographer was nude. That counts, right?
Edit: Since I seem to be disappointing those of you who consider my playful sense of humor as one of my lesser charms, I will point out that there is a more conventional photo of me elsewhere in the Sinful Sunday offerings. But you still have to find it.
This is the last of my stash of mile-high photos for the time being. There may be fewer photo posts here over the next while as I’ve noticed that taking photos for the blog has starting to feel less like fun and more like an obligation. I’ll just have to see how it goes.
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Nicolas and I hadn’t planned anything in particular for the shoot, for a few reasons. I wasn’t certain how well I’d take to it, and didn’t want to over-commit and thus inconvenience him. He had picked up on my hesitation and kept his goals modest (is “modest” really the right word when discussing a nude shoot?), which meant the location and poses weren’t set in advance. He wasn’t planning to use the shots himself so he had no agenda for production. It was very much a “go with the flow” sort of thing, and you have to hope the flow goes somewhere interesting.
We had started out low-key, and rather than leaping right into the deep end with nudity, he had me start with some clothing that he had brought. Sexy, revealing clothing, but still. I didn’t really know what to do for poses, and he gave what he later called “gentle directions”. I would almost go so far to call them “suggestions”, since I always felt free to agree, suggest changes (or progression), or even decline. There was never any pressure, and right from the beginning I found him respectful, supportive, encouraging and friendly. He created an emotional environment in which I could relax and flourish.
As we went on, he began to ask more of me and the poses became more complex than “stand here and tip your head” or “drip some water on your nipple”. The verbal directions started to become more cumbersome, certainly because of the increase in complexity, and perhaps also because the language in this context can be very fussy and technical.
Eventually he started moving me with his hands — my arm here, my leg there, angling my head. I don’t specifically recall, but he must have tried something simple at first, like gently moving my foot. He was relaxed about it so I was, and this created a virtuous cycle of comfort and ease with each other. We were in a space that was small and unavoidably intimate, and we were almost touching most of the time already; this hands-on contact felt like a natural progression.
Nicolas gave me feedback throughout. I never really knew if something didn’t work, because he never made a fuss about it, and it didn’t matter anyway. We just kept trying new things. When it did work, he was vocal about it, saying “yes”, “that’s hot”, “don’t move, don’t move!” or (my favorite) “fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck!” under his breath. Sometimes there were no words, just a very satisfied look on his face. Whenever he got a shot he particularly liked, he’d turn the camera around to show me.
Sensing that I was still at ease, we moved on to more dynamic poses. I was still wearing the black dress. The top came down. The bottom came up. And up. I grasped, I tugged, I arched.
Then he wanted me to cover my crotch with my hand (we were back to verbal directions now), and then stroke a little to give the impression that I was pleasuring myself. By this point, I was nude again.
I hadn’t noticed feeling specifically aroused — I was still very interested in the shoot and wouldn’t have wanted to stop to play — but I did get very wet. Was it the camera? The company? The nudity? Being a little outside my comfort zone? When it happened with Lucas, the circumstances were very different so I haven’t narrowed down the cause yet.
Nicolas had told me before that the best photos happen when the model can make love to the camera. I suppose I was doing well, because during the shoot he announced that he was getting a little too wound up and needed to take a break. That is a compliment that can’t be feigned! We sat on the bed and talked for a while, he in his black T-shirt and black jeans, I still nude, sharing personal things with each other. When we got started again, we had lost some momentum. But then that was precisely the point.
* * *
Nicolas and I were acquaintances through DM and email before this shoot, and I felt that during the shoot we forged a real connection and the basis for a friendship, even before we stopped to talk.
I knew I wanted to do the shoot but I didn’t know for certain whether my old “script” (that nudity and sexuality are bad and/or dangerous) would hold me back until I actually tried it. There’s only so far you can get with thought and rationality regarding subjects that have the potential to be emotional, and sometimes explosively so. I was glad to discover that I’m making progress in this area, and that I was right about what I wanted — it gives me confidence that I’m coming to know myself better.
As I’ve said before, my body image has improved markedly since I started sharing photos of myself on Sinful Sunday, and this shoot was in some ways an extension of that project, but more in the realm of expressing my sexuality. In front of someone I’d just met in person the day before!
Nicolas was right, of course, that this was an entirely different experience from being my own photographer. There was an intensity, a frisson, some kind of chemistry. I was being unambiguously seen in that moment, and appreciated just as I am. And successfully challenging my limits.
Nicolas Laborie would like to work with other people too. If you’re interested, you can get in touch with him via the email address on his website, or via DM on Twitter, where he is @nicolas_laborie.
There are more photos from the shoot, which I’ll be sharing over the next while.
I’ve had a good week this week. The weather has been lovely, and other than the occasional cough, my cold is history! I also received my first sex toy for review — watch this space.
My mood has been fairly good lately. I attribute that largely to the direct effect of the anti-depressants, but also to the virtuous cycle that they’ve launched. My symptoms of depression include indecision, second-guessing myself, and having difficulty getting anything done.
The medication allows me to make decisions and get things done, which gives me a sense of accomplishment that in turn makes me feel better about myself. And then I have more confidence about tackling the next task. It’s slow going but I’ve got a bit of momentum now. I’m not certain that the dose is quite right yet, but it’s close.
As Hy says, “Boobday is a body-positive meme where women share images of their bodies in order to show that there is beauty in all of us. With confidence comes power and with power comes confidence.”
The room, though attractive, offered only a few backgrounds — white wall, green glass, walnut headboard, white sheets — while reflection shots in the bathroom mirror provided another option. The only usable furniture was the bed. The effect was minimalist and monochrome. And frankly, it was cramped, which limited the angles.
When discussing what to focus on, Nicolas remarked that he knew I liked my breasts. Well, yes, as it happens I do. But his impression would be based on the photos I post, and my regular participation in Boobday means that my breasts are somewhat overrepresented on the blog.
I was now fully nude. Nicolas had been attentive to my comfort, and the space heater had done its job, but this caused two minor problems. First, he was overheating; he took off his black sweater to reveal a black T-shirt and was still too warm. Second, I was comfortable and thus my nipples were rather boringly flat.
He wanted them perky. His first idea was to dribble some water on me. He started and then I took over. It wasn’t entirely effective, but the water droplets look great.
(You know, after stripping that first time, I don’t really remember the subsequent costume changes. I’m just going to assume that Nicolas watched me dress or undress each time. I didn’t find it a hardship, and neither did he, I trust.)
I then got into my black dress. The fabric is substantial, with good body and recovery, so it tended to smooth out details rather than reveal them. Details such as, oh, nipples.
We tried the water trick again, but it just wasn’t up to the task. It was time for more drastic measures. He wanted me to pinch my nipples to perk them up. I didn’t go for it right away. He mimed pinching. He was torn; it would be so easy for him to just do it and get the effect he was after, but it was rather personal! I laughed. He mimed again. I made a half-hearted attempt to pinch them into shape, but I felt awkward too and couldn’t get into it. More miming. More smiling and laughing, on both sides.
We conducted an entire wordless negotiation this way.
Him: I want those nipples hard so they’ll photograph better and pinching is the only way I can think of to do it.
Me: I know, I get it, but I can’t bring myself to do it.
Him: I’m warning you that if you don’t, I’m prepared to do it!
Me: Yes, I know! Go ahead!
And that’s how Nicolas came to be pinching my nipples in a workmanlike, results-based fashion while we both laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation.