Posted: Oct 14, 2009
Q: My girlfriend wants to pose nude for an art class to make extra cash. I don't want her to do it. Am I being unreasonable?
I've always marvelled at how, if given total control over what their girlfriends wear, some men would dress them in skin-tight, low-cut clothes and others would stitch them up like an escapee from an Amish community.
You've obviously never been to a life drawing class. Let me describe the scene. Your girlfriend will be lying on a musty chaise-longue, which has been draped in a sheet ?for texture?.
She will be surrounded by perhaps eight old biddies in smocks, Clarks sandals and half-moon glasses, clutching a brace of paintbrushes and feeling pleasantly squiffy after sniffing too hard at an open bottle of white spirit.
Any man at the class will be gay, especially the art teacher. Any woman under the age of 90 will not be a lesbian Shakira lookalike on the hunt for a straight woman to toy with.
I can't really imagine a more un-erotic scene involving a naked body.
If it's not the threat that your girlfriend might meet someone else that's bothering you and what's keeping you awake at night is the mere fact that she will be taking off her clothes and showing herself to strangers in general, then I think you might need to address your issues of possessiveness.
To crouch over your girlfriend like Gollum, not wanting your precious to ever leave the house or accidentally reveal an ankle to the milkman is weird. And I'm sure, deep down, you know it.
Most people take bar work or get a Saturday job in Tesco when they need extra cash. Posing nude, in any circumstances, is merely exhibitionism.
And you should test her liberal outlook by telling her that if it's OK for her to bare her body to others, then it's alright for you to look at other people's.
See how she feels when you start hanging out at strip joints and excuse yourself by returning with a few doodles you made on a paper napkin.
The urge to take your clothes off in front of strangers you have no intention of having sex with is something that only seems to afflict white people. Don't believe me?
Then why is a nudist beach the only place whiter than a Klan meeting? When people in other cultures go naked in public it's because clothes aren't affordable or haven't been invented in their part of the world yet.
Maybe your girlfriend feels a need for shameless pagan abandon. Or maybe she believes that Gok Wan helps "empower" women by persuading them to strike silly poses with their kit off.
Ever since Calendar Girls became a success, a lot of women think that going starkers is some kind of feminist badge of honour - whatever they look like.
From the nude studies I've seen my artist friends make, the people who pose for them are generally flabby and unattractive, with wildly excessive body hair.
If your girlfriend is in this category, her ambition gives you a convenient reason to dump her.
Your objections are valid, but this could be a wake-up call for you to consider what kind of weirdo you've got mixed up with.
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