The Couch Study Foto Series
Published Naturally Magazine
to Summer 1992
There has always been a fascination with nudity among people who normally adhere
to covering the body. This was typically associated with private, erotic moments and in our present permissive atmosphere,
these moments are often recorded by a number of "boudoir" photographers. Before there was an open market in private
photos, young people were daring to photograph themselves in legal-limit underwear and with the introduction of the Polaroid
Land Camera in the late 1940s, those self-imposed restrictions were totally removed.
These moments of defiance of clothes by average people suggests that the desire
for body freedom is a natural law exerting its force on everyone. In those moments of daring, many people who are not
card-carrying nudists or naturists seem quite at ease posing nude for pictures.
people to pose nude may be a mystery even to themselves. Exhibitionism? Vanity?
Defiance of restraint? Or, just a desire to record their image the way they really
To answer these
questions, I have done a photographic art project, inviting daring non-nudists to pose for a nude portrait - on a couch -
the central theme.
will be more daring than some nudists I've met, because they will be consenting to have the photos published in NATURALLY
magazine, and also exhibited in a gallery. If the response is good, we'll see
a variety of new faces and perhaps some new insights on the nude experience.
Couch - Miami Beach
photographer, artist, artist's model, occasional wordweaver and naturist, took this self-portrait then
decided to expand on the couch theme.
& Brenda are ten years into a mixed marriage; he's a naturist and she isn't. While
Brenda is tolerant of Rob's nudism, has seen photos of the nude activities he attends without her and has even met his nude
friends at their apartment, she still has no desire to go nude in public other than this discreet portrait. She says that she's self-conscious of her body and being nude in public doesn't feel comfortable.
and Kevin - Grandsons
and Brenda's grandchildren don't have much to say about nudism. They don't seem
to care whether they have on clothes or not.
is a dancer/choreographer and although he has exhibited his body professionally in front of audiences wearing the most revealing
skin-tight clothing, he is definitely not a nudist. It was only because of his
comfort with me that he was able to get rid of some of his modesty and shyness for this shoot.
My wife had to assure him that she would not come into the room while he was naked.
It proved to be a very relaxed and unselfconscious session and Terry admits that he'd probably do it again.
is an artist with a studio and gallery on South (Miami) Beach. I have admired
and photographed his work for years, particularly the sensuous earth-brown ceramic body casts, many of which are ingeniously
enhanced by bone, wood or fiber construction. His work, always a celebration
of the beauty of the human form is often quite erotic and appealing to any sexual orientation.
As with many artists who work closely with nude models, Julio was not inhibited about taking off his clothes but said
he's sometimes ashamed of his body because of his round belly. During this photo
session he felt liberated from being self-conscious, a feeling he says is still with him.
is a photographer, dealing in the arts and using the nude as a form of expression. Even
though he's not a nudist and has some inhibitions, he felt the necessity to help out a fellow artist. (Ramon is actually my friend. We first met when he used me
as a model and since then we have worked together and he has assisted me in my own photographic efforts.)
Alex and Luciano
is an artist's model and massage therapist and is quite comfortable posing nude or handling other nude bodies. Actually, she's a nudist who hasn't joined a club. She is
often nude in the presence of Alex but he has always been too shy to pose nude with her.
Alex, age 7, did agree to pose with his mother and brother on this occasion, saying that Bart Simpson has already posed naked.
is Caron's father, a retired Floridian. He is not a nudist but had considered it when younger. Caron invited him to pose and he agreed because he considers nudity no big deal.
an acquaintance of Caron, who came on the day of the shoot. She was very self-conscious
about posing nude, but Caron convinced her that she could hide behind Brandon, who is obviously not shy.
is a massage therapist and exercise instructor whose mother told him the human body is unattractive and must be covered. Today, accepting his body became part of his spiritual (or psychological) growth. The ease with which he sat for these photos indicates his triumph.
is a physical therapist who grew up in California and thought nothing of going nude on the beach, which was common there. She joined organized nudism; it just seemed to be happening. Without convenient nude beaches in South Florida (where she now lives) Anne got away from nude activities. She still feels comfortable nude, around the right people.
is an accomplished professional artist who has used me as a model over the years but she resists being identified as any one
of her activities. Cathy is so at ease with nudity, both hers and mine that this
shoot revealed she is another of those hidden naturists quietly living the lifestyle.
She says that being nude in the photo was not a problem but she sometimes has difficulty owning her own space when
being viewed by others. This photo session was just another challenge to that
is a massage therapist and though not a nudist, he feels that many Americans have hang-ups about the human form, saying they
equate nudity with sex. His purpose in posing is to say there is nothing pornographic
about the naked body if expressed artistically.
model by profession, posing nude is simply an extension of what he does. Being
totally nude gives Sean a freedom he does not always feel when posing with clothes.
Greg and JR - 1994 - Gainesville
Greg and JR were a couple that I met in Gainesville, Florida.
The couch foto was part of a larger shoot, and they were the last nude people on the couch series. the couch stayed
in Gainesville when we moved back to Miami Beach in 1996.