From The Inbox

This will be a repository for the occasional emails that arrive in the site Inbox AND that grant permission to publish them anonymously. All of the entries below are there because the senders allowed them to be used. The privacy of the readers is Priority One.

I have entertained the thought of a guestbook or a forum, but have dismissed the concepts, considering the very low traffic volume. This site exists for the those who are contemplating the idea of becoming life models or who have just begun that great adventure, and who are by definition a microminority of the population.

Google, Bing and Yahoo have catalogued the site, but there is no active promotion. I haven't found a site where prospective or beginning life models hang out. Is there such a place? Who knows?

Addendum 20131204

The above comment about a guestbook is no longer "operative". I decided that folks who would (understandably) hesitate to send an email are more likely to contribute a message via a guestbook entry. The privacy issue involved in email addresses being shared is thus eliminated, but unlike emails, the contents of the book entries are publicly viewable — unless they are naughty and get erased.

The links to the guestbook are on the Index page. Suggestions and critiques are welcome. If you're a long-time model with helpful hints and info for the newcomers to the adventure, we'd like to "hear" from you. Or, if you just want to shout effusive praise about the wisdom and brilliance of the site, feel free to make my day.



A few days ago (July 14), my Inbox showed a message that came from one of the links on the site. It addressed my point that there really is no age limit for ladies and gents contemplating taking up life modeling as an avocation. The gentleman had this to say.

I'd like to comment on the premise that life modeling doesn't have a cutoff date for age and body fitness. Strictly speaking, that's true. There are models in their 80s still working. However, I have over a few months found that the actual limit is imposed by experience. From what I gather, senior models have all been working for years if not decades. Any elderly man or woman who wants to start a modeling pastime is very unlikely to be accepted. My impression from the groups and classes in (my area) is that the artists and classes like drawing the forms of old folks if they are professional and have done it before, but they shy away from hiring seniors who are novices in modeling.

In a sense it's like help-wanted ads that require the applicants to have job experience, causing one to wonder how they get the experience without doing the job. Comments?

I admit that I did not do any research into this particular point, and I am thus at a loss as to how to respond. Therefore, I'm opening the floor to comments from anyone, model or artist, who has a working knowledge of what artists and classes are seeking in new models in terms of age and skills. Is the gentlemen right as a general rule, or is this barrier a localized thing?

Thanks to anyone who can offer some viewpoints that verify or challenge that observation. Email links are on the index page, this page, and the last page.


From the inbox comes this query.

On your postscript page, you made this comment.

Although my interest in modeling was rekindled by the posts on the naturist forum, I am not now an active life model. This is not because of a lack of interest or desire, but rather due to no known opportunities within 40 miles for males as models, let alone "mature", non-buff males. Such is the irony of living in an area that considers itself an art mecca. C'est la vie.

Could you expand on that? I know where you live from your posts on a naturist site, and it would seem to me that there would be several modeling opportunities in what you call an "art mecca".

Thanks for your message. I live in western Massachusetts, specifically in Berkshire County. Despite its reputation as a veritable fountainhead of the arts, there are only two ongoing open studios for life drawing. One is at a college in the county. Several weeks of attending the sessions — before winter and gas prices made the 60-mile round trip impractical — determined that the models (all female) are art students. The drawings on the walls of the art building indicate that the classes also generally use student models.

This weekly session does not advertize itself, and I have thus not identified it. Most of the folks who attend the sessions are art department staff or students. The public can sit in, but they have to find out about the OS indirectly.

The other OS session is in the IS183 Art School in Stockbridge. I have not gone to sessions there, so I cannot speak empirically about their policies. However, from second-hand sources, it would seem that the opportunities for senior models, particularly male, are limited if not nil.

The situation is not likely to improve. Two weekly sessions in a self-professed art hub seem sparse, but that's the way it goes in the Berkshires.

Addendum 20131111: after tweaking the Google search terms, I found another active life group in the town of Sheffield. That makes three. At this rate, we might get up to a half dozen by the end of the decade.


A curious reader submitted this query:

From words in the text and from the last email on the Inbox page, I'm assuming that you are a nudist as well as a model. I'm an occasional figure model, but there is no way that I could ever be a nudist. So here's my question: how much crossover is there between life modeling and nudism?

Surprisingly little. Both involve nudity in the presence of other people, but that's the only commonality. Life models are generally averse to being undraped outside of the classrooms and studios or in the presence of other nude people. Nudists for the most part are very uncomfortable with the concept of being the only nude person in a group, especially when it by definition involves being the focus of attention.

The naturist website referred to on other pages has several "groups" for models, artists and photographers. Although the groups have many members, the posting activity is from little to none. Based on the site members who belong to all of them and who have posted in at least one of them, I guesstimate that there are at most a couple of dozen nude models on the site, and the majority seldom discuss it.

A fellow naturist who is also a long-time life model posted on another forum that he tried to hold a training workshop for modeling during a winter festival in one of Florida's largest nudist venues. Despite hundreds of people in attendance, there was only one who was interested in it.

In short, there are nudists and there are life models, and never the twain shall meet.


This interesting question arrived in the Inbox this morning.

Why do you use the word "science" in your site name? What is scientific about modeling?

To answer that query, I'll quote from the Merriam-Webster definition of "science".

Full Definition of SCIENCE
: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding
a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study
b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge

The etymology of "science" does not restrict the word to what are typically thought of as sciences. From the M-W page...

Origin of SCIENCE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin scientia, from scient-, sciens having knowledge, from present participle of scire to know...

Life modeling is not a science in the sense of physics, chemistry or biology, but it is most assuredly "something... that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge". Becoming a good model, like becoming a good athlete, is a matter of commitment, study and practice. Based on the M-W definition, it is reasonable to call life modeling a science.

Peace and blessings!


An interesting question appeared in the Inbox today.

While reading the archives of an art forum, I happened upon a thread that brought up an issue that might crop up in the art ranks. The poster asked a question about whether Christians should be involved in life drawing that includes nude models. What's your take on this?

In the 1960s, I was a nude model. Although I don't actively mount the dais now, I do on occasion spend some time at a nearby nudist resort. So have I merited hell for exposing my undraped corpus undelectable? Not a bit of it.

I'm also a Christian. I long ago made the distinction between Christians and churchians. The latter folks are caught up in the tentacles of cloying, oppressive, Bible-warping religiosity. One of my favorite bon mots is, "Some people are so busy being religious that they have no time to be Christian."

So what does the Holy Bible say about the matter? Actually, nothing.

Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Anyone who believes that God's most awesome creation, the human body, is sinful is spitting in His face and telling Him that He is the Designer of ugliness and evil. Let's spend a moment on the Biblical facts.

Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

That certainly does not condemn nudity. So where does the warped perception originate?

Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

WHY did they suddenly become aware of their nakedness? God didn't bring up the matter. Note that they ignored God's question, and instead tried finger-pointing about why they disobeyed His one simple command.

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

It's arguable that God slaughtered lambs to make the "coats of skins". Imagine their horror as they watched innocent creatures being put to death to cover their self-imposed shame. That aside, it was not done as a penalty for their being naked, but to give them an appalling example of the dire consequences of their disobedience.

IAC, there are officious religions that deliberately twist those passages and a few others, and preach their piffle about the EEEEE-vill of nudity to their congregations. They are told that unless they are clad in several layers of textiles, and zealously avoid even the merest glimse of an ungarbed human body, Old Scratch will be pitchforking their buns for eternity.

To the poster of the original thread goes this advice: far from being a sin, life drawing is an appreciation of the awesomeness of God's handiwork. Do it without shame or trepidation, from either end of the pencils and Conté crayons.

BTW, one can make a strong case that there is no clothing in heaven.



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