This year my creative work reached into art nude. I collaborated with a number of photographers, aiming to create images as expressions of liberated sexual empowerment.
Why nude? And why erotic?
From a personal perspective, one of my biggest challenges has been to transform carried sexual shame from the abusive experiences of my childhood. To pose nude on camera, 40 years later, was at one time, impossible. It has now become an important element of my recovery and therapeutic work.
From a cultural perspective women have carried sexual shame for millennia. Early Buddhist texts often directly shamed women for their sexuality; men scapegoated women for obstructing male enlightenment. The outpouring of #metoo experiences in 2018 reflected a similar scapegoating of sexual shame.
From a societal perspective I use erotic nude to explore the relationship between sexuality and middle age, which again bears the hallmark of carried shame. In Pagan times the Crone was revered for her sexuality, in fact she initiated young men. As patriarchal society developed, so did the shaming and diminishment of women past childbearing age. What imagery does the term MILF (the catch-all term for mature models (+35) in adult media) represent today?
I shall continue to explore themes of natural ageing, beauty and healthy sexuality during 2019, and look forward to sharing my adventures along the way.
Picture: ‘Keeping it Up’
Gibson Blanc / Ruth Phypers 2018