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Male Life Models - Myths & Reality

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Myths & Reality - VIC STEVENS considers some funny ideas that models get

Male models commonly complain that they can't get enough work. Even appearing on the published membership list of the UK Register of Artists' Models doesn't always help much, they claim. Certainly the experience of the Bare Facts model booking service is that male models are rather less in demand than females, two women being required for every man. If you add to this the fact that male models tend to make themselves available for more hours than the women, it seems obvious that men will have much more difficulty getting bookings they want.

However, the work is certainly not spread evenly among the men. While some men can apparently get almost no work at all, there are a few who find it as easy to be full-time models as any woman, should she choose. Furthermore, age and physique doesn't always seem to have much to do with it.

There may be a link here with the basic difference of psychology between male and female models. (Note that I don't say 'between men and women', because I think that most male models are a minority type among men). Nearly all of the male models I have met are clearly in love with the idea of appearing naked in public. All well and good, as far as it goes. But part and parcel of this desire to expose all to as many people as possible seems to be some sort of crazy notion that the body in itself is enough.  This may well be the case if you are an Adonis, but the idea seems to get stronger the older and further from the Greek ideal the man is.

The successful male models in the older and less beautiful category are those who have long since ceased to cling to the illusion that an endless stream of women and girls are desperate to see their willies, or any other part of them.  What the punters want, assuming they will tolerate middle-aged or old male models at all, is the hard work of interesting poses.  The right personality balance is also very important - be friendly, extravert but not overpowering.  Oh, and don't forget to suffer the occasional fool gladly.

Of course, many tutors expect the same levels of energy, commitment and stamina from any models, including young females, and there are plenty of the latter willing and able to oblige.  However, the fact remains that some of those who get plenty of work are lazy and unprofessional, even downright useless in some cases.  The point is that if you're young and beautiful, you can get a fair amount of work without being known for putting much into it, or having a good rapport with tutors and students, if you choose to take that attitude.  The model over 50, and particularly the male male model over 50, doesn't have that choice. You've got to make them want you to come back, despite the wrinkles, the flab or whatever else age has done to you, and the only way you will do that is by flinging yourself into poses that suggest energy and movement.  Ironic, of course, because you may well be feeling less strong and energetic than you used to, but that's life.  From the moment you mount the models' podium they've got to feel there's a bit of a show going on.  Of course, if they are a lifeless bunch with a bored and cynical tutor, such as one sometimes encounters, I can't help you.

While many ageing male models try to delude themselves with the notion that there are some in the class gazing upon their body with desire, most young female models cling to an equally facile delusion that nobody is contemplating their bits from any motive other than the purely artistic.  This is because, unlike male models, most of them would really rather be posing with a few clothes on.  Their primary motive is the money (an important motive for the men as well, but not usually the primary one).  This same need to believe that they are engaged in a totally non-sexual activity leads them to draw a strong line between innocent life art and 'erotic' art.  I'm sorry, girls but a good painting or drawing of a naked sexy young woman is erotic art.  A good drawing or painting of a naked 60 year-old man is more likely to be about strength, movement and drama, but only if the model has himself put those three things into it.

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