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Some Thoughts on
Ethics, Sex, Sexual Identity, Modeling, Acting, Fashion and Fitness*
I have some strong ideas on this whole set of issues, as I'll explain. I added this page to my site as helpful advice for aspiring actors and models, and to clarify how I do photography.
On behalf of the photography profession, I regret that some models have bad experiences. Using photography as a way to pressure anyone to do anything they're not comfortable with is just plain wrong.
I've photographed quite a few very attractive women and men and have a strong policy not to mix sex and business. I believe most photographers share these ethics.
However, if someone has delicate sensibilities and wants to work in acting, fashion or fitness modeling, they may run into problems. For example, a percentage of people who work in these industries are gay. I think that's nobody's business but their own, and who they choose to tell about it.
Whatever their sexuality, many photographers are tempted to use the power and seductiveness of their role to try and (so they hope) "score" some easy sex with very attractive models.
Many male models and actors are gay, though it would be unfair to use those career choices as a reason to assume anything. Still, that fact leads some gay photographers to assume an actor or model might be relaxed and even receptive to an indication of sexual interest, even as a straight photographer might want a beautiful woman model to think about him. If a photographer mentions his or her feelings without pressure, an actor or model would do well to simply take it as a compliment and politely refuse.
Be aware, those new to the industry are sometimes exploited. You may be charged large fees for services that others provide free, told that your success is guaranteed when it's really not, and worse, pressured or drugged and sexually exploited.
What you can do
Be careful about going alone to pose indoors or in remote places with people you don't know. Let others know where you're going and let the photographer know they know. Bring your own refreshments, since a small - but very dangerous - minority of people will try to drug and rape or even murder you.
More common but still
It's no secret that these industries have their share of sleaze. I think every actor and model needs to pursue their career with this awareness - but also a generous amount of tolerance for other people's differences.
My policies on this
I am very professional about my photography. Other than shaking hands or a light tap on the shoulder, I don't touch men or women models without their specific permission. And no touching is needed to take great pictures.
More thoughts on touching
If I know someone is fully comfortable with it. I may grasp a guy's shoulder or hold a woman's hand. I hug many of my friends each time I see them, without any of this meaning sex is involved.
Sex and love
Others disagree with me. Especially for attractive people, the temptation can be strong for easy sex with other "hotties". I've seen plenty that shows this all too often leads to emptiness, sexual addiction, broken hearts and serious diseases (some of which can even be spread by kissing). All the more reason to value fidelity. I do.
Temptation can be awful hard to resist, especially for younger people. It's helpful to have a higher purpose in life.*
Maybe that's more than you wanted to know :), but I hope that helps clarify some issues.
The Meaning of Life in another web page :)
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© Copyrights: Website and scanned versions of photos © 2002 - 2016, original photos © year taken by the photographer. This page online February 2, 2006 at http://www.newzoom.com/articles/safe.html - latest changes August 21, 2013