NAKED AND AFRAID
I had an urge to do something different; something a bit risqué I had never done before. I wanted to push my unpolished limits by stepping outside the same old boring comfort zone.
A friend of mine told me about a photographer who uses his highly talented professional skills coupled with his exceptionally creative mind to produce unique and unconventional works of art. Through the lens, his ability to capture the true essence of his subject(s) results in pure genius.
After checking out the aesthetic qualities and craftsmanship of his cutting edge, classy, sophisticated, sensual and sexually suggestive images, I agreed to do a shoot of my own.
I knew I’d feel like a fish out of water but that was exactly the kind of thing I had been looking for. Figuratively speaking, I was craving the idea of stripping down to bare bones in order to experience the feelings of vulnerability that naturally fester in an awkward situation. It’s pretty ironic that I would end up taking myself so literally.
The morning of the big day I woke up feeling a bit nauseous. I was filled with nervous energy in the pit in my stomach. It most likely had more to do with the fact I had only eaten celery and cucumbers for the last forty-eight hours! Prepping to be a boudoir babe was tough; I was fucking starved!!!!!
Driving to the South Miami studio from Boca Raton was a feat in itself. I don’t think the location could have been any further away without needing a passport. It felt foreign because it was foreign. I had officially entered the borough of NO HABLA INGLES!
I pulled into a narrow parking lot and stared at the giant warehouse in front of me. With my body frozen from fear I said silently, Where am I? What the hell have I gotten myself into it? Why couldn’t I have found an equally unpolished project in Palm Beach?
I knew I couldn’t bail so I looked in the rearview mirror and gave myself a well needed pep talk. You just schlepped to the end of the earth to do something nuts; so get your ass out of the car and do something nuts.
I grabbed the suitcase I had packed full of La Perla and got my ass out of the car. It was time to do something nuts!
The place seemed tremendous. Multiple floors. Huge rooms. High ceilings with big open windows to help facilitate the natural light. The blaring music echoed as the beat of the base bounced from wall to wall. I lurked around to get the lay of the land and found various velvet couches, leather chairs and ottomans; I think I even spied a bedpost or two. It would be easy to mistake the place for a mysterious vintage shop filled with eclectic props or perhaps the backstage of a prestigious theatre with sultry scenery and professionally designed sets. It was evident some serious creative juices flowed heavily throughout the four thousand square foot facility.
The boudoir package included a female stylist to do my hair and makeup. When I entered the (un)dressing room, she greeted me with a warm, genuine smile which helped put my nerves at ease. I was calm for about three seconds until the photographer arrived. He embraced me with a friendly hug and told me how excited he was for the shoot. I took one look at him and a shot of adrenaline immediately surged through my veins. Holy shit! He was as much a work of art as his actual works of art! This is the man who’s taking my picture? I’m supposed to expose myself in front of Mr. Muy Fuego?
I was wigggggging.
He must have picked up on my unpolished paranoia because minutes later he reappeared with a cold bottle of champagne.
Oh, thank God. Alcohol.
I popped the cork in record speed and the first glass went down in one gulp.
The entire bottle A few gulps later there was no turning back. My bra, thong and I hit the set!
As a novice to this environment, I desperately tried to remind myself this was totally for fun. There was no need to take it too seriously.
The photographer began giving me some basic directions.
Turn your head this way; lift your chin that way; now arch your back.
Initially, I felt more like an Ugly Betty than a Sexy Silver but after I got the first few missteps under my (garter) belt, I finally felt like I was getting the hang of it.
Dare I say I was having a good time?
Then Mr. Tall, Dark & Handsome said, Now I want you to say YES.
I was like, Hold up! You want me to say whattttt?
He replied, I want you to say YES and hold the “S” sound.
Apparently when you say the word YES and hold the “S” at the end for an extended period of time it makes your mouth look extra boudoir-ish! Since that was the look we were going for I had no choice but to comply.
So you want to me say YESSSSSSSSS out loud? I started laughing not because it was funny; I started laughing because I was terrified.
The only reason I hadn’t shit my pants was because I wasn’t wearing any………
Jesus H. Christ. I cannot do this. Where’s the champagne? I need more champagne.
And then I decided to stop pussyfooting around. I dove in, played the part and did exactly what the hot dude handling the camera instructed me to do.
The music was cranked full blast; the dry ice machine had smoked up the entire room and the next thing I knew I was in a supine position rolling around on the cold floor saying, “Yes. Yessss. Yessssss. Yessssssssss!”
When I heard him say, That’s a wrap. I think we got the shot there was no mistaking the liberating sense of empowerment that overwhelmed me. It felt amazing to experience the utterly unpolished feeling of vulnerability I had sought. And wasn’t that the whole point of the entire exercise?
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW…. On the drive home I recapped the day in my head and concluded I should be proud of myself for conquering a fear otherwise unknown. As a reward for my accomplishment, I made an immediate pit stop at one of my favorite restaurants and did what any unpolished and famished girl would do. I had to make up for lost (eating) time so I carb-loaded myself into a place of sheer food oblivion! As I shoveled the first bite of ecstasy into my mouth, I couldn’t help but to unpolishedly say, “YESSSSSSSSS!”