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This is a blog post I've wanted to write for a long time. I have been looking for a way to address the concept of owning your sexuality ever since I overheard a conversation between two former coworkers several months back.
In that conversation the female coworker I was standing next to was trying to describe what makes someone sexy. For all intents and purposes she described confidence, but the 19 year old boy she was speaking to didn't understand that concept. "But I've had sex!" is all he could say.
So why bring any of this up at all? Well, because my young coworker isn't the only one that gets confused. Recently I've been presented with several opportunities to photograph individuals who wanted to appear sexy in their pictures but didn't quite know how to get there.
Sensuality can be a difficult concept to translate into a visual medium when you are the visual. It's easy to talk about why a movie star or a musician is hot. It's easy to find things about them that are attractive. But when you have to take a good hard look at yourself and do the same thing - most people have trouble overcoming their insecurity and it shows in the pictures. So I wanted to talk about the people that I have photographed that were either effortless sexy or able to start smoldering on command.
The biggest difference I see between them and the people that struggle to take a sexy picture is that effortlessly sexy people believe they are attractive. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not. The simple fact that they believe it gives them confidence - which is sexy on everyone.
The effortless sexy people know how to think sensual thoughts. I'm one of the rare individuals that doesn’t believe eyes are the window to the soul. I can tell a lot more about what someone is thinking or feeling based on what their mouth is doing. The one exception is when people are thinking sensual thoughts. I don't know where these individuals go to start smoldering like that - it's obviously a private place - but wherever it is it does something for them and you can see it in their eyes. There is a wantonness that is palpable in their pupils. It doesn't matter who they're really thinking about, everyone that sees that photograph believes it's them because of the way the subject is looking out at you.
Finally, effortlessly sexy people own their sexuality. I discussed confidence previously but what I want to talk about here is a little bit more than that. The people I've seen that are most successful at projecting sensuality acknowledge that their sexuality is a part of who they are. They accept it and are completely comfortable as sexual beings. I'm not saying that you have to be in this place to take an attractive picture - you don't - but it helps.
The other thing that helps is to think about what sexy looks like to you. I've had to spend a great deal of time doing this lately and I'll tell you right now it's difficult. I've never before stopped to consider what specific body language screams, "Sexy!" Is it the girl playing with her hair? Is it the way dudes stand? Is it the facial expression? If you want to have sensual pictures taken - stop for a second and consider what sensuality physically looks like.
That way the next time you need to smolder on command - it won't be a sweat.
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