Male vs Female nudes/portraits

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by esau_b., May 12, 2006.

  1. I find it amusing and disturbing at the same time, that a male nude or
    even a simple portrait of a man gets no credit or even so much as a
    notice on this website. Where as ANY female nude, regardless of how
    bad the lighting/composition/or what-have you is, will always garner a
    high rate and critique by the men on this site. Are you all that
    homophobic that the thought or even the sight of a man makes you all
    squeemish? Is only the female body a beautiful thing? I am neither gay
    nor bi-sexual, just a human being who is amazed at the gender
    prejudice that is prevelant in the world. I know this is a cultural
    constraint, the ignorance of acceptance, but i guess i expected more
    from artist who are by nauture supposed to be more open minded and see
    the beauty that others don't. Acknowledging a man as as handsome or
    attractive does NOT make you a homosexual, just as acknowledging a
    female does not make you hetrosexual.
  2. > a male nude ... gets no credit or even so much as a notice on this website...

    Really? No comments, no views, no reaction at all---ever?

    > ANY female nude, ... will always garner a high rate...

    Really? Always? I think you're exaggerating the situation.

    > Is only the female body a beautiful thing?

    I think it is more beautiful, but maybe that's because I'm biased (being a hetero man). But I have no trouble acknowledging a good looking man.

    > ... artist who are by nauture supposed to be more open minded...

    Why do you believe 'artists' are more open minded or enlightened than the rest of humanity? I think they fall on a wide spectrum, just like the rest of us mere mortals.

    For example, Picasso was a creep:
  3. It's difficult, but not impossible to do really great male nudes with out the focus seeming to be homoerotic (unless that's what you're aiming for, especially if it's a "beautiful" male. But that might be our own present society that evokes that.
  4. Most people figured out, years ago, that guys prefer to look at girls. Its also not a news flash that people tend to support things they prefer rather than that which they don't. This is silly.
  5. Most people who view internet forums are male. Most males are hetrosexual. Many hetrosexual males find female nudes sexually stimulating. The rest you should be able to work out.
  6. I tend to agree with Bruce's view more so than any of the other replys. The first guy never really answered the question other than saying he thinks females are "more beautiful". Granted, i prefer them myself, but that does not mean to close your eyes to other forms of beauty.

    John, thank you for that "enlighting" statement about men preferring to look at women. I'm glad to now be one of the "many" who understand that concept. ;o) But again, maybe you can explain to me what part of a building you prefer? Or maybe the giraffe? Or which part of a telephone pole is your preference? THAT to me is silly, being able to see something in those things and yet shying from your gender, and even your own body.

    On Stevens reply: i thought this was a photography forum, a place where photos are critiqued and encouragment offered, and not a porn website?
  7. It seems to me to be the height of arrogance to come on here and state that because others do not like what you like, they are all homophobic, prejudiced, ignorant, close-minded, and can't see beauty.

    I have noticed that people have a lot of different tastes here. I recently posted a train picture. Got no comments at all, and mediocre ratings. Does that mean that you're ignorant, biased against trains, afraid of vehicles, can't see the beauty of a mechanical object, etc? That is exactly the same reasoning that you have used.

    As to the male/female photography, I think you're just finding a fact of human nature. Go out to the mall and walk around. What do you see? 75% of the stores are clothing stores- specifically, women's clothing stores. We (men and women both) put a lot of emphasis on how women look- and not near as much on how men look. And that carries over to the photography- there's just generally more interest in looking at (and, perhaps just as importantly, in taking) pictures of women than pictures of men. On the other hand, you'll find a lot of interest in men's athletics- and not near as much in women's athletics- just the way it is.
  8. Stephen: i call it how i see it. This arrogance that you speak of is not arrogance at all. I am merely stating an observation of a trend I see, not only on this site but in general. The trend to allow everything, and i mean pretty much anything in this world to be photographed except for the male figure. I have seen numerous train pictures, and car pictures, or animals, and buildings, etc. but it's no coincidence that there is always one thing that's a no-no in photography: the male. And the sad truth is that people ARE homophobic, prejudiced, ignorant, and close-minded. How else would you explain the everything/but phenomena? This is one of those things that's ingrained in our minds from day one: female body good, male body no good. I know it's "just the way it is", i completely understand that, but i'm of the kind that likes to see if their are other ways that "it" could be. Ways that might not exclude others.

    on a side note...i like the Locomotive picture on your site ;o)
  9. Take a look at
    it's about women shooting male nudes.
  10. Having been here nearly a month, you're clearly an expert. However, I was interested in seeing the comments and critiques you've made on male nudes and wasn't able to find any. Maybe you could point them out?
  11. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    The trend to allow everything, and i mean pretty much anything in this world to be photographed except for the male figure.
    Are there laws against photographing the male figure? Does this site prohibit displaying the male figure?
    And the sad truth is that people ARE homophobic, prejudiced, ignorant, and close-minded. How else would you explain the everything/but phenomena?
    A lack of interest in something is simply that: a lack of interest. I have no interest in New Age music. Does that mean I'm close-minded, ignorant, and prejudiced against New Age music? Or is it possible that it simply doesn't appeal to me?
    Most men and women have a greater interest in looking at women. And, in my experience, it's much more common for women to want to be photographed. That may tell us something about the psychological differences between men and women, but it doesn't prove that everyone is homophobic.
  12. > How else would you explain the everything/but phenomena?

    This 'phenomena' is in your head. Therefore, the burden of proof is on you to explain why you think it exists.

    If you just open your eyes and look around for a while you will find male nudes. Not as many as female nudes, but clearly not this everything/but, all/none scenario you seem stuck on.
  13. Ocean: what does the length of time on this site have to do with anything? Especially having an opinion about this subject.

    And the reason you can't find a critique on a male nude from me is because no ones posted one up for critique.

    Having such a "wonderful" portfolio yourself, maybe you could contribute to a forum on interesting photogrpahy next time i bring one up.

  14. > And the reason you can't find a critique on a male nude from me is because no ones posted one up for critique.

    Again, you're not looking very hard. I clicked on the 'search' page at the upper right, put in the words 'male nude', and the very FIRST link is a male nude (a photo-of-the-week, no less!) ready for your critique:
  15. Bruce said "It's difficult, but not impossible to do really great male nudes with out the focus seeming to be homoerotic (unless that's what you're aiming for, especially if it's a "beautiful" male. But that might be our own present society that evokes that."

    I think there is a key point buried here. A photograph that seems to be homoerotic does so because that's how the viewer sees it. And that may not at all be what the maker intended.

    Most of the controversies that have erupted over photography have been based on the perception of the viewer. Consider the famous examples of Jock Sturges and Sally Mann. Or the more recent instance of the man who was accused of child pornography by the Canadian immigration authorities because he had photographs in his possession of his infant son being given a bath.

    So I disagree with Bruce that nude photographs of male subjects tend to appear homoerotic. Our society may have biases that cause viewers to seen them in that way, but I suggest that homoerotic was not the maker's intent in the majority of cases.

    I happen to not like cats very much. But the Hallmark company makes a bundle selling greeting cards featuring picture of cats. Apparently a lot of people like cats because they buy those cards. I don't.

    Ultimately, a photograph is really a dialog between the maker and the viewer, and like any other dialog, reasonable people don't have to agree on everything.
  16. I just scrolled down through the Nude category up for critique- I think I count 6 men in there, plus one or two that might or might not count (eye picture, little kid).
  17. The government should legislate to maintain 1 nude bloke per 1 nude sheila. Three strikes and you're part of one of those nude pyramids at Guantanamo.
  18. Zane - that nude male photo of the week looks awful, like the guy's having a diarrhea or something. I don't mind a good looking man but a crouching guy hiding in the bushes is not my kind of image before dinner
  19. "Are you all that homophopic" & "the sad truth is that people ARE homophobic, prejudiced, ignorant, and close-minded."

    If one does not agree with Esau's conclusions or respond to a male nude picture here, you are homophobic, ignorant and close minded.

    That's how open minded Esau is.
  20. A corollary to Easu's belief is that pictures of attractive nude women generally get higher ratings than pictures of women who don't fit traditional concepts of beauty and fitness. I frequently see comments on nude pictures that refer to the beauty of the model without reference to the quality of the photograph. I rarely, if ever, see similar comments in other categories.

    Many years ago, my family was in the bridal business. I was told by someone who had been in the business for many years more than I that you knew you were finally a "ragman" when you could look at a model on a runway and see the clothes and not the beauty of the woman. Fortunately, I never attained ragman status. Maybe a similar concept applies to photography critique.
  21. I think you are right in your assessment of the situation (i.e., that female nudes are more common, get more attention, and more favorable ratings than male nudes)but dead wrong in why you think this situation exists. Your allegation that the bias in favor of females nudes is the result of societaly based homophobia is uniformed to put it politely. The fact that this preference is so pervasive both across time and across cultures should tip you off that it is not merely a "cultural constraint". Contrary to what most people believe beauty is not totally in the eye of the beholder (or culture). There are certain aspects of beauty that are univeral. This has been clearly demonstrated in the scientific literature. And I would argue that most people, regardless of gender, sexual orintation etc would acknowledge that, from a purely aesthetic perspective, the female body is, in most cases, more attractive than the male. This is not to suggest that there aren't males with beautiful bodies but they are clearly the exception (how many men look like Michelangelo's David?). Even most women seem to prefer viewing and photographing women. Although women are more willing than heterosexual men to do male nudes, it still seems, based on what i've seen on PN, that most female photographers who do nudes still seem to favor females over males. Your homophobia interpretation cannot explain this. I think we have to be very careful about impugning the character of others because they don't share our tastes.
  22. Personally, as a heterosexual male, I'm very comfortable with female nudes, and a little uncomfortable with male nudes. Recently, I've seen this a "unfair", and made an attempt to look seriously at the male nudes, also. I think I may have the potential to be more "objective" when evaluating a male nude. However, it seems to me that the female nude is highly matured (for the best photos) on PN, whereas, most of the male nudes here seem like works by neophytes. Others should comment with those they recommend.

    This is all highly subjective. About 70 to 80 percent of the female nudes lose me right at the outset because of pubic shaving, piercings, and other (evidently) common practices that I find ugly, and unappreciative of the human form.

    I suppose there's the fact that it's pretty easy to do a female nude without showing genetalia, and much more difficult with a male. What's odd, with my prejudices, is that, personally, it's more offensive, generally with a female than a male. A male will let it all "hang out", with pride. A female needs more protection, more privacy. That's the stereotype anyway, and I guess I buy into it.
  23. I think the answer is that there are very few men with bodies worth photographing and those that may exist don't want to take their clothes off. Have you ever searched for a male nude model? Females, generally, are much more comfortable with their bodies and are used to showing them off. It's no coincidence that women's bathing suits are getting smaller and smaller and mens are getting bigger and bigger.
  24. Hum hum! *coughing* I'm not sure if I want to write in such a pationnate matter or not.
    Lets just say that in my very very humble opinion I think something is
    missing (but I must admit that I had not the patience to read all the above comments, just 3/4 of them...).
    Anyway. When I've subscribe to I think I've read a small text/instruction about being "zen", or "buddist" when it comes to critic or rate pictures on this site and try not to let our personnal tastes (i like woman, i don't like woman, things like that) influence the "artistic judgment". The text is very clear about this. Maybe it is not realistic to ask that?!? I think this is the basic question in such a discution. How people are asked to rate and critic pics on this site? Shouldn't we ask ourselves "is this pic good?" instead of "is this girl (or guy) cute?"...
    I don't know...
    I'm not answering this question, but merely suggesting it
    as an interresting ingredient in the current topic.
  25. I don't rate nudes, personally. Trust me- I have no issue with nudity. My problem is with the nudes themselves. Most of them I see simply aren't very genuine in my opinion. They are utterly pedestrian attempts at porn hiding behind the veil of art. So I don't rate them. I feel no need to give someone a low rating just because something isn't my cup of tea. Let the people who like the stuff rate it, since that's what everyone's after to begin with.

    My opinion, and it is just that, is that a well-done nude should transcend the fact that the subject is, well, nude. In all but the rarest of instances on PN, I look at a nude and ask, "What is the purpose of the subject being nude? Would it be less of a photo if the model were clothed? Would it be the same photo? Exactly what is the POINT of this person being nude for this photo?"...

    All too often I come up with the same answer- the photo is nudity for nudity's sake. In fact, the vast majority of the female nudes I see are feeble attempts at soft porn. I feel the same way when I've seen Maxim/FHM/etc. Magazine. While the photography is quite good, those magazines are for people who are too scared or dishonest with themselves to buy a real porn mag. There is simply no other redeeming value. That goes for most of the nudes I see on PN. For every good nude there are a ton of terrible ones whose only reason to exist is to provide a picture of a "naked chick". The WWW is a great place if you want to do porn pictures. More power to you; just do it well. You don't need PN for that.

    I would also agree that it's very difficult to do male nudes without coming across as homoerotic. If being homoerotic was the point, then just be honest about it. I have never sensed homoeroticism looking at the statue David, while I do whenever I see the cover of Men's Fitness, which screams "GAY" from the rooftops in a loud whisper hoping nobody will hear it. That is the same disingenuousness (is that a word?) that Maxim suffers from. If that's your target audience then just be honest about it!

    I have no problem at all with male nudes, other than many I've seen are bland or look like the poor fella fell to his death on the rocks below. The good ones are rare.

    IronMan magazine, up to the early 90's, had some of the best male-form photography in my opinion. Granted, it is a bodybuilding magazine. The photos were extremely well done with fantastic, arty emphasis on the human form. The men were wearing posing trunks, so technically the photos aren't nudes... but does seeing the guy's noodle make or break the photo? Maybe for some photos the penis is the point, but if it is ALWAYS the point then I believe you have crossed into porn.
  26. ...or look like the poor fella fell to his death on the rocks below.
    [​IMG]Ain't that the truth!
    I find the vast majority of the nudes here to be dull & me thinks that many of the photographers are really just living out a HorneyGuy fantasy & calling it art. I also see a lot of self portraits that probably have more to do with satisfying an exhibitionist streak rather than an attempt at a good self portrait. However, there are a few solid efforts available here.
    As far as why there are so many more female nudes than males... thats simple in my opinion. 1)There are a lot more men participating here at PN than women and most will show more interest in the female form. 2)Women generally tend to be more self concious about nudity (thier own or others) than men... lest they be labled sluts or skanks or similar, so they stay away from nudes in general. 3)Sexual stimulation is a driving force in the popularity of nudes and women tend to not focus so much energy into visual stimulation.
  27. hi, i am new to photography and have spent a lot of time wondering, "do women actually like male nuse art? from what i'v seen men are actually very large and old or muscle bound models like i read somewhere there are no "normal" male nude art
    i have been contemplating doing a nude self portrait (tastefull not pornographic obviously) and playing with it in cs3 (maybe black and white sketch typr) and giving it to the misses for christmas framed for our bedroom wall!
    what do you all reckon?
    a womans point of view would be good
  28. I would have to agree with Esau in that male nudes are under represented in photography forums and that when they are shown it tends to be categorized under erotic or homoerotic art in the 'real' world.
    I am an amatuer photographer but I have been an artist and art admirer my entire life. And one of the things I have noticed in the U.S. is the tendency to shun male nudes. Look at the controversy that was created by some of the male nude photographers (i.e. Maplethorpe who is arguably a bit extreme).
    I mean look at the controversy that this post has created, just by saying that the non-appreciation of male nudes is homophobic. Why are people so afraid to appreciate the male form? I'm sure I too will be crucified for posting my opinion on here as I am not a true "artist" because I am still learning a new trade and therefore my opinion will probably be dissected and degraded.
    I think Joel B. hit it on the head. People have not learned to look at the photo for the artistic interpretation but for the content of the photograph. Such as one poster said about his train photo... Yes it does mean they are biased against trains to answer your question. They saw a train, which was not what they were interested in, and passed your photo up. Not because the photo was bad or your lighting was wrong but because they don't like train pictures. I have been studying so many photos on this site and have not commented on many at all because I am looking at the lighting techniques the way the light plays off the subject the layout of the photo, etc. And until I know what I'm looking for as an artist I will not comment as such. But, I have also wanted to study the male form along with the female form and have found the ration is 1000:1 in favor of female nudes on this website... I'm ok with that though, I now have a new mission to bring male nudes into the galleries on this site.
    Let the crucifixion begin! :)

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