nude pics, photos of nude woman and models

Letters To DOMAI


I have been following (and participating in) the "controversy" concerning the nude models exhibited on the DOMAI site. Two basic groups seem to have formed. There are those who feel that nudity per se is a natural and essentially chaste thing. Hence the featured naked models are not manifesting any overt sexual allure but are merely posing "au naturel" and if they happen to be attractive they are so in the same sense that a green meadow or ocean sunset are. The other group (in which somehow I find myself) seems to feel that an attractive, naked female is of sexual interest to a heterosexual male. As usual the truth probably lies somewhere in between. I have some personal observations about this topic and I hope that they are taken in the same spirit in which I give them. I have no desire to put anyone down or to persuade anyone to adopt my point of view. I am merely stating my opinion.

I begin my consideration of this topic by examining the DOMAI site as it is and hopefully from an objective viewpoint. I have been visiting this site for about ten years and if not from its very inception at least for most of its existence. The name DOMAI is an acronym and was presented as such by its founder, Eolake Stobblehouse. Perhaps this was tongue-in-cheek but if I remember correctly DOMAI is supposed to stand for Dirty Old Men's Association International. (Now being well into my sixties and still enjoying the sight of a well turned female leg and curves emphasized by tight garments, I suppose that I fit what the acronym DOMAI stands for.)

The next observation deals with the models as they are presented. All of the models are female. This exclusive gender selection clearly labels the site as being primarily of interest to heterosexual males. Natural, chaste nudity could include males. Michelangelo's David and Rodin's Age of Bronze are two male nude sculptures which exemplify this. Yet although I am an art buff and appreciate these sculptures, I concur with Eolake's editorial policy which limits the DOMAI images to those of nude females. The models are also tightly grouped according to age. To fulfill legal stipulations they all have to be at least eighteen. To the best of my knowledge the eldest was thirty-nine and her age was mentioned to focus attention on how good looking she still was. (Of course, considering my age, I found her impossibly young and considering my personal taste in women, more than attractive.) This rigorous chronological grouping once again limits the models to a certain category and excludes other types of female nudity such as naked older women. The models are also selected according to their "beauty". I do not dispute the fact that "beauty" is more subjective than objective and that it varies according to different tastes in a given society at a given time. However there are certain attributes that are exhibited by the vast majority of DOMAI models which put them in the upper category of beauty as defined by most heterosexual men. Their healthy, youthful bodies, harmonious figures, little or no body ornamentation such as piercing, tattoos etc, tasteful poses and positive facial expressions would certainly make them finalists in any international beauty contest. A good number of them, if not most, also sport long hair, a characteristic which seems to be much appreciated by men, especially in younger women.

The presentation of the models is also very sexual. Not only are their breasts fully exposed but the nipples are often erect and the breasts are advantageously portrayed, frequently thrust forth by leaning back or emphasized by being constricted between the arms. The genitals are usually well visible because they are totally or partially shaved and because of how they are photographed. Finally the different poses that each model adopts during the "shoot" emphasize her specific charms as much as possible. We are no longer in the realm of the objective here. This is the photographer's art completely controlling the model. The setting, the lighting, the time of day and the actions of the model are part of the profession of the photographer. He or she is to the nude photograph what the director is to a film.

We also have the subjective judgement of what is known as editorial interpretation. DOMAI is a modern day erotic publication and Eolake Stobblehouse is the editor. He decides (rightfully so) which pictures will be included and which pictures are rejected. So a model who may be featured on a particular day may have had some pictures, originally part of the photographic sequence we finally see, deemed unacceptable for various reasons. The photographers and models often have other clients and it is possible that more explicit photographic "products", not necessarily fitting the DOMAI image, are created and sold on the open market. In short the "DOMAI Girl" is a carefully and professionally crafted model that is supposed to manifest a certain personality and fit into a specific "entertainment" niche. But why go to all this trouble and why this narrow definition of female sexuality which has caused many DOMAI fans to perceive these naked beauties as almost asexual beings? To find an answer for myself I turn to my lifelong passion: the printed media.

I am a book collector and I have a fairly large library including many periodicals and other documents which I acquire according to the topics which interest me at a certain time. Among these documents I have a fairly representative (but not definitive) collection of pornographic magazines and documentation ranging from 1969 to 2006. These publications are primarily American although there are some from Canada, Great Britain and France. I shall cite only those documents that stand out as beacons in the transition of the public perception of eroticism which I think took place within my life time and which may have some bearing on the discussion at hand.

The earliest magazine found in my erotic collection at this time is the December 1969 issue of Rogue (No. 21, Douglas Publishing Co. N.Y.) The breasts of the models are completely bare. There is no complete nudity shown, although there are "total" nude shots of profiles and backs. There is an interesting photo spread about Japanese actors performing the actual sex act on a London stage. The sex organs are not shown. The play is Vultures by Momoko Hosokawa. Staging this play was "cutting edge" for the times and actually featuring stills from it in an American magazine was a bold and risky move. The Rogue model spreads are very much like the DOMAI model series except that no genitals are shown. The models are not raunchy or unduly sexual in their poses and editorial control is almost palpable in the sense that whatever standards have to be adhered to are carefully observed. There are some articles where a male and female are featured in "compromising" situations c/w booze but no genitals are ever shown as hands or furniture etc. shield the models&Mac226; genitals. There are many ads concerning pornographic books, pictures and films.

Five years later my April 1974 issue of Penthouse shows total prefrontal nudity. The genitals are boldly manifested although unshaven. The elaborate photo shoots are very professional but extremely tasteful. Again editorial control is at the maximum. There are many "porno" ads and merchandise promotions.

The next item in my collection is the June 1976 issue of Playboy. It is very similar to the Penthouse issue described above. In fact Playboy and Penthouse were the two main contenders as far as conventional erotic magazines were concerned. Penthouse was founded to compete with Playboy for market share and was an unabashed imitation of Playboy. This competition between the two rivals pushed the erotic envelope pretty far. When the soft core photographs had reached their peak within the editorial standards the two giants had set, the "intellectual" articles kicked in and the target audience became the college grad-upwardly-mobile-hetero male. Other P&P issues I own are concerned with politics, psychology, race relations etc. and have articles written by intellectuals who were active at that time.

I have many "lesser" magazines which more or less adhere to the Playboy-Penthouse editorial standards when dealing with nude models. The quality of the photographs and the models in some cases is not as good as that found in P&P. The articles are usually very poor and simplistic in their attempt to be explicit. The principal rival of Playboy and Penthouse was Hustler Magazine which aimed its content at the blue collar male. The photographs are crude and raunchy, racist jokes pull no punches and the editorial policy is far right of right wing. While P&P followed a more "artistic" line, retaining the best photographers (Guccione who was the owner-editor of Penthouse did a lot of the shoots himself) who would manipulate their product technically (airbrushing, filters, various exposures etc) and often create a photographer's model which was an unrealistic portrayal of what a real woman looked like, Hustler opted for the image of a more down-to-earth, somewhat aggressive and sexually insatiable female. The public at large was also invited to contribute their own candid shots. This was a forerunner of many of today's self photography internet sites.

The September 1999 Hustler Canadian Album, Volume 3, No. 1 is the last true magazine in my collection. Thirty years after the Rogue mentioned above, we have arrived. Two words describe this issue: completely coarse. One foldout shows a woman fingering herself and has a caption which reads, "Can I squat with you?" There are pages of phone sex ads, one in particular advertising "Pussy Licking Lesbians". Among other "highlights" are photographs of oral sex with ejaculate, women identified as lesbians using dildos and the ubiquitous Hustler amateur contributors.

The newest document in my possession is Mile High Magazine, July-September 2006, Canadian Edition in French. This is not a true magazine but an advertising brochure for pornographic DVD's. Here sexuality is promoted as being completely unfettered. Everything that one could think of is totally explicit. Fetishes are prominently featured. The way that the films are described makes them appear to be lewd , brutal and in your face.

I think that the transition which I have just outlined above in a very abbreviated fashion, clearly illustrates why the concept of DOMAI has caught on. If at the beginning of the post World War II "Sexual Revolution" there was a desire for a simple meet-the-model kind of sensual experience bolstered by a few graphic fantasies and rooted in the magazine reader's conventional sexuality, within forty years a gradual progression into the realm of absurd sex has taken place. In the world of commercial eroticism caricatures and stereotypes populate the collective imagination and a comic strip mentality blurs all boundaries. It is as if the individual human being has lost control of his or her sexuality and is forced to think of the other sex in callous and artificial terms: steroids, "scientifically modified" humans and globalized immorality have become the standard for courtship between the sexes. The return to an earlier concept has become essential in order to preserve the social balance within the heterosexual community. Enter the "DOMAI Experience". The success of the DOMAI site can be measured by the number of imitators in business today (It reminds me of Penthouse et al chasing after Playboy).

When I consider the controversy between the "chastes" and the "sexuals" among the DOMAI fans, I cannot help experiencing a feeling of déjà vu. In the 1960's the "Playboy Philosophy" was similarly discussed. Hugh Hefner, who founded Playboy in 1953, was a pioneer in the American sexual revolution in the sense that he commercialized sexuality and brought it into the mainstream as a consumer good. One of the cornerstones in establishing the multi-million dollar Playboy empire was the "Playboy Philosophy" which was basically a reaction to the repression and lack of freedom in one's personal expression of sexuality. The DOMAI philosophy seems to exist as a reaction to the lack of personal self control in the expression of sexuality. It was inevitable that there would be a backlash to the excesses which I have outlined above. (Hefner, by the way, was arrested in the early 60's and tried for selling obscene literature. He was not convicted and resumed his activities. Feminists, in general, accuse Hefner of making women into sex objects. It is ironic that at one point his daughter took over the management of the Playboy empire).

The pictorial depiction of nudity in Western society is not as rare as it may seem although it was usually considered to be "on the fringe" and for certain eyes only. An early example can be seen in the illuminated manuscript, Les Tres Riches Heures Du Duc De Berry (ca 1415) created mainly by the celebrated Limbourg brothers. The Duc De Berry was the brother of Charles V of France and a patron of the arts. The illuminated manuscript (written and illustrated by hand) was supposed to be a book of religious devotion. It does contain the entire sequence of Adam and Eve and their eventual expulsion from Paradise (in my edition, Liber SA, Fribourg-Geneve 1979, pages 48 & 49). Before sinning Adam and Eve are shown fully naked. Eve's hairless genitals are somewhat obscured by her thighs. The squatting Adam clearly shows his complete apparatus. After they sin and in the presence of God they both cover up with one hand. Fair enough. This is a pictorial parable showing us the difference between innocence and shame. But on pages 18 & 19 there is a very interesting illustration for the month of February. There is a cutaway view of the manor house and we see three people warming up in front of the fire. The lady of the house is sitting demurely in front of the fireplace. A male and female peasant sit slightly behind and to her right, legs wide open. Both have lifted up their garments and both are warming their hairless and anatomically correct genitals by the open fire. In the magazine Arts Canada, December 1974 issue, on page 55 there is a reprint of the famous Eadweard Muybridge plate 498 from Animal Locomotion of 1887. Twenty images are shown of a woman undressing and eventually totally naked. The anthology, Nude: Theory (Lustrum Press, NY, NY, 1979) shows some nude sequences by the photographer, Manuel Alvarez Bravo (ca 1937-38) where the model is completely nude. Both the Muybridge and Bravo models seem to be DOMAI precursors in the fact that they are natural women with no makeup or fancy props etc. They become interesting and to a certain extent erotic because their eroticism is purposefully understated by the photographer. Their femininity is completely individual and they are attractive because their looks are "normal" and within reach of the viewer.

The DOMAI girl is presented as being happy and innocent. These attributes are essential in order that the beholder (or, as I consider myself, the voyeur) may create the proper fantasy atmosphere and dispel any unpleasant considerations that might distract one from fully enjoying the image of a beautiful naked woman. I do not know if a particular model is happy at the time of the shoot as the photographic appointment was fixed well before hand when another mood might have prevailed. Perhaps she broke off with her boyfriend the night before. Perhaps someone close to her has been diagnosed with a serious illness. Perhaps she found out that her university entrance exams did not turn out well. Then I have to wonder about the definition of innocence. Does this refer back to the above mentioned Adam and Eve before they acquired knowledge of good and evil? Are we talking about a virgin who has yet to experience sexual fulfillment? Or is it someone who is not wise to the ways of the world? But all of these considerations can easily be dispensed with by simply accepting DOMAI as it is presented and enjoying it as one sees fit.

I have to confess that I like all the DOMAI girls. I like some more than others and one or two particularly so. I dream of going back in my time to be in their now with my preferred -- just holding her hand, not necessarily naked or in bed, just kissing her warm moist lips, just looking at her hair shimmering in the summer sunlight, just watching her walking across the park as she comes to the picnic table where I am waiting.

sigi46 {at}

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