I got the message online. A photographer in my hometown was dabbling into fetish photography. He had seen some of my work, and was eager to work with me.

Fetish photography, for those that are unfamiliar, is a line of photography that’s of a nature similar to S&M. It’s fierce, and of a quasi-sexual nature. I say quasi because it’s often artistically beautiful. Sure, some people see it as soft porn (that’s why I didn’t tell a lot of people I was doing the shoot). But a lot of time, it’s just freaking beautiful. It depends on the photographer, and what the photos are going to be used for. 

I was a little worried about the guy who had hired me.  

  I was coming without an escort (I was single, and I wasn’t ready for any of my male friends to see me naked and whipping someone), so I was trusting that he wasn’t a creeper. But the studio we were going to us was not sketchy. And we each signed contracts of privacy.

The good news: He wasn’t a creeper. Yeah, he kept ranting about the sociological implications of The Wizard of Oz, but he also gave me great tips for how I could pose better. And he was even willing to shoot photos using my own ideas!

But then there was the other model in the shoot. Good God, she was beautiful. Tall, thin, tan—everything models are expected to be. I felt soooo insecure next to her. But she was so much fun to work with! And weirdly, she acted as my “slave” in a lot of the shots, where I was her “mistress.” In a way, it looked like a new standard of beauty (my pale, short-ish self) was punishing the old standard of beauty (my lovely co-worker) for making girls like me feel insecure. I can’t release the photos of us together, out of respect for her privacy. But I can tell you: We look pretty hot.

I don’t regret that experience one bit. But before you go buying lingerie and putting up signs reading “Will Pose For Pay”, there’s a few things you need to know about it:

  1. People will assume you’re into S&M if you pose. Sadly, this area of modeling is something that’s still very forbidden by society. A lot of people don’t believe me when I say that posing for fetish shoots is just part of the job. It is! It’s part of my modeling hobby/side career. Doing that shoot (and others that followed) opened up a lot of doors for me.
  2. People will judge you for being naked (or even wearing lingerie) for money. But that happens no matter what. I didn’t tell my mother I was doing a fetish shoot until weeks later, even though she’s also a model (Sorry, Mami). But this leads me to one essential truth… 
  3. You need to practice being naked in front of people. In a non-sexual way, of course. I had already worked as an art model for many months before this, so I was well-used to being naked in front of other people. But it’s a long process to get to where you can crawl on a floor in front of a man snapping a camera in front of you saying, “Yes! Yes!”

But I gotta say: Doing fetish shoots is one of my favorite gigs to do. They give me freedom to bring out a different side of me. And anything that makes a young woman feel beautiful (while earning money!) can’t be wrong, right? 

Would you pose as a fetish model?  What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for money?