Live Nude Girl
My Life as an Object
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Arkansas Press
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Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editors of the publications in which parts of this manuscript first appeared, usually in slightly different form: “His Coy Mistress,” Apostrophe; “Notes of Another Nude Model,” Provincetown Arts; “Naked Truths,” The Telegraph (UK); “You Only...
Introduction Look at Me
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Bishop Berkeley worried that if he wasn’t looking at the world, it might disappear. I worry that if the world isn’t looking at me, I might. Or at least I used to. I have worked as an artist’s model for the past six years. It’s a weird way to earn money, but it is not how I make a living. It’s more of a hobby. OK, more of a habit. OK, a compulsion. When people find out that I model for artists, the first thing...
1. Naked If I Want To
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For the third summer in a row, I am sitting atop a gray rotating model stand in a straight-backed, clay-dusted chair in one of the stifling sculpture rooms at Boston University. As usual, Doug, the instructor, is putting the summer session students through their paces like a drill sergeant....
2. Would You Like Me to Seduce You?
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This is a story about love, or something like it. Pliny the Elder tells us that the smitten daughter of the Corinthian potter Boutades invented the art of making portraits. Enamored of a young man who was leaving for a long voyage, she sat him down in front of a glowing lantern. Leaning past her lamplit lover, she drew a line around the...
3. You Only Live Twice
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I’ve never been to China. But I have been to Forbidden Gardens on the rice fields outside Katy, Texas. Built in the late 1990s by a Hong Kong real estate mogul who was concerned that his children were not learning enough about their heritage in school, Forbidden Gardens is a forty-acre outdoor museum showcasing some two thousand years of Chinese...
4. Take a Picture—It’ll Last Longer
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I found Jon on Craigslist in Boston, then he came to find me in Harvard Square. I was standing near the Red Line subway stop, carrying an umbrella and wearing my red raincoat. I was not wearing socks and I was not wearing underwear. Lacy unmentionables, boxers, panties, briefs, leave marks in naked skin—strap lines from bras, tracks from elastic waistbands. Barely consequential to the naked...
5. What It Feels Like for a Girl
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When I was twenty-three, one of my multiple simultaneous summer jobs in addition to modeling was being a sales associate in the cavernous flagship Guess store on Newbury Street in Boston. Working in the men’s department one muggy afternoon in late August, I saw this creep shuffle in off the street with the sweaty, furtive urgency of a consummate...
6. The Lie That Tells the Truth
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When I was posing for Isabel’s life-sized sculpture class at Boston University, Kalman, one of the student sculptors, a tall, broad-shouldered, strong-jawed sophomore, had a difficult time making me look like me. He tended to veer away from what he saw and into what he knew. Unable to capture more feminine forms, he drifted into masculine ones, solid shapes with which he was more familiar and could therefore infer. By the end of...
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Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2010