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When I Need to Feel Sexy: A guide to being part of an erotic photo shoot by Guest Contributor Kagure Mugo

Being amazingly beautiful is something that comes to many African women. Being one as well as someone whose work day gets stalled by the beauty of these women I feel I can testify to this. One thing that often does not happen is celebrating our beauty in sensual, dynamic, subtle and ‘non animalistic’ ways. If we are not draped on a tree or covered in leopard skin then we suddenly are not on our sexy vibe. Our bodies are used to tell either a very sad story or a very wild one.

But this does not need to be the case. I recently did a boudoir photoshoot that was orchestrated by my girlfriend who had been trying to convince me for months that I was gorgeous, continuously hitting me with the line ‘baby you are exquisite.’ I countered this with:

‘I need to get my summer body THEN it’s on.’

I was finally convinced to be her personal model and given a strict time line (complete with alarms on phones and the like) to work. I had a month. Whatever happened I was to be happy with it. If I did one squat or one million then that was how the cookie crumbled. My body would be captured on camera. It happened. And truth be told it was the most exhilarating experience. But this is not something that should be taken lightly. Like any fun time there are some rules to follow. Remember your body is a really precious thing. Would you go around taking a package filled with gold, diamonds and treasures in a back pack with no care in the world?

No.

Same with your physique, that precious cargo is not to be taken lightly. So in light of that here are some tips, rules and tricks on doing an erotic photo shoot.

  1. Do it with someone you trust: This is important during and after. Someone you trust will help you relax and will also protect the final product. Don’t involve unnecessary people, it’s not a group event.

 

  1. Discuss what will happen with the photos: It is not something I admit but one day I want to be in power. Or truth be told the power behind the power. Either way I understand that my ambitions may take me to a place where I would possibly have these photos used against me. A friend of mine asked me what I would do if they surfaced twenty years from now. My answer to her:

 

‘After ducking carbs during a wedding in Kenya and for 10 days in Uganda(where potatoes and rice is a staple), waking up at 5 am to jog and buying weights, they better surface.’

 

But that is just me. In a world where the internet is a click away, for quite a few people seeing your ass online (no matter how tight it is) can be a little too much. Therefore it is best to figure out where these photos are going so things don’t get… ugly. It is best not to store them on google drive, drop box, send them over Whatsapp or anything else that is out of your utter and complete control.

 

  1. Choose a spot you are comfortable in: The space you are in is important. What is surrounding you will influence how comfortable you feel. How comfortable you feel will influence how sexy you feel. How sexy you feel will influence how far you are willing to push the boundaries. You see where I am going with this? In order to feel truly alluring you need to be able to feel like you own the space.

 

  1. Shower and lotion before: Much as this is out of the comfort zone we are all African children. I strongly recommend this. Do not go from work to this photo shoot. Have that break where you take time to make sure you refresh. It also gives you time to become more acquainted with your body. Also, no one thinks ashy elbows and knees are sexy. Vaseline is our friend.

 

  1. Pick music that makes you feel sexy: I personally recommend Jill Scotts’ Imagine That, Me’Shell’s Beautiful and anything by Maxwell. Or possibly Black Messiah by D’Angelo. Pick your musical version of lingerie. But the key is, it must be what makes you feel sexy not what you think makes you look sexy.  It is important that the music can take you out of your head. So if a good dancehall tune gets you going, handle it. If it is some of Britney Spear’s earlier stuff, get on it.

 

  1. Start slow: The best approach is not to just suddenly strip down to your birthday suit. First start with your favourite outfits. Then try your favourite outfits without the shirt/skirt/pants. Then see how much of it you can lose without feeling self conscious. Then lose all of it. Make sure you avoid laundry day underwear, stripping down to this can be an obstacle. Make sure every layer makes you feel hot. There is always that item of clothing that makes you feel untouchable. I have a pair of wedge boots. In them I am invincible. I am so invincible I brought a woman to a Kenyan wedding, danced and then wore aviators, as a Bridesmaid. That’s how boss I felt. I wore the same shoes in the photo shoot. The whole shoot.

 

  1. Pick your poison: there is nothing that makes things slide through existence better than a spot of liquid courage. Bring your own. Be empowered. If the shoot is at your house buy yourself something special, something you love. Treat yourself and have it on standby in a cup throughout. Now the key is not to drink so much you get what we call in South Africa ‘phuza face’ (drunk face). Remember the drunk face that you have had in photos of you in the club? Now think of that when taking erotic photos. Not a good look. Also it is very important to stay present. You need to be fluid but strong on this one. It is all about balance.

 

DO NOT GET DRUNK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Ever.

 

  1. Tense your muscles: I have no idea what this is about but my photographer girlfriend told me that this is a key to a sexy photo. It is not sucking it in. That’s trying to make yourself smaller, that’s not what we are trying to do.  It is about tensing your muscles because that brings out the curves that the good Lord gave you. Do it as if you are trying to pull your skin into your bones. Keep it tight, keep it right.

 

  1. Love what you are doing. Have fun, because essentially…you are beautiful. That is a standard fact. The most important thing is to do this in a way that you feel celebrates you.

Truth be told, you will always need your summer body. There will always be one more squat to do, one more push up, one more crunch. So if someone you trust comes to you and says to you ‘you are stunning’, be brave enough to believe them. Always believe it, even when it is hard.

It is not about your partner, photographer, anyone or anything else. This needs to be about you, a celebration of your beauty and intrigue.

The minute you are doing it for someone else, it may be toeing the fine line to something dicey. When it is for you, no one can take away that sensual power. Or the fact that you own it, in a world that tells you as an African woman ‘you can have very little that’s just yours’.

Photo credit: Bob Pixel

Photo credit: Bob Pixel

About the Author

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3 Comments
  1. Nana Darkoa says:

    I did my first nude shoot when I was 31, 6 years later I think it’s about time I repeated the experience so this post is hella helpful. Thanks Kagure. Me love you long time x

  2. Nnenna says:

    I think it sounds beautiful. Very beautiful. Unfortunately not for me. I might as well gather a handful of mud and splat! it on the floor because that is what I will look like naked.

  3. JK says:

    Great article! Sounds like we African men need to have ourselves some nude photoshoots too!
    I’m not kidding though, it sounds like quite the experience.

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