The image of Raquel Welch, along with swimmers from the 1984 Olympic swim team, inspired today's posts. A few weeks ago I saw the 1984 Vanity Fair issue the image came from at used book and magazine store, the magazine was being used as part of promotion, and sadly was not for sale. I had an instant flashback to when I first saw the image when I was just 8 or 9 years old. The magazine was at a friend of my mothers and I discovered it while we were visiting. I so wanted to tear out the pages with Raquel and the swimmers, but in the end was too fearful of being caught. The images however, remained in my imagination and dreams.
A bit of research uncovered the images were shot by fashion photographer Bill King. The image of Raquel seems inspired by an image King shot of model Janice Dickinson he shot two years earlier. King, who died in 1987, was one of the most celebrated photographers of fashion and celebrity in the 70's and 80's. King shot countless magazine covers and editorials including shooting Elizabeth Taylor for Blackglama in 1983.
King was known for his 'party' themed images. At a time so many were shooting stoic and serious faces and shots, King's models were often smiling and moving around giving his work an energy that had his work stand out from his contemporaries.
Janice Dickinson by Bill King 1982
Although King didn't invent it, he was certainly part of the popularization of using male nudes as props. Men, wearing little to nothing, enhancing the fashion and female models who were front and center. The male models hovered, often in groups, beside and behind some of the worlds biggest female supermodels.
Enrico Coveri Spring/Summer 1986
Although initially props, the trend popularized by King is thought to have actually led to men being able to step out on their own in the world of supermodels. So often the naked men ended up getting more attention to their clothed female counterparts. Such is the case with Richard Aveldon's shots of a naked Marcus Schenkenberg alongside model Stephanie Seymour.
Today, CFNM (Clothed Female/Nude Male) is common in the fashion industry. It is difficult to think of a famous male model who hasn't spent time flanked naked beside a female model. The trend has spread to other visual mediums as well and we can thank Bill King, and many other photographers from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's for helping to bring the nude male model into the mainstream and into our lives.
CFNM themed images certainly aren't new, the Richard Avedon shot of Stephanie Seymour and Marcus Schenkenberg for Gianni Versace (below) I referenced in an earlier post was over 20 years ago back in 1993. The erotic vulnerability of a naked man shot, in this case with a clothed female, has been a fetish for many for a long time.
Some might wonder why I chose to feature naked men with women instead of naked men with other clothed men. I think it has to do with that Raquel Welch image I used as pic of the day. Growing up in the 80's and 90's, most of the male nudity available for my viewing came from fashion magazines and my older brothers porn magazines. It was naked men shot with women that were some of the first erotic images to stimulate and motivate my love of not just the male form but the artistry of capturing them to image.
Below: Image by Richard Avedon
Here are some of my favorite vintage examples, vintage in the case of this post, being anything pre 2000. I especially love some of the early Playgirl couple shoots. When reading some of the write ups, it is clear that some of the male models were more comfortable posing with women than posing alone. For some, posing with a woman more clearly established their sexuality as straight, for others, it just made the experience that much more pleasurable.
CFNM: Classic Playgirl
Below: Bill Lucidi, Discovery, January 1977
Below: Marc Hampton, Man of the Month: May 1974
Below: Steven Landen, Man of the Month, May 1977
Below: Bryan Haines, The Art Of Disrobing Your Lover, February 1982