Here’s a dirty little photography secret: I don’t work in black and white because I’m artistic. I work in black and white because I’m lazy.*
Hi! My name is Chris and I’m asexual.
Hi Chr…wait, what?
So this seems like a very odd way to begin a post on a website devoted to photography, but trust me–it is totally relevant. As I said: I am asexual. Not that you could tell by looking at me: outwardly I look like a typical cis, white male. But take a peek under the hood and…not a lot is going on. And I’m cool with that. Correction: I am cool with that now. For several decades I had no idea and every time I got close to getting a clue denial came crashing down like a million-pound shithammer. It’s only been over the last five to six years that I’ve learned to come to terms with who I am.
In most of my life, asexuality has been something of an albatross. I don’t want to relive much of my past, but spending all of your adolescence and most of your adult life feeling “defective” isn’t fun. Presenting as a cis, white male has cloaked me in a tremendous amount of privilege and I haven’t faced nearly the level of discrimination and hostility as others in the LGBTQIA community. All of the scorn levied at me has been internal. The important thing is that I’m in a good place now. I’m more comfortable in my own skin, more open with others about how I roll (i.e. I don’t), and almost always willing to talk.
As a photographer asexuality comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to sensual/erotic/fetish photography, but also comes with some delightful perks. Models never have to worry about me touching them for starters, because ewwww. Mission creep is also not a thing: a portrait session will not turn into an implied session and implied into nude. An aversion to spontaneous nudity is a singularly odd trait in a <checks notes> art nude photographer, but hey…you play the hand you were dealt. Even the challenges I experience as a result tend to forge a really lovely sense of collaboration and mutual experimentation.
But those are all posts for another day. Today is about speaking my truth and laying the groundwork for discussing life as The World’s Best Asexual Art Nude Photographer.* I assure you, there are a lot more “wait, what?” moments to come.
*At least until someone else steps up to claim the mantle. Until then, it’s all me, baby!