One of the models on this blog, Geoff, has sent me an article about what heterosexual women want from erotic male nude photography that is worth reading. It dates from 1995, but I think nothing has changed when it comes to what women like. Women enjoy photography of the male body, (erect) penis included, but they want to have the impression that the model’s lust is real. They want to look at the photo and get inspired to fantasise, have the sensation that his lust is there because of them.

Please read!

“Recently Cupido (a Norwegian erotic magazine) went on a campaign to make the magazine more responsive to the tastes and appetites of its heterosexual women
readers. What did these women want from erotic photographs of men?
Discussions among the staff gave some insight about what these
particular women liked and disliked about various photographs, but
when it came to the public at large, Cupido staffers realised that
they knew very little about what the details of what women wanted.
They decided to take the direct approach: When in doubt, ask.

In late 1994, the magazine printed 17 sexy photos of men, taken by
male and female photographers from the U.S., Denmark, France, the
Netherlands, England, and Spain. Cupido asked its women readers to
pick their favourite photos, to comment on what made particular photos
sexy for them, even to editorialise on how the individual photos could
be better than they were. The basic question was: “What do you demand
from a good erotic photo of a man?”

“Cupido’s women are strict and demanding in their criteria,” publisher
Terje Gammelsrud says of the responses received from women aged 17 to
53, “but their judgment is surprisingly unanimous.” First and
foremost, he notes, the women say “the men should be turned on, thank
you very much! It is decisive that the women believe in the man’s
excitement and that they feel he enjoys being turned on.” Women want
“horny men with radiance and presence,” Terje proclaims. “Male pin-ups
who have nothing but a beautiful body to show off are considered a
turn-off. Not even an erect penis can save the situation if all he
does is give you the impression that he has no other thought in his
head than the model fee.”

“The man in the picture is more than allowed to fondle his own body or
masturbate,” Terje continues. As one woman respondent puts it, “I very
much like watching a man fondle himself, a man who has allowed himself
to enter the sexual room completely.” While “none of the women want
the man to be feminine, and some stress that they do not like photos
where he looks like a gay stereotype,” Terje notes with a smile that
women “do not at all mind homoerotic photos where two men are engaged
in sensual or sexual activities with each other — quite the
contrary!”

Interestingly, only a minority of the women mention the man’s body
itself as important in experiencing a photo as erotic. Many more were
concerned with the man’s face, his eyes, his emotional expression.
“The face is decisive for women to determine the man’s personality,”
Terje notes. Thus, one woman writes specifically that “the model
should express lust, have a dangerous gleam in his eyes, or be teasing
and vital, but there should always be a feeling of closeness and
tenderness.”

Women also like when the photos stimulate a sense of being a voyeur,
“the feeling that she risks being caught in the act of looking at
him.”

Of the women who did focus on the men’s bodies, most liked men who
were “muscular and well-equipped,” but they also wanted men who felt
“natural,” who looked like “an everyman.” As for significant body
parts, Terje laughs that “there is no doubt that women appreciate
looking at the male member. To many it is important that this is shown
in the photo. And there is an almost unanimous demand that if a penis
is shown at all, it should be erect!” For the record, “very few of the
women mention penis size at all.”

As to other parts of the model’s bodies, Terje says that “Cupido’s
poll does not permit the slightest doubt that his ass is a safe
bestseller! But his chest, as well as his stomach, thighs, neck, and
hands, can all turn women on.”

Terje believes that “women are often searching for photographs that
get their fantasies started, photos about which the women can ask,
‘Where is he going? Where has he been? Who is he? Where is he? What
will he do next?'”

All in all, says Terje, “our female readers demand photos of men who
are aroused by them (the female readers), and ready to seduce or be
seduced by them. Our readers will not be bluffed. They will not be
impressed by a man’s erection if he does not convince them, through
his facial expression and personality, that his passion is real and
sincere. We want photos of men bursting with heterosexual passion, if
we can put things that way.”

You can read the whole text here.

I agree with most of the article. Personally I find it important that there is something left for my imagination. If the guy on the picture already has a full erection and is masturbating, I find it kind of boring because I do not have to create a story in my head anymore as to how he got to that point, like by me for instance. I do not play a role in his lust. Therefore I prefer the male model to suggest he is in the mood or that I could seduce him, that he is excited but not fully erect yet, that his erection is covered by a sheet of his pants or that I can sense that he masturbating but I can’t directly see it. This way I can start wondering what is about to come, what he looks like, how he might feel when I touch him, how much harder his penis might get. That excites me!

Suggestion is more powerful for the imagination than complete revelation.