(UPDATED) It borders on impossible. The reasons have been explored at length (really, beaten to death) by academics and intellectuals, and I have no choice but to agree with them.

Camille Paglia (“Women and Magic in Alfred Hitchcock,” Provocations) explains the effect of the female on the male eye.

Hitchcock’s great films of the 1950s and early ’60s show the tension between men’s fear of emotional dependency and their worship of women’s beauty, which floods the eye and enforces an erotic response over which a man has ethical but not conceptual control. Beautiful women are a fascinating conflation of nature and art. They often have an elusive, dreamy apartness, suggesting a remote inner realm to which a man can claim only momentary access.

The voluptuousness of the female body opens up room for ambiguity and creates lines that are actually curves. While the bosom is noticeable, it is plural, hence not a singular point of fixation like male genitalia. Men are parallel lines that converge at the phallus. (Having neither focus nor line, bears photograph atrociously.)

I have not that many examples of actual innovation in the male nude. Interestingly, “nude” here tends to mean “shirtless.”

Colin Davis

At his request, we aren’t “online friends” anymore as of 2015. (Flickère; Tumblère. Previously.)

Young man, eyes shut and in a trucker cap, stands in a shaft of light in a throng of other men, one gazing at him, his own fingers pressed against his chest

(Cf. hard candy. And actually, on this score Colin nominates Lichtreich.)

Gabriel Gastelum


Shirtless man in black bodypaint has red-painted face, red-paint-smeared fingers crossed over chest

Pierre-Yves Monnerville


Double exposure has naked man lying down, sitting up with a handheld camcorder

Werner Friedl


Hirsute man holds right arm crossed over his eyes, left arm resting on the right

(Almost inconsequentially small variation that doesn’t work at all. Honourable mention.)

That’s all I’ve got. Photographing the unclothed male is an almost unsolvable problem.

See also

(Published 2013.07.06 ¶ Updated 2018.10.26)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2013.07.09 16:06. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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