Elephant in the Room

      Hi, Lee speaking. And no, I’m not an elephant! With so many photos on the Internet showing a woman’s puse (middle German meaning vulva, pronounced pussy), I’m sure you have questions about my take on the subject.

      Back in the early 60s, there began a movement against the male domination of women – the patriarchal society. It hadn’t always been that way. During the time period between 3,000 BC and 29,000 BC, Europe was matriarchal – inheritance was through the female line and women chose the male leaders, chiefs.

      At the time, there were thousands of Venus statues honoring women’s gift of giving life through birth. Truly, creating life was a goddess-like ability. Women were revered. The small statues were of big breasted women, sitting with their knees widely spread and their pussies prominently displayed. The statues were made to honor the goddess of fertility, Venus.

      In Greece and Rome, in a play to supplant women’s power, men told the women their pussies (the source of their power) were disgusting and obscene. That they should be hidden from view. Any statue or painting showing a woman’s vulva was destroyed.

      Unfortunately, the majority of women went along with this, not wanting men to view them as disgusting (I imagine). Fewer statues of women were carved, and they all had pubic areas as smooth as Barbie dolls. Paintings and statues did not show women’s pussies for more than 3000 years, but statues of men were everywhere and continued to display their penises.

      A movement started in the 1960s to return women’s vulva to art. It is the symbol of their womanhood. To quote the heroine of my upcoming book, Kira’s Flight, “Men can’t hide their penises and women shouldn’t hide their pussies.”

      Imagine the photo to the left with my legs closed. It would lose the compelling beauty of the original by lessening my womanliness. In terms of body language, closing my legs would signal mistrust or rejection of the people around me.


    Body language is 90% of posing. You can’t talk, so your body has to talk for you. When part of a group, how you sit has a large effect on the people around you. Anthropologists note that when a woman has her legs open, she is signaling a feeling of safety, confidence in herself and those around her as well as welcoming their attention and giving them hers. All is right with the world. Tension lowers in the group at this display – especially if echoed by more than one woman.

      In a photo taken of three couples having a nude barbecue, one woman sat with one leg on each side of a lounge chair. Another rested in her seat with one leg open to the right with her foot on the floor and the other foot was on the seat with her knee laying over to the left. The third woman sat on the deck railing with one foot on the deck and the other on top of the railing. All three of their pussies were visible to everyone present. I believe this instinctual behavior is meant to draw the group closer together — not sexual behavior.

      You can display this body language in a photo and draw the viewer closer to you, even though the two of you have never met. The person feels good just looking at you without knowing why.

      When I visit a clothing-optional beach, all of the nude women have shaved off their pubic hair, making their vulva easier to see. When they lay tanning in the sun by the dozens, they spread their legs to let the sun reach their inner thighs. Which, of course, fully exposes their vulva to everyone on the beach. Do they care? Not a lick. 

      Men find the beach relaxing, but women find it not only relaxing but empowering and freeing – the words they use most often. They have thrown off the shackles of their oppression. Women are the biggest advocates of spending time on beaches nude once they have experienced it. They enthusiastically bring their friends, families and dogs.


     To the left is a photo of my having fun brushing my hair while sitting on a hay bale. I think photos of a woman having fun are engaging and full of life. This is the opinion of most men who have commented on it. They say it shows a great attitude that is infectious – they can’t help but smile back.

     For my first photo shoot, Ray picked poses from posespace.com, a site for artists with poses done by professional nude models. He chose several standing poses and some action poses. He also picked a simple one where the model sat in a chair with her legs spread open as far as possible. I agreed to try it.

     The open display was the last photo of the shoot and I sat there with my legs wide apart and my pussy dead center. I had the silliest grin on my face. Afterward, he downloaded the photos onto a computer so I could look at them. He tells me I stared at that image for 15 minutes. When I stood up, he asked me what I thought. I said I was surprised, but I like the wide stances better than the narrow ones.

     I tried three open poses the next time, and still more after that. I was inventing my own poses just to satisfy my desire to be photographed with my legs spread wide. I was having a blast.

     Ten months later, when we did our first outdoor shoot on a riverbank, all the poses Ray asked me to do were tame because he thought I would be nervous that someone might see me (and I was). At the end of the shoot, I straddled a huge log and leaned backward raising my pussy into full view (photo on the left). I made him promise to add lots of open shots the next time we came.

     I know – I sound like a drug addict desperately in need of a fix. I was. But I was there to have fun and wouldn’t be deprived of it.

     When women feel safe and everything is right in their world, they instinctively open their thighs to share the moment with everyone around them. My experience tells me the opposite is also true — when a woman opens her legs, a wonderful, irresistible feeling of rightness with the world washes over her. A feeling she will want to experience often.

     So, to answer the question I opened with, spreading your legs to the camera and taking the picture can put you in a wonderful mood that will be reflected in and improve ALL your photos, not just the ones with your knees apart. Nothing builds self-confidence and a great body image faster. Space several of these poses throughout your shoot. Whether you use the pictures or not, I highly recommend it.



    If you haven’t looked a posespace.com yet, please do. The models are professional nude models – art models. Their poses are all about form, not interacting with the viewers. I’m about making contact and friends with the viewer through body language.

     When I was in high school, I was interested in research on how people reacted unconsciously to what they saw. I talked the principal into letting me show the boys photos from Playboy magazine so I could watch their pupils when I flashed the nude photos at them. I was particularly interested in their first reaction to what they saw. Without fail, their pupils dilated which meant they liked what they saw.

     When a man scans a nude woman, his eyes follow a distinct pattern. In order, he looks at her eyes to see if she notices him, her mouth to see if she is pleased with his image, her breasts to see if they are raised meaning she wants to look good for him, her belly to see if she is pregnant, and her crotch to see if her vulva are swollen meaning she is sexually aroused. His eyes immediately return to her face – he’s not stupid.

     The photo at the right shows me creating all of those components a man would hope to see. Ray calls it completeness. If something were missing, it would create a slight moment of disappointment. Not every photo in a group has to show everything; one is enough for the satisfaction to extend to all.


   P. S.   When I was 18, I crocheted the black vest in the photo to the left. I was so proud when I completed it, I wanted a photograph of my wearing it taken immediately. I was nude at the time, but I couldn’t wait and slipped into the top, lay down on my bed and asked Ray to take a picture of me.

     This was in 1968 and it was the first and only photo of me nude for another three decades. I really liked the photo, but I have no idea what became of it. Neither of us, Ray or myself, would have thrown it away.

     I found the vest at the bottom of a dresser drawer and just had to model it after an intervening 55 years.

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