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Ladies, A Sexy Photoshoot Will Boost Your Self-Esteem (Says Science)

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Get sexy for the camera!

"When women pose thoughtfully and artistically in nothing but their bare skin, they find themselves. They discover they are truly alive." David Allio

Studies show that partaking in an erotic photo-shoot can have a positive impact on how women see themselves, their bodies and their sexuality overall. Sexual confidence and body-esteem are two prominent areas in which women reported significant improvement.

Professional erotic photography shoots are becoming increasingly popular among women of all ages, body shapes and sizes, and life stages. Women generally participate in erotic photography with the motivation to present their spouses with a surprise gift, "feel sexy again", or add a sense of playful contrast and fantasy to their everyday roles as working mothers and wives.

However, research indicates that the erotic photoshoot experience for women poses additional unforeseen gains pertaining to female sexuality by improving body image, sexual esteem and confidenceultimately enhancing their sexual relationships.

Erotic photography is varying types of professional photographic imagery of a sexually suggestive or erotic depiction, including: boudoir, art nude, and intimate portraiture. Erotic photography is complex in its underpinnings of intimacy, seduction and art. It aims to visually tease and tantalize, and it's more about what cannot be seen. Depending on the type of erotic photography, participants may wear clothing like lingerie or a sexy costume, pose nude or semi-nude, and may engage in implied or actual sexual acts.

Erotic Photography As A Platform For Female Sexual Empowerment, Increased Body Image And Sexual Esteem

A 2010 Canadian study investigating the phenomenon of the growing number of women having erotic photographs taken of themselves professionally, conducted in depth and semi-structured interviews with women who had previously hired photography services to capture their image. According to the researchers, the women in this study reported a myriad of positive outcomes of the erotic photo shoot experience including:

  • Increased body esteem
  • Heightened sexual confidence
  • Improved body image
  • Greater satisfaction and appreciation of their physical appearance
  • Sense of empowerment
  • Ability to view themselves as sexual
  • Opportunity to develop a sexual image of themselves on their own terms
  • Platform to embrace their body and reclaim elements of their sexuality
  • Opportunity to celebrate their body
  • Platform for exploring sexual boundaries

Major benefits of participating in professional erotic photography according to this study included some women reporting having sex with the lights on for the first time every after the photo shoot and gaining the confidence to end relationships which were negatively affecting their self-esteem.

Additionally, study participants reported a desire to share their erotic photos with their daughters. This finding beautifully demonstrates the extent to which women positively experience erotic photo shoots and validates the notion that women who embrace their own sexuality endeavor to evoke this in other women, especially their daughters. 

The Erotic Photo Shoot Experience Is Life Changing For Women

A separate study also conducted in Canada in 2010 investigating professional photographer's perspectives of women who participate in erotic photoshoots found the following:

  • Despite how diverse the women hiring an erotic photography service were, all women appeared to gain self-confidence as the photoshoot progressed, and responded very positively when looking at the images of themselves afterward.
  • Study participants described experiencing an erotic photoshoot as "life-changing" for some of their clients, as they reported feeling sexier than they had previously felt, hence boosting sexual and body esteem.​
  • Women not regarded as conventionally beautiful tended to have the most intensely positive reactions to seeing their images afterward.

A female photographer in this study recounted feedback from a plus-sized woman who had written her a letter explaining how the photoshoot had "changed her life" because she now chooses to dress and carry herself differently, and she is able to believe her fiancé when he compliments her for being sexy.

Studies have indicated that the erotic photo shoot experience promotes positive body image and sexual esteem in women by helping them to feel more comfortable with the way their bodies look. It also provides an opportunity for women to feel a sense of empowerment in being able to create a sexualized image of themselves on their own terms, explore sexual boundaries and reconnect with their sexual selves.

Did you know that an astounding 80 percent of Australian women believe that they're too fat to have sex? This significantly impacts their relationships and sexual desire. Body image issues negatively impact relationships, decrease sexual desire and hinder sexual pleasure, limiting a woman's ability to experience general and sexual satisfaction.


Muise, A; Herold, E, S; Gillis, M. (2010). Bare'ing it all for the Camera: Women's Experience of Having Erotic Photographs Taken. Sexuality & Culture14.2 (Jun 2010): 126-143.

Wentland, J and Muise, A. (2010). Stepping Out from Behind the Lens: A Qualitative Analysis of Erotic Photographers. Sexuality & Culture14.2 (Jun 2010): 97-125.


This article was originally published at Suite . Reprinted with permission from the author.


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