How long have you been offering stag and hen do life drawing sessions? Have they grown in popularity?
'Cardiff Life Model Collective have been offering life drawing for Stag and Hen parties since 2011. This was an organic response to enquiries that started to come in directly to the group from party organisers.'
What’s the appeal of these sessions over something more typical like a strip club?
'We believe that life drawing offers a completely different experience to the stag, hen or birthday party as opposed to going to see the ‘Dreamboys’ or to a strip club. If delivered well a life drawing session offers fun, education and requires the group to question their perception of what it is to be nude.'
I saw in one photo with all the lads had stripped off too. Is that normal?
'It’s not usual for the lads to strip off but on that occasion we had a tutor and myself and the model so we had a very safe environment and following a discussion about being nude and how in the UK we tend not to do this (an example I use is being in a German sauna where you have to be naked) the tutor laid down the challenge to the guys and they went for it. I have been modelling with a hen party and following a similar discussion had 17 women drawing me clothed only in their knickers…'
Is alcohol allowed or available for the stag and hen do sessions?
'Yes, alcohol is allowed. How could it not We find the stag and hen parties vey respectful of the models and drinking fuels the fun so although we don’t encourage it we do allow it. Many of the sessions are run in rooms in bars in any case where alcohol is freely available.'
Can the parties choose the gender of the model?
'The parties can choose the gender of the model. We have about 25 working models at any one time and most are happy to work party groups so they are spoilt for choice.'
How do models like it? Is it more nerve-racking posing in a party atmosphere?
'Perhaps the first time a model works a party group they do not know what to expect and may have a pre-conseption of how things will develop at the event. The hen parties are always fun and I have heard many times a hen say ‘that’s he most fun I have ever had!’. The women tend to approach the session as a bit of bawdy but tongue in cheek ‘classier than a stripper’ event. The guys on the other hand are challenged by having a naked, personable and engaging female in their midst. I think that they are, in general, used to objectifying women and so a stripper can be ogled at. However, a life model is different as she will chat to them and so be ‘real’. This seems to confuse the guys and they really don’t know where to look and are often quite sheepish to begin with. Definitely after a short while in the life room both groups relax and chat away with the model as if they were clothed and sat at a cafe somewhere…'
Do you have anything else to add?
'I set up Cardiff Life Model Collective to attract quality work for models and at a good rate of pay. From one evening a week initially we have gained all of the colleges in South Wales, agency party work and are the first point of contact for naked people for stage, TV and film in South Wales and the West. Currently we are working party life drawing sessions as far afield as Cheltenham, Birmingham and Poole and Exeter but mostly the work tis in Cardiff, Bristol and Bath.'