Eighteen, Broke & Desperate For Cash
I’ve done a lot of things for money in my life, a fair portion of them illegal and probably stupid. When you need quick cash, you really don’t have to look far. Just pick-up one of Montreal’s free weeklies and turn to the classifieds, You’ll find ads for all sort of easy money-making schemes. There’s the ever-present escort services looking for new blood, drug trials for pay, and there’s always some “artist” looking for a nude model. Basically, if you’re willing to lend out your body for someone else’s needs (whatever they may be) for a short period of time you can fill your pockets with their hard-earned cash.
I was a broke eighteen year old, had already pawned everything I owned that had any monetary value, and desperate for money, I figured nude modelling offered less side effects to my mind and body than prostitution and drug trials. I called the “artist” who was looking for a nude model and set-up a meeting with him at his studio, which just happened to be at his house. Oh yeah, I felt super safe…
The pay wasn’t much, nothing compared to what I would make escorting, but nude modelling was all I could stomach at the time. Twenty dollars an hour was all I would make for my trouble, but that was already a lot more than what I had in my wallet, or what I would make flipping burgers for minimum wage.
I made my way to the Verdun metro station where we would meet. He seemed inoffensive enough, so I followed him to his house. To say I was nervous is a understatement. I was scared out of my mind, not only had I never been fully nude in front of someone with the lights on, but here I was in some strange man’s house. I was just hoping he was a real artist and not some creep preparing to rape me. He showed me his studio, which is where I was expecting to model for him, but as it turned out, he wanted to take pictures of me in the nude so he could then later use the pics when he was painting.
This was not what we had spoken off on the phone, but I was there, and needed the money. To put me at ease he showed me his photo album of other models who had posed for him, and I agreed. Although I would be posing in the nude for him, I suddenly fond myself really uncomfortable undressing in front of him. The photo session was to take place in his bedroom where he had set up the professional style lighting. He left the room before I undressed, and I hid the knife I had brought for protection under my neatly folded clothes on the bedside table.
By the time, he came back in, I was already on the bed sitting with my knees against my chest and my arms wrapped around my legs. It was not the most titillating posing in the world. This would not turn into a pornographic session. I could barely breathe throughout the whole process. My body and face were so tense, and the lights were so hot, it was one of the most uncomfortable couple hours I had ever gone through.
He was nice enough, trying to put me at ease, telling me how to pose, but I never stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop. Thankfully, I made it out of there with my virtue intact. I was so relieved when I left that the rush of adrenaline (or whatever naturally occurring chemical/hormone) that flowed through my body put me on such a great high I was floating. There’s nothing like leaving a possibly dangerous situation intact. In that moment I understood high risk adventure seekers. Hey, forget about swimming with the sharks try being a hooker for a day that will get your blood flowing in more ways than one. There’s a risky adventure for you!
I met the guy again, a few weeks later when he had developed the pics. He handed me a brown paper envelope with doubles of the pictures and the negatives. He wanted me to model for him again, and he bridged the prospect of my posing in a slightly more provocative manner. I said that he would have to pay me more, he agreed, but ultimately I decided against it. My paranoid mind was worried that he hadn’t tried anything the first time around to lull me into a false sense of security. Who knows really, the guy might have been a saint with a penchant for nude pics. Either way, that was my first and only forray into nude modelling (for a stanger that is). The money just wasn’t worth the stress.
After he gave me the pics, I sat in the Verdun metro station waiting for my ride and anxiously went through all the picture. This was the first time I ever saw myself in the nude, from all angles. I immediately tore up the pics I found unflattering and disposed of them in the subway’s garbage can. I still have the remaining pics in the same brown envelope at the bottom of my box of photographs. My mom stumbled upon them one day, she worried that they would end up on the Internet. She doesn’t have to worry anymore, because you’ve just seen my favourite ones.
P.S. I’ve cropped my head out, because I’m vain and I had a super bad haircut at the time. I’ve also turned them all into black & white, because the original lighting was mighty unflattering.