When scrolling through the photography section of Pinterest, it has become almost impossible to scroll all the way through without seeing a boudoir photo. They really can be beautiful pieces of art if done well and they elicit a desire by most women to have boudoir pictures taken at some point. While thinking about it myself, I wanted to know more because the concept of this style of photography is not common small talk or dinner conversation. Before Pinterest I had never even heard of boudoir, and I’m guessing many others are in the same boat as I am. So, I searched the Internet for some info, and here are the things that no one tells you about boudoir.
1. Boudoir is not porn
The nature of boudoir is to depict the women in intimate apparel, commonly in bedrooms. The term boudoir actually originates from the French, meaning “a woman’s bedroom or private sitting room”. Thus, many people have a stigma that boudoir is just naked woman laying on beds and centerfold wannabe’s for Playboy. However, boudoir photography actually utilizes only implying sexuality rather than being outright erotica. Boudoir is a great deal of suggestion and fantasy, which cannot be attributed to porn. Boudoir is, however, a close sister to the 1950’s pinups, but even than they aren’t twins.
A little known fact of the behind-the-scenes of boudoir photography is that “nude” photos are not actual nudity, it’s just implied. Boudoir is about helping a woman embrace her own femininity, not to get some guy off. This idea becomes muddled when the reasoning for getting these types of photos taken is for a boyfriend/groom/ husband/ wife/ girlfriend/etc. Men have trouble conceptualizing the style as more than just a naked woman for his pleasure, and that is where the taboo manifests itself.
2. Boudoir is not private.
I think there is a misconception that once you take these pictures, only you can control who sees them. Thus, you believe that this is a 100% private venture. However, that is definitely not the case. In searching for this post, I found quite a few photos that made me think “I’m pretty sure this woman didn’t want me to see this.” It felt like an invasion of privacy, and it wasn’t even me in the photos. Because boudoir is all about the fantasy and suggestion of sexuality, it is made to be seen by other people. I expected, however, that these women who have their photos on the internet for the world to see gave their permission ( and make sure that whoever take your pictures has consent if they want to use it as promotion). As mentioned above, it is common to give a photo as a gift to a loved one, thus already spreading the photo outside of the 100% private circle. The point still stands that boudoir is not meant to be a private endeavor in its entirety
3. Do it for yourself, not someone else.
As I have said earlier in this post, I first discovered boudoir photography through my endless scrolling of Pinterest. I find it a very beautiful form of self expression. But I would venture to say that 85% of the photos have comments attached along the lines of it being for a husband. Men, however, don’t really see the beauty behind, just the potential nudity they will get from it in the future. It should be a self-empowering experience for the woman. It is a way to reclaim her body and sexuality, two things that are deeply scrutinized by society. I can’t imagine trying to take suggestive photos in lingerie with the mindset that this if for someone else. Sounds like a deeply uncomfortable experience, which is not what boudoir should be. Sorry future husband, but I’m not getting boudoir pictures for you.
Boudoir is an artistic way to express yourself, and I hope that after reading the above you have gained some clarity on a somewhat obscure topic.