Why does sexuality scare us on a whole? The gambit of fear related to sexuality ranges from simple discomfort to extreme intolerance. Various studies and theories would link this deep seated fear to all sorts of traumas often relating to individual and group power struggles. The fear manifests itself in all sorts of ways including shaming and exile. As a male photographer I'm often told I shouldn't photograph female sexuality because of the exploitative implications. History shows us that exploitation of female sexuality is a regular occurrence so inherently I understand the dangers. However, I shoot people as they are so how do I rectify the fact that women (just like men) are sexual creatures and if their sexuality is a part of their identity than how would I justify avoiding that? The next step I've been told is to avoid photographing these women that are part of these exploitative systems. Such was the case when I headed to High Times' LA Cannabis Cup this year.
Someone I do business with told me to do as much coverage as I want for potential use but to avoid the 420 Nurses (or at least that they wouldn't use any photos of them). The 420 Nurses are a modeling agency that sends sexy ladies to promote cannabis for various companies at weed-related events. I held no ill will towards my associate for not wanting to use photos of these women as it was fully her right and I understood her position, however I also happened to meet a delightful 420 Nurse named Kooki Munsta.
Kooki and I only briefly met but when I later posted a photo I took of her at the event on social media we really hit it off and decided to set up a shoot together. Kooki lives just a bit south and east of LA so I headed out there for a little night shoot. It was a very bizarre day for me as a girl I had been somewhat involved with at the time and I had a falling out over a personal matter. I was feeling heartbroken but decided to go on with the shoot. Kooki was very comforting and we adventured around looking for the thing I always look for on night shoots: interesting light. We found several fun and bizarre places and had a nice little shoot including Kooki in some of her 420 Nurses gear. Kooki told me the 420 Nurses are a bunch of sweethearts and encouraged me to shoot with more of them. Whether I do or not, I do know after my shoot with Kooki that I won't let others tell me who I should or should not shoot and I will continue not to fear sexuality.
Click the photo below for night time adventures with Kooki Munsta