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The Naked Truth on Thailand’s Sexy Model Shoots

By Nutthachai Bunluthangthum | Jun 14, 2012

  • The Naked Truth on Thailand’s Sexy Model Shoots

The latest film remake of erotic novel Jan Dara just sparked bidding wars among international distributors. But a single flash of nipple last Songkran caused outrage. Is Thailand hypocrital when it comes to showing flesh? Here, we speak to those in the business of making erotic images to find out how they reconcile their jobs and desires with their families and society’s judgement.

Monthon Phanpinij

photographer for Penthouse magazine

Neither my family nor my girlfriend mind what I do—they know I’m not a little boy. A job is a job. All my guy friends love it, they want to come and see me shoot.

I have to determine which part and angle of the model looks best: it’s all about the body since there’s no clothing to aid the overall look.

Every guy would love my job, there’s just something about a woman’s curves that’s so appealing. At first I felt awkward, but in a good way. After a short while you get used to the nudity.

As an intern I used to get aroused, probably because I wasn’t the one doing all the work. I was just helping out, which gave me a lot of time to daydream. I had to take a break from looking at the models and try to concentrate on something else.

It’s important to keep your relationships with the models professional; otherwise it’s very hard to survive in this business. There was a time when I used to flirt with them, but I just don’t date people at work.

The difference between art and porn is in the feeling that a picture evokes; the attention paid to the composition tells you whether it’s art or just cheap pornography.

The job helps me meet people: they all want to come on set and hold the lights so that they can get close to the model. It’s hilarious.

People often assume that male photographers sleep with the models, which is totally naïve. We concentrate on making works of art, not cheap smut.

Surachai Saengsuwan

Editor and photographer of Degree magazine

There isn’t really a line separating art and nudity from pornography because it’s subjective, and the photographer is dead once the magazine is in the audience’s hands. As a human being, we can’t deny that sex is one of the most natural influences in the world.

When I shoot nude models, I think about love, because I personally worship love. It doesn’t mean I have to fall in love with the models, but when I see the models I must respect and adore them as if they were my lover—and show what I expect to see when we are in love or making love. It’s not just about sex, it’s just the opposite to trying to destroy them [the models], rape them or take advantage of them.

My loved ones know that I have a clear goal and reasons why I do this, so they’re fine with it. They’re mostly worried that others who don’t understand might try to hurt me. I started Degree magazine because I wanted to do something for the gay community here. Everyone knows gays are very creative and artistic, but there isn’t any media that supports this.

Sex is something that’s always booming because it’s natural; we have to accept it and understand it. Thai society isn’t hypocritical, we’re just able to live with sex as another part of us. What’s important is not to be obsessed with sex.

I’ve never felt pressure to take less revealing pictures. No matter how we try to control issues regarding sex, one day those kids we try so hard to shelter will find out anyway. What we should actually do is build an understanding and help to shape them. Take Japan for example, they’re quite open about sex because it’s like a natural outlet. The more you try to hide sex, the more people feel repressed, but neither can you tolerate everything or society would spiral out of order.

Surawong Kruaefan

Editor-in-Chief of Maxim magazine

All my guy friends think my job’s great because I get to hang out with lots of hot girls. As for my girl friends, they’re always asking questions about whether a model’s breasts are real or the latest techniques for a good physique.

Our editorial team is a lot of fun. We often mess with the models by getting them to help us out with things that aren’t remotely related to their shoot.

We might get to see more models than other people, but depicting sexiness isn’t easy, and sometimes working with models isn’t fun.

If you’re not planning on a serious relationship, dating a model in this line of work is just risky. I’ve never dated one, but I do talk to them about a lot of random things, like what guys want and my insights about women.

Many pictures carry raunchy undertones. But your mind tells you whether something is beautiful or pornography. I draw the line at not showing nipples and avoiding really erotic poses.

It might be Thai men’s dream to see such things, but it crosses a boundary. Maxim focuses on pictures that are beautiful and arousing, rather than all-revealing.

Harris Nopratkhet

photographer for Zoo Weekly magazine

My family and girlfriend are very happy for me, they know it’s my dream job. Others are impressed that I work for such a well-known magazine, especially my male friends.

When you are doing a photo shoot, there’s so much to think about, like the lighting, the pose, and the composition—you don’t really think about the models being naked. It’s a job, and I need to think of how to get the best results. That’s all.

Most people probably think that the photographers for men’s magazines are all having sex with models. They imagine that it’s just like Japanese AV. Wake up guys, this is the real world! It’s nothing even close to that. We all have our jobs to do, and I would not risk my reputation for anything like that.

The goals and reasons for making art and pornography are different. Both show a naked body of a woman which, in my opinion, is the most beautiful thing in the world. True art showcases this beauty. Pornography is only aimed at arousal, and not appreciation.

This one time the model was a newbie who had to drink a lot of beer to get up her courage. She ended up throwing up everywhere and passing out. It was a complete mess.

It’s difficult to keep coming up with fresh ideas and maintain the same high standards every day. You need to have a real passion for the female body.

Wipada Khatisombut

stylist for Play, I’m, W and Girlie magazines

I was working as a coordinator for a sexy magazine, when my boss thought that because I dealt with nude models, I should also learn how to style them.
I was shocked at first; I didn’t even know what a g-string was! But since it’s part of the job you just get used to it by asking lots of questions.

My boyfriend was really excited, just like any man. He wanted to come on set and experience what it was like behind-the-scenes. But after a while he realized that being a nude model is just another job, everything is very professional, and it’s just like a normal fashion shoot. But most of my male friends still offer to help out for free!

It’s my job to decide whether a model’s face is suitable for natural or studio light since not all of them have beautiful skin. I also choose the location of the shoot.
Clothing and accessories are vital for nude models since they help cover up parts of the body and enhance the overall look of the model.

I often have to think where a model should place her hands so that her breasts look bigger.

The three main things any nude model usually does are make her eyes fierce, open her lips slightly, and tilt her body to show off her breasts and ass.

It can be frustrating working with models with big egos: they don’t listen and blame you when the pictures turn out bad.

There’s not much difference between a normal stylist and a nude stylist. If anything a nude stylist has a greater challenge, dealing with all the flaws as there are no clothes to hide them.

One time one of our models decided to quit mid-shoot. She was having problems with her boyfriend. They had just got back together so she decided to pull out. Everything was ready to go and to cancel would have been very costly. In the end, we just gave her time to go out, eat and rethink ­— luckily she came back and we pulled through.

90% of the people I meet look down on my job and mockingly ask why a nude person would even need a stylist. But this line of work requires brains and ideas. We’re not all party animals or pill poppers like most people think.

Thailand’s Taste in Porn & Erotica

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