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Agent Lynch: 'I'm not naked, I'm nude'

Agent Lynch confesses about her first flirt as a muse

A few months ago guy called Philip Borg Myspaced me, after seeing me perform at a Burlesque night, to ask me whether I would like to pose for a painting. I quite fancied the idea of being drawn and his pictures had a really cute retro feel so I agreed. He had already had my friend Imogen (the wonderful Burlesquer Stella Plumes) pose so I knew he was going to be a nice guy. His idea for the painting was for it to look like I was climbing the Empire State Building. So I had to rather comically hang off Phil's staircase in my underwear to get the right position.

Phil suggested that if I enjoyed the session there was plenty of paid work to be had in the world of life modelling. As I hope to leave my full time employment to pursue my amour for Burlesque full time I thought it would be wise to start being able to earn money flexibly on the side that I could potentially fit around burlesque. Phil gave me the name of some galleries and life modelling agencies and I got in touch with them.

My first fully nude life modelling session was with a painter called David. I was a little bit apprehensive but his emails and phone manner put me at ease. Being semi-naked on stage twice a week has certainly lowered my inhibitions. I also grew up in a 'naked house' so I was never bashful about nudity in front of my mother and sisters. But being fully naked in front of a strange man was something I was a little nervous about.

I did not know David's area well but I breathed a sigh of relief when his street looked like it was full of 'respectable' people. He opened the door and greeted me with a wonderfully luvvie kiss on both cheeks. He sat me down and showed me some of his previous work which was encouragingly brilliant. He was obviously a professional and had lovely little studio in his garden room with nice splashes of paint on the carpet.

When we entered his studio he handed me a robe and politely busied himself with setting up as I undressed and put on the robe.

He put on some kind of Eastern music and I had to dance around the studio space to. To my surprise I did not feel awkward at all but felt rather liberated. I relished the feeling of being an artistic 'muse' darling! It was good feeling that I was helping create something as he furiously scribbled away capturing my movements. Sometimes he would shout 'Stop!' and I would have to hold a pose and he would work that silhouette more strongly into the painting. He did a few of these drawings but my favourite had to be the one that I danced to 'Gimmie Shelter' by The Stones. It worked so well he played it three times while I fantasised that I was Anita Pallenburg on some Moroccan acid trip.

The next booking I had was for an Art class - it was tricky to find so I was about 10 minutes late. After doing my first session one on one I was a little startled to see hundreds of people filling the gallery space. Eek. It was their Christmas party afterwards so I guess that was why there was a full house. Without time to waste I hurried to the Ladies where I changed into a provided robe.

I was one of three models. I was to do 2x 30 min poses and was placed in the centre ring of people. In the middle of the floor there was a thin mattress type-thing and a small pillow. There must have been 30 or so people around my space. It's strange as a burlesque dancer as I spend most of my time talking and practicing taking my clothes off in a seductive manner. So here I was naked under my robe thinking 'How do I take this off in the LEAST sexual way possible'. I guess its making the life modeling / being naked not sexy in my head makes it acceptable for me to do it (i.e. its art not porn). I slipped the robe off my shoulders in one deft, swift movement (probably looking quite nervous). Without a sole artist to direct me I suddenly felt a bit lost.

'Is there anything you would like me to do?' I said to no-one in particular.

'Whatever you feel comfortable with' said a kindly looking man.

I decided to avoid a pose where I felt particularly exposed (down there) so I chose a seating pose with my legs together and to the side. I fixed my eyes on a painting on the wall and tried not to pay attention to the old ladies squinting and sizing me up with pencils.

It's a funny sensation being looked at by an artist as they are looking at you but not at the same time. As they are looking at you not with the intent of engaging but with the narrowing of their eyes I could see them breaking me down into lines, shadows and light.

You would imagine that it would be cold sitting there for all that time. But holding a pose no matter how seemingly comfortable in my experience causes your muscles to tense and warm up. I remember even feeling tiny beads of sweat running down the inside of my arm and I wondered if anyone could see them. Near the end of the first pose I wriggled my fingers on the mattress and I cast my eyes down and realised that my hand was not resting on the mattress but actually my leg - which I had now lost all feeling in! When it came to change pose fearing for my leg I chose to lie down on one side. But my leg started cramping and began to involuntarily drag itself across the mattress while I tried to look serene. But I soon settled into the pose and my mind drifted away from all the pencil scribbling around me. Philip Borg who had painted me previously stood and drew for a while waving and smiling. As I had met him before (with my clothes on) I could not help thinking 'Oh you have seen me naked now'.

After the session I dressed and had a few drinks at the gallery Christmas soiree. The gallery members on the whole seemed to be very middle class middle aged artists. Some of them came up to show me their sketches and congratulated me on my gallery modeling debut with chants of 'Oh! You were wonderful, pleeeease do come again!'

I got chatting to a younger guy who said to me 'You know I see these older guys come every week and their work never seems to get any better, and then I realise it's because they spend most of the session staring with their mouth open.'