In the buff: Draw your own conclusions
Hen party nude drawing with a ‘tasty Italian’ creates quite a picture in the mind
But can he keep it up for 30 minutes?... Pencils at the ready...
Life drawing classes for hen parties with naked men – specifically, in one case, a “tasty Italian” – supplied.
To me, this falls into the “Whatever will they think of next?” department.
I was mooching around at the start of the month looking for an online art course (learning to draw/paint is the sort of thing you do when you’re over the hill, don’t know why) when a Google search turned up something about hen parties and life drawing in Dublin.
And suddenly there I was in the middle of the hen party life drawing world, looking around (online) in astonishment.
You have to remember where I come from. When two lads were caught reading the News of the World in the toilets in the Christian Brothers school in Naas, back in the 1960s, the entire class was made to write an essay on purity for the next day.
When a girl at a school in Newbridge was caught showing other girls a condom (a never-seen object in Ireland) which her brother had brought back from a trip to France, all desks in the school were searched, incriminating diaries were unearthed and the parish priest was called to admonish the offenders.
Ten years after I finished school, RTÉ pulled a drama series called The Spike at least partly because of the row over a very, very cautious nude drawing class in one episode – though as I recall, the drama surrounding the scene was a lot more entertaining that the drama series itself.
As Dr Helena Sheehan outlines in Irish Television Drama - A Society and its Stories: “The founder of the League of Decency, JB Murray, suffered a heart attack, attributed to the stress caused by the sight of the naked female body on the television screen. His wife told the papers that the family had tried to stop him watching it, but he insisted on doing so. He got very worked up at the nude scene and was phoning the newspapers to complain when he came to grief over the ‘filthy play’.”
So in that context we were a long way from women guzzling prosecco and drawing naked men.
“On arrival you will each enjoy a glass of prosecco served by a tasty naked Italian who will ensure you get the party started in style!” promises the henorstag website. When the aspiring artists have feasted on finger food, “It’s then time to get the pens and ink out and enjoy a nude drawing session! Can you imagine the fun to be had!”
‘Howl at the amazing details’
Over on the lifedrawinghenparty website they’ve got a video and slideshow of proceedings which include, not only drawing, but their “Sculpt a Naked Guy”’ option. “You will howl at the amazing details you can shape with a simple sculptors tool!” it promises, and indeed you will.
Some of the participants seem to take the drawing part quite seriously for a few minutes at least – you could almost be watching a class down in the National College of Art and Design.
But what about stag parties? The life drawing for hen parties was much easier to find but thedoorguy offers a Dublin class “in a central location with a bar.” This, it promises, “is a very tasteful way to kick off your celebrations”.
And it warns: “Don’t be thinking there will be porn star boobs to sketch! All of the Life Drawing models are pretty, natural and have the ‘girl next door’ looks.”
You can bring the old folk if you like. “We only use the most charming models, so you can even bring Grandad :)” it promises.
Charming models? What do they do? Make him a nice cup of tea?
Oh, talking of old folk, the lifedrawinghenparty website promises: “All our exclusive models are aged between 25-35 and are ‘easy-on-the-eye’. We do not use overweight ‘Auld Fellas’ unless specifically requested!” The stags are promised models in their 20s and 30s.
I could rant on about ageism but I can’t delay – I’ve got to go and draw a flower.
Padraig O’Morain (firstname.lastname@example.org) is accredited by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. His latest book is Mindfulness for Worriers. His daily mindfulness reminder is free by email.