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Gentlemen Speak: Why I Don't Want Boudoir Photos for Valentine's Day


Art Credit: Andrea Rose

Any man with eyes will testify: The female form is a wonderful thing to behold. So when wives and soon-to-be wives bare it all in boudoir photo shoots as wedding and Valentine’s Day gifts for their husbands, you’d expect us to line up around the block to thank the genius who came up with the idea.

And not without good reason—wanting to look and be sexy is a gesture we men appreciate.  But as we grow up and women become wives and mothers and men, husbands and fathers, our sense of what qualifies as truly sexy matures in ways that can’t be captured on glossy print. So even though my seventeen-year-old self would disagree with everything I’m about to say, here are a few reasons why I don’t want boudoir photos this Valentine’s Day.

To Peek or Not to Peek

It’s hard to imagine an appropriate occasion for me to enjoy the photos. When exactly am I supposed to look at them? Are they for when I’m out of town on work and need something to remember you by? Or to keep in my wallet to have at a moment’s notice? As a married man, having a stash of semi-erotic photos on the road seems like a creepy thing to do.

Date Night?

Or do we look at these together? Just you, me, a bottle of wine, and a stack of photos. Sounds romantic. But you’re right here! You—the flesh-and-blood person with whom I’m madly in love. If I’m standing in the middle of Paris, don’t hand me postcards of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, show me around.

The Best is Yet to Be

Spoiler alert—our bodies are going to change (and you’ll have better excuses than I will). Creating a keepsake before the effects of pregnancy and age take their toll is, I imagine, probably the main motivator behind the whole enterprise. But as Tim Carney wisely noted in an earlier edition of this series, those changes in your body will make your man love you more, that is, if he’s loving all of you and not just your rockin’ bod.

Husbands in possession of these photos might be tempted to point to them when their wives ask the nostalgic question we all ask each other, and ourselves; “When was I at my best?”  But the husbands loving their wives—body, mind, and soul—will already know the right answer: Tomorrow.