What's It Like To Have Sex For Art?

Constance and Eric are a wife-and-husband duo who create art together for a living. Though, it's not the most typical art. They photograph intimate, abstract portraits of people having sex, using long exposures. As a result, the forms in the portraits are both energetic and fluid. They imply both movement and sensuality without exactly showing it. We know we love their art, but we also wondered what the experience of sitting for these portraits would be. What's it like having sex in front of someone else? We chatted with one couple, Lily and Tito, about what their erotic portrait session meant to them. Ahead, how being intimate on camera empowered one couple and changed their sex life for the better.

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Photo: Courtesy Of Constance And Eric.
We love Eric and Constance’s work, and we want to understand the experience of posing for this kind of project.
Tito: "I wouldn’t even say that we “posed” for them. When I saw the work, it was right when Lily and I had first gotten married. We were that couple who didn’t explore our sexuality before we were married — we waited until after we were married to do that. So, going into that world was a brand new thing for us both. There were a lot of things that we were exploring about our sexuality, (like) the beauty of it all."

"The first thing we thought was that it would be really cool for us to document the way that we share intimacy. They did it very beautifully, it was very tasteful. We wanted to be a part of that, so we asked (them) to take pictures of us. I wouldn’t even say that we were posing — they were really just documenting a moment."

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Photo: Courtesy Of Constance And Eric.
So, that took place in your own home, or did you go to a studio?

Lily: "We went to a studio. But, even before we went to the studio, they made it a really intimate experience. We met with them over dinner first, just to talk about what the process would look like. When you have sex in front of another person, you want to make sure it’s as comfortable as possible. So, they gave us the opportunity to meet them in person first, hear their stories, their heart, their perspective, and that was great.

"So, then we went to a studio that they like to use, and they had a mattress out with clean sheets and drinks for us, robes, music playing. It was very relaxing — well, I wouldn’t say relaxing, but they tried to make it as comfortable as possible for us. They said we could take as much time as we needed to get acclimated."

What was it like in that moment when you disrobed and approached the bed together? When it became that reality for you that you were going to document this very intimate experience between you two?

Lily: "At first, we were very aware of their presence. But, Tito and I had talked a lot about what we wanted our experience to be like before we even got to that room. So when we got there and we were in that moment, we had a little secret code between the two of us that we would keep our eyes on each other. It wasn’t supposed to be about performing. It wasn’t for us to perform for Eric and Constance. This was for us. So, we tried to just be with each other, and we worked really hard to make that an authentic connection and not some performance of a sex act. This was ours."

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Photo: Courtesy Of Constance And Eric.
Are your portraits are in the same style as their past work — with a very abstract and fluid composition?

Lily: "Yes, I think that’s the awesome part about it — our confidentiality is super important to us. And, that’s what makes me so secure about the process. This is Tito’s and my little secret, you know? It just models the intimacy of what we did in front of that camera. We haven’t shared this with our close friends. It’s just kind of our fun little sexual intimate secret that is between us."

How far into your marriage did you have this done?
Lily: "It was within the first six months, something like that."

It’s so interesting what you said before about how you hadn’t explored your sexuality before being married. It seems like after you made that commitment, you opened up in this way that you were very willing to try all sorts of things.

Lily: "To be really candid, our faith is really important to us, and that’s one of the reasons we waited until after we were married. But, there’s a freedom we believe in for our intimacy as husband and wife — there’s nothing that we can’t do together, sexually, and that’s special to us. And, being able to explore and have photos of our intimacy — it’s so passionate, and it’s fun, too. I think it’s special that we waited, and that there was no holding back after we waited."

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Photo: Courtesy Of Constance And Eric.
Since you had your photos taken, how has that affected your intimacy? Has it changed your sexual habits at all? Did you find that you liked being watched?
Lily: "It was a frisky, risky moment, and I think that in some ways it opened us up to trying other things. We haven’t been watched again since then, but we’ve tried other things in the bedroom between him and me. We’ve explored. I think that doing this was so different and experimental that it made us try a few things outside of our typical comfort zone."

Tito: "Yeah, but I think that we also like being watched. She’s trying to beat around the bush. Like, we’re that couple that has sex with their windows wide open. When we see someone outside, we kind of get a little excited. We haven’t fully gone down that road again, but at some point, maybe."

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Photo: Courtesy Of Constance And Eric.
I’m curious to know if you were able to have an orgasm with other people watching you, or if there was some anxiety there still?

Tito: "You might get two different answers. I’m not sure if I brought it home that day. Did I bring it home?"

Lily: "Not in the orgasm department."

Tito: "No, I didn’t bring it home. And, it was actually difficult for me to bring it home for myself. But, you know the guy always brings it home eventually. But, it was more difficult than I thought. You’re thinking about so many things, you’re not completely in the moment."

Lily: “And, of course, there’s anxiety about the whole process. And, I think that’s why Tito and I had a conversation with each other beforehand about how important it was that it wouldn’t be about us performing. We didn’t want to get some kinky-looking thing. We really wanted to capture the truth and authenticity of our relationship.

And, at times it was difficult, because you’re being watched, and there is anxiety. But, I feel like I may have been a little more relaxed than Tito and would make eye-contact with him so he would be reminded that, like, it’s just you and me here, and you’re safe.