Here's What Feminist Wedding Bloggers Think About That NSFW Photo

So, this happened.

A photo of a bride and groom simulating a blow job on their wedding day has gone viral around the world, and the photographer, Michel van der Klooster, is gaining followers and notoriety as a result.

In response to the inevitable backlash on the internet (BuzzFeed proclaimed that "Love is canceled"), van der Klooster says he stands behind the choice. He says he never thought it would go viral, as he's seen similar images on an American website, and that he was simply honoring his clients' wishes. It was originally the mother of the bride who suggested the photo, he adds.

"It was just for fun and we had a great time while shooting it," he tells Refinery29. "There are more things on the internet to [be] worried about. This was just fun with the couple, and they love the picture. I'm doing what the client asked on their special day."

We spoke with a few wedding bloggers and vendors to see what they think of the photo. Meg Keene from A Practical Wedding simply called it "the logical end point of weddings on the internet. We can retire now."

Some were all for it.

"I'm with the photographer on this one — couples are free to play with their expressions of sexuality however they want," Ariel Meadow Stallings, publisher of Offbeat Bride, an inclusive website that caters to nontraditional wedding planning, tells Refinery29. "I'm a sex-positive feminist, and I'm all for this. Feminism's worst-kept secret: Some of us like giving head."

Others also had the "you do you" perspective, but wanted to see him reciprocate.

"Did he reciprocate?" ask Liz Susong and Jen Siomacco, who run Catalyst Wedding Co., a feminist wedding magazine. "As feminists, our primary concern is equal access to pleasure."

The photo has rubbed other self-described feminists the wrong way. "As a feminist, and a feminist photographer, I see marriage as equal partnerships, where men and women, or men and men, or women and women, walk together as equals and struggle as equals," Emily Alt, owner of Watassa Wedding Photography in Michigan, tells Refinery29. "This photograph has nothing to do with equality; it has everything to do with disrespect and continuing the expectation of a patriarchal power structure."

Refinery29's sex and relationships columnist Maria Del Russo says she wasn't into it either. "I'm all for sex positivity, but why the fuck are you photographing this? Why is this necessary? I write about my sex life for a living, but I would never take a photo like that on my wedding day and have it for the world to see."

At the end of the day, it's the couple's right to represent themselves however they want in their wedding photos — and because this is public, it's everyone else's right to have an opinion about it. Van der Klooster says he's already getting a ton of bookings for next year, and that if another client asks for a similar photo, he will gladly deliver. "But next time, [we're] turning things around." We'd love to see that.

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