Nudes of performance athletes

ESPN's "Bodies We Want" photo series features "tasteful" nudes of performance athletes (tasteful inasmuch as all the genitals and women's nipples are figleafed). It's a pretty amazing series, in part because so many of the images are sexually charged in some way, and yet the athletes' bodies are very different from the sort that appear in either pornography or body-building images, the other genres that habitually display nude or near-nude people whose bodies are far from the median of human appearance.

2012 Body Issue's Bodies We Want - ESPN The Magazine (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Image: Danell Levya, photographed by Peter Hapak -- downsized thumbnail)



    1.  Remember when that guy who got breast implants on a bet was on Donahue? They electronically covered up his boobs when his shirt was off.

  1. If only the athletes would march into the opening ceremony with the women’s arms held awkwardly across their chests and the men holding a hand over (BUT NOT TOUCHING!) their crotches.

    1.  Wait, wait…the men are covering but not touching who’s crotches?

      Either way, I think that would make a much more authentic Olympic opening ceremony. Very historical–except for the awkward covering.

      Strange I didn’t see any powerlifters in the photo shoot…or archers, or air pistol champions. But darn that sailor was cut. Sometimes you just don’t know what sports are amongst the most physically demanding…

      1. That sailor is Anna Tunnicliffe, and she is truly a goddess of the waters – both in terms of form and performance – too many world championships to count.  She’s also very nice.

        For a sense of the physical effort involved  (and the awesome tech), check out America’s Cup World Series in Newport vids on youtube.  Crash helmets.

  2. Some nice images. Some fantastic anatomy. Unfortunately, self-conscious in its fig-leafery. Hopefully, they made an alternate set for less prudish future generations. 

    1.  maybe not every athlete particular wants to display their junk for everyone’s pleasure…

    2. I preferred the photos where they seemed to be posed as if caught in the middle of participating in their sport/ activity, it seemed to make the nude-but-no-rude-bits seem less obvious. It also made the pictures far more interesting than ones where the athletes were just standing around giving few if any clues as to what it is they do.

  3. Just for the record, that photo of the hockey player is my body with his head photoshopped onto it.  And before you ask, yes, it was very cold that day.

    1. Just for the record, my body looks like a truck accident involving several tons of spoiled ricotta cheese.

  4. Is it wrong to find photos of overmuscled men relaxing?? It feels as if they (the photos) slightly rebalance the world, inter alia.

    1. Well there’s always Blueboy, Boys & Toys, Daddy, Honcho, and Savage Male magazines.  Not that I fwap to stuff like that.

      1. Aw. Honcho went out of business in 2009 after 31 years, Blueboy in 2008 after 34 years. The 70s really are dead. Fossil, I.

          1. Damned Bible Belt.  Once they figured out they could get rid of the incriminating stack of man on man porn in the toolshed, it was all over.

        1.  Blueboy’s gone? Now people will need explanations for the lyrics of Cyndi Lauper’s “She-Bop”.

  5. If you like the athletic female form there’s a lot of really good, um, photography featuring nubile limber Russian women who clearly had rigorous ballet training before gaining 30 pounds in all the right places,   

  6. Rather surprised that that picture of  Lance Armstrong wasn’t included. Eh, probably owned by Annie Leibovitz. But definitely should have been included in this bunch….

      1.  Most people tend not to think of them as being particularly buff – but most of ’em are tiny, wirey, and *really* strong.

      2.  Trying to control an animal that is waaaaaay bigger than you will do that. Most equestrians have super strong cores, legs and buts but jockeys also have to keep their  total mass at a certain level; they can’t afford to haul around useless weight.

      1. Yeah? She might think she’s pretty tough, but wait ’til she gets me in front of her, sobbing like a child and begging for mercy. Let’s see how much of that she can take, buddy!

  7. I don’t typically find athletic bodies attractive (or pro porn bodies, or bodybuilding bodies) but most of these are really, really attractive bodies (and great photography, too). I think what I normally think of when I think of athletic people is skewed.

    Not surprising to me at all that bodies that are not absurd (like pro porn or bodybuilding) but extremely athletic and fit – without the aid of steroids etc. – are extremely attractive on a deep-down level. I mean I won’t get into the details but my normal taste (in women specifically) is quite different from this and I was surprised to find these people so attractive.

  8. Heh. I have the same stats as Maya Gabeira. Since I’m male, not sure that’s a good thing…

  9. The underwater one is awesome. Anyhow, I enjoy these, as a believer and practitioner of human adaptation.

    1.  A lot of athletes shave just to keep chaffing rashes under control. Besides not all body hair types are noticeable in photography. If it weren’t for the mud Carlos’ would be harder to see. Lack of obvious carpet does not equal hairless.

  10. I don’t get it – why are we so coy about crotches, nipples and butts?

  11. The physical 1%.  I hope someone will retake them all 50 years from now and see just how buff they all are after running the real deal.  You notice all this corporate sponsorship never gives equivalent rewards and attention to intellectual development.

  12. As an artist who is trying to get better at figure drawing, this set of photos made my day, and now my fingers are itching to draw these fantastic humans. 

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