Clothed male, naked female

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A naked woman at the World Naked Bike Ride, London in 2014 stands next to a clothed man

Clothed male, naked (or nude) female is one-sided female nudity in which one or more women are nude while one or more men are clothed. The scenario is a genre of erotica, which on the internet is sometimes abbreviated to CMNF, and may involve sexual and nonsexual erotic scenarios. Sexual scenarios may involve male domination, female submission, exhibitionism and erotic entertainment.

The opposite to CMNF is clothed female, naked male (CFNM).


Some critics of images of one-sided female nudity, including some feminist critics, argue that such images, besides possibly being objectionable in themselves, also contribute to the objectification of women, by reducing a woman's worth or role in society to that of an instrument for the sexual pleasure that she can produce in the mind of another.[1][2] Kathleen Barry argues that such images contribute to female sexual slavery, by contributing to the psychological basis of male dominance.[1]

As a theme in art[edit]

One-sided female nudity has been a theme in art, particularly in Orientalist paintings of the 19th century. A typical scene may be a depiction of white slavery in which one or several nude women are displayed before an audience of men as part of a slave auction. The archetypal example of this type of scene is Jean-Léon Gérôme's The Slave Market, in which a nude female slave is examined by a potential buyer. Another example is Gérôme's Phryné devant l'Areopage (Phryne before the Areopagus, 1861) which was based on the trial of Phryne before the Areopagus in ancient Greece. The odalisque (harem scene) was also a popular subject for depicting one-sided female nudity, although the clothed figures in the scene were not always male.

Outside of the Orientalist style, a less popular scenario for one-sided female nudity in 19th-century art was the knight-errant, in which the stereotype of the damsel in distress was used to explore the erotic subtext of the powerful knight coming to the rescue of a helpless woman. The best known example of this is John Everett Millais' painting Knight Errant, in which a nude woman has been tied to a tree and a knight is shown cutting her loose. The painting initially created controversy when it was first displayed, because the nude female was shown facing her rescuer, a posture which was considered too sexually suggestive for European audiences.[3] Millais repainted the figure so that she was looking away from her rescuer.

Édouard Manet's Le déjeuner sur l'herbe ("The Luncheon on the Grass"), in which a nude woman is depicted having lunch with two fully clothed men, is another famous painting which was controversial when it was first displayed in 1863. The Pastoral Concert (c. 1510) attributed to Giorgione or his pupil Titian[4] has been cited as an inspiration for Manet's painting.

A 1913 painting Adoration by William Strang presents a philosophical study of beauty, with the clothed soldier, painter, scholar, and elderly gentleman fascinated by the naked female subject.

In media[edit]

Entertainment columnist Earl Wilson details several experiences involving one-sided female nudity in his book Show Business Laid Bare.[5] In the chapter titled "Cheri Caffaro: A Strange Interlewd," Wilson writes about his experience interviewing actress Cheri Caffaro while she was nude and he was fully dressed.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Barry, Kathleen, Female Sexual Slavery (NYU Press, 1994), ISBN 978-0-8147-1069-2, p.247
  2. ^ LeMoncheck, Linda, Loose Women, Lecherous Men: A Feminist Philosophy of Sex (Oxford University press, 1997), ISBN 0-19-510555-9, p. 133
  3. ^ Refer to the section on "The Problem Nude" in these notes from 2005/2006 course lectures given by Carol Jacobi at Birkbeck College:
  4. ^ From the Louvre Museum Official Website
  5. ^ Show Business Laid Bare, by Earl Wilson, ISBN 0-399-11276-6, New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1974. Second Printing
  6. ^ The story can be found on pages 45-56 of the hardcover second printing of the book.

External links[edit]