In “Desire Tabulations” I am exploring the relationship between men and safe
sex. At first impulse it seems that there would be an obvious outcome. Actually, it
becomes a very complex question.
By photographing men and presenting them in a formal but intimate portrait and
then asking them questions about their sexual practice over the past year, I am
attempting to see if the outer appearance conflicts with our assumptions of their
desire and/or sexual need. In what ways do men consider their desire?
The project turns from a tabulation of desire to more of a study on perception.
Before every portrait session I made my own personal prediction of what I
thought the man’s answers would be and in every case I was wrong. Some men
didn’t use condoms because they have been in a long-term relationship and the
partner takes care of contraception in other ways. For others, it is because they
are not having sex right now or they don’t have sex in the typical way. All of these
examples result in the same number but for different reasons. Some men were in
committed relationships and having a lot of sex but didn’t want to get their
partners/spouses pregnant or they just had a baby and were avoiding pregnancy
so condoms became essential.
These men where just a sampling of men and in each case their story is different.
We as the outsider make assumptions about men and their sexual practices
based on appearance and potentially age when in fact every situation is
completely unique and the consideration for condoms more complex then
The life size portraits presented in a formal but elegant way was inspired by the
royal and French style of the condom packaging. Each portrait exposes the
physique of the man as in renaissance paintings of dukes, princes, kings and
royalty. Their partnered shelf and condoms displayed as an artifact they