Wednesday, March 17, 2010

College Sexuality

In the fall of this year I spent a few weeks working on a project regarding sexuality in college. It was in the middle of my capstone class, so I just got a start on it before having to turn it in. I've been making contacts lately so I can continue the body of work.

I think this will be a really interesting project to work on. It's something that hasn't largely been directly addressed, yet is something people associate with college. It's a time when people discover themselves and their sexual identities. Some will experiment in an effort to understand their sexual orientation, some will be liberal with their promiscuity and some will choose to wait for the right person. I think, in our age group, the hook-up culture is becoming the norm in many university towns. Students are too busy with work and school to have a commitment and some just don't want a commitment. I think times are very different from when our parents were young and there's a generational gap that's increasingly apparent. I remember my Mom asking me once what "hooking up" meant, (I think I began dodging the questions when they got more specific) and if people really do that now.

More than just a project on sex, however, I want to photograph the insecurities in both women and men. This is a time when people are very insecure and full of self-doubt. Body image in both men and women is exaggerated by mainstream media leading to comparisons between ourselves and the pictures on magazine covers, comparisons between ourselves and others within the dating pool. Many guys and girls I have talked to work out not for the health aspect, but so that they look good. I hope to further capture the insecurities and the feelings produced by this culture.

Here are some images from the project. I would really appreciate feedback from anybody on this. There are a lot of directions I feel I can take this, so I'm very open to anybody's ideas.

To see more images from this, please visit the gallery.


Brittany Bott March 17, 2010 at 5:57 PM  

Andy- I heard a little about this project you were working on from some of the photoj kids. At first I didn't know what to make of it, but just after reading your take on it, you may have something interesting on your hands.

I am sure you are well aware of Lauren Greenfield's work on girl culture. After seeing her work on that and some current topics of today I've even thought of doing some work on today's body image compared to what it used to be.

I think one aspect that hasn't really been explored or shown yet it how guys are with body image and their insecurities. A lot of the time the focus is always on women. I look forward to what you produce over time.

rumon April 4, 2010 at 4:14 PM  


Made it to your site from @petapixel's Twitter feed -> The Photo Brigade site -> here. For what it's worth I think you've captured a valuable project, a story that I'm sure many who have lived this would agree deserves to be told and, based on the images you've presented here, you're more than up to the task. Incredibly evocative stuff here.





I'm a freelance photographer currently based in Columbus, Ohio and available for assignment anywhere you'd like to send me.
Please contact me directly at +1 440 897 6758 or

All images and content © Andrew Spear, 2010. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission of author, under penalty of law. He can be contacted at +1 440 897 6758 for any questions.

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