Hello, and welcome to LifeStyles of Love. This is a series of playlists designed for moments of intimacy with friends and lovers alike, curated by artists we love. If the title didn’t wink at enough, this is a project with LifeStyles: makers of condoms since 1905. Oscar Key Sung kicked things off with a low-key, gentle collection of love songs which you can listen to here; and last week, Kira Puru turned up the heat. Today, photographer Byron Spencer is getting Tantric.
Hi Byron! Thank you for taking the time to talk about your sexy playlist. Tell me where do you imagine it being played.
It’s a tantric playlist… you can work it out ;-) But the mood is very broad, it’s subjective. You could play it anywhere.
I’m interested in how you see sex and romance play out in your photography. I think your work can be sexy, but there’s alway this sense of playfulness and joy more than anything else.
I love sexuality playing into my work and influences a lot of what I do. I don’t like things being sexy for the sake of it, and if it is I usually like it to have an element of classicism and beauty. As for romance, I love everything having a sense of romanticism, and I think we all crave that anyway…
I read that you studied musical theatre when you were younger. How important is music on your sets?
Apart from the photo shoot itself, music is the most important thing. I usually start the morning [with] really meditative [music] and build the day up from there. And the vibe of the shoot will always dictate what kind of music I listen to. I actually love curating the music on the day!
Do you find it easy to talk about sexuality? Is it something you and your friends spend time discussing?
I am always open about talking about it and not afraid, but at the same time I think I just am happy keeping my opinions and thoughts quiet. I think it can be personal, and also at the same time I have just always believed you are what you are and there is nothing to discuss!
Can you tell me something you find particularly sensual?
Currently, it’s traditional Hawaiian music.
Any particular song?
‘Ulupalakua’ by Hui Ohana.
How does technology shape the ways in which you’re intimate with partners? Do you use images, videos, FaceTime, or are you a bit of a technophile in that realm?
I love FacTtime now! At least putting faces on my calls makes things more personal, especially since I travel so much.
For every follower to Byrons’s LifeStyles of Love playlist between December 8th and 14th, LifeStyles will donate $5 to Living Positive, a community-based organisation that works to advance the human rights and wellbeing of people living with HIV. Listen below, or check it out on Spotify here.