While commercial/print couple shoots involve some romance and intimate moments, high fashion and editorial couple shoots take the sex appeal to an entirely new level. Being a male model in these fields means being confident, working well with female models and being comfortable with getting really up close and personal.
Sex sells, plain and simple and the industry continues to use--if not exploit--this in order to sell their clothes, accessories, fragrances, etc. If you are interested in being a male model and want to pursue high fashion and editorial work, you'll have to throw all caution to the wind and know how to turn on your sexy persona in front of the camera.
So what does this mean when working with a female model? I will say that my approach to this topic is one that is solely from a business standpoint. As I've stated many times before, being a model is a job and there are duties that must be carried out in order to deliver the final results that clients want.
If you happen to be working with an experienced high fashion/editorial female model, chances are you'll have nothing to worry about. Models that have done these types of couple shoots before know what to expect and won't cry sexual harassment. If anything, she'll be able to make you more comfortable once you two begin working together on the shoot.
Ultimately, you will be directed by the photographer and/or client. Remember, it is a modeling shoot so you won't have to be entirely responsible for coming up with poses and concepts. Such factors are usually planned out ahead of time--all you and your partner have to do is execute the poses as they are arranged by whoever is in charge.
Unless specifically instructed, most of your poses with the female model won't involve you touching her in any inappropriate ways. If you're not sure how she feels it's okay to ask her. Like I said before, if she is experienced and has done this type of work often, she'll more than likely give you the green light.
Examples of couple shoots for fashion/editorial work where things can get pretty steamy:
Are there high fashion/editorial shoots that are overtly sexual and even controversial? Of course--have you seen the CK, Abercrombie & Fitch and other related ads out there over the years?! But because the shoots are being conducted in a professional setting with an entire crew, it's all within a controlled environment--it's no different than two A-list celebrities doing a sex scene in a movie...and I believe that the caliber of sex scenes in films today are much raunchier than many of the fashion/editorial couple advertisements out there. The modeling industry's main focus is to make money and that means selling sex when applicable. That's just the way it is. There's a reason why some types of modeling aren't for the shy or conservative!
To familiarize yourself with the type of poses required for high fashion/editorial couple shoots, simply do an online image search for these kinds of advertisements or flip through any high fashion magazine. You'll quickly see that the couple shoots range from PG-13 to R and maybe even NC-17.
What I want to convey to aspiring male models pursuing these fields is that not every couple shoot you do is going to involve being half naked and grinding up against a female model. If you have a big issue with doing these kinds of shoots, a high fashion/editorial modeling career may not be the right fit for you. Maybe switch to commercial/print and try your luck there.
Do what makes you comfortable but also keep in mind that in order to lead a successful modeling career in the high fashion/editorial markets, you will have to do such shoots and be okay with the nature of the poses.