Friday, May 22, 2015

Freehiking



When I go out in nature, I get the urge to take my clothes off. It's not about sex, although it can certainly be thrilling. Does this make me a pervert? Or am I simply a naturist? Being naked in nature seems perfectly... well... natural to me. And perfectly harmless to any potential onlookers, if it weren't for the fact that we make such a big artificial deal about nudity in society. Can't we just drop the taboo already? If my nudity is essentially harmless - healthy, even (for both me and onlookers, since hiding our bodies away encourages shame and disorder) - why must I feel like a criminal for wanting to indulge in this unreasonably marginalized activity?


I'd love to tell you that so-called "freehiking" is a legitimate, protected form of recreation. Indeed, it should be. If not in public parks and on public streets all across the country, then certainly it should be expected in those state or national parks whose emphasis is on natural landscapes rather than man-made landmarks (i.e., forests, rivers, lakes, etc. instead of forts and railroads and such). Alas, there are no such explicit allowances in this country, to my knowledge, and the only places you can get away with it for sure are within the boundaries of isolated private resorts (which are not, necessarily, going to be the first picks in terms of breathtaking natural landscapes).

Everywhere else, you're left to gamble on the chances that you won't get caught, or that if you do, the person who catches you is liberal enough to leave you be. As it is, I don't have any real opportunities for freehiking; I can only create that illusion with some carefully composed pictures, acquired by surreptitious means, in more (or less) remote areas, during (presumably - one can never be entirely certain that there's nobody around the next bend in the trail) quiet lulls in visitor activity. Understandably, and regretfully, my opportunities for taking such photos of natural beauty are woefully limited, and this saddens me.


To paraphrase the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, "Congress shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]." Stripping off my clothes outdoors amidst nature feels, to me, like a spiritual calling. I exist as a tiny kernel in this vast and amazing universe, and the cradle of Earth is my home. Although man is a product of nature, there exists a line between the natural world and the artificial world of man. I am not uncivilized, but the call of the wild serves as a reminder of where I come from. Clothes reflect upon the society of man, and to be truly one with nature, one must be naked like the animals.

I consider this to be a form of holy communion. But because I worship the spirit of nature instead of the Christian God, does this make me a freak, unworthy of honoring my own choice of God? Our country was founded on the principle of freedom, including religious freedom. But the fear of our bodies trumps all other concerns, including liberty and justice. And because we are a democracy, the mental infirmities of the majority are doomed to inform the mandates the rest of us are required to follow...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Adventures of a Transgender MtF in Hicksville, USA

(I will sidestep the issue of what a sophisticated cosmopolitan like myself is doing in Hicksville, USA. It's a good question, but the answer is beyond the scope of this discussion.)

So I'm walking down the street one spring evening after watching the sunset at a local park. I'm wearing my athletic clothes - the clothes that I picked out for a hike in the woods earlier that day. My outfit consists of a plain white cotton tank top, a pair of tennis shoes designed for jogging, and a breezy pair of shorts that leaves little to the imagination. My hair is done up in a cute but sporty braid. A close look from the front would reveal that I am physically male, but from a distance, or from the back, a person couldn't be blamed for thinking I was a girl.


I chose these clothes for two reasons - 1) because it was hot, and I was going to be exercising, and I like to wear as little clothing as is reasonable, and 2) because I like to wear clothes that make me feel sexy, and my legs are one of my best features. Plus, my butt looks great in these shorts (naturally, I wore them with a thong).

Now, I'm not under any illusion that men aren't going to check me out in an outfit like this. I'm actually in a unique place where I know (better than most, if not all, women) what goes through a man's head when he spots an attractive girl in sexy clothes. I check girls out all the time (although I'm not obnoxious about it), and I always appreciate it when they wear things that are skimpy and sexy in public (summertime at the pool is like eyecandyland, and if country folk are good for one thing, it's a lack of modesty). Ghandi said, "be the change you wish to see in the world", so I generally like to dress the way I like to see other girls dressing.

But there are friendly and unfriendly ways to appreciate another person's look. Take what happened to me the other day, on my walk to the post office. I was wearing even less revealing shorts that day, but I still got some comments from a group of young hillbillies hanging out on the porch in the middle of a weekday. A woman said to me, "hey good-lookin', I like dem shorts yer wearin'." Now, she could have been saying that sarcastically, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and returned a smile as I continued on my way.

But then one of the men standing there had to stick his dick into the conversation (metaphorically speaking). He asked if he could walk with me. I didn't really believe he was being serious, so I silently shook my head and kept walking. The last thing I hear as I move out of earshot is, "I'll take you to the train trestle." Like, honestly, in what universe does shouting at a stranger on the street make them want to fuck you? Especially when I'm the hot piece of ass, and you're the dirty hick who hasn't bathed in days, has a drug habit, and is most likely on welfare? I'll tell you one thing, if you enjoyed the sight of me (even if it was just to make fun of me), shouting at me like that is a surefire way to get me to choose a different return route.

Maybe he thought I was a prostitute. It wouldn't be the first time. I passed a man checking out cars while I was walking beside the edge of a used car lot once, and he said to me, "can I go witchu?" I stared at him with a confused expression on my face, and he gave me a closer look and must have recognized his error (probably not so much that I wasn't a prostitute, but that I had the wrong anatomy for a "hook-up"). He said "never mind," and I went on my way, with another story to tell when I got home.

It could be worse. I don't actually mind being mistaken for a prostitute, even though the prostitutes in this town are bottom rung fare, usually strung out on coke or heroin or, god forbid in this town, meth. It's not so bad when men mistake me for a hot, fuckable chick. It's more dangerous when they realize I'm not. I don't want to minimize the threat of being raped, but I'd rather be on the wrong end of desire than disgust. One time, a truck passed me on the street, and the man in the passenger seat flicked the contents of his tobacco spitoon (a.k.a., re-purposed beer bottle) right at me, ruining a perfectly good white t-shirt. I can't be sure if it was a hate crime (think of the ending to Easy Rider) or simply a demonstration of the antisocial tendencies some of the "hillbilly proud" garbage in this town prides itself on. Either way, nobody wins.

I'm just saying, is it really that horrible an act for a man to dress like a girl? Are girls that inferior, that a man wanting to be one is a piece of trash? I was dolled up one day at Walmart, in celebration of a girl's birthday, and some random guy says in my direction, "git dat dress off, boy!" (Right, am I supposed to do the rest of my shopping in my frilly panties?). Like, do you really think I care about the style opinion of a fat slob in muddy work clothes, whose parents are probably cousins? It's sad enough that this person can't appreciate the beauty of a man in a dress, but he has to insist on eliminating it so that nobody else can enjoy it either? Get over yourself! Anyway, you have to be pretty stupid to feel it necessary to broadcast your own bigotry in public like that.

Which brings us back to the incident I started with. I was walking past the local ice cream parlor in my athletic clothes, and this neanderthal begins to call out from the bustling crowd. He bleats out some generic, testosterone-fueled catcalls, and I try my best to ignore him and calmly get out of sight as quickly as possible. The ice cream parlor is filled with families and their kids, and this guy thinks it's a brilliant idea to draw all the attention onto his raging hormones (and terrible flirtation skills) - and me. I know what it's like when you see a hot girl walking down the street, but have some self-restraint, man. He was really persistent, too. Like, do you really think shouting at me is going to make me want to have anything to do with you?

But the worst part was the end. I don't know if he was disgruntled from me completely brushing him off, or if he took a second glance and noticed that, hey, dude looks like a lady. I can imagine the person he was with, or maybe one of the friendly teenage girls who work at the ice cream parlor and who have seen me in the neighborhood before, tipped him off. But then he shouts at me in an angry voice, "fuckin' faggot!" Like, okay, great. Sure, he has to preserve his manhood because he totally just got a hard-on for a man in short shorts (and, like an idiot, had to make absolutely sure everybody in that crowd knew it). But because of the way I look or the way I dress - which, if you trace it back, is probably due to a nonstandard combination of genetics (i.e., I was born this way, although it took me a long time to figure it out) - I deserve to be the target of angry hate speech? Real nice, dude. Real nice.

So, I'm subjected to both catcalls and gay bashing, and I'm neither a woman, nor gay. It doesn't inspire much faith in humanity. And these are the kind of people who are breeding like rabbits (à la Idiocracy) - having unprotected sex in high school one generation after the next, too stupid to plan ahead or think of the consequences (tell me, how is it that people like this are actually getting laid?). I think it's the people who are smart enough not to procreate that should seed the next generation, but I guess evolution will open its legs for just anybody...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Outfit of the Day (#ootd)



The green dress makes a reappearance! This time, I paired it with my boots because it was kind of rainy.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Outfit of the Day (#ootd)



I found an excuse to wear this dress! Not that I really need one, I guess - wanting to wear it is reason enough. It just seems like a dress this nice should be reserved for something fancier than the grocery store. But formal ball or not, a few of us girls decided to get dressed up the other day for a birthday shopping spree. Dresses, makeup, purses, and Barbie dolls were the order of the day. It was fun. ^_^

Thursday, May 14, 2015

White Water

I recently visited a state park I'd never been to before, and had an opportunity to take a quick, impromptu photoshoot in front of an impressive series of waterfalls. As a naturist and a photographer, few things excite me more than the opportunity to shoot nudes against stunning natural backdrops. Unfortunately, this isn't always an easy thing to do on account of society's irrational taboo on nudity. These photos give the illusion of being able to simply wander the park in the buff, but the reality is not so pleasant. If you ask me, all state and national parks in this country should be clothing optional as a rule (explicitly indicated), so that nature's beauty can be enjoyed the way it was intended - in the buff.


Instead, unlike the hiker or the fisher or the tourist, I have to go about my business in a surreptitious sort of way, feeling all the while like a criminal trying to get away with something. Is art photography that onerous that it warrants such caution? Are the results not beautiful enough to offset the possibility that some unsuspecting passerby might get a glimpse (shock, horror!) of a naked human being? And why must my serious artistic intentions be lumped in with the drunken revelers who expose themselves without thinking about the consequences? Surely, taking my clothes off for a few pictures here and there does less damage than the party-goers who leave crushed beer cans behind littering the natural landscape...


As it is, the care I am obliged to exercise limits when and where I can take these sorts of pictures, and reduces the amount of time and concentration I can spend composing and then posing for a good shot. You could consider this part of the challenge of outdoor nude photography - to see what you can accomplish under the restrictions - but frankly, I'd prefer less anxiety about getting caught, and I can't help thinking about all the shots I've had to miss - not for lack of opportunity, but due to unreasonable social conventions. In the image below, for example, I wanted to pose standing on the rock at the right edge of the frame, but it was a little too exposed, so I had to satisfy myself with a simple landscape, rather than a portrait.


It's also kind of frustrating to me that, as a self-portrait artist, I can't actually act as the photographer when taking these pictures. I didn't have my tripod with me (and I'm not sure I'd have had the time to set it up even if I did), so I had to coax the friend I was with into helping me out, and - by her own admission - she doesn't have the talent or the experience (or the inclination, I would add) as a photographer that I have. To her credit, though, it was her impetus and inspiration that led to the following series of images. I've seen countless shots of female models climbing nude on tree branches in the past, and I was very excited to have the opportunity to be that model for once. It's just too bad the shoot had to be so rushed.







Internet fandom aside, sometimes I feel very alone as a nude/erotic photographer. I wish I were part of some organized group. I feel like I'm out on the fringe, making things up as I go along. I know there are other people out there who do what I do - I've seen the results online. I just wish there was more of a sense of camaraderie between us. It amazes me that I'm not able to find even a single other person interested in this kind of modeling, though it doesn't help that due to the stigma of what I do, I don't feel comfortable mentioning it to everyone I meet. I know there are girls out there who are into posing nude for serious photographers. Why can't I find them?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Outfit of the Day (#ootd)



I apologize if some of my outfits are repetitive - I am, after all, a creature of habit, and I have to balance my interest in clothes with the fact that I am a nudist, and I prefer not to spend an hour getting dressed. I like wearing dresses and skirts and things like that, but my easy, go-to outfit is a pair of shorts (I have a few; this one is my current favorite), a cute t-shirt, and one of my many pairs of flip flops. Interestingly, that's not very different, structurally, from my dressing habits when I presented as male (shorts/pants + t-shirt + tennis shoes), but it's amazing the difference that simply picking girly styles (tighter, shorter, cuter, skimpier) can make!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Outfit of the Day (#ootd)

You know it's summer (or close enough) when I pull out my pink pool coverup/dress. Shoppers were given a rare treat when I wore it with my hair down to the store yesterday.


Everyone's been in that position where you start making dinner only to find out that you don't have a key ingredient you thought you had. Luckily, we have a store just down the block from our apartment building, so I threw on this dress to go pick up some spaghetti sauce. I had recently gotten out of the shower, and my hair was still slightly damp, but since it was a scorcher of a day, with temperatures breaking 90 degrees, I decided to leave it as is and let the sun finish drying it out on my walk to the store.

I don't actually let my hair down very often. I'd like to, since it's so pretty, but I just don't find it to be very practical. It doesn't stay perfectly in place - it's always going everywhere and getting in the way. And while it looks great just out of the shower, after a while it tends to get a little strung out; it just makes more sense to keep it contained in a braid or [usually] a ponytail (at least both of those options still look cute!). But as I said, it was a rare treat for those shoppers who got a glimpse of me in total supermodel mode, in my hot pink minidress. -_^