Monday, October 13, 2014

Excitement and Overexposure

Here's a common complaint I hear against nudism: "But if I see naked boobies all the time, it'll lose its excitement - I never want to reach a point where seeing naked boobies doesn't excite me!"

Response: I find it incredibly ironic (and not a little bit hypocritical) that the type of person who's constantly staring at women's chests and hoping for a nip slip would use this argument, seeing as I doubt it even factors into this person's logic when they are watching porn on the internet for hours at a time.

But while there is some legitimacy in the concept of "normalization" - that we tend to get used to things we are constantly exposed to - a human being need not fear "wearing out" their sexual appetite. Exposure to erotic triggers will, at best, tire you out temporarily; but, like hunger, there will always be more desire in store just around the corner.

I am a person who appreciates the naked human form - especially the female form. I have dedicated myself to art so that I may surround myself daily with depictions of that form. Through my appreciation of art, I see countless images of naked females almost every day. Do I ever get tired of seeing a beautiful naked woman?

The answer to that question is a resounding NO! Exposure hasn't diminished my appreciation for the human form - it has only refined it. It may be true that I don't get giddy at the mere sight of an exposed breast as if I were an adolescent boy. But in no way does that diminish my appreciation for a beautiful breast when I see it. In fact, I value that experience so much, I want the whole world to go naked so that I may indulge in it more often!

Frankly, I think we need more maturity when it comes to sex and the sight of the naked human body. Tittering at the sight of a naked breast is a phase that adult men need to grow out of. Seriously. It is at least partially responsible for the sort of ridiculousness that occurs in this country (the United States) when the nudity taboo is even barely broken - such as during the "nipplegate" fiasco. This fetishization and objectification of the human female breast also contributes to women's body image issues, sexual inequality in the form of resistance to topfreedom movements, and an unhealthy stigma attached to breastfeeding.

There's nothing wrong with a man finding a woman's breast - or any other part of her body - sexually appealing. But there is a mature and an immature way of handling it. And exposure is the best way to get past that awkward adolescent phase that our culture seems to be willfully stuck in. So, no, I don't think that coddling your unhealthy fascination with parts of people's bodies is a legitimate argument against the mainstreamification of nudism. But nice try.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Outfit of the Day (#ootd)



You'll have to forgive the framing of this shot - my cell phone won't attach to a tripod and so it's even trickier than usual to get a good picture of myself. Alas, fall is well and truly upon us, and so that means the shorts and minidresses of the summer are largely behind us. I've had this jacket and these boots for a couple years now; I no longer remember where I got them, though it might have been the internet and/or a certain coat factory.

The jacket is very attractive, I think - it has large buttons down the front, and I especially like how it cinches (with a belt) around the waist. It's light, so not good for the winter, but perfect for fall weather. The one complaint I have is that it's pretty tight around the shoulders and a little short in the arms. It's certainly something I can work around, but makes it a little uncomfortable, especially when I have my arms stretched out.

The boots are just fantastic. The thing I like the most about them are the buckles that stick out on the sides (they're mostly for show). They remind me of the [very sexy and reminiscent of bondage] boots I had my necromancer wear in Guild Wars once upon a time. They have a short heel, which is enough to give it a look of elegance, but not so much to make them terribly uncomfortable to wear. I wore them this day because it was rainy (not good weather for tennis shoes, or flip flops if you're wearing long pants you don't want to get wet), and because my rain boots are less comfortable and a lot harder to put on and take off.

The jeans are just regular skinny jeans. I think they work really well with the jacket and boots, which themselves come together for a really smart look. Another thing that goes well with that jacket is a poofy skirt not much longer than the jacket itself. I may have worn the jacket once or twice all by itself with nothing underneath, but not anywhere more exciting than taking the trash around to the back of the building after dark. It's pretty short, and the flaps come apart easily in the front when you walk. ;-p

Monday, October 6, 2014

Evolving Sexual Attitudes

The unrestrained, animal instinct would, presumably, lead to a whole lot of indiscriminate fucking (and probably not a small amount of rape). I imagine this to be the default state of the uncivilized, uneducated human specimen.

The emergence of a belief in sexual purity as a moral virtue, as pushed by a number of popular religions, seems poised to contain and control human sexuality. The natural sexual appetite is reconceptualized as the sin of lust, which must be tamed and expressed only in particular, controlled situations (approved by the church, or government), else one succumbs to moral corruption.

It would be naive to think that this strategy has been employed throughout the ages for strictly altruistic purposes; but, at its best, it seems intended to be a civilizing influence. However, it is a very blunt tool applied to the very subtle subject of human sexual interaction.

In the middle ages, this simplistic, black-and-white approach may have been adequate. But I would argue that we have evolved to the next level. Certainly, in the 21st century, amidst all the clamoring for newfound sexual liberation and tolerance, it would seem as though we were ready for a more nuanced understanding of human sexuality.

Hedonistic sexual anarchy is one end of the spectrum. Holy virginity is the other. Have we not reached a level of cultural sophistication where we can distinguish positive and destructive sexual acts through their impacts on the individual people involved, rather than making broad proscriptions on certain kinds of contact?

Are we not at a point where we can understand that the human sexual appetite is not sinful, but natural, and that there are merely healthy and unhealthy ways of expressing and indulging in it? Do we not live in a modern society that believes in fundamental liberty and the civic rights of the individual?

Need we continue to be corralled by ordained shepherds who preach lowest-common-denominator approaches to sexual ethics, that limit the freedoms of the sophisticated individual for the sake of the simple-minded fool? Is it not time to refocus our attention on the rules of ethics in lieu of superstitious morality?

I'm ready. I don't know about you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Preventive Measures


This seems to be a symptom of the nanny state, in which safety is viewed as being more valuable than basic liberty. It's also what happens when people engage in victim-blaming, and reflects a legislative approach that's employed in "end demand" strategies. In the end, all it is, is avoiding the real problem and focusing on something else, to the detriment of our principles as a society.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Nostalgia

Nothing in life prepares you for the passage of time.







One of the greatest crimes of the cosmos is lack of perspective. They say that life is a learning experience, but what's the point of learning if, in the process, you're robbed of the opportunity to make use of it? I wish I could go back in time, knowing everything I know now - about myself and everything else - having all the experience I've so far accumulated. I wish I could communicate with myself from an earlier age. I don't think I ever would have guessed that I'd be the person I am now, but I often think that if I had been surer of myself at a younger age, I could have accomplished so much more. I've spent so much of my life being afraid. And that's one thing that still hasn't changed.




From the very start, my work as a [self-]portrait artist has always been to express myself - not just bodily and physically, but thoughtfully as well. It has been a medium of communication between me and a world in which I am often too timid to speak up. I have never been just a model - just a body in an image, displayed on a screen - I have been a model and a person. And my self-portraits are also portraits of my personality, and my lifestyle, and my beliefs - not necessarily by capturing my day-to-day experiences, like the myriad snapshots that turn up on Facebook - but by demonstrating my inner life, which, as an introvert, has always been far more important to me. I would hope that anyone, upon viewing these photographs, would see the depth in them and recognize them as being something so much more than just "dirty pictures".

Friday, September 5, 2014

Outfit of the Day (#ootd) - Double Special!


I wore this outfit the other night. I explained some more details about this pink swim wrap/dress here. With my hot pink purse, and my hot pink flip flops, I was a little bit concerned that it would look like a bubble gum factory had exploded all over me. There is a concern [all the way] at the back of my mind about "trying too hard" to look feminine (instilled in me by other people's reflections), but the truth is, I love the color pink, and I wore this outfit with confidence.

It's interesting to see how my wardrobe has evolved over the years, as I continue to collect pieces, and weed out the ones that don't suit me so well. In the beginning of my "transition" to living as a girl, I would grab anything and everything and try it out, but with experience - the kind of experience most women my age have decades more of than me - I've learned to focus on some combination of the clothes I like, and the clothes that actually look good on me.

That having been said, I'm a very girly girl. I've never really considered the ultra-feminine pieces in my wardrobe to be an expression of the effort I put into being a girl, so much as simply an expression of my personality. If I had been born female, and all other things being the same, I'd still wear all this ultra-girly pink explosion stuff. Because I just like it!


Moving on to a second outfit - I took this picture in the dressing room, but this wasn't an outfit I was trying on, it was actually the one I wore to the store. I was trying on another prom dress (the blue one on the hook). It was really short on top and bottom (which by now you should know I like), but the waist was way too small on me. It's a pity, because it had been marked down to the all-time low price of a dollar!

Anyway, the dress I'm wearing is another one of my favorites. I bought it from a girl doing cartwheels at a yard sale. I don't doubt it was a bit longer on her, but the length suits me just perfectly. It's green, which is my other favorite color, and though I do have trouble keeping it from sliding down and threatening to cause me to flash people in public, it's really easy to slip on and off and is nice and cool for the summer. I actually had one guy in the store that night go out of his way to tell me that he liked my dress. If he only knew. ;-p

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Q: How do you define art?

A: Firstly, I think it's important to ask the question, "how do you define art?", rather than "what is art?", since this is inevitably one of those subjects on which everyone will never agree. And so this is not my attempt to define art so much as an explanation of what I personally consider to be art.

True to my diplomatic nature, I take a rather subjective and radically inclusive approach towards art, that is inspired by the archetypal eighth grade literature teacher's philosophy on wrong answers: the only wrong answer is the one which you are incapable of defending. And so, if somebody - anybody - can make an argument that a certain thing is art, then I am willing to concede that it is art.

The reason I'm willing to do this is because, though art is a form of object, it is not the "thing" of art, but the "effect" it has on the human heart (whether that of the artist or the audience) that matters. Thus I believe that art can indeed be accidental, and both intent and interpretation can create art, not always in the same object.

To be (only slightly) more concrete, I support the theory that art is a [man-made] reflection of life, and the universe that surrounds us. It is an expression of existence as interpreted through human being. It makes some kind of statement (whether consciously or not) about - or it expresses a reaction to - being, as experienced by a conscious intelligence.

None of this makes any distinction between good art and bad art, nor between "high" art (i.e., fine art) and "low" art (i.e., pop art), which are independent scales that are themselves subject to a considerable amount of subjective interpretation. These are all just different kinds of art. But they are all art, and the important thing about art is that it comes from human hands (even as it sometimes reflects the world beyond people), and that it touches the human heart.