Friday, May 26, 2017

Outfit of the Day (#ootd)



Getting dressed has been a chore lately. I mean, putting on clothes is always a chore, but with the weather we've been having - hot and sunny one week, cold and rainy the next - how are you supposed to decide what to wear? I'd love to be able to retire my jeans for the season once and for all, and switch over to my shorts indefinitely, because they make me feel cuter and more girly. But sometimes the weather refuses to cooperate. I'm stubborn, though, so this time I decided to compromise by simply doubling up with a hoodie and a jacket to cover up my top half, in a bid to make up for my completely exposed lower half (after all, my legs are one of my best features!). But it's funny - I was getting dressed, and I put my jacket on and stepped in front of the mirror, and it looked all the world to me like I had simply forgot to put my pants on! It's not like this has never happened before, but some things you never get tired of. :-p So I figured it was a great opportunity to do an Outfit of the Day - something I haven't done a lot of lately. (Of course, you're lucky to find me in clothes most days). -_^


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Rationalizing vs. Legitimizing

I've recently had an epiphany on some subjects that have been stewing in my head of late - fetishes, taboos, and what I perceive as the misguided direction that much of the social justice world is headed in on topics of a sexual nature.

Let me begin with an example. Ever since I was a child - even before I could understand what it was - I've been fascinated with being naked. I imagine that every child goes through this phase, until such time as they're properly socialized to be ashamed of their bodies. But for some reason, it stuck with me. I knew it was forbidden (if I didn't understand why) - except in very specific, and very private, circumstances - and so I kept it hidden. It wasn't a pervasive aspect of my life; I had few opportunities to indulge it, and I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it. But just the same, it was there.

I don't imagine that I'm that much different from other people, who have scattered memories of semi-taboo experiences in their childhood - things like playing doctor with the girl next door. Except that I've always been socially isolated, so perhaps I've had to learn how to satisfy myself (much like I've approached my interest in photography). I don't mean to suggest that I'm talking strictly about sexual experiences here (I actually didn't learn to masturbate until a fairly late age), but definitely, when I was going through adolescence, I interpreted these taboo interests (which began to intensify at that time) as my personal experience with sexuality - even though they did not, as a necessity, incorporate any sort of direct sexual stimulation or satisfaction (although synergy between nudity and sexual experiences has always been high - much to nudists' enduring chagrin).

It wasn't until many years later that I learned about nudism, and discovered that there were other people who liked to be naked (outdoors, and even around other people), for reasons other than having sex. And while my naked experiences had been entangled with my sexual awakening (because there were no forces guiding them in a contrary direction - a nudist alone has no reason to shun the sexual impulse; incidentally, this phenomenon is only fostered by keeping non-sexual nudity a taboo), I had found (perhaps not surprisingly) that my experiences secretly roaming the yard - and, later, streets - at night without clothes on (I grew up in a pretty nice neighborhood) did not so much resemble the average adolescent's discovery of sexuality (i.e., getting drunk and fooling around at parties) as so-called "secret naturists" who simply did not have an appropriate outlet for their naked activities.

And because the societal stereotype of the exhibitionist (for better or, more likely, worse) involved absurdly antisocial activities that I would never dream of engaging in - like guerilla masturbation in front of unsuspecting strangers - which seem like they would almost certainly involve extremely undesirable repercussions (e.g., public humiliation, ostracization from the community, or even criminal sanction), I didn't consider it as a serious possibility until after I'd refined my understanding of what exhibitionism entails, and discovered how much I enjoy being an icon of desire via my experiences as an erotic model on the internet.

To steer this discussion back toward its point, everybody who has unusual desires that may involve the transgression of certain social standards or expectations, is at some point accused of "rationalizing" their behaviors. This is human nature. Nobody wants to believe that they're making poor decisions, unless they're in a process of recovery. But rationalization is not enough for me. I've been accused of being too smart for my own good. I'm utterly incapable of voluntarily pulling the wool over my own eyes. I could never talk myself out of my anxiety. And if I begin to rationalize my behaviors, I'll recognize it as that. You have to understand, I don't want to see myself as a bad person. But I also can't hate aspects of my identity that I can't change. I'm not immune to rationalizing, but rationalization isn't enough - because it's just making excuses. What I want - what I need - is to have recourse to legitimate outlets for whatever desires I may have. And this depends largely on society willing to work with the rebels and outlaws, to come (from both directions) to a diplomatic compromise. It's not enough for me to feel justified in what I'm doing - I have to have reassurance from the rest of society that it's okay. (And sometimes that's hard to get).

In the nudity example, the nudist lifestyle was a legitimate outlet for my interest in being naked (outdoors, and even around other people). Some may cite the taboo as being part of the excitement - and I can see where that feeling comes from - but at the end of the day, I'd rather be able to practice my hobbies in peace, relaxed, without the fear in the back of my mind that I'm doing something wrong, and that if I get caught, I could get into trouble. That does nothing for me. Maybe a little bit in fantasy, if anything. But not real life. I don't want to sneak around at night where I don't belong - I want to have a place I can go in broad daylight, where I feel welcome. I think most people desire this. But for me to do that, the rest of society has to be willing to let those places exist. Because when they don't, that's when ostracized minorities get vindictive and turn to suboptimal alternatives (i.e., the theory that a good dog subjected to regular beatings will eventually lash out - why? because it's not being treated fairly; it doesn't deserve punishment on account of qualities it has that it did not choose and cannot change).

So that's my epiphany - that much of the work I expend as a sex/gender/nudity activist is trying to open a dialogue with society at large, to give people who are misunderstood, people with alternative lifestyles, and especially sexual desires that are shunned, room to coexist. And there will undoubtedly have to be compromises on both sides - both sides need to understand this. But it's the humanitarian solution, as opposed to the Old Testament approach of just wiping out strangers who aren't like everyone else. (If for no other reason, then because evolution - the survival of the human race - thrives on diversity). To come back to the nudity example, I may have developed something of a hybrid approach to nudity, which is perhaps more sexual than the average nudist (yet less sexual than the average swinger), but I am totally willing to follow the rules of the nudist community. As long as one behaves and gets along fine, does it matter what his motivation for being there is? I wanna live in a world where there's room for everyone, so long as everyone follows one simple rule - live and let live.

Okay, maybe it's not that simple. Just...don't be so quick to judge, when you haven't taken the time to understand the other person first. If something is terribly wrong with them, then careful deliberation will not obscure that fact - quite the contrary. Don't be afraid to think with your head, instead of your heart. But be compassionate, too. We all have to share this world. Together. We don't all have to like each other, we just have to learn to coexist. And the more we understand each other (and I cannot stress enough that this is always a two-way street), the easier that will be. Ideally, nobody would be an "other". It would only be "us" - there would be no "them". That doesn't mean we all have to be alike, it just means we have to be willing to support each other in spite of our differences. The only threat to society would be those who chip away at the strength of our common union.

Tell me, honestly, is what I'm describing the utopia I envision it as, or is it a dystopia in disguise? I don't want to waste my life working towards a misguided dream. But I can't believe we should be satisfied living in a world that destroys good people for finding happiness in things most people think are strange or unusual, or because their bodies respond involuntarily to "weird" or unpopular sexual triggers. How can we believe in the basic doctrine that discrimination based on arbitrary factors (i.e., the way people are, as opposed to the things they do) is inhumane, and still uncritically vilify people for the things that turn them on? Maybe I'm a lunatic, but maybe there's more than one way to do this.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fan Breeze



Three weeks ago I was lying in front of this window during a storm. The past week has been hot and sunny - perfect summer weather (even though it's still spring). To the point that I broke down and dug the air conditioner out of the closet.


I'd been reluctant because we've had some pretty chilly days this spring, and our heater isn't working - seems like I'm either chilled to the core, or roasting in my seat; there's been no middle ground.


Looks like it's going to be a little cooler this week, though not as chilly as it's been (I'd hope). At the risk of jinxing it, it'd be ideal if we had the kind of weather we've been having - sunny and (mostly) dry, with daytime highs in the eighties, and overnight lows in the sixties - over Memorial Day weekend, the first big (naked) camping weekend of the summer!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Pink & White



I have to say, I prefer it to the old standby - black & white.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Perversion as Rebellion



fuck me at the open window
while I watch the people down below
just going about their days

Honestly, I'm not sure if this qualifies as voyeurism or exhibitionism. It's not the people you're watching, or anything they're doing, that particularly excites you, yet you're also not the one being watched. Perhaps it's an exhibitionist fantasy - surrounding yourself with the cues of public life in the midst of a sexual encounter, even as you remain safely hidden from public view.

Imagine that - a safe and private outlet for exhibitionist desires! Although I'm confident that moral crusaders will still manage to find something squicky about it. Can't have anybody deriving any pleasure in life from the fulfillment of their perverted desires, now can we? They must either conform to our rigid, vanilla standards, or be wiped from the face of the earth like the scum they are.

I'm sorry. I hate to spoil such a pleasant moment, but living in a sex negative culture really makes it hard to enjoy the littlest bit of perversion. In a sense, the terrorists of sex have already won. And it's not like there aren't perverts out there going about their "little hot wet private acts of sexual deviation" without a critical analysis of their behavior. But it's too easy for opponents to claim that they simply lack a conscience. That it happens doesn't prove that it's unproblematic.

Yet the only people taking the time to talk about it are the ones who aren't sexually distracted by it, and thus more likely to take a negative stance (because everyone's fetishes look weird to someone who doesn't share them). This is why I prefer porn subs to discussion subs - there's no shaming of people's preferences, it's just an uncritical celebration of sexual desire. But I like talking about the psychology and politics of sex, and we need more kinky sex positives discussing the ramifications of their sexual behaviors, to defend and justify perversity.

People are way too serious about the subject of sex. Yeah, it's a serious issue, but it should also be a fun one - not a terrifying and traumatic one. If you ask me, life is better with a little bit of perversion. And what's perversion if it isn't violating some taboo? If it weren't a little wrong, it wouldn't feel so right. Sure, there are lines that shouldn't be crossed - this is true. But if somebody fantasizes about you while they touch themselves, or engages in an illicit encounter in the park where you walk your dog, or you open a door and, to your surprise, happen to catch somebody in flagrante delicto - don't freak out. Don't call the moral police. These are the kinds of enjoyable activities that make the otherwise grueling drudgery of life worth enduring. Let people have them! It's not going to kill you.

I mean, we live in a world where some people think snapping a quick photo of a cosplayer in public because she's skimpily dressed - without getting express verbal consent first - is on the magnitude of a federal felony (or should be). It's impolite, perhaps, not to ask first, but it's not akin to rape (which is what's being alluded to when the issue of "violating consent" comes up in a sexualized context). I would even argue that it's par for the course - something to be expected when you dress up (or down) and go out in public. It does nobody harm; so why is everybody so uptight? (Can we please have a conversation about whether or not photographing strangers in public is okay, one way or the other, that doesn't construct different standards based on what kind of private uses those photos might be destined for - a blatant form of discrimination against anyone who chooses not to fundamentally condemn the basic human sexual impulse)?

It's not enough that different people have different opinions on how to get one's rocks off, because you could think that what you're doing is perfectly fine, but if it contradicts the dominant paradigm of "appropriateness", you could -- do you know what could happen? You could actually end up in jail, if you're not careful. Because right now, the people we as a society fear the most are the sexual deviants. Obscenity restricts the way you're allowed to talk about sex. The sex offender registry ensures that you won't dare experience pleasure in any way that is not endorsed by the government (which the feminists currently have in their back pockets). Turns out George Orwell was right - the sexual act, successfully performed, is rebellion. But all the more so when it's deliciously perverted.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

CFNM



Here's something that I just put together in about an hour, out of boredom. I was inspired by a CFNM image I came across, which is a theme that has come up in my photography on occasion. It's not something I specifically look out for, but, generally, as an exhibitionist, it's a subject within my interests (as is CMNF, despite it being considered more or less "mainstream"). I've probably hit upon it in my photography more often than not by accident, owing to the fact that I enjoy creating clone shots, and exploring the dynamics of exposure in mixed groups, combined with the fact that I like to dress feminine, but have a harder time hiding my anatomy when I'm nude (not that there haven't been some misunderstandings :-x). It seems to me that CFNM is often tied to a humiliation fetish (which makes sense), but I've found that I have a hard time modeling "naked and ashamed", because I'm just too damn comfortable (and confident!) in my birthday suit. Ah well.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fetishes and Consent

This is something of an extension of my recent Bad Reality, Good Fantasy post - a bit of a rant in response to yet another example of ignorance expressed about fetishism (specifically in the context of exhibitionism) encountered online.

Fetishism does not inherently imply a violation of consent. Why do people assume this? I imagine that in the past, society has distinguished between acceptable and unacceptable sexuality based on the instinctual, heteronormative standard - man and woman in a committed relationship trying to make babies. But with the normalization of things like recreational sex and homosexual relationships, I believe that we are in the process of transforming our understanding of acceptable sexuality to a superior framework that emphasizes the importance of consent. If the participants want to do it (and know what they're getting themselves into) - fine. Doesn't matter how it looks to anyone else.

But it takes time for the culture to normalize sexual behaviors that have long been considered strange, and possibly even criminal - especially if they've traditionally been defined as mental illness (as, I remind you, homosexuality once was). I think that a lot of people are still uncomfortable with things like exhibitionism, and in order to rationalize their discomfort, they feel compelled to contextualize these behaviors as unacceptable by associating them with a violation of consent. This association is further supported by the stereotype of the public flasher, who (allegedly) delights in the reactions of disgust and horror that are elicited by his activities.

Personally, I've never encountered somebody like this in real life (as opposed to creative fiction). I believe that the majority of these fringe cases simply consist of desperate perverts with boundary issues, a lack of self-control, and/or a poor understanding of what constitutes our social norms. If exhibitionism is simply the desire to be looked at, then there is no reason to define it by the desperate acts of a small (yet visible - because the public loves a juicy story) minority. Like everything else, exhibitionism exists on a spectrum, its expressions ranging from the heinous to the benign.

Are we so limited in our imaginations, that we can't conceive of a person with the desire to be seen expressing it only in responsible outlets with consensual audiences? It's no coincidence that voyeurs and exhibitionists make great company. And both can delight in the production and consumption of pornography, which caters to the voyeur and the exhibitionist within us all. If even rape fetishists can fulfill their desires (utilizing the tools of fiction, fantasy, and roleplay) without running afoul of the law or human decency, then why can't anyone? We are not slaves to our sexual desires.

Bottom line: when somebody plays a game without asking, it's not the act of not asking that they are deriving enjoyment from. It's the game they want to play. They either just don't know how to ask, haven't been taught the importance of asking, or are afraid that the answer will be no. These are all situations we can deal with, but only if we accurately understand what it is we're actually dealing with first.