Monday, November 22, 2010

The Beautiful Beast

The beautiful beast desires a sacrificial virgin to ravish. Will you appease him? (Y/N)

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Softcore Pornography

What is softcore pornography? How does it differ from "erotica", and where do we draw the line between it and hardcore? Wikipedia defines one possible type of softcore pornography as depicting "nude and semi-nude performers engaging in casual social nudity". But this is very problematic, from a nudist standpoint. On one hand, people can interpret innocent, non-sexual nudity in a sexual light (and I wouldn't strip them of their right to that interpretation), but I think it's extremely inappropriate to define nudist images or videos as any kind of pornography!

Wikipedia also offers this definition for softcore pornography: "non-graphic representations of sexual intercourse or masturbation". Now we're in the right ballpark, since we're actually talking about sex. Here, we differentiate from eroticized nudity, and enter the realm of actual sexuality. But what constitutes a "graphic" representation of sex? Is it how much you can see? Or is it the way the action is framed? To allow full genital nudity but not erections (what is this, a nudist resort?), renders an artistic portrait of a nude man, alone, with an erection - not even touching it - hardcore pornography. That doesn't sound right to me.

Hardcore? Hardly...

Where pornography is involved, there are few answers. I bring up this question because I'm genuinely curious about how to classify some of my work. And while I'll probably end up trusting my gut and calling it like I see it, I am concerned about how certain terms are interpreted on a wider scale. I think very little of what I've shot so far could be considered hardcore (whether hardcore art or hardcore porn) - can it be hardcore if there's only one person and no penetration? - yet a pretentious artist or a prude might be offended by some of my work being classified as anything but. Though I guess my language in that last sentence reveals my own stance.

Surely there's at least a difference between softcore photography (which might indicate softcore erotica) and softcore pornography. And where does non-nude erotica fit in? If we call that some kind of softcore, then there ought to be something in between that and hardcore. Semicore?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Note on Prudism

I guess I've talked about this before, but it's a trend that keeps coming up again and again. Specifically, it's the tendency for some (thankfully not all) nudists to act as if it's their duty to police every instance of nudity that comes up - in movies, magazines, news stories, and especially publicity stunts - and to make a judgment, based on whether the nudity is pure or sexualized, whether it is a good thing or a bad thing for nudism. I find this troubling because, though there are legitimate reasons for separating sexualized instances of nudity from nudism (which is non-sexual - as you hear constantly), the way this is practiced often reinforces sex shame. Can nudism not coexist with sexualized nudity? Does all nudity have to be nudist nudity in order for it to be acceptable nudity? Or does the existence of sexualized nudity somehow stain nudism?

I don't think it does. Nudism is non-sexual nudity. The existence of nudism does not depend on the lack of sexualized nudity. I am a nudist, and I am a sensualist. I love nudist nudity. It's liberating, it's free, it represents body acceptance, it feels great, it's natural, etc. But I also love sexualized nudity. Sexualized nudity is hot, plain and simple. I won't give up one or another, and I don't believe I have to. I understand the difference between the two, and I'm not willing to make such a significant sacrifice (both types of nudity are very important to me, spiritually) for the sake of those who are too stupid (or, in their defense, merely inexperienced or uneducated) to know that difference.

And yes, there is a fuzzy area between the two edges of nudity. It's not always clear if a given instance of nudity is pure or sexualized - or rather, there are a number of cases where it could be both, and that may depend on a particular observer's reaction. I don't see this as a problem either. Why do people assume "sex" when all they're given is "sexy"? Sure, sexy is a stop on the route to sex, but the route is not the same as the destination, and very few times does one reach that destination - very few instances of "sexy" lead directly to "sex". Think about it, what percentage of the times you see an attractive person (on the street, on TV, in a magazine, wherever) lead immediately to sex? If a nudist happens to be sexy, whether in a picture or in person, why is this bad for nudism? It's not even about sex, it's about a fundamental aspect of the human experience - the sex drive, which doesn't automatically shut off when you enter nudist grounds. And yet, that's not an embrace of sex within nudism - again, sexy is not sex. It's simply saying that sexy is okay, and that the mere existence of sexualized nudity is not a bad mark on nudism, and that nudists don't have to denounce it in order to get "nudist points".

Nudism is not about sex. Nudity is not equivalent to sex. Nudity alone does not necessarily imply sex. Alright. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's go further. Nudity can sometimes (certainly not always) be sexy, and there's not a thing wrong with that. Got it?

(And I'm sorry. By continuing to argue this issue, I'm just mashing the concepts of sex and nudism further together. But I'm only trying to mend the damage that has already been done in trying to "purify" nudism of sexuality. And I don't entirely blame those responsible for this, since it, in turn, is an act of trying to mend the damage already done by society with regards to its twisted notions about sex and nudity. But the fact that sex and nudity are not equivalent is elementary. Prudists seem to be hung up on that point, reiterating it ad nauseum, blaming all of nudism's troubles on its confusion with sexuality in mainstream thought. But the problem is not that people think nudism is about sex - that is an erroneous belief that is easily corrected. The reason it remains problematic is because of our stubborn and unhealthy attitudes toward sex (where sex is involved, accusations are about as bad as convictions, thanks to our active - and naughty - and guilt-ridden - imaginations). The solution is not to wash our hands of sex, but to approach it and try to fix the problem - not by foisting it on someone else (like the perverts, for example), but by facing it head-on and refusing to propagate the dysfunction.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Heavy Equipment

Here are a couple outtakes from my latest upload on flickr. I was out enjoying the warm fall weather when I stumbled upon this piece of heavy equipment - The Beast. I knew instinctively, right then and there, I had to pose nude in front of it. I see lots of modeling shots of naked girls in front of giant mechanical behemoths - and I like the contrast of smooth skin against cold metal. Also, the clean girl/dirty machine dichotomy adds to the kinkiness of those shots. And of course, there's probably some kind of symbolism with the masculinity of giant construction equipment. Anyhow, that's what I was trying to imitate in these shots - pretty naked girl climbing on big dirty machine.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Greta's Vision For A Sexual World

I just came across a great argument - an argument I've been trying to make for a long time - about the legitimacy of sexuality and sexual concentration (as opposed to obsession or addiction), and I want all of you to read it, because it's the best thing I've read in awhile; you can take my word for it.

My Vision For A Sexual World

I found it by way of Wayne's Nude Musicians, who found it on Sex Is Not The Enemy (which is a great song by the way). The latter blog is quite a find, you should check it out. The pictures may be fun, but the quotes are where it's at. Go ahead and scroll through the pages for a bit. It's really inspiring. I promise.

P.S. Here are a few more posts from Greta Christina's Blog. All of these are highly recommended reading.

Porn, Social Criticism, and the Marginalization of Kink

Why Porn Matters

Sex Writers, Drooling Horndogs, and the Suspectability of Male Sexuality

Sex and the Off-Label Use of Our Bodies

Is All Porn the Same?

Sex -- The Great Exception


Sex, and the Difference between Jaded and Relaxed

Sexual Perspective, Or, How Can You Eat That?

Are You A Sex Addict?

True Love Waits... And The Rest Of Us Get On With Our Sex Lives

Right Wing Hypocrisy, or Why Sex Guilt Fucks Things Up For Everyone