I've heard stories about people (especially nudists) forgetting to put clothes on before answering the door. But have you ever made the absent-minded mistake of answering the door naked with a hard-on?
Okay, okay, chances are, when that happens, it's no mistake...
Greeting at the door naked is, obviously, an intriguing photo concept for me, but I realized that it would be pretty uninteresting if I didn't somehow raise the stakes and find a way to outdo my previous result (seen here). And that's how this image was born.
And now, the ensuing essay:
I've talked about this before (more than once, in fact), but I have an interesting take on exhibitionism. I'd like to believe it's not so unique, and that there are more people out there like me than the criminals and social misfits - a lot of which may not even realize the extent of their desires, or who have conformed to the stereotype in the absence of a better alternative model - but certainly my experience goes against the accepted stereotype of "the public flasher", which everyone seems to think is a sufficient representation of a person with exhibitionist impulses.
The truth is, I am very intensely turned on by the thought of being exposed - whether it's just my body, or, more specifically, engaged in sexual acts - or being so engaged in non-private places that are not usually designated for such things. (How this relates to my being a [genuine] nudist is an important but complex issue, that I have addressed elsewhere - here, and here). But here's the thing. It's almost as if people believe that if someone has a sexual desire (fetish, if you like) like this, that it's the end of the story, and he will simply get his kicks regardless of any other factors.
But isn't it true, as the BDSM community would profess, that a person with a rape fantasy, for example, is capable of withholding his urge to rape, or, probably in more cases, doesn't even have a desire to commit actual (versus fantasy) rape, because he understands all the mitigating factors that make real rape an entirely different beast from fantasy rape? There's something in there, something psychological, that makes a thing like that sexually appealing to the right person. But that's not the end of the story. We are not brainless slaves to our single-minded sexual impulses, and it does not blind us to reality and the repercussions of our actions.
In my case, there is something in the psychological concept of exposure that I find sexually appealing. I'm not interested in psychoanalyzing it just now; I'm happy simply to take advantage of it to increase the amount of pleasure in my life (without hurting anyone or breaking the law). But at the same time, I have a very strong fear of being exposed. Think about that for a second. The concept of exposure excites me, but actual exposure frightens me - because I understand the repercussions. Most people don't want to unexpectedly see that sort of thing, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude that their reaction is going to be largely negative (not to mention the legal trouble you could get into).
So I don't actually want to expose myself to people. Or at least, not anyone who isn't expecting it, and I don't imagine will enjoy it. The possibility for exposure gets me excited, but were it to actually happen (and in cases where the possibility turns to imminent threat), everything changes, and I go into defense mode. So, though I may sometimes engage in nominally risky behaviors (like in remote woods, on dark streets, in front of windows), I am not a threat to society, and certainly the very conception of my behavior does not require someone to be the unsuspecting victim - that just doesn't factor into it at all.
Still, I am an exhibitionist. I learned that when I started my journey in self-portrait photography. I had to get over my inhibitions, of course, but gradually my excitement at exposing myself to a receptive and encouraging audience overtook the stress and anxiety that was indoctrinated into me by a sex negative society. I can't understand how anyone could get off on shocking and disgusting unsuspecting strangers when they could instead get their rocks off exposing themselves to people who are enthusiastic about seeing it - except, of course, that a sex negative society has a way of turning non-conformers down dark alleys by limiting and restricting the positive outlets available for non-traditional sexual desires.
Nowadays, I derive great enjoyment from the entire process of making sexy pictures (being both the subject and the director of those pictures), and sharing them with an audience who is just as excited at getting to see my exposed body, and even engaging in sexual behaviors, as I am, being the one exposed. This is what I refer to as "consensual voyeurism/exhibitionism" (since voyeurism and exhibitionism, of the consensual variety, are really just two sides of the same coin). This delights me greatly, and I've added it to my sexual repertoire, which includes masturbating to pornography, and engaging in socio-sexual contacts (i.e., actually having sex with another person) - not all of which always require orgasm, or sometimes even physical arousal, to effect a satisfactory measure of enjoyment.
And of these outlets, the exhibitionism that inspires my photography is probably the most productive, because, the way I approach it, I get to make (hopefully) lasting and worthwhile art in the process of getting my jollies. That's why I like erotic art better than both non-erotic art and non-artistic porn. It's sexy, and it's beautiful. And I don't understand these sexual conformists who believe that you should only engage in specific sexual behaviors, or that you should only have one particular kind of sexual outlet - people who believe that masturbation has no place within a marriage, or that somehow exposing yourself to (willing) strangers demeans or belittles the partners you have sexual arrangements with, despite the fact that looking is worlds away from touching! I'll let absolutely anyone look at my naked body, or even watch me having sex, if that's something they want to do (and it doesn't get me in trouble) - anyone! But I let very few people touch me. And that's just the way I like it.