Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Xmas Blues Tradition

I have these blue xmas lights in my old bedroom, that I probably put up back when I was in high school. I only plug them in one day a year - on Christmas. I'm not sure what exactly motivated me, but in 2009 (the year following my daily nude project, and my first year with a dSLR), I got up early on Christmas morning (I've always had trouble sleeping the night before Christmas), and I took a nude self-portrait (seen above) under those lights. Apart from the moody lighting, it wasn't a spectacular picture. But two years later, I took a similar picture (seen below), again on Christmas morning (it must have been a little bit later, judging from the morning light coming into the room). It wasn't nude - I took one picture in my pajamas, and another stripping them halfway off, but it had the same spirit to it - me in my bedroom, in the antsy hours before the holiday festivities begin.

The following year (2012), I had moved out of state, so the picture (taken with my new cell phone camera) served as a naughty greeting to my living partner back home. I posed nude and hard, wearing nothing but a Santa hat, with alternatives of me in my panties, and in my robe. From there it became an annual tradition. The next year's picture was a pretty straightforward nude selfie, and the year after that featured a near duplicate, albeit with an additional naughtier alternative. 2015 was the year that I began to get creative. I brought back the Santa hat that I had used in 2012's picture, posing with it front, back, and hard; then I posed for a couple pictures (front and back) in my new, sexy Santa outfit. Which brings us to 2016. I brought along my fancy camera this year, in anticipation of taking some decent quality photos for a change. Here they are:

Just out of bed on Christmas morning.

Sexy Santa in his festive red underwear.

Mrs. Clause - who is all hair and legs.

Time to open presents! Are you excited?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Home For The Holidays

(A nudist holiday album)

"There's no place like home for the holidays."

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Happy Holidays

Since I didn't do xmas cards this year, here's a festive scene from Christmas morning. Hope your holidays are more fun than they are stressful!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Idle Hands

"Idle hands are the devil's plaything."

Sometimes when I'm bored, I like to make pornographic pictures. And why not? The devil gets a bad rap. After all, he's a humanist. Maybe the last humanist.

If Tantalus' punishment in Hell was to have satisfaction ever just out of reach, then what kind of God is it that would put such a fun toy at our very fingertips, and then expect us not to play with it? Huh? Think about it. Because I've known some sadists like that...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cell Phone Porn

No thinking for today. Just some porn. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Public Nudity, Civil Liberty, and Community Standards

Expanding on an issue I addressed last March, I believe that in a nation that values individual liberty, the right to appear nude in public should be a guaranteed freedom.

Before you construct your arguments against me, let me make a few points clear. I have no issue with business establishments and private citizens designating dress code rules on their own property - punishable by refusal of service or ejection from the premises. Nor do I have an issue with safety or health code regulations requiring minimum standards of dress under certain circumstances, such as food preparation/handling and construction. A right to public nudity does not, necessarily, mean that you can get naked anywhere you want without repercussion. It only means that, within reasonable expectations, a citizen should have the freedom to dress him/herself - including the freedom to not dress him/herself - as s/he sees fit. Mainly, this would apply to publicly-shared outdoor locations like streets and parks, as well as indoor pools (provided the owners are okay with it), and private yards (regardless of who can see them from the street) - basically, places where, in a less neurotic society, nudity would make sense.

I still think there could be rules in place restricting so-called "lewd" (i.e., sexually suggestive or explicit) behavior, with penalties (fines, perhaps) for anyone violating basic sanitary measures (such as sitting on a park bench without putting a towel down first). Maybe these would be hard rules to enforce, but I don't believe the solution is to take away a citizen's freedom to be bare. Although, frankly, in our modern society, I think these things would pretty much police themselves - as anyone's misbehavior could easily be recorded on somebody's mobile phone, to be used as evidence. And, gradually, the public would learn how to behave properly (and how not to behave) while nude in public.

Regarding privacy concerns, as is already the case, people in public would have no expectation of privacy in terms of any restrictions on the possibility of having their picture taken by strangers. I imagine that taking such pictures without asking first would continue to be considered impolite, but I do not believe it should be raised to the level of a crime. If you're going to go nude in public, you have to expect the possibility that you will be seen. If you don't want someone snapping a photo of you in your altogether, then don't go out in public undressed - it's that simple. In time, I think that society will get more or less used to the sight of naked bodies, and sharing pictures of them (to the extent that this practice will never go away completely, as any voyeuristic street photographer knows) will come to be recognized as the mostly innocuous activity it is (barring the levels of harassment the paparazzi employ), once the stigma is removed - which will be a direct consequence of codifying the right to bare one's body in sight of God and man into law.

Ultimately, I believe this will be a positive evolution for society, as it will reduce the taboo on nudity, and improve people's relationships with their bodies, as a counter to the unrealistic (literally, insofar as Photoshop is a contributing factor) images of perfection we are bombarded with in the media. Practically speaking, while it may be the case in our current society that a minority of people have any interest in going nude in public (and many of them may have questionable motives - a factor that I think the normalization of this behavior would go a long way in mitigating, coupled with the self-policing I described above), this is not a justification for the restriction of what should be a citizen's inalienable right to walk the streets unashamed of the way God made him (or nature, if you're not religious), rather than feeding the neurosis of a population afraid of its own bodies. If you're among the majority, and don't relish the possibility of encountering nude people in public, you should be able to rest assured in the fact that if it were allowed, very few people would actually do it (at least at first), and it would be at most a minor inconvenience to you. Is eliminating this minor inconvenience, then, worth the cost of restricting people's (all people's, including yours) basic freedoms?

Perhaps it's apparent that I am very confident in my point of view here, but I don't actually enjoy being in the minority on something that I feel so strongly about. I'm genuinely interested in what counterarguments people have to make, in the possibility that I could be convinced that I'm wrong - seeing as the alternative is to believe that most of the world is wrong. And that's something that a person should feel strongly justified in believing, at the risk of otherwise stroking one's own ego. I'd be happy to discuss the practical implications of legalizing/decriminalizing public nudity that might lead to the conclusion that it would be a bad idea - because I think those issues are valid and important to discuss. But, as an idealist, the core of my belief is that there is no argument that could undermine the theory that the right to opt out of covering one's self with clothing while in "the public square" (i.e., non-specialized publicly-owned spaces shared by equal people of diverse beliefs and opinions which may clash) is a critical component of civil liberty.

To summarize: in my view, in a free country, I should be permitted to - as an example - walk my dog (which we have no problem allowing to be nude) in a public, outdoor park while nude, regardless of other citizens' personal opinions on my nudity, provided I am not engaging in lewd or harassing behavior, nor posing an unreasonable sanitary risk to others. Am I wrong? And if so, why?

*Postscript: After finishing this write-up, I came to an illuminating realization about a difference of opinion I have (with respect to the majority) on an underlying principle fundamental to people's conclusions as to what should and should not be considered "appropriate" in public spaces. Namely, it's the concept of "community standards" - which, frankly, I find outdated in today's global culture. I have, in the past, boiled my approach down to a pithy statement that I am rather fond of - "in a free society, you will be challenged, not comforted, by what you encounter in the public square" - but perhaps it deserves closer inspection, now that I've hit on the motivation behind people's adoption of an opposing stance (compared to mine) on what the purpose of "the public square" really is.

In short, the freedom to assemble dictates that citizens should be allowed to form communities of like-minded people - as in study groups or clubs or what have you - but, in my opinion, those public spaces that are open for all to use should not be "safe spaces" where everybody gets along, but rather a stimulating forum for at-times challenging (yet hopefully civil) interaction between diverse populations. This is not the world we currently live in, exactly - although in the case of protests and such, it sometimes approaches it. But it's the one I want to be a citizen of, as opposed to the world we do live in, where you can only truly be yourself behind walls and closed doors, because people prefer to close their eyes and their minds to alternative possibilities, and revel instead in the relative safety and comfort of familiarity and tradition. I guess we're just two kinds of people. The question is, how do we coexist? Do you have to live by my rules, or do I have to live by yours?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Free Society

If you believe, for example, that fornication is a sin, that the human body is indecent, that boys should be boys and girls should be girls, that men should only mate with women and vice versa, that modern medicine interferes with God's plan - I salute you, because we live in a free society. But if you want the law to assist you in forcing other people to live by these beliefs, or to pay lip service to them so you don't have to be exposed to anything that might offend your sensibilities, or to reduce your child's options, and limit their ability to consider beliefs and lifestyles alternative to the ones you've raised them with - because your own aren't strong enough to withstand scrutiny - then you are a threat to the principles of liberty and equality that democracy is founded upon.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Selling Nudist Fantasy vs. Reality

The issue: should nudism be presented to the world as a sunshiny utopia filled with beautiful people, or a casual getaway for more normal types? Is there room and utility for both?

(I considered titling this discussion "Nudist Poster Children", but it occurred to me that that could be construed as a lead-in to a discussion of whether it is appropriate to feature children in nudist promotional materials - a heated topic I'm not sure the community has the maturity to address in this country).

In days gone by, nudism (or naturism) was associated with "health & efficiency" - a generalized philosophy incorporating fitness and taking good care of one's body. So it's not surprising to find relatively fit and attractive people in vintage depictions of the nudist lifestyle - lots of young people playing sports out in the sun. Somewhere along the way, however, nudism (along with the rest of our society) adopted a more politically correct approach, and became a "safe space" for people with body image issues. This isn't a bad thing, of course - in and of itself. But I've talked before about my mixed feelings on the move away from a "body-healthy" to a more "body-positive" image of nudism. (Hell, even the allegedly "sex-positive" community insists on being critical of human sexuality; so why can't a person include a critical appraisal of one's physical state under the practice of "body acceptance"? If we can't uncritically accept all sexual encounters as unproblematic (as they are not), then why do we have to pretend that every body is perfect just the way it is? I know this isn't an easy concept, but accepting your body means accepting its flaws and limitations - not ignoring them).

The lingering question that rests on my mind is this: should the nudist lifestyle be depicted (e.g., in promotional materials like websites and magazines) using "models" (i.e., persons of exceptional beauty) or "real people" (i.e., persons of average appearance)? From an advertising perspective, the classical approach would be to use the most attractive models you could find, so as to make the lifestyle look appealing. Lately, though, public opinion has been shifting, and it seems that a segment of the population believes that these images of "perfection" we are inundated with in the media are doing more harm than good to our psychological wellbeing. It's not entirely unlikely that a so-called "normal" person of average appearance (let alone the beautifically-challenged) might be discouraged from trying nudism if they were led to believe that it would involve getting naked amidst a crowd of beautiful people conscious of the way they look - as opposed to a welcoming and uncritical environment that is very accepting of diverse body types. After all, the end goal of nudism - which is to relax and have fun, free from the societal taboo on nudity - doesn't depend at all on what the participants look like.

That's the reality. So tell me, is it wrong if I have a fantasy of nudism - not public sex orgies, but nudism - wherein the participants are in consistently excellent shape and are exceptionally attractive? And would it be wrong, as an artist, to want to create images of this fantasy to share with others? To what extent would that be undermining the goal of the nudist "movement", in trying to demonstrate to the world that it is not vain, and is, rather, accepting of all body types? To what extent would I have to explicitly distance my fantasy representation of "nudism" from the reality of nudism, to avoid courting confusion? I don't want to hurt nudism. I support nudism. Wholeheartedly. But I also enjoy creating photographic fantasies that reflect (and, yes, exaggerate the prevalence of) the upper echelons of beauty that exist in this world. And I want to do so through (at least superficially) nudist environments. It's one thing to shoot a beautiful model in a studio setting. But the fantasy I'm interested in is the idea that you could (hypothetically) find these beautiful people in normal, everyday situations. And the fact that they're nude makes those situations quite similar to nudist ones.

So, I reiterate the question: should nudism be presented to the world as a sunshiny utopia filled with beautiful people, or a casual getaway for more normal types? And is there room and utility for both in this world?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The "Gift" of Nudity

You can't tell me you've never looked at someone and thought to yourself, "I wonder what s/he looks like naked." I don't think there'd be anything else in this world that would delight me quite so much as a supernatural ability to look at someone and have them appear to me to be naked. Obviously, the majority of the population would not appeal to me, and I might just learn to my chagrin that that beauty I thought looked incredible has something else going on entirely under her clothes (because some people look better naked, and others look better dressed). I don't actually want to violate anybody's sense of privacy, if they have a reason to cover themselves up, but there are some people in this world that are just a delight to behold in their altogether; and all too frequently, I fear, they are not the ones you get the pleasure of viewing that way. Inevitably, the pretty ones will be subjected to an inordinate amount of attention, and are likely to clam up as a defense mechanism - sadly.

And then you have the religious conservatives with their doctrine of shame and sin, and the average layperson who hypocritically (and self-destructively) degrades and insults the very women he appreciates seeing in porn, because...Madonna-whore complex or some bullshit like that. And that's not to address all the slut-shaming that goes on between women themselves, as well as the fashion industry's agenda to make women feel dissatisfied with their appearance - no matter how beautiful they are - so they'll shell out money on this season's hottest trends; and feminists' insistence that when men compliment your sex appeal, they are reducing you to an unthinking, unfeeling object with only two purposes: to be a sandwich-maker, and cum-receptacle. Tell me we don't have issues...

While I believe that making nudity a strict taboo is downright unhealthy, allow me to humor for a moment one of the explanations people give for keeping the human body under wraps. From a certain perspective, you could consider nudity a gift. Clothes are the wrapping, and what's inside is something you want to save for a special someone - a reward for making a deep social connection with somebody. But the trouble with this view is that it's overly idealistic. Not everyone gets an opportunity to open this gift, despite it being one of the most desirable gifts in human nature. Some people only ever get one gift, feeling that that's not enough. What's more, if you keep the gift under wraps until you take it home, you might not like what's inside. That's like shopping for toys sealed up in unlabeled boxes. By the time you get home and open it up, you might find that it's not the sort of toy you like to play with. And by then, it's too late, because it's immoral to dump one toy for another.

Now, if this analogy makes you feel uncomfortable because it sounds like I'm "objectifying" the human body, that's good. Because that's exactly what's going on in this view. Can nudity be an exciting reward? Absolutely! Does that mean we should restrict people's individual liberties and construct an artificial and massively unhealthy taboo (that everyone must follow, whether they agree with it or not) that leads to neurotic sexual attitudes and body image disorders? Just because some special snowflakes want to go their whole lives without ever seeing more than one or two naked bodies? Uh, I don't think so. And should we punish people who don't have the requisite social skills (or other requirements for scoring a mate) by not letting them indulge in the nudity of consenting strangers, and stigmatize people for an arbitrarily "excessive" interest in and admiration for this gift, and those unfortunates who happen to find that the body(/ies) they desire are not those occupied by the person(/s) they meet in their lives with whom they are compatible and decide to build a life together?

God, people can be so uptight. The day we adopted freedom as a guiding principle for society is the day we sacrificed our expectation for other people to humor our personal delusions. You do not have the "freedom" to engage in a lifestyle that requires non-consenting others to behave in a particular way. Freedom means you can live your life the way you want to, but the limitation on your freedom is the restriction of anyone else's freedom. That's where equality comes into play - nobody is "more free" than anybody else. Yet it is human nature to try to expand one's own freedom at the expense of others. At the risk of getting political, this is why in a democracy you will inevitably have a tyranny of the majority - because in a system of majority rule, the largest group of like minds has the power to oppress anyone in the minority on any given issue. Unless we cling to the value of freedom, above and beyond the idea that the largest group of people should be allowed to bully the rest of the population, that freedom will be lost. Freedom is not comfortable; it is challenging. But it's worth it. I just wish it were easier to get that point across.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Moral Crusaders

Q: Are you concerned about the possibility of people (either people you know, or anonymous strangers) looking at pictures of you online and thinking "naughty" thoughts?

A: Why should I be concerned? Is this supposed to be keeping me up at night? By and large, internet voyeurs are completely harmless. And even if I found some moral flaw in this behavior (not saying I do), it's the pervert's responsibility not to succumb to it, not my responsibility not to tempt him.

This is what I hate about imperialistic religions like Christianity. They can't leave well enough alone. It's not enough that they've chosen to follow a path of "righteousness", but they're invested in saving other people's souls as well - which is really just a clever recruitment strategy. Allowing you to wallow in your own moral destitution is out of the question, because they're kind and loving Christians (read: busybodies), who value charity and good will (read: proselytizing). So instead of just accepting that other people have different perspectives on life, and letting them make their own decisions, they're going to do everything in their power to force other people to live "wholesomely" (which they perceive as saving you from the eternal fires of Hell), and take away anything that might "tempt" someone (least of all themselves - ever notice how the most critical are always the ones with the most skeletons in their closet?) to the dark side. All I want to say is, God damn. Can't you just leave us alone?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Anti-Trenchcoat

It shows off the goods even when closed!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Toweling Around

It seems to have been the theme of this past weekend, in spite of the subfreezing temperatures.

I never do miss an opportunity to wear as little as possible. -_^

Friday, December 2, 2016

The One Finger Challenge

Saw this on reddit and thought it looked like a lot of fun. It's a variant on your classic naked bathroom selfie, but the idea is to cover up your "naughty bits" using only one finger, taking advantage of the mirror image to cover both top and bottom (the logistics are a bit trickier for men, so I had to get creative). The fact that you're only using a finger places it in the realm of "non-nude, but pretty damn close" - which is what makes it so exciting. Go ahead - give it a try! (And remember my tips for better bathroom selfies -_^).