Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fig Leaves

So I went tromping through the woods, on the lookout for the perfect leaf to use in a "fig leaf"-type Garden of Eden shot, for the latest image in my Why Nudism? series. I wanted the biggest leaf I could find (not because my ego is inflated, but because it makes for a more striking visual element), but it was very hard to find ones with good coloration (not mottled with brown spots or overly decayed), an appealing shape, and that weren't eaten through by worms or insects or whatever. But I found a few potential candidates (the best of which you can see in the images below), and brought them home.

The irony, however, is that while I was shooting, I found a nice spot by the corner of the fence, partially obscured on one side by a bush in the foreground. And from a particular angle, I discovered, the bush did all the work in covering me up, rendering the fig leaf unnecessary! And I actually liked the way the foreground branch obscured the view of my genitals better than awkwardly holding the leaf up against my body. It's a bit more suggestive, as it doesn't completely cover me, the way the leaf does, but it also solves my dilemma of the contradiction inherent in shooting a figure modestly covered to demonstrate a lack of shame. The branch covers me from view, to evoke the symbolism of the fig leaf, but it's merely a coincidence of perspective - the figure itself is still completely, unabashedly naked. I think it worked out perfectly - even better than I could have hoped (despite making my work searching for that leaf unnecessary), although I think the other pictures I took with the leaf are still interesting to look at. See for yourself:


There's something strangely compelling about behind-the-scenes set up shots. Here, I was still just testing lighting, framing, and composition, before committing to taking my shoes off, removing my glasses (and putting in contacts, so I could still see), and brushing my hair out (which was still slightly damp - I had just washed it because I wanted it to be in prime condition for the shoot). Being in the shade also gives it a bit of a different look.


What do you think? Leaf, or branch?


This is an alternate version of the final image, with a little more symbolism tying it to "the Fall of Man". I think it's a great image on its own, but I decided against it because it contradicts the central theme of being unashamed.


This last one's just for fun. :-p

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reflection on Modeling and Body Acceptance

Preface: I was rereading the description to the latest image in my Why Nudism? series - particularly the part about nudism being a cure for society's tendency to bombard us with unrealistic images of bodily perfection - and it occurred to me that, through my work as an aesthetic artist, I could be considered to be contributing to that problem. So I figured it deserved a little explanation. Granted, this is something I've been struggling with since March (and earlier), but in lieu of a solution, I've decided not to let it stunt my creative drive. (tl;dr - body acceptance includes beautiful bodies, too; celebrating beauty doesn't make it an imperative for happiness; and if the illusion of perfection makes some feel inadequate, I'm not going to let that stop me from honoring it in my art).

As a model, my body may not represent the average (I talk about this more here), but I don't like to participate in making anyone feel inadequate, and the only product I'm hawking is a fitness-oriented, health-conscious lifestyle. There are no magic pills that will make you look like somebody else - only a commitment to exercise and watching your diet (and there's no one strategy that will work for everyone) to make you the best version of yourself. Plus, though I don't personally modify the shape of my body in Photoshop, I make no bones about the fact that photography is often a deliberate process designed to present the subject in the most flattering manner possible. You're only capturing a single instant in time, and not seeing all the "less photogenic" moments in between.

I acknowledge that this is not the best way to advertise nudism's commitment to body acceptance (again, I've brought this up once before), but this is only one aspect of a wider series, the purpose of which is to use my experience as a model and photographer to illustrate the many reasons that someone (myself included) might choose to practice nudism. And, contrary to the common textile lament that "it's always the people you don't want to see naked", the fact that nudism features bodies of all shapes and sizes means that there will occasionally be those that are so-called "model beautiful". One of the things I personally like about nudism is that nudity can be beautiful. It doesn't have to be, but it can be, and when it is, it's sublime. It's one of the many things that keeps me coming back to the lifestyle, and it's what I want to capture in my art.

I wouldn't object to doing a companion series using average people with normal bodies, for a more realistic (rather than idealistic) take on nudism, but the truth is, I don't have people like that to work with (and people like that are typically less enthusiastic about being models), and it's not really the kind of photography I do. I'm an aesthetic artist much more than a documentarian. I don't know that I have the skill to depict something compelling - like a subject's humanity - without making it look superficially appealing. I'd certainly be willing to try, if the opportunity presented itself, and I'd welcome anyone else's attempt to take my idea and do it their own way, for better or worse. In the meantime, this is what I do best, and I like doing it, so I'm not going to worry too much - I'm just going to get on with it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 9)

Not to get all religious (rest assured, nudism includes members of diverse religious faiths and doctrines - there are even Christian nudist groups), but according to the Bible, Adam and Eve perused the Garden of Eden naked - the way God made them ("and they were both naked...and were not ashamed" Genesis 2:25). It was only later, after stealing the forbidden fruit, that they became ashamed, and began the unfortunate practice of covering their nakedness (though not by God's edict). Previously, they had been blissfully unaware that their bodies were anything to be ashamed of ("'who told you that you were naked?' God asked" Genesis 3:11). Nudism is simply a call to return to that state of innocence, where a naked body is seen as natural and unthreatening, and not a symptom of a sexually-obsessed culture.


Moreover, in this day and age, the media bombards us with messages that are designed to make us draw comparisons to unrealistic models of perfection, and become unsatisfied with the way we look (so that we'll fork over our hard-earned money to buy products that claim to make us look and feel better)*. Even aside from the issue of nakedness, we are taught to feel ashamed of our bodies, and criticized as being prideful, even narcissistic, if we don't. To a significant extent, nudism positions itself as a cure to this social malaise - by exposing people to real bodies, in all their vast diversity, in the hope that people will adopt more realistic expectations, and learn to love their body just the way it is. I practice nudism because I do not feel ashamed of my body, and I do not care who sees me naked.

*More on this here.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Horror Princess



Taking in a costume contest at the mall, in my Carrie cosplay. It was just for kids, so I couldn't enter, but I was there for moral support - dressing up around Halloween is a blast! And here's proof that we really are all naked underneath our clothes:


Friday, October 13, 2017

Dark Ritual

It's always fun when there's a Friday the 13th in October. I even pulled out my pagan priest collar (a.k.a. druid's cloak). It was a perfectly mild Autumn night to perform dark rituals by firelight - skyclad or bust!


As I sacrificed a Holy Bible to the infernal flame, I was thinking about what a huge lie Satanism is. Not Satanists - they're great - but the original concept of Satanism. As imaginative as the idea of a dark, fallen God lurking in the shadows and preying on mankind's weaker natures is (I love horror, so I get the appeal), it's a complete fiction. From a historical perspective, horned gods, rituals by firelight, even blood sacrifice - these are all attributes of old, animistic, tribal religions. These people that existed before Christ didn't worship the devil. But then Christ's followers swooped in, and they couldn't abide any gods beside their own. So they literally demonized other people's beliefs, labeling them as pagans, heathens, and devil-worshipers.

I'm not saying the old ways were perfect (yeah, I'm not too keen on the whole blood sacrifice thing), but the new ways aren't without flaw, either. And given how the Christian establishment has co-opted so many pagan holidays (because it's easier to re-brand a holiday than make entire cultures celebrate new ones) - the birth of the sun (not son) on the winter solstice, symbols of fertility (rabbits and eggs) accompanying the resurrection in the spring, and evil spirits roaming the land in the fall - you'd think they'd be a little more grateful. I declare, Christianity's treatment of paganism is no less appalling than the treatment of Native Americans at the hands of the forebears of the United States.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dress Hunting



When it comes to shopping for pretty dresses, there are two peak seasons. In the spring you have Prom, but in the fall there's Homecoming! I may have gotten a little carried away, loading up both my arms with colorful dresses at the consignment shop. What's worse, it was getting close to closing time, so I was a bit rushed. That's why I didn't get more pictures (or good ones, at any rate). Most of them didn't really fit anyway, or suit my body that well. But I did end up with four (two pink, including the one in the picture, and two in different shades of green), each under $15, which is pretty good. Maybe if I collect enough dresses, I can get rid of everything else in my wardrobe and just wear them as everyday clothes! lol

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Last Day of Summer?



I could be wrong - I thought summer was over when we had that cold snap at the beginning of September, but then the weather bounced back and we had ninety degree temperatures for a week straight. But now the weather's cooled back down, and the occasional sunny, eighty degree day seems more like the exception rather than the rule. Of course, weather patterns have been very unpredictable of late, so who knows (and I should probably just shut up about the weather already - it keeps changing on me). I do enjoy warm autumn days. But, in spite of the leaves changing color and beginning to blanket the forest floor (so beautiful!), it still felt more like summer when I decided to go out for a hike the other day with a couple of friends, wearing my new bikini. It was fun! We climbed rocks, and dipped our toes in the river. My only regret is that we couldn't go for a proper swim (the parks board doesn't allow it).


Monday, October 9, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 8)



Nudists have a saying (usually attributed to Oscar Wilde): "if man were meant to be nude, he would have been born that way." And, of course, we were. Even textiles acknowledge this fact, evident in the phrase "naked as the day you were born", as well as the euphemistic term "birthday suit". As a justification for nudism, this doesn't quite pass logical muster (one must be wary of the naturalistic fallacy), but it does possess a certain poetry. After all, every single member of the human population - without exception - is naked underneath their clothes. It's a fundamental part of our humanity. And man is the only animal on this planet that covers its nakedness for reasons other than pragmatism. I mean, yeah, there are practical reasons to wear clothes - be it comfort, safety, or hygiene. But we don't wear them in a goal-oriented fashion, the way we put on rain boots to keep our feet dry, gloves to prevent blisters, or helmets to protect ourselves from head injuries. We wear them as a matter of course. And we're so dedicated to hiding the bodies we inhabit from birth, that a minor slip - e.g., walking from the shower to the bedroom not wrapped in a towel - is treated like a serious crime against common decency. Why? Is it because naked bodies remind us of sex? If that's the case, then more exposure to nudism is the solution.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunning



When it's twenty degrees warmer outside in the sunshine than it is indoors, I have to go out and bake in the sun (just for a little bit) to warm up my core temperature. It feels great! (I love the heat). Especially now that temperatures are growing cooler, and I've pulled the long pants and hoodies out of my closet. Farewell, summer. Greetings, autumn.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Four Phases

Conception (an idea is born)

As artist and creator, I can divide the life of my images into four distinct phases. The first phase is conception. This is when the very idea of the image is conceived in my mind. I imagine it in my head, think about what I want it to look like, what meaning I want it to convey, and what I will need to provide (costumes, locations, opportunities) in order to bring it to life. This is the planning stage.

In some cases, the conception phase is very short - when I'm feeling inspired, or spontaneous; when a picture opportunity presents itself to me and I rush to grab my camera so that I may capture it; or when I already have my camera out and begin brainstorming for ideas on the spot. Other times, an image is planned out in detail far in advance - weeks, months, sometimes even years if it requires a rare opportunity, or if its priority level isn't very high - and I spend much time thinking about it before I have a chance to bring it to life.

Great images can be produced by either approach, as can bad ones. There is a greater sense of accomplishment when a well-planned photo turns out well (and a corresponding level of disappointment when it doesn't work out), but some of the best photos are born of pure serendipity. An artist must have good instincts in either case.

Construction (a photo is created)

Once plans are made, and the proper time has come, the image enters its second phase: construction. This is when the photograph is actually produced within the camera. It transforms from a hypothetical concept in my head to an actual, viewable, shareable image. This is also when the majority of the physical work involved in a photoshoot occurs.

More often than not, a single idea will produce multiple variations - with subtle or major differences in lighting, posing, framing, and composition. The amount of wiggle room available may depend on the strictness of the concept, or the degree to which I've mapped it out in my head, as well as the creativity of my imagination, and the ingenuity of my technical experience, all in the moment that I am shooting the concept.

Moreover, as a self-portrait photographer - as I have explained in the past - there is a lot of trial-and-error involved, since you cannot be operating the camera and posing for the image simultaneously (in most cases). I tend to err on the side of taking too many images (for better or worse), in order to improve my chances of getting one or more that not only cover all the basic requirements - e.g., the image is in focus, I'm standing in the right position, my pose looks good, the sun is shining - but also stands out to my eye as an exceptional work of art.

Culmination (the photo is polished)

Once the shoot is done - after I have exhausted myself; taken enough time or shot enough images; after the necessary conditions (such as natural light) have expired; or, in the best case, if I'm satisfied that I've gotten the image(s) I want - and I've packed up my stuff and gone home (if I'm not already there), the image enters the third phase: culmination.

This is the stage where I can see my concept bearing fruit. It occurs mostly while I'm sitting in front of a computer screen, and (in most cases) before anyone else has seen the image. If I've done my job well, after culling and post-processing, I will end up with at least one image that I think looks really good, and communicates my message clearly (if there is one intended). I will generally get very excited about it (as you should with any good piece of art), and periodically pull it up to look at it again and again while it's still fresh to my eyes.

Sooner or later - and this may not always happen right away - I will publish that image in some form (even if it's just posting it to my blog), releasing it to the world for it to be judged and (hopefully) admired. Photo sharing sites are better for community feedback in my experience, although blogging gives me more control (and less restrictions). At this point, I will ideally begin to get a sense of how other people feel about the image, whether they think it's as good as I think it is, and whether it gets across my message as well as I think it does. This is where you learn what works and what doesn't work when it comes to using art to communicate with the world, and where you discover what it takes to satisfy an audience (if that's something you're concerned with).

Competition (the photo is evaluated)

This is the beginning of the competition phase - where an image joins my greater body of work, and proves its mettle against every other image I've ever taken. Sometimes photos that I really loved when I took them lose their luster, and become less enthralling, or are surpassed by similar images I'd taken previously, or end up taking later. Other times, images I had more or less glossed over at the time begin to stand out because they possess a certain compelling quality that is nevertheless hard-to-gauge. Or, my opinion of an image might change as my own tastes grow and evolve, or as my perspective on its meaning changes, or if it represents a particular moment in my life, the significance of which grows in importance as time marches on.

Inevitably, the images I like and the images my audience likes will not always be the same. But I do value the opinions of others, as a successful artist must learn to juggle his personal tastes with what the public likes, so that does have some effect on what I consider my greatest works to be. Although transient, there is undeniable value in the images I like just after I take them, regardless of how they measure up in the long run. That's part of the fun of being an artist, and trying to create something of value to communicate your feelings and experience to the world. There is also some excitement in the risk - putting your talents on the line to see whether or not your skills are up to the task of realizing your creative ambitions. If at any point you fail, there is always room to learn and improve, and try again some other time.

In the long run, however, it can be said that the only thing of real, lasting importance, is the impression a photo makes over time. Both to me personally, and to the world at large. And as my body of work continues to grow - and with my own growth as a photographer, I am adding what I like to believe are generally better and better photos each year - this is constantly changing. But as it does, I become an ever more competent photographer, with an increasingly impressive portfolio to show off to others.

I've been doing this photography thing seriously (meaning beyond just dabbling) for about ten years now, and I feel like I'm gaining the confidence that ought to come with that. There are flashes of brilliance going back to my original daily nudes project in 2008 - hints of my creative talent shining through even my lack of experience. But I have improved enormously since then, both in my ability to take better pictures (through sheer force of experience, having taken so many in the last ten years, by developing an instinct for what works and what doesn't), and my own personal standards, as I desire to show myself in the best light.

Where do we go from here? Perhaps all the things I'd dreamed of, that I hadn't realized I wasn't ready for back then, will happen now. Or perhaps I'm still not ready, in which case I'll just keep working at it and keep getting better, until I'm good enough that somebody notices. Or I'll eventually die in obscurity, unappreciated by the broader public. Whatever happens, I'll keep doing what I enjoy, and getting better at it, because it makes me happy, and gives me a sense of purpose in life.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Coral Sheets

Here are some outtakes from the photoshoot that produced the latest image in my Why Nudism? series. I had a bit of a unique challenge with this concept, in that I needed to simultaneously demonstrate that the figure in bed was nude, while also emphasizing the contact between the figure's skin and the bed sheets. And most people don't sleep on top of their sheets. So I had to play around with how much coverage there was. There had to be enough exposure to suggest full-on nakedness (and not just, say, being topless, or wearing shorts), but I wanted it to look at least moderately natural, and not too carefully posed. So I ultimately opted for a "tousled" sort of look, although wrangling the bed sheets - to get a good pattern of coverage, that looked aesthetic - was a nightmare. I think the results were pretty appealing in the end, though!







As much as I love full exposure in my photography (as you must by now have noticed :-p), there are times when a hint of coy suggestion can be very effective. I considered early on whether to avoid full  nudity during my Why Nudism? series - because all along, I've had the idea that I could share it with a broader audience - but, in addition to the fact that doing a series on nudism without nudity would be a little hypocritical, I figured out quickly that there would be some shots the effectiveness of which would be severely hampered by going out of my way to avoid full exposure.

So I decided to take a "come what may" approach - which is appropriate to the nudist outlook - and I like that I'm coming up with a nice mixture of shots so far: some with full, unabashed frontal nudity, others with coy views from the back, and some, like my latest one, that maintain the suggestion and illusion of nudity, without being too in your face about it. Perhaps that will allow me to produce a specially-culled preview of images from the full series for audiences that are not completely opposed to the concept, but perhaps still a little bit squeamish about the nudity (e.g., promotional contexts in which you'll be exposed to a wide range of audiences, some of which may not be interested in looking any further).

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 7)



I think that most people probably do not sleep naked - except for those times when a lovemaking session turns into a sleepover. I'd bet, though, that most people do typically "dress down" for bed, either wearing comfortable pajamas, or their underwear. But there seems to be a barrier to going nude, in the textile world, that doesn't exist when it comes to bathing. Some people may be concerned with sharing a bed (with someone other than an intimate partner), or the possibility of being interrupted (e.g., by kids or a roommate), or not wanting to waste time finding clothes if there is an emergency. Your first impulse upon climbing out of bed in the morning may not be to put your pants on, so sleeping naked does tend to dovetail well with roaming the house naked, which isn't something that I imagine most textiles do with any regularity. Still, I'd bet that some people who do not consider themselves nudists do sleep naked - if you google "sleep naked", you get a whole host of articles on the many health benefits of sleeping naked, and I'd be surprised if they were all written by nudists. Plus, popular mattress brand Tempur-Pedic's logo not-so-subtly depicts a nude woman sleeping on her side (in the rare case that a nudist-friendly corporate logo has not succumbed to modern hysteria, like Coppertone has), even if just for the luxury and sensation of it. But hey, that's not a bad reason!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Shopping

At this time of year, I should be shopping for jackets because the weather's turning cooler, but apart from that cold snap we had in the wake of those hurricanes at the beginning of September, the temperature's been pleasantly hot of late. Ironically, it was walking into the store, kept at a cool 60 degrees, while dressed for 90 degree temperatures, that had me reaching for a jacket or robe of some sort to put on while I browsed the racks, just to keep my teeth from chattering.


This jacket looked cute on me. It was too small, though.


A nice, fuzzy robe - very warm. And if I tuck the edges of my dress up under it, it looks like I've got nothing else on!


This robe was very pretty. Definitely had a "kimono" look going on. And my thick, heeled flip flops turned out to be a perfect match for it! I had fun walking around in it for a bit, until I realized it was 100% polyester and it started building up mad static (what with my hair rubbing against it). Oh well.


These shoes were cute. I'm looking for a replacement for a similar pair I own - they're one of my favorite pairs of heels for when I want to dress up a bit. But I've worn them so much they're falling apart. These ones were just slightly too small for me (perhaps you can see my big toe hanging off the edge). Besides, the ankle strap on the other one was busted anyway...


This pink romper was adorable. I have to say I like the idea of the romper. I want one, but I've yet to find one that will work for my special requirements. Denim shorts are one thing, but lighter materials are far less forgiving of my bulge (especially when the entire garment is being pulled up at the crotch). And as for the top, I have a hard time imagining how even a properly-busted girl would be able to keep it from falling down... It is terribly cute, though.


I had strapless, shoulderless tops and dresses on my mind lately, so I tried this one on. It's hard to find one, as I'm sure you can imagine, that will stay up (especially for a flat-chested girl such as myself). This one is a snug fit (but not too snug), and the lining inside the top has a rubber grip, so it holds its place better than most. It was $3 on clearance, so I bought it. It's a real pretty shade of blue. Looking at it in my closet now, it seems as though I don't have many clothes in that color register. Now I have another dress to add to my "semiformal" collection! (More things I don't wear as much as I'd like to...)


Until next time... you know what they say - I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave! ;-p

Monday, October 2, 2017

Golden Hour

"Golden hour" is one of those photography clich├ęs that I never played around with much. It requires a certain amount of outdoor freedom, at a particular time of day, that maybe I didn't have so much of in the past. I do remember lots of budding teenage girl photographers on flickr taking advantage of it, usually to good (if samey) effect. To be honest, I hadn't even set out to shoot during golden hour. But I'd been doing some lawn work into the evening, on another beautiful, ninety degree day (R.I.P.), and at the end of it I decided on a whim to cool down under the spray from the hose I was using to water some plants. It was exhilarating, and oh so refreshing! I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. Of course, being outdoors, with the water dripping off my body (in the up-to-now rare situation where I can be both naked outside and using a camera), I felt inspired to capture the moment. So you see me here drying off in the sunlight (which is much more satisfying than using a towel), in what just happened to turn out to be golden hour. Serendipity!


I feel like nudists tend to de-emphasize this point (which is disappointing, because it's one of my favorite things about nudism), because it's not all-encompassing (which nudism admirably tries to be) to acknowledge the aesthetic evaluation of people's bodies, and because it also skirts dangerously close to sexuality ("for I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide"), but sometimes the simple addition of nudity can make the world such a sublimely more beautiful place.

I tell you, if there is no room within nudism (although I believe there is) for the admiration of beautiful naked bodies (that doesn't involve the presumption of spontaneous sex orgies - again, I must acknowledge the oft-ignored virtue of the erotic that lies between perfect chastity and outright abandon), then a new lifestyle needs to be invented to honor such a thing (and no, I'm not talking about swinging).

I swear, within nudism or without, there is no allowance for such admiration in anything but a purely perverted and deviant context. Naked is beautiful. Naked is exciting. Naked can also be sexual, but this doesn't have to be the case. Naked can be beautiful and exciting in a PG-context (PG-13, tops), too. That's what I'd like to celebrate on a larger scale.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Bikini Comparisons

I've been experimenting with some alternate forms of media lately, as "delivery mechanisms" for my art. You may have noticed that with my new iPhone I've been taking more videos than in the past. I'm actually considering if that isn't a better way to show off the outfits I try on in the fitting room - I'll have to try some experiments in the future.

For now, I've put together a couple of animated gifs to show the comparisons between the four different bikinis I tried on recently (as described in my last post), since I seem to be pretty consistent about taking shots from the same angles in the same poses - without even necessarily trying, lol. What do you think? Is it better to see them side by side, or is this kind of "transformation" more effective?



Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bikini Closeout Sale!

'Tis the season to go rummaging through racks of swimsuits on clearance! And at the time of this writing, temperatures are still regularly in the eighties (if not higher), so you might even have a chance to use them! Although, unfortunately, all the pools have already closed down for the season. Nevertheless, I treated myself to a trip to the mall today, to try on some bikinis. Finding matching pieces in the right sizes is tough when you're picking through the season's leftovers, but that's part of the fun of discovery!

Much as I love bikinis, there's really little to no opportunity for me to actually wear them, except for photoshoots at home. But even so, they still bring me joy. I'd worried in the past that I was spending money filling up my drawers with clothes I can never wear, but I realized something today. I'd feel a little bit guilty trying on bikinis if I never bought one. After all, my fear of shopping in the women's department abated only when I came to the understanding that these are the clothes I wear. I'm not a stranger in a strange land - this is where I belong! So if I have to buy a swimsuit every now and then to achieve the legitimacy of "paying customer" status, so be it. I'll just consider it a "bikini tax" for the enjoyment I get from seeing how the different styles look on my body.


Are you ready? Let's try on some bikinis!


I liked this bikini. Such a pretty shade of green. The top was way too big for me, though - I couldn't find any smaller ones. Also, I've found that these bandeau-style tube-type tops - as much as I love how they're practically just a strip of fabric across your chest - don't flatter me very well, because I don't have much cleavage to start with, and they tend to emphasize my broad shoulders.


This pinkish/purplish suit was just adorable. I love the ruffles - so cute! Sadly, I could only find it in XS (extra small - there was also a pretty yellow suit that I wanted to try on, but it was only available in XL, and there was no way it was going to fit on me). I may not be very big (tall, yes - especially for a woman - but not big), but XS is a bit of a stretch for me.


Ah, the coveted ruched suit! I love this suit so much. It doesn't work on my body at all, but I so wish it did. Note how the top is comically large (I couldn't find anything in less than a D cup), while the bottom is comically small - it might fit around my hips, but it absolutely does not contain my "stuff", as you can see. Which is a real shame. I love the ruched look. It's so cute and flattering. I'd settle for a fuller front just to have that kind of framing for my butt.


This one was my favorite of the day, averaging both the style and fit. The top was the smallest cup size I found on the entire rack - a B. Still more cup than I need, but not so much that it looks out of proportion to the rest of my body. Plus, it actually does a good job of creating the illusion of a bust. Those cloth triangles you get with string bikinis are versatile; they conform to just about any chest size. But the downside is that if you're flat-chested, they won't hide it.

As for the bottoms, they're a small, so it's a snug fit (what with my package included). They don't disguise my anatomy (as few if any women's swimsuits can), but they do a better job than many of keeping me relatively contained, and the busy pattern provides some discretion. Plus, my butt looks great spilling out a little bit - it gives it some extra curvature. I felt confident enough to check myself out in the shared three-way mirror. Here's a video (I apologize in advance for not being able to hold the camera very steady - I was excited!):

video

So I bought them. I paid my bikini tax. They were on clearance, anyway, so they only cost me $15 all together. Score! I was so excited when I got home, I couldn't even wait till I cut off the tags to do yet another photoshoot in them, lol. Now, into the drawer they go...


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ruched Justice



Don't tell this to my doctor, but even though I like my penis and wouldn't want to lose it, I'd consider getting Sexual Reassignment Surgery just to be able to wear bikinis in public. Can you believe there are women out there who could actually get away with wearing these bottoms? Look at them - they're amazing! Please, tell me what the male equivalent of that is? Perhaps a man could legally wear bikini briefs on public land (probably not on the grounds of a business, though), but that, unlike this, is not an accepted part of our culture. I can go to a general purpose department store at my local mall (in Nowheresville, U.S.A.), and find bikinis like this in multiple colors, patterns, and styles, yet men have no equivalent option. If you're lucky, you might find a Speedo or two at a sporting goods store (because that's athletic wear, not casual fashion), probably in dull, solid colors (most frequently black or blue), and you still won't be permitted to wear it at your local pool. \o/

That gives me an idea, though. Women are campaigning for top freedom (which I wholeheartedly support). I should campaign for bottom equality. Even accounting for the greater protuberance of men's genitalia, singling out swim briefs, and restricting men to the pseudo-option of board shorts or longer board shorts, is sexual discrimination, pure and simple. Sad thing is, justice doesn't carry much weight when it's not popular. I'm sure most men would prefer to just go on "sexually obectifying" women while themselves being free from the pressure of sexual objectification. How come there aren't more women on my side? Come on - guys in Speedos? You know you want to see it!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Why Nudism? (Part 6)



I suspect this may be one of the more controversial images in this series, as one of the fundamental tenets of nudism is that it is for every body (with which I do not disagree). But I don't believe that body acceptance is incompatible with the aesthetic principle of beauty. On the one hand, there is the belief that all bodies are beautiful. But that reassurance doesn't sound convincing when it's coming from someone that anyone would acknowledge is beautiful by conventional standards.

Of course, beauty is subjective, and no matter what you look like, there will be people whose preferences don't align with yours. So you may think I am beautiful, but others may disagree, and regardless of what anyone thinks, having confidence in one's own appearance is valuable, however difficult it may be to find (and I can tell you from personal experience that even traditionally beautiful people don't always realize they're beautiful).

I believe that anyone can and should enjoy nudism, no matter what they look like. But I also believe that my body is beautiful, and that beauty is a virtue, therefore I should share that beauty with others (which nudism allows me to do), and not keep it hidden selfishly away (as the textile world compels me to do). That's why I model, and it's also one of the many reasons I practice nudism, even if it's not one that every nudist will share. After all, you only need one reason to be a nudist. Not agreeing with them all isn't a reason not to practice nudism.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Outfit of the Day (nopan version)



I love this little pink dress. It's one of my favorite things to wear. I love it so much, I own two! And it's hard to believe, but I've had them since from a time before I started shaving my legs. (Are you tired of seeing it yet)? It's not perfect. When I'm in a self-conscious mood, I worry that it emphasizes my broad shoulders and flat chest, to the point of making me look like "a man in a dress" (notwithstanding counter-stereotypes). But when I'm being less self-critical, I think it looks downright adorable. I love how skimpy it is - cutting off just above the chest and at the upper thigh - it totally flatters my legs, which are one of my best features, and the placement of the ruffles does a pretty good job of hiding my bulge (assuming I'm wearing underwear - otherwise the sway of my free-standing member tends to resonate with the pleats in dangerous harmony). And yet it covers enough to be perfectly street legal (and the neck tie keeps it from falling down, although I do have to constantly adjust it to keep it from sagging, especially now that it's a bit old and worn out). And it's so quick and easy to put on and slip off! It's a great thing to wear during the summer (or late fall), when it's ninety degrees out. I wish I had more dresses like this.

And here, I believe, is my first Outfit of the Day in video form (just because I can). :-3

video

Monday, September 25, 2017

Square Format Selfie



Here's another square format selfie, but a little less explicit than the last one. ;-)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Why Nudism? (Parts 4 & 5)



The next two images in this series both deal with a similar theme - the discomfort of wearing sweaty clothing - one as the result of temperature, and the other exercise. In the first case, stripping down when you're hot makes no less sense than bundling up when you're cold. People tend to wear clothes that bare a lot of skin in the summer, and for good reason. If it weren't for the nudity taboo, I'd expect to see a lot more naked people during the warmer months - at parks and pools, and in their homes. Is some vague notion of "modesty" more important than your personal comfort? Or avoiding heat stroke? There's no excuse for covering up when it's ninety degrees out. You might even save a few bucks on your electric bill! And don't try to tell me you've never coped with a broken air conditioner by foregoing the daily routine of getting dressed.


Have you seen workout clothes? They tend to look a lot like underwear - tight, and skimpy. Inevitably, exercise has the tendency to warm us up, even when the ambient temperature is cool. And your body needs proper ventilation. I might have to concede - especially to women with large chests - that having proper support for one's "dangly bits" is a valid concern. But, to be honest, I've yet to try an activity where, having become accustomed to the feeling of my penis flopping around, it has caused any real issues beyond the vigorous motion and contact resulting in temporary partial engorgement. Of course, some activities require safety gear, but beyond that, there's nothing stopping you from, say, going for a bike ride wearing a helmet and maybe knee pads - but nothing else. No sweaty clothes to deal with, and less laundry to do later. And when you're done, you can just hop in the shower to rinse off!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Barrel Bather



I could not resist!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Planting Bamboo



This fall, I'm looking ahead to the spring, and experimenting with fast-growing bamboo to provide a little peace of mind when engaging in nude recreation in the yard. (Not that I care if anyone sees me, of course, but so as not to give anyone reason to complain). It might take some time for the plants to grow in enough to give us some real privacy, but you have to start somewhere!


Here are a couple of videos. First, unpacking the bamboo:

video

And hauling the soil:

video

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Disguise is Still Thin

I was looking at this old image, thinking about the thoughts it had conjured in me about a year and a half ago, and it stirred up a lot of old feelings. I guess not much has changed on this subject, although a year and a half is a small amount of time for the kinds of sweeping changes I envision. Still, here's the reformulation of my thoughts:

Sometimes I think about all the effort we expend to hide the simple fact of our sexual natures, when it is ever only hiding just under the surface of everyday life, and it just seems so...insane. Like to acknowledge our bodies and the purpose they are driven towards would send society screeching to a halt, or worse, crashing down around us in flames. There are worse "sins" than perversion. You can destroy yourself with illicit drugs, give in to selfish and antisocial impulses, and sabotage your own well-being. But sex is a fundamental part of living. Yeah, it feels good, and there's a risk of indulging too heavily, without proper preparation and protection. But you can kill yourself from eating too much fat or sugar, and those are everyday staples of our diet, available in every grocery store. Every morning we get up and transport ourselves about town in roving death machines. And by and large, we're okay. Admitting that the anticipation of the sensation of a penis entering a vagina (or any number of other more and less related stimuli) gets you excited (as your instincts dictate) isn't going to destroy the fabric of society. It isn't going to cause churches to spontaneously combust, nor is it going to irrevocably scar our children for life. So can we just get over it already?

I posted this over at deviantART, and got a nice response (you can read it on that page), which had me thinking further about the impact that religion (specifically Christianity) has had on our sexual attitudes. I feel strongly about what I wrote, so I wanted to reproduce it here on my blog:

I do think religion has had a lot to do with it. I remember reading The Mists of Avalon, which depicts a world in transition between the old religions and Christianity, and thinking about the effect the latter has had on changing man's perception of his sexual impulses. I can see its utility in a civilizing context; after all, if you control sex - who and how people procreate - you control the population. Which isn't to say that I believe in an elaborate conspiracy, but what purpose does religion serve if not to protect the masses from their own baser impulses?

Still, I think that in this age of contraceptive technology, it's counterproductive (to which the results of any study on abstinence education will attest) for priests to continue to be the stewards of our primal instincts (especially in light of their own moral failings). It's time we took responsibility for our actions back into our own hands. We needn't embrace the illusion that sex is sinful just in order to control our urges. Maturity, technology, and public education are sufficient for that. Sacrificing a holistically positive approach towards human sexuality (as the ancient pagans must have had) should only have ever been a means to an end - a necessary evil, if you will. It's time to cast that view aside, and embrace sex - safely and responsibly - not as wild animals, but as the evolved and sophisticated race of intelligent beings we ought by now to be.

Or maybe I'm just ahead of my time.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Solar Therapy



I'm totally a warmbody. The heat and the sunshine feels so amazing against my skin. I often feel like I should move south, and "go where the weather suits my clothes" (or lack thereof). I know that sex has no place in nudism, but if it's the activity of being nude itself (either at home, outdoors, or around others) that gets you excited, I don't see why that shouldn't be embraced as part of the lifestyle. If you enjoy white water rafting so much that it actually turns you on, you're still a legitimate white water rafter. And so long as you're not behaving lewdly or bending someone over and fucking them right there in front of others, then I don't see any problem.

I wish we could separate sexual arousal from sexual activity in our minds. But then, maybe I'm really not like most people, after all. Although I'd prefer to believe that I've simply stumbled upon an alternative way of thinking, if only I could just persuade the rest of the world to get on board. Okay, maybe I'm delusional. But I can't deny that it works for me (apart from the difficulties fitting in). Imagine a world that unselfconsciously celebrates the beauty of eroticism, without necessarily devolving into a 24/7 group orgy. Not that group orgies can't be fun, but they require a certain amount of planning and organization (making sure the participants all want to have sex with each other, and knowing what their likes/boundaries are) for maximum pleasure.

I just don't want people assuming that erections inevitably lead to intercourse. I mean, there's literally nothing harmful about somebody walking down a public street with a raging hard-on. It's the fear of what that could lead to, based on what we associate it with, that makes people uncomfortable. Call me crazy, but I want to disassociate erections with sex. They'r sexual, but not everything sexual has to involve sex. I want to end the demonization and compartmentalization (literally relegating it to the bedroom, or else under your clothing) of sexual arousal.

And the only difference that practicing nudism makes is that you can see it. Guys are getting hard all the time under their clothes, for all kinds of reasons. If nudism is truly about doing things just like textiles do them, but without clothes on, then seeing an erection spring up every now and then should be a regular occurrence. It only has as much meaning as we give it. And right now, the meaning we're giving it is indicative of our sex-negative (which is not exclusive of being sex-obsessed) culture. All I'm saying is there's a better way.