Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Lap of Discipline

Forget capital punishment, I'm talking about corporal punishment. You already know about the chair. It's time for you to meet the lap. Take your panties off, and come have a seat. I'm going to show you how it works.

A lot of kinksters like to add pain - things like spanking, whipping, caning, and the like - but something about sex itself as a form of punishment triggers something inside of me. I don't mind if the "victim" likes it - in fact that's probably even better - but just the idea of the sex itself being forbidden and taboo ("you're not supposed to like this") makes it all the hotter. (I guess it's true - considering how sex-positive I am - that to find a person's fetishes, you have to take the opposite of their sexual politics). This is one of those things that could be absolutely horrible in reality, yet somehow manages to constitute a powerful fantasy - in true Sadean fashion. Human sexuality is fascinatingly complex. I wish people would refrain from making moral judgments before they've even studied the first thing about it.

As poet laureate Bob Dylan once sang, "if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine."

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Pink Shorts

Because we all have different coping mechanisms to deal with the constant struggle of life.

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


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.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Relative Erosthetics (or Disgust vs. Desire)

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

This is accepted wisdom. And I have no desire to argue with it. But, as an expression of diversity and variation among what is essentially a homogeneous species (looking at the broad strokes - we mostly all have two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head; our faces mostly all contain two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth), it still fascinates me. Though there are more or less (as nothing is universal in human nature) "objective" traits that people generally find attractive - things like symmetry, absence of blemishes, youthfulness, and fitness - the human mind is so complicated that we can be psychologically conditioned (usually subconsciously - or preconditioned, depending on where you stand on the nature vs. nurture debate) to find so many different things appealing (or unappealing). Skin color. Hair color. Hair density. Hair location. Fashion. Personality. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

As an artist, aesthetics is a very important discipline to me. And as subjective as it is, the underlying principle is that some things look better than others. The "why" is a whole interesting field of study, but the fact alone is itself rather amazing. Applied to the human body, this is what I call "the truth about beauty". The idea that some people are more beautiful than others is, perhaps, exclusionary, but it is true, and I have never been one to conceal the truth behind convenient and comfortable lies. Rather, I prefer to emphasize the fact that beauty is not everything, that it is highly subjective (i.e., there are not "beautiful people" so much as "people that you, me, or somebody else finds beautiful"), and that it is something any person can cultivate in themselves within certain limits. So, if you don't feel particularly beautiful, you can either ask for somebody else's opinion (an underrated approach), try to improve yourself, or else focus on other traits you might possess (e.g., speed, strength, intelligence, compassion, a fat wallet).

But let's take this concept a step even further, to the realm of sexuality. The various things that people are attracted (or not attracted) to is incredible. I've learned as a model, trying to imitate fine art nudes I've come across and liked, that different people, with different bodies, do not necessarily look equally appealing in the same poses. Some of this could be attributed to an objective discrepancy between the shapes of their bodies. But let's focus on the subjective element, centered on the basic principle that different people find different bodies attractive. It's enough to recognize that in any varied group of respondents, different celebrities will be cited as the pinnacle of beauty and/or sex appeal. In the realm of porn, this manifests as a diversity of body types (even if some are more popular - and therefore prevalent - than others). Skinny, curvy, tall, short, light-skinned, dark-skinned, tattooed, freckled, long hair, short hair, no hair, lots of hair, teenage, middle-aged, elderly - the list goes on.

I think it would be fascinating to do an art project (yes, one that could be described as "pornographic") on the phenomenon of "erotic aesthetics" in action, by comparing a large assortment of portraits, each featuring a different nude model in the same sexually provocative pose. There could be multiple instances of this project, each one focusing on a different pose (since different people will naturally find different poses - and levels of explicitness - appealing). You could even do some that are sexually explicit, involving various combinations of bodies engaged in various stages of foreplay and coitus. The kernel of the project would be the demonstration to an audience of the sheer range of reactions - from abject disgust to quivering desire - that can be elicited by a photo of the same act or pose, when only the persons involved (each with a different subjective beauty or sex appeal rating) are swapped. Call it "the subjectivity of obscenity".

It's not just an excuse to see pictures of all kinds of people having sex - if it were just that, the world wide web of porn would already have me beat. I want to go beyond that - to the next level, the next stage of inquiry. To study and explore the dynamics and psychology of sexual arousal. It disappoints me that this is a project I cannot do as a self-portrait artist. Indeed, finding a large enough sample of participants who would be willing to pose for sexually suggestive or explicit photos would almost certainly be prohibitively difficult. You could, I suppose, adapt this project to tamer standards - focusing on the erotic appeal of "simple" nudity, with an emphasis on merely the different body types people are attracted to. Or, to go further, you could explore the same concept within fashion - having different models wearing the same outfit. Could be interesting from a gendered perspective, having men and women side by side, all wearing the same outfit that's usually associated with this or that sex. Almost like a "who wore it better?" - dresses, skirts, heels, short shorts (sadly, women have a decided advantage over men in the aesthetics of cross-dressing). Not that this hasn't been done before...

See, when I compromise my vision, it loses its unique, revolutionary touch. I have a lot of limitations, but you can't say that my ambition is one of them.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Nudist Erections

I can hear the groans already. But when people keep bringing a topic up over and over and over, there's usually a reason for it. So bear with me. Here's the question I'd like to pose: is there one part of our bodies that isn't allowed to enjoy nudism?

One of the best things about practicing nudism alone, or in "open, understanding" company, is not having to worry, "what if I get an erection? Will somebody interpret it the wrong way? I'll have to stop what I'm doing and cover it up!" Yes, erections are an overrated concern among prospective nudists (they don't happen that much, the atmosphere isn't that sexually charged, and people are usually pretty reasonable about them, so long as you are, too), but on the other hand, they are a fact of life for men. And, contrary to stereotype, some men, even beyond their "horny teenager" phase, continue to get erections more easily and more readily than others. (I feel that this stereotype is discrimination levied counterproductively against young men - deliberately or not - by the older male population that makes up the majority of the nudist demographic. To quote Albus Dumbledore, "youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young").

This is going to sound counter-intuitive, but erections aren't even necessarily always sexual. If you define sex not necessarily by the physical sensations of arousal, but as an intimate act that usually occurs between two (or more) people leading to orgasm, then this has nothing to do with an incidental erection. Consider this hypothetical: two people, not involved in an intimate relationship, yet comfortable around each other and with their bodies, decide to share a bed (say they're traveling, and accommodations are sparse), and both like to sleep nude. At least one of these two people is male, and in the morning, he gets an erection as is typical of the male physiology. It has nothing to do with the person lying naked in bed next to him. In a different context, this could certainly be taken as a precursor to a sexual encounter (possibly). But given the decidedly non-sexual nature of this particular context, can't it simply be a physically pleasurable sensation for the male, that will subside on its own, given a little bit of time? Is the male not even allowed to permit himself to enjoy the sensation until it subsides? Not engaging in masturbation, I mean (how many men either masturbate or have sex every single time they wake up with a morning erection?) - which clearly renders the situation sexual - but just appreciating the sensation, instead of becoming overly self-conscious of it, and wishing for it to go away.

Would it be beyond the pale for me to say,
"stop sexualizing my erections!"?

When I'm naked, and alone, there are times when I might find myself becoming physically aroused. Mind you, this can happen when I'm not thinking the least thought about sex. I could simply be comfortable and relaxed, and just a little bit of pressure (e.g., from the thighs, depending on how I sit), or a slight touch in a particular place (to scratch an itch, for example) could be all it takes to initiate the arousal process. At this point, if I'm alone, I have two choices - ignore it, or indulge it. And, when I'm alone, it doesn't much matter which one I choose. Note also, that by "indulging it", I do not necessarily mean "masturbation to orgasm".

Perhaps I am atypical, but I think it sounds absurd to expect to work towards an orgasm every single time you feel the slightest sensation of arousal. Nevertheless, I might very well "contribute" to the pleasurable physical sensations going on, by applying some added pressure, a delicate but directed touch, or even a few light strokes. This could be going on entirely absentmindedly, the same way you might scratch your back while sitting in a chair reading a book. It doesn't mean I've pulled up some porn, engaged my imagination, and have entered full masturbation mode - unless that's a course of action I deliberately choose; and in my case, that's rarely the direction in which these situations head.

The great thing about being alone is that I can do this free from anxiety. It feels good. Does it have to be any more than that? Add other people to this situation, however - nudist or otherwise - and the first thing they're going to think is, "sex!" (whether that's a good thing or a bad thing from their perspective). And to avoid the drama that these encounters will inevitably produce (especially if, heaven forbid, there are children present), I have been conditioned in these situations to be very cognizant of the relative tumescence of my penis at any given time.

There have been a few instances when I have become aroused in a nudist environment, and none of them involved explicit sexual cues. Psychology - seeing and thinking about sex - is one path towards arousal, but another, as I have described, is simple physical contact. And this contact, contrary to expectation, need not be deliberate. You must realize that the male genitalia hangs outside the body and swings freely between the legs. (Yes, the nature of this phenomenon varies by an individual's size, but this is no reason to discriminate against "the more favorably endowed").

I tried hula hooping once, and quickly learned that it is impossible for me to do so naked without growing hard, at least for a short period early on, before the blood is dispersed to other parts of my body. You try slapping your penis against your thighs rhythmically without receiving a sexual response! And many times when I stretch out in the warm sunshine, fully relaxed, my body responds to the pleasant sensations with physical arousal. Is this unusual? I don't know. But the tried and true "solution" is to turn over onto your stomach, and that only serves to apply direct pressure to the organ, contributing to (as opposed to discouraging) its tumescence. And then there was a time when I became turgid from the pressure of a book placed on my lap (at least it covered me up!).

It's one thing to observe the standard practice of hiding one's erections (although in a nudist context, cover ups may not always be close at hand - especially if you're being active), but once the process of arousal is initiated, it takes several moments - even absent any further stimulation - for the organ to return to a full state of rest. And if you're like many of the men in the population who are "growers" and not "showers", your penis may remain in somewhat of an enlarged state for several moments after it has gone soft and limp; and, given the nature of its extension, be exceptionally sensitive and prone to further accidental stimulation.

Under normal circumstances, you might hope that most nudists are not paying very much attention to your genitals, and will not notice, but who's to say? God forbid somebody should realize that you're "larger than normal", and interpret that in a way that does you no favors. "He's getting sexually aroused being naked in front of us, looking at our naked bodies! He must be a pervert or an exhibitionist!" I feel like few people - even men who generally don't have a lot of experience with anyone's penis but their own - understand the full complexity of the mechanics of human sexual arousal.

It doesn't help that society reinforces the belief that, outside of a brief period during adolescence, when an erection pops up, it's necessarily because of some direct, sexual stimulus (even if it's one we can't identify). Nor does the male sense of entitlement to satisfaction upon arousal, in support of which the theory behind "blue balls", if true (I have never personally experienced it), has been exploited. And I must say, for what it's worth, keeping erections under wraps (both in nudist communities, and in the world of fine art), only contributes to this culture of ignorance. It is for these reasons that I address this topic, in the hope that the presentation of my uncommon perspective may ultimately serve some public good.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What's sex got to do with it?

According to stereotype, nudists are either sex-crazed fiends who enjoy engaging in public orgies (false), or asexual puritans who abhor eroticism in all its forms (also false). The truth is somewhere in the middle. Nudists are just people. Some of us are prudes, and some of us are perverts. I happen to be the latter, but you shouldn't take me as an example of nudists on the whole.

So I was watching a perverted Japanese anime ('nuff said), and I encountered what I interpreted to be a nudist-positive scene. And it got me thinking: wouldn't most nudists reject citing an unambiguously sexually-charged form of entertainment as having a positive example of nudism? Probably. But to me, this was very clearly a demonstration of nudism, and not sexuality. One of the characters was relaxing at home, alone, in the buff. It's clear that she wasn't doing it for sexual gratification, and that she had no intention of being seen by anyone (ruling out an exhibitionist motivation). Later, she even explicitly ascribed a nudist-friendly explanation to her actions, after being unexpectedly interrupted by a knock on the door, and engaging in a mad dash for her clothes that any nudist who's ever secretly practiced nudism in the midst of an unforgiving textile culture will recognize.

But does the fact that she was almost certainly drawn not to spread nudist awareness, but for the viewer's titillation, undermine the character's own motivation (and, subsequently, my interpretation of the scene)? Does the fact that people do fetishize nudity - and, even, nudism - in some way taint or corrupt actual recorded instances of nudism? To describe a controversial example, does a legitimate nudist documentary become pornographic the moment it's marketed to perverts?

I can tell you that in all the media I watch, it is extremely rare to find scenes or characters that espouse a deliberate nudist philosophy. Occasionally, I'll come across one that is not explicitly nudist (and, taken in context, nudists will often criticize it for "sexualizing" nudity, since these scenes, even absent overt eroticism, are usually included for the sake of titillation), yet can be loosely interpreted in that way. It's something I might call "situational nudism", where a character is not necessarily or consciously a nudist, but takes part in what could be described as a nudist-friendly activity (e.g., walking around naked in the locker room, going for a skinny dip, posing for an art class) just because the opportunity arises. But for me to encounter what appears to be an actual, true-blue nudist outlook is rare and very exciting. Must the fact that the media in question be a perverted one, and that the nudist character also happens to be an author of erotic literature, detract from that experience? I am an erotic photographer, yet still a genuine nudist. How much, then, do appearances count for?

Spectrum-Based Eroticism

People are too on-or-off about sexuality. They treat it like a binary step function: something is either completely nonsexual, or else it's all about the pursuit of orgasm. There's not enough consideration for the broad spectrum of sensuality that characterizes our daily lives (something I've been writing about since I started this blog seven years ago), from explicit encounters on one end, to subtle eroticism on the other.

A shirtless dude washing his car in the driveway could be interpreted in a sexual way by some ladies walking down the street - and the dude may even derive some enjoyment from showing off for those ladies - but only a religious nutjob with a hair trigger (cultivated by years of sexual repression) would interpret that as a sex act (in public - and broad daylight, at that!), and I would hope that it wouldn't be considered an inappropriate sight for children. Otherwise, we'd have to reevaluate our understanding of pool culture, perhaps coming to the same conclusion the ignorant masses sometimes do about nudism - that it's a thinly-veiled cover for wild sex orgies (although...have you been to the pool lately? lol).

If real life can be unthreateningly erotic at times, why can't nudism be the same way? If somebody happens, under the right circumstances, to become sexually aroused by the sight of naked bodies (heaven forbid!), that doesn't turn nudism into a sex act. We're right to emphasize that sex is not involved in nudism, but is it a problem if sometimes nudism is interpreted as being sex-y? That 'y' makes a lot of difference.

Can nudism be sexy?

Some critics suspect a link between sex and nudism. But I wouldn't call it a link, I'd call it an overlap. Because we're human beings, and human beings are, first and foremost, sexual organisms. Which is why the effort nudists regularly expend to try and disprove this specious link is, nevertheless, futile.

It's possible for nudism to be "sexy", while still not being sexual. We just need a sufficiently mature population who can recognize that distinction. The problem is that many nudists are trying to market nudism to an erotophobic population. And while nudism is, indeed, not sexual, people are (even nudists!).

We will never be able to make nudism completely asexual - especially if we're not talking strictly about people's behavior at nudist resorts (which can be regulated to a reasonable extent), but also the reputation nudism has in the wider culture, particularly online (which, barring a full authoritarian takeover accompanying the abolition of free speech - undesirable for many reasons - is impossible to control).

This dichotomy between the nonsexuality of nudism and the sexuality of humanity will never be resolved, until such time as our population overcomes its erotophobia. Which is why I believe - despite agreeing with and supporting the nonsexual nature of nudism - that addressing the problems with sexual adjustment we have in this culture (as opposed to ignoring them, as we are currently doing) can only benefit nudism, in the long run.

Continuing to sweep the sex problems of modern society under the rug - because "what does that have to do with nudism?" - promotes only a superficial and easily dispelled illusion of nudism as a sexless "utopia". Nudism will never reach its full potential in a sexually neurotic society (unless we were factually asexual, which, barring a small minority, is far from the case).

We cannot simply drop the issue of sexuality and expect to enjoy nudism unmolested by the greater context of society in which we reside. If we truly want to foster nudism's growth, we need to address our sexual dysfunction first. To promote a world in which casual links to sex made by a predominantly sexual population are not powerful enough to erode the reputation of nudism. A world where participants have the maturity to denote the line between sexual and nonsexual practices in their own behaviors according to context. And a world with a population secure enough not to exaggerate the slightest hint of a sexual undertone into full-blown hysteria.

I come from the future, from an enlightened race. This is what paradise looks like. Do you want to join me? Or are you perfectly happy with the way things are now?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bad Reality, Good Fantasy

"Sometimes bad realities make for good fantasies."

It is reasonable to assume that in any given society, certain sexual desires will be held as taboo. Hypothetically, one could imagine a completely unrestricted society in which anything goes, but this is not realistic. By definition, a society - as opposed to a random conglomerate of independent agents - must have some rules, and it is not inconceivable that some members of that society will have sexual desires that involve the transgression of those rules (especially considering the erotic appeal of transgression). The question that remains is what to do with these people who have taboo desires. Do we condemn them for their thoughts, or make a distinction between desire and behavior? I think the answer depends a lot on our conception of human sexuality.

Currently, we have a very damaged understanding of how sexuality works. We believe that alternative desires arise from warped psychology; and the political nature of the issue precludes real scientific research from being conducted (or considered by the public). Naively, we conclude that only bad people have bad desires, because only bad people could desire bad things. But, unlike behavior, desire is not a choice. An inclination to commit murder, for example, does not operate like sexual arousal to the concept of murder. Yet, our conception of human sexuality presumes that if a person is turned on by murder, they will inevitably seek to commit murder, because of the myth that (especially among men, who are discriminatorily viewed as the only sex that experiences perversion) the sexual impulse trumps all reason.

"Nothing’s villainous if it causes an erection, and the single crime that exists in this world is to refuse oneself anything that might produce a discharge." - The Marquis de Sade, 120 Days of Sodom

But, I say, this is not true. Good people can come to find that they have problematic sexual desires. Yet, being good people, they can still make good choices about what to do with those desires. This is the basic principle behind the BDSM community, and the idea of consensual non-consent. Rape is a horrible crime. But people can become psychologically conditioned (due to factors outside of our control) to respond sexually to the concept of rape. Yet they are not destined to rape or be raped. Provided with a community of like minds, who emphasize the importance of consent, and the power of roleplay to indulge one's fantasies even where desire breaks from reality, a person with problematic sexual desires can learn to indulge them safely and sanely, and go on to lead a satisfied and well-adjusted public life.

In light of this fact, should we be in the habit of condemning people for having sexual desires that are taboo, or for things that most people would find repulsive? Should we isolate and alienate these people, and pound into their heads the idea that they are bad people for having these desires they did not choose? That they are inevitably on a path to destruction, and must be stopped (echoing shades of "precrime") before they have a chance to take others down with them into the pits of debauchery? Should we endeavor to eliminate these undesirables from the population at large through a curriculum of eugenics? All to assuage the moral conscience of a deluded majority that cares more for appearances than results (making public overtures to purity, while harboring dirty secrets of their own), while trampling disadvantaged minorities underfoot?

Or should we, instead, seek to adopt a more humanitarian approach toward human sexuality, and try to foster healthy and balanced attitudes towards sex, where pleasure and good vibes - not shame and isolation - are the goal? To lay a foundation that celebrates human diversity, and grants unlimited freedom to people to use their imaginations unrestricted in the pursuit of happiness. To subject human sexual encounters to the same philosophy of law that governs all other encounters - not to hurt, steal, or deceive, except as agreed upon and desired by the participants, but to otherwise allow people to enjoy themselves and define their own limits, free from institutional stigma. To foster a transparent, supportive community that encourages communication, and welcomes knowledge and education, towards the goal of improving everyone's ability to get exactly what they want, and avoid that which they don't. Shouldn't this be our goal? It is, after all, the aim of sex-positivity.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Storm Breeze

I hate to say this, but the cooler air is almost welcome after that hot and humid weekend we had (not that I didn't enjoy it). I honestly can't say if it's a symptom of global warming, or just confirmation bias, but it seems like the weather has been so erratic lately. Cold, then hot, then cold, then hot. How are you supposed to commit to things like repairing the heater or installing the air conditioners? Eighty degrees in February. Snow in April. Who's to say what the weather will be like a week from today...