Friday, July 28, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Try This On For Size (Dog Days of Summer)



So I was at the store, and one of my friends picked out this shirt because she thought I'd like it (I do). And my other friend said she thought it would look cute over a swimsuit (it does). So I grabbed a random bikini off the racks and headed to the fitting room to try them on. I could definitely see myself wearing something like this on the beach.


Speaking of the beach, have you seen my speedo tan yet? :-3

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Apron



I decided the skirt on this apron was too long, so I cut it short. I know they're for protection and all, but hey, it gets hot in the kitchen!


And one for you "naked apron" fanatics. ;-p

Friday, July 21, 2017

Bathroom Mirror (Three Different Ones)



Here I am, just after waking up, and then after I get out of the shower. I like the lighting in this bathroom - it's very soft, with a pinkish hue.


And after two other showers in two different bathrooms (the first one has a lot of daylight, the second one not so much). An interesting comparison between these two shots is the demonstration of the morphology of the male anatomy. Take note that a man's size can be very variable, indeed.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Classy



I was very impressed to find not only a painting hanging on the wall of this budget motel, but one with a little bit of artistic nudity! So, I wanted to honor it by creating a little nude art of my own. :-D

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Voyeur's Temptation

There's a phenomenon that occurs when I see an attractive girl in public. I don't doubt that it's wired into my biology. I get excited, and I want to look at her more than is probably appropriate. I rarely take the chance to. Naturally, as a photographer, I have the impulse to take a picture (because, you know, it'll last longer). I rarely do, though, because there's this immense social stigma right now against taking pictures of strangers, even in public. My aim isn't to make anyone uncomfortable, and I don't want to get into any trouble, or give myself a bad reputation, either. But the desire to preserve that vision of beauty that appears so briefly before me is strong. And constantly resisting it only serves to leave me feeling antsy and unfulfilled, like there's something important in that big ol' world out there that I'm missing out on.

Maybe, as a voyeur, it's just the way my sexual impulse manifests itself, and therefore it's not fair to draw this comparison, but the fact that subtle eroticism might be involved isn't enough to warrant equating it with explicit sexual activity, and it's not as though I actually want to make every one of these girls my lover. I just want to admire them (and not even necessarily in an "explicit" manner). After all, first impressions being what they are, a lot of times the magic fades when you really have a chance to scrutinize something. It's that electric flash in the moment that propels you. Maybe taking a picture would dispel the illusion, but if so, I don't think that would be a bad thing. Because, knowing the truth, I'd feel less inclined to allow these biological impulses to dupe me into thinking I should be sad and depressed because there are all these beautiful creatures in the world, and none of them (or very few, depending on the circumstances and your perspective) are involved in my life.

Alternatively (as I have seen still images that are quite captivating even when the subject is not being viewed in person), I'd love to be able to create a catalog of all the pretty girls I've ever had the chance to come across - even just passing briefly on the street. To view and compare their bodies and fashions and further establish my detailed, aesthetic preferences. (Sadly, this very sort of thing is under heavy scrutiny on photo sharing websites by anti-voyeur watchdog groups concerned about people's privacy...in public). And furthermore, as an artist, my ideal vision would be to have the opportunity to create some beautiful art (whether spontaneous, as in street photography, or more deliberate and posed) with some of these beautiful creatures, as an ode to the wonderful feelings of joy the mere sight of them evokes in me, and as a statement to the rest of the world about what I find beautiful.

And I want to do this without being viewed or considered as some kind of creepy stalker/pervert. But since I have a condition that impairs my social skills, and I live a reclusive lifestyle - by choice, because I am not altogether comfortable around most other people - and because I do not have the confidence or the charisma to (as my favorite photographer of pretty girls David Hamilton once advised) approach attractive strangers with the uncommon proposition of taking their picture, in a culture that seems - at least to me - increasingly suspicious of men's interest in women's bodies, I am left with little recourse to fulfill my dream. And I know they say that if you never ask, the answer is always no, but when it is en vogue to criticize people for the mere desire - asking constitutes sufficient evidence to be targeted for derision.

"Read my lips: we love your look."

That's one of the things I like about the convention atmosphere - to a significant extent, people expect to be stopped to have their picture taken, by other people who like the way they look. If we could just extend this attitude to the rest of life, I'd be ecstatic. But, of course, at a convention, this behavior is excused by the fact that those people have put work into the costumes they're wearing, and want to show them off. But isn't this true of people who get dressed up to go out? Or even people who work out to keep their bodies fit? I can see Michael Shannon in my head in the role of Kim Fowley, strolling up to a blonde bombshell and saying "I like your style." I think most girls would be flattered. But ask them if you can take a picture, and the eyebrows go up. "What would you need a picture for? What are you going to do with it?" (in a suggestive, criticizing voice). Tell me why we consider this so strange and suspicious. Are we that jaded? Is it because of the internet (where pictures "never disappear")? This is a discussion I want to have.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Immodesty is a Virtue

Ya know, if I saw other guys wearing Speedo-style swim briefs, I wouldn't feel the need to justify myself. (And if we were being sex-blind, we'd find that I'm not even the one wearing the skimpiest swimsuit on the beach). But since I appear to be the only one doing it, I feel like an explanation is warranted for why I insist on being different. Because if other people understood the reasons why someone would do this, you'd reasonably expect to see more people doing it, right?


Like most men, I came to the realization at a certain point in my life that I enjoy the sight of a woman's body - and the more of it I could see, the better. But instead of rejecting this as some kind of personal moral failing, I've learned to embrace it as a fact of nature. It doesn't hurt me; it brings me joy. Why should I shun that? There is a lot of discussion in society these days about whether this hurts women, but it's a topic rife with politicization. There may be a good way and a bad way of going about pretty much anything, but I don't believe that, at its core, men admiring women's bodies is inherently harmful. Our natural instincts may not always steer us in the best direction, but this is an activity I believe we can engage in positively and healthily, even if it takes a little conscious deliberation to figure out how exactly to go about doing that. And I spend a lot of time (too much, I think) deliberating on this very issue. But the discussion simply cannot begin with "this is wrong; we need to stop this."

Now, in the photographer's trade, you sometimes come across a certain philosophy by which a conscientious photographer will insist that he not ask a model to do anything he himself wouldn't be willing to do. There may be a lot of unscrupulous photographers out there who do NOT live by this philosophy, but I've taken it to heart. And I've applied it not just to my approach as a photographer, but to my life on the whole, when it comes to my feelings as to what I like about women. Indeed, it has informed - to a large extent - my transformation to a more feminized gender presentation. So when I see girls dressed in skimpy clothes that show off a lot of their bodies, and my response to that is (immensely) positive, I think, "if this is truly okay, then I should have no problem doing it myself." Which is exactly what I've gotten into the habit of doing (where possible and practical). And you know what? I like it. I enjoy showing off my body, and I like the feeling of being desired. If some women don't enjoy this, they have the option of choosing clothes they're more comfortable in (like the ones I used to wear for most of my sheltered life). But that's no reason to disparage other women who revel in that kind of attention.

Now, as a caveat, sometimes a girl will choose to wear shorts, for example, because she's hot, and not because she wants guys (or girls) to look at her and think "she's hot". In this case, she is not, in a sense, "asking" for a certain kind of attention, and shouldn't necessarily have to deal with it. But this is a nuanced issue. As human beings and sexual organisms, if you show skin, people are going to look. And if you're attractive (an admittedly subjective evaluation), people are going to like it. You can't expect this not to happen, and shaming people for doing it is wrong. (So telling a girl to change because her shorts are distracting is not okay, but then neither is it okay to turn around and criticize a man for viewing her "in that way" - my complicated response to a recent case of "wardrobe policing" in a nutshell). You should be prepared for it no matter what you wear (since different people respond to different things), because it's human nature, and because looking doesn't harm anyone.

That's the advice I have for women. But this is a two-sided issue. Men also need to learn how to handle their feelings with dignity and respect. You think that girl is hot? Great! There's nothing wrong with that. But that's not an excuse for you to act like a jackass, or do anything to make that girl feel uncomfortable. It's a two-way street. People are going to look. But they should still behave themselves. And at the end of the day, it has less to do with what a person decides to wear than we think. So I'm going to keep wearing as little as I can get away with in public - whether you like it or not; I do, and that's what counts - and I'm going to keep appreciating and defending others who do the same. Because that's the kind of world I want to live in. I'm just helping to pave the way.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hair Flip



A rare action shot!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Getting Bare



I thought this picture created a pretty neat juxtaposition between the clothing and my naked flesh. I like to explore ways to enhance the impact of nudity because, in my perennially naked lifestyle, nudity really does become quite normal. It's only the contrast between what we so rarely see, and the (mostly) clothed bodies that surround us everyday, that makes an impact. I also like how this image really does feel kind of "nude", even though it's not strictly explicit. If I were a woman, it might be a little more risqué, but my genitals aren't even exposed. It also makes an excellent argument for the artists' insistence that the human body is far more visually interesting (not to mention enticing) than the clothing with which we so callously cover it up.


Here's an alternative to my Go Bare and Share Challenge pic. Apparently, stripping in front of a camera gets me hard. Sue me. :-p

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Go Bare & Share



Do you dare to go bare and share it with the world? Take the Bare Share Challenge! Here's how:

Step 1: Remove all of your clothes.
Step 2: Take a picture of yourself.
Step 3: Show it to someone else.

That's it! You can show it to a friend, or your significant other, or a random stranger - whatever you're comfortable with! Why? Because we all have naked bodies. Fight the nudity taboo, combat body shame, or contribute to a sex-positive culture - it's up to you! Just go bare and share!


#bareshare #gobareandshare #baresharechallenge

Saturday, July 8, 2017

I Saw Her Standing There



Perhaps I shouldn't reveal my tricks, but I've always taken a hands-on, behind-the-scenes approach to my photography, because one of my goals as an artist (and an activist) is to enable other people to follow in my footsteps, and join me in the kind of work I do.

I actually stitched this shot together from three different shots. Two for the figure, and one to better expose the window (I've talked about the need to do this before). For the figure, I had one shot where I really liked the way my face looked, and another that featured my cock perfectly. Another thing I've discussed in the past is the unique challenge of photographing an erection. Let me tell you, a good model could hold a pose for hours, but a tumescent penis is constantly changing. So I decided to stitch the two together. I used all of the tools at my disposal - from my admittedly modest toolbox - layer masks, bandage, clone stamp. But I think it turned out well!

P.S. If you have any question as to how much the impressiveness of that erection has been manipulated, here's the original for comparison. I made only minor modifications to the figure - stitching, not enhancement. ;-)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Instagram Porn

(Sorry, no link)


Instagram likes the square format, right? I never could get into Instagram. Too mobile-biased. I guess that would make it pretty handy for sexting, but then I'm pretty sure Instagram has a relatively conservative user policy regarding erotic images. Seems like there are easier (and more liberal) platforms out there.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Naturist Talks

Adapted from The Naturist Talks featured on Naked Wanderings.

These [mock] interviews are always fun (I've done them twice before - once to give sex advice from the perspective of a nudist, and once on the subject of common taboos). They have a little bit of the feeling of those old MySpace quizzes, where you get to talk about yourself and then share that information with others, but with a little more substance (since we all know how vapid those MySpace quizzes were), and the opportunity to spread awareness of an alternative lifestyle. So, without further ado, let's begin!


Tell us something about yourself.

Since I'm a bit of an "internet personality" (not saying I'm famous, but I do have a "brand"), I try to make an effort to guard a lot of the private details of my life that random strangers on the internet don't really need to know (without being excessively paranoid, I'd like to think). But I'll say that I'm in my early 30s, and live in the northeastern quadrant of the United States. I'm unconventional in a lot of ways; I live a largely reclusive lifestyle, and in addition to being a nudist, I am also transgender, and an erotic model and photographer. That last one, in particular, gives me a unique perspective on nudism, but while my views probably don't represent the majority of lifestylers (on the other hand, I am a genuine nudist, and not a swinger - not that there's anything wrong with that), I certainly think they're worth sharing.

How and at what age did you become a naturist?

As I've recounted on my blog before, I have memories of enjoying the illicit thrill of nudity going straight back to my childhood; although those opportunities were few and far between back then, and I didn't have the proper vocabulary to describe them, since I didn't know about nudism at the time. In my adolescence, those experiences merged seamlessly with my sexual awakening (because I didn't have anybody to tell me not to interpret those experiences in a sexual light, and they seemed no less taboo - not that I have any regrets about that). I don't know if this is how I developed my exhibitionist tendencies, or if those tendencies were what caused me to have those experiences. Regardless, it's interesting to note that, among other people, I was so reserved as a child that I didn't even like to wear sandals because I thought they were too revealing! (Sometimes people do change). On the other hand, maybe that's why I feel nudism is so liberating. You can just let it all go.


It wasn't until after I had graduated from college, when I heard some friends and acquaintances joking about going nude around the house, that I discovered that nudism was an actual thing. Then I got really curious, and did some research, and started going nude whenever I could - mostly in my room, or when I was home alone; occasionally, I would walk the streets late at night. That was when I started identifying as a nudist (mainly in anonymous online communities), but it was a couple years later that I finally found a sympathetic friend to join me on a visit to the nearest nudist camp. We both enjoyed it, and the rest is history. Now, I'm out and proud to all my friends and family on Facebook, and this is our eighth year in the social nude recreation scene!

Is naturism allowed in your country and what’s the public opinion?

I don't know how illuminating this answer will be considering that I live in the United States, but I'll answer it anyway. Nudism is generally permitted by law, albeit only on private (and isolated from public view) property. There are nude beaches, but they always seem to be in jeopardy, their existence riding largely on the momentum of tradition. Otherwise, public nudity is widely frowned upon, although you'll occasionally have protests like the World Naked Bike Ride, or a Spencer Tunick art installation, that tend to go off [mostly] without a hitch. But these are widely understood to be special exceptions, and do not reflect everyday attitudes. It's not illegal to be a nudist in this country, but it does tend to carry a social stigma; as a result, some nudists keep their lifestyle a secret for fear of losing friends, family, or their job (although the extent to which these fears are well-founded is uncertain - Americans are a neurotic bunch). Overall, I'd put us pretty high on the world index of naked freedom, but that doesn't mean we don't still have a lot of room to improve.


What do you think is the best and worst thing about naturism?

I suspect that my answer to this question will be controversial, because I'm not what you would call a conservative or traditional nudist. But I'm still going to be honest. I'd say the best thing about nudism is the occasional opportunity to see a beautiful person naked - in the flesh, as it were - the likes of which you rarely get to see even (or especially) given the sexually-saturated nature of our culture and media. The feeling of being naked and free is great, and runs a close second, but it's the hope for a chance to get that rare glimpse of heaven that got me hooked on the lifestyle once upon a time, and keeps me coming back year after year.

As for the worst thing about nudism, I'm going to say it's the community's allergic reaction to cameras. I understand why nudists shun cameras, but as a photographer, it makes me supremely sad to think about how hard it is to document the lifestyle (you'll notice that every picture I've used to illustrate this post was taken indoors, in spite of the fact that nudism thrives outdoors), and that so much beauty is being kept hidden away from the world because a lot of people are self-conscious about their image (despite how laid-back nudists are supposed to be) in this digital age.


And because I mentioned a second choice for the 'best' category, if there was a second worst thing about nudism, it would have to be the conspicuous lack of younger people. Sadly, nudism deserves its modern reputation as a refuge for aging retirees, when I would prefer it to be the pinnacle of health and fitness that I've seen in faded advertisements from ages past.

Do you consider yourself a naturist, a nudist or an occasional nudist?

You've probably noticed by now that in every question that uses the term "naturist", I've replaced it in my answer with "nudist". Much can be said about the subtle distinction between these terms, although practically speaking they amount to synonyms, one of them being more popular in Europe, and the other in the United States. I consider myself a naturist because a love and respect for nature is part of my enjoyment of being naked, but at the same time, I prefer the term "nudist" because it seems less pretentious. It doesn't try to hide the fact of nudity behind a distracting allusion, which actually seems contrary to the straightforward honesty that I like about this lifestyle.

Do you find it easy to make naturist friends?

Outside of nudist resorts, I find it very hard. But inside, it couldn't be easier. I don't have experience with a lot of different nudist destinations, but the experience I do have leads me to believe that nudists are typically very friendly people. Occasionally, they can be a little too friendly, but this is not usually the case. I am introverted, and very shy (in spite of my reputation online, perhaps), so I don't make friends very easily (although I have been generally liked throughout my life, possibly because I'm attractive). But after eight years, I feel as if the regulars at my nudist camp of choice are like another family to me, and they always seem genuinely happy to see me, even if sometimes I can't make it more than three or four weekends a year.


What’s the best tip you have for beginning naturists?

Just do it! There's a lot to learn from engaging in nude recreation - especially socially - and it'll widen your perspective of the world, but it's all stuff you can pick up on the fly. I understand that it can be nerve-racking to take that first skinny dip, but you'll thank yourself for doing it sooner rather than later. Nudism, in my experience, tends to be a very relaxed, welcoming environment, and all those things you're worrying about are really not that big a deal. (Yes, I am including erections). Be friendly, follow the rules, and you'll go far. And if you find out you don't like it after all, well that's one more thing you've learned about yourself!

Anything else you’d like to share with our audience?

I realize that I'm probably not the best advocate for body acceptance, and I probably give off mixed signals, but I'd like to stress that nudism is not about what you look like. You don't have to be "fit" or "attractive" to join in. Nudists are just average people. Most of them are not going to look like magazine models (and again, this is where I'm not such a great example for the lifestyle), and I can pretty much guarantee that whatever you look like, you will not feel unwelcome or out of place. Nudism is for every body. Working out to get to the beach is a part of textile culture; nudists don't care what size or shape you are. So don't wait to enjoy the benefits of the lifestyle just because you feel your body's not perfect. Nudism wants you to be naked and free right now!


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Permission to be kinky, sir?

If you're not familiar with Dr. Marty Klein, sex therapist and author of Sexual Intelligence, one of the few blogs I give my wholehearted recommendation to (see sidebar), he's one of the few members of the human species I know of who actually promotes a thoroughly healthy, rational, and sex-positive approach to human sexuality, cultivated through years of helping people through their various sexual issues and problems. As far as I'm concerned, he's one of the good guys, and there are far too few of those. I can't think of any time that I've come across anything he's said that I disagree with. I praised him on my blog once before, two and a half years ago.

Anyway, I was reading one of his excellent blogs, and I came upon a passage that really stood out and spoke to me. I'm going to pull it out of context (as such, try to ignore the fact that it's a sentence fragment), because the context isn't so important to the meaning it has for me:

"Giving yourself permission to...get aroused going braless in public"


When I read this, I realized that this is exactly what I'm seeking: permission to enjoy exhibitionism. I mean, I already enjoy it, but sometimes I feel guilty about it - because it hasn't yet been subsumed under the heading of "acceptable sexuality" (which tends to include only those acts that can be isolated to people's private bedrooms, a form of marginalization at odds with a more sex-positive approach that embraces sex as a potentially wholesome and shared element of society) - and that has a way of eating away at you over time.

Look, I'm not flashing people on the subway. I approach my interest in this sexual "diversion" with a rational concern for the concept of communal ethics. At the same time, I expect society to give me a little bit of leeway to enjoy myself (the pursuit of happiness and all that). It's a two-way street, and I expect something of a compromise. I curb my impulses to a reasonable degree, and society gives me some room to breathe. Because my goal is neither to commit any crimes, nor to become a social pariah. I just want to find a way to indulge myself, without having to feel like I'm doing something wrong.

My feelings of guilt are certainly exacerbated by things I read from both religious conservatives and faux-progressives, who feel that anything one does in public with a more or less sexual motivation is violating the "consent" (very loosely defined, and in opposition to the belief that a free country demands a public square that will be challenging, rather than comforting to its citizens) of unqueried strangers, even when it does not involve anything explicitly sexual (because we're talking mainly about mental stimulation, and not the physical kind, here).


As an example, suppose I want to wear a skimpy swimsuit to the pool that shows off a lot of my body, and then revel in the attention it brings me. You know, like it is acceptable and even expected for women to do. Not to make this an issue of sexist discrimination, but I think it's a relevant concern. Women are permitted to be sexual objects (however individual women may feel about this, especially feminists), while men who are in touch with their sexuality are more likely to be viewed as perverts or, worse yet, predators.

I'm not out to harm anybody. If your views run conservative, you may be somewhat offended by my choice of attire, especially if you haven't been exposed to very many men in this way. But it's not going to hurt you. And we live in a free country. Tell me why your sensitivity to exposed flesh is any more valuable than my belief that covering up is an affront to nature (and/or the god who created us this way, if that's something you believe in). You wear what you like, and I'll wear what I like. We may encounter each other in public, but neither one of us gets to dictate the other's choice of dress.

I feel justified in this stance, but I still want somebody to reassure me that what I'm doing is okay (because how else can I know that I'm not a lunatic with a warped sense of logic, who can't see how or why I'm wrong?) and that I'm not being insensitive and a menace to society because I refuse to repress my enjoyment in the sensual pleasures of life - keeping in mind what I said earlier about being reasonable and seeking a compromise; I'm not talking about adopting a philosophy of "if it feels good, do it". I just want to be given a break.

And I want us all to be happy and able to live together, by allowing each other our pursuits of pleasure, instead of insisting that everybody follow rigid rules of propriety catering to the sensibilities of the majority. I want society to tell me it's okay to be an exhibitionist; that there are acceptable outlets for my sexual desires; that I don't have to feel guilty about indulging them; and that I'm not skirting dangerously close (one dumb mistake away) to ending up on a sex offenders list.

I suppose I should take the fact that I haven't been hassled yet as evidence that I'm doing alright, although that's no guarantee of safety, and it could result in overconfidence, leading to potentially dangerous escalation. I want to feel like part of a legitimate community, not one associated with fringe acts of antisocial perversion. One that's built upon mutual understanding, and not a regimen of self-loathing. Because when you're isolated, in a minority of one, it's easy to fill up the space in your head with all the fears and anxieties your imagination can conjure.


Addendum: As a postscript, I could make a very similar argument about voyeurism as I've made about exhibitionism here, as regards the taking of pictures of strangers in public (this is where the compromise comes in - this is a legal act; we shouldn't disparage people for engaging in it just because they have a sexual motivation), a pretty harmless activity (note that this doesn't excuse stalking/undue harassment) that people tend to overreact to.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Outfit of the Day (#ootd)



I'm not generally one for excessive displays of patriotism (and being American hardly seems like something to be proud of these days), but I do enjoy dressing for a theme, and when it comes to the red, white, and blue, there are no shortage of outfits to choose from in this country during the summer. Nevertheless, I opted for my old standby - the American flag bikini - because how often do I get a chance to wear it? These pics were taken post-pool shower, and before fireworks in the park.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Myth - Nudity in National Parks

"Nudity is legal in national parks — little known fact"

Actually, this is a widely spread falsehood, based on the fact that "technically, federally owned U.S. Forest Service and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land doesn't have any federal law banning public nudity". Yet, "each national forest, grassland, and all BLM lands honor state and county laws" (all this from the same article). Which means that nudity is no more or less legal in national parks than it is anywhere else. Which is to say: barely (if that).

That "BLM officials have said that they will take situations of public nudity on a case-by-case basis" doesn't provide much in the way of comfort for anyone wishing to engage in nude recreation on public land unmolested. That it's not strictly illegal is not the same as saying that it is legal, particularly when it can so easily be misconstrued (by a usually unsympathetic audience) as "indecency". The best advice I could give anyone determined to take the risk is not to get caught, for all that's worth.

As a result, holidays like "Nude Hiking Day" are very difficult to celebrate, even for those fervent adherents to the lifestyle. That's a cause that the nudist community ought to take up, for the benefit of every one of its members. And yet, one need only look at the treatment Stephen Gough (the "Naked Rambler") has received to find out how those who dare to stand up for their essential liberties are treated (sometimes even from within the nudist community, sadly).