Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nude Yoga

On the subject of my latest photo in the Why Nudism? series, this was a difficult theme for me to illustrate, but I wanted to tie it in to the nude yoga craze that's been sweeping the nation. I haven't actually done much yoga, but it's one of the few activities showing some real potential for bringing nudism to a (relatively) mainstream audience. I do like to exercise in the nude, but as a supplement to an earlier entry in the series, I wanted to emphasize the more general point that sometimes clothing gets in the way, and is just plain uncomfortable to wear. Here are some outtakes from the shoot:

You'd think the "happy baby" pose would be an ideal match for my photography, but it's rather more explicit than I wanted to go for this project.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Why Nudism? (Part 19)

To put it simply, clothing can be a nuisance. Even before I spent a lot of time rationalizing the many reasons I like to go nude, there was the simple feeling of comfort that came with not being tied up in my clothes. For most of my life, I haven't put much effort into getting dressed. I'd wear loose jeans and t-shirts (even sweatshirts and sweatpants when I was a kid) in order to prioritize comfort.

More lately, I've learned to appreciate the joy and confidence that an attention to fashion can bring, but it's always at the expense of physical comfort, and not in tandem with it. At the end of the day (and throughout most days, really), I'd just rather not wear anything at all. That's why I don't like to dress in layers, or wear a lot of jewelry - it's just more "stuff" on my body, dragging me down.

I don't think everyone has this problem - certainly, not everyone feels comfortable without clothes on - but for those of us who may be more sensitive than average to physical stimuli, or have sensory overload issues, practicing nudism can be a great relief. If you've ever come home at the end of a long day, and taken off some or all of your clothes to help you unwind, then you know what I'm talking about.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Hand-Me-Down Fashion Show

I recently received a bundle of clothes from a family friend who is supportive of my fashion interests, and who has a good sense of style (she's not afraid to wear sexy clothes), so I thought this would be a good opportunity to do a "fashion show" (albeit for your eyes only). This batch consists mainly of some strapless/tube dresses, and a few sheer nighties - in other words, very sexy.

My favorite is the black tube dress. It fits more comfortably than the orange one, which is very tight - good for fetish balls, maybe, but not much else - and is rather more discrete. Plus, it glitters like diamonds - it's even more impressive in person. I love it. I could totally see me wearing something like it to prom. I just need to find some strappy heels to go with it.

I also really like the white dress, but it's very snug - prohibitively so. It would need some modifications for me to be able to wear it. Which is a shame, because I like its style. The leopard print top is something I could definitely wear, though - perhaps in the summer. The nighties are sexy, of course, though I don't know how much I'd actually wear them. Having dangly bits kind of throws off the fit.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Waking Up

Normally, it would be considered narcissistic to wake up, get one look at your body, and think, "damn, I'm hot - let me take a selfie." But when you really are hot, it's actually a public service to document that so the rest of the world can enjoy it, too.

It's old news now, but I didn't get started modeling because I had an overinflated opinion of my own appearance. It started out with me sending flirty pictures to my girlfriend. But I enjoyed the process, and I liked the results. This won't be the first time I've quoted Elle Fanning's character in The Neon Demon, but "I know what I look like - what's wrong with that, anyway?" Too much beauty in this world goes unappreciated as it is. I'm not going to contribute to that kind of wastefulness. Everyone is so critical, but if you don't like it, you can just not look.

In law, there's a saying that goes along the lines of, it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than to let one innocent man be wrongfully accused. It's not the way that modern law works, unfortunately, but it's something I happen to agree with. I don't care if the whole world develops narcissistic personality disorder (which is really a lot more than just thinking "I'm hot"), if it'll prevent even one beautiful person from going through her whole life not realizing how beautiful she is, and not selflessly sharing that beauty with the rest of the world, it will be worth it. I'm just doing my part to make that world a reality.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Xmas Outtake

I'm still sifting through my pictures from last year, picking out the best ones to display on my website. Though it hardly seems like there's been any time, with all the new pictures I've been taking! This is a video outtake from just last month, of me stripping out of my Santa dress on Xmas morning.

Friday, January 26, 2018

X-Ray Screening

Here are some shots on a theme that's always fun. I tried this six years ago, but I think my skills have improved since then. (The back shot didn't line up quite as nicely as the front, though).

Obviously, real X-rays don't quite work this way (to the chagrin of every little boy who's ever purchased a pair of "X-ray Specs"). They use a form of electromagnetic radiation (high energy light) that [mostly] passes through your body, revealing the outline of your skeleton. But what if we could design a special material that appears transparent only under specific viewing conditions? Like the polarizing filter in a pair of sunglasses. We could design clothes using this material, so that when you put the glasses on, you could see right through them!

Think of the boon this would be to voyeurs and exhibitionists! Obviously, people wouldn't be forced or tricked into wearing this material, but those who don't mind could opt in. It would be like a special little treat for perverts. All would appear normal under regular viewing conditions, and only those who are "in on the secret" would have any idea what's going on. Voyeurs and exhibitionists alike could get a thrill, right out in public, and it wouldn't disrupt anyone or violate anybody's consent!

I think this is a brilliant idea, and it would be such harmless fun to play with. I'm doubtful about the likelihood of this kind of thing even being possible, though. And if you could get it working, there are bound to be some unforeseen problems, like stepping under a fluorescent light of a particular wavelength, and finding that your clothes have unexpectedly been rendered transparent to all onlookers! Still, it's a great idea - worth keeping in mind as our technology advances.*

*After reading an insightful article in Wired magazine, I'm thinking that maybe this sort of thing will be more practical as Augmented Reality becomes more widespread. Technology is a fascinating thing, and the future rarely develops quite like anyone expects it to (as a host of now out-of-date science fiction literature can attest to).

Here's a behind-the-scenes shot of my setup - a window screen propped precariously on two chairs, with a couple of wooden practice swords for stabilization. Hey, you gotta work with what you have!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Rainy Day

I tell you what, the weather has been all over the place. I wasn't expecting to be able to do a video like this until April! But it was really coming down hard, and it was unseasonably mild, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Birthday Suit Bash

This should come as no surprise, but I always like to celebrate my birthday in my birthday suit. I'd love to throw a "birthday suit bash" one of these years, but I don't have nearly enough friends who are nudists. This is one of those times when I think nudity should be permitted, even in an otherwise textile society. It's your birthday, after all - you should be able to wear what you want!

I may fantasize about living in a nudist utopia, but I'm willing to make compromises. I can even live with nudity remaining a taboo, just as long as it's not considered criminal. It doesn't have to be common or well-liked, just tolerated. I don't mind being considered an eccentric (at this point, I'm used to it), I just wish I weren't so often compelled to be someone I'm not in the presence of others. Trust me, most people have habits I don't like*, yet I never feel like I'm in a position to just ask them to stop, for my sake. I choose my friends accordingly, and with family, you just have to grin and bear it. So how come nobody grins when I bare it?

*(I'm trying to think of a good analogy, and the first one that comes to mind is smoking. People could make similar arguments about nudity and smoking being "offensive". But while smoking is becoming less tolerated in society these days (the opposite sort of reception that I want nudism to receive), it does involve harmful chemicals - and not just for the smoker, but anyone in the vicinity. Nudism, on the other hand - contrary to popular opinion - can actually be healthy. Even just being exposed to other people's bodies, and not participating yourself, can have a positive effect on body image. So, it's really not a good analogy after all).

As for how old I am, a lady never tells. :-p Actually, I've stopped counting. Age is just a number, anyway. What does it really matter? Unless I'm running for president or trying to get a senior discount, the answer is "old enough".

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Old Chest

An artist recently approached me on deviantART looking to collaborate with other artists on illustrating some of his poetry. These shots were inspired by some of the imagery in the poem Gnosemos.

Monday, January 22, 2018

SGO Notation

sex, gender, and orientation - 
paralleling the trio of mind, body, and heart (or soul)

This is something I've been sitting on for a long time. I should have shared it a while back when it was still fresh, but I thought it needed more work. Still, the harder I try to invent a comprehensive system of notation, the more I come to the conclusion that nothing can ever capture the full range of human diversity (as social media sites that keep expanding their sex, gender, and/or orientation fields are learning) so well as a blank field. But I like organizing concepts, and finding patterns, and a blank field is just too open-ended to enable any kind of systematic categorization. So I'm just going to show you what I've got, because (if you'll excuse my self-aggrandizing behavior), I really think it's pretty clever. I don't think it will ever actually catch on, but it can still be fun to play with, and maybe it will open some people's eyes to just how wonderfully diverse human gender and sexuality is.

So, I've been talking about sex, gender, and orientation for years. After reading the original Kinsey reports, I was inspired to imitate Kinsey's work on deconstructing the sexual orientation binary (i.e., his discovery that most people exist on a spectrum between gay and straight, rather than sitting at one or the other extreme), but applied instead to the gender binary. In 2014, I introduced my gender scale, which allowed for a broad spectrum of gender identity/presentation between girly girl and macho man, while also acknowledging the existence of transgender individuals whose sex doesn't match their gender.

In 2016, further inspired by the increasing visibility of transgender individuals in popular culture and media, I began to consider the limitations of our language describing sexual orientation, in relation to non-cisgendered individuals. To help illustrate my point (about the often confusing diversity of sexual pairings in a post-cissexual world), I expanded upon the symbolic notation used previously in my gender scale, to allow for the inclusion of both sex (determined by symbol) and gender (determined by color) simultaneously. There was just one thing left missing - a way to depict a person's sexual orientation.

Enter SGO Notation (which I hinted at here, and am only now following up on), a form of visual shorthand. Using a little magnet symbol (to symbolize attraction), a person can illustrate their sex, gender, and who they're attracted to fairly simply (at least to the extent that their identity isn't too complicated). As I alluded to before, this notation isn't comprehensive, but it's far more inclusive than anything else I've seen, and there is certainly room for you to get creative with it. How does it work? Here's the standard format:

The character on the left describes your sex and gender. Your sex is determined by the symbol used - because it describes your body. Most people will use either a male or female symbol, but you could hypothetically put anything here, even Prince's symbol, if you like.

How the symbol is colored in determines your gender. Blue is for masculine, pink is for feminine, and purple is androgynous. You could color it half blue and half pink, or use stripes or a gradient - whatever you want, provided it's not counter-intuitive (or at least comes with an explanation). You could use a different color altogether (green, for example) to denote a third gender or something else entirely. You could leave it blank or color it grey to indicate that you are agendered. It's up to you.

The next symbol in SGO Notation is the magnet. This is pretty much universal (although you can modify it to indicate asexuality, or to distinguish romantic versus sexual attraction), and indicates who or what you are attracted to. The magnet is intentionally pointed left (towards your symbol), because it indicates what draws you in. There is no assumption that who you are attracted to will necessarily be attracted to you, too (i.e., that the attraction will be mutual).

On the other side of the magnet you can put whatever it is you are attracted to. This is where you can get creative (or, keep it as simple as you like). It doesn't have to be a single symbol. It doesn't even have to be an anatomical symbol - you could put a toaster symbol there, if you're sexually attracted to toasters (hey, the point is to be inclusive, not judgmental). You could even replace your symbol with a symbol of a dog, to indicate that you're a canine furry. (You can see this is where the system "breaks down" - there's just too much diversity for it to be comprehensive. But I tried). It's all about expressing who you are, so that others can determine if they're your type (and vice versa). I can envision this being a sort of badge you would put on a social media profile. Or, maybe it's a little TMI. In any case, it could be a fun little quiz to take, or something to produce for yourself privately, to feel like you have a concrete identity, no matter how unique you might be.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Snow Shoveler

Sort of a companion, I suppose, to my first post of the year. As a nudist, I like to say that I'm not crazy, but it's possible that I am actually a little bit crazy. I'll even go out naked in the snow! But not for long. Just because I enjoy the thrill of being naked outdoors in all kinds of weather, doesn't mean I enjoy freezing to death, or that I'll let myself get frostbite. But like the polar bear plunge, a little bit at a time can be exhilarating!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Winter Frolic

I suppose this video will be similar to Streaking in a Winter Wonderland. You'll have to excuse me - having regular, everyday access to an outdoor arena where I can be naked and shoot/film myself is a novelty, and something I've been dying to have for years. And I just can't resist the urge to play in the snow! I just wish it weren't so cold. But I'm sure you won't mind if I end up with a few different videos on a similar theme, right? Anyway, it's still snowing during this one. The last one was taken after the sun came out.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Footprints in the Snow

For once, a nude video I could share on social media, lol! Remember, nudism is just like being barefoot...but all over!

I wonder if this counts as nudity?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Doing the Laundry

This was actually one of my very first ideas for the Why Nudism? series, but I had to put it on hold until I got my laundry room put together. Comparisons can obviously be made to laundry room photos I've taken in the past (such as these). Part of the fun of revisiting familiar themes is seeing how much my photography has improved over the years, and also noticing the sparks of brilliance that existed even before I had the proper vocabulary to express myself (in a manner of speaking).

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Why Nudism? (Part 18)

I like to say that irony is a nudist doing laundry. But, of course, even nudists have to wear clothes some of the time, and in a perfect world, would still have towels and sheets to wash. But you can significantly reduce the amount of laundry that needs to be done by not wearing clothes any more than you have to. Lounging around the house on a weekend? Don't bother putting on pants. Gardening or yard work? Let your skin absorb some sunshine. Going on vacation? Lighten up your suitcase by spending it at a nudist resort.

There are times when it makes sense to wear clothes, and other times when it doesn't. In my mind, a nudist paradise wouldn't necessarily be one in which everyone was naked all the time. It would just be one in which people would be free to go naked when it makes sense to. Some activities lend themselves very well to nudism - like outdoor sports and swimming. I think doing the laundry is another one - all laundromats should be clothing optional. There's nothing more satisfying than putting everything - even the clothes off your back - into the washing machine and starting fresh. If I'm still dressed when I hit the button to start the cycle, I feel like I've missed something.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hoop Action

Hula hoop action in three forms: still frame, animated gif, and full motion video! Shot on an unusually mild January day

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Sex-Positive Brief

(See what I did there?)

I've spent a lot of time trying to hammer out the finer details of a Sex-Positive Platform (in my conception) - and I still believe this is a worthwhile exercise (maybe you'll see it someday, if I ever finish it) - but I think that it all boils down to this. It goes without saying that someone who is sex-positive takes a more positive than neutral (opposed to negative) stance toward sexuality. But more often than not, it's as simple as giving sexual matters the benefit of the doubt. In other words, not always assuming the worst, and leaning instead a little bit more toward the side of tolerance and forgiveness. Whether or not you think this is a better approach than a straight-up neutral or more critical perspective is up to you (and certainly the zeitgeist right now seems to favor heavy suspicion, which leads more toward the negative end of the spectrum, which I oppose). But that's what being sex-positive is about, and that's where I stand.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Butt Sharpie

Here's another outtake, from the shoot that produced these images, this time of me fooling around with a Sharpie. I guess I was a little embarrassed at the time, but I do think it makes for a pretty hot image. To be honest, I was inspired by my discovery that there is a whole subreddit dedicated to girls (these things are usually sexist) sticking Sharpies up their butts. I suppose I must be pretty perverted to think it's awesome that this is actually a thing. But if you ask me, there are much worse things you could find amusing/arousing. (And while I often get off on the general idea of certain things, no doubt there are always those who find the need to take it to an ultra-graphic extreme).

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

I like the irony present in this image: usually, you'd expect the one peeking over the fence to be trying to catch a glimpse of the nudist(s), and not the other way around! This is also the sort of image that tends to blur the line between voyeurism and exhibitionism - the subject is engaging in voyeurism, while appearing nude on camera renders him an exhibitionist. So it's a depiction of voyeurism, that becomes exhibitionism when it's viewed! (Quantum physics, anyone?). In my mind, they're just two sides of the same coin.

It also demonstrates my controversial point about the perfect symbiosis between voyeurism/exhibitionism and nudism: I don't see how any visual document of nudism could be produced that would be immune to the potential for an exhibitionist interpretation. Photography itself is inextricably linked to these practices. Once you're creating images of nudity for other people to view...

Of course, whether or not you interpret the nudity as sexual is a critical point. But no matter how innocent the nudity may be, there will always be someone interpreting it sexually. It's inevitable. And it's also human nature. But that doesn't bother me, because I don't actually think there's anything wrong with it. As I've said before, seeing a nude and thinking sex does not create sex in the nude. It does, however, increase the net total pleasure being experienced in the world, and that can only be a good thing.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Please Think of the Children

Yesterday I wrote a post about the appeal of nudity, and I wanted to title it "Gymnophilia", but I discovered that I'd already written a post with that title over a year ago. (It's a fairly generic title, on a subject that is central to this blog). So I reread that older post (which is something I often like to do), and was linked to yet another post, about people using the "think of the children" argument as a justification for the restriction of civil liberties. And it got my mind churning (this is one of those "you know what really grinds my gears?" topics). Here's an open letter to anyone who's ever used their children (or hypothetical children) as a gambit in the war on freedom:

Your right to construct an intentional environment for your children, limiting their exposure to things contrary to your worldview, ends at your front door (or local area network, in these increasingly digital times). You do not have the right to limit the free and public expression of ideas because you want to control what your child sees and hears. This is not a tradeoff; the very belief that you can - and even should - stunt a child's education to support your own intolerance is despicable, and inimical to a democratic mindset.

Of all the many individuals among the world population, parents have the unique opportunity (if they so accept it) to be the strongest influence in a child's life and upbringing. Is this not good enough? Children are their own people. They are independent agents. Your job is to guide them, not to make their decisions for them. Teach them how to be critical thinkers. Explain why you believe the things you do. And then let them choose for themselves whether or not to follow in lockstep behind you.

You can disagree with this, and try with all your might to enforce your will on the rest of society. But I am never going to agree that my freedom of expression should be curtailed because you'd prefer to keep your own children in the dark, or that such a barbaric act could ever sanely be considered a moral imperative. So if you don't want your children (or yourself, because that's what this is really about, isn't it?) exposed to the wonderful diversity of human culture, you'd better keep them locked up at home. And I only hope that somehow, someday, they manage to escape your tyrannical oppression.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Gymnophilia (Revisited)

I have a fascination for the human body. Not all human bodies, necessarily - but attractive ones. In a sense, I guess you could say I have a fascination for the idea of the human body - its potential as both a beautiful object and a finely tuned machine. I enjoy watching beautiful bodies perform all kinds of various tasks - from the mundane to the spectacular. So it's rather disappointing to me that our society goes to such great lengths to cover our bodies up.

I mean, sure, we're inundated with pornography. But when was the last time you saw an uncensored, naked body doing anything other than having sex, masturbating, or intentionally posing seductively? (Leave it to the Japanese to have identified this as a "fetish"). Take the sex away and what do you have? Nudism? But the fact that I still prefer the aesthetic delights of an attractive body over an "average" one seems to fly in the face of nudism's commitment to body acceptance.

Question why athletes don't perform in the nude (as the ancient Greeks did), and you're shouted down as a pervert. But the question of whether or not I'm a pervert is less interesting to me than the issue of why this kind of not-strictly-sexual (though-maybe-a-little-bit-erotic-but-so-what-if-it-is?) admiration of the human body isn't more widespread, or at least better understood and tolerated. I blame our loss of innocence. Every artist is perceived to be a philanderer.

In fact, everything is interpreted in a sexual light these days, and the moral battlefield has become polarized. For every manner in which the progressives embrace sexual liberty, the conservatives find a new reason to suspect people's motives. The conjunction of these two perspectives is devastating - anything can be erotic, but eroticism is evil. So, everything that's not unwaveringly pure is evil. There's no middle ground.

Which is concerning to me, because I live on that middle ground.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Naked Vacuum

I swear, being naked on camera turns me on. It's been this way since I was at least fourteen.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Wood Paneling

An outtake from an abandoned photoshoot. This was one of those times - not often, but it happens - when I'm just not feeling the images I'm producing. It doesn't look so bad in isolation, but overall I guess I just wasn't really inspired.

Monday, January 8, 2018

What if Orientation is just a Preference?

I had a radical thought today - what if sexual orientation is just another form of sexual preference? I feel like, in this increasingly sexually fluid culture, preference for one sex over another is merely the most common form of distinguishing one's sexual interests, and, moreover, is an aging relic of a conservative conception of human sexuality that is overly focused on procreation.

After all, it's possible for a straight man to receive sexual pleasure from another man - without necessarily wanting it or seeking it out, or particularly enjoying it from anything other than a purely physical standpoint. The potential for a sexual response exists; the differentiating factor is our psychology. Why, then, should a preference for a particular form of sexual anatomy be held sacred above other discerning factors, like body type, nationality, profession, et cetera?

I'm not saying that, in a sexual utopia, everybody would freely be having sex with just anybody, because, hey, it's all the same - people would still have their preferences. I'm just saying that if your preference is for one sex or another, that doesn't make you any more "special" than somebody who has more discerning tastes. (I've long maintained that though I am preferentially attracted to females, I am not automatically attracted to every human being with a vagina. In fact, I do not doubt that there exist beautiful men with whom I would sooner have sex than the world's ugliest women).

Nowadays, in the political realm, it seems like the distinction between "preference" and "orientation" is being wielded like a weapon to justify some sexual preferences (the common and most accepted ones), while vilifying others (so-called "fetishes" and "fringe desires"). In other words, a sexual orientation is just a sexual preference for which you can't legally be discriminated against. Well, I reject this strategy. The only thing more vile than religious devotion is political affiliation. If religion is the antithesis of reason, then politics is the natural enemy of truth. "Anything to bolster the cause."

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Playboy Outtakes

It's that time of year! I'm going through my last year's worth of photography, picking out some of my best shots. Every so often I'll come across something I didn't post that I think is worth sharing. Contrary to the commercial practice of releasing dozens of images that vary only slightly in pose (I tried that once, wasn't too thrilled with it), when I have a concept in mind, I prefer to have just one or a few good shots to exemplify what I'm going for. That means some otherwise good shots that just don't make the cut occasionally fall by the wayside. Which is why outtake posts are still fun to do. But sometimes I have to put some distance between me and the shoot before I'm ready to share them, because I don't want to siphon too much attention away from the "poster" image.

Without further ado, here are some outtakes from my Playboy shoot from last winter. (No, I wasn't in Playboy - unfortunately - I just posed with one of their magazines :-p).

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Mermaid Legs

My legs against a backdrop of decor inspired by The Little Mermaid. (I always liked Ariel better with legs, although you can't deny that her minimalistic mermaid "outfit" is alluring!).