Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Mixed Company - Breakfast

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of images exploring the theme of "mixed company" - that is, a household in which there coexist peacefully a nudist and one or more textiles. This is a personal fantasy of mine - a world that is not necessarily filled with nudists, but one in which nudists are accepted and permitted to go nude, without fanfare, as if it were just another fashion choice.

The impetus for this photo series was a dream I had one morning. In the dream, I was attending some kind of convention, when a staffer informed me that the time had come for my appointment for a kind of escape room challenge. But instead of a team effort, this was an individual challenge, with elements of an obstacle course incorporated, so as to be more physical than mentally-based. Two staffers took me behind a curtain, bound my arms and legs with a kind of rope or chain, and then left me there to make my escape. The most notable detail of this experience was that I had no choice but to tear off the very clothes I was wearing in order to free myself. In the dream, I had a tacit understanding that this was an expected part of the challenge - that I would then have to complete the obstacle course nude, and perhaps even then return to the convention and spend the rest of my day without clothes.

I was excited by the thought of being nude in public - but specifically, by matter of necessity, and not personal choice. That way, I might enjoy my nudity free from the guilt of my desire - a shame instilled in me by a repressed culture - similar to the way that rape fantasies may enable a person to enjoy sexual pleasure without having to take responsibility for it. Indeed, the responsibility for my state of undress lay with the organizers of the escape room challenge, and their authority as a professional and respected company meant that this occurrence - that an attendee would end up nude and have to return to public without their clothes - was common enough and expected enough that nobody would lodge any sort of complaint. (I suppose, in reality, even were this to occur, they'd provide some kind of clothing at the end - but that's not how my dream worked).

What this, then, presumes is a world in which nudity (even in public) is not necessarily the norm (so that it is still uncommon enough to create an effective contrast), but an occasional accepted alternative to being dressed. And while the "forced nudity" aspect is a powerful component of this fantasy (insofar as it effects deferred responsibility), I want to de-emphasize the possible corollary that much of the excitement comes from either the fear or the action of being caught. In my mind, this is not really the case. I enjoy the contrast (both aesthetic and psychological) of nudity against the dressed, but I want to be permitted to go about my business without hassle or even alarm, accepted the way I am - which just happens to be without clothes.

No comments:

Post a Comment