Friday, February 14, 2020

Pink Sugar Heart Attack

Celebrating Valentine's Day with pink heart sugar cookies - 

a delicious finger food served on a warm dish.

Don't forget to lick the plate clean!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Body Freedom Interview

I don't know if it's me, growing and evolving, or just the greater level of exposure that Twitter affords (I'm sure it's a combination of both), but I have been invited to perform another interview on the subject of nudity, that has just been published on Corporea libertas. Be sure and check it out! (And if you have time, there are many more interviews to read in multiple languages at Humanistic Rites).

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Nudity Required

Erections optional. (But encouraged).

Monday, February 10, 2020

Tweets For Posterity (Volume 1)

As you probably know, if you've followed me for any length of time, I put a lot of work into my writing, and I also believe that the topics I write on are of considerable social import - namely, cultural attitudes (especially confronting stigma and taboo) towards gender, sexuality, and nudity. I've recently been posting a lot on Twitter (initially to advertise my new Patreon account), and as that is a very fast-paced, constantly evolving platform, I'm a little concerned about the longevity of some of my more carefully-constructed Tweets. So I'm going to reproduce a bunch of them here on my blog, which has a more robust archival system.

Note: my tenure on Twitter (so far) has largely been characterized by the ongoing debate between the two aspects of my nature - as a nudist, but also someone who is very sex-positive. I've spent a lot of time calling out nudists for taking their desire to purify the public image of nudism to the point of shaming people - and telling them they can't be nudists - for their sexual natures. I don't mean to mix sex and nudism up, but they are both topics of great interest to me, and I don't believe it is impossible to handle them both on a single account, as I've tried to do here on my blog for many years, and pretty much every site where I've shared my photography, to at least some degree.

(Some of these "tweets" will be a little long, as they were extended thoughts posted across multiple connected tweets. As much as I am trying to adapt to the short format of Twitter, I have a tendency to be long-winded, and some thoughts just require more space to be adequately explored).


Co-mingling peacefully with hundreds of people, both nude and dressed, all behaving naturally, never fails to reinforce my belief that the nudity taboo is much ado about nothing.

The cult of beauty is often defined by the pursuit of something that is unattainable. I want to offer an alternative. Not everyone needs to possess beauty. Is it not enough to be able to stand in admiration of those who come by it naturally?

In what kind of society are we encouraged to idolize the mask - i.e., the cosmetics and fashion industries - but not the face the mask is designed to imitate? Answer: a commercialist one.

Imagine if God, feeling embarrassed, pulled a veil over the sunset every evening, leaving the awkward transition from day into night a total mystery, and it was a serious offense to peek under the veil at all that hidden beauty in the sky.

It's challenging, sometimes, being both a nudist and sex-positive. "Nudism is not sexual" is an accurate statement and a platform that I support. But nudity *can* be sexual, and that's not something I want to change. I find living a nude lifestyle to be more erotic than leading a textile one - both in the privilege of being able to view other bodies in the nude (not all, but some of them attractive), as well as in the taboo-breaking feeling of being exposed before nature and society. None of this justifies any kind of sexually inappropriate behavior in nudist company, nor does it preclude the many non-sexual reasons I enjoy being naked. But being a nudist doesn't make me asexual, either.

Porn doesn't ruin relationships. In troubled relationships, porn is often the symptom of a deeper problem. A competently trained therapist should be able to find that problem. Many people are capable of using porn responsibly. Porn is not evil. It's just a form of entertainment.

Reading through Bare Oaks' treatise on Ethical Naturism, I've finally figured out what distinguishes nudists from naturists: nudists are unprincipled, while naturists are pretentious. ;-p In all seriousness, I like the connotation of "naturism" in the sense of being part of a wider belief system, but I still prefer the less-coy term "nudism". If there are ethical nudists and recreational naturists, then it really is a matter of semantics. And not all nudists/naturists share the same family of wider beliefs anyway, so the notion that there is one cohesive "nudist ethos" - beyond certain common and fundamental principles, like #nudenotlewd and #everybodywelcome - is specious.

Labels can be limiting. As an artist and a human being, I want to be free to explore where my creativity takes me, without any preconceived notions such as "you can't wear this", or "you can't pose like that".

I'm not trying to antagonize the nudist community. I both practice and support non-sexual nude recreation. I just encounter a lot of unchallenged sex-negative thinking among nudists. I'm sex-positive and a nudist, and I'm wondering, can there be a sex-positive nudism? I would answer my own question with a yes. I've had no problem advertising nudism to my family without ever feeling the need to, e.g., disparage pornography, which is something else I practice and support.

#Modesty is the antidote to excessive pride, not a guide on how to dress. When did it become a synonym for body shame, and confidence a symptom of lack of self-respect? Virtue is in you, not your clothes. Decency is a pattern of behavior, not a style of dress.

Separating nudism from porn is one thing, and I support that. But so many nudists go around patting each other on the back, acting like they're doing the world a favor by doing their part to denigrate and eradicate porn from the internet. I want no part of that. I guess the issue I have with #nudismisnotporn is not that it isn't a true and accurate statement. It's the assumption that porn is bad, and so nudism is asserting its goodness by distancing itself from porn. I agree that nudism is not porn. But I do not agree that porn is bad.

We are a social species. Healthy sexuality may include watching others have sex, and/or sharing your sexual desires and experiences with others outside the bounds of a committed relationship.

#bodyacceptance isn't a rejection of the value of physical fitness and beauty. That's just self-delusion. Body acceptance is becoming comfortable with the fact that you're not a body builder or a supermodel, without needing to denigrate those who are. You're no less of a person because your body is average. And one of the goals of #nudism is to show the world what average truly looks like. But that doesn't mean we need to cease admiring the extraordinary, in the process of glorifying the ordinary.

You can no better tell a baby's gender at birth than you can tell their personality, their fashion sense, their music taste, their political affiliation, their sexual orientation, etc. If you mean sex, then say that - don't use a word that has another meaning. Honestly, I have a sneaking suspicion that a big reason the public is so unreceptive to the concept that sex and gender are distinct is because they simply feel uncomfortable saying the word "sex" in polite conversation. But gender is not a synonym for sex.

I don't want to shock or offend anyone with the sight of a naked body. But I DO want to draw attention to how shockingly offensive the notion is that someone would be shocked and offended by the sight of a human body.

Every person with a sex drive deserves pleasure and release. Masturbation is a great way to attain this, ethically, without having to rely on the availability and willingness - not to mention navigating the social boundaries - of others. #knowthyself (carnally)

This is one of the great paradoxes of nudism: we don't mind being seen naked, but we hide behind tall fences. We're confident in our skin, but we also want to protect ourselves. And how do you reconcile "normalization" with the belief that social nudity requires consent?

Nudism isn't sexual, but human sexuality - in all of its many, varied forms - is just as natural, and can be just as beautiful as nudism. It deserves to be celebrated just as much as the human body. This is my belief as a sex-positive nudist.

You're a visually-oriented person. You like to look at naked bodies. You watch porn because you can enjoy watching others have sex without being physically involved. You know it's wrong to violate others' privacy because you're a human being, so you don't. But there's so much consensual exhibitionism for you to indulge in (especially online) that you don't need to. You're a perfectly decent person who happens to have a voyeurism fetish. And then somebody calls you "close to the bottom of the list of low-life". Can we stop judging people by their sexual interests instead of how they behave? There are rude voyeurs just as there are rude nudists. Can we focus on the rudeness, and not other qualities like their sex, race, or sexual proclivities? I know you want to believe that voyeurism (just as exhibitionism) is defined by criminal behavior, but that's a harmfully reductive approach to human sexuality. If a person is hungry and steals your sandwich, you don't define hunger as the crime. If somebody has, e.g., a fetish for strangling, you can't assume they strangle people, or would even want to. Nor are all stranglings committed by people with a fetish. How many gawkers are just curious textiles? And yet it is the voyeurs you criticize.

It is strangely ironic that nudists - people who profess to be okay with human anatomy in a way that few in our society are - often give off the impression that they would be more comfortable if we all had genital-free, Barbie-like crotches, and no sexual desires.

Body positivity is an important tenet of the nudist ethos. But there's a stereotype that nudists don't care how they look. I want everyone to be comfortable in their skin. But I still appreciate the confidence that comes from being able to turn heads.

The "problem with porn" isn't that it's sexually explicit. It's that so much of it is single-minded and of a poor quality. I wouldn't mind seeing less cheap smut. But the stigma surrounding porn discourages artists from dedicating more effort to it.

A lot of nudist advocacy is in the vein of "you should go's why". But we'll never have a 100% conversion rate. We don't need to convince people to try nudism. We need to secure the freedom of those who already want to. Give people a choice, not a mandate.

It is not my desire to condemn anyone's freedom of association on social media. If somebody is bothering you, or you don't want their voice in your feed, by all means, block them. But there's a difference between following and being followed. The way some people talk about their "duty" (and self-imposed burden) to block every porn account they come into contact with, it sounds like a crusade to purify the internet. You don't win points for striking out against sexual expression. #NudistLegionofDecency

I have never advocated for the mixing of nudism and sex. I think that would kill nudism, and I don't want to kill nudism, because I enjoy nudism. I am not a swinger. (Not that there's anything wrong with that). You might be surprised to learn this, but it's true. I joined Twitter to promote my Patreon account, which is NOT pornographic, but may be considered erotic. But I talk about nudism because that's what interests me. I don't call my account "a nudist account" because that's too limiting a label. But am I not a nudist? I'm a lover of nudity. In many ways. Including nudism. But also including other things. So I wonder. Can a pornographer be a nudist? Can an exhibitionist be a nudist? Can a nudist talk openly about sex? I do these things, but I do not confuse them with nudism. Should I not call myself a nudist? But I support, engage in, and promote activism for the nudist lifestyle. Why? Because I'm a nudist. Among other things. And some people think those other things make me a bad example for nudism. Yet I'm out there on the front lines, promoting this lifestyle, adjacent to my advocacy for other lifestyles, including acceptance of gender and sexual minorities, and a healthier, more sex-positive attitude. Do nudists really think I'm doing more harm than good? Or do we need a more progressive nudism?

What's wrong with acknowledging that a naked body can be sexually appealing? You can't say this around nudists because they'll think you're "sexualizing" nudity. But swingers will expect you to be interested in doing more than simply admiring the view. I'm not looking for hook-ups, not even necessarily to share accounts of intimate experiences with others. I just want to admire and enjoy the erotic appeal of the human body. Artistically, but not overly steeped in the sterilized pretensions of "fine art".

It's no big secret what we're all hiding under our clothes. Physical and/or emotional intimacy is the gift you save for loved ones - not the mere sight of your body. You aren't diminished when someone sees you naked. Nor have you lost any virtue because they enjoyed the view.

#petpeeve - using the concept of consent as a bludgeon to condemn social behaviors while society continues to shame people for consenting to things it simply doesn't like. You don't get to deify the power of "no" if you're not also willing to respect a "yes".

I don't mean to be contrarian just for the sake of argument, but every community has certain dogmas that are often accepted without critical evaluation, and I want people's minds to be open to alternatives, rather than doing things just because "that's the way they're done".

People who do not personally know any exhibitionists love to talk about "trench coat flashers". I am an exhibitionist and I have never met one. We're people, just like you. You can't define a sexual desire by the dumb and impulsive actions of criminals.

The default line is that nudism is no more sexual than textilism just because everyone is naked. But apparently some want nudism to be considerably *less* sexual than textilism. This is how nudism gets pegged as an asexual, even antisexual lifestyle. Nudism, to me, is not an escape from society. It's something that I want to be part of my broader life in society. I don't want my naked time to be isolated, a sort of weekly therapy session. This is every day for me. And I want to continue being me even when I'm naked. That's just it, though. I don't want nudism to be sexual. I'm fine with it being "asexual". I just don't want it to be "antisexual". The extent to which I witness nudists denigrating our sexual natures is alarming. It concerns me. We are not a sexually healthy society. Obsession is not healthy. But abstinence is not healthy, either. Creating a sexless space as a "cure" to being over-sexed is not productive. The solution to one extreme is not the other extreme. It's all about attitude. I want to solve the sex problem as much as I want to solve the nudity problem. So creating a space where nudity can be exalted at the expense of completely forsaking sex is not a solution in my mind. It solves one problem while making the other even worse. I'll say it as many times as I have to - I don't want to introduce sex into nudism. I don't! But I don't support a nudism that feels it appropriate to adopt an adversarial stance towards our undeniable sexual natures.

I don't like the word "sexualization" because it's not sex-positive. Baked into it is the assumption that for something to be sexual is a bad thing. It's only ever used to complain about something being "too" sexual. It's a call for more restraint, more repression. I'm not sexually liberated because I'm wild and unrestrained. I'm sexually liberated because I've recovered from being repressed. Feelings of guilt and shame are soul-destroying, and frequently manifest around a person's sexual thoughts, activities, and desires. I absolutely believe in sexual propriety and responsible socio-sexual behaviors. Treat people well, and respect consent. But I don't want people to feel bad about their sexual feelings, to think there's something wrong with being a sexual organism. Pleasure is beautiful.

I stripped my clothes off the other day, and it turned me on - being naked at an unexpected time in an unexpected place. Does this make me a poor nudist? Does it mean I still have faulty programming to unlearn? Am I sick because I can still find nudity erotic? Or am I a healthy sexual organism, fully capable of enjoying the erotic aspect of living? (There's also an argument to be made here that arousal is not equivalent to masturbation - that erections, in and of themselves, should not be considered explicit sex acts). Learning to appreciate the non-sexual aspects of nudity needn't come at the expense of being able to enjoy the sexual ones. All that's required is the ability to know what's appropriate and when - depending on the time and the place (and the company). The goal of "desexualizing" nudity is not to neuter it. Nudism's request is to reserve a portion of nudity that is deliberately non-sexual. But nudism does not have a monopoly on nudity. Nudism may depend on nudity, but not all nudity depends on nudism. Nor should it. Nor are nudists required to take a vow of abstinence from enjoying nudity in a sexual manner. They are only expected to maintain the distinction between that and nudism. So let's focus on bringing the world non-sexual nudism, and not on stamping "sexualized" nudity out.

(To be continued?)

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Peer-2-Peer Versus Broadcast Models of Internet Sexuality

It seems to me that, in spite of the popularity of pornography online - which (mostly) follows the broadcast model - most people's expectations of individual sexuality default to the peer-2-peer model. Which makes a certain amount of sense, since that is almost by definition the way people have to interact sexually in person. Physical contact is much easier between two (or a few) people, than it is between one transmitter and a large audience. Also, there is a higher potential for emotional bonding, which is harder to maintain when split among a great many targets.

Naturally, many of the behaviors we engage in while out in the real world translate to our online lives (especially as ubiquitous - and invasive - as the internet has become). For example, we text our sweethearts, and sometimes share private images with them. But there is also another way of interacting sexually on the internet, which takes advantage of the anonymity and physical separation (usually considered disadvantages) of the medium. This is the broadcast model of sexuality, and it seems optimally designed to satisfy the desires of voyeurs and exhibitionists (although it may be true that most, if not all, people have a little bit of voyeur and/or exhibitionist inside them).

We could perhaps consider this the evolution of print magazines and video pornography, as it relies on the performance of a model disseminated to a wide audience of (usually) strangers. Traditionally, the position of "model" would be reserved to those few exquisite specimens that appeal to a broad base of admirers; however, the populist nature of the internet has expanded this role to include just about anyone with the inclination to try it, to which the growing popularity of amateur pornography can attest.

And so, a whole generation of horny exhibitionists can expose themselves on the internet to the drooling admiration of usually nameless, faceless voyeurs. However, this can sometimes present a bit of a clash of expectations between the broadcaster and her peers. Sometimes, a member of the audience will expect more than the model may be willing to give. That the lines are blurred between these two models - with broadcasters sometimes developing "relationships" (if sometimes purely superficial and for business purposes) with particularly lucrative fans - only contributes to the confusion.

Yet the nature of the broadcast model determines that the attraction being capitalized on is primarily one-way, which is in contradiction to the traditional peer-2-peer model of sexuality. The stimulus - performed by the broadcaster - is a product designed for consumption, anonymously, by large audiences. It should not matter, then, who those audiences are. They will, naturally, be those who are attracted to the broadcaster, but the broadcaster need not be mutually attracted to her fans. Because it is not direct physical (or emotional) intimacy she's sharing with the world, it's really more of a fantasy.

But as someone who gets off on fantasy, and is not in the habit of being either promiscuous, or especially forthcoming in developing social or intimate contacts, I find it an ideal method of interacting sexually with the world, and satisfying my desires as an exhibitionist while giving back to the voyeurs with which I can so well identify.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Being Naked Where You're Not Supposed To

Being naked in the bath or bedroom is one thing. You have privacy. You can relax. You get to feel the comfort of nudity without social pressures. Being naked on a nude beach or at a nudist camp is another thing. There's the novelty of being naked in places and situations not normally reserved for such attire, as well as in the company of others. But everyone is respectful and understanding. You can still relax, because there's no fear of being caught, getting in trouble, or being judged negatively by your peers. That's because wherever you are, if you're surrounded by [practicing] nudists, you're supposed to be naked.

Being naked in places where you're NOT supposed to, however, is another thing entirely. To revel in the thrill of that taboo, you perhaps have to be a bit twisted. Call it exhibitionism if you like. What I am here to argue is that the enjoyment has anything to do with "forcing" (or even the chance of) unsuspecting people seeing you naked. maybe that's a thing, too. I wouldn't know. Although I remain skeptical about how accurately derogatory stereotypes reflect reality.

What I do know is this: There is some added thrill to being naked where you're not supposed to. It is true that in these cases there is a risk of being caught. But it is not the risk that excites me. The thought of being seen is a source of anxiety: something to be avoided, not sought out. It is, rather, the transgression of the taboo that excites me. The addition of nudity where it does not, normally, belong. Turn the situation into an organized nudist one, and it loses some (if not all) measure of excitement. If I could be naked anywhere and everywhere in public, with the caveat that I would never be seen by anyone, it would be a dream come true. In fact, the only thing preventing me from being naked in a whole lot more places is precisely that fear of being caught. I don't want - much less need - to expose myself to anyone. I just want to be naked, in places where you're not supposed to.

Addendum: I think there is also an element of acknowledging the gulf between fantasy and reality here. I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses. But I'm really trying to legitimize what I feel is a it a sexual fetish, if you like, but I don't think it has to even be sexually explicit. We just have a history of defining sexuality as deviance, and looking at how desires manifest in antisocial patterns, and using that as an excuse to demonize the desire, which is a very critical, sex-negative perspective. The alternative is to recognize that in many cases a so-called "sex crime" is an improper and maladjusted realization of what is at its heart a legitimate sexual feeling. That people are sloppy and short-sighted - especially when their base desires are raging - should not be taken as an indictment of sexual desire, but of human fallibility itself.

What I mean to say is, there may be some psychological thrill in the risk of being caught, but I don't see how this maps to reality. Maybe there are unscrupulous perverts (actually, there are probably many of them) who haven't reached this conclusion before getting to the point of thinking going naked in some public situation is a good idea. They simply haven't thought it through to a sufficient extent. In my case, I am highly analytical, and tend to think things through to the point of neuroticism, and so I can recognize that some things that seem exciting in fantasy are actually plain terrifying in reality.

And so that's why, that although when I sit here and fantasize about playing naked elevator roulette - stepping into an elevator naked, and gambling on the chance that the next floor it opens on won't have any people ready to step in - it seems, to be honest, intoxicatingly exhilarating, but it's not something I would actually go out and do. I want there to be a situation in which you could play this game, but where the risks would be simulated. Not eliminated - because if you step into an elevator in a nudist hotel where everybody is naked and nudity is expected, then it loses much of its thrill. But simulated, in a way similar to how we can live vicariously through movies and video games, enjoying action and adventure with no real threat to life and limb.

I really think there is so much more potential in entertainment media to cater to people's sexual desires (especially the unusual ones that are harder to satisfy in reality), but so much porn is low brow, and there is so much stigma surrounding sexually explicit media, that I don't think a fraction of that potential is being realized. And that just plain sucks. How long is it going to be before I can play a well-developed virtual reality public nudity simulator? And if "polite" society doesn't want perverts getting their rocks off in antisocial ways - e.g., by exposing themselves in public - why aren't they supporting this kind of personal entertainment?

Because of some stupid moral agenda, I know. The same illogical reason why people who oppose abortion also criticize contraception. They don't care about sexual health and wellbeing, they just want people to suffer for their sins. Thing is, there will always be fanatical zealots of this sort in society, and that's fine. What I don't get is how they have so much power and influence over the majority of the population? All we have to do is stand up and say "no more", and that'll be the end of it.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Dressing Studio Outtake

A lone outtake from a huge photo project I've been sharing over on Patreon, in which I've modeled dozens of outfits in separate categories (e.g., casual, athletic, formal, sleepwear, swimwear), in imitation of the Create-A-Sim mode in The Sims. Join my fan club to plan my outfits!