In Regard To Being Regarded

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Photo by Brett Walker

 

I recently posed for a figure drawing artist, yet another highly unlikely activity in a lengthy list of things I never imagined that I would ever do in a million years that I have done in this year.

I am not one of those people who sashays triumphantly out of the shower and into the kitchen butt-naked to fetch myself a drink. I sleep with my panties on, even when I have a handsome bedmate. In the wintertime, I add socks to my thermal nighttime apparel. I avoid lingering in locker rooms and showering with others at all costs. I won’t pee in front of you, ever, even if we are good friends. Outside of clearly sexual contexts, my own nudity seriously embarrasses me in company and when I am all alone as well. Your nudity makes me incredibly uncomfortable, makes me not know where to look, can make my skin crawl.

Unless we are fucking. (past, present, future…but not too long beforehand and not too long afterward either.)

So, needless to say, when I saw the job offer in the classifieds, wrote an email, sent a few photos and then physically moved my body to another city in order to sit silently naked with a complete stranger, well, it was huge for me. Because I don’t really like my body? Yeah, probably a bit of that but not only that. It was an odd experience. Not a bad odd experience. I really enjoyed talking to the artist. He made me feel at ease right away.

Ever since, I’ve been trying to pin down what confuses me in nudity, why I am so uncomfortable in the nude. Surprisingly, I really wasn’t uncomfortable at all in our work arrangement. I guess it felt unusual to me to be undressed and not have any sexual intent lurking in the background. To be honest, it baffled me. I am still trying to process my own feelings about this.

When I figure it out, I’ll write something enlightening. (that or run naked through a stadium!)

43 comments

  1. Sandee

    I am a total nudist. And my body is less than perfect. A young man came to visit one hot summer day years ago — he went to the bathroom. When he came out — bam! — I was butt naked. “Leave some room for the imagination,” my ex boyfriend used to say. In hindsight, I think I should have been more prudent, or just maybe I need to live in a nudist colony — my clothes come off as soon as I get home. I vacuum naked — when I’m blogging, talking on the phone, I am naked. Except for now cause I’m at work — hahahaha! And I’ll bet your body’s 100% better than mine — I would love to see those photos!

    • pivoine68

      They were just pencil sketches and really, I’d love to see them too! I asked, I looked….but I couldn’t see myself for some reason. I blocked my naked-ass self right out of my stream of consciousness! I admire you for feeling so at ease with your own self. Obviously, if you aren’t, weren’t? how could you be comfortable with others? Then again I am fine with others….sort of. As long as I have socks and panties!

      Get home, strip off your clothing and have a beautiful, Sunday evening my blogging / nudist friend. (maybe you should think about a disclaimer! Lol!)

      Bises,
      Dawn

  2. Jayne

    Similar ? I don’t know but I recently switched to a male gynecologist and I feel the absence of or the ignoring of sexuality is just …strange to me. I’ve always preferred a woman simply because…she owns the same equipment and understands it all from the inside out. Hey, now maybe if he were naked from the waste down…I’d feel more balanced…? As for your modeling and you being naked – how cool is that. You were being taken in and interpreted for your beauty without any further expectations. Well…they weren’t spoken of anyway. What a very cool way to understand yourself my friend. Go and do the uncomfortable – I absolutely love that about this experience. Another similarity – I’ll never pee in front of you either. I don’t want to be THAT close of friends!! lol

    • pivoine68

      I have a lady gyno for the same reason. There is something unnatural to me bearing my most intimate self with someone who isn’t intending on….well, yuno.

      That modeling deal was really even more terrifying to me than Sleeping With Strangers. I think I’m becoming addicted to scairing the shit out of myself and somehow, I think it’s positive for me. Being frightened of everything never got anyone anywhere. I’m sure that pretty soon I’ll have so much self-confidence, I won’t even fit on my own blog. That was a joke.

      I’m overjoyed that you understand about peeing being a private moment. Maybe I’ll write a post about how shitting at someone else’s house is totally impossible to me. I’d rather blow up.

      Have a lovely evening Jayne!
      Bises,
      Dawn

      • Dawn D

        I had trouble shitting at someone else’s house too… and then I lived a nomad life where most of my summers were spent staying at someone else’s. It kind of became a survival thing then 🙂
        I too view peeing as a very private thing… and then… I am now able to talk about it quite freely with my lover. Surprises even me 🙂

      • pivoine68

        The peeing / pooping issue with lovers seems way more important to me than the Lingering Toothbrush! We are all animals under our fancy clothing! 🙂

      • Dawn D

        I just realised something… me being more comfortable with the peeing thing… Maybe it has to do with having children? For the better part of 15 years, I always had a little one wanting/needing (in public restrooms) to get into the loo with me 🙂

      • pivoine68

        One of the thousand reasons I’m glad I don’t have kids! Lol! My husband’s grandchildren follow me wherever I go. Even in the bathroom when I’m going to take a shower. They say, “Ickkkk! Your legs are FAT!” and then I feel a bit worthless for a month or so. 😦

      • Dawn D

        Well, it sound like these little ones need to be taught some respect. That some words are hurtful. And that judging others is not as fun as it sounds, because it gives them the right to judge in return… Have you tried a “Ickkk! Your legs are so THIN!” in response? Or a “Yes, so what’s it to you? ” Or a “I want some privacy now, so please get out?”. It’s your house, your rules… At least that’s how I see it 🙂
        Whatever they say, don’t let it get to you. What counts isn’t what some little brats think, but what you do. And even if your legs *are* fat, why would it be a judgement on your worth? Your body shape has nothing to do with your worth as an individual. You have so much more to offer than the way you look! We all do 😉

    • Dawn D

      In regards to gynos… I found that sometimes, men are more patient with women, maybe because they don’t own the same equipment and don’t know the reality of the pains and discomforts for themselves. So they take your word for it. Sometimes, women doctors assume that because they own the same equipment, they have experienced it all. When all they have ever experienced is what their own body gave them to experience. Which can be very different to what I experience, in terms of apins and sensations. I have never had a problem going to a male gyno, and it doesn’t only have to do with my exhibitionist side 😉
      I mostly don’t feel sexual when faced with a doctor prodding my insides. Mind you, I have no idea what I would feel now that I’ve discovered my body 😉

      • Jayne

        Good points Dawn. My doctor is a great compassionate well ieducated and progressive doctor so there’s nothing but good that I can say. It’s just something different to experience after so many women. In the end -it’s a medical apply and that’s it. Thanks for adding in your thoughts, I think they apply to my doctor.

      • pivoine68

        I don’t feel sexual in that context either, which is sort of what freaks me out about it. I feel weird being exposed and not offering myself. (?)

      • Dawn D

        I see what you mean Dawn. I regard it as a medical thing and don’t care about who sees me naked in that context. I suppose having had children and surgeries many times does make you less focused on those things. You have to let go if you want to retain some sort of sanity 😉
        Plus being European, I don’t have the same approach to nudity I suppose, even if I’m on the more conservative side of being European 🙂

    • pivoine68

      C’était une expérience intéressante pour une fausse-timide comme moi. Je ne perçois pas la chose de la même manière pour la photo, ce n’est pas vraiment une interprétation….c’est la réalité. Moi je voulais savoir (entre autre) comment quelqu’un d’inconnu me voit. (?)

      Bises,
      Dawn

      • Etoile Henri

        J’ai richement vécu cela, mais pour une dimensions plus intime et intimiste encore…….., mais sans l’accessoire/objet photographique, juste le regard….

        ce fut bouleversant et à en voir et à en vivre la raison chanceler……

        Impressionnant!

      • pivoine68

        Le regard amoureux est plus puissant que le regard artistique, c’est certain. Mais puisque l’on ne peut pas le transmettre, l’objet de l’amour ne peut jamais savoir son image dans les yeux de l’autrui.

        Did that make sense?

      • Etoile Henri

        Désiriez-vous simplement en rester à ce Regard photographique….? L’Amour exprimé et offert en Regard participatif est transmissible, oui, parce que visible, perceptible…. à manier cependdant avec précautions……

        Cela a fait sens, oui…… de manière détonnante, mais le plus fertile, le plus fécond est et sera ce qui a précédé……?

        cela a-t’il eu pour vous aussi cet effet là…..? (l’avant, le processus de décision….)

      • pivoine68

        Henri, vous me laissez perplexe. Je ne sais jamais si mes réponses sont à la hauteur de vos attentes. En plus, je fais des fautes d’orthographes. Je réfléchis quand même à ce que vous me dites, il y a comme une bulle de BD au dessus de ma tête. Point d’interrogation. 🙂

      • Etoile Henri

        Mes attentes sont complexes, elle relèvent surtout du Temps Présent, de l’instant et de ce que le Temps nous offre comme compréhension l’Un de l’Autre…..

        Je ne me figure pas de hauteur, ni de niveau, dans un tel échange…..

        nous sommes plutôt dans des profondeurs, dans des hauteurs……

        genre vertiges, parfois, ou ivresses……..

      • pivoine68

        Je m’y connais en vertige et ivresse! Pour la hauteur je trouve très étranges que je mesure 1M80 et tout le monde me dit, “Ma petite Dawn.” Une chose de plus sur ma liste des trucs inexplicables.

  3. Dawn D

    Wow! If I can get o er my body issues (and I work at it every week, well, no, every month now appsrently 😉 ), this is certainly something that sounds very interesting!
    Now, I’m looking for a new career… maybe I could make a living doing that? I don’t know why, I don’t seem to believe in that possibility 😉
    Great post. Do let us know about your relationship with nudity once you figure it out. Maybe it’ll help me deal with my own 🙂
    bises
    XO

    • pivoine68

      I think that I am too old now to figure it out! The more I understand, the more confused I become, every answer seems to create ten more questions. Shit!

      I kind of like the idea of making a living doing that too, not forever…just for a year or two. I was fascinated by the whole thing, by myself really. As for the cashola….I guess it’s like lots of things that are well-paid, if you were doing it every other day or so, it could be lucrative. Otherwise, I doubt that very many people make a living of it. It’s a bonus. 🙂

      Je t’embrasse fort,
      Dawn

      • Dawn D

        “Youth is not a period of time, it is a state of mind”… you’re only old when you decide you cannot learn anything new anymore. I say bring on the ten more questions 🙂
        Who said that learning had to make sense to our reason? Sometimes, all it takes is for it to give us a good feeling in our hearts 🙂
        Yes, I doubt that would be sufficient to sustain me in the long run. But for a little while? Why not! I think it would teach me a lot about my own relationship to nudity and my body 🙂
        Plein de bises

      • Dawn D

        Maybe one day 🙂
        Though I have no idea about where to start looking for such a job!

  4. Cara Thereon

    It’s funny, but as much as I don’t think my body is beautiful I don’t mind being naked. My profession makes seeing others naked no big deal.

    I’ve always wanted to sit for someone and be drawn. I’ve done nudes before, but there’s something about being captured by someone’s hand in that way appeals to me on so many levels.

    • pivoine68

      It was a strange and fascinating experience. Now comments here are making me think of so many different questions and paradoxes I have about nudity. It’s making me rethink the fundamental parts of my blog. First I thought it was about relationships, then about sex, always about me….I get this feeling that I have been putting the cart before the ? I forgot that expression…maybe it is really all about the body, how we live in our own, how others perceive us.

      Thank you for your input! You have a beautiful body, btw! 🙂

      Bises,
      Dawn

      • Dawn D

        I think everybody goes about the journey in their own particular way, the one that works for them. Sometimes I too wish that I’d got my personal life figured out before my sexual one, but it’s not the way it’s worked for me. My personal life is still a big mess and I’ve discovered the joys my body can provide… as a friend just told me: “One thing after the other”. And I don’t think we get to choose which way works for us. We’re just in for the journey. So, no notion of putting anything before anything else, cart and oxen or not (btw, does this expression exist in English?), you just did it the way you had to do it! 🙂
        Bises

      • pivoine68

        Hopefully the order in which we get our shit together is exactly as it should be. I like to believe that, that all of our experiences are preparing us for the next step. It does feel chaotic though.

        I couldn’t remember that expression. It does exist in English. I’m slowly losing my mother tongue. Weird. Bises!

      • Dawn D

        Sometimes I feel like I can’t speak any language properly anymore :-/
        Every time I would go back home for the summer, I would forget some of my English, and every time I got home at the beginning of summer I realised that I had lost some of my mother tongue too. It’s the way it goes 🙂
        I’m sure eventually the chaos is going to subside and the reasons for it all will be revealed to us. I have to hang onto that hope if I don’t want to go mad 🙂

  5. Mrs Fever

    I have the opposite issue, to a degree. I am pretty much only comfortable in my own skin when I am *only* wearing my own skin. Any kind of clothing is restrictive to me. If I’m at home, it comes off. I have an internal thermostat that runs at 4,392 degrees, so I’m pretty much never cold. I’ll wear loungewear/pajamas if I feel the need to cover up, but if/when I feel a chill, I still prefer to be naked. It’s the only way I feel like “Me”. I am very much at home in nudist environments.

    And I have an open door policy on bathroom activities. I think it’s the result of being part of a large family (at one time there were ten of us under the same roof, and we all shared a single bathroom), but I pretty much don’t care who sees/hears/knows what I’m doing in the bathroom, regardless of the presumed ‘private’ nature of said events. My husband finds this little quirk of mine to be equal parts appalling and endearing.

    • pivoine68

      You are lucky to feel comfortable in your own skin. I cannot remember ever feeling that way for more than 15 minutes or so at a time. I always imagined that I would grow out of my weirdness when I became a real adult….but it still hasn’t happened. C’est la vie.

      I’ve read that bathroom issues have to do with not being able to let go of shit. (No pun intended!) You are very fortunate to have no qualms about relieving yourself as well. The mere idea of shitting with others around makes me cringe….which makes me incapable of it. It can be a handicap.

      Bises Mrs. Fever!

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