Being naked.

In my family, at least by the time I was becoming a teenager, we were very relaxed about nakedity. There was no great fuss made of changing together and I have been nude beaching with my sisters and their partners/husbands.

I love seeing nude people. I think we are all so beautiful. I have had a long standing desire to photograph all my friends male and female in the nude. I would love to have a 40th birthday party with as many of my friends who would would come naked. Largely this is because when I love people I want to know them and for me my friends’ bodies are important aspects of who they are that I am excluded from… I resent it!

I want to talk about this because I think it can be hard for people to believe how separate this is from pornography. In our society our media works to link nudity with eroticism by almost never displaying human nudity outside the context of eroticism. This has certainly conditioned me. When I am in the same space as a naked woman it sometimes takes a few minutes for me to relax out of the “nudity is erotic” space. I always do though. When you spend time with naked people it becomes easy to see the difference between naked and erotic.

In contrast my experience of looking at women in an erotic way comes when I am with a woman who wants this from me! Then it really doesn’t matter if she is clothed or not. For me there is nothing more erotic than a woman who is looking at me with that mischievous glint in her eye and that little smile…Β  sigh…

Pornography is a performance of this erotic relationship. Sometimes it feeds on our society’s eroticisation of nudity but most of the time it presents men and women in an erotic context.

Many people say that porn conditions people who enjoy it to see people as only sexual objects. In my experience this hasn’t been true. I enjoy a heck of a lot of porn but I don’t think there are many people male or female that experience me as having an narrow interest in who they are…

Well there is a lot more to say about this but I have to go to work.


One Response to “Being naked.”

  1. Heather Says:


    I like the idea of nakedness separate from eroticism, but in my experience the step from noticing someone’s physicality (be they clothed or otherwise) to assessing them from an erotic standpoint is small. I’m sure that in a situation where taking this step is actively discouraged (such as at your naked 40th πŸ™‚ ) that it is much less likely to be tken, but in everyday life we’re encouraged from taking that step, not restrained from it! Surely porn reinforces this and clothing optional situations challenge it. Although it’s all a bit complex – I’m certainly not seeking a world where appreciating physical beauty and allowing that to slip into sexual attraction becomes taboo!

    However, my main issue with the consumption of porn is that it is sexual practise/expression without relationship. Whilst it is easy to see how that is pleasurable, it also seems to me to be at best highly problematic. Training ones-self to enjoy an experience or fulfill a desire with/through an other without engaging with their ‘otherness’ and ‘selfness’ just feels all wrong to me.

    My two cents…

    And on an unrelated note, I’ve checked the follow-up comments box on each comment I’ve made, and got an notification of a further comment at least once, so it’s probably just internet randomness, not a matter of settings.


    –Heather πŸ™‚

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