Friday, September 30, 2016

Decent

I would say that I look pretty decent naked. Wouldn't you? So then, tell me how exactly this qualifies as "indecent":


Take a look at this body. This is what offends me - when people tell me to cover up, suggesting that there is something undesirable about looking at me unclothed. I know that people have subjective opinions, but you don't tell the curator of a museum to take down a Picasso just because you don't have much of an appreciation for it. Just because your hairy ass looks disgusting doesn't mean that I should have to cover mine up. Do we all have a right to equal opportunities? Yes. But we're not all equal. Privilege comes to those who earn it. And I won't deny the part that luck plays in my appearance, but I work to maintain my physique, and I should be rewarded for that effort by being granted the privilege to show it off.

What really confuses me is how anyone could disagree with the notion that being able to look upon a chiseled naked body - a living, breathing work of art - could be considered anything other than a reward. Again, I know that people have subjective opinions - especially about beauty - but even if you're not "into" my type (or sex, or whatever), what harm does my presence actually do you? Why do we honor people's superstitions about the naked human body so much more than a person's individual liberty to choose how or whether to dress themselves - even in the privacy of their own homes? I thought this country was founded on the principle of religious freedom. Because there is no scientific evidence to back up the claim that exposure to nudity causes psychological trauma. And if it's merely a question of aesthetics, then there should be no problem with fit, well-groomed individuals walking around naked in public.

The government needs to stop indulging this mass hysteria right now. Possessing direct, firsthand knowledge of human anatomy should never be a crime! If you have something against seeing people's naked bodies, then you're more than welcome to try and construct an atmosphere where you will not be exposed to them, just as I am welcome to try and construct an atmosphere where that sort of thing will be commonplace. But what I can't stand is the thought that you forcing your views on me is permissible, while me simply exercising my views could be considered a punishable crime, due to "exposure" laws. In other words, this is not just a civil dispute - the government is taking a stand against my beliefs on nudity. So forgive me if that pisses me off.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Underwear Model



Honestly, I'm wondering where you have to apply to become an underwear model. Because I think I would be a great underwear model. But do they even hire men to model women's underwear? Because I look a lot better in women's underwear. Women's underwear is more attractive in general than men's underwear, which is so utilitarian (or more concerned with comfort than appearance - I don't know how anyone could find boxers to be attractive). But men need to know how their package is going to sit in a pair of women's underwear before they shell out their hard-earned dough for it, right? And hell, I don't doubt you could sell men's underwear by having women model it - half-naked women can sell anything! So why shouldn't the opposite be true? Tell me, women, would you buy a pair of underwear for yourself (or your boyfriend -_^) if it was modeled by a man? I think that would be cute and funny. It's not like those models (regardless of gender) look like the people actually buying these clothes in most cases anyway, am I right? So we might as well have some fun with it!


I can't get over how much this shot of my torso looks like a "yum" face - with two eyes, a nose, and a tongue coming up out of the corner of the mouth. Lol. Bodies can be such fun to play around with. Why do people have to be so uptight?


Do you remember what I said about the waistband trick a couple weeks ago? Well, my preferred solution is a supportive pair of briefs. I'm sure all the members of the boxer rebellion are scoffing right now, but rest assured, we've come a long way since the unappealing "whitey tighty" (honestly, does anybody actually guide their soldier through the tunnel - because it's much easier to just climb the fence). Enter the modern day "fashion brief"! Now you, too, can look like an underwear model (or porn star).


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Bathroom Mirror



Serious question: are you getting tired of seeing pictures of me in the bathroom mirror? (Because, clearly, I'm not getting tired of taking them). I know they're common, but that's for a reason. As a self-portrait artist, mirrors are a major source of inspiration. You gotta see what you're shooting to get inspired. And though I like to put mirrors all over the place (to the extent that I can), the one hanging over the bathroom sink is generally the one you tend to look at the most. It's also located in the one part of the house where you're most likely to have a significant portion of your body uncovered (which, as a nude and erotic photographer, means something to me).

And though you might say, "but zharth, bathroom mirror selfies look so amateur! Why don't you grab your dSLR whenever you get inspired, and take a real picture?" And my answer to that is, I often do. And you know what my experience has been, a lot of the time? That when you see a certain something while standing in front of a mirror, it's really hard to recreate it after you've stepped away from the mirror and set the camera up, in a different room, with the light coming from a different direction. It's that photographer's impetus - when you see something, you snap a picture before it's gone, because moments like that are ephemeral.

And even if you're shooting a person, that person is constantly in motion, their body position changing - even with so much as a breath or the slightest slouch. And cell phones are really handy. You just rush into the other room and pick it up (or pull it out of your purse), while the moment is still fresh, and snap away. (Incidentally, this is also the reason that it's so hard to forget to wipe the mirror down before you start taking selfies in it - but I tell you, it's worth it, because photoshopping out those really unsightly smears is a pain in the ass).

---

All this talk about mirrors makes me think about the fact that so many people have a love/hate (or just plain hate) relationship with them. Which is unfortunate, but understandable. We live in a culture that puts a lot of pressure on people to look perfect. So much pressure, that even beautiful people often don't realize they're beautiful. And there's this unspoken rule that you're not allowed to feel good about the way you look, because that's narcissistic, and it means that you're full of yourself. It's tragic.

Now, I'm pretty good looking. I came to that realization based on the opinions of many others beside myself. If it weren't for them, I'd have gone on the rest of my life thinking that I was unattractive (I really honestly thought that for most of my life). I really think that's what people need - somebody in their life who genuinely thinks they're beautiful to tell them that, regularly (and it doesn't count if it's your mom, because you know a mother will say that whether it's true or not), and it's unfortunate that not everybody gets to have that. But now I'm a model, and I actually think of myself as being "model caliber". Obviously, I'm not perfect, and even now that I've lost a lot of weight I didn't need, and I think that I'm in the best shape of my life, there are still parts of me that I don't particularly like. And there always will be. But there's enough there that I like, that I don't need to dwell on the negative. And that's a good thing!

I imagine that for a lot of people, looking in the bathroom mirror represents this dreadful daily challenge to accept one's looks, and exert maximal effort in primping themselves to meet society's standards. I don't know what I could possibly do or say to change that, but I wish people had more grounded expectations, and more to like when they look in the mirror. To me, the mirror isn't my dreaded enemy, but a good friend hanging around who is always ready to give me a compliment at a moment's notice. You probably hate my guts right now. But I'm not trying to brag, I honestly wish more people could experience this kind of a relationship with their mirror image.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September Storm



A lingering remnant of the fading summer.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Early Bird



The early bird gets the worm. XD

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Model Photographer



It annoys me the way web-based art communities discriminate against self-portrait photographers. I know we're rare, and it makes sense to split the field into models on one side, and photographers on the other, but is there not even a tiny niche where we can fit in? There's also a lot of vitriol in the artistic community levied against "selfies". The honest truth is, selfies can be artistic as much as anything else (and mature artists will recognize this). On the other hand, they are easy, so a lot of people are going to take a lot of them that are simply not particularly good or artistic. It's just the argument about "snapshot" photography all over again. Is it not obvious, however, the difference between an artistic self-portrait and an ill-composed "selfie"? (You tell me).

Yet if you want to try to sign up as a "photographer", you will be expected to have experience with more than one model, and if all your pictures are pictures of yourself... Sigh. Our brains are designed to create shortcuts wherever they can (processing the world we live in would be an insurmountable task otherwise), and stereotyping (which often leads to discrimination) is one of those. I hate human nature sometimes, but I guess that's the price I have to pay for delighting in being eccentric - someone that refuses to fit into your mass-produced, standard sized boxes. I just don't want to be like everyone else. But I still dream about finding other people in the world that think like me... Diversity is great, but taken to its extreme - down to the smallest minority (the individual) - it can be very lonely.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Anybody Home?

Like a cop without a search warrant, if you open that door without knocking, you waive the right to complain about anything you might see inside. I don't mind if anybody sees me naked, or even engaged in a sex act. In fact, I'd be happy to grant you admission if you're interested in being a spectator. Just don't bitch about getting a free show after you've invaded my privacy.

"So I broke into this guy's house the other day, and you know what indecent acts he was committing in total privacy, behind closed doors?! There should be a law against that or something!" *swoon*

I hate humanity sometimes.


I have to apologize, but I'm in a ranting mood lately. If you like my photography, you can probably skip this next part.

Before you say there's too much distracting clutter in this image (and relax - I agree, but it doesn't mean the photo's not worth taking or that it doesn't have any merit as it is), you should know how much clutter I removed from the image already, before taking it. Am I supposed to strip down a whole corner of my house every time I get the inspiration to take a picture? (If you only knew how much heavy lifting was involved in taking the pictures for this post). I don't live alone, so at least half this stuff isn't even mine (before you decide to judge my personality and living habits - it drives me as crazy as it drives you. I have to live with it, you only have to deal with looking at it in a picture. So chill), and I don't particularly like moving other people's stuff around. This is a house - lived in. Is it aesthetic? Probably not. Am I shooting professional studio photography? No. If I had a choice, would I shoot against a cleaner background? Absolutely! Would I rate this among my all-time best images, that I would show off to somebody as an example of the kind of work I'm capable of producing? I doubt it. Unless we're talking about one of the many diverse facets of my art that isn't technical aesthetics - such as, oh, I don't know, the mixture of themes of eroticism and humor, my clever and creative use of clones, a statement on gender fluidity, or the normalization of nudity (and sex) in the home, et cetera.

I swear, there are few things that annoy me more than somebody who insists on judging you as an artist from a single piece of art, or considering the fact that not everything you produce is a masterpiece is some kind of reflection of your skill. Rather than presenting only your best face (which is good for, like, job interviews, but not making long-term friends and contacts who need to know who you really are, behind the professional facade - oh, how I loathe the very concept and mindset of "professionalism"), I've always been about being down to earth and demonstrating that I am a real human being, and art is a spontaneous, fluid thing, and that if you want to creat great works like I (occasionally) do, you have to follow your inspiration, and take time to learn, and be willing to produce works that are not flawless, but may still be worth creating and having and sharing, because they push you and others forward, like a creative springboard, to other works of varying quality in the future. Art is a process. It's a living, breathing animal. And unless you've spent time with it day in and day out, you can't judge the kind of person I am, or even the kind of work I produce - not from a single or cherry picked group of images.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Making Of: Government in the Bedroom


An alternate version

I like to illustrate my posts on this blog. I don't always do it, but I like to when I can. Sometimes I produce images I want to share, but I don't really have anything to say about them - because the picture speaks for itself. And other times, I'll find a topic I want to discuss, but I won't have any relevant pictures to use as illustration. It happens. But I like it when I've got something to say, and I have a picture (or pictures) to help illustrate my point. Sometimes it'll be the case that I'll start writing, and I'll think of a picture I'd taken earlier that fits the theme of my post. And other times I'll look at a picture I've taken, and it will get me thinking about a topic I want to discuss. As a photographer, I've found that spontaneity can sometimes be lucrative (and other times not), but some of my favorite photo shoots are ones where I start out with a concept - an idea I want to illustrate in a photo. It can be frustrating when you're not getting the results you want, but there's nothing like the thrill of creating a beautiful picture that also expresses an idea that's important to you.

In any case, I started out writing Government in the Bedroom as an offshoot of some of the themes I'd been thinking about while writing other posts (as sometimes happens). But I had several posts queued, and I don't like to post more than once a day (because I don't post often enough to warrant it, and it's easier to archive that way, plus it keeps my blog active over longer stretches of time, instead of having a dozen posts over the course of a couple days, and then a month or two of silence), so I postponed publishing it for a few days. And when its time came, I thought to myself, you know, this post would really benefit from an illustration - a bedroom scene with a government agent standing off to the side. A picture like that - it could be sexy, funny, and thought-provoking (and maybe a little scary), and it would serve the topic of the post perfectly! So, I set out to produce just such an image, and got it done - from conception to completion! - in a few hours time.


I shot the bedroom clones first, and they came out looking really good (I've got "bedroom scenes" down pat, lol :p), which gave me confidence that I could produce an image I'd be happy with. But then I had a lot of difficulty with the "government agent". Cliché or not - honestly, clichés can be helpful, when used as a visual tool to tell your audience what you want them to see - I figured I could model a government agent by wearing a suit with dark glasses. Only problem is, I don't wear suits and ties, I wear dresses and tiaras. I didn't even have the right kind of sunglasses - I had to dig out the 3D glasses I saved from a movie showing (for just these sorts of occasions). So I tried to model the "dark jacket over white shirt" look, but I just wasn't getting the proper feel of "men's formal wear". Then I remembered I actually had a couple of suits in the back of my closet that I got as hand-me-downs. I liked the darker of the two better for the government agent, but the lighter one looked better against the dark background of the image, so I chose that one. It didn't fit me perfectly, and I don't own a tie to save my life, so with the 3D glasses, the resulting impression is probably a lot goofier than what I intended.


But it's the best I could do with what I had, and I think I managed pretty well, all things considered. Still, I've learned recently that people aren't going to stop to consider your limitations. They only care about the finished result. And they're going to compare it to the finished results of others who haven't had to work under your limitations. The only thing that matters is whether it's any good. So if you have limitations (and I've got my share), you can't let them hold you back, or use them as an excuse not to work harder. You can still be as good as anyone else, even if you have to work twice as hard. And if you do succeed, people will be impressed by how much harder you had to work. But nobody is going to pat you on the back just for trying, and they're not going to give you a free pass, either, just because you're at a disadvantage. It's a hard lesson, but I'm trying to incorporate it into my work ethic from here on out. It'll either destroy me, or make me a better artist. But I guess that's what it takes if you want to be serious.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Networking For Models

(An open letter)

I am a self-portrait photographer looking to network with models in my area so as to expand my portfolio and gain experience working with other models. I have a serious interest in the aesthetics of the human body, and I like to create thought-provoking works that challenge people's preconceived notions about gender and sexuality. My work is undeniably taboo. But I do not "peddle smut". I am keenly aware of all the different rules about what is appropriate in different contexts and on different websites, and am diligent about following the rules - because you can't network with a deleted profile. I want to have confidence that I will not be discriminated against because I do have an association with works that are taboo, and because I currently occupy a niche, since I have not yet had the pleasure of shooting an endless lineup of young women in makeup and lingerie. I would also hope not to be categorized as an amateur just because I take self-portraits. I do not have a lot of expensive equipment, and I do not have room in my tiny apartment to set up a studio. But I am very serious about what I do, in spite of my limitations (which I am hoping to expand by gaining experience working with other models), and I want to create technically proficient, but also emotionally and intellectually stimulating works of art. I'd like to think that my art speaks for itself, but sometimes people tend to jump too quickly to conclusions.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Government in the Bedroom



"The government doesn't belong in the bedroom" means there should be no restrictions on what people do sexually in private as long as all parties are consenting. And I only say "private" because public acts inevitably involve non-participants without warning, which could be considered a violation of their consent (or in this case, lack thereof) to participate. In my view, seeing somebody engaging in an activity that you could easily turn away from doesn't count as participation - you don't become a player the instant you notice somebody playing tennis (that's what the term "spectator" is for - and even then, it only applies to people who specifically stick around to watch). But bringing sex acts out into public adds another dimension to the argument, and right now I want to focus on the importance of government not sticking its nose where it doesn't belong - in the privacy of people's bedrooms (and I define "bedroom" loosely, as any private place people might engage in any kind of sex or sex-related act, which includes masturbating in front of your home computer).

Potential problems I could see arising from the government not spying on people's sex lives is the possibility of 1) coercion (forcing somebody to engage in a sex act against their will, either by force or persuasion), 2) deception (obtaining consent for one act, and then switching the reel mid-show), and 3) casualties of ignorance (e.g., getting a girl pregnant because she wasn't aware of the importance of contraception). But I don't know that surveillance would even solve any of these problems. Nothing but the victim's own savvy and the possibility of outside intervention will stop a coerced sex act from occurring. But even if the government had a spycam in your bedroom, it presumably wouldn't stop the act from occurring, it would just make it easier to prosecute. Which is not a bad thing - but is it worth the government watching you every time you attempt to have an orgasm? You tell me. Their track record for permitting consensual acts of pleasure is not very good (remember when gay sex was illegal?), and I certainly wouldn't want to have to get a notarized warrant every time I wanted to search a person's orifices, much less have a chaperone supervising. Would you? This is one of those cases where we just have to trust to human nature. There will be people out there who will try to take advantage of others, and sometimes they will succeed. It's unfortunate, but it's inevitable. The best thing we can do is look out for each other, and try to identify and reduce the triggers that would cause a person to prioritize their own desires over the fundamental sanctity of another person's body and will in the first place.

As for the casualties of ignorance, I don't see how preserving ignorance by emphasizing abstinence (proven to be ineffective) is a superior methodology to simply combating ignorance by emphasizing education. At the end of the day, you're just not going to be able to prevent those who are intellectually disadvantaged and incapable of making good decisions in any context from failing to engage in proper safety practices. Perhaps you could make an argument for denying these people access to sex outside of supervised encounters, but I'm not sure that's the most effective or humane approach, and either way, it shouldn't affect the way the rest of us have sex. You put slow kids in slow classes with other slow kids. You don't slow down the regular class with the faster kids. I understand that the religious conservatives are doing everything in their power to keep the public ignorant of sexual matters, in the hopes that their decree that punishment awaits anyone who engages in "immoral" acts will actually prove to be true ("we said you'd pay for your sins, and by golly, it will be true, even if we have to be the ones doing the punishing!"), but how that's a platform anyone with one iota of good sense or compassion for their fellow man would support - I have no idea.

When it all comes down to it, there are not moral or immoral sex acts. Or if there are, it's your responsibility to choose whether or not to engage in them (and what happens as a result) - not to decide whether or not your neighbor gets to. If two (or more) people decide they want to engage in an act, it's their and their decision alone whether or not to go through with it. The extent to which they should be barred from doing so on account of consequences they may or may not be taking into consideration (which it is, at least, the government's responsibility - if they have any concern over people's sexual health at all, instead of people's sexual purity - to educate the public about) should, at most, determine which acts may or may not be "sponsored". (What I mean to say is, there should be beginner, intermediate, and advanced sex acts, instead of legal, questionably legal, and illegal sex acts). Barring individual considerations (which are always important, but never to be used to draw society-wide generalizations), I cannot see any justification for the criminalization of such acts, at the very least, as naked exhibition, vanilla masturbation (i.e., not involving, like, fists or gigantic cucumbers or power tools or whatever), or the pursuit of climax via gentle surface touching, or the recording and dissemination of recordings of such acts, when committed by consenting parties. There is no room in this society whatsoever for the shaming and stigma of people who claim their basic human right to pursue sexual pleasure and satisfaction within reasonable bounds. And if you want to pick up that power tool? As far as I'm concerned, have at it. But if you've got to sign a waiver or something, to avoid unexpected future litigation, the option should at least be there.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Modeling Industry Standards

It shouldn't be surprising to learn that the modeling industry has very high standards. I mean, that's kind of the point. But sometimes when you watch shows about modeling, it seems that their standards are ridiculously high - rejecting girls who would turn heads just about anywhere (notwithstanding those features the modeling industry loves that maybe a lot of "normal" people aren't so keen on, like exceptional height, and sharp jaw lines, and whatnot) for the tiniest of "flaws". Again, I guess that's the point (although I don't see why they have to be so cutthroat about it - making girls feel "fat" or "ugly" just because they're not in the top 1%). Having to reject beautiful women because I have even more beautiful women to work with is a problem I want to have!

But there's a mindset I've encountered, where girls who can't cut it as "traditional" models are left with recourse only to do either "art" modeling (because I guess art serves a wider diversity of goals, and isn't restricted to the "survival of the prettiest" approach of commercial modeling) or porn. I take exception to the notion that porn should get the industry's rejects. But it's true. The only thing you really need in porn is a willingness to do porn. It helps if you're moderately "attractive" (in some subjective sense), but even if you're not, chances are there's a fetish market still open to you. Regular models don't do porn because they don't have to - they can get regular work. And apart from personal preference and interest, porn occupies a lower tier because of the stigma associated with it. So if you can do regular work, you do it. If you're doing porn, chances are, you're desperate.

I find this state of affairs deplorable, because I take pride in the erotic arts. But I don't know how to change it without eliminating the society-wide stigma surrounding sex and especially sex work. Which I'm working on. But it's not something I can affect by myself. Society has to want to change (or at least a considerable and powerful portion of it), and that's a very slow and reluctant process. But I've noticed that I really appreciate erotic works that make use of very attractive, physically fit models - as rare as they are. I mean, if you're that fit and attractive, surely you can manage to get better work than porn. But what a shame that is. For the sake of the porn - or, more importantly, the erotic art - it suffers from these top tier high quality people not offering their services to it, and on account of porn's dismally low standards ("can we stick a couple of dicks inside you and then cum all over your face? Good, you're hired").

I guess to put it in economic terms, the supply for traditional modeling outstrips the demand (every girl who's ever been told she's "pretty" thinks she can be a model, despite that just being a thing guys say to girls to get them to take their clothes off (I hate humanity sometimes)), so they can afford to be choosy, whereas the demand for erotic modeling outstrips the supply (every guy with a camera wants to find girls willing to take their clothes off, but what are the girls getting out of it? (why the hell don't we treat these girls as the civil servants they are, instead of slinging mud at them? - talk about cutting off your own foot!)), and they have to take whatever they can get. I know this is a natural law, and it can't be changed other than by artificial means, but isn't it sad that the world doesn't get treated to quality erotic works on account of the fact that only a minority is interested to see such a thing? I think that's tragic! I mean, I'm not asking for this kind of stuff to be shown on the nightly news - it doesn't have to be popular (although I suspect that if it existed, a lot of people would be into it), I just want it to be an available option. But as it stands, if a "real" model actually wanted to do erotic work (you know, because it might be interesting/exciting/edgy/whatever), she'd be unduly discouraged from it on account of the stigma. That's not fair.

Well, that's the way things are, and I alone don't have the power to change it. But I'm making a statement - a commitment to endeavoring to produce higher quality erotic art with respectable modeling standards. I've already done it with regards to myself - I've produced a fitter, more attractive model than I had to work with when I got started in earnest almost a decade ago. If I ever get the opportunity, I'd like to expand that to working with other models, too. But - sigh, I'm not going to hold my breath on the remote possibility that some breathtakingly beautiful model out there is willing to do this kind of work, and that if there is, I'd ever be able to meet her...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Outfit of the Day (#ootd)

A Saturday morning special!


I had to rush out to the post office this morning (even before breakfast!), so I threw on my latest pajamas. I normally don't like to wear clothes for sleeping or lounging around the house in (and when I do, the less the better), but I've been trying some new things lately.

Even though I don't generally go for the "pajama pants" look (a shirt and panties are more feminine, and infinitely sexier), I wanted to get a pair recently so I would have something warm and comfy to sleep in on those occasions when I'm out camping in a tent, and the nights are cooler than I'd like. And I found this adorable pair that just screams me - they're a beautiful shade of oceanic teal, decorated with The Little Mermaid! (Who, if you don't know, was my first cartoon character crush, and one of the first times I remember in my childhood being completely entranced by a pretty girl - so, even though I'm more of a faerie than a mermaid guy, Ariel has a special significance for me).

As for the shirt - which I love - before you accuse me of narcissism, I never would have picked it out for myself, but my roommate actually bought it for me because she genuinely believes that I am flawlessly beautiful even when I've just rolled out of bed. Hey, I'm not going to complain - it's nice to have someone that feels that way about you, even if I try to keep in mind that her perspective is biased. But now I can wear the shirt both unironically and without guilt, and I love having an excuse to put it on whenever I haven't had time to properly wake up and shake the dreams from my hair (in a manner of speaking).


And, here's a version without pants - just for fun, and because I've been told I have great legs, and I think legs are really sexy, and in the spirit of Ariel getting her own pair (which I suspect may be the cause of my own interest in legs).

Friday, September 16, 2016

Mental Ableism in the Realm of Sex

(This is a rant aimed at society's despicable morality police - especially those of which who try to convince themselves that they're actually "sex positive" - the only ones they're fooling are themselves).

I am so sick of "mental ableism" in the realm of love and sex. I have a personality disorder that makes it difficult for me to build social contacts and meet people. But just because I cannot find a relationship that satisfies your definition of normality, I'm not allowed to seek intimacy and sexual pleasure on other terms? You have every right to believe that things like pornography and prostitution are "immoral", just as I have the right to disagree. And you have every freedom to choose not to indulge in or support those things. But you cannot pursue measures that would make it harder for me to do so - because that is an infringement on my freedom.

Maybe if I had a perfect mate who is and does everything I could ever want or hope for, I'd be satisfied, but that is an idealistic fantasy, and real life doesn't work like that. If you've managed to convince yourself otherwise, then congratulations, but don't make me suffer for your delusions. I make no apologies for the fact that I am a pervert, but I try very hard not to be a "creep". I don't want to go around making people uncomfortable, committing acts of dubious moral integrity - spying on people, lying to people, and things of that sort. But that's what happens when you attempt to suppress people's sexual expression.

I want there to be sexy people out there who want to share their sexiness with the world - and there are. But all your petty, conservative restrictions do is make it hard for me and other people like me to find them. Laws against coercion, deception, violation of consent, privacy, et cetera are perfectly acceptable and expected. But they should not be thinly veiled covers for anti-porn, anti-prostitution, anti-contraceptive morality statutes. You do love and sex your way. But don't you dare try to legislate how I do my love and sex.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Spectrum-Based Perversity

So, I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but I'm working on writing up a Sex Positive Manifesto (seeing as everybody I've ever come across who's claimed to be "sex positive" does not conform to what I believe a sex positive perspective ought to be). It's taking a while, because it's hard to write something that you intend to be definitive - I want to make sure I hit all the bases, while still being general enough to cover the entire playing field. It's a challenge, but something I'd really like to complete.

Anyway, this idea of "spectrum-based perversity" or sexuality or whatever is one of the ideas that will be going into the manifesto, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek at what that concept looks like. This also ties in to another idea that's going into the manifesto, which is a rejection of the paraphilic approach towards sexual diversity - which is what the clinicians do when they look at alternative interests (fetishes and such) as diseases and mental disorders instead of wonderful expressions of natural human diversity.

Basically, to put it in BDSM terms, it's the concept (and it's terrible that I even have to point this out) that not everyone who likes spanking owns a sex dungeon, and also that not everyone who owns a sex dungeon is a serial killer. Because people just love to jump to conclusions, right? Here it is in terms of a so-called "fetish" that affects me personally:

---

I want people to understand that "voyeurism" and "exhibitionism" are not simply sexual perversions that cause people to commit antisocial acts against non-consenting others (such as flashing strangers, and putting mirrors on their shoes), but psychological interests that exist on a wide spectrum, encompassing such benign activities as, for example, "people watching" and performance theater; and that, even when they develop as sexual interests, they can be practiced in healthy and consensual forms - such as the voluntary production and enthusiastic consumption of pornography. Defining these terms only by their worst examples is unfair, and damaging to those who have these interests, and are seeking ways to indulge them responsibly, if at all possible. Tell a mouse he's a monster for wanting a cookie, and he's more likely to resort to monstrous acts in order to get that cookie, than change his mind about how hungry he is.

---

I think that one of the big differences between me and the rest of the world is that I have compassion for sexual minorities. I don't look at them and think, "ew, gross! You're a monster! What's wrong with you?" Rather, I'm more likely to think, "it's unfortunate that you have such inconvenient tastes. But it's fascinating, too. Let's see how we can incorporate you into the fabric of society."

So am I wrong? Am I the bad guy? Am I forcing the majority to "suffer" the participation of these unliked minorities? Or is there some virtue in the idea of equality, and some value in fostering diversity? I believe there is. But I ask again, am I wrong? Am I the bad guy? Because if that makes me a bad guy, then I'll be the bad guy. But I just don't think it makes sense that way. And nobody who's ever disagreed with me has ever convinced me otherwise. So why is it okay for the majority of the population to go on being wrong, when being wrong does real harm to real people? Can you answer me that?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cost Benefits of Naked Exhibition

Are the benefits of appreciating the beauty of the naked human body worth the costs of exposure in a society riddled with taboo? And is there anything we can do to mitigate these costs, so that open-minded aesthetes can pursue their happiness in peace? I can honestly say without exaggeration, that the very meaning of my life hinges on the answers to these questions.

In a life characterized by disappointment and wasted potential, where I can never be "normal" - loosely defined as having a satisfying and lucrative career, a loving wife and beautiful kids, and a big house in a nice, suburban neighborhood - the one and only thing that consistently puts a spring in my step, that inspires me and inflames my passion to live and to accomplish great works, is the artistic pursuit of naked beauty.

Yet I am surrounded by seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Perhaps I am attracted to some extent to the taboo - but I am just happy to pursue a lifestyle that rejects the mainstream perspective that has already failed me. It is not the danger that draws me in, and I have no desire to harm or traumatize or otherwise ruin the lives of others. My creed incorporates no violence, no intolerance, no coercion. Just a shifted paradigm for the way we view our bodies and our sexual natures.

You don't have to follow me. You don't have to support me. You don't even have to agree with me. The most I'll ask from anyone is to simply consider my perspective. And to just let me be - and let others be like me if they choose to do so voluntarily. I don't come into your home and tell you how to live. I don't stop by your workplace and tell you how to do your job. I don't visit your house of worship and tell you what to believe. Why can't we respect each others' differences, and just get along?


What I want to talk about here is the balance between the costs and benefits of exhibitionism. And, as usual, I am talking about exhibitionism and voyeurism, as I view them as being two sides of the same coin - they are not two different activities "committed" against random others, but parallel activities performed for the sake of each other. Voyeurs appreciate the performance of exhibitionists, and exhibitionists perform for the sake of voyeurs (and sometimes these are the same people). But I am not just referring to specifically sexual acts. Unfortunately, when people hear the terms "voyeur" and "exhibitionist", they conjure shadowy mental images of men in trench coats and hidden spy cams. But like everything else, these preferences exist on a wide spectrum; it's limiting to define them only by their most extreme examples.

The truth is, most people have a little bit of a voyeur and exhibitionist inside them, and they often encompass benign, everyday activities - like sitting on a park bench and watching people walk by, or strutting your stuff at the pool in the new bikini you picked out. It's not always sexual. Sometimes it is - but even then, it's not necessarily harmful or obtrusive. What I mean when I talk about the wide spectrum of voyeurism and exhibitionism is simply the act of observing or being observed, that sometimes brings pleasure and excitement to the people who participate in it. I don't know any better word to use, that won't lead people to complain that I'm just talking about voyeurism and exhibitionism "in disguise", and that I'm not being straightforward enough. So for better or worse, I'm opting to own those terms.


Anyway, I was thinking about the balance that exists in people's heads, that determines their approach towards the exhibition of - to pick a meaningful example to me - people's naked bodies. You have to balance what you stand to gain from an act of exhibition, against the potential costs. And I realized that my beam is almost certainly calibrated much differently than most people's. On the one side, I have an acute appreciation for not just the erotic, but the aesthetic beauty of the naked human body. Not all of them, to be sure, but certain ones. In fact, my sense of appreciation for those few is so strong, that it's worth the sight of a hundred, or even a thousand ugly ones. I think that for most people this is not the case. Almost everybody is attracted to nudity to a certain extent, but I think that I am uniquely tuned to appreciate that beauty in a holistic sense, that makes it worth pursuing on a whole different level.

Now, on the other side, there are the potential costs to "exposing" one's naked body. If most people have little to gain from the exhibition of naked bodies (because they're just not that wild about them, or the one they happen to be married to is all they need - lucky stiffs), they sure like to inflate the potential dangers of the exposure. A lot of people worry excessively about getting "found out" - the fear that if somebody who knows you sees a naked picture of you, you will be subjected to e.g., stigma, bullying (especially if you're young and still in school), discrimination at your workplace (possibly including putting your job in jeopardy). Frankly, I think these fears are overstated (so your grandma finds out you post naked pictures on the internet - so what?). But even insofar as they are justified, the solution is to attack the stigma, not encourage it. It's terrible that when these things happen, we pat the bullies on their backs and tell the victims, "that's what you get," instead of asking ourselves, "what's the big deal with taking and sharing naked pictures anyway?"


So while I have lots to gain from naked exhibition (it makes life worth living!), at relatively low cost (I refuse to associate with bigots as a matter of principle), the rest of society probably feels the opposite way - they have little to gain from naked exhibition (Judeo-Christian principles!), while viewing it as a high risk activity (honor killings, anyone?). And that's where a lot of my frustration comes in, because it's like my thinking is backwards compared to the rest of the world. But of course, I think my thinking is right. I'm not going to stop being interested in nudity just because it's unpopular - I couldn't even if I wanted to! I'd feel better if I knew there were pockets of individuals just like me where I could feel like part of a group, and not so alone. But even in nudism I don't feel that - they're so paranoid about cameras it's like, what's the point of being naked, then? And the sexual perverts - I don't feel comfortable among them, either, because they're so single-minded, and don't seem to have any kind of concern for art and aesthetics.

Everywhere I go to try and express my point of view, instead of finding people who are like me, I just get inundated by the masses who probably think I'm touched in the head. It's discouraging. But all I'm trying to do is pursue my own happiness. I'm not trying to hurt anyone or infringe on anyone else's rights in the process - I'm just trying to carve out that little piece of life that everyone is entitled to. Should I have to suffer because the piece I want isn't the piece everyone else is selling? I'm willing to work extra hard for it. Can people just please stop persecuting me for even trying?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Waistband Trick



Not always a practical solution. -_^

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Home Alone



This is, inevitably, what happens when I have the house all to myself.