I quit being ashamed & shy about my naked body.

My friend asked me to go with her to Breitenbush Hot Springs and since I had nothing better to do, I agreed to this plan. I’ve never been to this place, but I’ve always heard the name floating around, so it was on my bucket list of things to do anyway. I packed my swimsuits, towels and flip flop and was ready to roll. Little did I know that I was in for a surprise.  As we rolled up to the property, and I asked my friend where I could change into my bathing suit, she looked at me surprised then bursted out in laughter. She then informed me that it was a nude hot springs and people don’t wear bathing suits or fig leaves around here.  I was immediately drenched in cold sweat, my face turned bloody red and I was contemplating my escape route, but she was the driver and we were pretty far from my home, so I stayed.

Mind you, I have no problem being naked or hairy (down there) …in the comfort of my home, maybe even in front of my children, if I want to be adventurous, free spirited and wild. 🙂 But I have NEVER EVER in my 35 years been to a nudist beach or hippy dippy hot springs where people of every shape and sizes ( although unfortunately there wasn’t much of the color variety ) walk around in their birthing suits, hairy as God has intended them to be. Well, I thought, this is gonna get me out of my comfort zone immediately, so I proceeded on this wild journey, and did drop my clothes as we approached the first outdoor hot tub. The scenery was serene, gorgeous and calming, but on the inside I was shy, embarrassed, nervous, stressed, my heart was beating so fast it almost jumped into the pool before me. I might have even been sweating, but it is hard to tell in a hot tub. But I made it all the way into the tub and quickly folded and twisted my tiny body into a little pretzel, trying my best to disappear and become invisible, with not much luck. Then I started noticing all the inside chatter that was going on in my head: “I bet these people are watching me. I wonder if they notice my pancake boobs with the dark areolas and big nipples. No to mention that they are soggy like war-ridden,  deflated socks. Or my pussy…oh, boy, better hide that. At this point I was actually happy that it wasn’t perfectly shaven, which would have caused me to die of embarrassment if I was caught in bed like that during intercourse, but here it was a shield of protection at least. But it is definitely not in porn star shape, by far. (Actually, not bad at all, but I am so hard on every little piece of my body, it’s not even funny anymore.) Or my belly button, boy, they will see that it is an outie. Or my posture, not straight and confident enough? But how could it be? I am trying to shrink over here, like Alice in wonderland.”

Oh, the thoughts. Then I didn’t even want to look at anyone else, I felt so weird, as if I was invading their privacy. But they dangled their privates in front of me freely, as they were exiting the sauna or the tub like this was the most natural form of existence.
In reality, it is. Underneath our clothes, we are all naked anyway. But our social and cultural conditioning got us thinking that covering up is the normal and most natural way of being. It is not the same with tribal people, but here in our “civilized” society, we believe that modesty is noble.

Once I overcame my initial shock of being naked -and so are other people around me as well-  I started talking to my friend about hang-ups, inhibitions  and where do all these things come from. My 4 yr old is already self conscious about her ARMPIT 🙂 because it has lines in it (facepalm) and that she has a side-boob if she wears a tight leotard. Where on earth does this come from, especially at this age??? So I asked my friend about the time when she first became conscious that something on her body was not “supposed to be” the way it was? Because before that thought enters your mind and we believe it, we have absolutely no problem with anything on our bodies. But once someone says something (because most of the time it is someone else pointing something out, and usually not in a nice way) and we believe it, we become aware of that body part, and we become ashamed of it. Like when I was about 13 yrs old and I was wearing my shorts at PE class, this nice “gentleboy” (cuz he wasn’t a fullbloom man just yet) next to me looked down and said: “Wow, what a mammoth legs you have. You should shave.” Never once occurred to me that my body wasn’t right the way it was, until it was pointed out to me. Just like I never realized that there could be a problem with your privates,too, until I heard guys making fun of “met curtains or beef sandwiches” or criticize someone else’s “pancake butt” or people talk about ” innies and outies”. Once you are aware of it, you create a complexion in your mind and you try to hide it or change it in order to appear “normal”. In worse cases you develop mental illnesses like anorexia, bulemia or body dysmorphic disorder.
Our prude culture sure doesn’t help this phenomena with us never being exposed to REAL naked human variety of body shapes and types. Even if we are, it’s either photo shopped, picture perfect female bodies in magazines sponsored by big beauty companies banking on our insecurities, or porn star girls with their many plastic surgeries like labioplasty, boob jobs or anal bleaching….yes, you heard me right! So how can a regular human being compete with this? When that’s your only exposure to other naked human bodies, and automatically you start comparing yourself with them, and you will fall short (cuz most of us do) then you are bound to feel less than them.  But when you do hang out with these “hippies” in nudist beaches and hot springs, you do realize that there are human bodies in ALL shapes and sizes, and no matter if you are tall or short, fat or skinny, hairy or shaven, big or small boobs or penis, innie or outie, you are all perfect as you are. You have a body, that is your vehicle, takes you everywhere, let’s you experience the hot water, let’s you enjoy earthly pleasures, helps you feel so many things that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to….and they are all perfect as they are. Anything other than this is just what YOU THINK AND BELIEVE onto them, nothing else. In reality, a body is just a body….and what I decided to think and believe onto them, is what makes me suffer or enjoy it. If I believe my body is not OK as it is, I will suffer. If I accept it as it is, and I actually appreciate it, I might even enjoy this worldly experience I am having.

The choice is mine. And thankfully by the end of the day, I switched my mindset and I was confidently walking in and out of the tubs as if being naked was the most comfortable, natural state I could ever be…. because in reality: IT IS!

 

nudist

I quit blaming men for everything…

I know, in today’s angry feminist world, the “metoo” hurricane movement and its rapid after effects, what I’m about to say probably won’t be a popular opinion among many, but I still think it needs to be shared regardless.

I know the scale is tipping, and the overpowering, dominant, aggressive patriarchy with it’s toxic masculinity seems to be collapsing like the great Roman Empire with the arrival of the fast rising, even angrier and more aggressive feminist movement. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a necessary change, something that’s evident and was bound to happen, no matter what…. yet somehow it still doesn’t sit well with me that now we assign men to be our scapegoats for all the problems in the world, we fight against them, publicly, heartlessly shame, humiliate and destroy them. Do some of them deserve it? Well… maybe… but who am I to play judge in this game, when I can’t even keep myself clean and holy for a day, let alone a whole lifetime. Plus, when did war ever end with war, or who put out fire with more fire? How will public shaming, humiliation, aggression, hatred, bad mouthing, anger ever bring peace, calm and balance to this world?

And no, I am not saying we should just sit there with our thumbs up our butts and let them do as they please … but I do think that the saying that “hurt people hurt people” is quite accurate, and if someone causes pain to another person, then in order to cure the disease – instead of just getting rid of the symptoms – you have to dig deep, find the root of the cause and heal it from there. Feminists seem -at least to me- that they only want to get rid of the symptoms, shift power and let women rule for a change. But in order to create a healthy world where we can all peacefully coexist (hahhaha listen to me and my futuristic, optimistic, delusional, Utopian daydreams) I think we need to heal men. Yes, obviously, women too…but right now, we should focus on men as well, because if they  heal, we women will benefit from it the most.

Why do I say this?

Because sometimes I play with the idea of me being a man and how it would feel  like to live in that body, in that social role, under those expectations…and let me tell you, I am not particularly wanting to be one. Yes, there are perks to it, as you never have to bleed on a monthly occasion, or put up with PMS for days before it (although we make sure that they suffer from it just as much as we do 🙂 ), be under the influence and mercy of your constantly changing hormones, give up your life  and body after having kids, suffer from work place inequity, or be on the less pleasurable side of this rape culture… gosh, you know what? You are right, what’s my point here? Men suck. End of story, period! 🙂

Nah, I do have a point though. When I pictured myself into a body and role of a man, I realized that there is tremendous pressure on them. From the get go they are cut off from their emotions and feelings. They are not allowed to express and talk about why they are sad, lonely, they can’t cry because “boys don’t cry, you are not a pussy, suck it up, walk it off and rub some dirty on it”. They are so disconnected from their feelings and emotions that we  can’t even blame them for not even realizing that they have any. When you are conditioned your whole life to not feel, or hide it and deny it…. are you surprised that you turn into a cold -hearted asshole?
Then there is the pressure of becoming the Alpha male, the Man, who is cool, who has the most chicks, and if you are anything short of that, then you are labeled as a loser.
Or being the breadwinner. You have the pressure to provide for your whole family, be able to bring home the cash, so that the wifey is happy and the kids are fed. That’s a whole lot of pressure on a person. I know, in today’s modern world women face it as well, but the aftermath of the old school mentality is still present in so many men that are still alive today and passing on their own twisted standards.
Then there is the hormone issue. Yeah, we deal with PMS but have you experienced extreme HORNINESS while ovulating? I know I am a walking sex-machine, and all I see everywhere is dicks. Sometimes I feel like grabbing a stranger from the street and doing him, because I am so under this urge, that I can’t think clearly. And this is only once a month. But at this time I always get a taste of how it must feel to be a man and not being able to stop thinking about sex. It is easier for women to say that “how hard it must be to not think about sex?” when your sex drive is close to zero, but when your hormones hijack your intelligence, you can’t think clearly and it requires a big dose of self-discipline indeed to do what comes naturally for a woman who is not under the “influence”. That’s why guys can only talk about sex and sports and cars because sex is a given … they are a walking sex machines, and the ones that are not, their testosterone levels have dropped drastically for some known or unknown reasons. And sports is because they wanna belong, feel part of the group (just like women) and that’s the only socially accepted public emotional way that they are allowed to talk about it and express it without the fear of being called a faggot. Then cars….because that’s the furthest thing from emotions, therefore a safe subject again.
Not to mention wars… who were disposable? Still are… MEN! They have to suck it all up, be brave, not show fear or terror, and walk into the hungry mouth of death with their head held high. Women and children have the luxury to appear weak and helpless, to show fear…but think about it: do men have this right as well?

So let me be the whistle blower here and blow the cover off of this species called men. They are a whole lot like us, women. Whether we wanna admit it or not, we are more alike than different.
Maybe they have a tougher exterior, maybe they show it differently, maybe they hit first instead of talking it out. Maybe they would rather punch a wall before they would ever show tears in front of others. Maybe they use different tools to get the human touch they crave so badly. Maybe instead of being their honest, open, vulnerable self, they hide behind their masks of masculinity of six packs, big guns and muscle brains, thick wallets and big sports cars.

mask

But underneath it all, if you scratch the surface a bit and dig a little deeper, you’ll find that they, too, have emotions, but they have not been allowed to express it as freely as we have because they have to seem cool, calm and collected at all times. (Therefore they die of heart attack most of the time). They like poetry, art and songs and kindness, but afraid to talk about it openly risking being labeled gay or a wuss. They need love and acceptance just like we do, but they might not even be aware of it most of the time.

But they are just like us. They want to be understood and respected, just like us. They long for their mother’s arms when they are in pain, just like us. They want to feel connection, just like us. And when they are sick, weak, or the wind of death has touched them a little, they are scared and afraid of it, just like us.

We are all humans. We are not against each other, but FOR each other. Instead of pointing fingers and blaming each other for our own suffering, we should first look into ourselves and see where are we doing the exact same things that we are so vocal about when it comes to accusing the other gender. Then once we found it in us (because we will find it, we are not that holy and innocent after all either) then work on solving the problem instead of intensifying it. A rambunctious child won’t change for the better with punishment, hatred, shaming and blaming. But will respond well to the right kind of attention, love, understanding, listening, providing space to be able to talk about their feelings, and help them feel like this world is a safe place for them to be honest as well.

Once they are healed, we are healed. Once one sees clearly, the whole world will clear up. But it all starts within, with us first. Man or woman, doesn’t matter. It starts in you and ends in you. That’s the secret that can’t be told, only lived.