This article has been floating around my FB feed the last couple of days and it really got me thinking. Now, I am always a little skeptical of dumbed down versions of scientific studies this more honestly focuses on the authors thoughts, anecdotal evidence, and uses some studies to try and back up the hypothesis that “Nudity Provides Health Benefits for Your Body and Brain”. (WARNING: If you click on the article you will see a few butts, nipples, pubic hair, and penises in non-sexual photographs).
I have become incredibly comfortable with my body and being naked. I find the human form to be beautiful (both male and female) and see it as something that can be entirely removed from sexual acts. But, I wasn’t always comfortable with the naked body, particularly my own.
Throughout my teenage years I had a very unhealthy perception of my body. I felt extremely overweight and unattractive. Looking back at photos from those years I see that my perception was wrong. I wasn’t really overweight and my image was about par for any teenager. Sure, I had acne, was awkward, and had no idea what to do with my hair, but I think most people experienced that. I was slower to develop but not abnormally so. Basically, I was a teenager.
It wasn’t really until college that I started really started getting comfortable with my body. I don’t remember exactly why (probably an article or something I read) but I started looking at myself naked in the mirror more and trying to honestly see myself. It helped.. a lot. And by time I got to Burning Man the only thing that stopped full on nudity was the hot weather and the unavoidable fear that I would make others uncomfortable. Burning Man really did finalize the divorce between sex and nudity for me though, and with that divorce came a greater appreciation of the human body during sexual acts as well as outside of them. When you don’t lust after every nipple or vagina that you see you come to appreciate and really experience the form when sex does happen.
As we stand now I am more comfortable nude than clothed (as long as the temperature is appropriate). At home and around my partner I am nude more often than not. I have not been to a nude beach/resort (yet) but I feel like I would really enjoy the freedom that comes from being surrounded by people comfortable with their own bodies. In fact, the introverted concern for others discomfort is really all that prevents me from being nude more often around my social group… though I have been known to slip my shorts off in the hot tub once in a while. I even submitted a covered up but nude picture of myself reading “Man, Economy, and State” to nudereadingissexy.tumbr.com (and if I find it I’ll put it up here also). With each new experience naked my confidence grows, particularly with my friends who are loving, accepting, and non-judgmental like me.
Certainly, there are things about my body I’d like to improve but that doesn’t stop me from loving every inch of myself. I’d love to get healthier, get rid of this gut, and tighten up my gluts but I still like what I got. I have come to appreciate the artistic form of Abercrombie abs or a porn stars schlong without comparing myself to them as some sort of ideal. In order to be comfortable and confident I needed to strip off my clothes, look at myself, and love myself enough to not care what others think.
My form is beautiful, and so is yours.