Ami Amore helps me with my Downward Facing Dog
I didn’t schedule this month’s Clothing Optional Yoga to coincide with 10 Naked Days, or vice versa. The way my life is arranged has reached a point where clothing optional events overlap by happenstance.
Although I don’t do it often enough, yoga has a special place in my life. It alters my mood to the point where I can often feel the moment in my day when my yoga wears off and the sense of calm that protects me from all of life’s annoyances disappears.
When my father died, it threw me into a depression that lasted the last few months of 2006. I was determined not to carry my melancholy into a new year, so when I looked for things to do New Year’s Eve, I settled on a hot tub party at White Flag Gallery and 24 Hours of Yoga at Marbles Yoga Studio. I soaked in a hot tub for the last thee hours of 2006, then did yoga all night with my severely relaxed muscles. It was a great way to ring in a new year and leave my woes in the past one.
Fun Fact: The first class I attended at 24 Hours of Yoga was taught by and attended by members of the Bench Press Burlesque troupe, who came straight from their New Year’s Eve celebrations, some still in costume. It was definitely one of the three strangest yoga classes I’ve ever attended, the other two being Bendy Yoga Girl’s Yoga for Kinksters and, of course, Ami Amore’s Clothing Optional Yoga.
Painting by Elaine Swanger - 5-26-12
After several days of being naked or almost naked in public places, I decided I wanted to spend a quiet evening alone with my girlfriend. Since she’s an artist who does a lot of figure work, it seemed fitting for me to pose nude for her. It was the third time I’d posed for her, but the first time privately.
Painting by Elaine Swanger 10-21-11
It was the fact that Elaine painted nude models that brought us together in the first place. Long before we’d ever met, I’d seen pictures of her that had been taken at figure drawing events. Normally, in these photos, I’m looking at the nude models, but Elaine (fully clothed, sitting on the floor, working intently on her painting) pulled my focus. I thought she was gorgeous and wondered how and when I could get to meet her.
It was probably six months or so before I ever saw her in person (May 7th, 2010). It was at a burlesque show at the Way Out Club where artists from her drawing group were sketching the performers. I was on a date, so I didn’t approach her that night.
It was over year later, when SEX+STL started having live models and artists at our happy hours that I actually walked up and introduced myself to Elaine (June 29th, 2011). Again, it was her art that had brought us together. I saw her again, not long after that, at Literary Nudes, yet another drawing event. It was there that I asked her out for our first date (July 17th, 2011).
If you made a romantic comedy about us, it would play out over a series of nude modeling events. Even the least explicit version of our story couldn’t be rated PG-13.
I hope that Elaine and I grow old together. I hope that as long as we are both able, I will pose and she will paint me. Even if that means that her artistic skills increase as my body deteriorates and she just gets better and better at capturing my decline.
Nude modeling gig, 3-2-12
Lee Daniels can’t make movies fast enough for me. I want to do a ten film retrospective on him and he’s only made three films.
It involves Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, urination, masturbation, Nicole Kidman, a murder plot and John Cusack.
-You cannot be sexist toward men. Sexism is based on a system of oppression. You CAN be discriminatory, rude, inconsiderate, and/or prejudiced against men but you CANNOT be sexist toward them.
-You cannot be racist towards white people. Racism is based on a system of oppression. You CAN be discriminatory, rude, inconsiderate, and/or prejudiced against white people but you CANNOT be racist toward them.
This is not difficult.
I’ve loved Cheap Trx since they first opened back in the mid 90s. To give you an idea how long ago that was, what is now their tattoo and piercing shop was once a cafe and smart bar. Remember smart bars? If not, ask someone between the ages of 35 and 45.
When I was looking for public places that I could be naked in, my friend Teri (pictured) invited me to come to Cheap Trx, where she works. Teri was the childhood best friend of one of my sisters and we all went to the same Catholic grade school together. The fact that she now works in the sex toy and fetish gear shop wear I’m being photographed naked, proves that we both came out okay in spite of the nun’s best efforts.
This photo was taken by Molly Algernon. Molly and I have been talking about working together for a while. I think her “Nude in the Lou” series, where she photographs nude people in public places, is amazing. So far it’s only featured women, for fear that shooting a naked man in public might get the model and the photographer arrested, so when I got the go-ahead from Cheap Trx, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
I love the patrons, casually standing around in the background and the fact that Teri’s shirt says “I <3 White Babies.”
Asked by Anonymous
Wow! Thank you so much!
Here are two perspectives on my being naked at the same event. The first is from my good friend, Kendra Holliday and the second comes from a mother whose son saw me naked.
So I knew David was doing the 10 Days Naked Project, but it was still shocking to discover him standing there naked in [the host’s] beautiful backyard. It was a typical summer cocktail party gathering - except there was a naked man there. Initial shock aside, I thought, “That’s cool, we’re all friends here.”
But then, a 5-year-old boy showed up. Immediately David asked his mom if she wanted him to put clothes on, and her reaction was to give that choice to her son. She said to her kid, “Would you like David to put clothes on?”
The kid was out of his element even without this unexpected twist. Uncomfortable, he mumbled something like he didn’t care, avoided eye contact and made a beeline to a secluded area of the garden away from the crowd to play his electronic game.
I thought WOW that was awkward, and was glad it wasn’t me in that situation, on either side. I’m totally into challenging adults. Nudity is no big deal to me and one of my causes; I’m all about promoting and demystifying the human body, but a kid wandered onto the scene and was asked for his consent. Should kids be put in that situation?
I’m also all about sex-positive parenting, but I can’t help but think that kid is going to have a weird memory someday and I hope it doesn’t affect him in a subtle and negative way.
Totally unplanned and unintended, shit happens.
OK moving on, we all sat down in a circle to do introductions. I sat next to David and have to admit I felt pretty damn cool to be sitting next to the naked guy, my good friend.
I half expected others in the group to shed their clothes because they saw him nude (I was tempted, it was perfect naked weather!) but they did not. Why didn’t anyone else disrobe?
Since David’s my good friend, I felt entitled to look at him more than I would some other random naked person. I noticed his penis had what looked like pre-cum oozing out of the urethra. I wondered, “Did he just pee?” So I kept checking it from time to time, and it kept sporting this little clear drippy fluid.
At one point, gnats started checking it out, and I caught myself waving my hand to shoo them away. “Get away from my friend’s penis!” I thought protectively.
Later, I commented to my partner Matthew, “I know that I have vaginal secretions, but I didn’t know men secrete, too.”
“I don’t,” he said.
“You don’t? Are you sure? Maybe you dribble a little after you pee?”
“My dick does NOT weep,” he said flatly.
Did David just pee? Or cum? Does he have a prostate issue? Is it normal for some guys to have wet dicks, and others to have dry ones? Now I want to go around and ask men about their urethra function, and I have David to thank for that.
The Mother’s Response:
I must admit that I am a little mystified that Kendra feels this way. Small corrections too, [my son] is 8, which is to me old enough for him to express his feelings to me honestly which I feel he did. I pulled him around the corner and gave him another chance to express any uncomfortable feelings he might have had. One of the big reasons why I felt like I could empower him to make that choice was that I knew that you would respect his choice, no doubt.
I initially sat him up in the gazebo away from the rest of us adults, but that didn’t last long. I’m sure you noticed him sitting by me, mingling etc.
I am confident that my son will not carry any negative emotions through his life though, I can’t even imagine what they would be of: seeing a naked man in public (not his first time) or being listened to and having his opinion count….
Finally I’d argue that contrary to the author who expresses “initial shock” of seeing you naked, David, my child was just shy. You’ve met my child multiple times and the first time he was shy and hiding behind his mom as well. You were fully clothed. Kids are fickle like that.
Held a small, clothing optional gathering at my apartment specifically for people who hadn’t seen me naked before. Then got talked into going to the Ice Cream and Porn Social at The Crack Fox. Apparently, a few people didn’t recognize me when I walked into the bar with clothes on, but realized who I was after I stripped down to a jockstrap.
I started to get dressed before leaving the bar, but figured I was street legal and just said “fuck it.” Me and a couple friends stood outside and talked for awhile with me only wearing a jockstrap. Couple of cops drove by, but didn’t say anything.