Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Naked Time!

What is it about men and nudity?

I grew up with one man in my life, my father. He lived with us but he wasn't around a lot because he worked really hard. (In hindsight, my father had an absolutely incredible work ethic.) I don't have a ton of memories of him from when I was a child, but one that stands out is the underwear. My father liked to walk around in his tightie-whities. I didn't think much of it as a little girl, but it was SO embarrassing when I hit junior high school and just mortifying when I was in high school. To this day I can picture him walking down the staircase, turning through the living room - even when we had company over! - and going into the kitchen for a glass of water or something.

When I was a teenager, my father had drilled it into my head that boys only wanted to have sex with me, and of course I was a good girl who would never dream of having sex while in high school, so boys remained a mystery to me. I had a couple of boyfriends, but nothing really serious and nothing long lasting because if I felt like things were progressing physically, I cut bait and ran. But one of the boys I had dated ran naked through the half-time show during The Big Game when he was a senior. At the time, while laughing nervously because everyone else was laughing, I thought "Oh my God, that boy is naked ... in front of hundreds of people." (By the way, the now-infamous streaker was and probably still is one of the nicest men I've ever known. He's good people.)

In college, I discovered I liked to hang out with men. I became friends with my first gay man. I had sex for the first time (no, not with the gay man). I fell in love for the first time. I made some really good male friends. Though many of the college memories are fuzzy, I remember just about every guy I knew was always looking for an opportunity to take off some or all of his clothes; they were BA-ing people, taking off their shirts, skinny dipping, taking a steam, you name it.

I lived with a man for the first time when I was in my mid-twenties. He loved to be naked. He would get out of the shower, dry off, and then walk around the apartment stark naked. He completed his entire morning routine in the nude. He finally, begrudgingly, put his clothes on only minutes before he had to leave.

I don't want to tell tales out of school about the Ex, but suffice it to say he was not averse to nudity and leave it at that.

I remember seeing a Comedy Central special years ago by comedian Dana Carvey, who had two young sons at the time. He told stories of the troubles he and his wife had trying to keep clothes on those kids. Figuring it was useless to require clothing at all times, they decided to focus on time, place and manner restrictions to the nakedness. They implemented "Naked Time." They let their children run around naked for an hour or two, every day, at exactly the same time. He said they would sit there, hands ready to remove clothes, saying "Is it time yet? Is it time yet?"

So here I am, a single mom to two little aliens, uh ... um, I mean, two little boys. These boys beg me to let them be naked on "stay home days." Sweetie is starting to show signs of modesty when it comes to some things, but is he modest when it comes to parading around the house with not a stitch of clothing on? Nope. In fact, he likes to call attention to his nakedness - his "booty" in particular. Stinker comes to me with a big grin on his face and says "Look, Mama, I'm naked!" And then he runs around the house for awhile.

I'm sure I'm prudish as a middle-aged divorcee whose self-esteem has not recovered from a bad marriage and a divorce, but even when I was at my thinnest and most confident, I did not run around naked. Not even when I was alone.

So what is it with men and nudity?

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