Why are human beings so weirdly obsessed with nudity and the reproductive act? What is it about the human body that makes the humans living in them so crazy?
I bet I get hits on my blog just because I used the word ‘naked’ in the title. (In fact, I am cynically counting on this fact, but that is neither here nor there). These hits are going to fall into two categories, those who are looking for yet another thing to be morally outraged about, and those who are just hoping to see pictures of naked people. Either way it will just help to confirm my theory that we are all way too fixated on the natural process that allows our species to continue.
Way back in the early 1900s, there was a cartoon called Betty Boop. Concerned citizens collected enough signatures to force the artists to make some changes. They insisted that Betty’s skirts be drawn longer, and that the line denoting cleavage be removed from her chest.
It seems to me that if you find yourself being aroused by a cartoon, then maybe you have issues… (and way too much free time on your hands)… but let’s leave that discussion for another day.
Americans send very mixed signals about sex. Maybe we don’t force our women to wear burkas and cover their heads, but still, we do seem a little conflicted. We make such a big deal out of family values… (particularly at election time)… but we cheat on our spouses at a rate that compares with any other country on the planet. (Obviously when I say ‘we’ cheat on our spouses, I don’t mean me, and hopefully not you, but face it, some of us do)… Americans show Viagra commercials all day on TV, and then there is mass panic when there is a wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl… (I may have actually invented the ‘wardrobe malfunction’, but you will have to read the whole blog to find out the details… can I make a smiley face in here somehow?… Now stop scrolling down… my eyes are up here)…
Religion seems to add to the confusion by highlighting the inconsistencies. Priests, who aren’t supposed to have sex, advise others to only have sex after they, the priests, bless the holey union, so they, the married people, can have children, whom the priests, without the benefit of any religious ceremony whatsoever, molest with alarming frequency. This seems to be a vicious circle… (of hell)… which is perhaps just where some of these priests deserve to be. We speak like Puritans, but we have a very large adult film industry. It’s all just confusing.
Let’s take California as an example, just because this is where I have the most experience… (Take that any way you want to)… Prostitution is illegal, but you can make adult movies. So I guess if hookers carried movie cameras around and yelled “action” before getting down to, uh, business, it ought to be OK.
I am as confused as the next person, and I am not setting myself up as a moral authority. I leave that job, gladly, to the Televangelists. I am just looking for a little clarification, that’s all. But like so many issues, I can see both sides may have both good and bad points.
I am baffled by the fact that we have nudity laws. How can being naked be against the law? We are all born naked, and none of us got a ticket. It is our true natural state. That being said, I am not suggesting that nudity for its own sake is always appropriate either. There are plenty of times when gratuitous nudity is uncalled for. Just imagine Thanksgiving dinner with a table full of naked relatives and you might well agree with me.
I just want to open a dialog so we can put all this in perspective. We need to ask questions, like; Why can men go to the beach and take their shirts off and women can’t? Is it just because their plumbing is hooked up, so to speak? Are we protecting our women from themselves, or from us? I really want to know.
I took Jessica to La Jolla when she was about one year old. That was one of the joys of being a groundbreaking stay at home dad. She saw the beach and wanted to play in the sand, so we stopped. I had sun screen but no bathing suit for her, so I let her play in the sand naked for a few minutes. A few people smiled, but more looked at me as if I was the devil. I would like to think that people in the Bay Area where I grew up would be cooler about it, but I am not entirely sure about that. I do know that in most civilized countries, nobody would have made a big deal about it. (Also, as a side note, those swim-diapers that they make babies wear in pools now are not protecting anyone from anything. They do not have magical trapdoors that put the waste into a secret waterproof compartment. They are basically just teabags full of poop and pee).
My family is lucky to have a large number of gay friends. Because I have always been interested in the way the human mind works, I often ask people tough questions. One of my favorite questions for straight people is; “What exactly is it that makes you so uncomfortable about homosexuality?” Guys give some strange answers to this particular question. My favorite one is some variation of this answer; “I don’t like to think about what two guys are doing to each other.” My answer is usually in the form of a second question; “Well, how much time do you spend thinking about that, exactly?” They never seem to think this is as funny as I do, so I often try another approach. “You must have straight, married friends that could be considered ugly. Do you ever think about them in bed?” They don’t seem to get that I am just trying to get them to examine their feelings. Fortunately we have slowly fazed out of hanging around with the closed-minded, or, and I hope this is true, there are less of them out there. I do know that I permanently banned one of my wife’s friend’s boyfriends from our house for using the ‘N’ word in front of our kids. This seems to work very well. I guess my only point here is that my kids will never dislike someone just because they are gay, or black, or ugly, or just different, and I am proud of this fact.
I could go on forever about this subject, but I am not going to. I just want to close with one last topic that astounds and confuses me no end, and that is; breast feeding. Of all the things to get upset about, this, to me, seems the most insane of all. If you see a mother giving love and nourishment to an infant, and you get upset, then all I can say to you… (and yes, I love the irony of the fact that the act of love can be used as an insult)… but, hey, screw you…