Naked Selfies and Nudists Taught Me Self-Love
I love my body now
It took getting naked and letting others see my body for me to start loving myself
For most of my life, I have had a love-hate relationship with my body.
When I was younger, I never felt like my body was beautiful.
I wanted to be a princess, but instead I grew big and tall. And, masculine. Except for a few things.
But, I wasn’t fully masculine. When I was entering puberty, I sprouted breasts. Secretly, I loved having them. I would dress up after school when everyone was at work and just lounge around in my mom’s dresses and bras. I wonder if she knew I was putting on her clothes when she was working as a nurse?
Despite loving dressing up and wishing I was a girl, I knew I couldn’t tell anyone. I had always felt feminine since I was young enough to know — maybe about 4 or 5. I remember reading fairy tales and wishing I was the princess. I wanted to play with Barbies. I didn’t get into a lot of things boys were into. I loved playing house and having tea parties. I liked the color pink.
Body shaming happened a lot when I was young
When I was younger, I was shamed for having breasts.
A bully in middle school would always say I needed to wear a particular bra that was advertised on television back in the 1980s. “You need to wear a Cross Your Heart bra,” he would say. I still remember his goofy face to this day. We ended up fighting in the school yard one day when I had had enough. He never bothered me after that, but I still felt the shame of having breasts. I felt like everyone was always looking at them when I was out and about.
Going swimming was the worst. I always wanted to wear a t-shirt or drape a towel over my shoulders. My mom would encouragement to go without a shirt so I could get sun. I always hated it. I could feel all eyes looking at my budding breasts.
When I was in high school, I would always wear clothes I wouldn’t have to change on days when I had gym class. Guys would strip down and take off their shirts proudly. I never wanted to have my shirt off. I felt vulnerable. It scared me.
When there were team sports during gym class, I always prayed that the gym teacher would have jerseys for us to wear. If we didn’t, I always got picked by my guy classmates to be on the “skins” team.
Guys can be cruel to anyone who is different. Having breasts as a teenager was tough. When I lived in New Jersey, cruel bullies would ask if I was gay. “Do you go to Fire Island?” They would ask about a gay resort in New York City. I found out a lot of places were gay people would go from homophobic kids who would accuse me of visiting.
Things got better when I moved to Indiana, interestingly enough. We moved to a college town where people were more tolerant. There were a lot of LGBTQ people there because of the university. I also was tracked into classes with the studious kids, so I was around people who I later would find out were LGBTQ as well. Nobody ever came out in the mid 1980s in high school. I would only find out later when I was in college and see them on the university computer system posting on LGBTQ bulletin boards or at the gay bar when I turned 21.
Having breasts was always a source of shame
I have big pretty breasts. (I’m not narcissistic, but I do love them). They are a D cup. I always loved them, but also hated them. When I was alone, I was glad I could put on a bra and look feminine in a shirt or blouse. But, when I was in “guy mode,” I always figured out ways to hide them. I’d either wear baggy clothing, jackets, or a tight t-shirt to compress my curves.
It was one of the sources of my discomfort being male. I have big breasts. Other guys don’t. No matter what I did, they were going to be there. Lifting weights didn’t make them go away. In fact, it actually makes them look sexier because of being toned.
My other source discomfort was not feeling like a guy most of the time. I didn’t fit in. I always got along better with girlfriends. I’d have guy friends, but the relationships weren’t necessarily very deep. They usually involved doing things. I’d always have my best conversations with women I knew. I learned how to fit in as a guy. Usually, it meant just being quiet and not talking too much or I’d tip them off that I wasn’t like other guys. Everyone was cool, but I still never really have deep friendships with guys to this day.
Yael Wolfe writes in The Bad Influence about her compulsion to post pictures of her breasts online as part of her process of loving her body. (Yael Wofle I has an artful photograph of herself illustrating her story). I can completely understand where she’s coming from. I had also learned that naked bodies were shameful from society. Especially bodies with breasts. And, I had breasts.
I’d learned from a childhood of Christian schooling that my body was shameful and should be covered up. I’d also already been told how to dress, what to do, and how much I should weigh by countless friends, acquaintances, love interests, doctors, and of course, the media. …
But one of the things that helped me find my way back to myself was taking nude photographs. Somehow, this simple act helped me to start seeing myself again. It made me remember how much beauty I see in the female form. And it made me feel daring again — like that part of me that had been trapped for so long was running free again.— Yael Wolfe.
A nudist camp helped me to love my body
The first time I went to a nudist camp, I was afraid. I worried if I wouldn’t fit in. I had breasts. Would anyone say anything?
I was still nervous stripping down after checking in for the day. I started walking around the camp to get a feel for the place, before heading over to the swimming pool.
People said hi and were friendly.
I was also worried because I am not the largest endowed person either. I joke that my big breasts were compensation for a smaller part downtown. The interesting things for the guys out there is that I’ve never had anyone complain that has wanted to play with either my breasts or my penis. I’ve had both great sex with both women and men, so use what you have and be confident!
Seeing that other people were imperfect helped me love my body as well. I saw older people with scars. I saw people of all shapes and sizes. The adults-only camp is lifestyle and body-positive. There was nothing but good vibes and fun to be had there.
I would end up going back almost monthly one summer to celebrate the sun because it was fun to get naked and party with people. I also learned about swingers, down-low bi guys, naked dancing, nude foam parties, and sex out in nature with people watching. It taught me that I was sexy and people desired me.
For so long, I had always felt like I was a misfit because my body wasn’t exactly right. I didn’t fit in, according to my old thought patterns. The nudist, lifestyle folks taught me to accept myself and to have fun.
Naked selfies proved that people liked my body
I also took naked selfies as a part of getting to love myself. I have also shared them with some people. I learned to love myself by the positive reactions I have had from the guys I’ve shared them with.
I take them now because I like documenting how my body is changing now that I’m four months into my estradiol and T-blocker regimen.
And, I like sharing them every so often. It is a sexy feeling to let someone see my body who I know will enjoy the picture. It doesn’t have to even be sexual, but it is hot to know that guys are sometimes pleasuring themselves to my photos. I can feel the sexual energy flowing through the ether connecting me with him.
I’ve come a long way. I feel at ease with my body. I love my breasts these days. I am looking forward to seeing how my body will reshape under the influence of estradiol. I want to have a curvier derriere and hips.
Maybe one of these days, I’ll have to post my nude selfies someplace for the world to see them.
It is very exciting to know people are looking at my pictures. I completely agree with Yael on that.