So it wasn’t a sex dungeon…

I can be naïve, the voices in my head would argue “insufferably so”, but I make no attempt at denying it. In my head, I have this idea that the world is a utopia where men respect women, children sing in the streets, sexy anaemic looking vampires will bite you to make you sexy too, and neighbours greet one another merrily without judgment or sass.

This I understand is a little too idealistic, but at the very least I expect to live in a world where a sweet smile isn’t such a tall ask or offer. But the world isn’t at all like that, and therein lies my dilemma and the reason behind my latest adventure.

I was duped into walking into a darkroom. Before imaginations run wild, yes I was aware that I was in a sex shop, no, I didn’t participate in anything sexual, and yes, had I known that the big yellow door led to a very seedy darkroom, I would have clicked my heels three times and made a run for it (there are things that should remain mysteries to me).

I feel like a disclaimer is in order: I’m a damn good friend, judge me not for the decisions I make, but for the fears I entertained. Beside my better judgement, I accompanied a seemingly nervous friend into a sex toy and video shop, because he was in desperate need of lube. He was planning on having a special night with his lady friend, I was there for moral support (great friend).

So we walk into the store and if you’ve ever been in one of those, you’ll understand when I say the penis to vagina ratio is way off. I will admit to being impressed by the variety and lifelike-ness of the toys, but wow, so many penises (and some were even moving on their own, what a trick). I was uncomfortable; I’m no prude, I’ve seen porn, but I don’t actively look for it (I have a very awkward relationship with sexy things, this will need to be unpacked at a later date).

So we walk in, he buys the lube and I’m basically caving in on myself because I’m terrified someone will recognise me or there are cameras somewhere capturing my foray into the dark side. He then turns to me (I should have known something was amiss, he had that look in his eyes) and suggested we look for the “industrial stuff”. I had no idea what on earth he meant (I’m no lube connoisseur), so I shrugged and followed him past the big yellow door.

 

What hit me first was the smell (it smelt like a teenage boy’s bedroom), made worse by the fact that I was basically blind (it was that dark). With my sight temporarily gone, my other senses overcompensated for the shortfall (I heard the lord’s name being called, and I don’t think many were praying…but they sure were on their knees). So I’m being led further into this labyrinth, in the dark, and all I can think of is ‘what kind of lube needs to be stored in the dark?’, like I said, naïve. He finally lets go and just stands there with this look and this grin like he’s just done something amazing and he can’t wait to share it with me.

My vision comes to and the world around us focuses into a sordid nightmare of flesh and black bricked walls. I will admit to panicking a little (I thought I was in a sex dungeon and a dominatrix was going to whip me into submission, I wasn’t mentally prepared for that). His only words were “I need you to loosen up, if that means throwing you in the deep end, then start swimming, buddy” and then he disappeared. He actually vanished, like Houdini (I’m being a little dramatic here, but can you blame me?).

I stood motionless for a few minutes, afraid that any sudden movements would give away my presence and draw out the things I was sure weren’t slow-dancing in the shadows. Minutes went by and I finally did what I always do when thrust into situations that could either make or break me; I put on my “teach me” hat (the one that turns new adventures into lessons into the lives of others) and I began rolling with the punches.

I don’t want to bore you with the sordid details (of which there are many), but I will tell you that I spoke to men and women who opened new avenues of understanding for me. There were widows and widowers who honestly just wanted to forget that outside these walls, they had nobody and there were men in there who sought comfort and connection behind these walls, away from the prying and judgemental eyes of a very crucifying society. We take for granted the power of human contact and touch. Our bodies do a great deal of communicating and the men in there were searching for a way to share their most honest selves with those who would listen.

This was a world below a world.

A space where a woman won’t be held captive by the suffocating ideals society’s placed over her life and body.

Was this my thing? No, not at all, but I understood its purpose. Every single one of those people in there was tired of living a lie. They needed a space for themselves where they didn’t have to pretend. I got it (it would have been great to have not been flashed with a few boobs, butts and penises in the process, but I got it).

After what must have been an hour, my friend returns (he was apparently waiting for me by the reception area and worried I might have been swallowed whole by the scene – there are countless jokes in there, my gift to you). I was mad, rightfully so; but my inner creative revelled in the new information, the opening up of my world and the stories I got to hear.

All in all, it wasn’t as bad as I may have originally led you to believe, but it was pretty wild.

Also, I still don’t know if industrial lube is a thing, but I would understand if it was (the things I saw, may never be unseen and kinda looked like torture a little, I don’t know; you guys do sex in a different way).

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Let’s get naked…i did, and i liked it.

So I took the plunge. I couldn’t be more literal than that if I’d wanted to, but yeah, I dropped trou and took to the seas like some new age, psychedelic dream chasing, African hippie and…I kinda liked it.

So there’s some necessary background to be explored here, lest I come off as some eccentric liberal who makes a habit of taking his clothes off in public for the sake of taking his clothes off in public. There’s truth in that, anyway… I am a bit of a liberal. Go on, hate me you precious fossils you.

So what had happened was, I was in my room (where most of my more “Ingenious” plans are conceived) and where I normally have a very reliable “Stop nonsense” reflex that puts a halt on the more…insane/ridiculous/illegal ideas, this time around a part of me I’d long ago thought successfully smothered, tied up and left for the coyotes, decided to fight through the less than boy scout grade bindings and push the big red button.

We all know what button I’m talking about; the button that sees you jumping out of moving planes, swimming with man eating fish and hooking up with weird strangers from the net. Yes, that button.

So the button had been pushed, and what had been a silently waning wonder, blossomed into something of an obsession.

I wanted to get naked. Not just naked, I wanted to do it in public.

The idea of jail wasn’t a hit, so I thought a less illegal, but still very illegal (I should look into that) way to go about my new obsession would be to skinny dip.

I could have very easily done it in my backyard and been done with it, but no, I wanted to be reckless with it. Now I think it’s best to make it known that I’m in no way a creep. Sure, I have creepy tendencies, but my goal was never to fifty shades of gray it in a public pool with toddlers in tiaras and all things inflatable in sight, no.

The plan was to go to the beach on a relatively warm day, find a safe-ish spot away from prying eyes and go about my pseudo-nudist ways for a hot second before I get my fill without causing a scene and going to jail. Avoiding jail was where the bar had been set; I don’t see myself surviving the slammer.

Why do it, you ask? I needed this, not this in particular, but something as radical and as exciting as this to pull me from within the depths of whatever funk I’ve crawled into and to cure this claustrophobia I’ve steadily developed.

So, the plan had been set, the day chosen, and I was off.

I had fifteen minutes to talk myself out of it. I had fifteen minutes to reason with myself; my moral compass had one job and that was to put an end to this insanity, but as crazy as I was and am, I’m just as stubborn.

Fifteen minutes later, I was there. Not a soul in sight, it was me, the golden shoreline, the gentle giant before me and the clearest sky above head. I hadn’t taken a stitch of clothing off and I’d already begun feeling vulnerable. It was on some level knowing what I was about to do, also, it was that I was alone. I had no partner in crime, no lookout, no getaway driver, just me and this silly, silly idea.

But I was going to do it. Momma never raised no quitter.

I wish I could tell you that I felt liberated with each article of clothing I slowly slid off my person, I wish I could tell you how good the soft heat from the autumn sun felt and how sexy it made me feel, but none of that sensual, Baywatch stuff happened. I tore those clothes off me like they were on fire, trying as best I could to not think about it too much, before I gunned it towards the ocean and literally crashed against a settling wave.

I felt naked; I was literally naked, in public, with no clothes on. I mean I get that’s how being naked works, but I was in public for crying out loud. The shock of it all was almost suffocating.

My first thought? “What have I done?” Regret, absolute regret poured out of me, weeping with every jagged breath while my body acclimated to the ocean water temperature. Also fear, lots of it. I was afraid someone would wander to where my clothes were, figure the situation out and out of spite they’d run off with my clothes and I’d be stranded, naked, in the ocean. Then I was afraid that the very many things that lived in the ocean would wander as well, too close to the bits that could be nibbled…

After the shock and regret and fear, I guess I could say that a resilient calm took hold of me. It was kind of unexpected. The knowledge that it was okay, that I was somehow safe and free and stupid but incredibly at one with everything around me swallowed me whole. I can’t explain it without saying that it felt like a colour I hadn’t seen or experienced before but one I was familiar with and one that felt right.

Don’t worry, I’ve not been converted, I don’t plan on being a nudist anytime soon, but I found a new appreciation for the sheer bravery of letting it all go and allowing your body to be at one with the things that really matter around you; the tangible.

Five minutes later, a very long five minutes might I add, I dried off, put my clothes back on and stayed behind to stare out into the ocean for a good hour with a new admiration for the world and its many wonders.

This wasn’t some Avatar type of connectedness, but I felt real for the first time in a very long time. I both mattered and didn’t matter and through it all I felt in control. I made the decision to take my clothes off, I made the decision to go into the ocean and I was in control through the whole thing.

Some will call me crazy, and rightfully so, I don’t think this is for everyone, but it was certainly a great way to stumble upon a sacred philosophy I’m coming to terms with more every day; you may not be where you want to be, but you are where you are meant to be.

les joies de l’humanité , de la vie

RESILLIANCE              loVe

       FAITH                 

Where it once grew is where it will be damned to an afterlife of its own making. A metaExistence created in our image, a chasm neither here nor there, not of God, nor against him.

There, we will be safe…

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The joys of humanity, of life. 

LAUGHTER                 compassion

SLEEP  CONSECRATION

CREATION

Today, we will be yellow

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Today we will be yellow.

We will walk with the Sun on our heals, healing and living and laughing with little care of the cracks on the pavement and the gunshots behind us.

We will be blind and buoyant and beautiful, dancing with fallen leaves, flirting with death and enjoying the rhythms and rhymes that crescendo with the howling wind; the screams behind street corners, the heartbeats gunned down in broad daylight, the futures massacred.

Today we will create a symphony like none other, it will be new and it will be timeless and it will burn through the ghetto like the cries of fatherless children, brotherless sisters and loveless protectors.

We will show mercy, we will chant it until our throats run raw, until our breaths wane and until we are forgotten and yet remembered because we were yellow.

We were and will forever be, gold, magic, perfect, joyous, here.

We chose these wounds

We chose these wounds

These ruptures on the surface, these scars and battle tales were delivered on our command. We accepted these gnawing ails and aches and pains.

If anything, we should feel blessed and grateful that we had the power, that we have this kind of power. A power we inherited through bloodshed and the loss of innocence. This is a victory etched in the breath of history, a prize to be revered and cherished because we now have a choice.

We can choose our battles, we can say no and so we have to be proud of these rips, cuts, bruises, tears and wounds.
These are the manifestations of our greatest victories, one of.
These are the welts of our birthright, fought for and conquered.

We have to be grateful for these scars.

We chose these wounds.

Dear friend: the freedom you deserve

It’s like being born with a ticking time bomb. The second you realise what you have, who you are, the ticking grows louder and draws the eyes and questions of the many people that surround you. Like the day you come to terms with it; when you stop praying for it to go away and you realise that you had no choice in the matter, everything around you will evaporate.

The expected explosion will swallow up all that you’ve ever known. All that you’ve ever had and the kind of existence and love that you experienced before will be forever lost.

It’s like living with a secret jury. A chastising body of familiar faces in your head, constantly judging you; walk taller, speak deeper, smile less, laugh softer and say less.

It’s like you’re destined to be hated; to be judged, ridiculed, downgraded and unloved.

It’s like you can smell the freedom, but you’re not allowed to taste it, to feel it or know it. They know, they’ve always known and they’ve been waiting for you to realise it before they could hate you, publically, officially.

It feels like you were hand picked and crafted by God himself to be a pariah in the very church, mosque or temple you grew up in. You were loved for all those years by all those people until they chose to love you no more.

They were/are the ones that chose, but you didn’t; you had no choice. So you sit there, alone with your freedom and your truth, shunned and chosen as a religious sacrifice to please a God they wrong on a daily basis so they could feel right about their spirituality.

So it was never you; you never chose to be anything, they did. It was, and always will be, their problem.

So what i’m saying is that it’s like understanding what your limbs were designed for. Your awkward twitches, glides and falls will finally be smoothened out and you’ll finally wash the stains of uncertainty from your face.

You’ll finally find strength in your “watered” but perfectly genuine, powerful and existing masculinity. It’ll be like walking on air when the sun is out and you’re glistening with valour and you’re open to the world. You’ll be raw, real and untainted.

You’ll be judged, but you’ll be stronger for it and you’ll be free.

What i’m saying is, you’ll be free.