I have just read a book by Marilyn Foxworthy and it was a challenge. The author claims to be a woman and I have to accept her claim. The book is erotic and blatantly sexual in content. I don’t read erotica, at least until this instance. There is already too much sexual activity in too many books for my liking. However, that said, it is obvious that this isn’t the attitude for many, many people who buy erotica, or even steamy romance novels. So, why did I read this story?

The cover image appeared to suggest a naturist theme, and I was intrigued to see how the author would deal with the issue of nudity, in what could be a pre-historic setting. The book soon told me that it was set in modern times, yet at the same time, it was as though it was trapped in some distant past, Neanderthal times. And the story was erotic, while making it appear that when the mind, the ego was set aside, there were no sexual boundaries, other than those that grew out of fear. And that set me to thinking. This post isn’t a book review. It just takes a book as a catalyst for wondering.

I am a man. I am a sexual being. I love having sex with my partner. And I have had only this one partner. I haven’t lost desire or wonder when it comes to engaging in sex that is wrapped in mutual feelings that I can only describe as love. Strangely, these feelings aren’t limited to when we are nude. I feel the pull to her even when she is clothed. Being nude doesn’t automatically mean sexual activity either. I find it empowering when we can relax beside each other while both of us are fully vulnerable. Yet, I am still a man and I would be lying if I didn’t admit to desire creeping in.

As a modern man, I truly don’t know much about “natural” human sexuality, nor about my own sexuality. I see other women who are nude at times and feel no desire emerge. This is a common occurrence at most naturist resorts and campgrounds from what I have experienced. Those women and assorted men who are nude, are simply nude. I see many images on social media of both men and women who are nude. Again, there is no visceral response. Yet on occasion, there is a response. And that is confusing. Is this simply a guy thing? Or, do women have the same types of responses?

Listening in on social media, it would appear that for the most part, naturists have little to no sex drive. If that is the reality, then I would not qualify to be a naturist. I have a sex drive that is easily kindled by my spouse. All it takes is a certain smile, and I am undone even if we are both wearing clothing. And then there is the impact of the visual dimension. To accentuate all of this sexuality and sex drive, is the element of touch.

I think that modern men and women are suffering greatly. We are in such a hurry to distance ourselves from the perceived “dirty” world of sex, that we hide from each other in layers of clothing, layers of language, and multitude layers of denial. We embarrass ourselves, even when alone, by those sexual desires that push from below our contained sense of self. We don’t want others to know that we are uncivilised beings. And in the process, we forget and deny our “natural” human nature.

We don’t want to talk about it lest others think we are perverts. Though curious, we would never ask another, even one’s mate, to talk about sexual matters. Of course, even if we did find the courage to speak openly, there are so many layers of unconscious protections based on millenia of suppression, that the conversation dies a quick death leaving both sides wounded and perhaps angry and frustrated. Humans have long ago stopped being honest with themselves, and as a result, they are unable to be fully honest with a mate.

So, where to next? Do we risk the dialogue? Perhaps in a safe space such as this? Or, do we silently nod and pass by leaving it all unspoken? There are no judgments being made.