Monster

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For the moment

But I'm a realist

Besides, you can't cure crazy. 

You just have to beat it with a stick now and then. 

Would your 8 year old self be proud of you now? 

I don't know

 

Have you left this edit suite today?

I think I went to the kitchen once.

Have you eaten anything?

I had a boost bar I think

That doesn't constitute eating. How is your brain meant to work?

I don't know.

 

Few and far between are the doors that have never been darkened by wolves

  

 

 

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I walk a fine line between art & porn, but it’s a line that is fun to walk along

Aaron Tsuro

 

Perve 2

What happened today

I followed her

Who

The young one

Why

She was innocent

Curious

Corruptible

She has dangerous

She knew I was following her

What did you do?

Watched her get undressed

Watch her enjoy the transition

From repressed to shameless

Her face changed

How?

She was her

She knew what she was at her core

She was focussed

She liked to be watched

Being naked represented freedom for her

and she was happy to force that point of view

On any victim

But she was my victim

 

Naked

Last week, in the midst of what appears to be infinite fascination about Lena Dunham’s nudity, I saw a fundraiser for the documentary “Free the Nipple“ and also, by coincidence, talked to Facebook spokespeople about that company’s ban on visible female nipples.  Like the reporter who recently asked Dunham why her “Girls” character was “often naked at random times for no reason,” many people seem confounded by expressions of female nudity that are not sexual – because isn’t titillation the whole point of women’s nakedness? The real question about female nudity isn’t why anyone would want to show or see women’s breasts if they’re not titillating.  The real question is about who has the right to say what they’re for, where and when they can be seen and by whom. That’s about power.

While it’s irksome that the reporter questioning Dunham had to ask at all, it’s an important question. It revealed how little he, and so many others, has thought about a topic that affects all the women he’s ever known.

Why is exposing the world to non-sexualized female nudity important?

1.  Women too often are made to embody male power, honor and shame.  It’s not good for us.  Our bodies, and the bodies of people who are gender fluid and non-binary conforming, are sites of moral judgment in ways most men’s are not, especially in public and in protest. Some of us experience our bodies, in particular our nudity, as objects of repression, oppression and powerlessness. Representing them as no one’s but our own, counter to prevailing representations, is important.

2. Female public nudity is usually treated as a moral offense, a cause for concern and discussion, but it’s rarely allowed to be a source of non-sexual female power.  Male nudity is an entirely different thing.  When your average (straight) man is seen nude or semi-nude, it’s often considered humorous, as in frat boys streaking.  Or it’s a sign of virility and athleticism.  When it’s not, for example, the jarring images of the torture of Iraqi men in Abu Ghraib, men – vulnerable, humiliated and in pain – are feminized by their nakedness.

3. Female nudity is not just about sexualization, it’s about maintaining social hierarchies, like those of race and class.  Non-idealized female bodies used autonomously undermine a continuous narrative about body-based sex and race differences. When our cultural production is singularly focused on hyper-gendered, racialized and sexualized representations of nudity, it is easier to maintain racist and sexist ideas – and nude female bodies outside socially approved, sexualized contexts challenge those.

The cultural regulation of female nudity and portrayals of sexuality is also a powerful way in which women’s bodies are used to pit us against one another and to reinforce hierarchies among men. Dark bodies, especially women’s, have always been available for public consumption: sale, rape, breeding, medical experimentation and more and the staying power of racist and sexist mythologies about white women and black men, rape and sex, are evident every day.  When women take ownership of the circumstances of their own nudity, they can defy others’ attempts to place them within these hierarchies. Dunham’s casual yet implicitly confrontational nudity in some ways refuses to cater to the myth of the vulnerable, pure, white woman that serves as a racist backdrop to portrayals of black women as inferior.  But very few black women have the ability to challenge dominant representations of their bodies and roles in the way that Dunham does, however, and that, too, is a function of our hierarchies.

4. Female public nakedness as protest or social commentary is not new and is critical, expressive and censored speech.  Lady Godiva is far from the only woman to use her nudity to achieve political ends. Barbara Sutton’s excellent recounting of her experiences with naked protests in Brazil is chock-full of historical and analytical insights.  Women have regularly used their nakedness to protest corruption and exploitation that go along with colonialism.  It’s among the most important reasons why Femen’s (topless) neocolonial narrative is offensive.  Prior to Tunisia’s Amina Sboui’s topless protest (after which she was arrested, subjected to a virginity test and fled), Egyptian activist Aalia Magda (also in exile) posted pictures of herself naked to protest Shariah law and censorship. Last January, hundreds of women in the Niger Delta marched half-naked in protests against Shell Oil Company practices in their community.  This was a repeat of earlier and similar protests.  These were peaceful, unlike last month’s in Argentina when an estimated 7,000 women stormed a cathedral defended by 1,500 rosary-bearing Catholic men. They fought, spat, yelled, spray-painted people and were accused, without a shred of irony, of gender-based violence against Catholic men. Many of these women were topless.

Nudity is also an enduring and essential part of the social critique of women artists.  The works of Lorna Simpson, Judy Chicago, Ana Medieta, Carolee Schneemann, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, Hanna Wilke and so many others speak to identity, race, sex and class, using women’s naked bodies to do it.  When newspapers, movie theaters, cable and TV news, online media and social media refuse to show female nudity as part of female-directed political protest or artistic statement they deny them equal freedom of expression. When they do this while proliferating grossly objectifying alternatives, they silence them doubly.

5.  It’s not just that women have the right not to be sex objects, but also that we have the right to dismantle a discriminatory canon. In her 1977 essay “What’s Wrong With Images of Women?” art historian Griselda Pollock described a global, commercial, patriarchal visual culture that uses women’s bodies symbolically and makes it impossible for us to use our own bodies effectively in challenging that culture.  It’s a symptom of women’s position in the world that the efficacy of using our nudity to protest is tenuous.  Again, take Femen.  Set aside their execution and bizarre provenance and focus on two things: a) their use of naked female bodies to express aggression and rage, and b) the fact that they appear to meet the requirements of Western, increasingly global, ideals of beauty. They are thin, young, tall, topless and almost all white. In Louise Pennington’s words, they pass the patriarchal fuckability test.   And so media eat them up. The same media that every day make choices about what not to show: models protesting racism in their industry; angry, anti-Catholic feminist crowds;  peaceful, determined, old Nigerian women.   That’s not Femen’s fault.  They certainly aren’t the ones making media decisions about what makes the news. Did they use this bias? Should women?  Femen is exactly why many feminists doubt that female nudity can ever be an effective tool of activism.   However, each controversy that erupts allows us to think about how our own bodies and their “place” are used to undermine our intent and desires.

6. Self-defined public female nudity is a challenge to capitalism and its uses of women as products, props, assets and distributable resources. Nothing on Earth is used to drive sales and profits and display male wealth and status like women’s, often naked and semi-naked, bodies.  If you are thinking women make choices and are complicit, show contempt for other women because they are women — well, of course some of them do. That is a defining feature of misogyny. Until we have equal access to resources, and are not subject to constant predation, this is a no-brainer. In the meantime, when women refuse to sexualize themselves and use their bodies to challenge powerful interests that profit from that sexualization, the words we should use aren’t  “lewd” and “obscene”; they’re “threatening” and “destabilizing.”

Women who use public nudity for social commentary, art and protest are myth-busting along many dimensions: active, not passive; strong not vulnerable; together, not isolated; public, not private; and, usually, angry, not alluring.  The morality offense is misogyny, not nudity.

In the U.S., there is nothing unique about reporter Tim Molloy’s question about Lena Dunham’s nudity.  Social media company policies, like many city statutes and public ordinances, mirror mainstream norms that clearly privilege heterosexuality, conflate women’s bodies with indecency and sex (a bad thing), and insist that those bodies (and sex) be held in reserve, distributed and consumed according to patriarchal rules. These rules, and the puritanical obsessions that drive them, are why we have billion-dollar “good girls gone wild” industries and an Internet fueled by gonzo porn, both carefully packaged pseudo-transgressions have little to do with women’s autonomy and do nothing to undermine a well-entrenched, misogynistic status quo.

We all know that the prohibitions on women’s nipples have nothing to do with women’s nipples, but everything to do with control. The threat that female toplessness and self-articulated nudity poses is culturally defined and can be culturally redefined. So, as a society, we might want to rethink that Photoshop blurring tool.

Shoplifting

Depression is the psychiatric disorder most commonly associated with shoplifting. Shoplifting is also associated with family or marital stress, social isolation, having had a difficult childhood, alcoholism or drug use, low self-esteem, and eating disorders, with bulimic shoplifters frequently stealing food. Some researchers have theorized that shoplifting is an unconscious attempt to make up for a past loss.[29]

Paraphernalia

Paraphernalia

Never hides your broken bones
And I don't know why
You want to try
It's plain to see

you're on your own

Oh, I ain't blind, no
Some folks are crazy
Others walk that borderline
Watch what you're doing

Taking downs to get off to sleep
And ups to start you on your way
After a while they'll change your style
I see it happening every day
Oh spare your heart
Everything put together
Sooner or later falls apart
There's nothing to it, nothing to it
And you can cry
You can lie
For all the good it'll do you
You can die
But when It's done
And the police come,

and they lay you down for dead
Just remember what I said

Paraphernalia

Never hides your broken bones

Paul Simon 1972

CultSex/Dogma

M

I’m not sure if I originally had peace of mind, although I imagine every child is naturally at ease until he or she is introduced to anxiety and disharmony. All I remember is the anxiety, which for me started at an early age, before 10 years old. This early anxiety developed into self-loathing in my teen years and continued into adulthood.

My life to date has been a journey to reclaim what I imagine was that natural state of mind, the ability to be at peace in the present. How was I wounded and how did I recover? How did I come to hate myself and how did I bring myself back to a place of self-love? How do I face the inevitable difficulties of life with equanimity and manage to bring myself back time after time to acceptance and even happiness no matter what is going on in my life?

Insanely Serene

ade by two people who both have the have the same scars from playschool (Australia's Sesame Street)

Sylvia Buford, an associate of Ted Patrick who has assisted him on many deprogrammings, described five stages of deprogramming

  1. Discredit the figure of authority: the cult leader
  2. Present contradictions (ideology versus reality): "How can he preach love when he exploits people?" is an example.
  3. The breaking point: When a subject begins to listen to the deprogrammer; when reality begins to take precedence over ideology.
  4. Self-expression: When the subject begins to open up and voice gripes against the cult.
  5. Identification and transference: when the subject begins to identify with the deprogrammers, starts to think of him- or herself as an opponent of the cult rather than a member of it.

Deprogramming, especially when it fails, entails considerable legal and psychological risk (for example, a permanent alienation of the cultist from his or her family).

Children held hostage: dealing with programmed and brainwashed children

Thought reform

 

 

Mind control (also known as brainwashingcoercive persuasionthought control, or thought reform) refers to an indoctrination process which results in "an impairment of autonomy, an inability to think independently, and a disruption of beliefs and affiliations. In this context, brainwashing refers to the involuntary reeducation of basic beliefs and values"[1] The term has been applied to any tactic, psychological or otherwise, which can be seen as subverting an individual's sense of control over their ownthinking, behavior, emotions or decision making.

Theories of brainwashing and of mind control were originally developed to explain how totalitarian regimes appeared to succeed systematically in indoctrinating prisoners of war through propaganda and torture techniques. These theories were later expanded and modified by psychologists including Jean-Marie Abgrall and Margaret Singer to explain a wider range of phenomena, especially conversions to new religious movements (NRMs). A third-generation theory proposed by Ben Zablocki focused on the use of mind control to retain members of NRMs and cults. The suggestion that NRMs use mind control techniques has resulted in scientific and legal controversy.[2]

Cult Deprogramming

Deprogramming is the more drastic of the two approaches because it usually involves an initial kidnapping to get the cult member away from the cult. For this reason, deprogramming is a very expensive service. It can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. After the forced removal, deprogramming mostly involves hours and hours of intense "debriefing," during which a team of deprogrammers hold the cult member against his will and use ethical psychological techniques to try to counter the unethical psychological techniques used by the cult. The goal is to get the cult member to think for himself and re-evaluate his situation. Debriefing methods can include:

  • educating the cult member on thought-reform techniques and helping him to recognize those methods in his own cult experience
  • asking questions that encourage the cult member to think in a critical, independent way, helping him to recognize that type of thinking and praising him for it
  • attempting to produce an emotional connection to his former life by introducing objects from his past and having family members share their memories of his pre-cult existence

Deprogramming was relatively common in the 1970s, but has fallen out of favor as an acceptable cult-removal method, partly because it's so expensive, partly because it involves kidnapping and imprisonment and partly because that kidnapping and imprisonment led to a lot of lawsuits over the years. Now, most families turn to "exit counselors." Exit counseling leaves out the kidnapping and focuses instead on employing psychological techniques that might get the cult member to voluntarily submit to debriefing. Exit counselors guide the family in the most effective ways to get a cult member to communicate with "outsiders." Family members must be non-judgmental, calm and loving, or else they'll only reinforce the belief that all outsiders are "bad" and dangerous. If they succeed, and the cult member agrees to participate in the process, what happens next is essentially the same debriefing that occurs during deprogramming, with long sessions that take place over a number of days, but the cult member is free to leave.

There's is no guarantee that any cult-removal technique will work. Some sources say that at least one-third of deprogrammings fail, and there are no definitive statistics on the success rate of exit counseling. But when it does work, the cult member finds himself back in the outside world -- with a whole new set of problems. People who leave a totalist cult can suffer from a laundry list of psychological problems. Some common ones include depression, anxiety, paranoia, guilt, rage and constant fear. They may have difficulty thinking clearly, making decisions, analyzing situations and performing everyday activities like picking out something to wear or going to the store to buy groceries. Psychologist Michael Langone describes a common post-cult state he calls "floating," in which the former member goes back and forth from "cult to non-cult ways of viewing the world ... stalled in a foggy, 'in-between' state of consciousness."

Not everybody is psychologically damaged by a cult experience. Some go on with their lives after a relatively short adjustment period. But most people who have undergone thought reform suffer negative consequences when they leave the insulated environment of the cult. It can take years for a former cult member to readjust to life on the outside. Some people never completely return to their pre-cult level of functioning. But in most cases, counseling and family support can go a long way toward recovery.

For more information on destructive cults and related topics, including links to organizations that help people who've been hurt by cult involvement, check out the links on the next page.

Stare

I am deeply superficial andy warhol

I want it.. You want it. It's a win win

Roll me up and smoke me

Technical intro

Warhol films

Tate Warhol

Feel my shame. Look at me

How does it feel

Objekt

Subjekt

Projekt

Projektion?

Knowledge

Knitting

Kunilingus. The c is silent but the k is visible

Know

Kneel

Komedy

Knife

Warhol tate
Warhol movies
See my pain 
This is how it feels
Head and torso separate
Object Subject Project Projection

Crazzyy

They say you are what you eat. But I don't remember eating a slut

 

I believe a writer should tell an interesting story.

That there should be a plot

With characters fleshed out

so you can see into their motivations

In my case, since this is essentially a long documentary in chapters

it must also be the deepest truth I can tell

Ones that I have never told myself

It is a perverse turn-on to menace your own mind with truths that you have purposely hidden

With the denial dial turned up to 11

 

"Crazy" Women

The association between women's behavior and being labeled "crazy" has a long and infamous history in Western culture. The word "hysteria" -- defined as "behavior exhibiting excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic" -- is derived from the ancient Greek word "hystera," meaning uterus. Until the early 20th century, female hysteria was the official medical diagnosis for a truly massive array of symptoms in women including but not limited to: loss of appetite, nervousness, irritability, fluid retention, emotional excitability, outbursts of negativity, excessive sexual desire and "a tendency to cause trouble."

(Worth noting: much of the blame for "female hysteria" was placed on "wandering uterus syndrome" or other sexual "dysfunctions." While this did eventually lead to the invention of the vibrator, one of the common cures was a clitorectomy.)

While some of the symptoms of "female hysteria" could be signs of legitimate (if misdiagnosed) mental health issues, most of it described male (as the medical field was a men-only profession up until the mid-19th century) discomfort with women's behavior and sexuality. Calling it a medical issue meant that men didn't have to respond to behavior that challenged male sensibilities or belief structures. Instead, labeling women as "hysterical" made it much easier to diminish women's concerns and issues without having to pause to consider them as possibly being valid.

What Guys Mean When We Say "You're Overreacting"...

Men on the whole are quick to toss the "crazy" label onto women without stopping to think about it what they're saying. It's almost a reflexive response to a host of behaviors that men find inconvenient or undesirable.

Stop me if any of this sounds like something you've said -- or heard -- in a relationship: "You're overreacting"; "Don't worry about it so much, you're over-thinking it"; "Stop being so defensive."

It does to me.

I've said all of these things to women I'd been dating. I'm willing to bet most of the men have said something similar and the women have heard it more times than they can count.

To give a personal example:

Back in the bad old days, I was notoriously self-absorbed. It wasn't that I thought that I was the greatest thing ever, it was just that I didn't really stop to spare too many thoughts for others. I was willing to make an effort for others, but only so far as it didn't really inconvenience me past a "reasonable" point. I didn't want to have long drawn out conversations about how my behavior made my girlfriend feel and I certainly didn't want to get dragged into what I saw as unnecessary drama. In fact, I was incredibly drama-averse, thanks to an early unhealthy relationship.

As a result... well, I wasn't willing to consider how others were feeling. When the woman I was dating would try to explain to me how the way I treated her felt, I would tell her that she was seeing things. She was overreacting to inconsequential stuff. She was being over-sensitive, reading things into what I was saying or doing that just weren't there.

The subtext to everything I was saying was simple: "You are behaving in a way that I find inconvenient, and I want to you to stop." I wasn't willing to engage with her emotionally and address her very real concerns because I was too wrapped up in my own shit to think about other people. As a result, I would minimize her issues. By telling her that she was reading too much into things, I was framing the situation as her being irrational.

I didn't realize it at the time, but what I was doing was, in effect, telling her that she didn't have the right to feel the way she felt... because I didn't want her to feel that way.

Needless to say, that relationship didn't last long. Neither did the ones that followed. It wasn't until I was willing to change my attitudes towards dating and how I related to women that I started having more meaningful relationships, whether casual or long term.

Gaslighting and Emotional Manipulation

When someone talks about the woman who he broke up with because she called too often or seemed get emotionally involved faster than he was comfortable with, because she got angry with him over the way he acted, she was always arguing with him about stuff or even that she wanted different things from the relationship, it's not uncommon to hear, "That's why you don't stick it in the crazy." The man is absolved of any responsibility for the break up; it's not because he was willing to pretend to be on the same page as her regarding the future of the relationship because it was convenient and meant that he could continue sleeping with her, it's because she was crazy. It's not because he was unwilling to discuss her concerns. She's crazy, case closed, time to move on to the next woman without pausing to reflect.

By dismissing a woman's behavior or concerns as crazy, we inadvertently take part in a behavior known as "gaslighting." Named for the classic George Cukor movie, gaslighting is a term used by psychologists to describe abusive behavior where a person is made to feel as though their emotions and reactions are irrational, even (dare I say) crazy. By constantly minimizing and dismissing someone's reactions, we make them feel uncomfortable with themselves and cause them to start to doubt their own feelings. If they're being told over and over again that what they're feeling is irrational or unreal, that what they're feeling is somehow out of whack, then they start to accept that maybe it is.

Even when it's not. Especially when it's not.

Gaslighting -- minimizing their feelings, reframing them as being unreasonable -- is classic abusive behavior. It's telling someone that they don't have a right to the way they feel because what they're feeling is wrong. Their feelings or their concerns or behavior isn't "rational." Once you take away their right to their feelings, it's that much easier to manipulate a person into the way you want them to behave.

Labeling women as "crazy" is a way of controlling them. It may not be something planned or pre-meditated, but the ease with which men call women "crazy" says a lot about them. Calling a woman "crazy" is quick and easy shut-down to any discussion. Once the "crazy" card has been pulled out, women are now put on the defensive: The onus is no longer on the man to address her concerns or her issue; it's on her to justify her behavior, to prove that she is not, in fact, crazy or irrational. Men don't even have to provide any sort of argument back -- it's a classic catch-22: "The fact that you don't even see that you're acting crazy is just proof that it's crazy."

"What's Your Damage?"

The trend of labeling women "crazy" is part of the culture that socializes women to go along to get along. When women are told over and over again that they're not allowed to feel the way they feel and that they're being "unreasonable" or "oversensitive," they're conditioned to not trust their own emotions. Their behavior -- being assertive, even demanding or standing up for how they feel -- becomes an "inconvenience" to men and they're taught not to give offense and to consider the feelings of others before their own.

Casually, even reflexively calling women crazy and the stigmatization of "crazy" (i.e., inconvenient or uncomfortable) behavior has become a way of trying to keep women behaving in a very specific and limited manner. It perpetuates the madonna/whore dichotomy -- that women are either submissive, demure and sexually restrained or irrational bitches on wheels, the emotional equivalent of riding Space Mountain after five shots of Mescal.

We may not intend to manipulate women this way -- most of the time we're not even aware that we're doing it. Most of us are conditioned into it; it's a part of the subtle background radiation that still teaches us that women's desires and opinions are secondary to men's. But the fact that we don't mean to cause harm doesn't change the fact that we do without even thinking about it.

Sure, we taught you that you should never trust your own feelings and that standing up for what you want is bad but there's no real harm done right?

As with other bad habits and acculturation, we need to unlearn this tendency to use "crazy" as a weapon. It's only by recognizing this behavior in ourselves and teaching ourselves to avoid it that we can quit poisoning how we relate to one another and letting it hold us back from the relationships we all want.

Autobiographia

Autobiographia Literaria

When I was a child
I played by myself in a 
corner of the schoolyard
all alone.

I hated dolls and I
hated games, animals were
not friendly and birds 
flew away.

If anyone was looking 
for me I hid behind a 
tree and cried out "I am
an orphan."

And here I am, the 
center of all beauty! 
writing these poems!
Imagine!


Anonymous submission. 

Frank O'Hara

Natural Born Slut

the best art school is in hell, and you have to book ahead. Rob Turner

I'm lucky the internet wasn't around then

Just imagine me plus the internet at 12 years old

God forbid 

Cream'D 2. Rashomon

Script by Dr Smith

She appeared again, my vision on the dunes.  Every afternoon since she first spread out her towel, and my heart pounded so hard I was sure she would hear.  On this day she chose a spot just a few feet away.

 

That fateful afternoon I peeked over my book at her dark blonde hair, pretty face, freckled nose and I dreamed that she would notice me.  She was close enough.  Close enough that I could smell the creamy lotion in the gentle breeze.

 

I imagined that I was exactly the man she wanted.  Not the skinny, shy, insecure college freshman I was to others.  I believed her gaze would transform me into the man inside.

 

When her smiling eyes turned my way I hid behind my book.  I felt hot and ashamed for looking at her.

 

She wouldn’t see me.  She would see through me.  There were other boys on the beach who needed no transformation.  Those boys had dates in high school.  Those boys had seen women naked, kissed them, touched them, been with them.

 

Those boys weren’t me.  She would see them.  She wouldn’t see me.  She wouldn’t judge me like the other girls did.  I would hide behind my book.

 

She must have turned away, I thought.  She must have covered those beautiful eyes in the big, round sun glasses.  If I didn’t see her eyes then she couldn’t see through me.

 

I peeked again, and suddenly my heart was in my throat, pounding so hard I couldn’t breathe.  The floral-patterned, brown bikini top she always wore was on the towel.

 

Her breasts.  Her…nipples…covered in cream.  Firm.  Perfect. 

 

I gasped for air as she took each flawless globe of feminine beauty and smoothed the thick, white protective coating over the pale triangles of untanned skin.  Over the dark, puffy nipples.

 

My head was swimming, I felt like I was outside myself.  I could hear the throbbing surge of blood in my ears over the sound of the pounding surf.

 

Firm.  Perfect.

 

She lay back.  Propped on one elbow, toward me. 

 

I was so hard.  Soon I’d burst through my swimsuit and expose myself to her.  My sex rushed through my body.  My sex controlled me. 

 

I couldn’t feel my arms, my fingers tingled.  I reached down to unsnarl my hardened flesh from the painful tangle of fabric between my legs.

 

And at that precise moment when my fingers grasped my throbbing, aching head, her finger pressed the plunger on the sunscreen and a jet of shimmering liquid splattered across her chest, a drop dangling from her stiff nipple.

 

And in that moment I gasped, and I felt myself tense and empty my own cream spurting jet after jet of my own white ointment into the pitifully thin lining of my suit.  I caught my pathetic moan in my throat and stifled it.

 

I looked up, horrified.  She caught my eye and smiled.  I froze, my hand still down where it should not be, fingers covered with my creamy release. 

 

I tried to smile in return, tried to draw attention away from the growing dark, wet spot that I imagined the whole world could see.  The shame contorted my attempted smile into an embarrassed grimace. 

 

Still smiling, she turned away, lay on her back, and closed her eyes.

 

Now I couldn’t smell her cream.  But I could smell mine.  Soon my vision would smell it too, and she would know she’d sat down next to the disgusting pervert that I was, not the man of her dreams that I knew I could be.

 

I wadded up my towel and book and shirt and holding it awkwardly over my guilty, still-hard crotch, snuck away before she detected who made the betraying odor of uncontrolled lust.

 

I didn’t tell my classmates of my shame, but I couldn’t keep from telling them about my vision.  As if telling it made it real.

 

The memory burned in my brain and screamed for release.  When I realized how bad a mistake I’d made it was too late to take it back.

 

“That’s not a nude beach, dummy.”

 

“No real girl would show you her tits, pervert.”

 

“Prove it.  You can’t.  Loser.”

 

The next day I wasn’t alone.  My new “mates” came with me.  I didn’t want them; I didn’t want to share my vision.  She was mine.  I saw her first.

 

But they insisted.  They thought I was lying.  They thought they would humiliate me, at best.  At worst, she would appear and they would see her and then I would disappear.

 

 Jimmy or Matt or Sean or any of the others were that type of boy in high school.  The type that I hadn’t been.  The type I still wasn’t.

 

As bad as it was that day when she wasn’t there, I still hoped that she wouldn’t come.  That way they wouldn’t see her.   That way they would lose interest and I could come back alone. 

 

But my vision returned.  Farther away this time…with any luck she was far enough away that she couldn’t hear how they teased me when she finally arrived. 

 

Hopefully, she couldn’t make out the lewd comments about the two of us, about how she was too hot to be my girlfriend, about the things that they wanted to do to her as she spread out her towel and spread on her lotion, her bikini top still in place.

 

I optimistically imagined that the surf was so loud she couldn’t perceive their scorn for me when she rolled onto her stomach, her bikini still in place.

 

But when her top came off I almost cried as my japing friends silently beheld the beauty that had been mine alone.  My heart pounded now as much in jealousy as in excitement as I felt their dirty eyes all over her. 

 

I wanted to rush over and cover her up.  They didn’t see her the way I did.  They didn’t appreciate her the way I did.  They didn’t realize how lucky they were to share the beach with my vision.

 

“Damn.” Jimmy whispered.  She had untied the bottoms.  For an excruciating few seconds I hoped against hope that she just wanted to reposition and retie the strings.

 

And then her bottoms came off.  And just when I thought I would disappear, I didn’t. 

 

Everyone else did. 

 

Jimmy and Matt and Sean, and everyone else on the beach vanished and it was just my vision.

 

She spread her creamy lotion over her legs, and between them.  Unashamed she gave me a view of the most marvelous treasure.

 

And suddenly she was on her feet.  Naked and glorious she strode confidently into the surf.  Her hands kept cupping her breasts as the water swirled around her hips.  The sun sparkled off the droplets rushing down her curves.

 

She rose from the sea foam, Aphrodite Anaydomene, the goddess emerging from the waves, shining and pure.

 

Back at her towel she paused only a moment to retrieve her lotion, and stood while she carefully reapplied the creamy balm.  I thought she was going to lie down again when she had covered her breasts, her belly, her beautiful legs and in between.

 

But her sparkling blue eyes scanned the beach and found mine.  This time I didn’t shy away.  This time I let her see my gratitude, unashamed.  She smiled, and this time, I smiled back.

 

She stepped toward me and I didn’t flinch.  She walked right up to me, no more than a meter away, and her soft, sweet voice asked me for a favor as though I had it within my power to say anything but yes.

 

“Would you put some on my back?”

 

I accepted the offered lotion and she turned.  I stood behind her and sprayed the warm, viscous liquid onto my hands, then reached across the short distance between us to spread it onto her lustrous skin.  She trembled slightly at my touch, as though she were merely mortal, but I knew better.

 

When I had devotedly covered her from her soft shoulders to the delectable dimples of her lower back, she bade me go lower.  I knelt, only inches from the flower of paradise, and worshiped her femininity with my fingertips, respectfully avoiding personal boundaries that might cause her offense.

 

When I was done, she sighed, turned and smiled down at me.   “Mind if I join you?”

 

A strange voice replied confidently and appreciatively, inviting her to bring her towel.  The strange voice had arisen from my throat.

 

Watching her walk away was almost as great a pleasure as watching her return and spread her towel near mine, lying on her stomach. 

 

It seemed impudent to assume a position of equality to the goddess, shoulder to shoulder.  I located myself at her feet instead, and we continued to converse as though she considered me her equal. 

 

Though it seemed like we drifted in time for days, I am sure it was merely an hour or so that the two of us, alone on the beach, talked pleasantly about insignificant things. 

 

As the sun dipped below the horizon my vision put her bikini back on, packed her bags and drifted away on the ocean breeze.

 

After she had been gone for some time the rest of the world started to reappear.  The other boys who had accompanied me to the beach made their little rude noises, but I ignored them. 

 

I packed my own simple belongings and left the magical place without another word to anyone.

 

I planned to return soon, but my studies prevented me. 

 

There was something about that matchless encounter that changed me, though.  The next day as I ate my lunch alone in the cafeteria, at the same place and the same time as always, I was approached by a young woman.  While I would never compare her to my goddess, she was beautiful in her own right.

 

“Do you mind if I sit with you?” she asked as though concerned I would deny her.

 

That strange voice came out of me again.  The confident one.  The one that knew he had something worthwhile inside of him.  “Not at all.  Please do.”

 

That was fifteen years ago.  Sometimes when I am sitting at home quiet and alone, my wife and children off on errands or in bed asleep, I think about my vision and consider if her life was changed as wonderfully as mine on that amazing afternoon.

 

She appeared again, my vision on the dunes.  Every afternoon since she first spread out her towel, and my heart pounded so hard I was sure she would hear.  On this day she chose a spot just a few feet away.

That fateful afternoon I peeked over my book at her dark blonde hair, pretty face, freckled nose and I dreamed that she would notice me.  She was close enough.  Close enough that I could smell the creamy lotion in the gentle breeze.

I imagined that I was exactly the man she wanted.  Not the skinny, shy, insecure college freshman I was to others.  I believed her gaze would transform me into the man inside.

When her smiling eyes turned my way I hid behind my book.  I felt hot and ashamed for looking at her.

She wouldn’t see me.  She would see through me.  There were other boys on the beach who needed no transformation.  Those boys had dates in high school.  Those boys had seen women naked, kissed them, touched them, been with them.

Those boys weren’t me.  She would see them.  She wouldn’t see me.  She wouldn’t judge me like the other girls did.  I would hide behind my book.

She must have turned away, I thought.  She must have covered those beautiful eyes in the big, round sun glasses.  If I didn’t see her eyes then she couldn’t see through me.

I peeked again, and suddenly my heart was in my throat, pounding so hard I couldn’t breathe.  The floral-patterned, brown bikini top she always wore was on the towel.

Her breasts.  Her…nipples…covered in cream.  Firm.  Perfect. 

I gasped for air as she took each flawless globe of feminine beauty and smoothed the thick, white protective coating over the pale triangles of untanned skin.  Over the dark, puffy nipples.

My head was swimming, I felt like I was outside myself.  I could hear the throbbing surge of blood in my ears over the sound of the pounding surf.

Firm.  Perfect.

She lay back.  Propped on one elbow, toward me. 

I was so hard.  Soon I’d burst through my swimsuit and expose myself to her.  My sex rushed through my body.  My sex controlled me. 

I couldn’t feel my arms, my fingers tingled.  I reached down to unsnarl my hardened flesh from the painful tangle of fabric between my legs.

And at that precise moment when my fingers grasped my throbbing, aching head, her finger pressed the plunger on the sunscreen and a jet of shimmering liquid splattered across her chest, a drop dangling from her stiff nipple.

And in that moment I gasped, and I felt myself tense and empty my own cream spurting jet after jet of my own white ointment into the pitifully thin lining of my suit.  I caught my pathetic moan in my throat and stifled it.

I looked up, horrified.  She caught my eye and smiled.  I froze, my hand still down where it should not be, fingers covered with my creamy release. 

I tried to smile in return, tried to draw attention away from the growing dark, wet spot that I imagined the whole world could see.  The shame contorted my attempted smile into an embarrassed grimace. 

Still smiling, she turned away, lay on her back, and closed her eyes.

Now I couldn’t smell her cream.  But I could smell mine.  Soon my vision would smell it too, and she would know she’d sat down next to the disgusting pervert that I was, not the man of her dreams that I knew I could be.

I wadded up my towel and book and shirt and holding it awkwardly over my guilty, still-hard crotch, snuck away before she detected who made the betraying odor of uncontrolled lust.

I didn’t tell my classmates of my shame, but I couldn’t keep from telling them about my vision.  As if telling it made it real.

The memory burned in my brain and screamed for release.  When I realized how bad a mistake I’d made it was too late to take it back.

“That’s not a nude beach, dummy.”

“No real girl would show you her tits, pervert.”

“Prove it.  You can’t.  Loser.”

The next day I wasn’t alone.  My new “mates” came with me.  I didn’t want them; I didn’t want to share my vision.  She was mine.  I saw her first.

But they insisted.  They thought I was lying.  They thought they would humiliate me, at best.  At worst, she would appear and they would see her and then I would disappear.

 Jimmy or Matt or Sean or any of the others were that type of boy in high school.  The type that I hadn’t been.  The type I still wasn’t.

As bad as it was that day when she wasn’t there, I still hoped that she wouldn’t come.  That way they wouldn’t see her.   That way they would lose interest and I could come back alone. 

But my vision returned.  Farther away this time…with any luck she was far enough away that she couldn’t hear how they teased me when she finally arrived. 

Hopefully, she couldn’t make out the lewd comments about the two of us, about how she was too hot to be my girlfriend, about the things that they wanted to do to her as she spread out her towel and spread on her lotion, her bikini top still in place.

 

I optimistically imagined that the surf was so loud she couldn’t perceive their scorn for me when she rolled onto her stomach, her bikini still in place.

 

But when her top came off I almost cried as my japing friends silently beheld the beauty that had been mine alone.  My heart pounded now as much in jealousy as in excitement as I felt their dirty eyes all over her. 

 

I wanted to rush over and cover her up.  They didn’t see her the way I did.  They didn’t appreciate her the way I did.  They didn’t realize how lucky they were to share the beach with my vision.

 

“Damn.” Jimmy whispered.  She had untied the bottoms.  For an excruciating few seconds I hoped against hope that she just wanted to reposition and retie the strings.

 

And then her bottoms came off.  And just when I thought I would disappear, I didn’t. 

 

Everyone else did. 

 

Jimmy and Matt and Sean, and everyone else on the beach vanished and it was just my vision.

 

She spread her creamy lotion over her legs, and between them.  Unashamed she gave me a view of the most marvelous treasure.

 

And suddenly she was on her feet.  Naked and glorious she strode confidently into the surf.  Her hands kept cupping her breasts as the water swirled around her hips.  The sun sparkled off the droplets rushing down her curves.

 

She rose from the sea foam, Aphrodite Anaydomene, the goddess emerging from the waves, shining and pure.

 

Back at her towel she paused only a moment to retrieve her lotion, and stood while she carefully reapplied the creamy balm.  I thought she was going to lie down again when she had covered her breasts, her belly, her beautiful legs and in between.

 

But her sparkling blue eyes scanned the beach and found mine.  This time I didn’t shy away.  This time I let her see my gratitude, unashamed.  She smiled, and this time, I smiled back.

 

She stepped toward me and I didn’t flinch.  She walked right up to me, no more than a meter away, and her soft, sweet voice asked me for a favor as though I had it within my power to say anything but yes.

 

“Would you put some on my back?”

 

I accepted the offered lotion and she turned.  I stood behind her and sprayed the warm, viscous liquid onto my hands, then reached across the short distance between us to spread it onto her lustrous skin.  She trembled slightly at my touch, as though she were merely mortal, but I knew better.

 

When I had devotedly covered her from her soft shoulders to the delectable dimples of her lower back, she bade me go lower.  I knelt, only inches from the flower of paradise, and worshiped her femininity with my fingertips, respectfully avoiding personal boundaries that might cause her offense.

 

When I was done, she sighed, turned and smiled down at me.   “Mind if I join you?”

 

A strange voice replied confidently and appreciatively, inviting her to bring her towel.  The strange voice had arisen from my throat.

 

Watching her walk away was almost as great a pleasure as watching her return and spread her towel near mine, lying on her stomach. 

 

It seemed impudent to assume a position of equality to the goddess, shoulder to shoulder.  I located myself at her feet instead, and we continued to converse as though she considered me her equal. 

 

Though it seemed like we drifted in time for days, I am sure it was merely an hour or so that the two of us, alone on the beach, talked pleasantly about insignificant things. 

 

As the sun dipped below the horizon my vision put her bikini back on, packed her bags and drifted away on the ocean breeze.

 

After she had been gone for some time the rest of the world started to reappear.  The other boys who had accompanied me to the beach made their little rude noises, but I ignored them. 

 

I packed my own simple belongings and left the magical place without another word to anyone.

 

I planned to return soon, but my studies prevented me. 

 

There was something about that matchless encounter that changed me, though.  The next day as I ate my lunch alone in the cafeteria, at the same place and the same time as always, I was approached by a young woman.  While I would never compare her to my goddess, she was beautiful in her own right.

 

“Do you mind if I sit with you?” she asked as though concerned I would deny her.

 

That strange voice came out of me again.  The confident one.  The one that knew he had something worthwhile inside of him.  “Not at all.  Please do.”

 

That was fifteen years ago.  Sometimes when I am sitting at home quiet and alone, my wife and children off on errands or in bed asleep, I think about my vision and consider if her life was changed as wonderfully as mine on that amazing afternoon.

 

Cirque du Freak

keep in mind you are not fit to Judge yourself as a failure, you don't get to do that. Edge

Guilty. As charged

Order in the Court gentlemen and Ladies. Put a sock in it ye throwers of stones for your minds have been revealed. It would appear that there are some discrepencies involved in this ere particular gripe. Step forward good Minister and preesent thy case. A Harlot  ye bleet, one who stands in shadow plying her wares. Not guilty, 1 count. Use of social media and refusal to don Mask renders accusation void. A communist, ok give that a go. Yessir obviously the inclusion of renegade artistes within the work cited reveals a penchant for the outer margin particularly the left. K, lemme see. Yes I see the problem ere, obviously had a lot of contact with the Greek community. Bloody philosophers bugger anybody's cabbage they would not to mention the Sheep. The psycheyeology and leather gear we shall put down to the German influence which is obvious to even a blind man on a galloping horse. Gerry will try to get out of anything with a bit of leather and fast talk. How plead ye Miss Missy.

Fuck off ye say

On which count would that be

Religious bigotry based on beliefs and geographical favorings unproven have influenced the courts oversight of this case.

Never heard of such a plea.

Tell you what, stay away from the Jerries and the rubber knickers ( there not in Marks and Spencer for good reason) stop all that flylosophy. Bugger off and drop a Fifty in the blind box on the way out keep yer nose clean...

Missy I don't have a clue where this stuff comes from....help. Just random

My eldest son just came into the garage with a plastic milk carton and asked "recycle", I said fuck no it's too late" Hope he doesn't think I am a cynic. An Island of shit in the Pacific and we want to recycle now! K why not let's play silly fuckers, I got a good one. Why not ban the wearing of clothing and let's see what appens. One industry based on the unscientific belief it is needed, what if a bare arse was fashionable? What would happen to the icecaps then?

Edge as the judge

Missy as the slut

Words by Edge & Missy