Why nudity (and sex) suits me fine.

Via on Aug 9, 2011

“Yes, Father Mack, I am a pervert.”

My mind answers the priest’s question even as my mouth stays silent. There is no sense for a 13-year-old to enrage a rather large, Irish priest who certainly doesn’t like being challenged.

Ironically enough, the picture of a naked man and woman I was staring at came from the library at St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School in a book that, also ironically, detailed the act of sexual intercourse even as it painted a rather bleak picture of it. According to this fine “how to” manual (the name of which escapes me), a man was fondled “down there” until he became erect. He then entered the woman from the “missionary position” until he ejaculated. He then proceeded to fall asleep inside of her until his penis became flaccid and fell out. It was messy. It was glum. It was horrifying to say the least.

Amazingly, I thought this was how it was done well into my thirties; another scar of my Catholic upbringing that took me years to overcome. I now apologize to anyone effected by my dedication and devotion to such ideals.

As the book made it around the hallowed halls of St. Joe’s, we boys studied intensely the various drawings of male and female reproductive organs, as well as illustrations of what they looked like all connected. I must say that whoever created those masterpieces of creation we call “genitals” certainly understood the engineering of a round peg fitting into a round hole even if the drawings of that masterpiece looked a little like a “disaster”. My penis certainly didn’t look anything like that drawing, but as far as “how to” manuals go I guess it was great. At least it wasn’t written in Japanese like most of the electronic manuals available during that time period were. I could at least read what was supposed to happen even if the drawings themselves caused me to look away in horror.

Then there were the pictures. Now, I must assume that the book was written in the

Where's Woodstock?

heyday of the 1960′s “summer of love” phenomenon because what I saw was a horror show all unto itself. I remember being a bit grateful that the drawings were there because otherwise you wouldn’t have a clue what the vagina looked like. It took me years to learn that not all vaginas came with 12 feet of braid-able hair. Seriously, it is no small wonder most men couldn’t find the clitoris. Blame the male of the species all you want, but it seems to me that once upon a time clitoral stimulation certainly was impossible without a weed whacker and a good sense of direction.

As scary as all of that was, nothing topped the moment Father McCloughlin (who we called “Father Mack”) caught me staring at the visage of a naked woman. Ok, so I wasn’t really looking at her face.

“Mr. Grasso, what is that you are looking at?”

I thought the answer was fairly obvious, and certainly not worth describing in detail. The stuttering and stammering that was coming from my dry and cracked lips was all the description necessary. However, in my mind, I said something like this:

“I am looking at one hairy bush and nipples that look like moons around her belly button. I think it’s a ‘her’ anyway.”

In reality, the reply sounded something like this: “Er, duh, um, well, um, er, ah, yeah.”

Very eloquent. Very mindful. Not one of my prouder moments.

“Do you know what this makes you Mr. Grasso?”

In my mind came the response:

“Yes, Father Mack, I am a pervert. God created this boner in my pants because he wanted me to never use it. He created this woman’s body so that I could hide my head in shame when I saw it. I get it.”

What came out was: “No sir.”

“Well, I will see you at confession, son.”

Confessionals are where the best books are written

Damn it! Not confession!! You mean I have to sit and tell you once again that I looked at some naked woman in a book that YOUR school provided, and that you, once again, have to make me feel like my curiosity was WRONG?? It was moments like these that pretty much assured me that heaven and hell were right here on earth. Either way, as an altar boy, there was no hiding from this man, and certainly no hiding from him when he issued the “see you at confession” sentence. I was doomed.

I have wondered since my early days of studying the Bible what the big deal about nudity was. After all, “perfect” man and woman had no issue with walking around naked playing nudist all day long. It wasn’t until they became imperfect that the issues with their bodies became known, right? So why wouldn’t I want to be more perfect and, more importantly, why wouldn’t every woman I have ever seen strive for such utter perfection??

Alright ladies, take it off. Take it ALL off. Remember, I simply want you to be perfect. Throw away those proverbial fig leafs and find Eden, my dear friends. Let it all hang out, and for Pete’s sake, don’t mind my binoculars. Guys? Well, you can remain imperfect and shameful. I have no need to see you better than you are.

Yes, today us guys ooh and ah at every image of a naked woman we see. Yet, I am often left to wonder what would have happened if I never knew clothes existed. Would I have been staring painfully at my then-girlfriend (now my wife) wondering what was under those awesome threads that covered the awesome masterpiece beneath? Would her body have been that big of a deal to me? Would it still be?

Ok, I take it back. Ladies, put your clothes back on. See, there is something to be said about imagination and its power over the human mind. Frankly, I am not ogling women anymore. That practice is best kept to teenagers who have nothing better to do and no one better to do it with. For me, I am happy staring at my woman and just “imagining”. To me, you have found the right person not only when your mind, but your body too, is turned on each and every time her clothes hit the floor. I am lucky that way.

See, even the story of original sin has its good points. If Eve hadn’t convinced Adam to eat the apple, I would not have the imagination I have today to imagine what’s under my wife’s summer dress. Perhaps that was her motivation?  Maybe fondling him until he became erect, having him lie on top of her until ejaculation, followed by his snoring while his flaccid member fell out of her just wasn’t cutting it. Maybe she needed more, so that apple sounded pretty damn appetizing.

Oh, I am also left with the idea that perhaps the “snake” mentioned in Genesis wasn’t a serpent after all. It could have been a one-eyed worm named Willie who was to be the cause of laughter for many thousands of years to come. Yes, the irony of it all just astounds me.

What Father Mack never mentioned, and what I was never taught by those who were

Kama Sutra - the 11th Commandment?

quick to teach me how “bad” sexual expression was, is that sex is a wonderful spiritual experience. Just as every other spiritual practice, it needs to be practiced mindfully, with your entire being, and then it becomes an awesome experience that can change your life. I understand why Father Mack couldn’t mention it, but I can’t understand why very few people in my life had that experience other than they simply didn’t know how. The Bible may be a sorted collection of pornographic story lines, but where is the section where the spirituality of sex is explored? Did the God of the Bible create such a beautiful experience so that we could hide and be ashamed of it? Or was it that Moses (et al) were just dried-up old men who had forgotten to experience anything better than saying “no”?

Freedom has allowed me to conclude that, in my experience, sex and nudity are awesome components of a complete life. They are, for me, the absolute gifts that serve as a reminder of a higher level of consciousness that can exist within the realm of things some humans find “dirty”. It’s like finding ultimate cleanliness in what some would consider a mud puddle. I suggest the mud is nothing more than a figment of the conditioning we are all slaves to, but it too can serve a purpose. After all, what’s wrong with a little “dirt” every once in a while?

About Tom Grasso

Tom Grasso is a seeker, pathological meditator, a veteran firefighter and rescue tech, a poet, a blogger (new site), and aspiring writer. More importantly, he is a father of three (meaning he is also a lecturer, teacher, chef, order taker, taxi driver, coach, mentor and aspirin addict) and has found great joy in sharing his life experience to the benefit of others. A disciple of Ruiz' "The Four Agreements", Tom works diligently to prosper through guidelines that have transformed his life even before he knew they existed outside of his own experience. You can follow Tom on Twitter and on Facebook. Don't forget to like his "blog page" at Tom Grasso, Writer on Facebook.

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7 Responses to “Why nudity (and sex) suits me fine.”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul tanya lee markul says:

    Thank you Tom! "I suggest the mud is nothing more than a figment of the conditioning we are all slaves to, but it too can serve a purpose." —agreed!!

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Assoc. Yoga Editor
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  2. Tanya Lee Markul tanya lee markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  3. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    nice work tom!

  4. Tanya Lee Markul tanya lee markul says:

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

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