This is my entry for Day 37 of the Winds of Change series. In it I talk more about my standards of modesty.
I’ve been thinking about modesty, nudity and decency a lot today. In fact, my morning started with looking for an answer to the question I posed yesterday: Is going commando sinful?
Before sharing some thoughts on modesty, permit me to say, that I’m evaluating my beliefs on modesty and nudity.
As a child and teenager, I always said to myself that I will be naked with and/or in front of three groups of people, namely, my wife, my doctor and medical staff, and other guys in locker rooms and public showers. As I aged these “pillars” grew to include my licenced massage therapist, if he/she is comfortable with it, and my sons.
It makes sense that I would be naked with my wife. Some things are best done naked, if you know what I mean. Also being naked in front of my doctor and other medical staff also makes sense when they examine or operate on or near my crotch. And of course locker rooms and public showers are self-explanatory too. Included in this group is the asian gender segregated public baths where one goes for relaxation. They are awesome!
Now, why did I expand the pillars to include my licenced massage therapist? Well, the licenced massage therapy (LMT) industry is working hard to dissociate themselves from the prostitution industry which has been piggy back-riding on them for the last nth centuries. The LMT industry offers alternative healing and is sometimes used in conjunction with medical practices since massage aids the restoration of the body. Massage is also relaxing. Therefore, since I’ve become comfortable with my body and who I am, I’ve decided to include my LMT if they are comfortable with the nudity. However, I won’t suggest it. It must come from them since they work on my body and I’m comfortable with whatever level of modesty they choose to work with. Now, the reason for this comfort is because the room in which the massage takes place is closed. No one else enters and exists the room except my LMT and I. No one else is in the room except my LMT and I. If the situation was different I would not allow myself to be undraped. I don’t want to be an exhibitionist.
Now on to my sons. My mom and my sister are naked around each other in the bathroom and when they get dressed. They have a very close relationship and my sister did not suffer from the poor body image I had while growing up. (True, my poor body image is largely the result of the porn I consumed.) When I asked her whether she experienced any shame when she entered puberty, my sister said that did. She told my mom and my mom told her to get over it and that she’ll look just like my mom when she gets old. My sister got used to the arrangement. They are pretty close. My mom affirmed her in her womanhood.
But, I never saw my dad naked and I think that if I did I would never have gone looking for the affirmation in pictures of naked guys nor have felt uncomfortable around naked guys. I don’t want my sons growing up hooked on porn and masturbation like I did.
My dad never had a good relationship with his dad. They never spoke about life and life’s challenges. My grandpa never spoke to my dad about sex and stuff. People in that era didn’t talk about sex and stuff to their children. But, my dad was never close to his dad. As a result my dad was never close to me during my childhood. I clearly remember the pang of pain I felt whenever my dad interacted with my cousins and my peers from church. I clearly remember thinking, I wish my dad was like that with me. It was only after I told him and my mom about my struggle with masturbation that we started becoming close. That happened when I was 17 years old. I don’t want my sons to experience any of that.
Being naked with your children affords you the perfect opportunity to teach them about their bodies, sex, modesty and to impart body confidence. It also brings you closer to each other. Of course, there are other ways of affirming their manhood but I would like to affirm them in this way too. It also reinforces the gender barrier in them where it’s okay to be naked with males but not with women who are not your wife or health practitioner or aid.
Now for the question of whether not wearing underwear is sinful. I don’t believe it is. As long as you don’t voluntarily expose yourself to others or place yourself in compromising positions, not wearing underwear is alright. But, if going commando excites you, encourages lustful thoughts or places you in the embarrassing/taboo situation of having a visible erection in public then it’s best not to. Firstly, because lustful thoughts are immoral and public erections either repulse or turn the onlooker on. Public erections can also lead to charges of public indecency in some jurisdictions. And like CS Lewis said in Mere Christianity a voluntary lapse in modesty to solicit a reaction from people is uncharitable and controverts the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12.
That sums up my beliefs regarding modesty and going commando.
I’m planning on writing an article on modesty and nudism. There are a lot of psychological, religious, and social aspects involved. It is a subject of active, on-going research.
I hope you found this post insightful and thought provoking. What are the tenets of your modesty beliefs? Do you agree with mine?