As you all know, I attended a Bible Conference this weekend. The conference ran from Friday evening to Monday night. There were morning and evening plenary sessions, two afternoons of community outreach (during which we went door-to-door knocking giving out a “newspaper” with my church’s doctrines, DVDs on health and Bible prophecy and two other items), and break out sessions the Sunday and Monday mornings. The break out sessions I attended were on evangelism. The messages were inspiring and really made you do introspection.
During one of the plenary sessions I was felt convicted to give up the outdoor nudity activities I planned on doing at my solo retreat in January next year. This soon led me to question and doubt the moments I spend naked when alone at home which doesn’t happen often. I surrendered these to Christ saying, “Thy will be done and not mine.” And hoped that that would be the end of it. But boy was I wrong!
You see, I don’t want anything to be wrong with being nude in the privacy and solitude of my own home. I spoke to my accountability partner about this and he basically said it’s between me and God, but personally he doesn’t see anything wrong with being naked in your own home as long as your intentions are pure. (Right now my mind is racing. I don’t know where to begin with what I want to say, but let’s start here.)
I wasn’t actually planning on sharing this with you, but you need background information . . . During the initial stages of the previous abstinence period (May-July 2012) during which I abstained from masturbation, I contacted Fred Stoeker, one of the authors of the Every Man series. I told him of my dilemma with masturbating in my sleep. You see, I began fighting masturbation during the 10th grade. As time passed, I gradually weaned myself off from masturbating during the day, by God’s grace. When I returned from a stint of missionary service in Korea, I had problems giving up masturbating at night. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and do it–sometimes using my clothes and other stuff. When I began the previous abstinence “run” I didn’t want to masturbate at night anymore. When I couldn’t take it any longer, I reached out to Fred Stoeker for help. He said that I was stressing too much about the whole thing, that I should leave it in God’s hands and not worry about the matter anymore. I did this and it worked.
Now during this time I signed up to the Fred Stoeker Message Board where I dealt with another issue of mine: the shaving of pubic hair. Because I was introduced to porn and masturbation at an early age–just as I began developing secondary sexual characteristics, i.e. pubic hair, deepening of voice, etc.–I associated these with my insatiable desire for solo sex. In frustration one day, I cut my pubic hair with a pair of nail scissors thinking that doing so will solve my problem. I was 13 years old at that time. Well, it didn’t. Then when I lived with my uncle and his family, his son-in-law reintroduced me to the concept of pubic hair shaving. I took to it immediately. During my time in Korea, I bought a couple of beard trimmers (not all at once) and kept my hair short on a regular basis. I liked the “clean” look. But, the practice had a lot of baggage attached to it.
So, when I joined Fred Stoeker’s Message Board the issue arose and one of the moderators helped me. I told him everything I just told you including how many times I promised not to trim my pubic hair: that I would only trim it when I’m married one day, let my wife trim it and not me, that I bought and threw away numerous body hair trimmers, that I kept one of them vowing to only use it when I’m married, etc. He told me that in the greater scheme of things, it’s no big deal, that I was inventing man-made rules which made my burden even heavier. There were times when I would cry on the bathroom floor because of this insane desire to trim my pubic hair. I found it erotic.
Arguments were flung to and fro in my mind as I debated the sanctity of the practice. Egyptians used shave the pubes. The practice was particularly popular among Egyptian prostitutes. God gave man pubic hair–surely it wasn’t His intention that we shave that area? And yet we shave our beards, moustaches, leg hair, back hair and other areas of our bodies? Muslims obey al-Fitra which demands that they shave their pubes at least every 40 days. When the moderator said that it doesn’t matter, I immediately had peace. But then I started to worry: what will my parents think of me shaving my pubic hair? Won’t they laugh at me? But my mom and sister trim? My dad trims my mom’s hair when he’s here at home. My dad used to trim his own but his belly got in the way over the years. So, I decided to speak to them about my practice casually, jokingly at first but then I began to inquire about their practices. Now, I have no problem with shaving my pubic hair. I used to trim it with a nose hair trimmer but it drew unwanted attention. Now I shave.
Personal Nudity Concerns
I’m hoping that my personal nudity time will follow the same route. This situation reminds me a lot about the pubic hair situation I just described. I honestly don’t think that God has a problem with us walking around naked in the comfort of our own homes as long as we’re not visible from the outside and we don’t break the gender barrier, i.e. the separation of men and women when naked. But, my worry is what will my fellow church members think of me and my practice? Will they condemn me? Will they disfellowship me? Will I lose their respect? Last year I asked some church members on an unofficial forum and they didn’t have any problem with it as long as I keep to myself and not expose my naked self to others.
When I was in Korea I used to visit jjimjilbang and mokgyotang (Korean spas and public bathhouses) for the thrill at first, but later I sought the establishments out for relaxation. For the record, nothing sexual happens at Korean public bathhouses. Many missionaries from my church visited such places in their locales. Of course, during that period in my life, I was still tightly in the grip of pornography and masturbation so I was always on the look out for sexual stuff–not that I wanted to participate. That was before I learned that nudity isn’t always sexual. And it definitely wasn’t in Korean public bathhouses.
So, I don’t understand why I have a problem with it. I guess I’m just looking for approval from family members and church members. I also tend to feel guilty very easily even when I’m not responsible for stuff. Personal, private nudity like pubic hair shaving, photography, sculpting, card making, and other art stuff, is very dear to my heart because it’s a form of self-expression. I value self-expression.
By the way, I had a wet dream yesterday (day 103) and today (day 104).