I woke this morning with thoughts and feelings about naturism, erotic expression and feminism flowing through my mind. I daresay I think about these topics more than the average person, but recently, the quiet lull in my brain has become an insatiable drum beating loudly without intermission leaving me no choice but to express…
When I originally launched Get Naked With Joy (my blog and all of the connected social media platforms) I didn’t understand what my intention was, it just felt right. I was doing the same thing I am now; expressing myself by tapping into my vulnerability in an effort to unearth and in fact unleash my strength. Getting naked and sharing my vulnerability with the world has not been without its challenges but I have no regrets. It has been deeply transformative.
What started as a truly personal journey (taking naked self portraits daily) rapidly became very public. My blog seemed to strike a chord within the hearts and souls of people from all walks of life. People who were already on a similar path. People who were standing at the edge of a mental forest desperately searching for a path. A path that would liberate them from their:
fear. shame. body hatred.
wanted needed a path to slay their imagined ugliness. Complete strangers from around the world began reaching out to me. Sending me words of encouragement and support. But more importantly, many of them also shared their stories with me. They were searching for something within and through their search, they found me.
As I continued to share my personal path, my message became clear. Or so it seemed. But as I expressed my most naked self (emotionally, spiritually, and yes, physically) I once again began feeling societal constraints. I felt trapped in a certain persona. A persona shaped by my followers. A few of my Twitter posts have sparked such outrage that a handful of my female followers actually blocked me!
One of the women who blocked me out right told me that I could not be a nudist public figure and also express my sensuality. She said it wasn’t in line with being a feminist. This woman, this total stranger shared some incredibly strong opinions about how I live my life and more importantly, what aspects of myself I share with the world. Being told by another woman that I am not a feminist because I share my nakedness without masking my sensuality was…shocking. It made me feel a deep sense of sadness. I want to live in a world where women empower each other…rather than shame and judge one another.
However, as I dug deeper, I realized her expression was a gift. She helped me understand the resistance some people feel when they witness a truly liberated woman. These self portraits illustrate how it feels to be trapped in the expression of a narrow version of myself. I am bold. I express myself freely in my life…but somehow I allowed the online community and its strong opinions to shape my expression. In doing so, I ultimately allowed complete strangers…people I’ve never met and many whom I’ve never spoken to directly, to influence how I live my life and what I express…F*ck that!
A handful of my online followers/conenctions reached out to me personally. They took the time to get to know me. The real me and, once they had a deeper understanding of who I am as a daughter, sister, friend, mother, grandmother and more importantly, who I am as a woman…They chose to continue to stand behind me (@BlondeGiraffe immediately comes to mind). They chose to open their minds and accept that I am, simply put, a naked person. I enjoy being naked on all levels. I enjoy sharing my vulnerability. My strength. I enjoy sharing my passion for life and I also enjoy sharing my pleasure (Ahem. @SmutLisa ). Because truthfully, life without pleasure is…well…life without pleasure is boring af!
Like Nick, co-founder of Naked Wanderings said in response to one of my recent comments, “What would life be like without a bit of risk?” Sharing my most vulnerable self can definitely be a tad on the risky side but it’s totally worth the risk. I hope you continue on this journey with me and in doing so, I hope you find your personal path to:
Liberation. Abundance. Body acceptance. Self love. Passion. Purpose.
And yes, I also hope you find your personal path to experiencing simple moments of unadulterated pleasure in your life.
My own mother does not approve of me. She has never read my blog though she knows it exists. She sees my nakedness as provocative and unnecessary at best…She does not understand me but that’s okay. I don’t need anyone’s permission to be me. I am who I am.
From my liberated heart to yours, Joy