While in Palm Springs, I always opt to stay at gay, clothing-optional resorts. Because they’re owned and operated by gays. And because you can be as naked as you want to be.
And honestly? I’m not that naked at them. But I like that the option exists.
I tend to wear a swimsuit or shorts and that’s about it. And not because I’m super shy or anything. on the contrary, I mostly don’t have much of an issue being naked. Mostly. (More on that in a minute). I opt to wear junk coverings stuff for two reasons:
1) I don’t want my nethers to burn, and 2) I think tan lines are sexy AF.
And by tan lines, I mean like 70’s surfer in speedo tan lines. Not like farmer tans or thong lines, etc. I wanna see white buns and white hip stripes.
I do take off clothing to swim or get in a jacuzzi, etc. I just really enjoy having the option. And Palm Springs is good for the nakey timez. There’s naked hiking. There are underwear nights at the bars. There are multitudes of clothing optional resorts with different levels of “nakey”. And I’m not mad about seeing how guys exercise their options.
Which brings me to some unexpected nakedness that took me a bit out of my comfort zone.
So, for many years now I’ve been “tangential friends” with Jay Jorgensen, who lived in LA but now Palm Springs. He’s had a very fascinating life to date, and is an author and photographer. He’s done books on Grace Kelky and Edith Head. And he’s done a book of photography. Of men.
He still does a lot of photography, and before I headed to Palm Springs this last time, we agreed to meet up. And he suggested that we do a photo shoot. For some reason he thought he’d like to photograph me? Yeah, I don’t get it either.
I wasn’t sold on the photo shoot idea, especially after seeing the book of photos of the men he published. And other pics available on his sites and instagram. (I do NOT look like these men.) But after we hung out on Saturday, I asked if he was still serious. He was.
So we set up a shoot for Sunday late morning/ early afternoon. My last day in PS. and let’s just say, I was a bit nervous.
The location was the back yard of a friend of his who has a lovey home. The back yard is private with tall hedges, shaded patio, huge ficus, and a pool. The home owner (and his bfs) were there having a leisurely Sunday- so I felt like an interloper.
And then there’s the fact that we were going to be photographing me in very little. Or nothing.
Now please understand, this puts me well outside my comfort zone. I mean, I have body issue- just like most gay men. But when I see his normal subjects (models, porn guys, etc) my self-doubt ratchets to 11 and my self-esteem plummets. I’m fat. I don’t have abs. Or strong arms. I don’t like my chest. My nipples are too big. My eyes have bags. Everything.
So why subject myself to this digital scrutiny? Well, first of all, it’s an experience that IS outside my comfort zone. And like my previous post implied- when I travel, I take more chances and become someone different. And secondly, a published photographer wants to take my picture- so why not have that experience, even if it is somewhat uncomfortable?
And the end of the day though? It was fun. And posing was WAY more work than I thought!
So, naturally I was nervous at the start, but Jay worked with me. We started with a jock and a prop- a colorful pool float ring, and we focused mainly on presenting my legs and ass. Two features which I don’t totally hate on my body. I started learning how to suck in, and flex and twist my body to get muscles to pop a bit more. To lean my body out. To accentuate the glutes.
As we started, the homeowner turned on some music, and it was this incredibly chill vibe, Sunday morning dance/trance stuff which made me relax almost instantly. I loosened up. I started to enjoy the process.
Some sexy looks. Some cheeky looks. So fun looks. Me laying by the pool. Me standing. Me sitting or kneeling on the pool lounger. In sunglasses. Without sunglasses. Jock. Shorts.
And we eventually went full nude. Something which I would not have imagined doing, even 24 hours before.
Jay and the homeowners were lovely throughout and I honestly had a good time. What an experience to add to the memory file! And Jay has already sent me a link to the pictures. All the picture. Like 350 of them.
And while I figured my favorite shots would be those featuring my ass and legs (and I do like those), I find myself gravitating to this short series of me sitting, legs spread, on the lounge chair. It’s me at my absolutely most naked and vulnerable. And I kinda like it.
Maybe because I’m proud I let myself go enough to have the experience. I don’t know. And even with all my body issues… I’m ok seeing myself. REALLY seeing myself. A naked 52 year old gay man. Saggy bits and all.
Let’s hope I can share the nakedness one day. But for now, it’s kinda for me. And Jay.
When I see shirtless posts of you, I think you are very hot. I hope that you will feel comfortable sharing some of the photos. You are a very handsome man
That’s very color. Congratulations.
That was suppose to be “very cool”
I mean “cool”.