In Part 2 of this Blog series, I presented the seemingly obvious idea that sex, love and nudity are three completely separate concepts. For example, there is nothing inherently sexual about nudity; going to a nude beach with someone – despite the interpretation of some lascivious religious folk – has nothing to do with sex, and doesn’t lead to sex. It is my belief that mature people should be accepting of nude bodies – their own and others’; bodies can be seen as ‘beautiful’, regardless of their age or condition. And, while most people may prefer to see gorgeous, model-type bodies in ads and movies, going to a nude beach is not about seeing other people, but enjoying nature in your own skin; and, accepting others as they are.
In Part 3, I questioned the definition of ‘sex’, and presented a definition that is very strict, but still allows many intimate things to be done between two consenting adults … things that don’t fall within the definition of sex, as my main character Sam defines it: Transfer of body fluids. This is a totally ‘safe’ definition of sex, avoiding the issues of pregnancy and STDs. (it’s perhaps, overly-safe, in that eating or drinking after another person, or kissing them, would also be considered ‘sex’ by this definition) I do not think that intimate ‘play’ necessarily leads to sex, especially if the partners can accept playing for ‘fun’, rather than as part of the development of their relationship.
It’s about openness. It’s about being mature enough, strong enough, to over-ride your animal instincts and control your own body. And, it’s mainly about trust.
It is very interesting to discuss this subject with people who think they are open, to see where they define their limits. They may profess to be liberal, but often their parochial life experience hinders their conception of the possibilities. For example, if you ask a married couple what would be acceptable to them in terms of each other’s interaction with another person of the opposite sex, you will get a wide range of responses, in terms of where the limits are set.
Let’s envision two liberal, open-minded couples at a cocktail party – for example, Sam and Sarah (Origins of a Fetish) and another couple they’ve had as friends for a while. Sam, as usual, pushes the social envelope, and asks the other wife – hypothetically – ‘how far she would go’ with him, regarding intimacy. Their conversation highlights where people may ‘draw the line’, in terms of what they consider acceptable. Again, I’m assuming here that these are liberal people, who accept nudity; now, the question is – how much more will they accept, before the activities cross a boundary?
Sam describes this ‘mock’ conversation in his own words:
I may ask the wife, “If we all saw each other at a nude beach, would that be OK?”
“Well, yes, of course. We’ve gone to nude beaches!”
“Good. If just you and I met on the nude beach, would that be OK?”
“Sure – we know each other. That wouldn’t be a big deal.”
“Great. What if I invited you over to go skinny dipping in the hot tub some night, when my wife is away with her friends?”
“Well, I’d have to talk to my husband … and your wife, but I guess that might be OK. Of course, I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m a ‘loose woman’, or anything … but we know each other, so I think we could probably do that.”
“Wonderful – I’ll invite you over soon! So, let’s say we come out of the hot tub, wrap up in towels, and go inside. We’re all dried off, and in the living room. Would you have a problem sitting there nude (and me, too), while we talked?”
“I guess not …”
“OK, what if you felt horny – perhaps I’m telling you a sexy story. And I’m daring you to be open with me. Do you think you could masturbate in front of me?”
“Well, … now that’s getting pretty personal!”
I exclaimed, “Of course! That’s the whole idea. Would you trust me to stay on my side of the room, and watch quietly, while you masturbated?”
“I don’t think I could do that … I don’t know … it might get me excited, to have you watching …”
I continued, “OK! So, if I were to masturbate in front of you, while you’re masturbating in front of me, that would be OK?”
“I guess. I mean, I would probably be more embarrassed than you, to see you with an erection …”
I chuckled, “Would you? Do you think I would look much different than your husband?”
“Well, no – I guess not.”
I was finally getting somewhere. “Then, what if we were lying on a bed, next to each other? Not touching, but each masturbating. Not even looking at each other, just having our own fantasies, beside each other”
She suddenly erupted, “I don’t think I would get into bed with you! That’s getting too dangerous.”
She was getting excited, so I had to make the point clearly. “You mean you don’t trust me to not attack you? To not rape you? To not stop, when you say stop? If so, I’m really saddened that our relationship is so shallow that you have no real trust in me.”
Nonplussed, she said, “You know that’s not the case. I trust you. I guess it’s just that we’ve always been taught not to incite men to sex … unless, of course, we want to have sex!”
That’s very true. “OK – let’s say we’re still on the living room couch, not in bed. Next to each other, but not lying down, masturbating to our own fantasies?”
She thought a moment, and replied, “If you put it that way, I could imagine it might be possible …”
I had to push it farther. “Let’s take another tack for a minute, I suggested. “When we dried off after the hot tub, would it have been OK for me to give you a hug … with both of us nude?”
She replied immediately, “If it was just friendly, and you weren’t turned on or anything, and it was quick …”
Now, let’s see what happens. “What if I wanted to take a shower with you after the hot tub? Could we get into the shower together?”
“What, for some ‘good, clean fun’?”
At least she still had a sense of humor! “Let’s start with us each taking our own shower, not touching each other. Would that be OK?”
She reasoned, “I guess; we would have already been nude in the hot tub together, and stood in front of each other drying off. So I guess getting in the shower together would be OK.”
“Good. Now for the ‘good, clean, fun’: Would you be willing to bathe me? Wash my entire body with your hands?”
I held my breath. “I could wash your back … and, I guess your chest and legs, and maybe even your butt … but I’m not sure I would touch you ‘down there’.”
Now, we were getting somewhere. “Even if I weren’t in the slightest turned-on? This is just a shower after the hot tub.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want you to make me do it, but if you were relaxed, and I were washing you, I might wash you there. After all, I have a son and a husband, so it wouldn't be anything new.”
Finally, we have some rationality. “Great. Now, what about me bathing you, after you’re done with me?”
She had to think about this. “I don’t know … I guess the same thing: you could wash most of me, but I would be uncomfortable with you touching my genitals.”
This was the crux of the issue. “Why?”
She replied, automatically, “Well, it’s just not right!”
Now I was on a roll. “According to whom? You’re not religious, or a prude.”
She was getting upset, “A prude? Nobody would call me that! I guess if you washed me clinically, without getting turned on or lingering over my private parts, I might be OK with that.”
I laughed, and summarized the discussion ... and went the next step. “So now, we have established that we could see each other nude. Touch each other’s bodies. And watch each other masturbate. Would it be that much of a leap to help each other masturbate? Is that shocking to you?”
Now, she smiled. She seemed more amused by this hypothetical situation than upset by it. “It would be pretty shocking. I don’t think my husband would like it.”
Now, I had her. “We would, of course, ask the spouses ahead of time. It would not be an affair if we are honest about it, and everyone is OK with the relationship. And, it would be agreed that we would not make love – just help each other with our hands; our mouths can’t assist without exposing each other to the possibility of contracting a deadly disease – not that I think you’re infected, or anything,”
“What? I should hope not. Well, if my husband actually agreed to something like that … it might be exciting, just knowing that he’s aware that we’re doing it. Actually, the more I think about it, it would be really exciting … but I just don’t know if it’s a smart idea to do something like that … when it could get ‘out of hand’ (in a manner of speaking).”
I laughed, “Ha! That’s pretty good. But, again, it comes down to a matter of TRUST. That is the essential issue. Let me ask you this: If you absolutely knew that you could trust me to not take it beyond using my hand to get you off, would you consider doing it?”
She looked confused, “Uh, … well, that isn’t a real scenario; I guess I might do it, if I had a guarantee that nothing else would happen.”
And so on. The point is that each step discussed above is a small one – being nude in a group to being nude with just the other person; from a nude beach to a hot tub, to a shower; from seeing each other bathe to bathing each other; from nudity to masturbation, and then to mutual masturbation. Perhaps I’m shocking you, the reader? But is there really anything so terrible about doing these things with another person – even if you’re married? OTHER than the possibility of it all leading to ‘sex’ – assuming everyone involved has drawn the line at sex, as Sam has defined it. AND, assuming your spouse is open and accepting of the casual 'play'? Perhaps the couples would swap partners - as in the old, poorly-termed 'wife-swapping' era?
Would these things be exciting to you? Would you do them, if you were guaranteed that it wouldn’t lead to intercourse? What limits would you set? What are the real reasons why you wouldn’t have this discussion with your friendly, open-minded neighbor? How much of this would your spouse approve, if there would be no actual ‘sex’? And, how much better would this hypothetical situation be, than the secretive, cheating, ‘affairs’ that many people end-up with, because the possibilities presented here were never considered?
Or, do you think the sex drive just too powerful, and cannot be escaped? Well, I can tell you from personal experience that many people are strong enough to control their body, and enjoy intimate ‘play’, without allowing it to progress beyond whatever limits are set. As mentioned above, and throughout my Intelligent Erotic Romance novels, it is all about TRUST.
But, now that I've provided this 'philosophy' - in which I truly believe - I must admit it: Sam and Kelly (of course) go beyond Sam's initial limits. Their 'play' DOES evolve into sex. My characters show their weakness - but also their strengths, in being adaptable; recognizing love, and moving their relationship to the next level. Sam's perspectives also evolve, leading to his openness to sexual experiences with Kelly together with her friends. After some very intimate experiences, all of the friends have a different appreciation of each other, and some true feelings develop, leading to future adventures.
What do you think about this discussion, and where it has led? Let me know in the Comments.