Every time I use the bathroom at one of my grandchildren's school events, I flash back to my own childhood. Coming face-to-face with the communal trough urinal and door-less toilet stalls triggers my feelings of juvenile embarrassment. In case a man has never used one of these urinals, eHow offers up advice on "How to Use a Trough Urinal. Communal bathing and spas have been around for thousands of years, but the concept of modesty is a relatively recent one for Western culture.
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Please refresh the page and retry. T hose words were spoken by one of the men I photographed in the nude. But they could almost have been my own. You see, I have been chasing what it is to be a woman - and a man - for the last few years. Simply, I wanted to know men better, too. What stories would they tell?
The bohemian escapade happened by accident, when, after a stroll down Big Beach and nary a shell for my mother to collect, she asked which beach I liked best. I decided to be honest. Quaint and clothing optional. At the time, my sexual orientation was subject to a similar self-imposed policy within my family. Even the two mentors lost to AIDS, a painful awakening to the fragility of life, omitted. Not the response I expected. Body exploration was private; porn, proscribed; sex, kept secret. My inner teenager, that prone-to-shock kid, dangled visions of shells and fun lava pools. Her eyes lit up.
Everyone has their own sins and impure thoughts they need to overcome. My husband and I have been together since we were year-olds at university trying to figure out where we stood with the faiths we had grown up in. I expect to give up my career once he finishes his training and we start a family. He is truly my soulmate and I shudder to think that if I had not chosen to marry outside of the church, I would not have had this life with him. I realize my situation is less about marriage, and more about dating, but any advice would be greatly appreciated. When I talk to him about this he seems to agree that he doesn't like the person he's becoming and doesn't look forward to a career in medicine, but says he can't leave medicine. The church creates massive guilt and shame in children and adults usually through sex related shaming. It MAY be true that she will not marry him unless he converts. Doctors are, for the most part, extremely responsible and determined. I have given up my career to stay with the kids and lonely is most cetainly my new reality.