Thursday, October 22, 2015

Southern exposure

I feel like I spend a lot of time exposing myself to strangers.

Well, not a *lot* of time, I guess.  Certainly not in proportion to my time generally.  I wear clothes to work and to take the kids to school and to the grocery store.  When I walk up to the market to get popcorn for movie night, I'm generally covered up.  So in terms of naked-time percentages, the actual amount of time is probably very small.

But still.

Between my regularly scheduled massages and bikini waxes, the occasional facial (which involves a partial massage, so I take off my clothes for that as well), the one time I got a spray tan because I didn't want to go to the beach looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost - let's just say that I'm not fazed by walking into a business establishment and disrobing for a total stranger.

It's a lot of naked.

The massages are relatively benign.  I mean, yes, I'm naked under the sheet, but the sheet is there for a reason.  Although I've been going to the same massage guy for so long, and we're so friendly and comfortable with each other, that I think we've both gotten a little blas√© about sheet placement. What's crazy is that I don't see it as a big deal.  It's just more nakedness.

The most extreme example (other than the OB/GYN, who will literally sit with her face 12 inches from my naked crotch, while I've got my feet up in stirrups) is the bikini wax experience.  For this one, I am totally naked from the waist down while a 24-year-old cutie from New Mexico tells me about her latest crush on a guy who's trying to become an MMA fighter - it's kind of serious because she's added him to her Snapchat, y'all. Meanwhile, she's got her (latex-gloved) hands right in my ladyparts, applying hot wax and then ripping it off, moving things around...  It's ridiculously intimate, and yet she and I chat as if she's not doing anything more than filing my nails.

My sense is that this is something women experience and are inured to much more than men. Between the gynecologist and the obstetrician and all of the various beauty and grooming treatments we subject ourselves to, we get pretty used to having to drop trou and lie back and think of England while someone we are neither related to nor having sex with pokes around the undercarriage.

Men, on the other hand, might get the occasional "turn your head and cough" treatment, plus whatever happens when you're having your prostate checked.

But it's definitely not on the same level.

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