Being Lectured by Little Girls

It has never been my intention to become a dirty old man. I understand how it happens. Age takes away a lot of inhibitions that you may have had during the more respectable years of your life. After you lose the ability to have any sexual experiences that aren’t mere memories, you might forget that it is not proper to make embarrassing remarks, rude jokes, unwelcome pinches, and random butt touches on young and desirable females. The first President Bush explored the line between dirty-old-coot behaviors and actual sexual harassment. And then died soon after. Being a coot is not sufficient excuse… but it can definitely be an unconscious cause.

She said it to me in plain English, even though that was not her first language. She said, “If you draw me naked, you draw me as a happy nude girl. Not sexy or icky. but sweet and playful and funny and fun!”

“Yes, ma’am!” I answered with a salute which made her giggle.

“I am not your ship captain. Just the beautiful person in charge.”

I have always been as careful as possible. I have never asked a female of any age to pose nude for me. Either they were a model in an art class I was taking, or they asked me as an adult to draw them, or they asked me to draw them because they liked the other nudes I had drawn and got their parents’ approval and supervision.

Or, like my imaginary granddaughter pictured above, they were not real enough for full consent to be required. (Yes, I know it is weird to be drawing nude little girls who are not real, but I am becoming a crazy old coot, doing stuff I would never have done in my younger, more respectable days.)

This black-and-white version looks less splotchy than the colored-pencil version.

I don’t draw nudes for sexual reasons. I do not try to create pornography, especially not child pornography. What I am trying to create is art that shows innocence, freshness, freedom, and joy in your own bodily form. The beauty is in drawing something potentially fragile and vulnerable that is safely navigating the complexities of the clothed, repressed, and dangerous world around us.

I was robbed of the chance to be confidently naked in my own childhood. I won’t recount how that happened here, but it is one of the many sadnesses of a post-Victorian world where everyone is overly concerned about seeing nudity to the point of putting fig leaves on nude statues. Your life can be totally screwed up because people feel so repressed sometimes that they have to act out in weird and possibly illegal ways. And do things to you that you don’t want them to do.

The nudists I have known in real life are more confident, friendly, and accepting than the textile-addicted people with tighter than usual behinds who are always telling me how to behave and think.

I don’t randomly take off all my clothes in public or show off my private parts to people that aren’t also nudists and do not want to see them. Even other nudists don’t spend lots of time staring at my privates. They are not beautiful. (Not the nudists, the things I mostly keep private.)

So, I am not an exhibitionist, a sex fiend, or a pornographer. I am an artist obsessed with innocent nudity. No matter what you may think of my work, admiring it or condemning it, I am not self-conscious about making it to the best of my deteriorating ability. I enjoy drawing it. I enjoy sharing it.

The little girl voice in my head, the one commanding me in the voice of my imaginary granddaughter (a story for another day that includes the fact that I have no real grandchildren,) constantly argues with me about what I am doing. And I keep in mind that I don’t want to be offensive or too controversial. But she also asks me why people like you come to this blog and look and sometimes even read. Is your motivation clean and pure of heart? Or did questionable search terms bring you here? Think about it carefully. Nudity is not evil. I believe nudism is good for people. But it has to be embraced by people who seek it for the right reasons. Cannibals, child-molesters, and rapists are not welcome. But you are not like that, or you wouldn’t have made it this far to the boring, preachy part of the essay.

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