I don’t know my original intention when I took this photo. I have this “wrap” which I had redesigned and re-purposed for my use when I needed to quickly cover up my nudity because of some situation. Normally I wear shorts when not on the balcony; however, I keep this wrap nearby should I need to respond to anyone who hails me from the yard, or to make a trip downstairs for another cup of coffee or for some tea. In spite of the occasional “skirt” comment, this isn’t a problem for me.
In spite of that, I risk full exposure and whatever storm that might arise should I be caught with my proverbial “pants down.” Naturally, when I do take these risks, I do so only after having ascertained that the likelihood of being seen is extremely low. In a way, it is a challenge to myself, not a dare. There is always an “edge” to taking such risks. The one that I feel has most value is that occasional, partial glimpses by others leads to a normalising of seeing me nude by others. A second value is in the sharing here where others can relate to the issue of boundaries.
Which boundaries are more self-imposed than by others? If the past four years of my life are any indication, casual nudity is likely to be more tolerated by others than one would believe. I was first seen nude by a neighbour woman who had come to our house through our back yard. Seeing me sitting nude in the kitchen, she stopped and continued looking until I realised that she was there. I was in a panic as I was sure that she would report me, tell everyone in the community about the pervert two doors down, and worse still, tell my wife. None of that happened. I reached for a towel to cover up and then opened the glass patio door which had been locked for her. Since that time, she has frequently seen me nude, almost always arriving without notice when I am likely to be nude.
A similar situation occurred with my next-door neighbour three years ago. I was sitting on my back deck, tucked into a corner by the patio doors when she came into our back yard in search of some garden produce. When she finally realised that I was there, sitting without any clothing on as I wrote using my laptop, she hesitated, then approached to ask about getting something from our garden. Like the first neighbour, she has seen me nude on numerous occasions with one major difference. She only gets to see me nude outdoors, and never with the intention of doing so on purpose.
Other neighbours have seen me as well, and no one makes any comment about it. It happens and it isn’t about intentionally trying to disturb them and they know it. I wouldn’t have arrived at this point in my life if I hadn’t dared to extend my boundaries, if I had limited myself to only being nude in my home office.