Sunday, 22 May 2022

Plenty to think about.

 Well I must say, most days your welcome comments to my posts leave me with plenty to think about.   But yesterday it was my Saturday magazine with The Times that provided food for thought and also plenty to chat about, both with H, my neighbour who came round for a cup of tea in the afternoon and also several times with friends who rang.

There was an article about Emma Thompson and her new film, "Good Luck to you Leo Grande".   In it Thompson plays the role of a woman, widowed and a teacher, who has never had an orgasm and wonders what she has been missing.   So she books a young, high class, male escort.   In spite of having had 2 children she plays a repressed, dutiful wife who wants an adventure.

Caitlin Moran, who does the interview,  says Thompson seems to have waited until she had 'enough power and confidence to do sex and nudity in a way that matters'.   Moran says 'it is the first time we have ever seen on film an older naked woman look at herself (in the mirror after the orgasm) with such joy.

We shall have to wait for a full crit of the film until either John (Going Gently) or Rachel Phillips go and see it.    I can assure you that both of them give criticism of films as good as any you will see in the papers.

But it set me thinking - not about orgasms - that is an entirely personal thing and not, in my thinking, something to be discussed here  amongst bloggers; but about nudity in general.   I know that I never, ever saw either of my parents naked.   In spite of the fact that when I was small our bath was a zinc one in front of the fire on a Friday night, I was always first in, out and dried and powdered and sent off to bed.   What happened after that I have no idea, and don't think I thought about.   By the time I reached  teenage years my sister and her husband had had a house built nearby with a bathroom and we went there for baths whenever we felt like it.

Things were slightly different when I married.   My first husband (and father of my only son) was a painter in watercolours and oils and pastel and once we married - and before if my parents were away and the house was empty and we would not be discovered, I would pose for him.   Occasionally I would pose for his friends and once or twice - when the Art School model was unable to attend- I would pose for  a class.  (my parents never knew and would have been horrified. ) So what I am asking is this.   As I now have a carer - a woman who is almost forty years younger than me and who is brilliant to me in every way and who, as she dashes around doing various jobs chats away so that I know so much about the way of life up here - I hear of people she has always known, who went to school with her, or with her brother or sister and who have children from three or four different relationships - are we saying that nudity and sexual relationships have little to do with one another?  Because her attitude - and that of her peers - does not seem all that different from that of my generation.   I said this to her this morning and her reply seemed to suggest that nothing much had changed.


Derek Faulkner said...

Well, born in 1947, I never saw my parents naked and sex was never mentioned by them and I began my teens both shy and repressed, however a change of friends saw me spend my late teens enjoying everything that the "Swinging Sixties" had to offer. Single pair sex, group sex, nakedness and I think that it probably led a lot of my generation into adult/married life with broad-minded attitudes to those things. A lot of us carried on having relationships with other women while married, left wives for other people and often continued with those attitudes well into our sixties. At the same time, in the 1980's, my second wife and daughter under twelve, spent several years as regular nudists at a local nudist beach and I've asked the daughter, now in her fifties, if all that nakedness at such an early age had any detrimental effect on her and she has said no, not all.

Librarian said...

Food for thought indeed, and very personal thoughts, too.
From my perspective and personal experience, I can confirm that nudity does not necessarily mean a sexual relationship. I, too, have posed for painters and photographers; sex (or even the idea of it with either man) never entered my mind, and I guess it did not enter theirs, either.
Nuditiy in the family: I was born in 1968, and we have pictures of my sister and I as toddlers having baths together in our family bathtub as well as with our Dad, and I can assure you and anyone else who reads this that both our parents were and are wonderful with us and there was not even the slightest hint of an unhealthy relationship there. Once we were a little older, privacy was put on a different level, and although we'd still occasionally glimpse our parents in various states of undress in our small terraced houe, they never flaunted their nudity just for the sake of it; it was simply a matter of practicality and did not do us (or our parents) any harm.
When my sister and I entered puberty, we became rather self-conscious about our bodies, and nobody shared bathroom time anymore.

Rachel Phillips said...

A bit of a tricky subject to attempt in a short comment but I don't think things have changed much, if at all. One needs to display a bit of decorum and importantly to fit in with whatever is acceptable in a given situation, and if one finds oneself in a mixed sauna one does not think about sexual activity. I don't think sexual relations have changed much even if each generation likes to think they are more promiscuous than the previous one, they aren't. But being naked and sex are two different subjects.

Carruthers said...

I don't think people's attitudes to relationships (sexual or otherwise) has changed very much. What has changed is people's attitudes to conventions which were in place merely as a form of social control. So - our attitudes to sex (it should be in the context of a relationship both parties actively want) and nudity (when it is and isn't appropriate) remain the same, more or less. However - and this has to be healthy in my view - we regulate ourselves to avoid abusive and controlling situations instead of blindly following 'rules' made by institutions. We no longer fear hell - we, hopefully, fear hurting each other.

I'm reminded of Blake's poem, The Garden of Love:

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.

Tom Stephenson said...

I have a friend who was brought up in Sweden by parents who regularly took her on nudist holidays. She hated it as much as I would have. As a very young man at art school, I could never rid myself of thoughts about sex when confronted with nude models, so consequently I was never any good at life drawing. This was not helped by a couple of the male teachers being utter perverts. In one class, the model was put into a really pornographic pose. Halfway through, her husband stormed in and dragged her away. In another class, the young model was told to stand astride a mirror. They were very poor teachers being paid a lot of money to behave unacceptably. Never saw my parents naked either.

Derek Faulkner said...

Rachel's last line gets it dead right.
When my family were regular nudists with the same group of people on a busy nudist beach, there was no hint of sex that I ever saw, no men walking around with erections etc.

the veg artist said...

I remember a friend talking about a model in his art school days. When she was naked, she was just a form to be painted, but once she put her robe on at the end of the session, that was a different matter!

Melinda from Ontario said...

One of the many wonderful qualities about my mom was her forward thinking. My mother loved to have conversations with depth. Her four children always knew we could ask her anything and she would answer with wisdom and honesty. Her comfort level with the subject of sex rubbed off on all of her children and I'm sure it made a positive impact on each and every one of us. That being said, I've always been shy when it comes to my own nudity and I am almost certain I could not pose nude for anyone other than my husband. I still cringe in embarrassment when I remember an incident in my teen years when my bathing suit top fell off whilst being pulled behind the back of a motorboat. My peers (male and female) had to help me into the boat virtually topless.

DUTA said...

Angela Merkel, the former leader of Germany, practised nudism. There are nice photos of her taken at nudist camps. If it was good for her, I suppose it is good for anyone. Nothing to be ashamed of.

thelma said...

One thing we forget, it's flippin cold in this country for wandering around in the nude. Any child of the 1950s/1960s would flee yelling from the cold of an icy bathroom, towel wrapped tightly around them!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you all for speaking so honestly - I find all your replies fascinating. They remind me of an incident around thirty years ago when I spent a couple of weeks in Marrakech alone it was between marriages). A group of single wome n the holiday -- maybe half a dozen of us - went to a Turkish Bath, took all our clothes off,walked in to be confronted with twenty or so local women all naked apart from their knickers which they had kept on We weremade to feel quite uncomfortable.

Debby said...

Nudity and sexuality are very different indeed. I think nudity has more to do with your relationship with self. People who are comfortable with nudity are comfortable within their own skins, as the saying goes.

Sex, on the other hand. is about our relationship with others. It used to be that sex was something that happened after one got to know another. After talking, after dating, after really knowing the other person. Now, it just happens. Too quickly, in my opinion. You have sex before you have really developed the relationship.

jinxxxygirl said...

Well Pat i was born in 1967 to give you some reference.. I might have seen my mom topless once or twice while putting on her bra but thats it.. Nakedness was not a common thing in our house and sex was not mentioned.. I'am often the most reserved person among my peers... I would never go into a sauna naked and would be uncomfortable around other women naked.I'am a very private person.. I think we WANT to separate nakedness and sex... as it is an enlightened approach but i think it is not so easily done except for the enlightened few... Hugs! deb

The Weaver of Grass said...

Do please keep your replies coming in, I am finding your views so interesting.

Susan said...

Nudity and sex carry different meaning. Nudity with like minded people is comfortable. Anatomically, bodies are the same, nothing new and pretty ordinary. Sex requires attraction and some basis of a relationship. Sex for the sake of sex is something else again. So, that's my take for today. I reserve the right to change my opinion!

JayCee said...

thelma is right. Too flippin' cold for nudity around here.

Joanne Noragon said...

I never say my parents naked, nor my brothers, for that matter. But that was just the family I was born into. My grandmother did dress in front of me, but I was not savvy enough to absorb her nudity as the fascinating garments she was putting on, a chemise and a corset.

sparklingmerlot said...

My mother was born in 1928 and was never embarrassed about being naked. I saw both my parents naked growing up. When my boys were little it was the same. As they got older it just made sense to cover up a bit more but not out of shame. I can't be certain but I think they hold the same attitude with their young families.
Nudity does not lead to sex (and the other way round sometimes!) but when that line is confused or ignored nasty things can happen. I hate it when I hear about little kids being told to cover up cos it might lead to someone doing something bad to them. Wrong wrong wrong.

Cro Magnon said...

It seems to be common for school children to send each other 'personal' photos on their phones. They see it as normal.

The Weaver of Grass said...

sparklingmerlot - your attitude just about sums up my attitude too,
Oh yes Joanne - corsets with their laces - I remember them well,
Susan = the last line of your reply made me smile.