Don’t they? I ask.
“No!” She says, her voice rising. “Many people never feel a need to take naked pictures of themselves.” This is a new perspective I need to consider.
I took it as a truth universal: a person in possession of a body must be in want of photos documenting it, naked. It felt incomprehensible that people who had no pictorial evidence of their own fleshy erotics wouldn’t want to have them. If nothing else, as they grow old, would they not want yellowing, creased, beloved photos to take out and rub with their bony fingers?
“No,” my therapist said. “Not everyone does. I don’t. I have memories, and that’s all I need.”
Weird, I said. I don’t get it.
This past Thursday, Adult Magazine published some naked photos of me, and, almost incidentally, an essay about it. The reaction was not what I expected. In fact, it has been a bit uncanny, unsettling in that way that only expectations run wildly awry can be. I expected that, as they had with my two previous Adult Mag essays, my Twitter friends would be reacting wildly, but they were rather sedate and quiet. Likewise, I had expected that Facebook would herald the publication of photos of me in my altogether with a kind of silent horror; they were delighted.
The world is weird, and I just want it to pay me better.
Here is the first paragraph of the Adult Mag piece:
As it turns out, it doesn’t feel as weird to flash your sphincter to a relative stranger as you might imagine. I wanted naked pictures of myself taken by someone other than me on an apparatus other than an iPhone, and this desire meant I had to make friends with showing my rectum to someone who was neither my doctor nor my lover. And thus photographer Symon Chow came to my apartment; he saw my asshole as he and I talked, his camera clicking syncopated punctuation to our conversation. Two months later, a sweet folder of naked pictures arrived in my dropbox.
You can go here to read the rest.
And then find someone talented to take a naked picture or two of you. My therapist may have many sterling qualities, but on this point she is clearly in the wrong.