Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta opinions. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta opinions. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 16 de abril de 2015

A story of nudes

   I wanted to make myself visible. I had to do it in order not to feel imprisoned in the shadows, away from all that happened in the world. I needed to feel alive and wanted. So I started taking pictures using the few notions I knew of photography. At first, they were only pictures I had taken for assignments. They could be qualified as casual but also as artistic. I didn’t wanted them to be just pictures but also proof of what my life was like. So everywhere I went, I carried the camera. My father had bought me one and the moment I got it in my hands I started shooting. Every interesting plant, every nice sunset, every park or animal. I would take pictures of everyone of those and more.

 But at one moment I needed to do something else, something others were not doing and by others I meant the people around me. And the answer was obvious: nude pictures. No one was daring to do them. Was it maybe because I was twenty years old? Or was it that people are generally afraid of their own body? Who knows? But what I did know was that I needed a way out, a way to feel like myself, even if I had to do it all alone. I had tried dying my hair blue, changing my clothes, just being different from who I had been the past years, the last ones of school and first ones of college. I needed something to be only mine.

 So the first picture I took naked was of my legs. I wasn’t actually naked but it was the beginning of that time for me. I tried different tricks with lights and editing in various ways. I also took some shirtless pictures, never revealing my face. After all, everything that goes into the Internet may never be truly erased. People were going to see me and, even as much as I wanted to be out there, I wasn’t ready to show my face.

 With those first pictures, friends and other acquaintances praised my attempts for a more personal photography. They liked the way I edited my pictures and how I posed in them. After all, they were very personal and did tell tales about me to people. I was very happy to see that they were liked. Not universally but, after all, I was just learning. I didn’t wanted to be a photographer and did not pretended to be one. But I was learning so much about it that I immediately felt fascinated for an art that I had never truly reflected about.

 Back then; I liked it because it was something I could do alone. I love cinema but that needs a team to become a reality. I’ve never cared about the making of music so that wasn’t really an option and my hands are not made for the subtle and gentle work of a painter or a sculptor. No, it had to be photography. How the camera felt, the various shots to get the one I loved, the experiments I did based on what I was learning. It was all so attractive to me and, to some extent, it still is.

 I took the following step almost a year after opening a public Internet account to show my pictures. I had put on flowers, landscapes, sites, and my headless body. So the next step was showing more. I decided to show my face but not my penis. I didn’t want it to be the center of attention, not that it is anything special. But human nature is always governed by the animal feelings and it is obvious that people looking at a naked picture will always stare first at the genitals and then see the whole picture. We all do it and there’s nothing wrong with it but I wanted that distraction out so I took all pictures covering it or cropping the picture just right or even just turning around and showing my butt instead.

 Comments started pouring on the website. They were all very kind and many even racy, which I appreciated too. Friends and others were not as enthusiastic, rather focusing on the fact that I was naked and not so much on the pictures as such. They asked me if I wasn’t afraid of showing my face naked in public but I answered that there was nothing people could do with those pictures to me. They couldn’t threaten me because I had taken the first step. I’m not ashamed of my decision and I stood by it. And if someone sent one of them to my parents, as improbable as that would be, I would acknowledge my art and leave it at that.

 I have to clarify myself, though. The pictures were also an experiment for something else. They were not just about experimenting photography and having an artistic outlet that I had lacked for a long time. It was also, nudity to be more specific, a way to make people see me and judge me. I wanted to put myself out there and be bombarded with comments, good or bad. For a long time, a very long time, I had dealt with insecurity issues and I felt nudity would help me with those problems. And it did.

 With those pictures, and seeing so many more taken by a variety of men, I realized I wasn’t hideous or awful. I understood that the wide range of body types is what makes the human body beautiful. Of course, being gay, there is a beauty standard as there is one for straight men too. But homosexuality is more focused on how you look and any gay man who says they had never had an issue with that is lying. We judge each other harder. Maybe it’s because of the stereotypes that had been imposed for years but there is a certain idea of how a homosexual man has to look like and just be. And that was why I needed those pictures. I needed to prove myself and others that I could be who I am and people would like that.

 Yes, I did to receive approval. And that was the rotten seed that I never really paid attention to. It slowly grew for all those years, more than six to be exact, in silence. Meanwhile, I was successful with my experiment. People liked the way I got naked. At one point, I decided to post one picture fully naked and it was clearly one of the more successful ones in the account. After that, I just kept experimenting: shadows, lights, colors, places… It was all about the body. I still uploaded some other types of pictures that I liked but people seemed to be not very interested in them. Back then, I started to notice mostly men were adding me as their friend and the number grew a lot during the years. I have no idea how many contacts I had in there but I know they were thousands. Yes, thousands.

 Then, people got bold and started to ask for types of pictures, even more revealing ones. I said no to all of that. I was going to make a porno picture just because people wanted it. It wasn’t what I was looking for, to arouse anyone. My goal of helping myself with the pictures was, I believed, successful. Oddly enough, it was a time I had no one to share my new securities with. That was when I realized there was something wrong. Why were they thousands of man complimenting me online but in real life not even one dared to say anything to me? I tried giving the first step and that was always a failure. I cannot remember how many failed dates I’ve had. All of the crumbling fast after just a few words have been exchanged.

 Then came the people that denounced my pictures on the site where I had them. Each time I uploaded a picture, I left it without any safety advice on in order for more people to see it. After all, it was a picture of the human body, not from a corpse, or sexual or a violent act. But no. People started pouring saying my pictures were not adequate for the website. A website that had thousands of users pouring in only to check out naked men and women. If there’s something that I hate is hypocrisy and that was just the best example of it I had ever seen.

 I finished college and the rotten seed then activated, still silently. My old worries came back. Every picture I took was mediocre next to the other older ones but I decided to ignore that and do something else with my life. I traveled, I did other stuff and I even did some new things with my pictures and people liked them but less than before. And the opponents were still there, trying to push me off the edge.

 When I came back home one day, I realized they had succeeded. My account had been erased. The details are not important but I then suffered a very great depression. The rotten seed had finally won, all because I had made the wrong decision years ago. I kept failing in life, the future looked pitch black and now, what had been my only creative outlet for years, had been erased permanently. I was angry and outraged but also sad and vulnerable. A failed attempt to have a relationship pushed me to an abyss, from which I barely came out.

 Eventually I found out photography had lost most of its appeal to me. I still like to look at them and appreciate them but I haven’t held my camera in some time. Selfies, sure. Artistic photos, not really. I also found myself another outlet, one you are witnessing right now. And, to be honest, I hope I never have to leave this one, as it keeps me going, as photography never did. It was a stage in my life but that is the past. The present is this and the future… Well, let’s hope it’s there.

miércoles, 17 de diciembre de 2014

If I couldn't write, I would go insane

I used to like being naked a lot, taking pictures. I was rather popular for it. People would ask me why I did it. Well, here's why:

First, and I think I just realized this, I loved the attention. I had tons of pictures, good quality, up on Flickr. And people would mark them as favorites and even comment and I will important somehow. People would like me and that felt nice. At least at first.

With time that attention wears out. You just stop needing it or maybe you want more or different. I have no idea. The thing is I just stopped liking the attention. I had that account for five or six years. It was an important thing in my life, as funny as that may be.

I have to clarify: not all the pictures were nudes. I would upload "urban" shots too or maybe just portraits or whatever I found was nice to look at. I guess I wanted to make others see I had talent for something. Of course, I didn't. I'm a professional photographer and my "work" on Flickr lacked any real quality. I knew that all along and never really cared about it. It wasn't the point.

I would love to post one picture per week, normally I would post at the first second of a new day so the statistics would more accurately show how much a picture was liked. When I uploaded an urban view, a building or trees or whatever, the picture was not that well received. Maybe a couple of people would say "yay, it's great". And that was it.

But me, naked, showing maybe my ass or my penis (never an erection, mind you), was always received by what I can only call "critical acclaim". Of course this acclaim came from people I had never met, mostly men. All men to be honest. And they were all horny. I mean, I should be an idiot not to see it.

I used to be more naive, more innocent if you will. When I remember those times, I don't know if it was a good way to be back then or if I should've been more intelligent, more perceptive.

Like, when I was nineteen I think, I went out with this guy. Just cute, not really a beauty or anything but you know. We went to a gay café and chatted and kissed and I felt awesome. It wasn't muy first time kissing but it felt right and beautiful and all that shit. Any way, it ended soon after and I never really understood why. Why he behaved like he did, always distant and weird.

He was fucking (or being fucked, who knows) others, kissing others while dating me. He actually kissed another guy that same night I was in the café with him. Somebody would later tell me all of this and I just understood it all. I also understood men were not to be fully trusted as, it is true, a man always acts commanded by his dick first, then his brain. And it's even more real in gay men and they know this is true.

Many people judge me saying "Hey, why haven't you been to a gay parade? Have you really never been in one?". And my answer is simply because I don't believe in it. It's not a casual walk to just show how proud we are to be who we are. That's what is SHOULD be about. But it isn't. That parade has mutated to be many people's chance to just rub in the faces of everyone what they do with their lives. Well, good news: no one gives a flying fuck.

There are homophobes. Of course there are. But there are others that just don't care. They don't think twice if someone is sleeping with a man, a woman or a horse. They don't care. And I don't think that is a reason to be pushy and annoying. I am fucking gay and the only person I need accepting me is myself. If the world doesn't, believe me, I don't care.

There's no gay marriage, that does not exists. The only thing that does exist is two people who get together to sign a paper that says they must share everything and live together. That's it. It's nothing more than that. You're not selling yourself there, in any sense, and it shouldn't matter who does it. Who cares?

But I digress. I made those pictures, the naked ones. And all that attention and it felt nice for years, yeah. I don't like discos or whatever they all them now. I just don't, I feel like an octopus in Japanese restaurant. Just like that. I've gone to a couple and that was enough for me. So I was happy to have some guys attention.

But that faded away. I got bored. To be honest I'm bored and fed up with people every second of my life now but that made me even more bored. All those empty comments and no one coming to me in real life to say "hey, you cute". And before you give me shit, I say "coming to me" because I deserve that. I won't crawl to a guy simply because I won't give an inch of myself to someone who would just expect everything.

The thing with gay guys, and all guys I guess, is that you must test them. And no, that doesn't mean annoying them and being jealous 24/7. I mean asking them things, getting to know them for real. Just being interested to get to know the person, take time.

But no. Most people fuck after 24 hours of meeting, if not before. I'm not saying people should be nuns and monks but, come one, love yourself.

And then I started having problems with the Flickr people and they ended up closing my account. You know why? Because it happens I didn't only do those pictures for the attention. I also did them because they were like therapy for me. I have hated myself for too long and that outlet made me feel good about myself. I almost fully stopped having crazy crisis every month.

And, besides that, I personally think the human body is beautiful. I don't believe in a god so I say nature is pretty smart and resourceful. Just get naked in front of a mirror and stare at yourself. Take a good look at the details, not the superficial shit of society but your actual biologic body. It's a work of art, inside and out.

So, that ended for me. It stopped existing, that outlet, that I needed so bad for so many years. To be honest, when it ended, I said "Fuck it, I have something new now: writing". So around that time I started working on some small things and it all came down to this blog with which I have a really hard relationship.

Today, for example, I had more than five ideas. I couldn't write more that ten lines for each. I felt awful, like an idiot, because this is my thing, my only thing. And if I couldn't write, I would go insane. Simple as that.

miércoles, 19 de noviembre de 2014

The bare facts

Barcelona was beautiful, that couldn't be doubted. But after walking all around town, visiting museums, churches, squares and even the zoo, Liam was exhausted and in need of some time to relax.

So the day before leaving for home, he decided to visit the beaches of the city. He grabbed a backpack, put everything he needed in it and walked to the nearest metro station. In the train, he watched the people, as he always did. He loved to do that as he felt it gave him a vision of what people truly were and if the world was doomed or not.

At the next stop, a guy and his girlfriend (Liam inferred this from seeing them holding hands) entered the train. They were both really good looking: the girl had auburn hair, big eyes and a curvy body and the guy had nice legs, great arms and really sexy lips.

Liam stopped watching soon as he thought it would be most unsettling to notice a 28 year old guy looking at you as if you were a god or something. Instead, he checked his cellphone to see how many stops there were left.

Fifteen minutes later, he got off the train and walked up to the surface: the station was blocks away from the most popular beach. He walked a few meters but started to see loads and loads of people, coming in from every street and side. When he got to the boardwalk, he realized the place was packed.

Liam was alone and couldn't afford to leave his backpack where there were at least two hundred people watching. He was not only worried about being robbed, though, As he walked along the boardwalk, he also remembered how self-conscious he could be about his own body. He hated it but that was the way things were.

He walked, looking for an emptier part of the beach but that appeared to be useless. He crossed a marina and then a park and, finally, got to a much nicer and calmer beach. There was a huge rock in the entrance, possibly to make it a little less noisier for everyone.

Liam stepped on the sand and walked a bit until he saw the perfect spot by the ocean but with a good view from the water to check the backpack if it was needed.

He looked at both sides, seeing very few people and then took off his T-shirt. He put it in the backpack and pulled out a big blue towel. He sat on it and started to put some sunscreen on his skin when he noticed something peculiar.

A woman, maybe in her sixties, laid in the sand topless. She was not very far and Liam couldn't understand how he had not seen her before. The woman seemed to have fallen asleep as she was enjoying the sun.

Liam ignored this and continued to put on some sunscreen. He laid on his towel and put on his headphones to listen to music as he tanned with the sun. He sure needed it as his skin was very pale and in urgent need of some color.

He was starting to doze off when a volleyball hit him on the side. He was more scared than hurt but the young man rubbed his ribs anyway. Someone came running on the sand and grabbed the ball.

 - Sorry man. Are you okay?
 - Sure...

When the guy started to walk away, Liam gazed upwards and stopped faking he had been hurt. The guy was naked. Stark naked. not even wearing sandals or a watch.

Liam looked at him walk to his friends, who were also naked, and start their game again. He couldn't believe he was witnessing a naked game of volleyball.

Then he looked in another direction and he saw an older man walking a dog and behind him a couple playing with their baby. All of them were naked too.

The young man grabbed his phone and quickly wrote, already too nervous, the shame kicking in. Yeah, just what he thought. He had apparently walked straight into the only nude beach within the city limits.

To be correct, nudity was allowed but it wasn't exclusive. People could wear clothes if they wanted to and some were, mostly women wearing the lower part of their bikinis.

Liam looked for his T-shirt and put it on. He put everything back inside his backpack and started to walk when someone called him. And he knew they were calling him because they were yelling "metro boy".

Unbeknownst to him, the guy and the girl from the train were not very far from him. He hadn't seen them either, like the topless woman. For a moment, that seem to go for ages, he had no idea of what to do. But he had no other choice when the girl came up to him and greeted him, as if they were long time friends.

He grabbed him by the hand and took him to were the guy was. They said they had seen Liam in the train and that he looked foreign. He confirmed it and they told him they were foreigners too, from New Zealand. And they were brother and sister, so he had gotten that wrong.

It was all very nice but Liam was too uncomfortable. The girl had her top off and the guy was totally naked and, as expected, they both looked great. They had to be models or surfers or something like that.

 - I have to leave. Sorry. - said Liam, after 15 minutes of chatting.

They begged for him to stay but Liam insisted he had to leave.

 - Maybe you would feel better without the shirt. - said the guy.

Liam looked at him with anger but also with shame. That was maybe true but it wasn't that easy for him. Fed up with everything, he decided to be honest. He told them how uncomfortable he was at the moment and that he'd rather leave than make everyone feel awkward too.

The guy told him they had decided to speak to him because he seemed nice and he was alone, like them. He insisted on him taking off his shirt and talking to them. He clarified it was their first time in a nude beach too but that bodies were overrated.

Liam sat down and asked the guy to explain that to him. He responded that people that were really into people, had no trouble getting naked as they knew bodies are just a fraction of what a person really is.

 - An important fraction. The one you see at first glimpse. - replied Liam.
 - True. But you don't stay for it. And if you do, you're just a shallow idiot.

This made Liam smile. He then changed the subject and talked to them both for hours, about heir lives, their countries and what discoveries they had made in the city. They played UNO and, finally, Liam took off his shirt to swim with them.

When night was arriving, they went for dinner to a restaurant and then had some drinks. When he got to his hotel, a bit tipsy, Liam realized he had made new friends and, even if it only ended up being a "Facebook friendship", it didn't mattered. What was important was the fact he had decided to listen what others had to say and that opened more doors than the doubts he had.