“If you have a problem with nudity, you have a problem with humanity.” – Amanda Azim
Drew Digital has been putting on Glow events all over town. Here are pics from the first Glow event. These parties primarily feature DJs and bodypainting. You can’t very well paint a body when it’s covered in clothes now, can you? The less clothes, the better.
I was invited to represent Sex Positive St. Louis as a model at their event last week at a local bar in the Manchester Grove area. Drew Digital wore a SEX+STL t-shirt; I was to wear paint.
It was an 18 and up event. I asked how nude I could be. The organizers told me I needed something covering my bottom, so I wore boy shorts. They told me paint would suffice for covering breasts, but that I should bring pasties just in case.
I HATE PASTIES, but I hate being arrested even more, so I packed some dorky purple butterfly stickers to slap on my nipples just in case.
I didn’t think it would be my thing, as I’m a day person and I was scheduled to model at 11pm. Also, I can’t stand techno music and night clubs. But I really wanted to see for myself what all the buzz was about, so I did.
The bar was dark and so loud they sold earplugs for $1. A DJ was on stage spinning frenetic tracks, and an artist was meticulously decorating a girl wearing a bikini and shorts.
At the bar I asked again how naked I could be. I was told the same thing – as long as my nipples had a sheen covering them, it was fine. One woman was going to use bandaids, other women work bikini tops or bras. According to what I was told, paint would suffice, and that worked just fine for me.
In the bathroom, I stripped out of my multiple winter layers and put on the artist’s coat to walk up to the stage.
I told Drew, “I want something quick and dirty, got it?” He nodded. Then I shed his coat, so that I was standing there wearing only boy shorts and boots. I was like a sex-positive ghost from the future. The audience gasped. Or at least, I think they did from their body language – I sure as hell couldn’t hear anything over the pounding beats.
The spell was broken with an enthusiastic blond woman in the audience jumping up and high fiving me.
“OK, now hurry and paint my nipples!” I urged the artist, and he got to work. Quickly, he painted the SEX+ symbol on each breast.
There I was, a 40 yr old woman with small breasts, hairy armpits, a pot belly, lumpy thighs and short hair, more or less naked on stage in front of a roomful of 18-25 year old men and women in meat market mode. The girls were gorgeous, but they were in awe of my confidence. The boys were spellbound. I loved gazing down at them, calmly energized. Drew hoped my modeling would inspire other women to follow suit, but some were too intimidated, which completely surprised me.
I wondered about this fear of the human body. Our own bodies.
I’d like to say I could relate to them, that at their age I would not have been comfortable with myself, except I was stripping and performing sex acts in public when I was 19 years old.
Drew painted SLUT on my chest. He made me a tramp stamp on the small of my back. He highlighted my hairy underarms in orange. He painted hot pink blood running down my inner thighs like flames. We’re friends, but I didn’t realize just how well he knew my confidence and sense of humor to paint such a customized art statement on my personal landscape that would boldly transform me into an edgy art piece, a political billboard.
I didn’t feel cold at all. All the eyeballs in the room kept me warm. When it was over, I proudly sauntered off the stage and over to the bar to talk with my friends. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was – or wasn’t – violating the law.
David Wraith has been doing research on public nudity laws in MO, and he spoke of various factors of what is legal and what isn’t – being on an elevated stage nude is okay, but being off stage is not. Regardless of the convoluted laws, I know this much is true: I feel most comfortable in my own skin.
After about an hour of standing around naked, an employee of the bar came over and told me I had to cover my nipples.
I said, “I thought if they were covered in paint that would suffice.”
He shook his head grimly. Party’s over! Right away, I went to the bathroom and put my winter clothes back on.
But I’m very excited for the chance to get naked again at FLESHTIVUS next week! Hooray for body-positive events!