East Side Exhibitionism

pennysblog_eastsideexhibitionism1Yesterday was one of those days when I just felt like doing something a little “crazy.” While Jake, a friend, and I had drinks and lunch outside, I told Jake to pour ice water down my dress. He did, and that turned in to him telling me to put some in my underwear as well, which I sneakily (or maybe not so much?) did under the table.

On the trek from Yellow Jacket to our friend’s place after lunch, the Texas sun scorched our skin and the heat seemed to radiate out in waves from everything– from the street, from the sky, from the air. “Somehow there’s still some ice in my panties!” I said, pulling it out and rubbing it on my neck. Jake looked around, and when he didn’t see anyone, we snapped a photo of my ass hanging out of my panties by the railroad tracks as we walked.

When we got to our friend’s place, sweaty and tired, I pulled off my dress and declared that I would just hang out topless all day. And I did. At first it was just inside, but then we ended up sitting out on the front porch talking as the guys sipped beers. I’d never been outside topless like that before, and although I was sitting facing away from traffic behind a pillar most of the time, we were still on a main street, and  the possibility of being seen was palpable.

It’s technically legal to be topless in Austin as long as you aren’t committing some other crime or “offending” people, which is subjective and could still be risky, but people in Austin are usually pretty chill about it. When one of my friends lived at a hippie co-op during college, they had a topless car wash outside to raise money. Some cops rolled up as they often would since the place was known as a hub for wild parties, but they didn’t do anything…except park and watch for awhile. I’ve also seen topless women at public places like Barton Springs, floating the river, and Eeyore’s Birthday.

At first I felt strange and a little vulnerable sitting out there, expecting people to stop, stare, or who knows…maybe even scream, “Hey, look at that topless girl sitting outside!” if they happened to see me. But nothing like that happened. No one stopped to look, no one gasped in horror, and I don’t think anyone other than a couple of people like a neighbor walking by even noticed, and the few that did didn’t seem phased.

I’m comfortable with my body, yet every once in awhile when someone was walking at an angle where they could possibly see me, I thought, should I go put on clothes? Is my body going to offend someone? Will I get in trouble? I never got to the point where I felt so uncomfortable that I went to get my dress, I just had passing moments of feeling a bit squeamish.

But it was also exciting and freeing as the breeze grazed my body without the confines of my sweaty dress sticking to me, and that feeling held more power over me.

While writing this post, I started to wonder why  flashing is considered exhibitionism or taboo in the first place. Why are men are allowed to be topless while women generally aren’t?* Is it because women’s body parts are automatically sexualized, while men’s aren’t? Sure, women’s breasts can be sexual, but so can men’s chests and nipples.

When I asked Jake about it, he said that it’s just not something our society generally accepts, and the norms are followed so that people aren’t offended. He also pointed out that a lot of women probably don’t want to be topless in public for fear of ogling men, which is understandable.

But still, why are only women’s breasts considered potentially offensive? I think it has something to do with the hypocritical relationship between our sex filled media and contrasting expectations of purity and “modesty,” especially for women.

Advertising screams sex at us everyday, everywhere we go, on the streets, on TV, on the Internet. Buy this makeup and you will be desirable! Wear these flirty clothes; you need a flattering cut with Spanx underneath to feel truly beautiful! Get this deodorant, and women will bang down your door, dying to fuck you! Victoria’s Secret supermodels touch themselves in skimpy lingerie for all to see, but women are still sometimes arrested for breast feeding in public.

I could go on and on on this topic (and perhaps I will in another post,) but my point here is that it seems warped to me that when the media and advertising often use sexually suggestive content, it’s acceptable, but seeing a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, showing a natural part of her upper body in real life could be considered more offensive and possibly even illegal. And even if she isn’t topless, she risks being labeled a slut if she wears revealing clothing or expresses a sexuality different from the norm.

Even though I think our society’s attitudes about sex and nudity are contradictory and generally screwed up, as of now, they’re still a fact of life. Until people of any gender can walk about topless without possible arrest or at least shock factor, baring my tits is still exhibitionism, and so I suppose I’m a budding exhibitionist. And although I tend to shun labels, I don’t really mind this one.

pennysblog_eastsideexhibitionism2

Of course I had to document my wild day of “exhibition” for Dee’s Scavenger Hunt as well, even though I only had my phone camera.  Does my underwear one count for Train Tracks as well? :)

Sinful Sunday

 

*For writing simplicity I refer to “women” and “men” here, although a person’s gender doesn’t necessarily coincide with having or lacking breasts, and not everyone identifies as one of these two labels.

East Side Exhibitionism was last modified: September 11th, 2014 by Penny

22 thoughts on “East Side Exhibitionism”

  1. Jake

    I’m proud to have such an amazing woman like you in my life. I had a great time watching you show off. I’m sure our friend did as well.

  2. Marie Rebelle

    Beautiful photos!

    I love to go topless, but rarely do so, because of society setting the rules of public nudity. I cannot even go topless in our own back garden, because we live on a busy street close to a big shopping center and always have someone walking by and peeking in. It will offend a lot of people, even though we are said to live in a liberal country.

    Rebel xox

  3. KaziGrrl

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that counts ;)
    Go you! I got pretty comfortable with the “breasts bared” bit when I was breastfeeding my little ones years ago, though I never let ‘em “flap free” :D

    ~Kazi xxx

  4. Molly

    Oh my Penny I couldn’t agree more. I think in the UK we are slightly more liberal about nudity, after all we have tits in some of our daily (yes they are trash) newspapers but still, there is a terrible mismatch between that a lot of the media’s portrayal of bodies in general.

    Mollyxxx

  5. GrittyWoman

    I love your post. It captures exactly how I feel about being topless in semi public. Beautiful pictures too. It Looks like such a gorgeously hot day in your town, in more ways than one. x

  6. Emma Whispers

    You have fantastic breasts and body!
    I always hang around with my female friends in just pants when we’re around the house.
    Shame that breasts are still seen as so sexualised. x

  7. Bunny

    Good for you and brilliant pictures as well! It’s funny that some bits of TX are reasonably liberal and others are so militantly conservative. Still the weather is good for some partial nudity :)

  8. Jade

    I have often railed against the hypocrisy of women not being allowed to be topless but men being able to. A very well-written piece!

    Also, I didn’t know that it was legal in Austin. Good for Austin! Did you see that it is legal in Manhattan as well? I recently saw an article about a woman that goes topless frequently there.

  9. shalla

    fantastic photographs!

    i think in the states, the reason women cover up is due to history and how women had more value as visual objects and there are also all the religious views that came over as we immigrated

    overall the europeans and those living in hot climates are more open and excepting of the human body

    the more we put rules, limits and taboos
    the more we either want something more to be different or hate our birthday suit or fear ourselves being ridiculed

    it becomes a horrible circle

  10. G

    Your beauty shines so bright!

    It is such a double standard, I want to be free to feel the wind on my nipples too. Wonderful post!

  11. Curvaceous Dee

    I’m inclined to count it – we got a lovely flash of your arse cheeks there :) And you were certainly inappropriate – any oncoming driver would have been deliciously distracted!

    Love your pic on the porch, too…

    xx Dee

  12. Penny Post Author

    @Silverdrops- Thank you!

    @Justarandomscot- Lol maybe someone who doesn’t like boobs? ;)

    @Jake- I love to show off for you xoxo

    @Rebel- Aw, that’s a shame that you can’t be nude in your own garden…

    @Kazi- “Flap em free”… I like that lol

    @Saint1ess- Thanks; I know, right?

    @Molly- Yea you’re right, Media portrayal of bodies has even more issues than just shaming nudity…

    @GrittyWoman- Thanks! It was hot as hell! lol

    @Emma- Thank you! Yea my old (female) roommate & I used to all time. :)

    @Bunny- Yea it’s crazy. Austin is a liberal mecca in TX for sure…

    @Jade- I just saw that recently as well; that’s awesome!

    @John- A naturist resort sounds like a really cool experience!

    @Shalla- Yep, I agree…

    @G- Yea I think it’s unfair…it’s a lovely feeling!

    @Pea- Thanks Pea :)

    @Dee- Thanks Dee! I’m enjoying participating the Scavenger Hunt :)

    @Rayne- Thanks! :) Great Dildology post btw.

    @Beck- Thank you Beck! :)

  13. Sexentric

    A very interesting post on a subject that has always interested me i.e Why is public nudity so troublesome? I regard to breasts I don’t think per se it is due to them being offensive, more to do with the social disturbance it may cause (Amongst men)? There is something about prominent body parts that ire’s lawmakers, as you can depict a flaccid penis but not an erect one under many obscenity laws. Although I love to be nude-in-public, I don’t want to put it anyone’s face (unless they ask nicely lol). For such a benign activity it is amazing how fraught it still is as an issue in the 21st century depending where u are. In regard to men being topless, with ever more men displaying what can only be called ‘breasts’, it can’t be long before a) Man-bras are common-place and b) they will have to cover them in public. On the bright side a woman being naked in public might incur les s legal grief than a man dong the same. Interestingly a man in NZ just won the right to jog naked on parkland tracks. Anyway it wouldn’t be as thrilling if it was socially acceptable! I have rambled on as usual when all I wanted to say was what great sunny naked pics and you look gorgeous, so we are very lucky you shared them. You make me impatient for summer now…..

  14. Thurston Munn

    As nudist ourselves, we have discovered that most people are somewhat exhibitionist and voyeurs and as nudist I think we and all our nude friends are even more so. Many of our friends and family know of our love of going to the nude resorts as well as our nudity at home 90% of the time. We are amazed at how many say they would never get nude themselves but would love to go with us to a nude resort, to just watch…lol, it just doesn’t work that way. To us when you’re nude it’s the most honest presentation you can make of yourself, it is who and what you are, there is little left to hide.

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