Friday, December 28, 2018

Fearless Friday - bodies

Body image is a whole lot of posts and thoughts and words, so I'll keep this to a tiny bit here today :)

I've been going for a massage that's sort of like a spiritual experience. It's Kahuna massage, and the woman also uses hot rocks (if I have a longer massage time).

It's like nothing I've ever experienced before. Not only is there the massaging of muscles, there's also movement of limbs and stretching. There's massaging of head, hands, feet. There's movement of energy. Sweeping away of energy. Reiki-type moves. Setting of intentions. Prayers. Releasing energy held in muscles and other parts of the body. The massage therapist moves as if in a dance. It's the most incredible experience.

The first one I had was a bit confronting. She asked me to strip off, leaving my underpants on and lie on the bed beneath a sarong. That's pretty standard for a massage. I had a modesty towel as well. About halfway through, she asked me to roll over. And that's not so unusual either. I rolled over, covered by the sarong.

And the massage continued...except my chest was uncovered. My chest was massaged. As it happened, it was just a part of the experience. The moves had no sexuality associated with them. It was muscle manipulation. There was no difference in the touch from the back to the front.

However, I'd never had a massage where my bra was removed and my breasts were exposed. Sometimes my bra was undone or removed, but always something covered my chest. So to have my body on display like that was a little disconcerting - not so much at the time, but afterwards when I thought about it, and especially when I described the massage to someone I was recommending it to.

Women's breasts are such an almost 'unacceptable' part of the body. We're told to cover them when breastfeeding. Topless sunbathing was a huge thing when I grew up and had very similar connotations to full nudity - which was that it was close to illegal (if not illegal). And's chests are revered, well, if they're well muscled, appropriately hair-covered or removed depending on the fashion. And truly, what's the difference? Women have more tissue and so the beasts are extended... should that make them 'disgusting' or 'shameful'?

The massage therapist and I had a discussion about the unusualness of having your chest massaged. I wanted to know why it was done - she was asking why it shouldn't be because it was a part of the body and needed the same care as all other parts. She's right. It is a neglected body part, and yet it needs the same care as the rest of the body.

Then I asked about how disconcerting for her underpants were. I'd noticed that her sweeping strokes along my body were always impeded by the fabric. She said, yes, she preferred to work without but that it was something quite difficult to ask people to do especially for their first visit. And yes, I don;t know I would have managed total nudity the first time...I'd been a bit surprised by the bralessness.

In the spirit of my new fearlessness, when I had a massage this week, I went with the full nudity. I had a modesty towel so no 'private bits' were exposed.

There was something really quite freeing about having this massage. The massage movements were much cleaner and powerful. I wish I could say that it wasn't at all uncomfortable...but I can't. Maybe next time I'll be more relaxed about the experience.

I don't mind exposing my body when there's no one to see it! It's a completely different story if someone's looking :) How I wish I grew up in Europe where body image and nudity seem to have far less hang-ups than in Australia (or my part of Australia anyway!).

How are you with nudity?

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