It is a good sentiment, but it is a misunderstanding. First, I am not against porn. B, nobody ever writes and tells me Domai is porn. and 3: nothing in the letters is talking about Domai, usually.
These are simply discussion of matter of tangential interest. After all, there is only so much you can say about pretty girls, ain't there? :) So we talk about vaguely related things, like nudism (as this week), art, beauty, money, photography, gender issues, pornography, etc.
I tend to keep the site on the pleasant site of things. Occasionally though some subject will be important, and I go a little bit deeper. If you don't like that, well, there is always the pictures. :) (Become a member and get over 10,000 of them.)
Letters to Domai
I was in the midst of a major life transition. After years of searching, I had finally found the courage to follow my bliss. I was going to live life the way I wanted to live it -- not my parent's way, or my wife's way, or the church's, or society's -- mine. I remember vividly the day I stood in my closet and realized that I didn't like any of my clothes. I didn't care for the house I lived in or even the town. I also disliked my job and was unhappy in my marriage. "So why am I here?" I thought. "This is insane." I vowed to myself that I would be authentic. I would live a life true to my inner knowing. This required a complete metamorphosis -- an end to my marriage, a new career, a different home, a new life.
I wanted time to assess everything before taking the plunge, so I took a trip that I had always wanted to take -- to the giant redwood forest of California. I wanted also to push myself out of my comfort zone and have a glimpse of the life I envisioned having, so I made plans to spend a few days at a "clothing optional" retreat in the California wine country. This was the first time in my entire life that I had ever vacationed alone. It was a time of deep introspection and reflection and it was profound. Three days of hiking among some of the world's oldest and tallest trees was rejuvenating. I became more connected to who I really was and was able to make peace with my past and embrace my new path. Then I went to the retreat, wondering all the while if I could actually walk my talk.
I didn't really know what to expect. I had never been nude in public. Intellectually and morally I didn't have a problem with it and I couldn't understand why so many people did. However, like many uninitiated, I worried that my body wasn't the best, or even worse that I might become aroused in the company of attractive females and embarrass myself. But despite my worries, I was determined to have the experience. I knew it was something I needed to do. Thus, I checked in and made my way to the heated natural springs that were the focal point of the retreat.
I entered the co-ed dressing room to find all manner of people in various stages of dress -- young, old, short, tall, thin, fat, fit, and every shade in between. Not one of them seemed to care that others were seeing them naked. That alone was encouraging and liberating. I knew at that moment that these people weren't like the ones I had grown up with. They weren't prudes. They weren't offended by nudity and didn't see it as "wrong" or "dirty" or "shameful." I was among people of like-mind. I took off my clothes and stepped outside to the refreshing chill of the late afternoon air. I was naked in public for the first time and to my pleasant surprise it felt like the most natural thing in the world. I sat and soaked in the natural hot springs for some time -- watching those around me and feeling the profound sense of peace that was radiating from within. I felt at home in my own skin for the first time in a long time.
During my stay I did encounter many attractive young women (who could all be models for DOMAI) and discovered that my fears about sexual arousal were completely misplaced. Instead of seeing them as sexual objects, I saw them as people -- beautiful people. One encounter in particular changed me in a profound way. I was in one of the smaller pools soaking up the warm afternoon sun in the company of about six others when two women came over and got in. One was a brunette and kept a towel around her until she was close enough to slide into the water. The other had sandy blonde hair and a firm lithe body that she clearly had no hang ups about. She carried her towel at her side, dropped it on a bench some distance from the pool and walked nonchalantly to the water's edge. She was completely at ease with herself. I found her demeanor -- her confidence and self-assuredness -- just as attractive as her body, perhaps more so (and she had a great body).
From that moment, I knew I wanted to talk to her, to get to know her, but her mere presence brought up so much "stuff" within me that I could not approach her just then. Women don't fully understand how they affect men. They have the power to completely short-circuit us. We loose the ability to think clearly, much less form coherent sentences. That is why otherwise confident men come off as babbling idiots when making first contact with an attractive woman. So I sat and felt and processed and got comfortable with me and who I was and where I was. I sat for almost an hour and listened to my inner voice -- and to the conversations she was having with others in the pool. In time I regained my senses and it happened.
I heard her mention the word "permaculture" which stands for permanent agriculture, a sustainable form of growing food crops that I had spent four years studying but which almost no one in my hometown of Dallas, Texas ever heard of. I spoke up and within moments we were standing face to face talking about ecologically sustainable development -- while completely naked in a pool in the middle of the afternoon. It was surreal. The conversation continued and I learned that she was a dancer and a masseuse and had lived on an eco-farm in Central America for seven years. I was intrigued. The more I learned about her the more I wanted to know, but it was not to be. We talked for only fifteen minutes and then she had to leave as she and her friend were driving home that very evening (damn my luck). I watched her exit the pool and stared at her incredible being as she walked away. She was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen.
I saw her one last time an hour later as she was walking to her car. (I had since put on my clothes and was going to dinner.) I spoke to her and wished her a safe trip. That's when I realized what it was about her that captivated me so. It was her inner beauty. When you are naked and everyone around you is naked there are no clothes to hide behind, no projections of an image you want the world to see, no facades. Sure, you might still have your psychological armor on, but one major barrier to getting to know someone has been removed. In short order you stop "checking out" their bodies. You notice them in total. You note the shape, the muscle tone, the tattoos, piercings, or scars, then you being to focus on their eyes. When you look into someone's eyes you begin to truly see them. You connect.
Men are visual. We process the world eyes to heart. Women are just the opposite. They process the world heart to eyes. Women are the most appealing form to men. A woman's body with its curves, lines, firmness and softness is every bit as beautiful as the most amazing sunset or the most magnificent landscape or the prettiest flower. That is why men have been attempting to capture the image in art since the dawn of time. We love to look at their bodies because it stirs something within us and allows us to connect with a different, deeper part of ourselves. Men do the same for women but in a different way. A woman is more likely to be moved by a man's confidence or caring, but the result is the same -- a connection with something within, something that can only be felt via the opposite sex.
Unfortunately our culture has conditioned men to feel bad about being men. We are taught that we aren't supposed to appreciate the beauty of women openly and honestly even though in our gut we know that goes against our nature. This same culture then uses sex to sell everything. This dichotomy -- the constant presentation of women as sex objects juxtaposed with cultural prejudice against appreciating the female form -- makes for a very frustrating existence that is unfair to both sexes. This need not be the case.
Men aren't as base as we've been made out to be and women are so much more than their bodies. That is why DOMAI has struck a chord with so many. We seek something more than just sex. We seek beauty. That is what I discovered during my brief encounter that day in the pool last April. Yes, there was an element of sexual attraction involved, but it lasted only a moment. It wasn't a sexual situation so the sexual energy/impulse quickly transmuted into something higher -- an appreciation and awareness of beauty.
That all-too-short encounter changed me because it allowed me to experience something very important about myself, about men and women, about life, about beauty and about the nature humanity and the universe. That may sound overly dramatic but I know I felt it and will be forever grateful for the understanding that came with it. (I suspect that many fellow DOMAI readers know exactly what I'm talking about.) I realized to what extent we are living in a madhouse of sorts. Our world is so-often out of sync with our higher nature. That is both profoundly sad and enlightening. What I experienced that day should be the norm, not the exception.
I only wish I had spoken up sooner and we had talked longer. But I'll always have the memory.
Sincerely, Tim W