What a delightful journey and what a brave leap of courage! Not long ago I read the recent newsletter by Brooke. I was really touched. I too was raised in a family where even talk about nudity and sex was taboo, let alone the idea of seeing someone naked or being seen by another.
It was so refreshing to read how Brooke, after being raised with similar views as myself, was able, first of all, to come to understand that the body is good and that nudity is natural. And secondly, with the help of Lawrence and the example of Domai, she was able to experience her nakedness in such freeing ways, with the lively sensations that accompany it. I thought it was terribly brave of her to share some photos of her experience with those of us lucky enough to know of Domai.
For years there was an inner war raging inside of me: On the one side, there was the years-old belief engraved in my mind: Seeing or showing the naked body is very wrong. But all along my heart was resisting, crying out: How can viewing something made by God be bad especially something so beautiful?! And in a way, I have made a leap of my own - though clearly a leap less brave than Brookes:
Photography is a passion for me, and has been for many years. And with years of practice and enjoyment, I have gotten pretty good at it. So one day a few years back I decided to ask a dear friend of mine if she would be willing to let me photograph her in the nude. Jen is a beautiful woman, from the inside out. I am convinced that the beauty of her heart and soul simply spills over into her graceful body. So I decided to ask her.
I had my heart in my throat when I asked her. I knew that there was a real possibility that it could seriously hurt our friendship something that I absolutely did not want to do. I tried to be as respectful as I could, and evidently Jen understood that there my request was born of admiration of her beauty rather than as a desire to feed my sexual passions. So she promised she would think about it. Sadly, a few days later let me know that finally she had decided against it.
However, the fact that she even reflected on it seriously made me think Well, she didnt slap me. And she didnt act like I was asking her to throw her morals to the wind. She even seemed flattered that I would ask but just felt like it was more than she was able or willing to do. So I promised myself I wouldnt give up on the first attempt. I decided I would continue to ask other women for that same privilege of photographing them in their natural state. And some day, when the time was right, someone would say yes like Brooke did to Lawrence.
Gratefully, that day has come several times now. And each time I cannot help but think: What trust this woman has in me, to let me see and photograph her in all her natural glory! And although I always feel an incredible elation each time I received this great gift, it is more about the beauty of the woman before me than about sex as such. To tell the truth, there have been times when my body has responded to the sight of a beautiful woman lying before me completely naked. But other times, I have noticed that I was so wrapped up in capturing her beauty with all the skills of my photographic craft, and so full of admiration at her vulnerability, that neither my mind nor my body were reacting in a sexual way. But what I like most is recognizing that both of those responses are entirely natural, and good: As a healthy man my body can function quite well in response to the sight of a beautiful naked woman and that is fine. But it is also a good thing that I am capable of simply enjoying and admiring loveliest creature on the planet for her beauty. Both responses are good.
When I find the woman who will one day be my wife, I am sure I will photograph her probably many times, over the years. But for now, I am grateful to brave women like Brooke, and like the other women in Domai who share their beauty with us. And I am grateful to those women who have bravely and trustingly shared their beauty with me personally in front of a camera. I thank you all!