by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Contributing Editor
The first time around I married too young. Perhaps I fell in love with love itself. I wrote stories about love. After I read one of them out loud to a friend and colleague, he asked, “Hallmark?”
“Hey, what’s wrong with Hallmark?” I angrily glanced at him. He was honest with his opinion. It wasn’t reality. Pure escape. “What’s wrong with escapism?” I murmured to myself. People want to be entertained. It didn’t settle right within me.
So, one morning when the sun rose over the wooded area next to a lake outside our town my friend and I took a short drive to the woods. The sun appeared to glide across the waters creating a shimmering palette of bright hues.
My colleague, Dan, married a friend of mine and I married a relative of his. We were platonic lovers who commiserated with each other about our careers in writing and the off and on struggle of writer’s block.
We chatted between intervals of quiet as we walked down the narrow dirt road. It was something we both enjoyed in the early hours, while the lingering residue of morning dew continued to twinkle on pine needles and leaves like the stars in the heavens. We were both writers in search, and our walks had become a ritual that we found to be inspiring in this dream-like natural environment.
That morning as we walked and came out of a common reverie, we both noticed that a woman we had seen in town had already taken off her clothes and jumped into the water.
She was gorgeous with her raven hair that fell to her waist. I wondered if my colleague could hear my heart pounding. So free and so lovely. He and I both smiled.
I was desirous of her but was with Dan, my colleague. I looked at my body and then at Dan, who was enjoying the scenery. We both looked at each other, in wonder, should we invade this lovely creature’s swim? She was obviously enjoying herself, so I called out to her… “Mind if we join you?”
She called back… “of course, the water is refreshing!”
I was pleasurably surprised and felt a twitch in my body at the boldness for making such a request, and that I would have to be naked with my colleague who was attractive, and I was his sister-in law.
Dan had never so much as inadvertently touched my hand, or anything suggestive. I was in my own mind just another sensual being. I found myself in an inner debate. Why? It was just some fun between three adults, and I wanted to swim naked, that I was okay with wanting to feel so free and confident with myself that I could do so with others. I wanted to take my clothes off and write this story about being naked. Sexuality is complex. What would life be without desire? I knew Dan well enough.
I began to remove my clothing, as Dan had already stripped down and jumped into the water without a care in the world. I thought of his wife but then I saw her and Dan naked after they married, when I mistakenly walked in on them. They were both amused as I rushed back out.
I thought how difficult is it to be naked with colleagues, relatives, and friends? Is it easier to be mutually naked with strangers?
I took the plunge, exhibiting somewhat of a strip tease to test my boundaries, while neither one of them noticed and so I jumped into the water. The inner eye knows what is happening, I surmised, before the body does.
“Hi again, I’m Gina!” She said swimming over to me. My eyes devoured her. This wondrous beauty caused me to catch my breath.
“Hi, Gina, I’m Devone and this is my author colleague Dan.”
“It’s so nice that you both wanted to join me” ……we moved over to shallow waters where our feet could feel the bottom sand. Gina stood up in the water to show off her perfectly perky breasts. The water shone on her like body oil, she was tan without a tan line, slender, a beautiful woman that I estimated to be around 40 years old.
“Could you look at my body?” ……..she turned to us and asked. “Could you feel comfortable and truly look at me?”
My eyes widened, I was looking at her, with admiration, and I envied her free spirit. She spoke about life, her strength, her own weaknesses, and shared that she, too, was a writer. “Who doesn’t have a story within them? She asked, expecting no answer.
Dan was watching her; I could sense his excitement. I saw him taking in her every word, I saw him admiring her curves, her lush body, her husky voice, and very sexy demeanor. We listened intently to her stories and the knowledge she had about nature that she wanted to share.
Poor Dan, he needed to swim off for a bit. It was certainly obvious to me that he was feeling a little sexually enticed by this bewitching creature, as was I, just not as obvious.
Could I choose the freedom of that moment, as we moved closer to each other? “Let me look at you, she whispered, let me see your body, give yourself permission to show yourself to me, another woman.”
I was shy, or was I? I was a bit worried about Dan. I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea. “Don’t worry about him,” she said as if she read my mind.
I didn’t know if I could do that, give myself permission to love being a woman, to love my body enough to stand naked in these waters, to show myself, my curves, my breasts that had fed two children, and were not so perky to another woman. It was different from being with my spouse, who had watched my body change over the years. We were ok with that familiarity.
Dan had swum back over to us, two women, both very different. one very comfortable with her nakedness, and me, who had unintentionally created a standard of how I should be, could I show my body right here and now to another woman? Could I give myself permission to love being me, unashamed, sensual, and imperfect?
Dan was staring, waiting for me to reveal myself. He had never looked at me that way before, with such interest and curiosity. He was aroused, that was easy to tell, and for a moment I fantasized what he would feel like. I wanted to touch him, I wanted him to rub his shaft across my clitoris. And yet…
Could I stand up and show my body to these two individuals? I wanted to. I was courageously vulnerable to this energy that I felt envelope me. I could feel myself throbbing….and in the heat of that moment I gently touched myself, I was ripe, as I revealed myself, slowly with an intensity……I felt that unspeakable desire, the water felt so good. And then she and I embraced…two women naked in each other’s arms, exploring each other’s bodies, sweetly without a care in the world. We were visually gorgeous and spiritually beautiful. Our nakedness was such a delicate balance, much more of a state of mind than the natural skin on our body………relaxed, centered, and expansive.