The Bidet and Personal Hygiene

Given the fact bidet use  is common in so many countries around the world, why are Americans so reluctant to embrace this method of personal hygiene?

bidetIn case you’re not familiar with them, that’s a bidet on the right.

Simply put, even though toilet tissue is better than nothing, it doesn’t get you clean.  It smears, leaves residues that molder between your cheeks until your next shower; but you know that already, don’t you?  Hence the purpose of this article.  If you want things fresh and clean down there, you have to use water.  The easiest way to do that is with a bidet.

American men, from what I gather, think things like this are for women.  Not so, unless you don’t mind what the tissue leaves behind ending up on your underwear, or if you don’t mind tainting the air when you pull your pants down.  Human beings don’t have to smell that way down there.  If you spend time washing your hands after relieving yourself, why not a couple extra minutes cleaning your anus?

An excerpt from a piece I recently read:

Despite its mystique — and its reputation for being a fixture primarily for women — the bidet (pronounced “bih-DAY”) is nothing for the brawny American man to fear.

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A New American Trend?

Apparently going topless is a revelation.  It shouldn’t be.  Why we’re so freaky about the human body in America is a puzzle to me.  Maybe it’s because so many of us have given our bodies over to Twinkies and donuts.  People like being naked because it feels good.  They like the sense of freedom, the feel of sunlight and fresh air on their skin.  They like the joy and magic of being human.  There should be more breaches, walking trails and swimming holes, etc. for adults who understand this sensual sense of freedom.  The following article about women who are bold enough to protest our archaic nudity laws reflects a step in this direction.

From The Daily News, New York

By Joe Jackson

Some were shocked. Others disgusted. But for some, it was the breast day ever!

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Dozens of semi-nude women gave the city a Double-D eyeful Sunday when they bared their boobs in Central Park and then marched through the streets.

The daring display was part of “National Go-Topless Day” – indeed, there is such a thing – and stunned jaded New Yorkers and wide-eyed tourists alike.

“This is unbelievable – and super,” said Dalvin Jan, 21, who rents bicycles for a living on Central Park South. “I’m going to tell my wife to join in.”

With Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” blaring from speakers and chants of “free your breasts, free your mind,” the troupe of bare-breasted women – and their enthusiastic male supporters – paraded their way along Central Park South.

“We’re all here for the same reason – to allow women to be free in the park like men,” organizer Sylvie Chabot, 54, of Montreal, told the crowd at a midday rally at Columbus Circle.

Motorists honked their horns in support while bemused tourists took photos from passing tour buses.

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Searching for Answers

You might say it was an awkward time in my life, or a period of self-discovery, or a journey down an unknown new path.  It was certainly a time of self-doubt.  Fresh out of a failed marriage of fourteen years, father of two teenage girls, fighting wars on many fronts in the world of business, doubting my ability to be a satisfactory husband,  just one thing dominated my thoughts.  One thing unrelated to all the other events in my life.

I say unrelated–maybe it wasn’t.  The marriage was such a dismal experience, maybe my curiosity about men had a more significant meaning than I had realized.  The notion of exploring a relationship with with another man had moved to the forefront of my thoughts.  The curiosity had evolved into a single-minded ambition.  If I wasn’t cut out to be a satisfactory husband, maybe I was cut out to be a buddy.  Possibly an intimate buddy.  It was simply a matter of meeting the right guy.

In the days before the Internet, the prospects for finding a like-minded friend were slim.  Gay bars weren’t for me–I wasn’t gay.  Though I had recognized my attraction to men, I was still enormously attracted to women, just wasn’t sure I was compatible with them.  The only alternative at the time was a discreet message in the personal section of a popular local newspaper.

One day, after a string of disappointing results, I opened a letter from Larry, which included his picture.  Dumbfounded, I stared at his image, immediately smitten.  Something about his appearance and the words he had written gave rise to an instant connection.  I wanted to get him on the phone immediately, but had to settle for the long process of contacting him through the mail.  We eventually arranged a rendezvous in the lobby of a large hotel.

Of course it was awkward.  His first time and mine doing something like this.  He looked as good in person as he did in the photograph.  We eased into a conversation and started to get to know each other, our anecdotes, missives and confessions uniting us as like-minded men.  Like me, though the circumstances were vastly different, he was at the end of a less than desirable marriage.  Like me, he was tall and thin.  His curiosity equaled mine.  Other than that, we had nothing in common, which, I believe, is exactly why our friendship became so exciting and interesting.  He was an executive with a high-end retailer; me, founder of an auto parts manufacturing company.  Our paths in life couldn’t have been more different.  As our first conversation drew to a close, he suggested we get a room.

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Croatia’s Abundant Nude Beaches

A delightful first-time experience on a Croatian nude beach.

From Irish Independent News

By Tyler Wetherall

I feel as if I’m having one of those nightmares in which you leave the house and, half-way down the street, you realize you’ve forgotten to get dressed.

Except I’m not dreaming and everyone else is naked too. Most importantly, it is really very enjoyable. I am walking towards a glistening sea with the sun blazing on all my bare bits on a near-empty beach. Not even a bikini could make this moment better.

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I have come to the island of Rab, off the northern coast of Croatia, which is known not only for being one of the greenest of the often rocky and barren Croatian islands, but also as the birthplace of naturism. Austrian Richard Ehrmann opened the first naturist camp here at the turn of the century, but the real founders were King Edward VIII and his lover Wallis Simpson, who were granted permission by Croatian authorities to go skinny dipping on Kandarola Beach in the summer of 1936. Ever since, tourists have flocked to follow in their footsteps.

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Now, Croatia has one of the highest densities of nude beaches in Europe, with more than 60 naturist resorts and space for 20,000 naked sunbathers on its official naturist beaches, labeled clearly with FKK, from a German phrase meaning Free Body Culture.

The country earmarked the tourist industry as the savior of its post-war economy, and has welcomed visitors with open arms ever since the war ended in 1995. But this has brought an influx of foreigners, which threatens to change the landscape of the previously empty, bucolic and wild rocky outcrops of stunning coastline. There are more than 1,000 islands, and while many remain gloriously untouched, others are swiftly developing to meet demand.

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Rab has long been a favourite destination for German holidaymakers — boasting 120 years of tourism — but this is starting to take its toll on the island. Rab Town is a stunning cluster of medieval stone buildings on a fortified peninsula boasting four elegant Romanesque church bell towers and steeped in history and culture. But the konobas (local restaurants) are increasingly offering family-friendly fodder of burgers and chips over local delicacies, and the winding streets become crowded in summer. It is, nonetheless, irresistibly charming.

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Paradise Beach, on Rab’s northern peninsula called Lopar, is one of Croatia’s few sand beaches, stretching for 2km in a sheltered shallow bay — perfect for swimming and surrounded by pine forests giving well-needed shade. It would be paradise, were it not for the screaming children, fleets of pedalos and towel-to-towel sunbathers.

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The Enlightened Bisexual Male

Just what is an enlightened bisexual male?

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It’s not likely you can pick him out in a crowd.  He’ looks much like any other man you run across everyday.  Certainly he’s someone’s son.  He may be someone’s brother, husband, father, cousin or uncle.  He may be your neighbor, your best friend’s husband, your colleague at the office.  Chances are you like him, though you probably don’t know he’s bisexual.  You like him because he’s friendly, because he smiles a lot, because he’s interesting.  You admire him because he’s objective, accepting, considerate, upbeat, self-conscious and seems to have identified the important things in life.

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Inside his head is a world most people aren’t aware of, perhaps no one.  He sees colors many men don’t see, hears poetry most men don’t hear, understands human nature in a way most men can’t comprehend.  He has gotten past the onslaughts imposed by society, the indoctrinations hammered into him by politics, parents, social codes and the church.  He celebrates his unique freedoms, privately, though he recognizes  life’s greatest luxury is having someone to share his secrets with, someone who identifies with them, appreciates them, or at least someone who understands and accepts them.

He’s likely to fall in love with a woman; he knows instinctually a woman’s enormous capacity for love.  He may not understand all of her perspectives, but he delights in the fact she has them.  He falls in love with her because she inspires him, teaches him, she sees in him things everyone else sees and things they don’t, she provides him with entrees from the menu of life that he would not want to live without.

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The enlightened male sleeps with his wife nude; he couldn’t imagine it any other way, nor could she.  He sleeps close to her, a leg draped over hers, an arm over her chest, a hand cupping one of her breasts or perhaps resting between her legs.  More often than not, this is his favorite time of day: falling asleep with her, holding her, resting his eyes on her when he awakes the next morning.

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He recognizes male beauty.  From time to time he sees a another man that gives him flights of fantasy.  A man in passing, or standing in line in front of him at the supermarket checkout, or stepping out of a delivery truck.  Sometimes he imagines what it would be like to know this man, to touch him or see him undressed, only to smile and assume these kinds of feelings are almost certainly not mutual.  Still, he can imagine a great friend, a confidant, a buddy to spend time with.  He can imagine being carried away on the way the man smells, a touch of the lips, a caress, a special very unique kind of intimacy.

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If he’s not married or committed, he may have such a friend, a lifelong buddy who knows him better than anyone else.  It’s entirely possible he will fall in love with this man and spend the rest of his life with him.  Instead of a man and woman holding hands as they walk down the street, it will be two men walking side-by-side, exchanging knowing glances.  Instead of resting his head between two soft breasts, he will rest it on the pectoral muscle of a firm chest.

He knows the value of a good novel, a movie with human drama instead of silly special effects, a song sung from the heart with passion, paintings that take you to different times and places, the wonders of Mother Nature, a special friend.  He will most likely live a significant part of his life in that private world inside his head.

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Watch Out for the New Age of Nudism

A fun piece from The Times Online, United Kingdom

By Christa D’Souza

Meet the hipsters who are making nakedness cool.  They don’t go to naturist holiday camps or insist on playing tennis starkers.

So would you call yourself a nudist? No? All right then, I’ll rephrase the question. Have you ever been skinny-dipping, sunbathed naked, hung out in a nude spa in Scandiland or stripped off at a festival “for fun”? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then, chances are, you’re part of a growing type of nudist: the nude-curious.

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It was curiosity, after all, that led to the creation of Skinbook, the first global social-networking site for nudists. Set up last year by a group of students from Manchester, its 24-year-old co-creator Karl Maddocks says that most people joining the site (which has more than 7,000 members to date) are “younger people who like being naked at home, or have maybe checked out a nudist beach on holiday and want to explore the idea”.

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As opposed to the traditional hardline naturist philosophy that it’s our human right to be naked, for the nude-curious brigade, it’s all about taking your clothes off in your own time and on your own terms. “The more political nudists say we should be able to go to the supermarket naked if we want,” says Maddocks. “But I’d never back that if people are uncomfortable with it.” And so you’ll find new nudists flexing their toned, tattooed limbs on the most fashionable beaches of Ibiza and Mykonos and lapping up the sensation of naked swimming in the public baths of Helsinki. You’ll find them stripping off in their back gardens to make the most of the short-lived British summer, baring all at the Benicassim festival and feeling a new depth of stretch in naked yoga sessions. Where you won’t find them is pulling on a pair of socks and sandals and signing up for two weeks at a traditional nudist holiday camp. And as it turns out, I know quite a few of them.

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Brian Biedul

It never ceases to amaze me how talented artists find new way to compose their work, especially when the subject is the human form.  Such an artist is Brian Biedul.  Here he combines an element of architecture with the human body in his Cubes and Squares series.

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Brian Biedul was born in Colorado Springs in 1955. He spent the better part of his adolescence in Europe where his love of art began. While living in Paris he was enrolled in his first art class under the instruction of Siegfried Hahn. After returning to America he spent time in various cities across the United States including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles where he later settled. In 1984 he graduated with a BFA from Art Center College of Design where he later taught Saturday figure drawing classes.

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Biedul’s artistic development can be divided into several periods. In his early years he began with figurative painting in oils influenced heavily by the Dutch Masters. Later he began creating works of abstract expressionism influenced by the works of Mark Rothko and Franz Kline. He followed that period with installations and earthworks in the desert where his idea of Theoretical Architecture was born. Through this experimentation he found the content that would define his future work.

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Body Freedom

 Despite the significant percentage of our population that finds something disturbing about the human body; despite the fact they would have you believe there is something about certain body parts that are vulgar; despite the fact they insist nudity is overtly sexual as opposed to natural, there is a smaller percentage of us who have discovered the astounding beauty of our bodies.  They know the feeling of the sun on their skin, the feeling of a fresh summer breeze, the feeling of sharing something refreshing and invigorating and enlightening with others.

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The Edinburgh Fleshtival

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From Edinburgh Festivals

By Tim Cornwell

THE curtain went up this week on a Fringe show that threatens to dash Edinburgh’s strait-laced reputation for good.

In a Stockbridge church, as many as 150 local women are to take the stage in the festival – dancing energetically in the nude.

From a senior employee of Polygon – publishers of Edinburgh author Alexander McCall Smith – to a yoga instructor, and a New Town mother of four, the first batch of volunteers told yesterday why they chose to bare all in Trilogy.

“We’ve run through it clothed, and unclothed, and it felt fantastic,” said Sarah Morrison. “I am one of the many beautiful women who will dance. We are dancing energetically and vigorously and beautifully.”

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Labiaplasty, A Growing Trend to be Perfect

For a number of reasons, it’s important that women think twice about going for that “perfect look”, which is why I posted this article by via alternet. If you are concerned you don’t look like the “perfect” nymphs in porn movies and on Internet websites, don’t worry, your boyfriend or husband or female lover isn’t concerned, unless you’ve signed on with a superficial lover. Simply put, they’re glad you’re sharing this part of your body with them. They may actually think that having you, and the way you are, is better than winning the lottery. Perfection has more to do with presentation and positive self-esteem than the specific size, shape or color of your labia.

However, some women, due to extreme labia size, could reasonably be concerned about their situation (before and after picture at the end of this article). A woman may suffer practical concerns such as pain and physical discomfort. Vanessa Scott, a vaginal surgery consultant, provides an objective and comprehensive website on this subject. If you have medical reasons or are hell-bent to have labiaplasty, Vanessa offers this essential advice.  But other than these extreme cases that affect more than self esteem, labia size, shape and color reflects nothing more than a woman’s personality. What you have between your legs may serve to make you more tantalizing.

Also see Labiaplasty: What do “Normal” Labia Look Like

Women are risking their lives to achieve an unrealistic and unnecessary ideal.

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Type “labiaplasty,” “vaginoplasty” or any of nearly a dozen female genital cosmetic surgeries into any search engine, and a flurry of doctors’ Web sites will pop up touting the self-esteem, sexual enhancement, comfort and fashion benefits of female genital cosmetic surgery.

These sites, typically decorated with airbrushed pictures of lovely women in various states of undress or even nude, are replete with before-and-after photos of trimmed-down labia and gushing quotes from satisfied customers.

Many of these sites promise ecstasy, plus: “Laser vaginal reconstruction can accomplish what ever [sic] you desire.”

Some patients seem happy with the results.

“When my husband and I had sex, well, it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” a 40-year-old woman reports, six weeks after a three-hour combination labiaplasty, vaginoplasty and clitoral unhooding, costing at low estimate of $15,000 (a high estimate: at least double that). “I had an orgasm probably within three minutes. … I feel like I’ve found what I had lost … I feel like I’m 25 again!”

Her surgeon reports this case study as “Strengthening Our Love For Each Other.”

Dig a little deeper though, and you find stories tinged with grief and regret about genital “enhancement” surgeries gone wrong.

“Had the surgery 1/07,” one woman reports. “Can’t say enough [about] how much I regret it. The problems I had it done for can’t even compare to the pain and discomfort I’m having now. The surgeon, who has extensive experience, doesn’t know why this is happening.”

One of the newest wrinkles in the business of sex is the explosion of genital cosmetic surgery.

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