A Man, A Camera, Shadows and Light

What motivates Derek to photograph himself nude:

“It’s a blood-boiling daredevil urge and a feeling of sculpting a sensual immortality through my nude photographs. I don’t share them with anyone I know as I prefer this to be my anonymous and alternative realm. A strangers eyes upon my nude body is poetically erotic.”

You might say Derek is an intriguing New Yorker. At age 36, he knows how to enjoy life and his body. He certainly understands the effects of shadows and light. But that is just one of his creative talents, another is the music he writes.

What does a man think about as he gazes out a New York City window, as he lies in nude repose feeling the fresh air settle on his skin? Is his mind drifting? Is he absorbing the heartbeat of the city? Is he thinking about the one he loves?

Derek is straight, he has a girlfriend, though at age 16 he had an intimate encounter with his best friend, another boy, an encounter he doesn’t regret. As far as the male body is concerned: “I prefer it as an artistic impression highlighted by shadows and silvery light sources, a confident and unknown superhero.”

I asked Derek if he enjoys nude beaches:

“I used to find sanctuary and a wild, primitive freedom laying on the rocks alone and swimming with abandon at a desolate beach on the shores of Lake Erie.”

Derek is the son of a witch, a circumstance of his life I find fascinating. You wonder if his childhood was different in some way compared to other children. Surely being raised by a witch reflects on certain elements of one’s persona, one’s world view, one’s perspectives. My guess is it has opened Derek’s mind to spiritual freedom.

Like many of us, Derek enjoys being nude. There isn’t a thing he would change about his Continue reading

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A Case Against Circumcision

Authors: Ryan McAllister, Research Assistant Professor of Physics and Oncology at Georgetown University & John W. Travis, Adjunct Professor of Well-being at RMIT University

The foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis.

For centuries, children have been subjected to cultural and medicalised practices that were ultimately proven harmful and a violation of basic bodily integrity. Such practices have included foot binding, forehead flattening, scarification and genital cutting.

In English-speaking countries, the practice of cutting the genitals of male children was gradually medicalised over a period of 150 years with the benign-sounding label “circumcision.”

Today, there is increasing awareness that infant male circumcision – once deemed a “parental choice” – is really an unnecessary, irreversible and harmful bodily modification.

With the recently discovered functions of the foreskin and a growth in awareness, we’re fortunately beginning to see the rights and experience of the child become the paramount consideration in discussions about circumcision.

The foreskin

The human foreskin is a contiguous part of the skin system of the clitoris or penis.

In infant males, the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis (glans). The outer foreskin protects the more sensitive inner foreskin and the glans from abrasion and injury.

The moveable skin facilitates sexual pleasure. In fact, the foreskin is typically the most sensitive area of the penis.

When circumcised males lose sensitivity and skin mobility, it’s likely to significantly alter their sexual experience.

One recent Danish cross-sectional study concluded that male circumcision was associated with sexual difficulties for men and their female partners.

Bioethics of a non-treatment surgery on minors

Surgery without consent is ethical only in cases for:

1) incapacitated patients, in order to save their life

2) minors, with proxy consent from a parent or guardian, but only for surgery that addresses an underlying condition.

Excision of an infant’s foreskin for dubious medical or cultural purposes is an anomaly. Because it removes healthy, typically-developed tissue, the procedure fails to meet either of the above conditions.

Circumcision of minors also stands in contradiction to other medical ethics principles, including:

Avoiding causing needless harm

Promoting the patient’s medical well-being

Providing information on a procedure that a reasonable person would deem significant.

Complications

Circumcision can cause skin bridges, haemorrhaging, infection, as well as major penile damage.

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Dozens of case studies describe severe complications, including penile amputations and death; several infant deaths have been reported in the past few years. Continue reading

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