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Turn your head and cough

So, embarrassing things happen at the doctor's office.  Sometimes the doctor needs to examine private parts of your body.  Sometimes the tests he does feel quite invasive.  I know that when I was younger, I was always embarrassed.  I still vividly remember the first time I was asked to take my pants off at the doctor's office (when he wanted to check for a hernia).  My mom was in the exam room with me.  The doctor said to pull my pants down.  I looked over my shoulder at my mom with the look of "Should I really do it?"

I believe part of the reason for this embarrassment was because I was raised to believe that parts of the body are embarrassing.  That my body is something I should be ashamed of showing off.  I was always scared to change in public locker rooms--at public swimming pools and my school gym classes.  I was mortified that I had to shower in public in middle school.

But my outlook on modesty and on my own body has changed over the last few years.  I have learned it is psychologically beneficial for children to be raised with the mentality that nudity is acceptable.  That there is nothing wrong with the human body--even the parts of it that we typically call "private".  Understanding that there is nothing to be ashamed of, no reason to be embarrassed about others seeing parts of your body.

I recently went to my doctor's office.  He stuck a device up my butt.  I was kneeling there with my bottom exposed for quite a while as he did the procedure.  One thing that stuck out to me was that I wasn't embarrassed in the slightest.  I didn't mind him seeing my bare bottom.  I didn't mind him sticking things in it.  There wasn't any shame or embarrassment.  I didn't feel violated or indecently exposed.  It felt just as natural as him looking in my mouth or my ear.  I have definitely changed a lot since my days of being conservative.

I think one of the common arguments in favor of modesty is that nudity or revealing clothing is too erotic and will cause people (usually men) to have sexual thoughts and desires.  That certain human bodies are attractive to certain people I will not deny.  Thus, there is truth in this argument.  But when carried to its extreme, the argument essentially asserts that the person having the sexual thoughts is incapable of controlling them.  And so I think there should be a shift in emphasis.  We shouldn't claim that the way a person dresses forces someone else to have uncontrollable urges that ey must satisfy.  We should claim that each person is responsible for eir own actions, even when ey see things (or people) that may be tempting.

I personally don't have any problem controlling myself when I see someone that I feel is attractive.  I've never had a problem.  I've never wanted to rape anyone.  I've never felt an uncontrollable urge to make unwanted advances on someone simply because they were wearing clothing that showed more of their body than a business suit would cover.  And I have found, in my own experience, that as a general rule, people who are more open about nudity are more likely to be able to control themselves and those who believe more strongly that immodesty is always bad have a more difficult time controlling their feelings when they're around it.

Essentially what I'm saying is, if you want to be able to see someone wearing little clothing and not have an overwhelming urge to touch the person inappropriately, then you should be around immodestly dressed people more often.  Get comfortable with it.  I would be far more comfortable walking around naked at a clothing optional resort for gay men than in front of a closeted conservative christian gay man.  At the resort, I may get some attention, but I'm much less worried about being harassed or molested.

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