There are a few milestones in life that most people never forget – graduations, weddings, births, and even first kisses. I’ve gone through all of those (yeah, that’s right – I kissed a girl!). There’s another milestone that most of us remember even if we don’t all want to admit it. Do you remember the first time you saw nudity? If not, you must remember the first time you saw frontal nudity.
Of course, like anything worth talking about, this isn’t as simple as it seems. Are you talking nudity from when you were too young to care? I don’t think that counts. The kind of nudity I’m talking about has to give you feelings you don’t quite understand. That’s what makes it so memorable.
Then we have to take into consideration real nudity vs film nudity. Both are important and, for me, kind of entwined. Seeing as this is primarily about film moments, I’ll start with that.
The Final Chapter was the first Friday the 13th movie that I saw, but it was on WPIX out of New York. From there, I had a marathon where I rented the rest of the series in one night. Part 2 got stuck in the VCR and the marathon was cut short. It was a few months before I got a chance to see it again. I knew from experience that most of these films had at least brief nudity, so I wasn’t surprised when Terry went for a moonlight skinny dip. She popped up and exposed her breasts in an expected manner. What I didn’t expect though, was to see a full body view as she walked out of the water to search for her clothes. I got that funny feeling you get when you see something you know you’re not supposed to see. The forbidden fruit aspect of all this was so exciting. I’m not ashamed to admit that I rewound this part and played it a few times. It only added to the rush that the VCR was in the living room and I had a constant fear that my parents would walk in. It was the first pleasant experience that I can recall involving full frontal nudity.
The operative word in that sentence is pleasant. While it was the first time I had seen that kind of nudity in a movie, it was not my first experience overall. For that, you have to delve into the part of my brain where I store traumatic memories.
When I was growing up, my grandparents had one of those special bathrooms with two entrances – one from the hallway and one from the master bedroom. It’s hard to argue with the convenience, but it requires locking two doors to prevent accidental trauma.
Now, I know this looks like this is heading toward my seeing an elderly person on the toilet. That did not happen for another 10 years. This involved an aunt. The problem was, I had no idea what a woman looked like naked (or partially naked) and this was not the way to find out.
I went rushing into the bathroom as kids often do. My aunt was on the toilet. I don’t know why, but she stood up. Was she going to do that horrible duck walk that people do when they realize they need to travel for toilet paper? Talk about nightmare inducing. Good luck sleeping after you see something like that. All I saw was hair. Lots of hair. It was like she was wearing underwear made from a black bear. I didn’t wait to see what she was going to do. I backed out and closed the door as I went. I hid from her for the rest of the visit and we have both since refused to acknowledge that this ever happened.
So there you have it – two decades old experiences with nudity that have forever etched themselves into my brain. Proof that nudity in and of itself has neither positive nor negative value. It can awake things inside you that you never knew existed, or it can give you nightmares for the rest of your goddamn life.
I’ll end by saying that this is only the second most traumatic experience I’ve had with nudity. Maybe someday I’ll be able to share the other one. Until then, I’ll just cry in the shower at night.