Flog Blog

Undress to your comfort level.

That’s what she said to me. And you’d think that would be an easy enough instruction to follow. If I were, say, waiting for the train to come. And somebody said to me “undress to your comfort level” I would probably not move a muscle and continue to enjoy my fully clothed existence.

Whereas, if I happened to be in dressing room of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and one of the models said to me “undress to your comfort level” I would shed my clothes like they were made of bees.

But the person who told me to undress to my comfort level was actually a masseuse, and I was about to get a massage from her. She had just brought me into the room when she said it.

Undress to your comfort level. Take your time. Then get under the blanket face down. I will be right back.

I typically don’t do well with instantaneous options that involve me selecting the best course of action.

Had she said “Keep all of your clothes on, put on this winter coat, and then lay under this down comforter with your arms straight out like you are superman,” I would have readily complied because she is the expert and she told me what to do.

Just like if she had told me to strip naked and get under the covers and hum the star spangled banner until she came back, I would have also been OK with that because once again, professional giving me instructions I can handle.

But she had given me an option and I had no idea how to react because I wasn’t sure the correct protocol. I didn’t want to immediately strip naked and have her start massaging me and think I was some kind of a pervert.

But just recently I had received a massage in Fiji where I had showed up in my bathing suit and the woman just told me to get under the blanket and that was that.

Not wanting to go too far I left my boxers on, got under the blanket, and waited for her to come back to the room and judge me.

But somehow getting under this blanket without being completely naked seemed just a little bit off.

And immediately after she started massaging me, I felt like a prude, a nerd, a completely clueless buffoon. Like that kid at the public pool that wore his underwear under his bathing suit or somebody who wears a helmet while riding a bicycle built for two.

Actually just riding the bicycle built for two is enough on its own.

But it was too late. Because the only thing you really can’t do during a massage is stop your masseuse halfway through and say:

Actually, you know what? I think I want to take my underwear off for this.

That’s a great way to end up in jail.

But I had other things to worry about, mainly the fact that the Malaysian food I had consumed the night before that had given me heart burn might make an unwelcome appearance if I was massaged in just right (or wrong, for that matter) way.

It was at that point that I also realized I was glad I stuck with the basic Swedish massage as opposed to any of the upgrade options the nice woman at the front desk provided me with. I was certainly glad I didn’t indulge in any of the ones that involved a “flogging.”

And there were several.

There are certain things in my life I rarely volunteer to have done to me. Being flogged is one of them.

Even though several of the massages involved being “lightly flogged” and some included being feathered. Apparently that meant having a feather dragged light across your body to relax the central nervous system… or just confuse the hell out of you.

Somehow I knew that a feathering just wasn’t for me.

There was also one I could have chosen that would have involved 9 essential oils, coating me in sliced ginger and topped off by having my entire body “sugared.” When hearing this I almost wondered aloud if after it was finished I would also be popped into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and tender?

But those worries were behind me and I was able to just concentrate on the massage itself, which was not too light or too painful. I had doubted myself when before the massage started my masseuse asked me “What kind of pressure” I liked.

Again, if she said I am rough, I would have said, oh OK, I get it, I’m ready, bring it on.

Or had she said I have the hands of a lily, again, I could have handled that. But the fact that she asked me what I wanted, made me panic.

I didn’t want to say go easy on me.

Yes please, take it easy on the pale kid who is afraid to exit his underwear.

I also didn’t want to say, please, abuse me. Make me pay for my sins. Because in my limited experience with massages I have found it better to say, “ow” as opposed to, “COME ON YOU SISSY. PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT!”

In my opinion, challenging somebody who spends 8 hours a day everyday pushing their thumbs deep into other people’s flesh to step it up is a whole bag of not good.

But all in all it went well. I didn’t cry. I didn’t break wind. And I managed not to drool on her feet. All things that might have happened had I agreed to a flogging.


The Bavarian Buff

Like many New Yorkers, I get a fair amount of my random knowledge and news blurbs from small televisions in the elevators in my building. They flash a series of headlines, stock quotes, and other current event updates throughout the day. I am in the elevator about a half dozen times over the course of the day and I will catch 1 or 2 stories each time that I am in there.

While leaving work one day last week I was preoccupied with something but glanced up for a second to catch this headline.

German Nudist Hiking Trail

Whatever I was thinking about before, was quickly forgotten as my mind tried to wrap itself around the ridiculousness of this news story. I did a little more research to find out the details. This is what I found:

Germany is launching a new hiking trail for tourists who like to walk in the nude. The 18km (11-mile) route runs through the Harz mountains in central Germany, between Dankerode and the Wippertalsperre, near Leipzig and is receiving praise for giving nudists an opportunity to express themselves more freely.

Now, I am not a hiker. In fact, I know very little about hiking. But I am of German lineage. And I would now like to take this time to make fun of my people. For the sake of this post, I will be taking the side opposing the German Nudist Hiking Trail.

I will start with the obvious. Hiking usually involves being out in the wilderness with bugs and critters and other things. There are places on your body you should never NEED to put sunscreen, never mind bug spray. These are the parts of my body I do not want to expose to mosquitoes or poison ivy. And ALL of those parts get exposed during nude hiking.

I mean, can you imagine trying to explain that to your dermatologist?

Oh yea, I was hiking in Germany. What's that you say? No, no I was not wearing pants. What? No, no underwear either.

I would also like to point out that from what i do know about hiking, it is not something you should do barefoot. Good socks and hiking boots seem to be necessary equipment. So if you are wearing shoes and sock you are not technically naked. I know I'm splitting hairs here, but I just want to point that out.

Being German I know that when I am outside I should stay as covered up as humanly possible. There are many kinds of sunscreen available but the only kind appropriate for me is SPF Poncho.

Germans take good things to the height of ridiculousness. I mean... just look what they did to dancing.

Some things are good in extremes. Giant beer? Good. Giant bratwurst? Very good. But this latest spin on hiking just doesn't seem to be an improvement at all.

Also shouldn't the possibility of chafing along turn them off the naked hike? And again, does backpack = naked?

I just don't think it's necessary for a nude trail. I mean, even the animals on this trail aren't naked. They at least wear fur!

What also scares me is Germans affinity for travel. in my travels around the world I have noticed they travel more than almost any other country. This naked hiking thing is something that could possibly spread to other trails in other countries!

What if I DO decide to take up hiking? I don't want to have to worry about being accosted by Frau Hatenmypantz. But in fairness to the trail itself, the proper authorities (be they naked or otherwise) have put up a sign warning people that says;

If you don't want to see people with nothing on them, you should refrain from moving on.

But if I saw that sign, I would probably just think it was a joke. I wouldn't honestly believe there was a chance I would see some naked people!

It is also understood that some kinds of naked are hilarious. Like watching somebody streak across a baseball field from hundreds of feet away. That is hilarious.

Watching somebody streak towards you in the middle of the woods? That is terrifying.

As I understand it, undergarments were made to enable us to move quickly with ease, thereby streamlining the transportation of ourselves. So what happens if a bear made his appearance in the woods and you had to run? I can't imagine running naked feels (or looks) good.

Also I am curious as to when it is that these naked hikers remove their clothes. Is it before they even leave the house? Do they gear up that way? or do they arrive at the trail head and somebody just fires a gun and yells STRIP!

Is the park ranger for this particular trail naked? Shouldn't he or she be? Because if they park ranger isn't naked, I can only imagine the kind of perverts you'd get applying for that job.

And also can clothed folks be on the same trail? If you have committed to an 11 mile naked hike you have probably also committed yourself to not taking any sit down breaks. I know I am not crazy about putting my bare butt on public toilet seats, so, putting my bare butt on the world of nature? I mean jeez.

Plus I don't like animals seeing me naked. I think they judge me. A cat saw me naked once and I might be exaggerating here, but I am pretty sure it was judging me. It cocked its head as if to say; "You disgust me pale boy. Cloak yourself."

And then the cat walked into a closet and tried to dig a hole.

My point is this whole naked trail thing can only be a harbinger of bad things to come. I know this might seem like a momentous occasion to some. And there is a probably a swell of enthusiasm for would-be nude hikers around the globe.

So for all you who are exited about what this trail means, and the opportunities it presents, I will say to you what my parents said to me when I got too excited about things as a kid.

Keep your pants on.

The Proliferation of Naked

We come into this world naked. We shower naked. The doctor sees us naked. The people we love see us naked. It would seem that would be enough naked for any of us to stand.
But no, there are some people who need a larger amount of naked in their life. Being naked for a select few doesn't fulfill their needs. They desire a larger audience to view them in their birthday suit.

To these people, there is no bad opportunity to show off every crevice of their body. The obvious offenders are nudists who feel the need to be naked everywhere all the time. But there is a group of people somewhere between nudist and normal who are naked in my life just frequent enough to make me uncomfortable. Let’s call these people the Subtle Nudes.
The most obvious location to observe the Subtle Nudes is the locker room at the gym. Like most people, I'm aware that my naked body is not necessarily a work of art. I am CERTAINLY not secure enough to stroll around a locker room full of people I don't know, butt ass naked. Alas, some people are, and those people make me extremely uncomfortable
In my gym, there are showers. Great, brilliant. Very necessary for the removal of scum, funk, and all physical manifestations of nastiness. The showers at my gym are nice enough with soap, shampoo, and conditioner. There is even a nice little hook that allows one to hang their towel and clothes outside the shower so they don’t get wet.

However the hook goes largely unused, at least by the people in my gym.
It seems it goes like this. At the very beginning and very end of your life, being naked is no big whoop. I think the only difference is that in the beginning you love to run places naked, and when you’re old, you just shuffle. Either way, your ass is bare and you just don’t care.
Little naked kids = cute.
Little old naked people = saggy, horrific wrinklyness.
When I see old naked people in my locker room it’s like a big naked prune out for a stroll. Go away prune, go away!

I’ll admit I’ve considered strolling naked through the locker room before, but I know it would inevitably end in me running like I was about to jump through my sprinkler when I was 5 years old.
When I am changing in the locker room I try to remain as covered up as possible. But if I allow myself to get all the way naked my goal is; Get some underwear on ASAP. Once I am completely naked, the first move is always to stop being naked.
But not for some people. Some people feel the need to do other things. Fold their clothes, organize their wallet, write a sonnet. I can see them out of the corner of my eye, because it’s very hard not to notice a naked person next to you, just hanging out naked. You think it’s bad if they are sitting on the bench naked, because then you think, oh god, their gross rear has been on the same bench that I am now touching.

Ew ew gross gross gag blah.
Or the nudie will be standing, as though crouching weren’t enough; they feel the need to prominently display their stuff like a naked Superman.
But sometimes those standing people bend over, and that is when my I go into seizures and the blood vessels in my eyes explode. Come on man! Not here! Put it away! There are no naked calisthenics here. Go back to your colony for your thread bare Jane Fonda time.
Inevitably I will see some oblate spheroid shaped naked man in the locker room trying to put on his socks.

Really naked man? You can’t think of a better article of clothing to put on first besides your socks? How about a muumuu, or a tarp, or the entire Macy’s bedding department?
Though being naked indoors makes sense to me when you compare it to those people who insist on being naked outdoors.
At least at the gym you can rationalize, ok we are a select group of people who pay money to belong to this facility I should be able to walk 20 feet naked if I so choose.
But the nude beach, I mean come on man what is that all about? What kind of person decides, ya know what, being naked in private isn’t enough for me. I need to be naked in front of a lot of people, preferably in a place with tiny bits of rock and ocean and sun.
Many people don’t want any tan lines. If you want to look like George Hamilton, by all means go for it. But does anybody really need a tanned butt crack?

I live by myself now, and when I first moved into my apartment I did not own any blinds or window coverings, so my neighbors could see directly into my room. This bothered me at first and I would make sure to cover myself up while coming out of the shower. Then I started realizing… who cares? There is nobody else IN my apartment.
Here comes too much information folks, but now I shower with the door open and I prance around as naked as I want.
I don’t look out my window very much, and even when I do, I can’t really see very well into other peoples apartments, at most I can maybe see what’s right up against the window, I figure they must not be able to see into mine.
I think the only difference between me and the gym folk is that my apartment is my channel. If other people want to tune in, that is their prerogative. I shouldn’t feel obligated to alter my life accordingly. If they don’t want to see what’s on my channel they can just look away. Whereas those naked folk in the locker room…. they aren’t a channel. They are a test of the Emergency Nudist System broadcast directly into the cortex of my brain.

I don’t anticipate any major changes in my life philosophy in the near future. But if I do have a major awakening of my naked senses, I’m pretty sure I won’t have to tell you. I think you might just notice it in your peripheral.