Shower time(!!!)

Showers.

There are two things that have been on my mind regarding showers tonight.

Naturally, as is the case with all amazing ideas that arise in the shower, I’ve forgotten one or the other at least five times since they first came to me while I was showering half an hour ago…

Fortunately, though, I got them both back safely into my consciousness, and wrote them down before I could forget again.

The first: Shower buddies.

Whenever the idea of showering with someone is portrayed in film or television, in books, or even in conversation, it is almost exclusively approached as an erotic experience.

The same is true with physically exploring another’s body – it is never never anything but an arousing, erotic experience for both (or all) parties involved.

But why must they be so?

There is a photo – simultaneously dreadful and adorable – of me as a baby, climbing carefully into the shower to join my dad, my bum covered in you-know-what (Obviously, my mom had a sense of humor about it.)… we got to be shower buddies, sharing the space and showering simultaneously, my dad and I.

When I was older, but still a child, I had minimal space in the house that was ever granted to me entirely – that is to say, nowhere was guaranteed to be my own space for long.

This, of course, included the toilet and the shower. (Yes, I have this one terrible memory of sitting on the toilet while my sister showered, and my brother walked in and told me to scoot forward, because he needed to pee… I am proud of 7-year-old me for refusing…. but I digress…)

Whenever my sisters needed to shower, they got to shower.

If I was already preparing to shower, it was no matter, they just hopped on in with me and adjusted the water to their preferred temperature (quite hotter than I liked it, actually).

At first, they had me shower with them in order to make sure I was showering and to show me how to shower properly (I didn’t exactly love showering or bathing as a younger child).

Eventually, though, I turned into more of a coincidental affair that no one really minded, and that I actually found fun.

In one sense, I enjoyed learning how my older sisters showered and how their bodies were – though, to be fair, they already walked around in towels or half-naked or naked for an hour or so after every shower anyway – and, in another, I enjoyed the fun of sharing an event with someone and in such an intimate, one-on-one way.

It might sound a bit absurd, but it really was a fun event for me as a child.

At my mom’s house, it was only ever an exchange of space – she would finish and step out of the shower, and I would step directly into it, without turning anything off.

But, at my dad’s house, it was all too common that I would end up showering alongside at least one of my sisters… and I loved it.

Fast-forward to grown-up days.

I really would love to be able to have a shower buddy again.

Bathing at all the onsen in Japan, I learned to appreciate the human body even more than I had before, and especially to appreciate nudity not as something wrong or weird, but as something that is natural and that merely has a certain time and place in society.

I also learned to be comfortable with my own naked body… and to be comfortable with my own naked body around other people… and to be comfortable with my own body around my friends and their own naked bodies…

I guess, now that I’m really thinking about it, I actually did have showering/bathing buddies in Japan… it was silly at first, but it became rather fun for me.

‘Hey, what do you want to go do this weekend when we get together?’ a friend asks… ‘Onsen!’ was my delighted reply.

And it wasn’t so that we could go be naked together – that was always a way-after thought – but because I love having out in all the lovely baths in onsen… it’s one of my favorite pieces of Japanese culture, onsen.

I just became very comfortable with the whole showering and being naked with others – including friends – situation.

(Fun fact: I met my ukulele teacher in a bath at an onsen while on a snowboarding trip in Japan… we started lessons together a few months afterward.)

And so, I want to bring that back into my life, I guess.

Why would I love to have someone in my life?

Right now, because I want a shower buddy… ๐Ÿ˜› (I am totally cracking up right now, but I really do mean it!)

It definitely teaches cooperation (and agility), it inspires a sense of childlike silliness, and it is just a little bit crazy…, all of which I think are wonderful things to have in our lives. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, in terms of exploring bodies physically, can we not learn to touch another’s body – say someone’s ripped abs or arms or legs, or beautifully shaped back, or even someone’s buttocks (Can you tell this one has happened to me??? Several times, actually…) – either clothed or not, with fascination and appreciation, and not have to make it an erotic affair?

Think of how a blind person might explore another’s face… it is not for erotic reasons but for getting to know the person.

Sure, a sighted person can see the other’s body, but how much do we really see?

I would love to explore my partner’s body, every bit of it, in a non-erotic sense… just as we get to know and to spend time with someone’s personality, I think it is important that we get to know someone’s bossy and spend time with it in its natural state (i.e. not aroused).

That isn’t to say that arousal need be denied always and forever – just that it has its own time and place, and isn’t always what’s called for (or best) at certain times.

So often, I hear people talk about wanting the lights to be dimmed or out when they are going to be naked in any way, even and especially around their partners, because they are ashamed or embarrassed about some or many parts of their bodies…

Would it not be better for everyone, if partners took the time to visit and explore and get to know one another’s bodies fully, in the light of day, so that they can be that much closer, more intimate and loving and accepting and appreciative of one another, more wholly so, after dark (and at all times)?

My opinion, of course, but I think it would be totally fabulous for both the individual relationships and for society at large.

……….

Okay, moving onward…

Second thing: Clothes.

One of my favorite things to do when showering is to enter the shower with clothes still on me.

It’s not something I do all the time – not by any means… it’s just something that I love, whenever I have the opportunity to do it.

When I was little/younger, I always had to do it because I had somehow gotten myself and my clothes absurdly dirty, such that the clothes could Not be put in the hamper in their present state – they needed to be rinsed off first.

Occasionally, it would be and still sometimes is because I have gotten myself caught in the cold, cold rain, and just want to get myself warm as quickly as possible… peeling the wet, gluey clothes off myself before entering the shower not only would have taken forever, but it would have frozen me even more, leaving my skin so exposed(!).

Most commonly, it was because I was in my swimsuit, and I needed to wash out the chlorine immediately, so as not to ruin they suit…, so I just got int he shower with the suit on, and then peeled it off and washed it quickly before washing myself.

These days, though, it is mostly just because I need to hand wash something that I am wearing (not necessarily a swimsuit)… a bra or underwear, sometimes socks or shorts, very occasionally a shirt or leggings or pants… and it’s sometimes because the items must be hand-washed, but most often because it is loads easier to do a quick hand wash in the shower than to do a whole load of laundry (that I may or may not have) just for the one item… also, if I need the one item soon or often, and I had only worn it just enough to be not fresh anymore, it really doesn’t need to go through such intense washing as the machine would do… a quick rinse and scrub is sufficient.

In fact, in winter, I have two of this particular shirt that I wear constantly, and so I always hand wash them in the shower.

Year-round, I wash almost all my sports bras in the shower… it started because I was required to hand wash my running bras, but continued because I have more work-out shirts than I do bras, and, as I have admitted before, I am not great with getting laundry done… I practically avoid it until I’ve been out of options for at least a few days*.

(I am getting loads better at it, actually, though I still have my moments of avoidance from time to time…)**

Anyway, I sometimes will hand wash something in the shower just because I want to experience the amazing feeling that is entering a warm shower, dressed.

If you haven’t ever tried it, naturally, I highly recommend it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, those are the two shower things that have been on my mind tonight…(!)

Happy bedtime, folks! ๐Ÿ™‚

*In high school, we began “Swimsuit Day”, my best friend and I, because she loved wearing her swimsuit top better than a bra, and because I inevitably ran out of clean underwear, and didn’t necessarily notice until post-shower in the morning before school…, so I would grab a bikini bottom instead… and it became a thing that we did together for a day or two every time I needed to do laundry (obviously, I improved my awareness a bit, and so was able to give at least a day’s warning before “Swimsuit Day” was to take place… also, nobody ever really knew why we did it or how we determined when it would be, but plenty of people knew that it was “Swimsuit Day”, whenever it was… and some girlfriends actually started joining in, wearing swimsuits under their uniforms along with the two of us on “Swimsuit Day”…

**Did you lol at that unintended pun???… because I certainly did. ๐Ÿ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

Maybe itโ€™s just for me

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about riding my bike on the highway through the cold, winter evening weather that makes me want to arrive home to my husband, have a little romp fest with him, and then snuggle up to a movie and hot cocoa by the fire together.

And, I mean, it isn’t exactly a sexual thing – riding my bike through the cold isn’t an erotic experience or anything.

It is kind of like how a cold winter day just kind of makes you want to snuggle close to a warm mug of hot chocolate or apple cider… only, when riding my bike on these days, I just want to have the little romp fest first, and then snuggle up under blankets with the warm mug.

Just as the hot chocolate just sounds like the perfect next step to the day, so does this little grouping of events sound for me.

Granted, this is Houston, Texas, so we won’t often have fires going anyway, and, besides that, I don’t exactly have a husband at the moment (or anything like one), so my scenario isn’t exactly plausible…, however, the cold weather and wind just somehow make it seem like the perfect way to continue on in the day.

Perhaps, somewhere down the road, that will be the way I end each chilly day of winter.

For now, though, I just smile at the slight irony of the situation and utter oddness about its existence in the first place, and then I feel the chill start to sink into my skin under my ski suit, and suddenly feel slightly sick, my stomach ebbing toward forcing out whatever might be at that moment within its uncomfortable, tightening confines…

Anyway, so that was my afternoon, eh?

How was yours? ๐Ÿ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

Embarrassment by Inbox

The other day, I received what I thought was a final effort from the laser hair removal place to advertise their extended Black Friday sales.

I didn’t fully read the subject line, since only the beginning shows up on my phone without opening the actual e-mail, but I saw the sender, and so opened it to see if their Cyber Monday piece to their Black Friday sales was anything worth noting.

I scrolled down, searching for the expected pricing options, but couldn’t find any… the e-mail wasn’t making any sense, somehow.

Where were the Cyber Monday discounts I expected to see inside this e-mail?

I was processing what on Earth this e-mail was from the laser hair removal place for Cyber Monday and Christmas Presents….

I read the bottom piece first, and hen went tot he top of the screen to see if I could make sense of it all…

Like What does that have to do with hair removal….? Does the hair really make that big of a difference for people? And what does it have to do with having babies….?

I was completely lost in this e-mail.

I needed to start from the beginning again.

And then I scroll up to see this:

And then super sexy guy at the gym walks in the door, we look each other right in the eyes, and I feel like my face turns bright red.

I say hi to him, somehow able to talk, despite my brain still being in the middle of processing this whole e-mail thing, and simultaneously panicking that he definitely can read my mind and the e-mail currently showing on my phone, and he knows exactly what I’m contemplating at the moment (i.e. vaginas and babies and sex)…, even though he 100% has no way of knowing what I’m thinking unless I were to tell him, and he is too far away to see my phone.

I can’t bring myself to share with him the embarrassment I am feeling, and so I message my friend who gyms with me (and who, of course, knows how firmly I stand on the belief that this guy is the most gorgeous and attractive person I have ever known in real life), and tell her what has just happened.

She laughs at the part where the super sexy guy walks in, and then asks simply, “Is it the vagina steamer?”

I laugh something terrible in the inside, and tell her, “Didnโ€™t even get that far,” because I didn’t, and she laughs once again.

Of course she knows all about this thing of which I had never even heard.

Typical. ๐Ÿ˜›

Haha

Eventually, I start smiling, as my embarrassment fades and my logic finally wins against my panicked insanity, and I finally can enjoy the hilarity of the situation, as opposed to only knowing it to be hilarious without actually feeling anything beyond panic and embarrassment. ๐Ÿ˜›

It was a good couple minutes, that was. ๐Ÿ˜€

Post-a-day 2019

Letโ€™s talk about…

Today’s topic is sex, apparently, though in a totally detached and unconcerned, un-exotic approach to the topic…

This morning, listening to music on Pandora while working, I am only noticing the occasional phrase in the music, as I am rather focused on what I am doing.

However, one line of one song leaps out at me after the fact…!the song has already moved onward by far, and my head is reeling on this line it knows it just heard, though it wasn’t aware at the time.

“Tu fais l’amour en deux poussรฉes,” was the line in this song (“Adieu”) by Coeur De Pirate, and it made me inhale sharply and chuckle heartily, all while making a silly face in response to the idea that this woman clearly just called someone out… and in a song… that’s going to be around for quite some time, and someone out there will have to know that it is about him….

My thoughts after that were merely, ‘Oh, snap!‘ repeated over and over again as I considered that one particular line.

I quickly jotted it down, laughed some more, and then continued on with my work.

So began the silly sex topic for today.

Standing in line at the store tonight, I noticed the couple who had stepped into line behind me.

The man was mumbling up a storm, leaving me to wonder whether he was even speaking English, but the woman was clearly responding in English, though not actually clearly, as she seemed to be somewhat mumbling, too, just significantly less than the man was.

I listened somewhat carefully, though still rather passively, for a minute, and determined that he was, in fact, speaking English, just super sloppily and mumbled, and then I returned to ignoring them altogether.

That is, until, another thirty seconds later, perhaps, from the cluttered mumbling that was the general sound cloud behind me sprouted a sudden inspirational clarity of language from the man.

“I should start charging you for my shirts.”

A pause.

“No-oo!” responds the woman, in that two-syllabic, nearly outraged response we tend to have to absurd, somewhat stupid ideas.

I turn round in the silence that follows, curiosity demanding a glimpse of how these people look and whether they are joking genuinely or are being passive-aggressive or mean with one another.

The woman is wearing a men’s t-shirt, which I notice immediately, but is also very pregnant, which I didn’t notice at first.

I laugh as I turn around to them, and I see that the woman is somewhat smiling: they are having fun.

After a few moments of silence, the woman replies, still in a slightly outraged tone of voice, “Then I ought to start charging you for sex.”

Momentary silence ensues… the man must be thinking up his response, or perhaps he was just out in his place(?)…, but I think more the former as I am standing, enthralled and half-panicked, half-agreeing with the woman’s idea…

The man then speaks up, hurried with his words, and making a bit of a fumble, but just rolling with it, “Good thing I don’t have any money right now, ’cause I really wouldn’t owe you anything, anyway…”

Another quick silence, this one much quicker than the last.

She replies, “Yeah…,” fully acknowledging that he is accurate in his statement, and then continues, now in a genuine and honest tone, “Sorry about that…”

And they both smile, likely delighting in the future they are to have with the growing baby that presently resides underneath all of the man’s t-shirts.

Thus ended the topic of the day’s incidents (aside from writing this right now, of course).

Post-a-day 2019

Tough stuff

Just a curious thought that came up tonight – one which I have had many times before, thought usually only passively or, at least, without much depth of consideration – while at dinner: How are people within our society to learn to have healthy and successful and mutually satisfying physical and sexual relationships, as well as healthy relationships with alcohol?

When do we do anything real to teach our growing children and young adults (and any adults, really) this information, to give them concretes and explicit and specific information?

When do we create with them healthy relationships to the topics in the first place?

In my cave people era books, they talk about how females each had a unique ceremony, with a carefully selected older make, to give her the full experience of adult sexual intimacy…. there were people designated in different seasons who were to be guides for the growing adults to learn about sexual intimacy by voluntarily going to any of these people for the honest help and insight an older and more experienced individual could give.

I know these can easily go against various religious traditions of today…, though that does not change the fact that these were ways of helping people to build healthy sexual habits and relationships.

While avoidance has its pros, it also very much has its cons, one of which is the educational side of learning to have positive relationships to and using sexual interaction.

Do note: I’m not aiming to stir up any nonsense here – I’m just sharing the idea that came up tonight, and that I found very interesting and worth considering further.

Anyway, I see it very similarly with alcohol in the USA – we just don’t ever teach our children to have healthy relationships with alcohol, and yet we spring it on them in full power when they’re supposedly several years past being a legal adult, offering at no point any useful and practical guidance on how to approach and to have a healthy relationship with alcohol.

It doesn’t surprise me that we have so many issues regarding it, especially for the younger adults and teens… we ignore it and tell them to avoid it entirely, throwing them to the hungry lions on their 21st birthdays.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Trumpet and Sex(?!)

This conversation happened between students and me this afternoon.  

Student: “We have to go to practice.”

Hannah: “Oh, really? What practice?”

Student: “We must practice trumpet and sex!”

After a stutter in the conversation, the second student, who wasn’t speaking, noticed the blunder, and she aimed to correct it.  As we all laughed almost hysterically, they did their best to practice the difference in pronunciation between the two words.  

Sex…sax…sex…sax…sax…sax…Sax… Back and forth we went, my pronouncing it, and their aiming to copy the sounds correctly and then reproduce it over and over again.  It was adorable and wonderful.  I love those two girls, and I will miss them loads after I leave here.
Post-a-day 2017

The Body Talks

Let’s talk about sex, baby.

Well, sort of… That’s what my body kept saying to me today.

Today was a day in which my body felt like it was in a state of panic.  In a way, it was in a state of panic (or bordering on panic, anyway).  To my body, this panic was expressed as a painful desire, nรฉ need to procreate.  

“Hannah, I need to reproduce – it is what I am designed so well to do, and I’ve waited so long already… let me go!!”  

Sigh.

Such was the sort of conversation my body and I had today.  It complained and begged and reasoned, and I sighed and just accepted the complaints.

Now, the kicker to all of this is that I am almost entirely comfortable and at ease now (despite being quite sleepy).  Why is that?  The same reason (-ish) that my body has been panicky lately – I need physical contact in my life.  Good, real, physical contact, corporal contact, person-to-person skin-to-skin touch is an absolute necessity for me.

And living in Japan has given me almost none of that.  It has quite truly driven my body into a state of panic, in fact.  

How did I go from freak-out to calm?  I hung out with friends and went dancing with them.  In this time, I leaned on them, they leaned on me, we rubbed backs, hugged (the real kind), held hands, stood with our arms draped on one another’s shoulders or around the waist or hips, touched this or that spot on someone to get his/her attention.  In short, we had a nice amount of physical contact with one another.  No, it was not anything compared to what I am accustomed to having back in the US, – we are So touchy-touchy in Texas, and especially at dance there – however it was tremendous when compared to my average day and week of zero physical contact here in Japan.

I went to a dance event in Korea just a couple weekends ago.  I danced like crazy there, and I hugged people and had lots of physical contact with people who love me and whom I love.  I think that going from a weekend jammed full of corporal contact and love, back to the solitude and non-touching life I have here right now, my body had a sort of shock.  After having gone so many months with only a bit of physical contact here and there in a month, I was accustomed to it.  But, after spending a weekend filled with physical contact, it has been difficult to go back to the zero-touching lifestyle.

And so my body cried for a while, until it at last had some loving physical contact this afternoon and tonight, at which point it is ready to take on this next week (until I head to the beach next weekend, at which point the physical contact occasions will resume). 

So, instead of listening to the crybaby body make excuses about its evolution and its original design for existence, I just get myself some physical contact, some hugs and snuggles and such, and things work out beautifully.

Cheers to loving physical contact! โค

Post-a-day 2017