In front of the camera and the mirror, I can be whoever I am, I can feel whatever I feel.Months before quarantine, I half-heartedly tried to pick up the habit, in a quirky self-help intention to cultivate contentment while being single. After months of mediocre dates and unrequited love, I figured maybe if I just stared at my pubes enough, then my romantic frustrations would disappear. (Obviously, that didn’t work, but it felt exciting and worthwhile nonetheless.) It started simple: photograph a nude, rarely send, never filter. I’d photograph myself wherever and whenever I happened to be naked: after a shower, in a dressing room, before taking a nap. The habit never fully cemented then, but I still cherished the idea. Now, on my 60th day of quarantine, I’ve found solace in taking nudes. And look, I’m fully aware of how corny and intense that might sound. I don’t mean to liken naked iPhone portraits to therapy or yoga or prayer. But this activity has become a sort of spiritual outlet for me. Under the dim bathroom light, my natural form exudes herself and all of my emotional contradictions are in conversation. Insecure, confident. Sexy, prude. Melancholic, thrilled. Open, shy. In front of the camera and the mirror, I can be whoever I am, I can feel whatever I feel. And in the midst of a global emergency, it is so crucial to welcome all of those complicated, inconsistent feelings. To see them, to document them, to find solace in their ever-present company. Everything is so uncertain right now, but this ritual feels sacred enough to honor the complexity and all its colors. After yet another strange day, it is relieving to return to the cold tile, the peeling eggshell paint, that dim bathroom light. The evening quickly becomes dramatic and sensual with shea butter hair massages and body oil rubs. I decorate the silence with D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” and it nurtures me. How does it feel? how does it feel? For a moment, everything feels good. And because optimism is so scarce these days, I cling to that goodness for as long as I can. I mean this quite literally. Some evenings I stay in the bathroom for 50, 60, 70 minutes, clinging and clinging. I stare at the mirror, gazing fondly, feeling a sense of togetherness with myself. Unclothed, oiled, me. Brown skin, kinky hair, me. I hold my iPhone in my palm, arch my back, gently touch my thighs, and snap a few photos to celebrate this body of mine, to archive this scarce goodness. I stare at the mirror. I am calm. I am scared. I am naked. I am here. I am trying.
How to Disclose STI Status to a New Sexual Partner
What should you do if you’ve got a positive STI status and want to become intimate with a new partner? Here’s how to talk to a new partner to disclose...
What Lube Should You Be Using?
To make sex more enjoyable, lube can be a handy helper. But how do you know which lube you should be using?
How to Choose Your First Vibrator
The right vibrator for you is out there, waiting. Here are some tips on how to find it.
Just the Dip - A Deep Dive into Our Latest Vibrator
Dame’s at it again: our latest vibrator recently launched and it’s making pleasure more accessible for all vulva-havers.
- View all