Monday, 17 August 2015

Baring all

Some couples claim there's nothing they wouldn't want their partners to see, that they just let it all hang out and they don't care what their partner thinks. Such openness is part of a genuine, honest relationship and why on earth would they want to hide things? What's to be shy about?

I've met couples who seem to do exactly that and not feel at all awkward about it. They share the bathroom, show each other their wobbly bits, hoover up cake and chocolates, plough through chicklit, and don't feel any furtive need to conceal anything.

I incline that way too. I might feel a bit embarrassed at times about having an audience, but seldom do I actually hide anything - unless I'm asked to. There are very few things I'd rather keep to myself.

I was checking through a list of activities that people commonly don't want their partner to witness, and personally I wouldn't be too bothered by any of them. For example:
  • Getting dressed or undressed
  • Trying on clothes
  • Weighing yourself
  • Eating something unhealthy or bingeing
  • Enjoying a trashy novel/music/film etc
  • Boozing
  • Smoking
  • Pleasuring yourself
  • Personal grooming
  • Crying/being seriously upset
  • Buying something expensive
  • Using pornography
Not that I've ever smoked or used porn, so those two can be ruled out. But as for the others, what's the big deal? Why would I want to keep them out of sight?

It's sad that someone feels so embarrassed or ashamed by their body or their behaviour, or so scared of a judgmental and censorious partner, that they simply can't stand to be seen. But such reticence is easily learnt, and hard to shake off once it's engrained.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments, Nick. I can't imagine being in a relationship where things need to be kept private from each other. OK, both the wife and I draw the line at sharing the bathroom during number twos, but other than that it's warts and all.

  2. Dave: Good for you! Jenny and I don't usually share the bathroom, but that's more because we'd get in each other's way. And probably one of us would be nagging impatiently "Jeez, haven't you finished in the shower yet?"

  3. I can't imagine anyone in a long-term relationship being afraid to do any of those things, although I'm a little unsure what is meant by personal grooming. As Dave said, we keep the toilet door closed, but other than that, I guess it's a free for all.

    How do people have sex without being naked? Is it just in the dark? Sounds awful!

  4. Bijoux: I know, why would people want to keep lots of things private? What's the point? By personal grooming, I suppose I mean things like cutting your nails or shaving your legs or cleaning your ears.

    How do people have sex without being seen naked? Good question. With difficulty, I guess. Or yes, maybe they insist on darkness so those awful imperfections won't be noticed....

  5. My husband leaves to loo door open. I keep it closed ...but that's mainly to prevent the dogs from trotting in to investigate proceedings.

  6. When we're on the toilet, the bathroom door stays firmly closed! Other than that, we're fairly lackadaisical.

  7. I'm not sure a "genuine, honest relationship" depends on whether the couple closes the bathroom door or leaves it open, but relationships like that are precious. And they get better with age and experience. In a little over a week it will be 51 years for us.

  8. After his wife had died my father-in-law remarked rather wistfully: "You know you are alone when you don't bother to close the bathroom door any longer."

    I do believe there needs to be a sense of decorum: And having anyone other than the cat watch me cut my toe nails is not my thing. It is truly unsexy to "let it all hang out". We keep allure by maintaining a certain mystique.

    I do hope the above wasn't too ... for you - whatever you said about me the other day. And, by the way, to go the whole hog on your list: I can't stand people picking their noses. I may as well have a cold shower instead.

    To Jean: Happy Anniversary.


  9. Helen: Yes, I guess dogs would be way too enthusiastic about sharing what you're up to!

    Jennifer: I think a desire for bathroom privacy is still quite common.

    Jean: Well, that was just one example, obviously! I don't think bathroom seclusion would send anyone rushing to the divorce court. Congrats on your impressive 51 years!

  10. Ursula: I don't see any need for "mystique" or "decorum" myself, I prefer people warts and all, but that's just my own preference. I can understand the desire for a bit of discretion and privacy, if that's your thing.

    I would see picking your nose as personal grooming. And like you, I don't want to see it. It's not in any way attractive!

  11. i have seen people picking their nose while waiting at a stoplight in their car for pete's sake! GROSS!!!!
    and there was a man in our office who literally clipped his fingernails at his desk. they flew everywhere. MAJOR GROSS.
    as to nudity...
    i could easily be a nudist. even right now. especially in fresh air!
    though i never have that opportunity.
    i did a post on it once when i did have that opportunity.
    if you want to read it. it was called 'trespassing nudes.'

    i was young when i was married so had nothing to hide.
    i'm in fair shape now... except for a belly i don't love... finally some wonderful boobies that there's nobody here to appreciate now...
    but to all your above comments... i'm in agreement.
    lights on... and if you're doing it right... no need for porn...
    though i DO agree with ursula... i always kept just a little bit of the feminine mystique. after all. i wasn't a locker room buddy.
    our posts are a bit synchronistic today nick! i also did a post on body parts! :)

  12. Tammy: Wonderful boobies? Good to know, ha ha.

    Indeed, if you're doing it right and you're at ease with each other, why would you need darkness or porn? Feminine mystique? What's that then? Subtle hints of smouldering deep-down passion? Fluttering eyelashes? Tantalising slow-mo removal of underwear?

    I shall now rush hot-foot to your post on body parts....

  13. LOLOL!!!
    you've brought up some laughable memories with your reply.
    maybe even a post i have to visit.
    part of the fun i've had in blogging is revisiting some favorite memories with my husband bob... some hilarious ... some touchng...
    but all a warmth to my heart.
    i got better at it as the years went by.
    when i first got married i was hopelessly inexperienced.
    i bought a book called 'the happy hooker' as a text book so to speak.
    i seriously have to recommend it for help in the art of feminine mystique! LOLOL. i was a quick student. it was a good book.
    and my advice to young brides. there is nothing wrong with a little mystery. not prudish. just lovely.

  14. Tammy: I remember The Happy Hooker coming out in 1971. It caused quite a stir at the time, I seem to remember, though I never read it myself. Glad it gave you a few useful hints!

  15. I don't want to see anyone going to the bathroom - I don't think there's anything wrong with a little privacy. And if my partner were using porn, he'd no longer be my partner. But mostly, I'm an open book with my partner. We're naked as often as we can be and certainly change clothes in front of each other. I don't care that we have middle aged bodies - I think we're both comfortable in our own skin.

    The other stuff - I wouldn't read or watch anything I would be embarrassed by. And what kind of relationship would it be if we couldn't talk about anything, cry in front of each other or be open about things like finances? Not much of one, I don't think.

  16. Agent: Considering your job, I kind of assumed you would be okay with the maximum openness in a relationship. That's crucial of course, that you're comfortable in your own skin. I don't understand people who have to conceal so much of themselves, and I don't know how their partners can be happy with that and not feel permanently frustrated.

  17. i once dated a man (after bob died) who announced to me in no uncertain terms "i'm not going to be an open book for anybody!"
    he was very nice. but that put a warning flag up for me.
    just as your answer to secret agent woman makes so much sense.
    i had come from such a loving relationship where we were BEST FRIENDS and shared everything. it's all i knew.
    not that i wanted to share all that much with this guy so quickly.
    but after what he said... i certainly didn't! i would imagine that is why he was single. nobody else felt comfortable with him for very long either.

  18. Nick,
    I just love your posts. Thank you so much for blogging.

  19. Tammy: I think I'd keep well away from someone who didn't want to be "an open book" as he put it. I'd always be suspicious that something really nasty or creepy or malicious was lurking inside. And if someone isn't totally open, how can you ever properly understand them and get to know them? It'd be like dealing with a polite acquaintance, not a true partner.

    Jean: Why, thank you! What brought that on?

  20. I am an Indian. We were not like what we are today before Islam and the Bible thumping colonists came to us with prudery. Here is a sample of the kind of things that happened to us,

    I am however blessed. I have my own little domain where I can be however I want to be with no one to see or criticise or be offended.

  21. Ramana: The British were responsible for all sorts of backward policies in other countries. It doesn't surprise me that India was actually more liberal before the Brits moved in. As you say, you have your own little domain where you can do as you please!

  22. I was in the bath last week when my man came in to clean his teeth, he'd forgotten I was there. He seemed to clean them in double quick time and as he finished I was heard to utter "is that it?!" I think I have set him back in the sharing department!! But at least I was only mentioning it about his teeth cleaning and nothing more important ;-)

  23. Suburbia: You'll have to reassure him that he can do whatever he wants in the bathroom and he's not disturbing you, in fact you like him being present! And yes, at least you only commented on his teeth cleaning and nothing that might have seriously embarrassed him....