The Power Of Biology

873 931 Elisabeth Karsten

It is summer. It is hot. We want to wear as little clothes as possible, preferably none at all. But we are not among indigenous African people, who happily don´t cover the upper half of their body and often just cover the rest with a loincloth or skirt. We are overwhelmed – if not by prudishness, certainly by a certain uptightness.

Accordingly conditioned as we are in our culture, we of course wear underwear and then clothes on top. We like the thin East Indian cotton – perhaps the East Indians have found the most elegant solutions in dealing with the heat. With their loose and comfortable and yet light clothes.

But we Europeans apparently have to learn it again every year…and another challenge is to be dealt with, that is not exclusive to the season. For the more can be seen of the body, the more people seem to be offended. Especially if it´s not at the pool or on the beach – more tolerance is present there. Mostly. But Inhibitions are always part of he game that can become downright prudishness.

We all know such moments…

Who ever had to deal with a more or less public erection as a boy – I remember a legendary situation to this day (!) of a man of my acquaintance who, at the time 14 years old, had a well noticeable one on the three meter – diving board at the local swimming pool – more than thirty years ago…or who as a girl or woman had to struggle in dealing with the inappropriate visibility of her nipples – know what I´m talking about!

I believe, that this is one of the reasons why women in summer wear the extra layer of a bra even though their bust might not need it otherwise… But an expressive nipple can create great embarrassment in her owner and others – and that’s something we usually want to avoid – for our sake and that of others.

On eyes’ level with a nipple

One piece of jewelry in my embarrassment basket is an experience at a rather posh event in Malaysia. I was in my midtwenties at the time. I don´t remember the occasion – it could have been the opening of an orchid garden or a charity event for children in need. At any rate it was a hot tropical day and I wore a thin cotton dress – at least rather tightly woven and thus dismissed the rather uncomfortable bra. I wore elegant shoes with high heels – which makes me quite tall – about 5’9. At the entrance a friendly Malayan was awaiting us who happened to be much shorter than me. His job was to equip us with name tags. So he wrote my name in beautiful writing on a fine paper sticker and then stuck it approximately where men have the pocket on their jackets – and to our shared embarrassment the thin white sticker crumbled, the cotton material had produced some tiny folds – because my left nipple hat become stiff and thus became super visible. And not only to us – there were other amused witnesses to this. At least they were amused, I prefer evoking humor rather than prudish admonishing.

There are cultural differences

Besides prudishness and shame and embarrassment are a matter of culture anyway. A dear Italien friend gave a vivid account of his first visit to an East German sauna, accompanied by his then girlfriend and her mother. To his dismay he had to learn that naturally nobody wore bathing trunks. Not in the sauna nor anywhere else. Everybody was naked. All the time. So he was busy all day most tense hiding his persistant boner with a towel in this temple of relaxation.

When the nipple of a prominent woman makes itself noticeable in a cheeky way, i.e. because her clothes slipped out of place, the lighting is too harsh or the penis of a well known man erects himself in an unsuitable moment – the media immediately cry: “nipple-alert” or “boner-scandal” – as if this was an intentional provocation. Well, wouldn´t that be nice – if one could actually control this most people would rather avoid it. Exactly because it suddenly draws the general attention towards something that should be rather intimate and personal and therefore causes shame and embarrassment among the concerned. Suddenly something is not the way it should be – no matter how strong the effort to maintain your composure. But your own body overwrites our intended self- expression.

Fortunately biology is stronger than us

We are natural beings – even if we like to forget that and believe, we need to control ourselves in order to appear civilized or even decent and noble. Howevr, biology doesn´t care about status either. It can happen to the queen as easily as to the pope… Perhaps not nowadays – their age and public position permit a certain mercy in these regards. But most likely both of them had certain experiences at their times and learned to deal with it…

Boners and visible nipples are sexy, actually

By the way, many women don´t consider a boner too unpleasant – especially if it is on their account. But that of course depends on the circumstances: the spectrum is wide from provocative table dancing to a woman wearing a mini skirt on a bike – which arouses an elderly gentleman to a woman, who is spontaneously hugging the man of her heart and is greeted on more than one level.

And of course conspicuous boners have been – exactly because of their attachment to embarrassment – more or less successful gagmaterial in slapstick movies. Inappropriately visible female nipples are not exposed to a similar spectrum – simply because they´re far less spectacular. Furthermore it seems to be more legit in our culture to make fun of men in this regard rather than of women. Probably because men are met with more dignity otherwise. That makes the dishonoring more amusing…and all of this wouldn´t be so funny, if prudishness wasn´t still so very common.

But isn´t it actually fantastic, that we are able to react in such natural ways? That a man can be stimulated physically by something that excites him? That a woman can react to a tender touch in such a charming non-verbal way?

Our bodies are always honest!

The wonderful thing about these reactions is that they are always real and absolutely honest. You can hardly fake them. It´s a moment of special authenticity and you experience the miracle of the human biology. It is like suddenly blushing with an erotic wink. It should actually make our lives sweeter and not considered shameful or embarrassing: we should celebrate more that we are natural beings and love our bodies because of it…and maybe that of the other too… In this sense: may we all have a charmingly erotic summer!