How to stop being ashamed of your naked body, Part 1

I find it horrifying when I hear stories of individuals who have had some disease and are afraid to report it because of the shame of it manifesting in some manner around the genital area or the anus. One such case happened in my family, no less, where hemorrhoids went unreported until pain was so severe that it was no longer possible to sit down without difficulty and pain.

Luckily, this didn’t have consequences as tragic as those of some more distant acquaintances, where the person in question, who had a case of hernia, failed to visit the doctor until it was too late. They died after surgery, with cause of death being late treatment of hernia due to shame of reporting the situation because the protrusion was so close to the penis – namely shame of one’s own body.

I hear stories of women who have no idea what healthy female genitalia are supposed to look or feel like, having always been ashamed to ask about it, having never seen any female genitalia except maybe their own and it’s not even certain if they’ve seen theirs, at least in the mirror. So they carry some disease or other with them until it is eventually discovered, with more or less dramatic outcomes, or they don’t maintain proper hygiene of that area.

What irks me most about people who are ashamed of their naked bodies – besides the fact that they may unwittingly be spreading diseases – is the fact that they are OK to carry with them 24 hours a day, every day of the year, a thing that they are so utterly ashamed of – their body. Even worse, they never do anything about their shame. I’m not talking about losing weight or building abs. I’m talking about the simplest thing in the world – accepting – that is – creating a mental state where they declare “This is my body, such as it is; I love it and always will!” (You don’t improve upon a situation unless you first accept the status quo.)

While it’s not required to be naked (except when keeping personal hygiene) to show that love, I find it helpful – especially in social settings – because other people can see things on your body which you can’t – either because they are out of your sight, or because you have a certain bias towards your own body. Bias distorts perception. Feedback from others, even when it’s not verbal, helps you with things which you can’t see and simultaneously corrects your bias.

Of course, like I said previously, taking off all of your clothes in the wrong environment may be a poor decision, even from a moral standpoint, so caution should always be exercised, even when you have no shame whatsoever. But how to actually get to this “shameless” state from wherever in the shame spectrum you are? I’ll write about my view of this in the next installment, so tune in so you don’t miss out.

On to Part 2 –>

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9 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Nerd Ramblings from the Peach State and commented:
    This hits close to home. I’ve avoided quite a few doctors visits because I didn’t want to have to undress. I also had a friend with severe scoliosis who went undiagnosed for years because even though she shared a bedroom and bathroom with her two sisters, no one ever saw her bare back, or saw her in a shirt tight enough to notice the S in her spine. They finally figured it out when it was causing her difficulty breathing…

    If only these were the only stories I knew…

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Christian Naturism and commented:
    Shame and fear are our worst enemies, whether it be our bodies or other areas of our lives. Shame and fear could kill us.
    When people come out of building that have been compromised by chemicals and clean up crew requires you to remove your clothing to shower immediately, many people fear that and would rather stayed covered with the toxic chemical than to strip down and shower for their safety. They usually die.

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  3. Coming to terms with my body and its parts, and overcoming body-shame have revolutionized my healthcare, because I no longer have to be afraid of bringing problems “down there” to the attention of my healthcare providers.

    The “metamorphosis” began a little over five years ago when I was sick as a dog and had a roaring urinary-tract infection. I went into the VA Urgent care center and was seen by a female doctor. Yes, I did have to drop my pants, but nothing fell off and I didn’t die of embarrassment. She treated me kindly and respectfully, prescribed appropriate antibiotics, and referred me to a urologist.

    The urologist I was assigned to was a female Nurse Practitioner, and she also treated my kindly and with dignity. Nothing feel off then either, and even though I was seen by several female care providers over the course of the next few months, I still didn’t die of embarrassment. None of them laughed at me because I am not “well-hung”. They simply cared for me in a kind and respectful manner. I still have a female urologist.

    A little over a year ago, I developed what appeared to be a rash on my penis. I brought it to the attention of my female primary care provider. She thought it looked like a fungal infection and prescribed an anti-fungal ointment. It continued to get worse, rather than better, and took on the appearance of warts. Because I needed a minor bladder surgery around that time, I brought it to the attention of one of my urologists. He thought it looked like genital herpes, so he prescribed an anti-viral drug. The warts continued to grow, so I brought them to the attention of a dermatologist – a female dermatologist. She diagnosed them as HPV genital warts and prescribed an ointment to treat them. Once the warts were gone, I developed what appeared to be “pimples” around my groin area. Since I was still in the “follow-up” phase from the previous treatment, the next dermatologist – female, checked to see that the warts were gone and checked the “pimples”. She diagnosed those as something different, and with my permission, froze them off.

    I have been seen by about a dozen female health-care providers over the last five years, had numerous urology tests and procedures, been seen and diagnosed with a variety of skin problems in my groin area, and even treated for erectile dysfunction by my female urologist, and nothing “bad” happened. She even taught me how to inject a medication into my penis to achieve an erection, and I had to stick around so she could check out the resulting erection. I haven’t died of embarrassment or had anything fall off, because I have come to realize that what God created and proclaimed to be “Very good” is still VERY GOOD.

    Like

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