As I thought about the theme for this Kink of the Week, I thought about the many different connotations I could bring to the topic of Exhibition that I learned from my life in Berlin. Many of you have read other posts of mine, and you know that living in Berlin was transformational, and I am always trying to find a way to get back there again. I have a fantastic group of friends and a partner living there, so it still holds my heart. But even if I didn’t, there were so many things I did and learned there that changed me and helped shape me into the woman I am right now. This post takes that theme of Exhibition and a few of the Berlin things I learned about being naked in public!
Recently, I was thinking about how much I wanted to go skinny dipping in a lake. I mean, I truly wanted to do that again. Feel the cold water no only on my arms and legs, but let the water swell around my private places, let my breasts bob on the water while I float on my back, my nipples peeking out and dipping back under the water, teasing, feeling both the water and the breeze.
There is so much freedom for me in that act. I find whatever inhibitions I had about my body vanish at the water’s edge, and I float free of those constraints. Even when I get back out of the water, and I am sitting on the shore, I keep some freedom. I am comfortable laying in the sun and letting the droplets of water slowly evaporate, leaving a cool breeze that shimmers lightly over my skin. My mind quiets. I don’t think about the people around me, but absorb sunlight like part of the earth. I put down roots and become one with the mother.
It is something I wish I could do more regularly. It is a lesson from my life in Berlin that I carry with me, but find it difficult to reproduce. I feel like I need at least an annual dose of swimming naked in a lake to help me sustain the connection I found between me and the earth and that feeling of extra freedom in my own skin.
Read more about my experience here: I Spent the Day Before my Birthday in my Birthday Suit in Public
Another Berlin lesson that shaped my ability to be naked in public was going to the sauna. At the sauna, I walked around naked, unworried about my nudity among hundreds of other people also naked and unconcerned. I sat in pools of warm water chatting with friends while strangers did the same. We sat in hot, sweaty sauna rooms, dripping sweat on each other because we’re so close, we’re touching thighs and arms, but unconcerned, enjoying the heat seeping deep into our bones. Relaxing in the dining room in a bathrobe, knowing you and everyone else is entirely naked underneath while you sip your wine and enjoy a delicious meal.
Read Ena’s experience being naked in Germany: How The German Love for Being Naked Has Helped Me Accept Myself- Ena Dahl- Medium
There is nothing like the feeling of knowing you are naked, but it’s not sexual. It’s just a state of undress. Your bones and your skin- all just how you move around in this world. Celebrating your body by being IN it, by treating it to the healing heat of the sauna or the steam, or stretching it and moving freely in the water of the pool. There is so much freedom in being seen but not stared at. Everyone sees each other there, but no one cares if you are fat or thin or in between. We each exist in our skin as we enjoy each other’s company and the warmth of the saunas.
Yet another exhibition lesson of my life in Berlin was going to my first swinger clubs. While the other ways I learned to be naked in public were not sexual, this one decidedly was. I met a great guy, and he also wanted to experience this particular kind of freedom, so we explored together. We went to two different clubs in the time we dated, forging a very close bond by experiencing these things together.
Walking around in sexy lingerie, then eventually in a towel or nothing in front of other people, knowing the intention is sexual is an entirely different experience than the sauna. There was a heightened sense of awareness in my limbs, a sense of anticipation, and the lovely edge of nerves wondering what was going to happen next.
Looking up from an intense make-out session and seeing someone watching, only made the kissing hotter. Knowing if you were the only one in a room having sex, it could change at any moment, and other people would come and watch or join in, made the sex that much more intense.
I am not a small woman, which in our western societies can be the cause a lot of angst, but in that safe place, where everyone is naked and sexy, I felt powerful and strong and like “the Sexiest Woman in Berlin.”
Read about the time I was The Sexiest Woman in Berlin!
The second time we went to a club, we didn’t interact with other couples, but we had a lot of fun in the sex swing in the middle of the room and later having sex on a counter with other hot and steamy couples enjoying their moments at the same time. It was an incredibly freeing experience to enjoy my sexuality, my body, my partner, freely. More than that, freely in front of other people!
Naked at Home
The most comfortable and easy way I learned to be satisfied with myself in all my naked splendor was at home with my partner Stefan. From the first time I went to his flat, it was always a rule, “Naked when you’re in the house.”
Over the four years of our relationship, I got more and more comfortable just taking my clothes off and being together in the nude. It became our routine. I would go to Stefan’s, usually just as he was getting home from work, and he’d be in the bath when I arrived. I would drop my bags, strip out of my clothes and sit on the toilet near the tub to catch up on our week. Later we would usually make some dinner and share it from one plate together while naked. The rest of the evening was spent on the couch, always in the nude.
Read more about my unconventional relationship with Stefan: My Lover is a Place
I loved that even in a romantic and very sexual relationship, being naked with him was also something normal and non-sexual. It is the way he is most comfortable hanging out, and he shared that part of himself with me, and it changed me in almost indescribable ways.
I’ve been gone from Berlin for a while now, but he and I are still together. This summer he sent me a photo of him, naked, in only his tennis shoes, about to go out to his garden and so some work! A beautiful reminder to live my life as if I am still in Berlin, maybe not naked, cause well, it’s not Berlin, but comfortable in my own skin, free to be who I am, all of me. A reminder to bring what is deep inside me out and up and be who I AM all the time.
Now, I just want to get back to Berlin…
Image licensed from Adobe Stock