Monday, March 14, 2011

Deb and Barb Have A Three-Way (nudity might be involved)

Deb and Barb Have A Three-Way With Hart

Deb and Barbara met Hart through her excellent, thoughtful and spirited blog, Confessions of a Watery Tart, which explores lots of "real life" stuff, but focuses mainly on her journey as a writer. Hart has a mind-blowing amount of stamina: not only does she work full-time, raise a family, write her novels, and blog everyday, but she is an ardent, generous reader and supporter of dozens of other people’s blogs, including ours. And we love her.

The Aging Nudist

Hart: Before I get going, I really want to thank Deb and Barbara for having me. I adore these two: the honesty, the energy, the fun... all things I aspire to. In honesty, though, there are things I don't talk about much because... they're embarrassing...

Oh, I hear you. Anyone who knows me is convinced I embarrass myself all the time, but that is the intentional buffooning to throw attention off the... buffoon. But I thought maybe here was a good place to get naked...

See, I've been a nudist most of my life. At age two I refused to keep on the wet swimsuit because WET CLOTHES are UNCOMFORTABLE! (And I had a point, ne? They're MISERABLE!  Mom said I was easy to potty train, though, so I suppose that is the other angle to the naked toddler in the front yard.)

Two years later I gave up nightwear for good... (it gets TANGLED!), and at sixteen I finally started recruiting... you know, spreading the word about how much more COMFORTABLE it was!

But here's the thing... at sixteen, or twenty, or twenty-five, I could legitimately say I looked better naked *cues Chris Isaacs song*. Video here  (note, it is the 1:07 mark where he says 'you're the kind of a girl who looks better naked'). I'm a bit Amazonian... have always hopped the line between the high end of normal and overweight... not the kind of girl to compliment the latest fashion (particularly anything straight-legged—even at my thinnest, I've always had ample thighs), but my parts were firm and smooth... they held in place... so long as I made a point of getting some exercise and some sun, it worked well.

Jump ahead 20 years... past two pregnancies... four or five significant weight losses and regains... and frankly... it isn't pretty. I still walk A LOT (about 25 miles a week)... there is solid muscle coating my legs, top and bottom... erm... under a layer of lumpy stuff... the tummy sags a bit... in fact when I bend, it folds into rolls... lovely.

I don't have many mirrors in my house and it takes quite an effort to see one’s lower half (like standing on something). And it takes the hand-mirror to see much of one’s backside.  I never really thought about this until my last hotel stay when it was all too easy to see that time just was not being nice.

Instead of giving up the Nudism and embracing an age of modesty, though, which goes against all that I am, I've decided to embrace the opportunity to practice a little self-acceptance.  I see older women who look GREAT and that is great—good for them and more power to them. But I also see older women who are trying far too hard to hang onto something that just isn't happening—lovely, young curls on a face of wrinkles doesn't have the same kind of grace as gray curls.  And makeup doesn't hide it—in fact, it just settles into the creases and looks tacky.  Ton of eye make-up?  HELLO, CIRCUS ACT.

Hart's tatoo
And at least I can be content in my knowledge that I really DID know what I was doing when I chose my tattoo location... upper central back... that moon will neither wrinkle nor sag, no matter what happens to me.

Barbara: First off, LOVE the tattoo! Second, one of the things that drew me to you and your blog, Hart, was your deep commitment to honesty in all forms. That comes across in your writing, of course. But there was always something about the nudism angle that seemed to support that honesty even more (symbolically and literally).

I WISH I had this kind of freedom, I really do, the kind that says “free me of my shackles, I need none of them”. But, sadly, I am not a nudist at heart and never have been. Well… there was this one time…

Honeymoon pic. Yep, nekkid under the hat :)
When my husband and I went on our honeymoon (obviously back in the “young bod” years), we found ourselves on a topless beach. I was intrigued by the idea of nude sunbathing. But I was also wracked with nerves at the idea of taking anything off. Finally, though (okay, with some prodding from my new hubby), I decided to go for it. It was exhilarating, no question, to have the nips out in the fresh ocean breeze. My husband jokes that I went from, “Please, no, I can’t possibly take it off,” to “Weeeee, let’s play topless beach-ball!”

Did I find my calling? Um, no. As much as I loved it, it’s not like it ever happened again. But now that I’m older and the older parts are showing? I don’t know. Would it be less likely… or more??? After all, I care less now about what people think. And I also think I’ve accepted the aging process with some amount of grace. But the truth is, maybe I’m just not a nudist at heart.

Should we be hiding our lumps, or showing them off?

Deb: Ahhhh, Hart, you are my HERO! I have always wanted to be that person. Free as the birds, age of Aquarius, flappin’ in the wind kind of gal. But alas and alack, I am clothed. Fully clothed. Don’t even like to go barefoot. Very similar to Barb in that way. And funnily enough I went topless on the island of Santorini on my honeymoon too. Well to be honest, it was the first honeymoon, first husband––does that count?  And... I have the pictures to prove it. I won’t lie to you. I had a kick-ass body from the age of ten (yeah, ten, sadly, too too young) to the age of 52.

I remember the day it all ended.  It was a February day, a little overcast and breezy, high of minus two, when the bod years died. One brief glance in the mirror and I knew the bod years were history.  But even in the day, the “days of the bod”, couldn’t do the bare naked. I even get out of the shower and cover up when I am alone in the bathroom, for crying out loud! Don’t know why exactly, but I suspect it had something to do with having a woman’s body at such a young age. I spent many early years trying to hide it and cover it up. Hence... I guess... the covering up.

You work it, girl. God invented the body, we invented the clothes. xo

Hart Johnson (aka:  Alyse Carlson and The Watery Tart) is a super-secret social scientist by day. At night, Hart writes suspense, YA and adult mainstream books from her bath tub.  She is currently writing book 9 (the second as Alyse Carlson). Alyse writes Cozy Mysteries for Berkeley Prime Crime––a series to make its first public appearance in June 2012.  The Watery Tart is responsible for most mischief you will ever encounter.  She's incorrigible.

Hart can be found at her blog Confessions of a Watery Tart, at the blog of her Writer's Group Burrowers, Books and Balderdash or at the Burrow website.


  1. Don't worry ladies - if you were rich and could afford a personal trainer, you'd look as good as some of those aging movie stars. And really, after a while, they don't look good either!

  2. Barbara and Deb-Man--I totally imagined you two had a naked side! Good for you honeymooning naked! Nothing better than skinny dipping, really...

    Deb--totally envy that life with a great body thing... I've never had one... boobs too small, butt too big... alas... I guess though, had I been so blessed, the trouble I might have gotten myself into would have been vastly magnified.

    Alex-I just need TIME for that! I love to work out. It is fitting it into my schedule... oh and... erm... the willpower to control intake would help a lot...

  3. Alex, sadly I think personal trainers can only get the middle-aged bod so hot (although well worth the exercise for health). I think some of those stars resort to starvation techniques -- and that's when it gets scary (scary-looking too). In the end, it's all in the 'tude.

  4. I just don't seem to have nudism in me, but I totally agree with you, Hart, on aging gracefully. Makeup in wrinkles isn't cute and neither is having clothes or hairstyles that don't match our maturity. Nothing wrong with getting older! :)

  5. I was a nudist toddler too, but not much after that. In fact, in my twenties and thirties i had a rather large chest for a small girl (32D at 5'3') and was mostly embarrassed by it (after nursing it only got larger (34DD) and several years ago I got a reduction and was thrilled for it!. At any rate, in my 20's went on vacation to Greece (yes, Santorini too!) and decided to grin and bare it all. Took off the top and selfconsciously walked down to the water (arms wrapped to chest) and swam out into the ocean with my girlfriend and sat on a sand bar with all the other tourists, my rather large breasts floating gracefully under the water line. Ten minutes later, I came out screaming, my ass having been stung my anemones. Picture this, shy usually-not-naked girl running up the Grecian hillsides, clutching her welty ass, her 32D boobs swinging wildly in the wind. My girlfriend still laughs about it today. And no there is no videotape. :)

    Great three way girls! Love.

  6. This was great you guys- thanks to all of your for sharing! In france, its acceptable to go topless. I think I did it once. But then quickly put my top back on when my hubby warned me my inlaws would be arriving...

  7. Gae! Soooo funny!! Too bad there's no video ;)

    Katie, yeah, I guess it doesn't matter what the "community rules" are, we kinda have our own, right?

  8. Elizabeth-I probably won't age GRACEFULLY, but I aim for reasonable eccentricity instead of clining to youth!

    Gae-ohmygawd--TOO FUNNY! (erm... now that it's over)

    Katie-I will give you in-laws for a reason you might cover up... My father-in-law is in his eighties and has always merited the only modesty I could muster.

  9. I say the more clothes the better. I mean I am fine walking around with like a tank top on and a skirt and bare footed,but that's all.I would never ever walk around just bare,not at all. I have some clothes on,I always have.

  10. Santorini for me too. We found a cave and had a naked few hours and even did the deed. Yes, in the cave but not really visible unless someone was walking very close to the caves. Also, one naked breast day at a nudity optional beach in Northern California. My best body was in my teens and I didn't appreciate then. All downhill from there. Great interview.

  11. Oh, come on Lyndsie... you can't KNOW until you try, ne? I dare you!

    Madgew- NICE! Naked spelunking! You get bonus points for that!

  12. I love how this is touching the inner nudie (or not) in all of us. Funny how it's all in our minds right? After all, Adam and Eve were mortified by their clothes. Or maybe it was just the ill fit of the fig leaves. If they had in-laws, they would have been taking the leaves off for modesty's sake.

  13. Trust me,I don't want to see my self bare ,I like my clothes,the closest thing I have come too is when I get a message at the spa and I have to be half bare,that's it then I am still kinda covered,maby on day I'll just go for it but not until I'm in the comfort of my own home.

  14. Deb, you're so right. I have friends who have ALWAYS been modest... prefer being covered (in fact i have a daughter like that) I wonder if it is largely about tactile preferences, too--I LOVE water, air and sun on my skin... the sensation is just nice. But others might not like that as much as a soft cotton. There IS the cultural piece--what we grow up with, though both my parents were modest (though I think my dad only was because of how he was raised--7 Day Adventist... he woulda been a nudist otherwise... and my SON definitely will) But I do figure we were ALL born naked.

    Lyndsie, I'm okay with home-grown nudism if that is where your comfort is! And honestly... the naked thing is more attitude for me than practice, in this life stage. I spend what time I can, but there are only so many places, and in certain companies, that it's really feasible.

  15. My friend was home visiting her folks one weekend and had gone to the basement to use the shower. Her dad was in his eighties and when she came naked out of the bathroom, there he was ... wanting to have a conversation. He talked to her as if her standing there naked was perfectly normal, while she stood there, incredulous, thinking, "Dad!"
    I told her his eyesight was likely such that he didn't realize she wasn't wearing anything.
    Still, she was unnerved. Wouldn't you be?

  16. I shot up to over 5'8" when I was 10 years old and my upper half never quite caught up, so as a rather Amazonian, small-chested 35-year-old with a tummy I imagine is similar to Hart's, I'll be staying clothed. :( But thanks for another fun interview!

  17. Katie, that is soooo awkward!!! Argh.

    And Erica, that's kinda the story of my own life, so I totally relate.

    Hart, funny how we're "born naked" and yet so many of us have issues with it... Great topic!

  18. It IS a great topic. Goes to the very core of who we are. I have a great naked story actually but rather than laying out here, I think I will blog on it. So funny, so embarrassing.

  19. Katie-oh, that makes me giggle. I wonder whether he's blind as a bat or considerably more open minded than he led her to believe. My best friends (divorced) parents were both always totally comfortable (and not in a weird way). I can imagine they'd react that way, though they are only in their 60s...

    Erica-I didn't know you were tall! But yes... I'm a classic pear. My tummy was flat pre-kids (like unusually flat considering the size of my butt) but post kids and overweight to boot... not so much anymore... (I am 5'11")

    Deb, can't wait to hear your naked story!!!

  20. Thanks girls, that was great. I was a guest blogger on Hart's site - to promote my blog - but also because on my 50th birthday I asked my wife, 5 years younger, if we could go to a nudist resort. I have always been a closet nudist (just at home) and the wife, not at all! However she said yes. I found a top notch 5-star nudist resort in Florida and we went mid-week to avoid the weekend crowd and spent 3 days with no clothes, meals, by the pool, playing tennis,even the disco! it was a blast. Wife spent first 2-3 hours laughing hysterically in the room, wore panties to dinner (clothing optional in some parts of the resort) but wheneer everyone else is nude you feel strange dressed. Now whenever we head to FL she is always the first to suggest we go back.
    Everyone, well 90%, look like we all do in our mid-years, saggy baggy, scars, and as for the octogenarians... well I didn't realize testicals swung that low! Of course there are the few super-model body types in both sexes that make hanging by the pool worth the visit. I highly recommend giving it a try.

  21. Hey there, Mark! Great story!! (can't shake the low-slinging testicles image, though ;) ) Hmmm, still dunno about trying it, but you die-hards sure make it sound liberating.


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