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Older & Wiser

I am looking for an opportunity for self-expression. This blog will be my attempt to express myself about the everyday happenings in my life, my life in general and my comments on the passing scene around me (local, national & world events).

A Week of Nakedness!
Posted:Aug 28, 2019 6:55 am
Last Updated:Aug 9, 2020 7:48 pm

After returning from our road trip, Carl and I had a few days to regroup before our next adventure. Packing was not a huge chore because we were off to attend a week-long CMEN (California Men Enjoying Naturism) event. Even as a little boy, I enjoyed shedding my clothes. In the summertime as a in Iowa I would slip away to secluded spots on the farm to get naked and masturbate as frequently as possible. In the last few years, Carl and I have hiked with a naked hiking group from the Palm Springs area. BUT, I have never had the opportunity to spend an entire week without clothes with three to four hundred other naked men until this week.


Imagine the summer camps you went to in your days without the camp counselors, mandatory activities, and without the clothes. I enjoy the nakedness not so much because I am an exhibitionist or because I am a voyeur (though I am certainly more of the latter than the former), but because when I am without my clothes I lose my self-consciousness. For some of you, I imagine you are thinking you would become more self-conscious, but quite the opposite happens for most people. You are around and you see all sizes and shapes of bodies. You see bodies you admire (or lust after!) and others you are thankful are not yours. Mostly what you see are people just like yourself but who are more open and less judgemental than when wearing clothes. It is a marvelous experience.

For the more puriently minded among us (and we know most of us on OP are like-minded in this regard), yes, there are lots of opportunities for sex encounters. We wore cards around our necks included colored dots, indicating how much physical contact you wanted with others, whether you did not want your photo taken, and whether you were in a monogamous relationship among other things. There were locations where you could go to meet others. The Jiffy Lube cabin was most popular throughout the week and the swimming pool saw lots of close encounters between the men.

It would be wrong to portray the encounter as a week-long sex orgy. It was not. Plenty of sexual encounters were available for those who sought them, but there were many other activities available throughout the days and evenings. The activities were widely diverse: yoga, volleyball, the massage tent, genealogy, with using your smartphone, foreskin restoration, hiking groups, tie-dying t-shirts, and on and on. Carl and I chose to treat the week as an opportunity to relax and meet new people. We did meet and enjoy getting to know many others including two of our cabin mates, a couple from Vienna, Austria. The conversations never stopped from morning to night. The 5 o'clock social hours were great mixers and each had a costume theme. The costumes ranged from none to simple accessories to very creative. It was great fun!

I am sad to be leaving today. I will miss seeing my new friends. I will miss my playtimes in the Jiffy Lube cabin. I will miss the panorama of naked men all around me all day long. But, most of all, I am sad because I will have to put on clothes when I leave. Oh well, there are several naked pool parties in Palm Springs this weekend. It's not all so sad!
Posted:Jul 21, 2019 4:08 pm
Last Updated:Sep 3, 2019 4:13 pm

Carl and I are packing for a month-long road trip. We will pass through at least a dozen states as we make a big circle. First and foremost, we are headed Denver help celebrate our granddaughter's second birthday. On a recent video she said, " Grampa Darl!", a nifty combining of Grampa Carl and Grampa Don. We most certainly are doting Grampas.

From Colorado we'll head Montana for a visit with Carl's sister. Then we'll traverse across the northern tier of states, visiting friends in Minnesota and Michigan. From Michigan we will start circle back as we head Iowa for a gathering of my family. We will attend the Iowa State Fair where my family will be honored along with others have owned farmland in Iowa for 0 years. It is a return my old stomping grounds. I attended the Fair every year for the first 25 years of my life, exhibiting livestock as a 4Her in my years. As an adult I exhibited in the horticulture and heritage classes. It was great fun. I even competed in the State Fair Hog Calling contest. I won the event 5 times!

From Iowa, we will travel across Nebraska, Colorado and Utah to return home to California. If you read this and live along our route, message me. We will make an effort to connect.
Anna Madrigal died today.
Posted:Jun 29, 2019 11:50 am
Last Updated:Jun 29, 2019 6:27 pm

Carl and I watched the last episode of the recent sequel to Tales of the City. If you are not familiar with Armistead Maupin's books or the TV series based on them, I highly recommend you read and watch. On this 50th anniversary of Stonewall, Tales of the City is both entertaining and a social commentary on gay life over the past 50 years. Mrs. Madrigal is the central character and at first look, she and I would appear to have little in common. However, we do have one thing in common. We both had a secret that allowed us to set ourselves apart. You should at least watch the TV series and the most recent season to understand Mrs. Madrigal's secret. My secret, on the other hand, is a common one in the gay community.

I was in the closet for 42 years of my adult life. Like Anna Madrigal, I made a choice and the ramifications of our choices rippled out across our individual lifetimes. I chose to pass, to pass as a straight white male. At the time, it appeared as if I had no choice. Now, I see that I lacked the courage to let people see the authentic me. My choice, like so many others', allowed me to stay above the fray as a privileged individual in society's majority culture. Only after coming out in 2008, have I come to have some understanding of how privileged I was and how little I have understood about the impact of minority status on the lives of openly gay males.

In another sense by remaining in the closet so long, I chose to pass on meaningful involvement in the gay rights movement of the past 50 years and more. I understand the significance of Stonewall but I was not a part of the movement that Stonewall helped to energize. Carl has told me that no matter how old you are when come out, you come out as a . If he is right (and I believe he is), then I'm a twenty something at the moment. And, like the actual twenty somethings of today, I cannot claim to have been on the frontlines of a movement from which I now greatly benefit nor can I truly understand the risks and sacrifices that so many made so that I might enjoy the life that I now do.

Like Anna who died in the last episode of the series, in a sense my old self died when I came out. I have emerged slowly and at times have come to realize, even more slowly the need for my personal activism to help continue and advance the cause of gay rights.

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