Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nudie Patoodie

Six months into my new field (like around June of last year), I had made the announcement to my loved ones that I hadn't' seen so many nude men in all of my life.

Several months have gone by and I can now say that I have never seen so many nude women in all my life.

As I have been training to work with so many different people during the past couple of months I have really begun to think of how vulnerable those I work to support are.

Initially when I began seeing the naked bodies of strangers I was understandably a little embarrassed. I mean it wasn't like I was going to have to take my turn being naked in front of them.

Clearly it was not a game of 'If you show me yours, I'll show you mine'.

Now though, several naked bodies later, I am nearly unphased at the nudity I am exposed to.

I will admit I don't think I was really prepared to deal with that part of the job. It's not exactly the reason I went into this field. I mean originally I thought I'd work in a school (and still may some day), not a forum of birthday suits.

I think back to when I was growing up, to a time when my parents said I began to really become aware of my body and being unclothed. I was very young. Since then I have always been quite conservative with how much and what areas of skin I have shown. Sometimes it doesn't have to even be about the skin, it could be just about how much concise my silhouette is.

I've learned a lot seeing people at their most exposed.

I've learned ...

It's not fair that there are people that have to allow strangers to bath them.

The ability to clean your body yourself is a gift.

So much trust is involved, yet more times than not people aren't given a choice whether they trust you or not.

Ultimately you don't get to decide the temperature of the bath water, how well you are cleaned, if the shampoo is rinsed out or how you want your body cleaned.

I've also learned that bodies are bodies. It is rare to find body perfection. The vast majority of humanity are physically imperfect - eat the dam fat-full salad dressing already!

Bums can be triangular.

Most women have boobs that hang (mine don't - and it's not because they are young either...)

I've also learned though that having to be naked doesn't have to be the end of your life, or pride.

A couple of months ago I was talking with a friend about my schedule and that you don't really get 'lunch breaks' or breaks at all. She asked about when I get to go to the bathroom and where.

When I told her that I politely just ask the person I'm supporting if I can use their washroom she was aghast. 'You actually sit on their toilets?!' she asked.

I said 'Their shit is no different than yours or mine'. She nodded her head in embarrassment.

I will admit though there are certain bathrooms you do like to disinfect before you use them. One guy I see has Hep B and you have to. You get the point though.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this little rant. I suppose I just want to dispel the myth that those who are different than you, aren't really all that different than you.

I learned today too that just because someone is used to having most people in their life see them naked doesn't' mean they are always comfortable with it. One person I was seeing today, when asked if I could come in and watch their bathing routine, told my trainer 'no'. The trainer said she never says 'no'.

I was kind of proud of the lady for saying no to me watching. Not because I'm tired of seeing strangers in the buff. But because she used her voice and it was respected.

If her privacy couldn't be at least her voice was.