The penis is such a tough little guy. Had no idea it gets so much abuse during cardio. But for all it’s worth, it definitely hangs in there!
The groin, however, much different story. Upright cardio without the right type of support can be… painful.
The penis is such a tough little guy. Had no idea it gets so much abuse during cardio. But for all it’s worth, it definitely hangs in there!
The groin, however, much different story. Upright cardio without the right type of support can be… painful.
I love the way my back muscles move when I’m doing chest dips.
They say that the only path to a fantastic booty is deep squats.
So I’m giving them a try.
If you don’t go deep, you are cheating yourself.
As much fun as naked working out can be, shoes are HIGHLY recommended for squats. There are instances when clothing is too useful to be discarded:
The awkward and fun part: if you’re squatting right, somebody standing behind you should be able to see your butt cheeks open up if you were naked:
The best part of an excellent leg day: if you do it right, you’ll have difficulty walking for the rest of the day. And stairs are especially hazardous.
Again, a good squat should look like, you are squatting.
Squats are just like most of life. You get out of them what you put into them, in this case the deeper you squat, the deeper the booty gains.
If you saw me nude, would you see me for my naked vulnerability or my nude power?
We wear clothes to protect us. Clothing protects us from common hazards that are normally transparent to us because we don’t know a public existence absent from clothing… it protects us from weather elements, especially from cold and wetness. It shields our skin from injurious contact against sharp or blunt objects. It has the utility of offering storage for necessary everyday items such as phones, wallets and keys.
But what about the protection that clothing offers us from the benefits of what many of us fear the most, being seen naked? Or better yet, the false sense of protection that clothing may offer, because it prevents us from confronting the circumstances of our natural existence?
What if you felt shame being seen naked, but that this shame didn’t stop you from being seen in your nudity?
What if I felt my strongest when I’m allowed to be nude, and seen nude, because the reality where I’m open with my nakedness is also the reality I’m not using clothes to hide the insecurities of my nude body from you?
When you see my nude body, do you see me for all of the artificial things that make me insecure about it, from my under-developed chest, my flabby stomach and yes… my debatable small penis, or do you look past the obvious artificial realities and see me for what really matters, especially in a physical contest, such as my strong shoulders, arms and legs? What about my nude body draws your attention first and beyond?
What if the insecurities of my nude body influenced me to pay more attention to it, to train more, eat healthier and take better care of my body?
Embracing your nude vulnerability doesn’t mean never embracing the “unflattering” sides of it. As I squat to rebuild the core of my leg strength and glutes, naked, all of my strength and vulnerability are juxtaposed:
My hamstrings strain under weight that exceeds my own body weight by more than fifty pounds. The same strain tenses my glute muscles that yes, are very hairy. I’m sweaty. My testicles, the origin of my male definition, are right out there to between my legs to be seen and judged.
Under the strain that makes my lower body stronger against the physical contests it trains to conquer, the last sacred, most raw secrets of my nakedness become revealed:
While I don’t usually go out of my way like this to show it, people who’ve gone out of their way to see me at the right time angle have seen my anus, the most private area of my body that I occasionally have had to protect from unwanted sexual advances. Although I don’t go out of my way to find instances to do this, I don’t cover myself when I need to bend over at a nudist resort, in a locker room or while using an open shower, even when I notice people trying to inconspicuously position themselves to view my bare behind.
When you look at my bare body’s most sacred vulnerable secrets, do you see your power in viewing all that I have from a protected (clothed) perspective, or do you instead see my own raw power, not only in my physical strength but my emotional as well, being unafraid to hide my most vulnerable naked pieces from you behind clothing?
Did you look at my naked body and judge me for my insufficient naked bits, or did you see the strength that empowers me to allow them to be see the light of day?
If you didn’t see how I’m empowered by my nakedness, maybe you should take another look:
I posted an entry about my Naked Accountability: Body Development Goals two years ago talking about what direction I wanted to take my body in through exercise. To summarize a lot of words, it came down to this:
I never gave an update so here’s a progress report: two years later, the results are mixed. I’m bigger, significantly stronger, and more muscular than I was when I posted about this journey. I’m also fatter and I don’t think I’m as toned, a symptom of age+diet.
I am bigger, which is both good and bad. I was 210 lbs, and now I’m 218 lbs, however that’s down about 11 lbs from where I was two months ago before I started adding alternate cardio to help accelerate unwanted weight (fat loss). I’ve discovered that, of all things, walking seems to be the best form of cardio to lose weight, just like so many experts have been screaming about. It’s low intensity, which not only means that it’s really easy to do, but more importantly, it means that the type of calories you burn are exclusively in the fat burn range. For me, this has given me the most rapid drop in weight of any workout regimen I’ve ever tried-just walking.
I’m hoping to get down to 200 lbs, but until I see how I look at that weight, I’m not sure I’d want to be any smaller. There’s still a good reason to look “big”.
I use the Skulpt machine and app to track my actual stats, especially since appearances can be misleading, as well as a FitBit to track my daily exercise and calorie burn.
One thing is for sure, I’m way, way stronger than I was in 2017. I’ve made significant gains in all of my weightlifting abilities, starting first with bench press:
This is 250 lbs, a normal workout weight for me. I’m up to 315 pounds maximum, a 40 pound gain in two years, which I don’t think is any small feat for a male approaching their forties.
My bench press requirements for a gym puts me in a situation that’s arguably elite, which is actually more bad than it is good because it restricts what gyms I can use. Although I did a barbell bench press for this picture series, I normally workout with dumbbells because they are much better for producing gains, and my workout STARTS with 120-lb dumbbells, a weight many gyms don’t carry, and in my recent experience is the heaviest weight they carry IF they carry dumbbells over 100 lbs. The lowest I can go before lifting doesn’t make sense anymore is 110. Planet Fitness gyms are totally out for me.
What’s frustrating/disappointing to me is that my chest size and toning don’t keep up with my strength gains. For as much power as I’ve developed, my pecs are nothing like where I would imagine they’d be.
My app agrees helps shed some light on this since, while my performance reflects the gains I’m chasing, my numbers tell a different story. As far as muscle/fat content goes, my the lack of seeing what I want visually is backed up by an muscle content that is “good” but also a fat content that’s still “fair”:
Again, here I am a way stronger person than when I started this journey, much the same story as with my chest, except that I actually have arms whose size match the strength I’ve developed. I’ve never done a max lift attempt to see what my bicep strength is, but I routinely do 70 lb bicep curls. I also get the most comments/compliments about my bicep size. Even though we use our bench press strength as the default for measuring weightlifting strength, of all muscle groups to develop sheer power in, I think that the biceps are the most important and useful area to develop strength in because bicep strength is what enables you to pick up heavier things.
Bicep strength is also behind what enables you to hit someone harder, when the need arises.
But just like with my chest, the bicep numbers are mixed, in fact I apparently have fatty bicep in addition to having large, muscular arms:
My back is definitely one of those “under construction” areas. I didn’t even start routinely working on my back until this year.
But my strength and definition are coming along. My lower back flab is retreating a bit.
My traps, however, are DEFINITELY in. I realized this a few weeks ago when I was getting a massage and the therapist was working on that area, and asked me (in a way that a person asks a question they already know the answer to) if I work out. I asked her if she would believe me if I said I didn’t, and she said politely “no”.
I have a few pictures for my Part Two about my lower body progress that REALLY show where my traps are right now.
Officially though, my back overall is definitely in the “we’re getting there” category.
But, like I said, we are “getting there”.
My abs are by far the weak area of my body. Behold:
Admittedly, even though I talked about this two years ago, I’m very late to the party starting to work on my abs. I’ve recently re-kickstarted incorporating routine ab work into my lifting, that, along with losing some weight through light cardio, has helped my stomach fat go down since Christmas, even though my muscle content hasn’t budged.
My abs goal isn’t really to have a six pack, I just want to have a flat stomach. One that isn’t so round that it takes away from my overall appearance or gives me that “chubby” look if I’m wearing the wrong clothes. I also want my waist to look slimmer so that my butt is more accentuated… a great friend pointed out that it’s not that my butt has lost volume, it’s that the other proportions growing around it make it look smaller against the rest of my frame.
So there you have it, my body muscle/fat ratio is 44% muscle to 27% fat. While I don’t know what my body muscle content was in 2017, my body fat was only 24%. So just like with everything else that has gone up over time-my muscle size, strength and overall weight, my body fat has risen too. Hopefully with this new alternate cardio strategy, I’ll keep dropping body fat and will have a different story to update in a couple of months.
Part two of the Naked Accountability Progress Report will update on my lower body: legs and butt.
Being a black city kid, I had never been fishing and especially not boating before, and my girlfriend’s father acted so undignified when he found out about my circumstances that he seemed to challenge whether or not I was fit to call myself an American. I had had enough beers and jokes with the man to understand that deep down inside of him, while he wouldn’t harbor any genuine animosity against me over this, that he legitimately found it appalling that a successful, educated man, well-traveled man had been neither on a boat nor done something as simple as fishing. As this happened on the 4th of July weekend, we both had a string of days off, presenting a perfect opportunity to… immediately rectify what he seemed to think was some sort of a disorder. We would set sail promptly at the crack of dawn the next day.
Getting up at 5 the next day was painful… I had what would only be the start of the regrets I would earn that day trying to get out of bed at 4:45 a.m., less than six hours after going to sleep the night before. But in the background, I knew that Bill was likely to be my father-in-law; I had already bought the ring, and was waiting for the right time to ask for his permission to marry his daughter.
I picked Bill up at 5:45 just as we agreed; we made it to the dock shortly after 6 a.m. and loaded the supplies, which to my surprise also included a copious amount of beer. I was basically a bystander as Bill got the boat undocked and underway in this large lake. To my surprise, the event was surprisingly pleasant, we spent the longest seven-ish hours getting to know each other deeper than I would have ever imagined. I guess the beer helped (especially on his part-I lost count after his 8th beer, I only had two, knowing that he sure as hell wasn’t going to drive back). I even caught two fish!
Notwithstanding his inebriation, Bill was quite the superior fisherman, having netted six keepers that morning. By the time noon had passed, we decided it was time to head back, besides, Bill wanted to teach me how to gut and skin a fish, which I think was a test in retrospect, since only a sissy would get grossed out by fish guts, right?
I immediately got grossed out. The smell of multiple fish was already nauseating enough, but slicing and spilling fish guts nearly pushed me over the edge of vomiting, but enough for Bill to easily tell how bad of a time I was having. He was totally laughing his ass off, he had already mentioned on the water that “only sissies can’t handle dead fish”, and I was obviously having too much of a hard time with the dead fish to be able to declare myself as able to “handle it”. He ended up gutting and skinning the fish almost completely by himself, in his drunken humor the whole time, with me as a captive audience because the awkwardness of the situation denied me a graceful exit. That’s when the REAL awkwardness started.
“Son, let me ask you something” Bill said, in an uncharacteristically fatherly, somber voice that betrayed his normally boisterous self. I nodded in acknowledgement, choosing to let my body language do the talking for that instance. He had NEVER called me son before, so I knew something big was coming. He asked, no… he stated with irrational confidence “Look, Glenn… I know that you want to marry my daughter.” In retrospect after knowing him through ten years of marriage, I realize that he was merely fishing, but that did not occur to my 24 y/o self… again, letting my body language do the talking for me, I nodded in acknowledgement. But this act forfeited my ability to formally ask for Bill’s permission, which I had planned to, but only after figuring out the right circumstances. Now that Bill had deprived me of the opportunity to seek his blessing on my terms. I knew I was trapped into doing whatever it took to earn his affirmation to marry his daughter.
This is how the conversation went, as best as I can paraphrase it from memory: “Look, Glenn. It’s simple. I know that you love my daughter with your whole heart. And she loves you. You have job and a college education, you’ll never be poor. I’ve been poor before. You’re a big guy, nobody’s gonna fuck with her because they don’t want to fuck with you. You’re a good man. I’m not stupid, and I know that you make more money than I do, so you can definitely provide for her. At least what she needs to survive. But I don’t want my daughter to merely survive in her MARRIAGE, I want her to thrive. I need to know that you can provide for her… every… need.”
This is when the situation evolved from being terrifying to being weird and terrifying. What the fuck was he talking about now, her “ever” need? I never told him how much money I make in my job, but he was right to believe that I could provide for her needs. I didn’t have a choice but to take the bait and ask “Sir, I’m not understanding… what do you mean by her ‘every’ need?”
Bill chuckled, as though he anticipated the question. “I think you know what I mean, son.” I honestly didn’t, but I had suspicions that I was desperately hoping he would not want to confirm. “Son, you see… a marriage doesn’t last just on being provided for.” Again, I let my non-verbal communication speak for me through the awkwardness, acknowledging his assertion through a nod. His non-verbal communication, via a frustrated facial expression, that he did not accept my answer, which he promptly followed with more-direct verbal communication “Do you understand what I’m saying to you, son?”
This time, I shook my head, then supplemented my non-verbal communication with a direct verbal answer that unintentionally indicated my nervousness: “No sir, I really don’t.”
Bill took a sigh, not one that indicated he was remotely uncomfortable with what he was going to say next, but that he was frustrated with the fact that I either wasn’t picking up the not-so-subtle hints, or that I was refusing to acknowledge them for what they were…. “Son, and I shouldn’t have to tell you this ever again… a husband needs to provide for a wife, not just in the physical sense, but in the personal sense too, for a marriage to work. If that’s going to happen, you’ve got to be attracted to her and she to you. And you have viable equipment.”
For a moment, I was overcome by an overwhelming-in fact overpowering-sense of masculinity. I wasn’t sure if he was questioning my masculinity or manhood, but for an instant I refused to be disrespected like this. I was ready for war:
“Sir, with all due respect, I don’t know what you’re talking about or what you’re getting at, but you have no right to even be asking me these questions. This is none of your business. And to be honest, it’s kind of creepy that you’re even going here.”
I was proud of myself for standing my ground, but Bill was unfazed. His body language didn’t even register a reaction to the strongest retort I could provide, but his verbal language did: “Son, ten minutes ago, I saw you almost throw up over dead fish guts, so you think I’m going to accept you as a man just because you talk tough?”
Oh shit, checkmate.
“Listen buddy, you don’t have to show me how much of a man you are. It’ll just be… easier for you if you do. I just want to see that you have what it takes to stay in this family.”
At that point, I sensed three choices with three outcomes, only one of which remotely seemed to match a reality that I wanted to be a part of: I could refuse and keep it to myself (and not seek his permission, with her not understanding why), refuse and tell my girlfriend (and not seek his permission, with a forever cloud over our marriage), or just do what I would normally do in a locker room around numerous casual observers and drop trou, and life would go on. And then, he egged me on, “Let’s see what you’ve got, son. I want to see what’s going to make my grandchildren.”
With no more words, I unzipped my pants and pulled down my underwear before his gaze:
When I pulled my pants and underwear down to expose my family jewel’s at Bill’s command, his facial expression briefly betrayed his mood, then he quickly recovered and calmly said “Nicely done, Son.” As awkward as I felt being essentially forced to suddenly strip before another man, the sense of approval he gave upon briefly examining my genitals was actually welcome.
“You’re cut man, I’m surprised. I didn’t think most black guys did that.” He then moved in for an even closer look, making no secret that he was taking in every of … detail of my male anatomy.
He spent so much time-about twenty seconds or so-looking around at my genitals from all different angles, that I thought he was going to reach out and grab them to move them around. My feelings of violation started to be seem eerily familiar, and I realized the emotions were familiar because the strip search experience I had experienced barely a year prior to this.
I had now had my trou dropped for over a minute. Bill, probably as a mixture of booze, a sense of power, and just amusement, somehow did not get bored being at eye level with my family jewels… the whole thing began to seem as though he owned them as “his” family jewels. After an intense silence, he finally commented “Do you shave your crotch son, or do you just not grow much man’s hair there?” he inquired, motioning to my upper crotch area. Feeling a need to salvage the tatters of my dignity, I answered “I trim/shave occasionally.” “Ok” he answered, seemingly satisfied that I could really grow pubic hair if I elected to.
“But I need to see you get hard, son. I want to make sure you can actually get it up.”
Of course, easier said than done. “Excuse me?” I answered, undignified as I was confused. His body language expressed irritation through his facial expression, so I clarified “I’m not gay. I don’t just get hard in front of men.” Again, he was too in charge to be slowed down by excuses, “Well son, you better do whatever you have to do to get it up. You’re too young to be having problems getting a boner if you really want one.” So damn it, my future father-in-law would have to become the second man (after my own father, of course), to see my bare erection, so I stroked it in his presence to get it going:
Turned out that I could only get it “mostly” erect because of the circumstances, but it was enough to get the point across. Bill was watching the whole time, facial expression unfazed. He didn’t particularly seem impressed or unimpressed as I made myself come to attention:
He finally nodded in approval, which seemed like a non-verbal cue that I had “passed the family test” to make me worthy enough to be in the club. He clarified “You’re kind of short son, I thought black dudes all had big dicks! But you are definitely thick down there… anyway you’ve got enough going on to make me think I’ll get my grandkids.” I tried hard not to visibly be caught breathing my sigh of relief when his next inquisition deprived me of the opportunity for relief: “Exactly how big ARE you?”
“Five and a quarter, sir” I answered in audible frustration and embarrassment at the question. It wasn’t an appropriate question, sure, but here I was, in front of my girlfriend’s father with my pants down and penis out… we both knew that I had long forfeited my standing to stop inappropriate inquiries. And maybe I wouldn’t have been here if I hadn’t thrown up over fish guts.
His response, seemingly resigned to fate, uttered “Ok, that’ll do.”
“Ok son, turn around and let me see the rest.” My mental reaction was “What the in the living FUCK?! HELL NO!!!”, but my mental reaction lagged my body language, as my body turned itself to present my bare buttocks to his view before my brain could process a reasonable objection:
For as outwardly overly heterosexually masculine as Bill was, his review of my backside seemed to completely betray his masculinity. “Son, gotta say, you’ve got a pretty decent ass, and nice legs. I can tell that you work out and keep yourself healthy. You’re going to live a long time.”
“Thank you sir” I said in a deliberately firm, monotone voice, with emphasis on the word “sir,” attempting to acknowledge his statement but also express my sense that this was going too far. After all, he had already satisfied his desire to see where his grandchildren would originate by reviewing my penis, which I had just forced to erection at his demand. However, as always, just one more thing, and he was as firm as he was unpleasant with making this last demand:
“Bend over and spread your ass cheeks. I want to make sure you don’t got no STD’s or hemorrhoids back there.” I sensed he already knew that this would make me extremely uncomfortable which was why he justified his demand up front instead of waiting for my predictable resistance. This time, I sighed audibly, as an unmistakable symptom of my supreme irritation, as well as my frustration that the deeper I let this go, the more I dug myself into a situation I couldn’t get myself out of. Since I had gotten myself here, there didn’t seem much I could do to get myself out of here that I shouldn’t have done much earlier. Like not throw up over the dead fish guts. Or taken my clothes off just because somebody not-in-charge of me told me to. Having forfeited any spirit to resist, I bent over for Bill, but unlike in my strip search a year earlier, when I bent over for the officer but tried not to notice what he was doing, I did look underneath myself and watch my future father-in-law gazing at my bare buttocks:
I watched him look me over. All of me. He even moved in closer to expect my perineal area and the backside of my scrotum, as though he really was examining me for STDs in areas that even my girlfriend would not have discovered. I had none, and I knew it, but I knew that he didn’t. From his continued lingering, I knew that he wasn’t satisfied enough for the experience to be over. This fucker was waiting, patiently, for me to actually spread my ass cheeks. This had definitely turned into a power trip for him, but unfortunately for me, I had submitted to his power trip long before I had realized it. I just didn’t realize that part of his power trip would include a visual review of my anus, and to this day, I’m not sure he did either before he got drunk with power. But alas, I did spread my butt cheeks:
For being outsized in displaying his heterosexuality, he had no problem looking at my bare anus, and letting me know he was looking right at it. Again, he lingered for many more seconds than what were necessary before he commented, seemingly astonished “Dude, you have a pink asshole. I didn’t realize that black assholes were kind of pink. I’ve never actually seen one before.” I think he realized how incredibly racist that sounded, which was almost certainly a combination of him being drunk both with booze and power, so he quickly tried to cover it up with “You’re clean, you’re good son. Go ahead and get dressed. You’re good”.
I couldn’t get my clothes on fast enough, but little did I know that I was about to endure the most frightening part of the entire experience as he suddenly lunged at me as I donned my clothes. Still naked below the waste, but now facing him, Bill yanked me by the left bicep (which then was half the size it is now-he’d never be able to reach his hand around it today) so hard that I dropped my pants and underwear again, pulled me so closely to his face that I could smell the booze coming off his breath, and uttered in what seemed to be the deepest, darkest voice: “If you EVER hurt my daughter… I’ll kill you. Believe it” After palpating my unadulterated terror through his grip on my left bicep, he seemed satisfied that he had gotten his point across, and released me with the unspoken, implied command to finish dressing.
He offered me a couple of beers to win my reassurance; I had the first one to appease him, but found a reason to decline the second and subsequent ones because I obviously wanted to leave. It was well after 3 p.m. by that point, and I would normally have wanted to leave anyway had it not been for the impromptu strip-search.
I confided the experience to a few friends before telling my girlfriend about it. She was appalled and supportive, but she also explained something that really helped me not only get over the event, but laugh about it in retrospect: he was repeating a sort-of “Come to Jesus” event that he had experienced when asking his wife’s late father for his permission to marry my future mother in-law. Apparently, back in the rural south and WAY back in the day, his own future FIL was so old-fashioned that he read my future FIL the riot-act while completely naked. From his perspective, him completely stripping me naked of my clothes and my dignity was more about shaking me to my core in fear of him than a serious desire to be abusive. That knowledge almost made the whole experience harmless. Bill doesn’t know that I know, though.
I never did ask Bill his permission… I felt that I had earned it since I stuck around after that experience.
To this day, Bill and I get along ok. I won’t say great, because I wouldn’t go so far as to call us friends, but he keeps his distance enough to avoid being an obstacle in my marriage to his daughter, but he stays involved enough to be there when (not if) he’s needed, especially for when it comes to helping with his grandson. He’s definitely family, but not my friend, even though he knows some of my private secrets, well… at least what my secrets look like.
In any case, I’m glad that society has changed enough that this type of… personal vetting of prospective in-laws… wouldn’t be tolerable if the recipient didn’t tolerate it.
It was a summer pool party; fun, delicious barbecue, friends, family, beer and other spirits paint the back drop. So does that “one” family member every family has, and true to form, they’ve been stirring the pot since the day started. You expected this, in fact, it was against your best judgment to invite them in the first place, but the obvious slap-in-the-face of excluding them was a bridge too far, besides, they probably would have gotten wind of the gathering and shown up uninvited anyway-then made noise about them not being invited.
The hours go by and so do the drinks. That “one” has been reliably acting up, but this time, it’s unusually obnoxious, even for them. It’s so obnoxious that either it’s exceptionally outrageous, or you’ve had too much to drink to tolerate an otherwise expected level of obnoxiousness from this family member; either way, it’s time for them to leave the scene, and you’ve taken it upon yourself to ensure their departure. Problem is that not only are they not ready to leave, they are near murderously offended at your demand that they do so. You’re insistent, after all, it’s YOUR party and your (rented) property, so after an eternity of too much nonsense, you elect to physically eject that individual you were reluctant to invite in the first place.
A physical struggle ensues, and it draws into the street, along with all of your party goers. Punches are traded, enough to ensure everyone knows that you both are serious about standing your ground, but not enough to actually injure the opponent to sufficiently make the point. Somebody-and you’ll never find who-calls the police, and they a-stereotypically appear promptly.
A no-nonsense officer determines that you are drunk in public-after all, you’ve been drinking all day long, and now that your fight has spilled into the streets, you happen to actually be intoxicated in public. Furthermore, as the story goes, you have assaulted a family member in a manner that’s not obvious self-defense. The officer, not only knowing that you are drunk in public, but suspecting that you may have also committed domestic violence, places you in handcuffs ostensibly “for their own safety”, which seems like subterfuge for “you’re under arrest”. Moments later, you are informed that you indeed are under arrest and are taken downtown. You suspect that if you weren’t black that you’d still be at home with some kind of warning, but what you think happens to make no difference as you ride involuntarily to the officer’s chosen destination-in your case today, the county jail. You were bigger than the officer so you could have resisted a bit, but you wisely chose not to, because you know that you’d be taking the same ride to the same place where you are now, just in more broken pieces and tatters than what you are in now.
It’s not your first time in handcuffs or even being arrested-years ago, you managed to briefly see the inside of a jail when college campus police discovered you passed-out drunk on the university campus park bench-turned out that you happened to be precisely six months shy of your 21st birthday-but it’s not the same jail, and as enough time and hydration passes for you to start sobering up physically, you begin to experience the sober reality that this jail experience is about to be nothing close to the same experience you partially remembered a few years ago at 20.
It’s been determined that you will remain incarcerated until you make a $1,000 bail. You realize that while this isn’t necessarily a hard bail to post, it’s not one that you can post immediately, which means that you’ll remain in custody of the police for at least some time-enough to be formally booked into the jail, which means-Oh shit! There’s a strip search part coming!
An officer calls out the title “Inmate” and then your last name… it’s a bit of a shell shock to you as you’ve never been addressed by name as an inmate before… and says “Follow me please, sir.” You are first photographed-it’s a booking photo that will be forever attached to your name, and the press may even publish it along with your alleged crimes. Even if you are eventually exonerated or your case is dismissed, you’re sober enough to realize that this mugshot will live forever in the bowels of the press. You choose not to smile, thinking of all of the other smiling mugshots you’ve seen, mocked and have wondered “What in the fuck were they thinking about when they posed for this mugshot?”
The officer leads you away from the booking area down a hall and around a corner with a door that closes behind you, an area obviously meant to provide an upgraded level of privacy from the central booking area. You witness the officer who took your photographs donning latex gloves as he points you to stand in the middle of the walled-off concrete dead-end. You realize that this is the place where you will surrender your dignity.
The officer asks… no… he calmly directs you, in a manner of speech that seems to assume that you expect through previous experience what’s about to happen, to start removing your clothes and hand each item to him as you undress. You’re sober enough to realize that there’s no beating or escaping this, and the sooner that you surrender your clothing and… your dignity, the sooner that you will get some of it back, at least in terms of clothing.
First, you go for your watch, but thanks to the adrenaline and anxiety of what happened in the street and what’s to come, only now do you realize that you didn’t enter the jail with it, it must have been ripped off during your struggle with the dickhead that got you here. It’s an expensive watch, and you hope that your girlfriend or one of your friends or family was clever enough to recover it after you were removed from the scene.
Luckily for you, since it was summer, you weren’t wearing much clothing to begin with, so this process can go as quickly as you allow it to go, since you weren’t arrested wearing excess clothing. You surrender your sandals, since that’s the most obvious clothing item to remove first, followed by your shorts. You then realize that it was probably silly to remove your shorts before your shirt, but the anxiety of the experience deprived you of the thought process of how to best logically surrender your dignity.
Turns out that it’s still not too late to surrender your shirt, leaving you down to your last bastion of dignity, your underwear. If nothing else, you appreciate that at least you wore a decent pair to briefly appear in before the jailer, so you can be slightly relieved that he’s not mentally making fun of you for wearing the tighty whities you would have been caught in had the arrest happened a day before:
You’ve taken off every bit of clothing that counts as not being naked. While you know that removing your underwear is the last piece of anything that’s keeping you from being naked before your jailer, you know enough from having watched movies and the Cops TV shows that the act of removing your underwear is by far not the last act you’ll perform to surrender your dignity before this experience ends.
The officer states “Sir, those too”, while pointing at your underwear… in your mind, it’s like he’s pointing right at the middle of your underwear, right where the outline of your dick is, as though that’s what he’s specifically demanding that you reveal. “Sir, THOSE too, NOW.” The inflection of his voice snaps you out of your trance, as you realize that he’s probably not going to “ask” again. You whip off your last bastion of dignity in one swift motion and surrender it to the officer:
You review what remains of your prior sense of dignity on the floor, realizing that your life will never quite be the same after this and the next few seconds to follow
You now stand naked as the day you were born in front of an officer who knows and cares nothing about you besides the fact that you’re an accused criminal and what he sees of your completely naked body. He does not see you as the hard-working man with a stable job that you are. He does not see you as the college educated man that you are. He does not see you as the faithful lover to your girlfriend whom you hope to marry that you are. All he sees of you is nothing more esteemed than a naked criminal whose every body part must be violated (he’ll call it “closely examined”) to forestall the possible introduction of contraband into his facility. As bad as it was that you have been stripped of all of your clothing, you correctly expect that you are not finished being completely stripped of your dignity.
First, the officer briefly reviews your body, head-to-toe, to look for any obvious problems. He runs his hands through your hair to ensure that you’re not smuggling anything there. He makes you open your mouth and stick out your tongue.
He makes you turn from side-to-side to review the same for the side profile of your body. He makes you lift your arms high above your head, and runs his fingers through your armpit hair.
Next, he closely examines your genitals, specifically your penis and scrotum. In your case, the officer can see that you are circumcised, so he did not ask you to retract the foreskin you do not have for examination. You wonder if he’s just so seasoned and professional that he’s just about business, which although you realize is probably true, you also can’t help but wondering if he’s not mentally judging you against the probably thousand other dicks he’s seen for an apparently small flaccid penis size-no fluffing allowed here, unlike in the locker room. He is, after all, spending several seconds looking at every visible detail of your genital region.
If you had known you would be here today, you would have shaved “down there” to at least maintain the appearance of grooming.
If you had known you would be here today, you would have shaved “down there” to at least maintain the appearance of grooming. As if this couldn’t get any more intrusive, he then asks you to “Lift up your penis so I can see around your balls.” You comply but ask yourself “Is this the professional language that they get taught to use in training?”
With the front examination complete, as if this wasn’t humiliating enough, you realize that the “fun” part is here when he tells you to turn around, placing your bare back and buttocks towards his unobstructed view.
It seems that this time, with your back and butt facing the officer, he wastes no time getting into inspecting the private areas… maybe it’s because the back side of the body requires a less complicated overlook? He seemingly immediately commands “Bend over for me and spread your butt cheeks WIDE.” Odd emphasis on the word “WIDE”. Here we go again with the questionable professional language, I guess he’s not used to talking to… inmates… with a college degree, but his direction was nonetheless clear:
You bend over and present what you think is your open butt, subconsciously hoping that he’ll see what he needs, or wants, to see. He wastes no time letting you know that he was serious about what he said the first time, and commands you in no uncertain terms to reach back and spread your butt cheeks open to permit his visual inspection. Professional language or not, he’s serious about doing his job thoroughly. As far as you can immediately recall, this is a horrifying first, as you’ve never, at least intentionally or knowingly, opened your butt cheeks for anyone, not even a lover or a doctor. But first time or not, it’s not your choice, you know it’s going to happen one way or another, and it’s just a matter of how much the process will hurt you, so here it goes…
You reach back and spread your butt cheeks. WIDE, so that he won’t demand it again a third time. Even though you’re not looking, because you really don’t want to see, you can sense two eyeballs examining your the most sacred, unseen private part of your body. The officer is examining you from the area above and behind your testicles, up your butt crack, and his eyes seemingly linger for a near eternity on your exposed anus. He’s making sure that you’re not smuggling anything there… as if you would… but somebody in his experience probably has, which results in you being stuck in this humiliating, revealing and awkward experience.
You’re thinking “This HAS to be over now, right?” You weren’t expecting the officer to follow up with a firm command to “Squat three times for me”.
As you squat down, you notice that he crouches down to get almost at eye level with your again open ass. As if you REALLY had anything else left to hide that he hasn’t already seen wasn’t there.
He tells you to stand up and place your hands on the wall. You thank the heavens that the most humiliating, degrading, in-dignifying experience of your life is over, but as it turns out, there’s actually a little more left to do before you get to re-dress. The officer, after examining your armpit hair, penis, balls, ass crack and asshole, still wants to see, of all things, the bottom of your feet. Again, why bother with an attitude, since that’s partly why you’re here in the first place:
Now that you’ve “Passed” your first strip search examination, you are permitted to dress. You are given jail-issue underwear, shorts, sandals and a jumpsuit-all orange with the exception of the underwear, which itself is white except for some stains previous users have deposited there. This doesn’t matter initially, as you nearly trip over yourself trying to resume a clothed-somewhat dignified status. You get dressed, are issued your other necessary jail items, and are led to your cell dormitory.
You are released the next day after your girlfriend arranged a bail bondsman to pay your bail. Weeks later, you are relieved to hear that all charges against you were dropped because the so-called *victim* you *assaulted*, for as much of an asshole that they have been past and present, refused to cooperate with the police to give a statement against you. You escape the situation with an arrest record but no lasting criminal record, realizing all the while that your dignity still lays alongside of the pile of your clothes on the jail floor.