Kizz & Tell is a combination of item #17 on my Life List (Develop an erotic fiction web site) and a continuation of the G-spot column I used to write at The Women's Colony. From fantasies to frank discussion I'm just trying to re-create a really great conversation with your friends. I hope you'll join in!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I had my annual mammogram on Tuesday. I know the guidelines have been changed for less frequent visits and I learned today at brunch how that's a good thing. I have mine annually, though, because my mother is a survivor. So far so good. Got the results in the mail yesterday and all is well in the land of the Ta Tas.

This year I was prepared for the technician to carefully center the cake decorations on my nipples. I was also, after a few weeks of doing the rounds of other kinds of check ups and being treated to the absolute scourge of paper gowns, so intensely grateful for the gift of a backless cloth gown that I nearly stole mine as a souvenir. The cloth didn't make the procedure any less awkward, though. Radiologists are methodical for the sake accuracy and mammographers are trained, I'm sure, to be very careful of women's feelings. They don't want anyone to feel as too exposed, I guess. (Little radiological humor, there.) So first you do the horizontal view on the right so you take off the whole right side of the gown. Next horizontal left so on with the right and off with the left. Back to the right for the vertical and then the grand finale of the vertical on the left.

I have pretty small breasts. They're not completely pancake flat but I can go without a bra easily and without pain. I didn't wear one regularly until I was in my 30s and gravity was messing with the way my clothes looked. Now I have a couple I like but I'm still not militant about it. I think the smallness of my cupcakes contributed to the fact that I was a bit of a flasher in my youth. I was never shy about flashing my boobs at people or changing my shirt in front of them. I figured what I had wasn't that exciting anyway and the only way to make it more so was to deploy it strategically, I guess. Whatever my attention-grabbing reasons I honestly never thought it was that big a deal. Still don't.

So I'm standing in that exam room waiting for a perfectly nice woman I've never met before to gently lift my tit tissue onto a plastic slab, to arrange it just so like a plate full of crudite and then squash it like an ill-mannered bug all in the name of health. I am obediently wrangling myself into one side of my blessedly cloth gown and out of the other over and over and I'm wishing I could just take the whole thing off. Would that be so bad?

I guess it would because I didn't do it. Obviously it wouldn't have bothered me but I felt suddenly as though it would be a violation of the technician. Let's lay that out there:

I felt that removing a largely superfluous garment would somehow violate a woman whose chosen profession is to touch, image and protect breasts across the greater Brooklyn area.

I don't get it either. I found myself standing there debating whether I'd be the more talked about patient if I took the thing off or if I continued to slow the process down by missing the armhole while trying to put it back on. Just a few days before I'd had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bloggers, NakedJen, buck naked in a hotel ballroom, with another of my favorite bloggers, Chookooloonks, painting on her body while an art auction and party raged about them. Jen is an advocate of nakedness, she's an advocate of happy body image, she advocates organic food, veganism, pet rescue, and responsible environmental choices among other things. Either she has an enormous business card or it just says, "Advocate of Life." 'Cause she is. Thinking of her posts on healthy body image I wondered what Jen would have done. (Jen's reading here now. Jen, what would you have done?) I came to the conclusion that Jen might not have bothered with the damn backless faux robe in the first place! So I vowed, quite strongly, right there in my mind, to think about not wearing it either. Next time.

Today's conversation isn't so much sexual I guess as bodily. How carefully do you guard your body against viewing? Have you ever flashed or mooned anyone? Cindy went skinny dipping for the first time recently and I found myself deeply envious because skinny dipping feels so fantastic and I haven't been in ages! When was the last time you did that? My only concern with a nude beach would be the time of the month and my propensity for sunburn. I'd go topless in a hot second, though.

And, part two of the question, I suppose, is, if you keep your body covered, is it your own feelings you want to protect or someone else's?


  1. I've never had a mammogram. Or gone skinny dipping. and mostly I've never had a problem changing clothes in front of people due to being a "theatre person"...but nipples and vag areas are always covered. More than likely though, I would cover up for my own internal issues.

  2. no mammogram, skinny dipping too far in the past and must be done again, soon ... i'm pretty shy about any nudity though unless it's around my own family or girlfriends that i've known forever. otherwise, yup, i cover up. even braless used to be hard for me, despite the mini cupcakes i sport, because i was trained that nipples were scandalous. i've managed to drop that issue at least!

  3. I asked Josie the other day when it was blazing hot outside and I didn't want to put on clothes... "What would happen if I did not?" He told me I would go to jail.
    So mostly I guess I cover my pink parts for fear of returning to the dark place with pubic hair painted into the walls we they issue you orange jumpsuits to wear.
    Otherwise... I'd be all naked all the time.
    Even though I am fat as a wart hog right now... naked is so much more comfortable than trying to wedge my ass into clothes that are rapidly becoming way too small for me.

  4. back when i was 75 lbs lighter, i had no issues whatsoever with nakedness. nowadays, though? mega body issues.

    maybe i should try going naked as an experiment. nakedness...for science!

  5. I used to belly dance, and I had no problem changing with the other dancers. But at a medical exam...which is already so's nice to have the semblance of a covering.

  6. Kizz,
    In a romantic/sexual situation, I am fine with shedding it all. However, I would never undress in front of girlfriends (like in a shopping situation). Way too critical of how I look in front of women!

    On another note. I need help asap! I am going away with someone in a couple of days and he asked me to "surprise" him. I mean, I know all the tricks of the "typical trade" but what could I do that would be surprising? Any tips?
    Devoted Reader

  7. Misti, I find myself amazed that you haven't gone skinny dipping. LIFE LIST!

    Bethany, Nipples Are Scandalous is the best band name I've heard in a long time.

    I am all for nakedness in the name of comfort or science! Just bring a towel if you're going to ride public transportation.

    Anonymous, how about you just lie back and think of England? I bet he'd be pretty surprised by that! In all seriousness, though, I think I'm going to put this out as a post tomorrow morning and see if we can get you some inspiration. How's that?

  8. no public transportation for me, but i AM going camping at an all-women event in September. maybe i'll go topless for once.

  9. To answer your question, at my last mammogram, I politely asked the technician (I was in UTAH!?!?) if she would mind if we just did away with the gown?! She said if I was comfortable, she was comfortable. So away it went. Because the whole put on/put off is such a bother and a waste of everyone's time (as you know).

    Likewise, I had an ultrasound recently and asked if we could just skip the gown. Again, not a problem with that particular technician.

    I ask. Politely. If they want me to wear it, I wear it.

    This is the most important bit of information about my "nakedness" that I can share. I do not want to make others uncomfortable. That is never my intention. I also, very carefully, make sure (like at the BLOGHER event) that small children will not be somehow exposed because while I don't have an issue with them seeing my body, I know that parents all have their own choices to make for their own kids and I want to respect and honor those choices.

    I believe, as you know, that all bodies, every single one, is BEAUTIFUL and absolutely should be CELEBRATED. That the naked body is not a sexual thing unless we decide it should be sexual, but that it is just that: a naked body. We all have one. And they're all unique and lovely and we really should embrace the body we have because it is the only one we have. Love it.

    Self-hate only perpetuates into additional dislike for other things in this world. The more we can learn to truly love ourselves, the more we can love one another and the more we can love one another the better this whole world will be.

    Phew. Sorry. That was an entire novel.

    Take off the gown. If you're comfortable. And celebrate you. xox

  10. No apologies necessary. That's exactly what I wanted to know!