“The weather was so nice in the week and late on Wednesday afternoon I was unpacking a box of small things after my recent move to this apartment. I’m in one of the high rise apartment buildings in town, with a fantastic view of the city from my balcony. It gets the afternoon sun so I’d been sitting out between unpacking.
There was a knock at the door, which I didn’t expect. I hadn’t had any visitors and the building managers use the buzzer. Visitors can’t get into the building without being buzzed in by the occupant. So this was unusual.
I was only wearing some old shorts so I grabbed a shirt quickly and opened the door to a guy who said he lived down the hall and wanted to introduce himself after seeing me around while I’ve been moving in.
I told him I wasn’t really set up for visitors but he could come in if he liked. Of course he did and he had a bottle of white wine with him, which he gave me, saying it was a welcoming gift. I thought this was really nice of him although I don’t drink much wine. He flipped off his sneakers and the only other thing I particularly noticed apart from the wine was that he wore a toe ring. Anyway I took him through and we sat in the living room and chatted about my boxes, moving and unpacking etc. He told me that his name was Stephen.
I opened the wine and explained that I only had some mugs to drink from, not yet having fixed the kitchen completely.
Normally they don’t show but I have a few small tattoos which I’ve collected over the years. One is the head of a small rodent-like creature, just below my left nipple. It’s quite colourful and is around 4 cm. square. It started off as a Canadian beaver but morphed into something more vague. It seems to be smiling up at me.
Because I hadn’t buttoned the shirt in my rush to answer the door the tattoo showed occasionally and it didn’t take long for Stephen to notice the flashes of tattoo. He made a remark that it was an unusual tattoo and as usual I started to feel slightly self-conscious.
Over the years I’ve had some body image issues. There’s nothing particularly unusual about my appearance. I’m quite average really and ‘in the prime of life’ – reasonably fit etc. I’ve just had some shyness over revealing too much skin. After talking about this with a professional counselor on one occasion and a Tantric Guide on another occasion, the advice was the same – to learn to welcome the attention instead of covering up and getting nervous.
To help with this problem I started to do activities that required some skin exposure such as yoga, swimming etc. As I’ve progressed in these activities I’ve also found that I can enjoy male company and male bodies as much as females, if not more. I don’t think that I’m 100% gay but I know I can be turned on by either sex when the setting is right.
Actually, it’s been a few years since this question first occupied me and that’s what led me to Tantra. I went to a couple of retreats and bodywork workshops for men and those helped me to overcome some of my nervousness.
Anyway I’m getting distracted from my story. When Stephen asked about the tattoo, as usual I took a breath, thanked him for noticing and told him that I got it a few years ago when I was going through a phase in life and that I’d also had a couple of other tattoos done around the same time. I told him I had them done in discreet places as my secret with myself but that the ‘beaver’ was definitely the most visible!
I thought maybe we’d move on to another topic but Stephen insisted on knowing about the other tattoos. I hadn’t told him about my ‘body issues’ of the past and I started to look for an excuse not to get into the tattoo thing. I suspect I’m not completely cured! In Tantric groups and bodywork classes/massages I’ve got used to the odd question and in the showers at the pool and gym it’s unlikely that a total stranger would say anything while I seem to be minding my own business.
The setting with Stephen was different. I didn’t want to appear unfriendly or as if I felt I had anything to hide and I was desperately trying to find a way out. I remembered that my Tantric friends have shown me that the most relaxed way to be is to seek the open path when possible, even at the cost of some temporary embarrassment.
So finding no credible alternative I told Stephen that I had another tattoo, high up on the top front of my right thigh, of a giraffe neck and head looking inward. It’s about 8 cm tall so can’t usually be seen unless I’m not wearing shorts. The other Tattoo is on the left side of my butt, close to the crack and is a small tattoo of the Mona Lisa, of all things. It’s supposed to seem like she’s smiling to be close to my crack!
Of course Stephen showed great interest and asked to see. He’s a nice guy with a gently persuasive style but somehow the conversation and visit was beginning to focus on my tattoos and how I felt about them. Maybe the effect of the wine was slowing my thinking but the conversation wouldn’t move from tattoos, body images etc.
Eventually Stephen seemed to detect that I was trying everything to avoid showing him the other tattoos and asked me why I was trying to avoid showing what he thought should be seen. He said this in the most inoffensive way, of course!
I told him again that I’d have to drop my shorts for him to see and that he’d also be looking at my genitals at the front and more than he might like to see of my rear end.
He said that this would likely double the interest and that I’d hardly catch cold since the weather was so warm.
Anyway I arose from the couch and took off my shorts in front of him. I was still wearing the open shirt. He remained sitting on the other couch to look at the giraffe on my thigh.
It doesn’t take too long to look at this image and the longer I stood there the more my mind seemed to wander. To be honest I started to realize that Stephen was a good looking guy and that was enough for me to begin to start an erection. I tried to cover with my hand which only made things more obvious.
With a broad grin Stephen said that the giraffe seemed to have found the right branch and he wouldn’t mind being a giraffe. This remark settled some of my embarrassment. His request to see the Mona Lisa followed and, of course I turned around and showed him.
The way the picture is drawn, to see it all it’s necessary to pull apart my butt cheeks a little because it seems to be sliding between them. Stephen could obviously see this feature and to his credit he didn’t ask to ‘stretch’ things. Pulling up my shorts, I sat down – ending the ‘viewing’ with mixed but glowing feelings!
There now seemed to be a natural break in the conversation and I busily poured some more wine into our mugs and asked Stephen what he did for a living. He said he worked at a big hotel and that this was a day off for him. Somehow his appearance and easy style seemed a perfect fit for what I imagined his job to be. He asked what I did and I said I’d just taken up a job at a local university campus.
I’m not very skilled at small talk and scanning around for something to say I commented on his toe ring. Immediately I realized this would lead back to things physical and I think I must have subconsciously been looking to go there again but consciously I was cursing myself.
Stephen said that it was a ring that a friend had given him and he couldn’t find a comfortable fit on any finger but it fitted one of his toes so that’s where he put it.
It seemed to me it might be a bit uncomfortable. He said it wasn’t but that it was like me with the tattoos – a little secret with himself. He didn’t have to be barefoot that often, so people don’t see it. Going on he said that mostly he was barefoot in his apartment and since he’d only come down the hall he just put on sneakers and removed them as a courtesy.
I thanked him for that and said I was the same except for the toe ring. Then he commented that it was amazing how much people hid, even from themselves, and that he saw a lot of this aspect of human behaviour in his job.
I told him then that I’d struggled with some similar issues of shyness and lack of confidence and that is partly why I got the tattoos – to force me to communicate more – and that had taken me to activities, groups and friendships that I realized I wouldn’t have otherwise had. Even with these efforts I still found myself a little inhibited.
Then Stephen said that he thought I must be an A student because it would be a challenge for anyone to open themselves up to a stranger in this way, just at a request to see a tattoo. Not that he could see anything wrong. he added. He said he admired the trust I had in him and the confidence I had in myself, especially since I obviously found the exposure ‘exciting’. And he smiled in a wicked sort of way.
I thanked him for his compliments and lied that I’d become more confident to be free to be naked when in the company of others. Actually the truth is that this is still a work in progress.
Stephen pressed on with the tattoo subject and I saw that it was futile to keep deflecting so I engaged more willingly. We agreed that tattoos and body modification were often a subtle means of communication and that the idea seemed to include many unlikely people. I said that I’d noticed so many tattoos at the gym and at the couple of workshop retreats that I’d attended.
Stephen told me that he had often thought about getting a tattoo but hadn’t had time to check it out completely. Was it painful? How did I decide on the location and design etc?
Then he asked, quite innocently, whether he could touch the beaver tattoo to find if he could ‘feel’ the ink – had it raised the skin in any way? By now the wine had relaxed me and I heard myself agree to his request.
For convenience – or exhibitionism – I took off the shirt and he moved over to where I was sitting and moved his fingers over the beaver. If you touch very lightly it is possible to feel a difference in skin texture since the colours are quite dense.
He continued to drag his fingers over the drawing and gradually widened his radius to include my nipple, which is very close to the tattoo. I didn’t speak, enjoying the touch and Tantric stimulation.
Obviously he knew the effect he might be having and so I moved position a little as an indication that the demo should end. No problem. He moved back to the other couch.
It seemed a bit odd to put the shirt back on so I said that now I was back to the state of dress, or undress, that I’d been in all afternoon before he called, so he hadn’t really changed anything!
This was meant as a joke and he smiled and said he was glad he hadn’t interrupted anything! Getting carried away I said that actually I’d used the balcony for an ‘all over tan’ earlier. Being high up and shielded from the other balconies it’s totally private but the sun moves quickly so the time to catch it is quite short – not like the beach.
This took us to the subject of nude beaches, which are far away from this town. Stephen said that he knew many people who were mostly nudists in their own homes and that they tended to mix with similar folk. I agreed that this seemed likely and I mentioned that the workshops I’d attended featured a lot of nudity.
Stephen said that the only thing missing from most nude beaches was the sex. It seemed that he likely had more experience than me on this subject so I commented generally that nudity and sex often seem to go together. That comment drew the response that from his view of the giraffe, tattoos and sex must go together as well.
By now I figured there wasn’t much more to hide so I said that I was a very visual person and that being undressed stimulated me and that I’d been told this wasn’t at all unusual. Simply to find ways to enjoy the feelings without getting into trouble!
Stephen said that he too was very visual and he seemed to be more ready to risk being misunderstood on this subject than I am, so I thought maybe he had something to teach me.
Then, for some reason it occurred to me that here I was, sitting in my new apartment, talking about quite intimate things, wearing only the flimsiest of old shorts, with a person who wears a toe ring, whom I’d only met an hour or two before.
He seemed to read my mind and said that it must be fate that we seemed to have this common connection.
Time was moving on and we’d finished the wine but Stephen had one more request of me. He said he didn’t want to hold me up any longer from unpacking but felt that we had a connection which would sustain.
He was having a dinner the following week with a friend, at his, Stephen’s, apartment and would I like to come along? He’d put an invitation with time under the door tomorrow. I said that I’d be pleased to come if I didn’t have to work.
Then he asked whether he could take another look at the giraffe and added that wasn’t really his sole purpose. We’d talked so much about nudity, he remarked, and when I shown him the giraffe before I’d had on the shirt so it didn’t really count!
He added that from what I’d said he thought I’d get a boost from allowing him to see everything and he wanted me to feel that I could enjoy myself however I wanted, in his company. Also he’d get a ‘kick’ out of another look.
I couldn’t see much harm by now and warned him that our conversation had been quite stimulating for me and that he’d see that if I took off my shorts. He said he couldn’t wait!
So I took off the shorts and lay back on the couch. I felt very free and my erection seemed to be appreciated by Stephen. He said that it said a lot about the efforts that I’d made to incorporate my sexual being into my ordinary life and that this was an example.
He did remark that some fluid had leaked from the tip of my penis and that he’d noticed a damp patch on my shorts before. I told him that I’d been practicing ways to control and that I could give him some notes on the subject if he was interested.
He said he certainly was and said he’d look forward to meeting my giraffe again soon. Could he touch the giraffe tattoo to show he was a friend. I laughed and said yes. So he traced his fingers along the drawing and then moved across and lightly stroked my penis from base to tip. Leaving that area of my body he wiped his now sticky finger around the beaver on my chest and said he’d let himself out and would send a note for the time next week.
I thanked him for the wine and he left.
I’m still reflecting on this unlikely visit. I’m going to go for dinner with him and his friend – he’s slipped the note under my door. I’m hoping dinner will be as exciting.”
This version of the email that I was sent changes many identifying details and hopefully makes the story he told more readable. The email describes some things in a different order and I think he was writing in a ‘stream of consciousness’ style so I’ve tried to make his description follow a narrative. I’ve never met the writer and he writes to me regularly.
He has emailed a description of his dinner which I’ve added at www.tantrictales.wordpress.com. The main thing is that here seems to be a person who has found a way to enjoy life and his sensual side in ways that Tantric practice can often provide.
To regular readers of this blog – please do let me know if this type of material adds to your experience and feel welcome to send anything about your own experiences with Tantra if you like. By the way I sent this copy to the writer before publishing it. He was happy to agree to its inclusion on this site.
Thanks for all your support.
P.S. At the bottom of this blog page is a box – older posts. It’s clickable for more topics.