Friday, January 19, 2007

Naked time

My son likes to be sans clothes and sans diaper. He likes naked time. And really, what toddler doesn't? I've wondered how to respond to his penchant for nudity because I sometimes wonder if my childhood was unnecessarily traumatic secondary to puritanical respect for modesty. I still remember the exact scene where I learned that boys shower together in middle school. I was horrified beyond anything I had yet experienced. This communal showering was not only acceptable but also required?!? I've since wondered whether and how my sexual views during childhood have contributed to my homosexuality and/or difficulty with sexuality during adulthood.

Yes, I realize that there's no data to suggest that you're more likely to be gay if you've been conditioned to think of naked girls as bad and consequently explored sexual curiosity with boys instead. I know it, but I can't help suspecting it anyway. It's just part of my brain's attempt to explain everything in life as causally related to something else.

I don't want to make my son feel the way I felt growing up. It was unnecessarily hard to be hung up over sex regardless. I want my son to feel just the right combination of casual disinterest at being naked around other guys, but enough modesty that he isn't a frank exhibitionist. Turns out, we're not too modest around here, and I wonder if I'll regret that later. Sometimes I think fatherhood is perilous mainly for the misinterpreting, over-reacting, and scapegoating as I try to repair my own past in the way I interact with my son.


Loyalist (with defects) said...

I'm on the same page with you on this one.

Scot said...

I’ve not noticed being too into or out of nudity, save for a streaker through the living room after a bath every once in a while; maybe we keep the thermostat low enough that it’s not an issue ;-).

But I do see that misinterpreting, over-reacting problem in general. Sometimes I worry that I over think things with them, or that I particularly do so for the different issues our family faces. One of the blessings, though, of having twins, for us, has been to see just what we’ve no control over and what we do, seeing as how our boys are very different in personality and behavior, and yet raised almost the same from day one (Twins are hard on sleep but much better for analyzing parenting hypotheses ;-)).