A couple of weeks ago, on a whim, half dressed, I decided to take a photo of myself. This may have had something to do with the fact that after months of not quite getting there, I’d finally got my weight down by a stone and a half (21 lb) to my ideal one, and was feeling pleased with myself.

Also on a whim, I decided to go in the bathroom, where there would be more light. The background in there wouldn’t be particularly pretty, but that didn’t matter too much: it was just a bit of fun which I’d maybe email to a friend if it came out well. Probably cropped to hide the unpretty background.

It was quite sunny in there, so I stood myself in the sunlight and experimented with standing at different angles to get the best nicest lighting I could. I ended up taking the photo against a background I normally avoid since it shows a nice view of the toilet . . . But didn’t quite realise this while taking the photo. Neither did I realise, until I saw the result, that the background had much less light that I did.

What resulted appeared—on the camera phone— to have a nice black background. Viewed on the computere though, it turned out to include a shadowy but very clear image of the toilet seat . . .

. . . So I increased the contrast a bit to make the toilet go away, and here is the result:

Me not quite naked in the bathroom

Surprisingly good lighting

I then tried taking some naked ones, but had trouble reproducing the lighting and the way I was standing. Also, because I didn’t always remember to hold my stomach in, the results were less complimentary. Here’s one though:
Continue reading and see the photo

Here’s a nice sexy photo for you. I hope it’s obvious that it’s not one of me. Neither, in fact, is it of anyone I know. Let me ask a stupid question: what’s it a picture of?

A photo of . . . ?

At first sight, it’s pretty obvious. It’s some part of a woman’s body, with some wispy see-through clothing. I can’t quite tell which bit of her it is—it could be her lower back, or the top of her cleavage, or it could even be . . .

Well, it’s not any of these things. It’s not part of a woman’s body. It’s not part of anyone’s body. It’s not a close-up of anything. It’s not even a picture of anything from Earth.

It’s a photograph of Mars, taken a few months ago by the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter. You’re looking at a vast expanse of sand dunes. To see it in all its amazing glory, view the original photo at the University of Arizona. It’s quite stunning. (It’s also the other way up; I turned it round to help mislead you about what it was.) And to find out a little more about it, read this article by The Bad Astronomer.

Beauty which is out of this world.

If you visit a certain sort of website—the sort of dating site where nude photos are the norm—you’ll discover that a large proportion of the men there think the picture which will be most attractive to the women there is one of their erect penis. The women, however, will mostly tell you that they’ve seen enough penises to last them a lifetime (so to speak!). If asked which part of the body they particularly like, they’ll almost all mention the eyes and hands before anything else.

(And for the record, if you ask me what part of a woman’s body I find sexiest, I’ll probably include her back, neck and nipples in my list. If you insist that I choose.)

I’d never really thought about hands being sexy until one day a close friend told me that she liked my hands. (Actually she put it a lot more positively than that, and I was stunned by the compliment. And because of the way she kept looking at them, I believed her too.)

My hand resting on my bare lower abdomen, just outside partially unzipped jeans

My left hand.
© tnbits.wordpress.com 2010

What is it about hands?

I would have loved to begin this post with a photo I found in a book recently. But I would have been infringing some photographer’s copyright. The picture was amazing: it showed the wall of a cave, painted with various shades of reddish-brown pigment. And all over it were lighter-coloured silhouettes of hands. Negative hand-prints, if you will.

Every hand was different. Some were those of adults. Some of children. Some looked feminine. Some masculine. All were beautiful. And all were from people who lived in about 8,000 BC: ten thousand years ago. Each had its own character. Each was an individual. It was moving to see; one particuarly elegant hand made me want to meet  its owner. These were real people in a real community. I felt a basic human connection with them, even though all I knew was what shape their handprints were. Hands can have personality.

My hand resting on my bare abdomen, filling the picture

Skin against skin.
© tnbits.wordpress.com 2010

Do my hands have personality? That’s not for me to say really, but in these photos I wanted to communicate a gentle sensuousness along with any erotic suggestiveness there might be. If I’m honest—assuming you’re female—I like the thought of you imagining what my hand would feel like against your skin. And I like the thought of the intimacy of that. And how controlled and gentle the touch could be . . .

The photos are of my left hand, simply because I was holding the camera in my right. It’s the hand which I use to play the notes on my violin. I’ve spent years training its fingers to know where to go. Though at the moment, they’re moving around my computer keyboard as I type.

We live a lot of our life with our hands. We use them to hold things. To manipulate  things. To accomplish things. They can push someone away, or hold and comfort them. They can touch, stroke, squeeze, massage, caress. They can stay still, or explore . . .

Fingers sliding into unzipped jeans

And then . . . ?
© tnbits.wordpress.com 2010

Maybe hands do have personality. But I’ll shut up now and let you enjoy (I hope) the photos.