tagExhibitionist & VoyeurEvery Part of Me

Every Part of Me


[All characters in this work of fiction are over 18]

I'm not an exhibitionist. That would be disgusting and depraved, and I'm not.

That's what I want to tell you.

I'm not a fetishist. I'm sane. Normal. That's what I say to myself. That may even be what I believe. I can say it and believe it all I want. But it won't change what happened.

I'd just turned 18. My family and I were on vacation in Ocean City, just like every year. I love the beach and everything about it. The beach in the day, the beach at night. The boardwalk. The ocean, the crowds, the sand that's too hot to walk on, the waves that tumble you over and over. The tourist traps that sell the same thing block after block. Even paying $2.25 for a soda. God help me I love it all. It arouses every part of me. Every part. One night it got out of hand.

Another year and I was having trouble sleeping. I lay awake and thought about it. Snatches of sleep came and I dreamt about it. I'd fantasized about doing it since I was much younger, but never had the courage. We'd celebrated my 18th birthday when we'd arrived at the hotel. I was an adult. I rolled over and looked at the clock. 3:00 am. And I remember believing that if I waited another day, it wouldn't be because I didn't have the courage to do it, but because I knew better. Tonight was the night.

I snuck out of bed, and into the bathroom. I changed into my one-piece swimsuit. The black and green one. I put on my sandals. And I took one plastic bag. I wadded it up tightly in my hand and slipped out of our hotel room. Or motel, I suppose, the door led right to the outside, as it should be. And I made my way down the alley to the beach.

My heart was pounding in my chest as I drifted out, over the embankment and onto the sand. It was overcast, and the night hid me. The glow of the city behind me was enough to see by, to show me what I was looking for just up ahead.

I climbed between the long white wooden legs of the lifeguard chair. My hands were shaking. The hot night was on my skin, and the humidity was cloying. But I was sweating for other reasons too. I stood under the lifeguard chair, steadying myself with my hands on the wooden beams, steadying my breathing with all the courage I could muster. I opened the plastic grocery bag.

My skin tingled as I unstrapped my sandals and put them in the bag. Then I stripped off my swimsuit, and time slowed down. I stuffed it into the bag, twisted it shut, and buried it in the sand with my hands, under the lifeguard chair. And I stepped out from this dubious shelter, and stood on the beach. I felt the night on my body. I heard the sound of the waves crashing in my ears, and a salt breeze touched my skin, arousing every part of me. Nude and vulnerable to the night. I took a deep breath and forced myself to let go of the lifeguard chair. I started walking.

My blood sang in my ears, and my heart thundered. Moisture beaded on my trembling skin. I felt everything. The sand under my feet, the heat and the wind, my own breasts swaying, my thighs brushing together. I was very aware of the parts the bathing suit had covered now, the breeze touching me intimately, unprotected and wet with sweat. And, I began to notice, something else.

We're not supposed to do this. From the beginning we're taught to cover up our shame, observe decency, and not offend people or be obscene. We look at pictures of each other's bodies in secret, and only share our own in the most intimate company. We've become ashamed. Maybe I have too, I've never seen myself as a supermodel. But tonight was different. I'd only taken off a small amount of fabric, but I'd removed my whole upbringing, and there I was on an open expanse of beach. And if anyone cared to look, there I would be, subject to their scrutiny...their judgement...their desire. Perhaps their lust. The thought made me giddy. And excited.

I began timidly, hunched, my arms wrapped protectively around my breasts, one hand reaching to cover between my legs, and slowly I forced myself to hold my head up, drop one and then the other arm to my sides. Then I remembered to relax, and breathe, and swing my arms like a normal person as I got more comfortable with my body. It was all the confidence I could muster. Deep down I was terrified.

Realistically, I'm sure no one saw me that night. But my young mind invented hundreds of observers. All of them police. The danger of getting caught, real consequences, the sheer badness of what I was doing made the rush infinitely stronger. My whole body pulsed with my heartbeat. And I felt a slick warmth on my thighs. The nectar of my own excitement. I was desperate. I wanted so badly to touch myself, but somehow I could not, like it would break the spell, like this part of the exhibit was not mine to take, but another's. This was not to fulfill any rape fantasy, but I would have probably laid down and offered myself to anyone who happened to meet me that night.

I came upon another hotel, right on the beach like ours. I'd been on the beach at night a number of times before with my clothes on, and I remembered this place, whose deck lights shined alleys of light down the beach after hours while the rest of the building slept. I challenged myself not to break stride through each one, appearing and disappearing to pairs of eyes unseen and unseeable up on the deck behind those blinding lamps. There were nine. I counted. I rode an unbelievable current of tension when I emerged, and by then I think I was trickling down to about my knees.

I was alone again, just me and the ocean, and the occasional lifeguard chair. The overcast sky still protected me. After a long while, I was beginning to walk naturally. I'd gotten it out of my system. Maybe it was time to turn back. I'd looked at the beach from my window on a night like tonight, and it is black as black, passers by only revealed if they are loud and obnoxious. You couldn't even see the ocean on a night like tonight. After one's eyes adjust, it is easy to believe the whole world can see, when in fact the should of dusk obscures all, even if someone cared to look at this hour. This realization had now taken hold, finally allowing the thrill to pass.

But as I slowed, I noticed the sand turning pale. I looked up over the ocean at the clouds so faithfully hiding me and saw something that made my heart race.

A hole.

I stood paralyzed as I watched one opening, one crack in the clouds as it slowly, with a painful languor, over a full moon. And I was revealed.

I was in total darkness before, and had adjusted well enough to see by it. Being bathed in moonlight was almost blinding, and the beach lit up just as plain as day. Whereas before, in the spotlights at the hotel I could simply step out of the six-foot-wide shaft of golden illumination, now I was in the open, naked on a featureless expanse of beach. And suddenly all I could bring myself to do was slowly turn and watch the buildings behind me, all apartments and hotels for which people paid good money to have full view of the beach. And me.

We stared at each other for an unpardonably long time. Was I being observed? Was I being critiqued? Condemned? Arrested? These possibilities were present in my mind, but far, far away, stifled by the crashing waves at my back. I was petrified. And I was more desperately aroused than I'd ever been.

Then it was gone, and the world faded back into shadow. And reality came flooding back. I wasn't wearing a watch, but I was sure I'd been out long enough that it was almost 5am, and the sun would be coming up soon. I turned and walked rather hastily back.

I got back to the lifeguard chair. Now that it wasn't fun anymore I gratefully put my swimsuit back on, slipped into my sandals, and scurried back to the hotel room. My pelvis hummed with energy, but I shared a room with my younger brother at the time, and could not relieve the pressure. Though I would much later learn to deal with the problem by lying facedown with my legs spread with my hand under me and my face in the pillow, that night I found no relief, and the experience never culminated in an orgasm.

But I had done it, and I was finished. I'd gotten it out of my system.

And I dearly wish I could tell you that was the end.

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