Fundraising: The Bottomsbyglendale22©
Standing there in the sunlight, I had to wonder how I had come to such a moment. "I can't believe I'm doing this," I whispered to myself as I awaited the sound of the camera shutter. I closed my eyes, even though I was facing away from the camera, in order to settle my jittery nerves. Jim, the husband of my administrative assistant, was fussing with the camera a bit before finally taking the pictures, close-ups of my bare bottom for which I was nonetheless posing completely nude.
After I heard the camera click several times, Jim asked, "Do you want a few other close-ups too?"
Despite my embarrassment, I knew I was going to turn around. While I hesitated, though, events that led to this scene flashed through my mind. This wasn't what I expected, and I searched my mind for the moment when I crossed some barrier and allowed myself to take off my clothes and let a man who wasn't my husband take pictures of my body.
Only a couple weeks earlier, I and my colleagues were gathered in a meeting to discuss fundraising ideas for our English garden, The Bottoms. The land our garden occupied lay along a river in a community on the edge of the city's suburban sprawl. For years, the area had been the location of industrial parks and warehouses, all of which had been destroyed by an unusually severe flooding season about ten years ago.
Rather than rebuilding the area, the county government bought out the various businesses and turned the land into a rambling park with a golf course, trails, playgrounds, and, of course, the English garden. Although the land was public property, it was leased to our independent, non-profit group. We called our garden The Bottoms after the name often used to describe the formerly run-down district on the floodplain.
As director of The Bottoms, I had a staff of five other women: Kathy, my administrative assistant; Christine, our events coordinator; and Caitlin, Debbie, and Danielle, our plant specialists and groundskeepers. Three of us worked mostly inside, while the other three worked mostly outside. I was almost 45, Kathy was three years younger, Caitlin was in her mid-thirties, and the others were in their twenties, except for Debbie, who was just 19. These differences did not matter to me in the way I tried to manage the garden, so when we met that afternoon, I honestly encouraged the others to propose ideas, and they all knew that any suggestions would be taken seriously.
Even so, laughter was the first reaction we all had to Debbie's mention of the famous calendar for which several older women posed nude. None of us had ever seen the calendar itself, but we were all familiar with the movie made about it and the women. Christine did remind us, though, "Even without the movie deal, that calendar brought in lots of money."
"I saw the movie," Caitlin said, "and it wasn't dirty at all. They made it look like the pictures were very tasteful and the women had fun."
We discussed other ideas, none of which aroused much enthusiasm, and Debbie said, "So the calendar's the best idea we've got. Why not go for it?"
"Hey, I've got it!" Kathy exclaimed. "We're called The Bottoms, right? So if we pose for a calendar, it can just be pictures of our bottoms. That way we get to play up the brand name, and the calendar will sell out, no matter how many we order."
There was still some laughter, but they seemed to be considering the idea too. "I like it," said Debbie, "it's perfect. That other calendar didn't really show anything, and if ours was the same, it could get kind of boring."
"Where would we get models?" I asked, trying to bring up practical objections that might make us go back to considering more normal ideas.
"We don't need models," Debbie said. "We're six good looking women. We should be able to put our bottoms on the line for The Bottoms."
I suppose because it sounded like innocent fun, the idea was catching on. Then Kathy reminded us that her husband was a serious photographer, capable of taking high quality pictures, so any practical objection I might raise about that expense was answered. Finally, in my own mind, I guess I convinced myself that a picture of my bottom would not require me to take off all of my clothes.
That way of thinking was my first step toward the barrier.
I never really said then that the calendar would be our fundraising project, but I did tell Kathy to work out the details of producing it. If I was trying to make it sound like I was only tentatively considering the proposal, when we left the meeting, everyone was assuming that our bottoms would be seen on various pages of a calendar on sale soon.
A few days later, Kathy was telling me that the plan would be simple. "Jim says he can take the pictures in a single day, as long as the weather cooperates. Since there are six of us, we can figure on two months apiece."
"What do you mean, two months apiece?"
"The pictures for two months. If each of us poses for the pictures for one month and for another month, we'll have the whole year covered. In fact, Peg, I figured you could be Miss June and December. You're the boss here, so you should get preferred months like that."
Christine was standing nearby and added, "You mean we'll each have two months uncovered."
Mostly out of nervousness, I asked Kathy if pictures of us in nice panties wouldn't be just as effective for the fundraiser. She gave me a look that said not to be afraid, but the next day she said, "I talked to Jim, and he said the panties idea would be good for filler pictures."
Again, I asked what she meant. "On the page below the big picture, there are always some blanks where there aren't days of that month. In one or two of those little spaces, Jim thought a close-up of a bottom in panties would add a nice touch. He suggested we each bring along a pair of our favorite or sexiest panties for that shot."
I was out of alternative ideas, and the plan took on a momentum of its own after that. I found myself going along with ironing out details that I was not really thinking about fully. For one thing, I wondered how a second picture of my bottom would be different from the first. And when Kathy asked all of us whether we wanted our husbands or boyfriends around for the shoot, it suddenly occurred to me that I had not even told my husband anything about it. Still, I said that I would rather not have him there, and everyone except Debbie felt the same about their husbands.
Debbie just said, "I wouldn't mind if my boyfriend were there. It would be kind of fun, in a way. But if no one else is bringing a guy, I can leave mine at home too."
And that's when I thought about Jim, Kathy's husband. He would be there, and he would have to see what he was photographing.
That night, I explained the whole thing to Ed. Actually, he kind of liked the idea, even if he couldn't be there to see the pictures being taken. He always thought I should be prouder of my body, especially my large breasts, and he was the one who encouraged me to sunbathe topless on a Mexican beach years ago. I went along with his desire then, only because we could go to a part of the beach that was at least a hundred yards away from anyone else. Even so, I was aware that I could see those people a hundred yards away, and I could tell which of the women among them was topless. Which meant that they could see me and know I was topless.
This calendar posing would be another matter, though. No hundred yards away, and no stranger I'd never see again. Ed kept talking to me, calming my worries and stroking my ego. As he did so, he was stroking my breasts and undressing me. With my clothes off, my body really did feel beautiful in his hands. All the time we made love that night, he kept touching me and repeating, "This is going to look so lovely in the picture." I enjoyed the feeling and didn't argue.
His permission and encouragement nudged me another step toward that barrier.
The day finally arrived. I saw right away that it would be sunny and warm all day, so I knew I would not be avoiding Jim's camera. Kathy had told all of us before not to wear underwear because of the lines left by the elastic, so rather than put on any panties, I put a lacy pair in my purse.
We closed the garden for the day, posting a sign about an in-service day. When I arrived at the office, Kathy took one look at me and said, "Peg, what's with the bra? Don't you remember what I said about lines from the elastic?"
"What's the difference? I'm not wearing panties, so I won't have lines there."
"What about across your back? You think that won't show up? Go in the ladies room and get rid of it. Hopefully, the lines will disappear quickly."
I did what she said, but I didn't understand why it mattered. Ten minutes later, I understood.
Kathy offered to go first since it was her husband doing the shooting. He had her describe some of her duties in the office and then set up a shot. With him behind her, Kathy stood at her desk and picked up the phone, as if taking a call.
I expected her to raise her dress. Now I realize how silly such a pose would have appeared, but I had never given the poses much thought. So when Kathy undid a few buttons and pushed her dress off her shoulders, allowing it to drop from her completely and leaving her fully nude, I gasped. I gasped because I did not see Kathy there in the nude so much as I suddenly saw myself.
Kathy's body did not resemble mine. That's not what I mean. Her body was fit, her breasts were small and conically shape, capped by large, dark nipples, and her pubic hair was dense. Such a description would not fit me in every particular, but I still could not erase the image of myself, nude, standing in front of the camera.
I had not moved from where I stood, but in my imagination, I had come right up to the barrier.
My reverie was interrupted by them setting up for a second picture. In this shot, Kathy stood by the file cabinet and opened a file drawer. Jim set up his camera behind and to the side of her. I could see that the side of her breast and one nipple clearly stuck out visibly in the shot. So I understood why my bra was supposed be left off, and I understood how the second picture would differ from the first.
Since Jim was her husband, Kathy did not mind that he took other pictures of her that showed her body from the front. In fact, she willingly struck a pose for him a few times, and he always said, "That one can be for my private album."
When Christine posed next, she removed her wrap-around dress before discussing her poses. She was a little shorter, which made her round breasts appear larger, an effect also helped by the fact that her nipples were as small as shirt buttons. Her pubic bush was as dark as Kathy's, but trimmed into a small strip of hair. From behind, Jim took a picture of her setting out brochures on a table, and then from behind and beside her, he photographed her in front of a screen with a slide of a rose projected on it, as if she were delivering a lecture to an audience in the nude. Despite the smallness of her nipples, she was excited enough that one nipple was seen in the photo.
Jim was about to pick up his gear for another set-up when Christine asked him to take some shots for her husband's private album too.
Aware of my potentially marked back, Jim next went outside for shots of Danielle. She and Debbie always looked like sisters to me, so slender and cute. Danielle's body was indeed thin, but gracefully feminine. She knelt on the grass before a climbing rose bush, as if trimming it, and Jim knelt behind her to photograph her lithe back and bottom.
Then she leaned forward on one hand, continuing to examine the rose bush, and Jim got a picture from the side that showed how delicately thin her body was. Her breasts were small, and pointing down like that, her nipple clearly matched the pink of the rose, a quality captured by the second photo. Jim had been taking multiple shots of each pose in order to ensure a good one from the bunch. As he continued shooting, Danielle had him shoot one of her on her hands and knees from directly behind, offering a glimpse of hair between her legs, and then she turned over gradually until he was getting a clear view of both breasts and her wispy pubic hair as she rested on the grass. She did not have to specify that some shots were for her husband.
Debbie, already nude while Danielle was still posing, was not as similar to Danielle as I imagined. Her breasts were much smaller, almost flat, and her body had a leaner, harder look. She also had a sunburst tattoo over her bottom, a rose tattoo near her left nipple, and no pubic hair at all. Her pictures were set next to a little fountain in one corner of the garden. For her boyfriend's private album, she sat on the ledge of the fountain with one leg stretched out in front of her and the other foot set on the fountain's edge so she could rest her chin on her knee. Her smooth vagina and labia were plainly visible.
Caitlin's photos were another kind of highlight. With her untamed red hair and fair skin, she looked like a fairy goddess in the garden. She played this character in her poses by wrapping her arms around the tall oak in the garden, providing a stunningly beautiful contrast between her pale body and the deep brown of the bark. For her second pose, she remained pressed against the tree from the waist down, and leaned back to look up exultingly into the tree's canopy, allowing her red hair to fall loosely and exposing one breast with its large pink nipple.
Facing Jim for other poses, she made no effort to hide her red pubic hair, and she even made sure Jim caught her in a slanting light that would make it glow and reveal the details of her vulva beneath.
All the while, I had been taken by the confidence they all showed and the enjoyment they were finding in posing nude for Jim. I was so focused on their poses that I had not given any thought to Jim and his reactions to such lovely bodies. As my turn could not be put off longer, though, my mind turned to this consideration. I was not thinking about confidence in my body or frankness in my poses, I was thinking about Jim getting to see all of me in the nude.
With no escape, however, we returned to the office. The others followed, and only then did I realize that no one had dressed again after posing. A brief discussion provided some ideas, and Jim suggested I stand by the window behind my desk, overlooking the garden. I did so, and my mind wandered as I gazed outside. Kathy cleared her throat loudly enough to recall me to the moment. My hands were shaking, and I had a little trouble with the zipper on my dress. No one came forward to help, and I struggled with it for several seconds. The sound of the zipper finally broke the silence, drawing even more attention to how the others were holding their breath, watching me.
Slowly, I pulled the straps of the dress off my shoulders, shrugged my arms out of it, and hesitated. My heavy breasts were out, but I was turned away from them. Regaining my resolve, I let go of the dress with one hand so that it would drop enough for me to step out of it. My naked backside was on display, and when I bent to pull the dress from around my ankle, I knew one breast had to be clearly visible also. I tossed my dress aside and stood up straight. I had done it. I was nude in front of them.
No doubt now. I had actually crossed the barrier.
"Relax," Jim advised, and I heard his camera. After a few shots, he said, "Okay, turn a little sideways."
I did as he asked. My arms were folded across my stomach, supporting my breasts. From the side, not only would one breast be easy to see, my excited nipple would also be evident.
"Do you want some shots for Ed?" I guess I wasn't moving, so Jim had to ask me the question, almost startling me.
"Yes, he'd like that." I stammered a bit, but I meant it.
"Here by the desk? How do you want to pose?"
Without thinking, I turned to face all of them and came to the edge of my desk. Of course, they all got a glimpse of my dense pubic bush, but I was more self-conscious of displaying my large breasts to them. I leaned slightly, resting my hands on the desk and looked up at Jim. He was staring at my breasts, but also taking quick glances between my legs to see my pubic hair. The pose, however, emphasized my breasts in a way that he could not ignore. If Debbie's breasts were like raisins, and Danielle's like kiwi, and Caitlin's like apples, mine were like cantaloupes. He took the picture.
Then Jim suggested I stand up straighter. I knew he was asking me to expose my vagina more plainly, not turned away or hidden in shadow. My heart was racing as I straightened up and pulled back my shoulders, displaying my breasts proudly and letting my dark pubic hair be my only covering.
Once we were done with my main poses, we all returned outside for the filler pictures. One by one, starting with Kathy, my five colleagues slipped on their chosen pair of panties, none of which provided real modesty, and stood in the daylight while Jim moved in closely to frame a shot of just their bottoms. And one by one, they removed the panties so that Jim could shoot a similar close-up of their bare bottoms. And one by one, because Kathy agreed to it first and thus set the pattern, they agreed to turn around, and let Jim shoot a close-up of their breasts and vaginas for those private albums.
Of course, my turn came, and I posed with my panties on and with my panties off, and then I was caught in that nervous moment when Jim asked if I wanted to turn around. Recovering from my momentary reluctance, I turned around and tried to act calm and collected. From so close, I knew that my breasts would fill the frame, and that in the other picture, my pubic hair, no matter how thick, would not hide much, that the cleft of my vagina would be evident. But I knew also that Ed would love the picture.
And that I had left the barrier far behind me now.
Before we quit for the day, Jim had the six of us link arms and pose with our backs to his camera, and on our own, we turned to face him for one more shot, different in size and shape, but together in our nudity.
When the calendar came out, it sold as well as expected. Fortunately, the first review was written by a reporter whose sympathies and open-minded attitude supported our efforts, and her judgment that the calendar was lovely and tasteful set the tone for the community's reaction. Some, of course, objected, but I was surprised to hear praise from more people than I anticipated. One woman, only an acquaintance who served on the PTA with her conservative husband, told me with a sly smile, "I hope this doesn't give the PTA any ideas."
The six of us celebrated the calendar's release with our men at a party Ed and I hosted, and that occasion was the first time we also saw the "private calendars" Jim printed himself. The front and back covers were the photographs of all of us together. Inside, the larger pictures for each month included two of the extra poses by each of us, in my case, the shot of me with my breasts hanging down over my desk and the shot of me standing proudly with everything on display. The filler pictures for those pages were the close-ups of bare breasts and vaginas.
I was surprised once more because I thought my pictures would be for Ed alone. No one else objected, though. All the men noted that Jim shouldn't be the only to have had all the fun. As for Ed, he obviously was happy to see pictures of the other women, but I know he meant it when he told me that he didn't mind that the other men had pictures of my body to enjoy. Of course, I knew Jim had gotten to see me already, but he was a friend as well as a colleague's husband, and he acted like a gentleman the whole time. The other men, however, I knew only because I'd met them just a few times, and it felt strange to know they had these pictures of me.