Naked Together on the Playa

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This is the third part in a series, inspired by life inside the 2009 Burning Man Poly Paradise.  The first part can be viewed here and the second part is here.

The Lovers

The Lovers. Photo by Eric Francis.

Only once did I speak to her during the session, which was to ask if it was okay if I could photograph her hands and her vulva.  I was soaked in curiosity what she looked like.  She looked at me languidly and nodded yes.  I shifted positions and was treated to the most extraordinary perspective.  And to her scent, which was lush and inviting, mingled with the ubiquitous background of playa dust.

Having me closer to her seemed to embolden her.  I was directly viewing the space between her and he mirror.  She lowered the mirror and kissed herself, in the wide-open afternoon.  This gesture was so authentic and free that it rippled into my emotions and, in that moment shook something loose from me, some inhibition I had been unconsciously carrying.

Self-awareness is so often wrought with shame that we cannot bear it for more than a few moments.  Lucille held herself firmly and without pretense.  I understood that her unconditional acceptance of whatever she felt was at the core of her sense of being so at-home in her skin; her creative passion; and her extraordinary freedom to love and share pleasure.

Her hand glided against her belly and I watched as her fingers parted the lips of her labia.  And as I witnessed her and loved her and felt her, she masturbated freely and beautifully, sharing from the core of her being.  She watched as this happened, swirling into her perceptions, feeling herself so lovingly.

What we don't have to hide from ourselves

Lucille in bliss. Photo by Eric Francis.

Her face was melting in that way that is characteristic of being on the verge of orgasm.  Her features softened, she was flushed and never stopped witnessing herself.  She drew consciously deep breaths, then her breath would shorten as she approached her edge.  Then she would breathe deeply again and retreat.  She was choosing her moment.

On the bed next to us, the lovers went deeper.  I watched as she unmounted him, rolled onto her back, and pulled up her knees in the unmistakable gesture of inviting penetration.  Her lover merged with her again, and now relieved of any need to control her body, her moans of surrender were more articulated, blended with bursts of breathless, impassioned Russian speech.  Her legs hung apart from one another languidly and tossed in the motion.

Lucille had clasped her mirror between her knees.  It leaned toward her at the perfect angle and she maintained eye contact. Her curiosity and her willingness to bestow surrender upon herself was not a furtive experience.  Nor was this something that seemed particularly new: though in a new moment, she felt delightfully familiar with her pace of self-responsiveness.  There was no self-clinging at all, just wave after wave of freedom.

I watched her pelvis thrust against her hands, and then felt her release as heat and compassion washed through my sensorium.  Her soft moans filled the bright room, mingling with those of the Russian woman.  It was as if they were communicating empathically through their primal sound.  Lucille settled into deep breathing.  I wanted to hold her with my strength and steadiness, but I left her to herself and continued photographing.

(Posted at Book of Blue, here and here.)

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