Om Oasis yoga teacher Sterling Taylor and I make small talk about our past lives in Oakland as we pull off our underwear to begin our 60-minute session of yoga-in-the-buff. We move to the mats, kneel in the Vajrasana pose and begin to focus on our breathing.
I’m calm but I still can’t shake the wariness of contorting my bare body in ways that will expose parts of me I haven’t seen.
On principle, I try to blast any hang-ups I have about being naked in the presence of others. From prior experience I know once you get over the curiosity of viewing parts typically hidden, they just become parts. Breasts, buttocks, penises and vaginas are just as normal as noses, cheeks, eyes and chins when sexualized thoughts are absent.
“For me this is about experiencing non-sexual male intimacy,” Taylor says to me in the thankfully warm studio. “That said, if you – or if I – get an erection, it’s really no big deal, those things can happen.”