I knew it was wrong to go searching for Jennifer Lawrence's stolen nude photos. But I did it anyway. Before I knew what was happening, the part of my brain that had lain dormant since my adolescent days of furtively searching through the internet for porn took over and commanded me to click until I found Katniss's naked images. As soon as I did it, I felt guilty.
Lawrence didn't want me to see her naked. Though I specialize in putting naked photos of myself online, I still understand the embarrassment that comes with ending up unclothed in front of the wrong audience. My list of people who I don't want seeing my vagina may be much shorter than Lawrence's, but I have one nonetheless.
When I first started dancing naked at The Lusty Lady peep show, my college friend Drew was one of the first people I told about my new job. He was hugely supportive and nonjudgmental. Drew has encouraged me through my myriad of endeavors over the years: He sat through terrible plays, awkward poetry slams, and amateur open mics all in the name of showing me he gave a fuck.
One day, he texted me while he was in North Beach and asked if I was around and wanted to grab lunch. I said I was working, but that he should swing by the peep show and say hello. In hindsight, I should have known this was a terrible idea. But I had become so immersed in the culture of the peep show, where everyone was naked during the workday whether they were doing accounting or pole tricks, that I forgot it might be really weird for my strictly platonic buddy Drew to see me naked.
Behind window No. 1, a man from the Financial District in a smart suit was licking his lips, eyes locked on my ass as he furiously pulled at his dick. Behind door No. 2 was an old Asian man flicking his tongue at me with great enthusiasm. And behind door No. 3 was Drew.
As soon as the window rose and I saw Drew's beard and trendy glasses that he insists aren't trendy, I was mortified. It had seemed like a good idea in my head, but when I saw him, my stomach dropped and I knew I had been wrong. I closed my legs and covered my breasts and sort of hid in the corner so he couldn't see my bits. But I had to keep dancing for the other paying customers who were relying on me to shake my ass so they could pop one out before their lunch break was over. We tried to make small talk through the glass and remain calm, but I could tell Drew was desperately trying not to be horrified in the tiny booth that reeked of ejaculate, while he searched for a place to put his eyes that didn't make matters worse.
I was grateful that Drew wanted to show he was supportive of my work, but the result was simply too awkward to bear — like walking in on your dad in the bathroom or something. The peep show window finally closed and he waved goodbye and rolled his eyes at me. Drew continues to be a great ally, but we both realized that seeing me naked wasn't something either of us wanted to have happen again.
I don't have the same anxieties about my naked image as someone like Lawrence might, but I deeply understand the desire to not have certain people see certain parts of me.
Unfortunately, porn isn't private — you can't pick and choose which friends and family members can see it. I'm not ashamed of the work that I do, but I certainly don't want my close friends or my family watching it. And now I know that platonic college friends shouldn't be invited to come visit me while I'm stripping.
Everyone has boundaries — even porno babes, whores, and movie stars.
So, this is my formal apology to Jennifer Lawrence.
I'm sorry I looked at those stolen pictures of you naked. I wish I could turn back time and un-see them. Really. I'm sorry. I can't wait to see Mockingjay.