So, I have this really entertaining birthday tradition, and it’s starting to get a bit of attention. And I should probably lay it out – for participants, for the curious, and for those who want to echo the meme in their own spheres. Therefore! Here it is. The official Birthday Suit Selfie Party Manifesto!
The Birthday Suit Selfie Party was concocted on a whim, because I was tired of being bored and lonely on my birthday. Most of my friends are scattered across the country, so actual parties aren’t an option. And we don’t really do gifts in my world because everyone’s poor. So aside from a snailmail card here and there, dozens and dozens of “Happy Birthday!” posts to my Timeline, and homemade confections with candles and singing children, nothing really eventful or magical happened. But, I wanted connection. I wanted interaction. I wanted the day to be as special for me as it seems to be for other folks. And I’m at least little bit in love with pretty much all of my friends, whether they know it or not. So, the BSSP was born.
In the beginning, it was totally unplanned. I posted the call early in the morning, before the parade of Timeline posts had begun, hoping to trade some of them in for something more original and interesting. I really only expected a few of my lovers and some of my flirtatious friends to participate, but I got a bigger turnout than I expected, and from some surprising sources. Which was, frankly, pretty fucking awesome. And I realized just what I had created – a fun, sex-positive, body-positive, birthday connection machine. Presents that costs nothing. Personal interaction. Closeness. Excitement. Liberation.
That first year, once I understood what I had created, I had tentatively named the endeavor Operation Birthday Suit. For year two, it became the annual Birthday Suit Selfie Solicitation. But I think that was too starchy. We’re having fun here! It’s a celebration! So now, at least until I find something better, it’s the Birthday Suit Selfie Party – BSSP for short. Also for hashtags, I guess.
I know it’s not for everyone. Being “-positive” about anything, though, means accepting that some people aren’t comfortable with it. And that’s totally fine. The BSSP isn’t for them. If it’s not fun for someone, it won’t be fun for me either. The whole point is to get closer with my friends. I don’t want to alienate anybody. And, for those who’re going to adopt my tradition, this is very important: be prepared to meet people in their comfort zone, or don’t play this game at all. Be gracious and forgiving if people bow out. Be supportive of people who’re venturing out of their comfort zone to connect with you. Be appreciative of every entry, because it’s not just a picture – it represents the trust that person chose to extend to you. Don’t wreck this for the rest of us. It’s lighthearted, good-natured, no-pressure, flirtatious fun.
I’m not saying it’s not pervy. It totally is pervy. But I’ve turned it into a birthday tradition because it’s so much more than pervy. It helps me reinvigorate old connections, and forge new connections. It helps others find a way to reveal their bodies and/or their sexuality in a safe, fun context – it creates a positivity bubble that insulates itself pretty well against the negativity of the world, if only briefly. And if done right, it can enrich the lives of everyone involved, even those who decide not to play.
So that’s what the BSSP is all about. Feel free to run with it on your own. Just, be respectful. Be kind. Be open to the possibility that for some folks, just asking them is pulling them out of their zone. Be prepared to make a graceful and apologetic exit. Be accommodating of people’s need for privacy and security. Be ready for surprises, and hilarity, and yes, some high octane hotness. But perhaps most importantly? Celebrate your life, and the people in it for all the joy they bring you, naked or not.
(Also, set filters appropriately on your solicitation post. That’s probably pretty important too.)