I am excited to introduce our readers to amazing and caring people who live, work, play and do business in our community and city. Learning about people of every lifestyle, talents, and personalities that I think would be interesting for our readers to enjoy. San Diego has a wonderful diversity of individuals who make our slice of paradise the greatest place to live and enjoy each other’s uniqueness.
How did you end up in San Diego and what do you love about it?
In 1999 I was loving my career as a tenured professor at the University of Florida and I was also enjoying my service as a part-time public information officer for the city’s fire department. I had no thoughts of leaving Florida. That changed when I traveled to San Diego for a professional conference. I immediately fell in love with San Diego—the relaxed and welcoming vibe of the people, the awesome weather, the spirit and Gay openness of the Hillcrest area, and the array of sand, desert and mountain destinations—these all called out to me and convinced me that someday I wanted to live here. So, less than a week after my retirement, in 2003, the moving van arrived, my car was shipped and I was on a plane heading west. I look back on my decision to move here as one of the best decisions in my life.
What gets you most excited about life?
Feeling as though I’m helping others is what brings me joy and satisfaction. Back in Pennsylvania, when I was in high school, I volunteered as a front desk clerk and as a camp counselor at the Jewish Community Center. Then I began serving as a volunteer firefighter which I did for many years.
In Florida I was part of the volunteer leadership group, called ‘Gay Talk’ that assisted gay teens by hosting social events and by staffing our 24-hour phone line. Our group handed out information and waved signs in our small downtown square to start the first Gay Pride event in our college town.
Here in San Diego, I volunteered for three years as a desk clerk for the Center, I’ve posed gratis for several local life-drawing groups since 2005, I’ve ushered at many local theatres and I’ve been the usher coordinator at the Diversionary Theatre since 2008. (An aside here—if you are interested in ushering let me know!) The bottom line is that I derive a great deal of satisfaction from my volunteer efforts.
When it comes to your work, what makes your business stand out and how has it changed your life?
My business (really my hobby) has two parts. The first is writing. I have had four professional textbooks, thirty-nine refereed journal articles and twenty instructional materials published. I changed my focus in 2018 when I decided to write adults-only novels; the first one, ‘Lights On—Clothes Off: Confessions of an Unabashed Exhibitionist’ was recently released. My second novel, tentatively titled ‘I’ll be Naked at Six’, is well underway.
Exhibitionism, voyeurism and public nudity are the main topics in my novels. So, there’s no doubt—my business easily stands out since my work is unique, titillating and eye opening. Now I’m focused on the marketing of my books. This is a new challenge for me and frankly, I’m loving it.
What small act of kindness were you once shown that you’ll never forget?
I vividly recall meeting Francine, an art instructor at my undergraduate college. I was 18, a freshman and I was out as a Gay person. We had a chance meeting at a nudist club that a few friends and I enjoyed on warm weekends. Francine asked me if I’d be interested in posing for her art classes. I remember just loving that idea but I had a zillion questions and was instantly excited and nervous.
She explained everything the job would entail and she assured me that she would hold my hand (not literally) the first time. After a couple long conversations filled with encouragement, I agreed to step onto a posing platform for her life drawing class. I did. I undressed. I watched all the students viewing me. Francine smiled and gave me a thumbs up. That experience gave me the OK to come out of my exhibitionist closet. Thank you, Francine, for opening that door for me.
If the universe could grant you one wish, what would you wish for, and why?
Peace on earth among ALL people is my first and most critical wish. But I’ll stay on topic by relating what so many have shared privately with me. For years people have applauded me and complimented me for freely speaking about my experiences as an art model, as a naked waiter for parties and as a nude dancer in both straight and gay clubs. Almost always their comments were coupled with, “I wish I had the guts to do that.” “I’m really envious.” “I would love to have done what you’ve done. But I’m afraid.” So, my wish is that people could simply get over their fears and be honest about what they wish they could do. And do it. Once they address their true desires, no doubt, they would be happier honest people.
If you were given the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world, and were able to take one person with you, where would you go, who would you take, and why?
My husband Karl is a wonderful guy. He’s smart, fun, gorgeous and he also has the travel bug. We both love cruises and we enjoy exploring parts of our world seeking out interesting places with vivid architecture, great restaurants and lovely beaches (nude beaches are a plus). So, my simple answer is a world-wide cruise with numerous ports that offer beauty and beaches and of course, I would do that with Karl.
If you had a chance to spend one million dollars on someone, or any group of people, who would it be and how would you spend that money to better them?
My charitable focus is aimed at helping Gay youth emerge as leaders and activists. With support, guidance, and appropriate role models they can become respected individuals who improve society in all areas of life. So, I would take two-thirds of the million and divide it equally among these efforts: San Diego Pride’s Youth Leadership Academy, The Diversionary Theatre’s youth outreach project, The Point Foundation’s scholarship program and The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus school outreach efforts. I’d send the other third to chapters of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network in the rural areas of our southern states.
If you could give someone advise about your art, hobby, or business, what would you tell them?
This is an easy question. You want to get naked and pose for artists? Call an art department at one of our local colleges and get a job as a model. (If you need help with this send me an email.) You want to go to Blacks Beach and get naked? Do that difficult walk down the cliff and stop hesitating—when you get to the beach take off your clothes. And you want to read about exhibitionism, voyeurism and nudism? Buy my book! (It’s quite affordable on Amazon: the e-book is $4.95 and the paperback is $15.95.) Just go to lightsonclothesoff.com to get your copy.
Loving yourself is so important to becoming the best of who you are. Please write a couple sentences to describe your loving self and how you want to live your best life?
I’m pleased with who I am and what I’ve accomplished in life. I’m almost 76 and all of my professional achievements have been satisfying, rewarding and enjoyable. I’ve been out of the Gay closet since my teen years and out of the exhibitionist closet since my college days so I’ve never been afraid of being myself and being honest about who I am. I want to keep going just the way I am with myself and with my husband.
Gratitude is so important in each of our lives, what are you most grateful for, and how do you pay it forward?
My parents instilled a good work ethic in me. They encouraged me to get a good education and they taught me to be respectful toward others. These are things that today’s children desperately need. I’m hoping I am paying that forward by being an honest hard-working person, by serving as a positive role model for youngsters and by making appropriate charitable donations designed to help the leaders of tomorrow.
Regarding my exhibitionism I hope to encourage others, who have desires and doubts, to move forward, read my book and email me if they want to chat about their path. I’m not a therapist but I’m comfortable with my boldness and would be happy to attempt to help others.
Finally, if you are an artist or photographer and you are in need of a model who is willing to work gratis contact me. Or, if you and your friends would like to host a reading from my novel let me know. There’s no fee. And you won’t be surprised by this: I’ll do the reading dressed or naked—that’s your choice.