Nothing is sexier than a great pair of tits, right? In our society, breasts are so sexualized that women cannot expose them without causing a scene. Sometimes, causing a scene feeds the soul.
Every month in cities around the globe, thousands of bicyclists gather to ride in tandem, empowering the community of bike riders – Critical Mass. Bike riders are a diverse group, as are women, and just like bikers get to convene for Critical Mass, women too have created a unifying bicycling event.
At Burning Man, there is an event called Critical Tits, in which women and those who identify as women ride their bikes topless (otherwise adorned however they choose) along a pre-organized route.
I was skeptical. My first year, I did not attend. The event seemed like it was overly sexualized and too exhibitionist for me. This year, however, some really strong women I had become close with encouraged me to go. I considered it, and although I was still worried, I decided to go. The Playa is a very sexually safe place, but there was still the risk of creeps populating the sidelines, leering and possibly taking photos or video. I had no interest in the soul of my breasts being captured by a random person and stuck up on the internet, without my consent or consideration.
Still, the agency I have felt within my body for the last year took charge of me and I decided to do it. My friend “Desert Fairy” and I set out together. She had beautifully painted breasts, which were partially concealed by a sheer negligee, while I stripped myself bare upon arrival. I felt a sense of power like never before – here I was, in all the glory my body had to offer, in front of thousands of strangers. My breasts sat comfortably on my protruding tummy, and looking around at the plethora of shapely women (women of all shapes), I felt happier than ever before to have pockets of fat on my body.
When we started to ride, Desert Fairy decided to shed her clothes as well. We set off amid thousands of women, a few men, and some who could not be classified, on this journey. Men and women lined our path, shouting at us that we were beautiful, that we were wonderful, thanking us for being so free, spraying us with water to cut the heat of the day, and giving us gifts. Any face I looked at was warm and smiling, and I never felt exposed – I felt empowered.
Since then, I have been reluctant to bike anywhere that I cannot ride topless with thousands of women. I was afraid that I would not be able to get on a bike again until next September’s event, but upon investigation I discovered that some cities actually hold events like Critical Tits! Since 2004, cities around the globe have hosted the World Naked Bike Ride; in 2010, there were World Naked Bike Ride events in 74 cities from 17 countries.
The idea of biking topless in the world outside of the Playa is both thrilling and daunting. I fear that outside the accepting world of the Playa, those who we would ride past would instead be disgusted or made uncomfortable. Why ever be nude in a hostile environment? However, one of the fundamental lessons of Burning Man is radical self-reliance, so having to cheer myself on in spite of negative looks or comments is an exercise I will pursue.
Would you do Critical Tits?
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