Today's JSVB post features a nude self-portrait! Yes, you read that right. If you do not want to see male Jeffian nudity, please do not scroll this page down.
Loyal JSVB readers will know that earlier this month, my wife and I enjoyed a quick junket to fabulous Las Vegas. Although we enjoyed the usual tourist spots along the famous Strip, perhaps the highlight was a spa day at the end of our trip.
For the record, I'm not much of a spa person. However, Vegas does things big and bold, and the Qua spa in Caesar's Palace is no exception. They advertise Roman-style pools, and I have to admit that the idea of bathing as the Romans did is an attractive prospect. As an artist, I've long been fascinated with ancient Rome. I've even visited the Roman ruins of one of their largest and most famous bath-houses.
If you are unaware, the classical Romans placed a high personal and social value on bathing. Bath-houses were owned and operated by the State, so that admission was free for any citizen. Bath-houses could be large enough to hold thousands of bathers at once, so they tended to become the focus of Roman community. Typically, a Roman bath would have a caldarium, tepidarium, and a frigidarium. These are pools that feature hot, warm, and cold water, respectively. As in contemporary spas, the bathers would move from pool to pool and feel invigorated and relaxed by the changing water temperatures.
Another thing the Romans did was to bathe nude. The Qua spa in Caesar's Palace is "clothing optional", so when I partook of the baths, I decided I might as well enjoy the entire Roman experience. The naked truth is that Roman bathing is very enjoyable and... liberating.
Since my spa experience, I spent considerable effort deciding on how to frame my experiences for a blog post here on JSVB. Using an Internet search engine, I decided to see how many other bloggers have chosen to publish nude self-portraits. It turns out that bloggers aren't shy, although a predictable and comforting number have chosen to disguise their self-nudity through clever artistic means.
When I worked on my own nude self-portrait, I decided to deflect attention to my naked self splashing in the Roman pools like a water nymph by adding a cute Webster inflatable swim ring. When we were in Vegas, my wife and I took in David Copperfield's magic show. Webster the Duck is Mr. Copperfield's feathery sidekick during his performance. If you go to Vegas, make sure to say hello to Webster for us!