Today I'm hosting the very talented Sean Black, author of the Ryan Lock thriller series. The first in the series, LOCKDOWN, sold in the kind of heated auction that most writers only dream about. It went on to sell oodles of copies and was followed up by the bestselling DEADLOCK and GRIDLOCK, all featuring elite bodyguard Ryan Lock. For more information on his books, stop by his web site seanblackbooks.com.
The squeamish may wish to shield their eyes as I ask Sean this week's question: What's your most embarrassing naked moment? I had to follow that up by explaining that it was for the blog post and also a detailed explanation of which accompanying photos would not be appropriate. He sent me a naked picture anyway. And I'm posting it below. So there.
Let's be honest, when you get to a certain age there are no really great naked moments. Not anymore. The days of looking semi-admiringly at a taut, slim torso are gone, and ahead lies the distant shores of middle-aged spread and wrinkly decrepitude.
Of course it used to be the case that the male ego was usually spared the worst of these indignities but those days too are gone. Where women had to worry about sagging boobs, men must now concern themselves with man boobs, or to use the proper tabloid expression, moobs. Simon Cowell's magical 'now you see 'em, now you don't' moobs are the stuff of annual photo spreads in the British tabloids every Christmas when he rocks up at Sandy Lane in Barbados. Simon, I feel your pain.
Even if you are not someone given to issues about your body, children are always on hand to helpfully point out your physical shortcomings. Embarrassing naked moments? Pah! I now have embarrassing fully-clothed moments – to wit my ten-year-old pointing out that my favorite new sweatshirt highlighted my moobs. Worse, the little monkey was right! Chiseled pectoral muscles have given way to man boobs. To quote Brando in Apocalypse Now, “The horror!”
Moving south, things don't get any better. There is the unshiftable paunch. I may have a six-pack but good luck spotting it beneath the keg.
Anyway, so far, so humdrum. We get older, our metabolism slows, and we carry a little extra packing. No biggie. But then comes the real horror of male middle-age. A gravity inspired condition that dare not speak its name. All of a sudden you catch sight of yourself in the mirror and realise that your long held ambition to be king of the swingers has finally been achieved but it sure as hell hasn't made you a jungle VIP. What was once taut and tight now looks like a hairy version of one of those Newton's Cradle desk toys beloved of stressed-out executives.
My most embarrassing naked moment? My life is a series of them.
Note: In the course of writing this blog post, I made the mistake of half-jokingly saying to my wife that I hope such candor didn't hurt my career. To which she threw her head back, laughed like a Musketeer and said, “What? As a male model?” before running into the living room, cackling all the way. And perhaps there is some comfort to be had in the fact that for a writer, looks may help, but a few extra pounds or decades of gravity doesn't impinge upon us in the same way it does say an actor, or Simon Cowell.