Serena Williams, Dwight Howard and Adrian Peterson don’t need to feel anything but proud of the countless hours they’ve spent sculpting their instruments to be played at their highest level. Why not appreciate their sacrifice and the allow it to be appreciated? Why not appreciate their varied symmetry in its most natural state?
These bodies are art. Is there a sexual element? Certainly, but I feel less a tingle in my underpants and more an appreciation for these physiques which move with considerable grace.
The voyeuristic gaze? It’ll never go away. Should we hide ourselves and the good work that we’ve done because someone might fetishize us? It seems to me that the question comes down to whether or not we fetishizes ourselves; whether we think our bodies are simply for the public consumption of other or if it is something that we are allowing to be displayed and admired. This is a matter of agency.
With agency–and integrity–you know the difference between exploitation and exposure; between being taken and giving freely.