HBM071: The Evangelists of Nudism

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Growing up Mormon in Montana, Bethany Denton had a phrase drilled into her mind from an early age: “modest is hottest.”  To her, it became a mantra even while many of her friends, especially other girls, struggled with Mormonism’s strict modesty standards. But never Bethany–she was fat enough to know that no one wanted to see that anyway.

By the time Bethany moved to Washington State for college, she had rejected the church and was looking for new, broader experiences.  She got a job as a campus security officer, started drinking, and began wading into feminism.  She looked for new, non-Mormon role models to help her find adventure. That’s when she met Helen, a punk rock pirate who invited Bethany to join her for an all-expenses paid nude vacation, courtesy of an eccentric tech millionaire who evangelized the merits of nudism.

Bethany said yes, and went with Helen to California to bake in the sun for a week, and to learn about the body she’d been hiding for the past 20 years, learn to decouple nakedness from sexuality.

And when she returned, she felt utterly changed.  But she’d soon tearfully discover she was not entirely untangled from childhood guilt.

Names in this story have been changed.

"Artist's" Renderings of what Bethany Saw
Photos by Jeff Emtman

This episode was written and produced by Bethany Denton, and was edited by Jeff Emtman. Nick White is HBM’s editor at KCRW.

Music:  Nym | | | Half Ghost  | | |  Lucky Dragons 

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HBM056: It Works Better in Movies

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When Lina Misitzis was a teenager, she told people she was dying.  She wasn't.  But, an entire genre of "dying girl gets the guy" movies taught her that landing a boyfriend required a certain brevity on this planet.  She only lied to men, men she wanted to be with. 

Content Note: Explicit Content

That was more than ten years ago, but the guilt of exploiting imaginary illness for (failed) romantic gain stays with her to the present.  Julia Wallace, her therapist, thinks that Lina can overcome this guilt by re-writing the story of her teenage years, by calling three people she wronged and telling the truth.   So, Lina does.   

Music: The Black Spot ||| Serocell

Lina Misitzis produced this piece.  Jeff Emtman edited it with help from Bethany Denton and Nick White.

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HBM041: Crossing the River, Feeling Watched

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In his junior year of high school, HBM host Jeff Emtman left his home and everything he knew to live and study in a tiny village nestled in the Cascade Mountain range of Washington state.

An outsider among outsiders in a tight-knit rural community, it wasn't long before Jeff felt the unmistakable feeling of being watched.

 

UPDATE:

This is Jeff, host of HBM. I have a very unusual update to our most recent episode, where I described a feeling of...

Posted by Here Be Monsters on Saturday, June 27, 2015

This episode is the first in our 4th season of shows.  We recently joined KCRW.  If you'd like to know what that means for the show, you can read a little bit about our acquisition.

Music: Swamp Dog ||| Serocell ||| Flowers <--.NEW!

This episode was produced by Jeff Emtman and Bethany Denton.  Our editor at KCRW was Nick White.