Susan DiPlacido

Naked I

Susan DiPlacido

I love the idea of this project, because I’m a real big fan of naked bodies.  Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of exposing my body, not any part of it, unless it’s for the sake of immersing it in sunshine and water.  But I guess that’s revealing and exposing myself to admit that, so hopefully this qualifies.  As much as I prefer to not have my body scrutinized, I sure do enjoy objectifying others, particularly willing men.  So color me hypocrite.  Hopefully it’s a color I wear well, but if not, hey, at least I’m wearing something, and that makes me happy.

I was lucky enough to be an art student in school, and that afforded me the opportunity to be expected to gaze at and interpret the human form.  What always struck me were the details.  I’m a sucker for a man’s hands and forearms above most other things.  I have a fascination with watching tendons shift and fluctuate as veins pop and then recede.  There’s just something both sensual and sexy about that to me, and I guess that quirk/kink exposes itself in my writing often enough.

Excerpt from 24/7:

I noticed before that he’s always in some kind of motion, I imagine taming him is like pinning down mercury.

We both take long slugs off our drinks.  I light up a smoke and he does the same.  I wish I could tell what he’s thinking as he sits there smoking.  I wish I knew, because I’m not even thinking, I’m just absorbing.  I’m taking sidelong glances at him and trying to note, log and detail every nuance of him.

He’s wearing all black; black shoes, black pants, black T-shirt.  It fits his coloring well.  There’s a tiny flash of gold around the back of his neck, but it’s not a thick chain, and he keeps the front tucked under his shirt, so it’s not really ghetto.  He’s not as animated as when he sat down; either the Cuervo took the edge off, or he’s getting more comfortable with me.  But he’s still in constant, fluid motion.  His forearm is sinewy, every tendon moves as he flicks his ashes from his cigarette.  His shirt hugs him a little tight in the sleeves, not in an exaggerated International Male kind of way, but I can see that vein, that one glorious vein that travels up the front of his biceps, protruding.  Oh Madone.

Susan DiPlacido is the author of five novels and one collection of short stories: 24/7, Trattoria, Mutual Holdings, House Money (forthcoming), Lady Luck (forthcoming),and American Cool. Trattoria was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Small Press Romance 2005, and her short story, “I, Candy,” won the Spirit Award at the 2005 Moondance International Film Festival. American Cool won the bronze medal in the 2008 IPPY awards and was a finalist in the 2008 Indie Book Awards.  Her fiction has appeared in Susie Bright’s Best American Erotica 2007, Maxim Jakubowski’s Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica vol. 6 and 7, Zane’s Caramel Flava, and Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction.

She can be found online at and

12 Responses to “Susan DiPlacido”

  1. For my money this definitely qualifies. It’s as much about exploring our perspective on exhibition as exposing. I really enjoy how you fix on the details of the body in motion in your writing, as well as how the details come to life in your art.

    Very sensual and tactile.

    A side note, I have a long working affiliation with International Male. Not as a model, mind you…

  2. Oooh, yes I think you may not only qualify as a true exposer, but also a voyeur too. How lovely that is, eh? Hmmmm…and I’d love to learn more about your sunshine and water body parts.

    I loved this gorgeous excerpt below:

    “…He’s wearing all black; black shoes, black pants, black T-shirt. It fits his coloring well. There’s a tiny flash of gold around the back of his neck, but it’s not a thick chain, and he keeps the front tucked under his shirt, so it’s not really ghetto. He’s not as animated as when he sat down; either the Cuervo took the edge off, or he’s getting more comfortable with me….”

    yum. yum. yum.

  3. Hey Susan,

    I’m with you on the entrancing charm of manly hands, forearms and popping veins. Reminds me of other thick, vein-rich masculine endowments ;-). I’m a huge fan of your work for so many reasons, but your strong, confident “eye” in your fiction has always been especially impressive. Voyeurs and visual artists do reveal themselves through their interpretation of their models, and I thank you for reminding me that self-exposure is more complex than just stripping down. (By the same token, I think editors, who some might see as invisible, are actually revealing so much in their choices of stories).

    And the feminist in me loves the way you so skillfully overturn the traditional dynamic of male voyeur-female exposer–with the spotlight on the torso and the face blending into the universal Everyman. Or maybe I’m just saying it’s a very sexy drawing!

  4. Susan,

    I’ve been a big fan of your work since Donna thoughtfully pointed me in the direction of your writing.

    To me, your comments are an astute summary of the writing process. As authors we need to observe keenly and – in the best writing – we need to be all but invisible as we relay our observations to the audience. Kudos to you for remaining so beautifully invisible.


  5. Aah … I always struggle for that acute obeservation of detail, that precision of description that makes a scene come alive. Something I find so hard! It’s a great gift you have there, Susan.

  6. Kudos to you for remaining so beautifully invisible.

    Yes, what Ashley said. That was just how this made me feel. in a culture of “expose all” I think there’s a great deal of hidden strength in choosing not to expose the expected and instead turn your keen reflections on someone else.

    Beautifully done.

  7. A fascinating post, Susan, and I love your drawing.

    Indeed, when you started talking about hands, I was immediately reminded of “Neon Nights,” as I recall hand detail/description standing out in that story.

    I really liked the perspective of detailed examination/observation around the theme of exposure in this post. So lovely and interesting to see yet another angle of the fabulous F-Stop this way! Thank you for sharing.

  8. erobintica Says:

    All day I’ve been coming back and trying to figure out what I want to say – a lovely post and the drawing is wonderful and very evocative.

    My mother was an artist and I still have some of the sketches she did in a life drawing class when she was a teenager. Not sure if they had male models or not – there are no sketches that show evidence of that, and with her gone, I can’t ask. Both my daughters are also artists and in there classes there were male models. One thing I distinctly remember with my youngest daughter (who took her drawing class in Japan btw Donna), was that she was telling me how hard it was to get the hands right.

    I think all art (no matter the form) is the artist’s attempt to express something that is inside him/herself.

    Thank you Susan.

  9. Wonderful. All of the above and so much more than what meets the eye.

    Is quink a new quirk/kink?


  10. I don’t think there’s anything hypocritical about not wanting to have your body scrutinized while indulging in the scrutinizing of the bodies of “willing men.” We all have different buttons (innies and outies, you know), and what we like giving isn’t always the same as what we like receiving. Nothing wrong with that, imo.

    Thanks for sharing your voice, your careful eye, your steady hand, and your wit!

  11. Everyone, thank you so much for your kind comments!

    Craig — International Male is not given enough credit as the inspirational catalyst it can be 😉

    Neve — I’m definitely a voyuer, yes!

    Donna — the sexy everyman, I like that! Thanks so much for having me here, this was great fun!

    Ashley — invisible, YES, I do try for that, you put it beautifully.

    Janine — details do help make it all come alive.

    SG– it’s either strength or cowardice, so I’ll choose strenght!

  12. Emerald — it is fascinating to see all these perspectives about the same theme here at F-Stop, isn’t it?

    erobintica — hands are extremely difficult to capture, yes. Maybe that’s part of what makes them so fascinating, is the level of precise detail and character in each pair.

    Isabel — quink, I love that!

    Jeremy — love the innies/outies comparison, along with giving/getting. Thanks so much!

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