Large Format Trade Paperback

Kindle edition:

Naked in the Roses is a screenplay about nudity, political correctness, taboos, unforeseen consequences, romance, love, lust, politics — you know, the good stuff.

I suggest you read the Introduction below for more.

There’s also a simple tutorial about how to read a screenplay for pleasure. It’s easy.

Naked in the Roses


I like to say I never do the same thing twice, and for the most part, that’s true. In the case of Naked in the Roses, I’d never written anything like it before, and I probably won’t ever revisit its terrain again. Naked started with a scene that didn’t make the cut — my hero, Bob the photographer of nudes, was going to get maneuvered into posing nude himself. The old switcheroo, as it’s called. Except, once I got into the story, that didn’t seem to matter anymore.

What the story became was a romance between opposites who discover they’re not so opposite after all. Throw in a little nudity, a little chauvinism (going both directions), a subplot about a girl who misunderstands attraction and body image, drop in a pinch of extremist political action, and voila — you’ve got a story. I intended it to be more funny and less amusing, but sometimes the tales we tell take on their own personalities. Naked is funny at moments, and occasionally charming, but it’s also about something far more serious — who really owns the human body, and more, who owns how we should act or think? I don’t have a right to tell you who you can befriend, sleep with, vote for, cheer for, love, hate, or despise. If you want to be a knuckle-dragging troglodyte and hate left-handed people, that’s your business as long as you take no action against them. Political correctness remains a strong movement among the weaker minded among us. They need to sit down and shut the frick-frack up.

So, what began as a light-hearted foray into sexual politics took on a life of its own, including an ending very different from what I originally intended, which was a full vindication of the hero and his naked women picture taking proclivities. It turns out, yes, Bob does bare some responsibility for what he does.

I would not stop to look at a nude photo of a woman whose lips were pouting in fabricated arousal, or whose body parts were displayed in obstetrical detail. But I do think women are the flower of the human race and I enjoy seeing them clothed and nude. I do understand that my response to their beauty is in part sexual — I am a guy, after all — but I also think what makes women beautiful is inherent in what they are. Feminine beauty is intrinsically female. Men by contrast are not particularly interesting unless in motion, catching, throwing or chasing a ball.

It has become popular, particularly among feminists and faux feminists alike (usually the male variety) to claim that any interest in women sans clothing (outside of the sexual act) is objectification of women. I admit, there are some men who see women as an assortment of breasts, legs, stomachs and butts. There are troglodytic people everywhere, and if we count only them, we count almost no one.

It has been hardwired into men for more than several million years that women have figures men do not, that there is something charming and lovely about them. Women have played this card in the game of sexual poker since it was invented. Men don’t wear mascara, nor eyeliner, nor pancake. Men don’t obsess about color and form, the proper hang of a garment, or the question, “Does this make my butt look bigger?” Women (I speak of many, probably most, but certainly not all) are far more concerned about their appearance than men are, something women sometimes lament. There is a shallow reason for this — traditionally, women attract, and men are attracted. But there is a greater, deeper reason, a reason that goes to the center of female-male relations, and it’s this: Each of us is a composite of what our fathers found beautiful, and our mothers found strong or admirable, in one another. Each might have shared a small portion of the dynamic of the other, but overall men are attracted (first) by beauty and women are attracted (first and last) by character. In short, men love art, and women literature. My mother used to say that my father was very handsome. My Dad said my mother was really a beauty and he felt that he’d accomplished something to win her. Beauty, you see, is the foundation of the human race, a cornerstone of what we really are. That it varies from person to person, is in truth half in the eye of the beholder, and half in the beheld, is what makes horse races.

Like Bob, I enjoy artistic female nudes. I see something more in them than some people do, it’s true. More often than not, breasts and hips, legs and bottoms, don’t figure into my appreciation as much as balance, poise, and presence. There are times when the turn of a hand, the form of a knee, the look in a woman’s eyes, the contour of her neck, the shape of her fingers or wrist, the finite details of humanity expressed in exquisite youth are enough to make me sense the near divinity of my species, and the tragedy that is encapsulated in the word, ‘near’. How can human beings be this beautiful? How can they be this wonderful and yet mortal?

Yes, I like seeing all of the assorted female vista points usually covered by clothes, but it’s more than that. I don’t like seeing women demeaned by coy poses. Rather, I want to see women caught in that singular moment of perfection, on the best day of their lives, at that instant when the most that the human race has to offer is captured halfway between what was, and what will be. Beauty, like love itself, is fragile and ephemeral, and the fire that consumes us all from moment to instant, consumes it, too.

So there you have it. I share a great deal with Bob in Naked in the Roses. He learns, as I learned long ago, that beauty is not everything, but it is something to be enjoyed and celebrated.

   — Richard Taylor

   Cambria, California

   July 23, 2008

Also eBook formats for iPad, Nook, and Sony Reader

iPad edition:

(through iBooks Store

no link)