Intimate part  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

An intimate or private part is a place on the human body which it is usually customary to keep covered with clothing in public areas, as a matter of decency. The term is a euphemism.

Definitions vary, but in Western cultures they are approximately the parts involved in sexual arousal, procreation, and elimination of excreta and related matter, including:

In the West and elsewhere, females breasts are typically considered as parts that should be covered in most contexts, with degree of tolerance for uncovered breasts (such as at beaches) varying in different regions. In some places, such as many contexts in the United States, where breasts are typically considered as not appropriate to be exposed in public, it is sometimes considered sufficient (such as in certain entertainment venues, usually for an adult male audience) that the nipples alone be covered. It is however quite common in the United States for mothers to breastfeed their very young children in public view, which often involves exposure of the nipple.

In some periods of European history, female shoulders and legs were included. More conservative viewpoints in the West in some contexts still find it appropriate that females should cover their shoulders, particularly when entering a church or other sacred space.

In Islamic traditions, the definition of intimate parts are similar to their definition in Western culture. A significant proportion of Muslims believe that females should cover most of their body, especially the hair, shoulders, neck, and the "intimate parts" mentioned above. Although men can leave their hair uncovered, they must also keep their "intimate parts" hidden. It is often stated that these parts are likely to arouse excitement in males, and for reasons of chastity and modesty, should be covered.

Exposure of one's intimate parts, particularly unintended exposure, is typically connected with feelings of shame. Such acts may be subject to strict social rules, social control and criminal justice; see nudity and indecent exposure. However, exhibitionism is an example of a typically nonthreatening mindframe wherein the person who exposes his or her "intimate parts," particularly female breasts, is looking for a validating reaction from those to whom the parts are exposed, giving the exposer an ego rush and feelings of validation and attention.

Intentionally touching the intimate parts of another person, even through clothing, is often associated with sexual intent. If this is done without legally valid consent of the person being touched, it may be considered sexual harassment or sexual assault.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Intimate part" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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