Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bald and Nude for Art

A University of Utah professor has shaved her head and her eyebrows and appears completely naked in a production of the play "W;t.".
I only get freaked out when I look in the mirror," (Sarah) Shippobotham says, laughing. "I have way too little personal vanity. I don't consider myself particularly brave because I had the choice to do it. And it's an amazing role for a woman, to have that much stage time and be able to tell that story, whether it's six times or 200 times, it's the fact that the story is out there." But there's also the nudity required as Bearing dies, a plot twist the character reveals to the audience early in the story. "I've never been naked on stage before, and that was an interesting aspect of the project, that sense of physical vulnerability," Shippobotham says. "Although as I have discovered, it's the emotional vulnerability that's the difficulty at the level I'd like to achieve."

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Charges Dropped Against Naked Prosecutor?

The charges of indecent exposure have been dropped against Ohio prosecutor Scott Blauvelt due to a technicality, but Sheriff's officials say that charges will be refiled with corrections. Mike Gmoser, Blauvelt's attorney said,
"There has been a great deal of public humiliation in the Blauvelt family we're very happy the charges have been dismissed. It's time for Scott to rebuild his reputation in the community."
Certainly law enforcement officials have better things to do than persecute someone who's only crime was being naked in a government building, seen by nobody except a security guard watching a monitor.
Chief Deputy Tony Dwyer said the additional words will clarify that Blauvelt is accused of being near others while committing the crime.
Near others? Can this argument possibly stand up in court, that somebody might have seen the man naked, and therefore he is guilty of indecent exposure? 45 million people without health insurance, Americans are dying every day in Iraq, Iran and North Korea have the bomb, and the best we can do is waste time prosecuting a man because somebody might have seen him naked? Sheesh.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Orgasm for Peace - December 22

The founders of Baring Witness are politically active again in organizing the Global Orgasm for Peace on the Winter Solstice, December 22.
I can understand how the connection between sexuality and the problems of the human race might seem tenuous, frivolous or in bad taste. But when you understand that most male human behavior, from violence and war to generosity and kindness, is a form of sexual display, the whole perspective changes. What better way to bring attention to, and perhaps make less acceptable, the kinds of displays that are threatening us and every other organism on the planet than the root cause of all the displays - the orgasm?

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Friday, November 17, 2006

The Weekend Newds

  • If you are naked in public and a policeman is nearby, you might be considered an extremely dangerous person.
  • In the Twin Cities, there is apparently an outbreak of nudity on theatre stages.
    "Sometimes it's to show a sculptural beauty, especially in dance," said Philip Bither. As senior curator of performing arts at the Walker, he's responsible for
    booking many of the acts that disrobe there. "And sometimes it's to shock us and oppose decency norms," said Bither. That would be Karen Finley sliding naked through honey at the Illusion Theater or vacuum-cleaning in the buff at Intermedia Arts.
  • A Tennessee television station visits a nudist resort, here is a link to the story that includes video.
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I'm Looking Through You

Body scanners will soon be everywhere. One is being installed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in India, which will allow security personnel to see, in effect, what passengers look like completely naked. It occured to me that this could be a good thing, that perhaps this technology will begin to reverse this incredible hang-up that modern society has about the naked human body. It's just a matter of time before this scanning capability is miniaturized to the point where anyone at any time and in any place will be able to see everyone naked. Tear down the walls!

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Sex and Nudity on Campus

A student at Pomona College in California stumbles upon a late-night campus party and describes the uninhibited nudity and sexuality as if writing a Terry Southern novel, but the writer does make one bullseye obervation:
Could the fashion industry be to blame for our divergence from nature, by subliminally telling us that we need clothing to improve our appearances and social status? In actuality, it may be hindering our capacity for social interaction by disguising our identities and presenting false ones to society. If we felt comfortable enough with our own bodies, then maybe we’d be less judgmental of others and be able to communicate more.

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Heroin OK, Nudity Not

Wow. A meteoroligist at a Virginia television station has been fired because a nude photo of him taken by a former friend was posted on the Internet. The photo showed Jamey Singleton in the shower, a normal everyday activity and completely non-sexual. The amazing thing about this story is that Mr. Singleton previously admitted to a heroin addiction and the station stood by him through that crisis. Perhaps the nude photo was the straw that broke the camel's back, but in the year 2006 we should not be persecuting people for their own bodies. On one hand, we elevate the celebrity of people like Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson for their explicit sex tapes on the internet, and then cry "morals clause" for simple, natural nudity.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Daily Newds

  • Russian photographer Sergey Besousov and his 30 nude studies are featured in a gallery exhibit in Tbilisi. "Working on the Art Nude collection was very difficult for me. If you are a real artist you should ignore your human feelings while taking photos of nude models and see their beauty only from an artistic point of view," Belousov said, adding that, "to tell you the truth this was a serious problem for me, especially when you are working with so many beautiful women. It is like walking on a knife-edge, but today I can say that, as a photographer, I reached my goal," Belousov said at the opening.
  • The Ohio prosecutor who was fired for walking aroung naked in a government building after hours wants his job back.
  • A nudist resort has invited actor Will Ferrell to recreate his nude streaking scene from the movie "Old School", but this time with a lot of people joining him.
  • The Pensacola Sketch Club is struggling to gain acceptance for offering the general public an opportunity to draw nude life models.
    The region's somewhat puritanical distaste for nudity, particularly breasts, is only one of the reasons that Sketch Club prefers to remain somewhat anonymous. Delles recalls when the group met at The Belmont Arts Center Sometimes there'd be someone who wasn't there to draw," he says. "They were there to see the model."
  • A chilly nude life model has gone on strike until the art studio gets some heat.
  • A Santa Cruz nude beach is on the market.
  • Here's a nice story about how a visit to a nudist resort helped to dissolve differences between a man and his wife's annoying co-worker.
  • An Australian radio station has produced a worthwhile 30 minute program on nudism. You can download or listen to the audio here.
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Daily Newds

  • A group of women in the UK have posed nude for a calendar to raise money for families hit hard by the collapse of a local business. "All the girls were great sports and they really enjoyed themselves once they had a few drinks and built up a bit of Dutch courage."
  • A woman in the UK seeks advice because she is ashamed of her body and keeps something on during sex to cover up. One of the main benefits of nudism is that people develop a healthier attitude about body image, this woman needs to just strip down with some other size 14 women and she will see that not everybody looks like an airbrushed supermodel.
  • A Kentucky photography exhibit has barred the nude photo that won the top prize in the black and white category. The photographer removed his photos and left the blue ribbon behind. As usual, it's about "the children". "They're not appropriate for this type of event," says Cindy Rullman, associate director of marketing and public relations for the Horse Park. "I think it was really a very simple decision. It's not at all an indictment of nude photography."
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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Daily Newds

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

On Nudism and Sexuality: A Response to Naked Nudism

Naked Nudism has undertaken an ambitious essay regarding the relationship between nudism and sexuality. I think that it's important for the nudism/naturism movement to engage in discussion, to constantly raise issues and work to resolve conflicts and promote the benefits of the nude lifestyle. Naked Nudism is a strong voice and deserves to be heard.

But there are some misconceptions in his conclusions, perhaps stemming from some lack of life experience. First of all, the nudism community is not "anti-sex". Even Christian Evangelicals are not opposed to sex (as long as it fits their definition). The general sensitivity of nudist organizations to overt sexual behavior is no different than attitudes you will find at most every social gathering in America, from the local church, school, business, or club. One would no more make an inappropriate gesture or remark at a naturist event than at a dinner party at the home of a friend.

Naked Nudism has made it clear that he believes that nudity is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, as it is a form of expression like speech. But this ignores the stark reality that nudity is not generally accepted by the vast majority of American society, that it is considered "indecent", and in most jurisdictions being naked in public will land you in jail.

And freedom of speech does not allow any person to say or do anything to anyone else. Social mores are developed over hundreds and even thousands of years and are not likely to fall by the wayside overnight. In our lifetimes, I feel quite certain that the right to be naked in public will not become the law or custom of the land.
The primary assumption in the argument is that others think nudity is wrong only because they link it to sex. It ignores the possibility (IMHO, the reality) that these people think nudity is immoral in its own right, regardless of whether or not it's sexual. Making the distinction does nothing to win them over, because they think nudity itself is wrong.
This is primarily a disease of the United States. Whether it's the result of years of Puritanism, Victorian morality or religious pressures on society, is a subject for more extensive debate. I tend to think that today's American attitudes towards nudity are based in popular culture, primarily in the sexualization of the female nude body in magazines like Hustler, Penthouse and Playboy, and in mainstream media like television and movies. The public is virtually never exposed to a naked body unless it's in a sexual context. As for the naked male figure, rampant homophobia has taken hold of many young men who hold the belief that the mere sight of another man's genitalia is a homosexual act.

Of course it's all more complicated than that. The bottom line is that Americans are in fear of nude people, having been conditioned to believe that a person who takes off his or her clothes in a social situation is either mentally ill, a pervert, or a sexual predator. This is a huge misconception to overcome.

So nearly all nudist resorts prohibit sexual behavior. This is done out or respect for those people who know and understand the the simple, normal and healthy act of being nude is not a sexual act, it is a sensual experience, it is fulfilling a basic aspect of just being human. Sexual behavior is also stifled to adhere to local laws and ordinances that would force the businesses to close down if identified as adult-oriented activities. And let's not forget the fact that children also come to the resorts, and I don't think there is anyone that would argue that the innocence of youth is something we all want to protect and preserve. Nudism is, in a large sense, an attempt to recapture some of that magic of being young, before the weights of the world rested on our shoulders.
If you believe that your "right not to be offended" by sexual activity is more important than the freedom of others to engage in it, then you completely abandon the moral authority to argue against someone who believes their "right not to be offended" by nudity trumps your freedom to be nude. To do argue otherwise just makes you a hypocrite.
Well, I guess that I am a hypocrite. The "golden rule" is always a good way to measure appropriate behavior - "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you". The fact is that society as a whole dictates what is offensve and what is not, it is not a simple matter of just declaring something to be OK and then expecting everyone else to go along. I do not have the right to be nude in public, that's what the law says, and the law is based upon the general consesus of the majority. Society does accept some nude beaches, nudist resorts, and certainly the right to be naked at home (as long as others cannot see you), but I must accept the fact that I cannot strip down and sunbathe nude in a downtown park. If enough people work to change public opinion and the law, then perhaps someday we will be a bit more like Europe with more designated nude areas, but this is not a given.
On a final note, it needs to be pointed out that it really is counterproductive for nudists to be anti-sex. Sexual expression is unquestionably the bigger taboo than nudity, so as society in general becomes more tolerant and accepting of sexuality, it follows that nudism will benefit from that. Sexual liberation helps nudism - so it makes little sense for any nudist to try to impede social progress in that area.
Well it seems that Naked Nudism just tied sexuality and nudism together in terms of public acceptance. The sensible way to promote nudism is to try and separate the two. Nudists are not anti-sex, but in social situations sexual behavior is not tolerated. When you go to work, or to Wal-Mart, or to McDonalds, you do not expect to find sexual activity, and the vast majority of people visiting nudist resorts do not want the experience complicated by open sex. Pure nudism is found in the acceptance and celebration of the human form as it is, that people should not be ashamed of any part of their body, and that the shedding of clothes in social situations is a means to find a more honest sense of self. As the slogan says above, "Nude, we resemble one another", we are no longer doctors, lawyers, construction workers, ministers, etc., just people.

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The Weekend Newds

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Public Memorial for "The Naked Guy"

There was much more to the person known as "The Naked Guy". Before he became famous for being naked on the campus of The University of California-Berkeley, Luis Andrew Martinez was an extraordinary individual. A memorial celebration of his life will be held Sunday in Cupertino.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Streaking Students Provoke Complaints and Indifference in Pomona

Seriously, if you can't streak in college, what's the point of even going in the first place? At Pomona College in California, streaking is on the rise and the administration is clamping down on what is being termed "indecent behaviour" stemming from an incident during a recent soccer game.
“People didn’t have much of a reaction because it’s so common,” said Nora Kuby ’10, a member of the women’s soccer team who was on the field at the time of the incident. “I was definitely not offended, just indifferent.”
But it's not the students who are having the problem, it's the alumni and local residents who were at the game.
“Public nudity is actually not allowed,” said Dean of Students Ann Quinley. “I just think students are pushing the envelope, and this is something that should be discouraged.”
Pushing the envelope? Isn't that what college is supposed to encourage students to do? Streaking is the most innocent of college protests, it is a pure "in-your-face" statement that does no harm. A student who bares his or her body while running across a sports field or through a science building is only telling authority that no matter what the institution, no matter what the curriculum or the activity, that "here I am" in the flesh, unencumbered by the trappings of institutional authority. It's an expression of simple freedom, a burst of youthful energy from out of the bonds of stress and the complexities of life.

Despite the existing policy and Quinley’s warning, students continue to act out.
With the number of incidents on the rise, it is clear that college policies have
not prevented students from streaking.
Of course not, the more you tell them not to do it, the more they will. When I was in college in 1973 the streaking phenomenon was at its peak, sometimes there were literally dozens of people, both male and female, running around in groups. One time a group of 4 male students donned masks and tennis shoes and nothing else and streaked the dining hall. The only reaction I recall from authority was the comment of one of the Deans who was quoted in the student newspaper as having said, "The fact that they wore masks proves that they had no balls".

Banning streaking on college campuses is like banning sex. Better to let the kids have their innocent fun to vent a little bit of steam than to impose unenforceable rules.

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The Daily Newds

  • The Loveland Visual Arts Commission has caved in to a handful of prudes and a request from the City Council, and has voted to move the nude sculpture "Triangle" to a location where it cannot be seen from the road.
  • A writer for Wired spent a weekend at a clothing-optional spa. "Aside from the inconvenience of not having pockets, it quickly becomes natural to walk around in the buff. And there's nothing like hanging out with a bunch of naked people to remind you what human beings really look like, especially if most of your nude recreation happens in virtual environments."

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Daily Newds

  • Several female Kentucky National Guard soldiers will not face courts-martial for allegedly posing in the nude for photos before being shipped to Iraq.
  • Jean McDonald, at the tender are of 90, has posed nude for a fundraising calendar. She said: "It was really great fun to do. I was completely up for it and my family love the idea. They have ordered about a dozen calendars already." Also, a San Antonio area senior center is working on their own nude calendar. One participant declared "he could understand how people become nudists."
  • A student writes a tongue-in cheek article in the student newspaper of Luther College in Iowa, where a ban on student nudity is being proposed.
  • A UK artist is being given a second chance to exhibit his paintings of nudes after the first gallery balked because "he was told some of the nudity in his work might offend the public".
  • In Montreal, a Hasidic Synagogue is embroiled in a flap about scantily clad women working out at the YMCA next door. One member "believes those women in tights are corrupting the young boys at the synagogue across the street".
  • A Cleveland photography show celebrates the natural beauty of women. One woman who posed recalls her experience: "And when we got to the park, I was so comfortable and felt so natural, you'd think I'd have done it every day of my life. It was kind of a dream, to run in my birthday suit."
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Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Daily Newds

  • A Glasgow art school is requiring its nude life models to undergo background checks.
  • A soccer team in the UK does not have changing rooms where they play so they have been getting dressed in the street for the past 50 years, and now someone has complained about their bare bottoms.
  • Daniel Radcliffe is 17 and appearing fully naked on the British stage in a revival of "Equus". This play has been running for 23 years and only now is there controversy regarding the nudity, and that is only because the young actor who exposes his privates also plays the cinema's Harry Potter.
  • Marcia Cross wants her nude photos back after someone found them in her trash. When you throw something out, it it still your property?
  • Jon Lovitz assaulted on beach by two topless women!
  • The kerfuffle over the nude statue in Loveland continues as the head of the Arts Commission resigns in protest of the city council's plan to create oversight.
  • At Missoula's Hot Springs you are likely to encounter naked strangers and an expolding mule.
  • All sorts of Canadians are getting naked.
  • A British Golf Society is raising money for testicular cancer with a nude calendar. Expect a lot of jokes about balls and putters.
  • Naked Nudism has assembled some YouTube clips of a Libertatian talk show on nudism.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Weekend Newds

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

What is Obscene?

Well, in Texas it's "anything tangible that is capable of being used or adapted to arouse sexual interest". In a recent raid of 3 retail establishments, police confiscated over 2000 items that might fit this definition, and the store owners face a four thousand dollar fine or up to a year in jail if convicted in a trial. This really is sheer madness to waste taxpayer dollars to try and suppress the human sexual drive. Better that people are allowed to express their sexuality through masturbation than to force them into seeking alternative means of stimulation. I certainly hope that they confiscated all of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, because there is no way that anyone can argue that those beautiful woman in provocative poses is meant for anything other than to arouse adolescent males. Grow up America, this sort of cultural ignorance only serves to prove to the rest of the world that we are simply out of our minds.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

The Weekend Newds

  • New Zealand naturists are comfortable in their own skin.
  • A British ad for a shower gel has been pulled by the Advertising Standards authority just because the naked model looked too young and could be mistaken for a child.
  • A South Carolina buyer has withdrawn from a land deal that would have created a naturist community.
  • An Ohio Prosecutor who was arrested for being seen nude on a security camera in a government building has pled not guilty by reason of insanity, and has been ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation.
  • A former London magistrate spent over $600,000 for a woman do do his housekeeping wearing nothing but rubber gloves.
  • Actress Anne Hathaway has a good attitude about nudity. She says, "I grew up studying classic painters. They certainly didn't shy away from nudes. I don't find anything morally reprehensible about it."I think it is different to pose in a pair of hotpants on the cover of Stuff magazine. That's something I'm just not interested in doing."
  • Click here for the results of the 2006 Naturist Education Foundation/Roper Poll on American attitudes on nude sunbathing.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Daily Newds

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Weekend Newds

  • Topfree equality advocates scored a big victory when a Florida appeals court ruled that women can protest bare breasted. Cheers to Elizabeth book who believes that nudity laws are applied unfairly to women.
  • Environmentalists in the UK have staged a naked bike ride.
  • Nudists in Dawsonville, Georgia, are no longer hiding. "By opening up to the public, we demystify what we have," said Dean Hadley, the resort's manager. "A lot of people don't understand what this is all about. By demystifying it, people understand us better - and people don't think we're a bunch of crackpots."

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

If a Tree Falls in the Forest...

...and nobody is around, does it make a sound? The same question can be applied to an Ohio City Prosecutor who has been arrested and charged with two counts of public indecency for being naked in a government building after hours. The catch is that he was alone, and nobody complained, but he was seen by a guard monitoring a security camera.

Now I don't know why the man was naked, perhaps he's a nudist and just enjoys the freedom, and since he was alone, it seemed to be harmless. There is nothing I have read that would lead me to believe that his behavior was sexual or offensive - he was apparently just naked. This article mentions that he was recently in a bad automobile accident so perhaps this could have something to do with his state of mind.

But it seems to me that there are better ways to handle situations like these. Did anyone even try and talk to this man and ask him why he was naked? Maybe he would have simply put his clothes back on and that could have been the end of it. Another solution would be to have spoken with the man's family to try and ascertain if he's just a nudist or if there are other issues.

Arresting this man for simply being nude and alone seems to me to be an overreaction on the part of officials, even if it was in a "government building". It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Update 10/11 - It looks like the defense will be that a brain injury that led to the man's nudity, although it was also revealed that he was nude at the time of his automobile accident, suggesting a pattern.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen and William H. Macy Are all Naked

John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen and William H. Macy all get naked for a new movie - pictures here.

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The Daily Newds

  • Victoria Beckham, one of the most photographed women in the world, has body image issues.
  • Ralph Fiennes enjoys naked yoga.
  • A Federal Judge has ruled that photos can be pornographic even if there is no nudity.
  • The Natura Christian Fellowship wants to build a nudist community with 150 homes in Belton, South Carolina.
  • When Holland America's Maasdam sets sail to the Caribbean in February, the first thing most of the 1,250 passengers will do is shed their clothes.
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Friday, October 06, 2006

The Weekend Newds

  • Friends of a Devon library in the U.K. have bared all to protest a planned closing of the facility.
  • A man walked into a Pennsylvania convenience store, and when he went behind the counter, the clerk began handing over the money, but all the man did was take off his clothes.
  • Townspeople of all ages in Hawick, Scotland, will get naked for a calendar to raise money for Christmas lights.
  • A Charlotte gallery is devoting a show to the nude in art.
  • A naked model walked down the runway during Paris Fashion Week.
  • There is a difference between "nude" and "naked".
  • Fall films contain a lot of nudity.
  • Another fundraising nude calendar features an 82 year-old woman who loves her pit bull.
  • A London perfume shop featured models who were naked except for the fragrances they wore.
  • Members of a Connecticut men's gardening club have stripped for a nude calendar. "Maybe everybody has some desire to be naked, if they have the opportunity," said (Richard) Prentice, a retired science teacher.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Nude Calendars Among the Fresh Produce

A Holliston, Massachusetts, nude calendar created as a fundraiser for the Agriculture Commission is available at local farm stands.
Selectman Andy Porter sits for April 2007, posed at Lil Folk Farm while feeding Hunter, his pet alpaca. He said officials’ ability to set aside differences for what is "best for the town" makes efforts like the new calendar possible. Despite the naked pictures of town leaders, there has not been a strong response to the calendar. "I’m surprised the reaction is so low-key," said Porter, who is prepared for own Meeting on Oct. 30. "I plan to bring my alpaca."
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Do Not Admit

The Lake Como nudist resort in Florida had placed ex-Congressman Mark Foley on its "do not admit" list, three years after he unfairly compared their summer camp for children to child pornography and molestation web sites.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

West Virginia Senator in Nude Photo Scandal

West Virginia State Senator Randy White is vowing to continue his campaign for a second term in spite of some embarrassing photos that were aired on a local television station that show him nude along with a couple of other men who are wearing only body paint.

Unlike the Mark Foley scandal on Capitol Hill, there is no evidence that White did anything wrong, and whatever the reason for the photos, they were made in private with other adults.

The reason for airing the photos in the first place is highly questionable, except to embarrass and/or smear the senator in a political campaign. There seems to be absolutely no restraint on the part of news organizations in what and how "news" is reported. There was a time when any responsible editor would have refused to run with this non-story. In the Foley matter, some organizations, including Florida newspapers and even Fox News, had the original "overly-friendly" Foley e-mails, and the determination was made that there was not enough evidence to run the story. Even the FBI made the decision not to investigate Foley back in July.

But here we have a private photograph, which I have not seen, that shows this senator nude. Any nudist/naturist that has a nude photo on the Internet had better write off any political ambitions now. Until this society comes to terms with itself that the human body is inherently a good thing, and that as adults we are all entitled to our privacy when it comes to sexuality, we had all better be very careful who might be watching and who might want to do us harm.

While I unconditionally condemn any person, gay or straight, that attempts to exploit the immature sexuality of a teenager, I support the Senator in West Virginia in his decision to stay in the race and work to overcome this attempt to smear his character.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Daily Newds

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Disgraced Foley Attacked Nudist Camps

Hypocrisy knows no bounds. In 1993, pedophile stalker and former Representative Mark Foley once tried to discredit a Florida nudist resort. At the time he was running for Bob Graham's Senate seat and was using this as a button-pushing issue. Look, the AANR and all legit nudist organizations do everything possible to protect ALL the children and adults who come to their facilities in search of non-sexual nude recreation. Too bad that the same cannot be said for the Congress of the United States that KNEW this guy Foley was a problem and, for the sake of maintaining political power, left this pedophile in his position as co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus. And, according to AmericaBlog.com, was allowed to stay close to pages AFTER they knew he had issues. Like the bishops in the Catholic Church, the Republican Congressional Leaders made the decision to protect their own asses instead of looking out for the young people who look up to them for guidance and example. Shame, shame, shame.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006


This photo is a self portrait of me when I was about 22 way back in 1976.

It took until 2005 before I had the courage to admit that I was a nudist, and it's one of the best things I have ever done. To wake up nude, and not put on any clothes after a shower are just a couple of life's small pleasures.

Over the past year I have had time to reevaluate my past in terms of nudity, and there were a surprising number of instances where my true self attempted to emerge.

I've stated before that as a child I had lots of experience with social nudity, from swimming at the YMCA, to skinny-dipping in lakes, and experiencing gang showers in high school. None of these experiences ever seemed the slightest bit traumatic or abnormal, either to me or any of my friends. Perhaps the skinny-dipping, done in broad daylight when I was around 11 or 12, was in our minds as being a bit taboo, but we had great fun doing it and we knew that this was really the way we were intended to swim.

Oddly enough, after high school all of that changed. I think now that my nudist tendencies were suppressed by circumstance rather than some sort of inner transformation. When I went to college I lived in a coed dorm - 2 floors of women, and one level for men. This situation forced us all to be more modest than we might otherwise have been. There was always at least a towel around our waists when walking to and from the shower. Also, the showers on the men's level were all private stalls since it was originally an all-women's dorm, so we never saw each other naked on a regular basis. It's as if the closed stalls were telling us to keep our bodies to ourselves.

Now I'm talking about non-sexual nudity here, I have never been inhibited when it came to sexual situations. No lights off under the covers for me.

But in group social situations, there was never any nudity. I do think that this is part of the problem that American society has with the human body, that we are conditioned to think that nudity equals sex and vice-versa. Back in college, if I had been stark naked in the corridor when a woman walked onto our floor, there would likely have been an incident. But if we were naked together in a dorm room by mutual consent with the door locked, that would have been OK.

There was one time when my girlfriend and I went to visit another couple in their apartment. After a couple of bottles of wine, we began to play cards and someone suggested poker. One thing led to another and soon we were all taking off our clothes. At first it was sexual - once we were all naked, someone spun the wine bottle and we began kissing and hugging each other. And then our hosts suggested that we all move into the bedroom.

Now 3 out of 4 of us were agreeable. I don't think that this would have been a partner-swapping situation, but certainly we were ready to have sex in front of one another. But my girlfriend balked at the notion, and that was fine, and nobody made an issue out of it. Our hosts opened another bottle of wine and we all stayed in the living room and watched some television. Oh, and we did not bother to put our clothes back on, it was a hot night, and since we already now knew what we all looked like naked, getting dressed seemed unnecessary. That night we all ended up being nudists.

After getting married and having a child, there were no other instances of social nudity. As a father with a daughter, I became very modest and virtually never walked around naked, although we let our daughter run around in the buff all she wanted. The responsibility of parenthood is very great, and the pressure to "do the right thing" sometimes can overcome common sense and practicality. Looking back now, I wish that my wife and I were practicing nudists, it would have been great to have shared that freedom together as a family.

But the nudist in me was still alive. I can tell you honestly that I've always hated wearing clothes, I specifically remember going to work in a jacket and tie on hot days and feeling like I was going to suffocate. And I always slept in just a pair of briefs for as long as I can remember, I was never a pajama person.

During summer breaks from college I was often alone at my parent's house during the day when they were at work. They had a nice secluded piece of land and I would go out nude sunbathing whenever I could. I was also studying photography and took many nude self-portraits, one of these is at the top of this post. But I did all of this in relative secrecy as if I was doing something to be ashamed of.

But after my marriage all of this stopped completely. It's just the way things were. But I did continue to do something in secret that nobody ever knew about - whenever I knew that I was going to be alone for an extended period of time, I took off all of my clothes around the house. I know now that this was just the nudist in me trying to tell me something. I also did this in secret, never telling my wife because I believed that she would simply not understand.

So last year I began being naked more and more as our daughter was away at school and my wife was out of the house a lot. And if you go back and read my very first posts from that period, you will see that I finally let my nudist self emerge.

All married couples hide something from one another. It's usually not a good thing. My desire to be nude was something that I could easily suppress, and by letting this side of me go dormant was not damaging to our marriage. Had my wife reacted negatively to my nudity when I finally told her, this might have been a much different story. But she loves me for who I am, and while her first reactions to the naked me were a mixture or puzzlement and laughter, she now is perfectly accepting and even encourages me.

I am naked now most of the time. If you are already a nudist or naturist you understand perfectly how much better life is without clothes. I hope that all of you reading this who have similar feelings will act upon them and not be ashamed. Letting go of thousands of years or clothed social history is not easy at first. and there are many out there who will never be able to overcome the false shame brought about by religious indoctrination. You are all already naked, it's the clothes that are unnatural and unnecessary. Free your body, the mind will follow.

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The Weekend Newds

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Houston Chronicle Defends Teacher

In an editorial today, the Houston Chronicle defends the Texas teacher who was suspended following a parent's complaint that a child saw a nude sculpture at the Dallas Museum of Art. Also, The New York Times has an in-depth article (registration required) on the teacher, who really seems to deserve the support of free-thinking people everywhere.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Daily Newds

  • A 56 year-old assistant professor at a Chinese university stripped naked in front of his class to demonstrate the power of the body and to challenge taboos. A culture ministry official has denounced the act.
  • Did some women in the Kentucky National Guard pose for nude photographs before being shipped out to Iraq? The Guard is investigating. Apparently it's OK to lose your body in combat, but it's not OK to show it to anybody.
  • Five Swedes have been charged with violating hygiene laws when they posed for nude photos in a slaughterhouse.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

More Thoughts on Naked Nudism's Blog

Naked Nudism has now posted part 2 of his essay on "The Political Dimension of Nudism". I am much more in agreement with his latest thoughts, particularly when it comes to topfree equality and the importance of maintaining current and adding new nude venues.

I still have a problem with his contention that we have a "natural right to be nude". Certainly we are all born naked and it is the natural state of man, but society through the millennia has developed the generally accepted attitude that people should be clothed. Any nudist or naturist must accept this fact, it's the reality of the modern world. Humans also have a "natural right" to defecate, but doing so in public is considered highly offensive by what has to be 100% of the people on the planet. I hate to equate nudity and defecation to make a point, but I'm sure that many religious fundamentalists would consider the nude body to be the more offensive of the two.

The problem that I see with the future of nudism lies with the current younger generation. Kids are no longer required to participate in gang showers, so there is really no social nudity whatsoever. These children are being taught that they are never to be nude with others unless it's with a marriage partner. Young boys are so homophobic that they are afraid to let other males see their genitals lest there be some sort of gay attack - the political demonization of gay people contributes to this common misconception. Just last year I was showering naked at the YMCA when a young man in his twenties showered beside me wearing his swim trunks.

When I was a kid growing up in the sixties there were many times that I was nude with other boys. We swam naked at the Y, and at Y camp we all changed into our swim trunks in front of each other. At the Boys Club, in order to have swimming privileges, I stood in line with scores of other bare naked boys to be examined by a doctor. Living near a lake in New England, my friends and I went skinny-dipping all the time - it was the ultimate in summer fun. In high school, a naked gang shower was REQUIRED after each gym class. Unless parents are nudist minded, or European, it's not likely that kids these days are having these normal experiences in America today.

Naked Nudism writes, "The real problem that nudists face now is that our system is geared to address the grievances of a single complainer." Sure, sometimes one squeaky wheel can be the one who gets the grease, but in our society we have huge religious and political watchdog groups that lobby, petition and write to legislators and government agencies whenever something "offensive" is observed. With an evangelical in the White House who recently proclaimed that there is a religious "Awakening" happening in America today, this is far more than the work of a "single complainer".

On the subject of topfree equality, NakedNudism writes, "There's no rational reason that women should keep covered where men don't have to, and honestly I don't believe the vast majority of the population is offended by them". Perhaps there is no rationale for the lack of equality, but to state that the majority of the population is not offended by nude female breasts is naive. A recent study by Baylor University reported by The Washington Post shows that only about 11% of the population in the United States has no religious affiliation, which means that while some might argue that we are a secular society, in actuality we are a religious people. And while there is probably no poll out there that asks people how they would feel if women were free to take off their shirts in any public area, I'll bet that the majority of people would oppose that, mostly "for the sake of the children". Female breasts are viewed in America as sexual objects.

Now if you ask people if they would object to designated nude beaches or other areas, there are examples out there where most people are accepting of this. It seems to me that the best chance we have of growing the nudism/naturism movement in America is to keep adding more public places to the list of legal nude areas, and this will require a lot of organization and political action. It's important for anyone who seriously believes in naturism to join an organization, or if so inclined, form a local group. Talking about "natural rights" when it comes to nudity is good, but action is better. Get together people.

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NakedNudism Takes on the Constitution

My fellow nudist blogger over at NakedNudism is undertaking an ambitious 3 part essay on "The Political Dimension of Nudism", which is worth a read. While I am sympathetic with his libertarian views, his contention that we have a Constitutional right to be nude is overly-simplistic and fails to take into account the sociology of our culture and how it molds current interpretations of the Bill of Rights.
So the mere fact that indecency and obscenity laws exist and have popular support does not necessarily make them constitutionally sound. Like many of the examples above, these laws are able to persist because many people happen to agree with them, not because the laws are just.
Any and all laws are subject to Constitutional interpretation. For example, is it Constitutional for my town to tell me how often I must mow my lawn, or paint my house? Perhaps not, but these are the laws that govern my community - I am forced to clean my gutters, keep my yard free of old appliances and non-working motor vehicles, even maintain my driveway to certain standards. All of these regulations are limits imposed on my first amendment "rights".

NakedNudism makes some valid points and his arguments are backed-up well with examples, but there is no way American society is ready for public nudity, the current climate of rising Christian fundamentalism, coupled with the politicalization of issues such as sex offenders and homosexuality, is too hot. People are freaking out in Texas over nude sculptures in Dallas Museum of Art, imagine if people started walking around nude in public. It's nice to dream about a day when nudity is normal, but it's going to take a long, long time before humans are ready as a society to return to the Garden of Eden.

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The Daily Newds

  • Australia's National Rugby League has distanced itself from a calendar depicting nude players because of the "revealing" nature of the photos. Proceeds will benefit breast cancer research.
  • Your tax dollars are hard at work. In Florida, Hillsborough County police officers spent $6400 for lap dances, drinks and tips while investigating violations of nudity laws at an adult bikini bar.
  • A British couple say that getting naked in front of each other on televison saved their marriage. "It was such a shock being asked to undress in front of each other. I was shaking. I was so nervous. But that really helped build our strong bond of trust."
  • If you are planning to attend the World Congress of Naturists in 2008, a nude filght is being planned from Madrid to Brazil.
  • A group of grannies aged 78 to 95 have posed nude for a fundraising calendar in Farmland, Indiana.
  • Here's a good story by an Australian journalist and her first experience at a nude resort. "I am dreading it. I totally buy the idea (in theory) that the human body is nothing to be ashamed of, no matter how lumpy or scarred. But I'm the offspring of devout Catholics from the north of England who were brought up steeped in Biblical guilt and shame. So it is with a great deal of trepidation that I strip off and head to the shower block."
  • Here's an article by a woman who is seriously hung-up about the human body.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Non-Sexual Nudity Under Attack

There is nothing on Earth more beautiful than the human body. This is what I believe, and it is also the inspiration for most of the great art created throughout history, from the Venus de Milo to the Sistine Chapel, from the voluptuous Rubens nudes to the ample impressionist bare breasted women in Renoir paintings, and so on.

And today I read that a Texas fifth grade art teacher has been fired because she took her class to the Dallas Art Museum on a field trip and there was a nude sculpture on display. (Story here and video here). A parent complained and the teacher lost her job. This has to be the single most reprehensible and unacceptable action ever taken against an teacher regarding nude art.

When people FEAR the naked human body to the degree where they freak out at the mere sight of a nude sculpture, it's a psychological issue. When a school board supports and upholds this irrational fear, it is a crime against humanity.

Is it religious upbringing that is causing this reaction from some people? Or is it the politics of fear, when sex and the human condition becomes a divisive issue to stir up fear and get people out to vote? Gay marriage, sex offenders, Janet Jackson's nipple, and other issues are being used to incite people into choosing candidates and supporting issues that arouse emotions. Be afraid, be very afraid.

If one does believe in God, and also believes that humans are the creation of God, then it is logical to also believe that the human body is divine and something to be appreciated, even worshiped. To condemn an artistic rendering of this divine form goes against any religious teaching - even the Sistine chapel has Adam's genitals on full display as he touches the hand of God.

What does this teach our children? That the human body is something to be ashamed of, something dirty and disgusting. This is not healthy for normal development and children raised under these circumstances will probably harbor unhealthy attitudes about their own bodies and the bodies of others.

This story of the Texas teacher is simply too fantastic to even be believed, but it's true and classic art is under attack. This Texas school board is defining non-sexual nudity in art as harmful for fifth graders, and is therby defining ALL nudity as unacceptable. If a teacher can lose a job because of something in a museum, then anything can happen to anyone.
Buddy Minett, school board president, declined to talk about the case. "This is something where it's really better if we don't comment," he said.
That's because the school board acted out of fear. One should never be afraid of the truth, and the truth is that the teacher did absolutely nothing wrong; in fact, she should be commended for expanding the horizons of her students' minds.

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