Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Daily Newds

  • Disrobed2: Richmond's second all-nude art show runs from June 1 through the 25th. Last February 3000 people had to be turned away. Director Amanda Robinson has created a show around the theme of technology vs. nature, with one piece called the "tree of life" comprised of 25 nude models.
    "Technology is man-made, so it can be destroyed and overcome by man," Robinson says. "The 'Tree of Life' represents other choices we can make."

    Why did Robinson choose to mount a show based on nudity?

    "Nudity is the true form of natural beings," she says, adding that the show uses bodies as canvases to represent this idea.
  • Camp NCN: If family nudist resorts are too tame for you, there is a new campground in Wisconsin that is being marketed as a nude sex resort. One local woman is concerned that the private establishment is somehow a danger to children.
    Where are the morals and where are the children? What kind of entertainment is that? It sends a poor message to our children. They deserve much better than that!
  • The Naked Truth: A Vermont writer ponders the Brattleboro public nudity issue.
    A good friend of mine, a smart lady with a terrific sense of humor told me that she would never show her children the capitol building in Harrisburg, Pa. The reason was, she said, that it was adorned with sculptures of nude maidens and she did not want her children to see them.

    Why is that? What harm could be done to a child if he or she saw a naked human body, especially one that is carved in stone? It does not threaten, it is not evil, it can't harm anyone.

    On the other hand, why would anyone want to walk, swim, or jog in the nude? Nudists will claim that it is more comfortable, more honest, lets you feel the world, and that it encourages a healthier self-perception. I guess we can accept this reasoning. But why do they have to experience this improved self-perception in public?
  • Ban the Boob: A judge has lifted the ban against an English soccer fan who bared her breasts in support of her team. The 47 year-old "mum" had been forced to surrender her passport and declare herself a criminal on job applications.
  • Nudism as Cancer Prevention?: Studies show that people who are exposed to less sunshine have a higher risk of developing cancers.
    Still, the existing evidence is compelling enough for prostate, colon, breast and other cancers that experts advise taking supplements, and the American Cancer Society is revising its skin cancer prevention recommendations, with the vitamin D findings in mind. This gets to the dilemma about vitamin D.

    Promising medical claims for vitamins A and E failed to meet earlier expectations, so scientists are cautious about what they say about vitamin D. Moreover, if vitamin D is beneficial and exposure to the sun is harmful, people will require clearer information about the best way to get it and how much they need.

    “The answer is to use common sense,” said Dr. Bruce Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina.
  • World Naturist Day: Sunday is World Naturist Day and they are stripping down on the beaches in Ireland.
    However, Pat (Gallagher, INA President) insists that they're not a group of dirty old men and women, but a body-confident gang of lovers of the great outdoors. And he reckons that after you've felt the cool breeze on your birthday suit, you never go back.

    "Basically, naturism is a sort of lifestyle," he said. "People feel that, under certain conditions, they don't need clothing, like on beaches.

    "We've gotten used to this habit, introduced in Victorian times, of wearing a swimsuit, which are basically getting smaller and smaller anyway. We feel that there's no need for that bit of material, that it does nothing for you."

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Monday, May 28, 2007

The Daily Newds

  • Bubbles 'n' Babes: A nude car wash in Australia might be forced to shut down because of a technicality.
    "Obviously people have nothing better to complain about," Summer says wearily, soaking up the afternoon sun on a pink rug in middle of the driveway.

    "They're obviously not complaining about brothels and strip-clubs that have been around for however many years, but then you open up a car wash and all of a sudden everyone's got… problems about it.

    "We're not pushing it on people, it's not affecting anybody, if you don't want to come here you don't come.

    "It's a job, that's it."
  • Pas de Nude: A Canadian dance ensemble performs with some of the performers in the nude.
    The new work mixes dancers in brief black leotards with nude dancers - a striking contrast. In the first nude duet, Ivana Milicevic's body had a brilliant glow as she made her turns in the air and was caught by Stephane Gladyszewski. Another nude duet had two muscular fellows, Emmanuel Proulx and Mathieu Campeau, doing acrobatic rollovers as though in some ancient Greek athletic event.
  • Ramble On: Stephen Gough has been arrested again.
  • OK to Roll: Cyclists in Brighton, England, have reached an agreement with local police so that hundreds can ride clothes-free in the World Naked Bike Ride.
    Chief Supt Paul Pearce had warned the cyclists: "It is very likely we will receive numerous complaints from people feeling harassed, alarmed or distressed at the sight of naked adults in public."
  • Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits: Belleville is buzzing with rumors of a topless hair salon about to open in the Canadian city.
  • Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it (Confucius): A Hong Kong nudist group is holding a nude photography contest to test the attitudes of people towards the naked human body.
  • Tonawanda No Wanna: Dozens of residents in this New York town voiced their opposition to granting a permit to an adult cabaret. In a public hearing on Monday, Catholic Monsignor John Ducette brought a message from the Almighty.
    “I am here because I know God is opposed to this sort of establishment,” Ducette said. “Anyone who looks with lust at a woman has committed adultery in his heart with her.”
  • I Gave at the Office: Patrons of strip clubs in Texas will be forced to pay $5 each for a state sex assault prevention club. Using this logic, one can expect Catholic churchgoers to begin handing over $5 each for a state abused children fund, and anyone purchasing a six-pack will have to add five bucks for a state drunk driver victims fund.
  • Put That Away!: A breastfeeding mother in a Wisconsin hospital was intimidated by a director who crowded her and blocked her from walking so that other people in the hall would not have to see her feeding her child.
    "We are saddened when it’s part of our goal and mission to help women feel comfortable breastfeeding,” says Kathleen Axelsen, clinical director of nursing special services. “That's not who we are. We want her to feel supported here and hope she accepts our apology."

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Weekend Newds

  • That's Nobody's Business But the Turks: Turkey is the Muslim country with the most relaxed attitude towards nudity.
  • Trouble With a Capital T and That Rhymes With P and That Stands for POOL: Seattle Parks officials have denied a request from nudists to use an outdoor pool for skinny dipping.
    "We sell sex on TV and music everywhere and then we get all prudish about an optional clothing place or a topless beach," said Jasmine Stark, who is in favor of allowing the naked swim.Johnson argues that the city permits the naked bike rides, with few complaints. He thinks a Colman Pool skinny dip would be even less offensive to the public."They're not gonna be sticking themselves against the window, they're going to be swimming in the pool," he said.
  • Verboten: An American tourist went for a nude walk through the German city of Nuremberg. Police told him to put his clothes back on and fined him nearly $300.
    "We have been having unusually hot weather here lately but, all the same, we can't have this," a spokesman for police in the southern city of Nuremberg said on Tuesday. "The man said he thought walking around naked was tolerated in Germany."
  • Breast is Best: The Pennsylvania Senate passed a breastfeeding bill by a margin of 48-1.
    Under the bill, a mother would be permitted to breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, whether or not her breast is concealed. Local governments would be unable to prohibit breast-feeding in public, and the act of breast-feeding could not be considered indecent exposure.
  • Ve are Here to Pump You Up: Heidi Klum has named her breasts Hans and Franz in honor of her German heritage.
  • Fly the Friendly Skies: A morals watchdog group is going after Delta Airlines for making available to passengers some HBO shows with nudity. Billy Ford, vice-president of a Georgia chemical company, was exposed to some of the bawdy shows.
    "I was really upset," said Ford, 46, of Acworth, about 35 miles northwest of Atlanta. "I demanded to see the captain."
  • I Could've Had a G8: President Bush will be attending the G8 Summit near a Baltic coast resort that is popular with nudists.
    "There's no greater joy than sitting on the beach without any clothes on," said Rudolf Schuetze, a retired government accountant who has spent the last 40 summers doing just that about 100 meters west of the Kempinski Grand Hotel.

    "I hope Bush will come down and join us," added Schuetze, 66, sitting nude on a beach near the hotel where world leaders will meet. "It's good for your health. All your troubles disappear when you give your body the sun, air and water it needs."
  • Touch of Grey: Indiana nudist clubs are facing the same problem as other maturing organizations - where are all the young people?
  • Student Bodies: Some Stanford students staged a nude protest to ensure that clothing sold with the school logo is not manufactured with sweatshop labor.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Busy Busy

Sorry I haven't blogged The Daily Newds for a couple of days, I promise to update tomorrow...meanwhile, here's a nice photo.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Generation Why

Eric at Gymnophiliac has an ambitious post about Generation Y and the lack of youth participation in social nudism.

He makes some good points, but perhaps due to his own youth and lack of life experience, he gets many things wrong, in my opinion.

First of all, he cites the fact that most nudists are baby boomers and today's kids don't want to socialize with them.
Think about it - in how many activities do you really see different generations hanging out with each other? I'm sure there must be some, but offhand I can't think of any.
Go to virtually any restaurant, museum, hotel, shopping mall, beach, movie theatre, etc., and you will see people of all ages. I can't imagine a group of kids skipping a trip to the mall or the beach because "old people" might be there. Certainly people tend to socialize with others their own age, that's just human nature, and this happens at nudist resorts, too.

The generation gap was never greater than it was in the fifties and sixties when the counterculture turned things upside down, but that era is considered the "golden age" of American nudism. If you look at nudist magazines from these years you see people of all ages at the resorts, from breastfeeding babies to the elderly.

Eric then turns to the economy as a barrier.
It's very difficult for people who are simply curious and offers no way for people to just try it out on a whim. Baby boomers have the cash and time to fly to Florida and stay at a resort, or drive for a few hours to spend a weekend at the nearest club.
Logically, one would have to conclude that the children of these baby boomers also have the means to travel, right? Just because Eric feels economically squeezed himself, this is not indicative of society as a whole. Elite colleges are getting more applications than ever. Sales at Saks are up, luxury items such as boats and RVs are selling more than ever. There is a lot of money out there, and a lot of kids are spending it freely, but they are not spending it on trips to nudist resorts. I just don't buy the "it's the economy, stupid" argument - it applies to some, but not all.

Eric then goes on to explain the role of individualism and how it affects social nudism.
Teenagers love to go bowling; it's one of the few things they can do legally. But they don't join bowling leagues. Nudists tend to be fixated on the "nude" aspect, but ignore the larger social context.
Bowling is one of the few things teenagers can do legally? Really? C'mon Eric, that's not even remotely true. The fact that bowling leagues are passe' does not necessarily relate directly to social nudism. After all, people are still going to bowling alleys, aren't they? They just aren't doing it in competitive leagues.
Generation Y is more self centered than any generation that came before, but in a good way. We're individualistic, and celebrate individualism. It's cool to be different.
Sorry, but this generation did not invent individualism. The writers of the Bill of Rights understood that it was individual rights that were the foundation to our new society. Perhaps what Eric means is that Generation Y is isolated, detached from having as much face-to-face human interaction as previous generations. While the counterculture of the sixties sought to strip away masks, today's kids are wearing more than ever, hiding behind screen names, sending text messages, even becoming virtual selves on sites like Second Life. I'll buy personal isolationism as a reason, but not individualism.
People under 30 are digital natives - we don't know a world without cell phones, instant messaging and the web. We don't know what it's like to not be connected to our friends 24/7. We grew up with it, it's in our blood. People over 30... they might use these tools, but they're not really part of their culture.
What are you talking about, Eric? Have you no sense of recent history? Even though I didn't carry a cell phone when I was a teenager, I still spent hours talking to friends on the telephone (a device that was was basically a cell phone but was plugged into the wall). Everywhere I go today I see people my age (fifties) driving around in their SUVs jabbering on their cell phones. To say it is not part of the over 30 culture is just plain wrong. And don't forget that "your" world of cell phones and computers was invented by my generation.
Generation Y has a much more fine grained (and frankly, more mature) view of sexuality. The problem isn't that they can't separate nudity from sex; quite the contrary, they grasp it far more intuitively than many of their baby boomer parents. The problem that nudists try to scrub sex from everything, and that's a turn off.
As a baby boomer, I find these remarks somewhat offensive. The words smack as being a dismissal of anyone over 30 as being out of touch. You want mature? The baby boomers invented birth control. The baby boomers turned sexuality into popular culture, the topless swimsuit came out in the sixties, there was more nudity in the movies than there is today, at least part of Woodstock was a nudist event, and so on. I lived through the seventies and I don't think there was a more sexually liberated decade in the twentieth century.

I'll take Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, and other sexual influences of the fifties and sixties as examples of maturity over Paris Hilton, Ron Jeremy and the Girls Gone Wild folks of today's sexual culture.

And nudists do not "scrub sex" from everything - they just frown on any overt sexual behavior in social situations. Eric apparently wants to go to a nudist resort and see couples having sex in the open. There are swingers resorts out there, they are not too hard to find.
Sunbathing isn't fun. Neither is sitting in a hot tub. Or any "sport" that mostly involves standing around (I'm looking at you, shuffleboard). Swimming can be, but pools at resorts are rarely well suited for rambunctious games.
Nudists hike, they swim, they play volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, they go bungee jumping, bicycling, etc. If you have some specific activity to do in the nude, then you can do it. What sort of "rambunctious" games do you want to play in the pool? Have your ever played water volleyball? It can get very competitive and strenuous.
I have no clue how anyone would ever find out anything about nudism if not for the web - I don't know how people did it 20 years ago.
Well that's part of your problem, Eric, you think that the 80s was the dark ages. There were many nudist clubs and resorts, there were magazines with photos, articles and ads, there was the telephone for calling friends and making plans, there were cars to drive to go places, and, believe it or not, people communicated. You did not need the Internet or a cell phone to communicate, and we did not have to resort to using smoke signals or Morse code.
It's NOT the religious right.Not culturally anyway. Basically, I just write off 25% of the country as f'in insane and not worth the effort. Most people who aren't the religious right also think they're insane. They do have influence as a voting block; but not socially.
The religious right came out of the closet with Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority and was instrumental in getting Ronald Reagan elected and ushering in our current conservative-dominated society. I agree with Eric that liberal ideas usually win over time, and we might be seeing the end of the current cycle of these Christianists, but there is no denying the tremendous impact the moralists have had on our society, both culturally and politically. New laws seem to be passed every day regulating nudity and adult entertainment. The FCC has stricter rules and stiffer fines than ever. Many of the once-thriving nudist clubs of the sixties and seventies have faded away under this unfriendly political climate.

A Harris Poll taken in 2003 showed that 90% of American adults believed in God. It is not logical to conclude anything other than the fact that the overwhelming majority of God-fearing people has a tremendous affect on our society. For most Americans, nudism is immoral and indecent. Until we get a grip as a society that the human body is nothing to be ashamed of, nudism as a social entity is in danger for all age groups.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Great Naked Debate

Kudos to Tom and Alexandra for their Nudist Day blog, which is one of the very best, and for their idea of starting The Great Naked Debate, which brings together the opinions expressed by six nudist bloggers, including this writer.

The question this week is "Clothes-free or clothing optional?". The results appear to be three in favor of clothing optional, one in favor of clothes-free, one somewhat uncommitted, and one who did not quite understand the question.

Dan at the Naturist Journal summed it up best for me.
I find that making events clothing optional helps people take that step in the door to give this naturist idea a chance. And there are others, such as my wife, while comfortable nude, isn’t always comfortable in every naturist situation so it gives them the freedom to participate as their own level of comfort allows.
If nudism is about anything it is about being comfortable, both in one's own skin and with others. For the seasoned nudist, clothes-free is certainly a comfortable choice, but for a first-timer clothing optional offers the most practical way to ease into the lifestyle.

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The Daily Newds

  • Nipples Nixed: Children's book author and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick has been engaged for a UK poster campaign promoting breastfeeding, but still has some problems when depicting the natural act of a mother suckling her child in her Katie Morag series.
    She says: "I always try to make sure that if there is a domestic scene and if Mrs McColl is sitting and comfy then she has the baby at her breast but I don't show exposed nipples any more because it just makes the publishers too jittery. They don't like anything that might interfere with book sales."
  • Bosom Buddies: A Muslim cleric has issued a fatwa allowing adult men to breastfeed from women colleagues as a means to overcome Islamic rules that forbid men and women to be alone together.
  • Naked Angels are Devilish: Full-frontal nudity in the Saginaw Valley State University's production of "Angels in America" is causing some moralistic outrage.
    The play didn't just show a few "bottoms." It featured full frontal nudity. That is immoral, and I don't appreciate my tax dollars paying for that filth. Enough is enough! I'm getting sick and tired of colleges thinking they can do whatever they want. That's being immoral with my tax dollars.
  • Keep it Covered: A columnist does not believe that nudism is a good idea.
    For young people, walking into a nudist camp is like stepping into a terrifying house of mirrors, a quick fast-forward to a future in which they will, as do we all, fall apart.

    Here, says the scene around the swimming pool, is what's in store for you, and there, as their dewy eyes swim across that tableau au naturel, is a graphic display of the dubious rewards of age.

    Aging is, in essence, the process whereby gravity gradually conquers us. In slow motion our flesh cascades, like a nude descending a staircase, accumulating on its way down ripples of cellulite, moles, scars, liver spots and odd clumps of hair.
  • Please Don't Feed the Babies: A town in Scotland was enthusiastic about supporting public breastfeeding, and then it wasn't. Public health student Victoria Adelesi polled local businesses.
    "After carrying out the survey in ten businesses on Great Junction Street, all ten advised they did not have any problems about women breastfeeding on their premises. Seven of the shops and cafes displayed the stickers.

    "However, after a two-week period, I revisited all these businesses and was shocked to find that six out of the seven had removed the stickers.

    "When asking why they were removed, I was advised that they felt being associated with promoting breastfeeding was too controversial and they preferred not to promote it."
  • You've Got to Hide Your Nude Away: A writer thinks that nudists are abnormal.
    There are nudist camps all over the country. I really think people who like to walk around in front of other people naked in a collective sort of setting like that are just plain weird. But if they are secluded, I don’t have a problem with it. And it’s not about young folks just bucking the establishment. Middle aged and old folks do it as well. They run the gamut. Some are perhaps exhibitionists and some of them may need ironing.
  • Generation Gap?: One writer thinks that the lack of young people at nudist resorts is a generational issue.
    Maybe that's the problem. Young people today are so used to almost virtual nudity — at the beach, at the movies, on TV — that they see little reason to pay a yearly membership for the same privilege.

    Then there's the ageism factor. Nudists are always yakking about how it's not a sex thing, it's a health thing. And I'm sure they're right about that.

    At the same time, we all know what the sun does to our skin. Can you imagine what it does to skin that's been totally exposed, say, for, a quarter-century or so?

    Who wants to bounce a ball around with folks who look like they're three years away from the handbag factory?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Weekend Newds

  • Bay to Breakers Not So Bare: A woman who has run the race for the last 10 years observes that the rate of public nudity is down in the San Francisco running event.
  • Doing It In the Buff: Comprehensive article on the Blogger News Network hits the mark most of the time.
    “Naturists do not divide neatly down political boundaries,” said Bob Morton, the executive director of the Naturist Action Committee (NAC), based in Austin, Texas. “No true conservative would suggest compromising civil liberties, so it’s not a conservative-versus-liberal issue. Naturists span the entire political spectrum.”

    The NAC monitors legislative activities at the city, state, and national level, lobbying on behalf of naturist interests and filing briefs in the courthouse to protect the naturist way of life.

    “It’s been very trendy lately to try to put skinny-dipping on the list of sex offenses for which you have to register with the state. It’s already passed in 13 states,” Morton said. “That’s ridiculous. Go to any nude beach and you will understand that in ten minutes. But people confuse nudity and sex all the time. They don’t bother to distinguish between the two, and that’s the root of a lot of our problems.”
  • To Bare of Not to Bare: A Connecticut theatre group struggles with the issue of nudity on the stage. The producer of the play, Ron Heinbaugh, decided that actor Bill Kozy should wear some sort of nude-simulating garment instead of actually showing his bare behind in a swimming scene.
    He (Kozy) said he worried the audience might wonder why character wears the belt thing under his robe. After the play's May 4 debut, Heinbaugh said he did not think the audience noticed the dance belt, although Kozy said he would rather have been nude.
  • Apartheid Nudism: A South African man named Beau Brummel is trying to open a whites only resort.
    Brummel insists nudism has little attraction for black people, and that white customers did not like “the competition” offered by black nudists.
  • Green Gymnosophy: The Catholic News Service warns its readers of "implied ogre nudity" in "Shrek the Third".
  • Naturist Nuked: A school governor in the U.K. has resigned after being reprimanded for being an open naturist, among other issues.
  • Funny How?: Thirty-one life size nude statues dotted about London are amusing people.
    Stefano Calusini, 48, from Waterloo, was not a fan. "It's bizarre and I think it's total rubbish," he said. "Roman statues are much more sophisticated."

    But Mimi Robinson, 44, a PA from Stockwell, disagreed, saying: "It's amazing. At first, I was underwhelmed by this one but it's nice to have the chance to see it close up. My nine-year-old son thought it was great."

    That was, at least, a more charitable view than the verdict delivered by one middle-aged woman who refused to give her name: "He's uglier than I thought he would be."
  • Moon Over Apopka: A Florida fire chief has been removed from his position after mooning everyone at his predecessor's retirement party.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Man Arrested in Vermont for Public Nudity

I would have called the cops on this guy, who was seen dancing naked on a Brattleboro street and exhibiting lewd behavior. He would have been kicked out of any nudist resort in a minute.

All the stories about legal public nudity in Vermont have apparently brought out the kooks. This bozo and his antics will even further sour public perceptions on nudity.

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The Daily Newds

  • If you have a foot fetish, you might not want to click on this story. A former Marine is hiking the Appalachian Trail barefoot and essentially nude in order to bring awareness to the plight of homeless veterans.
  • Is self-secrecy harming the nudist movement? Canadian nudist Paul Andraessen thinks so.
    ...Andreassen, who is spearheading a court challenge against Surrey after it stopped renting the Newton Wave Pool to his nudist group, says the tendency to be secretive hasn't been a good thing for naturists -- as nudists most often call themselves -- and their organizations.

    "There is a stigma associated with being in a nudist club," said Andreassen, who has been "into nudism for about 35 years" and describes the groups as family affairs.

    "I have for a long time thought nudists shoot themselves in the foot" by keeping silent about their groups. "By hiding like that, we don't reveal our true numbers."
  • A woman mayor in the U.K. has been barred from breastfeeding her son in the civic limousine because some on her staff "disapproved" of the activity. She is suing.
  • Sophia Loren has promised to do a striptease if the Napoli soccer team advances to the playoffs.
  • A proposed law in Wisconsin would make it illegal to use a cell phone in a locker room except in the event of an emergency to make "people feel safer" about being photographed when they are naked.
  • A grandfather in the U. K. wants to create a naturist beach area in Formby.
  • Breastfeeding will be promoted on TV and radio for the first time in Britain.
  • Why do woman get breast augmentations? 66% responded that they want to boost self-confidence. Only 3% claim that they do it to attract men.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

When Nudists Attack, Part Two

Dreadfree has responded to my first post on the latest nudist attack in Brattleboro.
I agreed with Nudiarist last year when he wrote that nothing good could come out of the events unfolding in downtown Brattleboro, and I continue to stand behind that sentiment today. However, I'm less inclined to pin this on the right wing moralists than I am to blame those who are repeatedly unwilling to exercise restraint and practice moderation. I've never been to Brattleboro, but as far as I know nudity did not become an issue in that township until it wandered away from the old swimming hole and found its way to the town square.
Agreed, it's indeed the flagrant flaunting of the nudists in densely populated areas that is the catalyst for this current dust-up, and right now it's the locals who are fighting back. But if this situation escalates, Christianist "family" groups are poised and ready to descend upon Vermont to intimidate the politicians into banning public nudity altogether, and once that happens there will no longer be natural swimming down at the local pond as there is now. Don't expect the locals to be nuanced on this matter - either public nudity is OK or it isn't. If you think that gay marriage and abortion are push-button issues, wait until you throw public nudity into the mix. Traditionally liberal Vermont is about to become a magnet for conservative activists.

There is no evidence that anybody who has been seen nude in Vermont has done anything illegal or exhibited lewd or inappropriate behavior, but these people are about to be labeled as indecent, immoral, dangerous, and predatory, and will be called sex offenders and child abusers.

Maybe this will all blow over again like it did last year, but the wound has been opened and it's not likely to be healed without some sort of legislation to clamp down on the nudity. As I've said before, politicians tend to err on the side of the moralists in issues like this, there is little or no support for nudism in the public arena.

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When Nudists Attack

It's spring and the clothes are coming off again in Brattleboro.
"I looked out my window and saw a man in his 60s walking up and down Main Street totally nude," said Brattleboro resident Theresa Toney, about having dinner in town and spying the nude man through the restaurant window. "This is indecent exposure where it doesn't belong."
There is no report of any indecent behavior, but the Selectboard in the Vermont town has begun keeping a log of nude activity.
"How do you want to be viewed as Brattleboro?" asked the Rev. Kevin Horion. "We want to welcome families with small children." With nudists likely to pop up anywhere, he said, "I am concerned we don't know where they are going to strike."
There are no reports of any nude person "striking" or exhibiting any predatory behavior, but that has not stopped people from being hysterical.
"I encourage you to consider that we are asking our young people who attend Brattleboro Union High School to adhere to a dress code," said Mike Brooks, of Vernon. He said it might be considered hypocritical for the high school to expect the students to stick to the dress code if after school they can go downtown and see nudists.

"It's difficult as a parent," he said. "We try to explain to kids the dangers of predators."

It's very hard to explain to a 10-year-old the difference between freedom of expression and predatory behavior, said Brooks.
It's difficult to explain anything to a 10 year-old. It's difficult to explain to a youngster why a priest or minister would engage in child abuse. Or a Scoutmaster. Or a teacher. Or a politician. It's difficult to explain the rationale behind our invasion of Iraq.

Last year I said that no good would come of the situation in Brattleboro. You might remember that young people were congregating nude in a downtown parking lot (perfectly legal in Vermont), and after much brouhaha, the Selectboard decided to do nothing since the cold weather was setting in and the clothes were going back on.

But now the backlash is starting early in the warm weather season, and the moralists are fine-tuning their arguments. Jerry Falwell might be dead but his political machine still thrives. Watch out, Vermont, the right to be nude at the old swimming hole is about to go the way of the Dodo bird.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Daily Newds

  • A 22 year-old art student who was arrested for painting images of nude Hindu gods has become a national cause célèbre for the Indian artistic community.
  • Librarians in suburban Chicago are staging mock funerals for their computers because of a proposed law requiring Internet filters blocking material that is "harmful to minors" further defined as anything that "appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion".
  • The Ohio House Judiciary Committee has approved a "compromise" in the strip club bill that would require dancers to wear "some clothes" after midnight.
  • Singer Kelly Clarkson reveals that she was a nudist as a child.
  • A Canadian nudist group has lost the contract to a pool they have been using since 2002. The city cited "security" as the reason after an article about the Skinnydippers appeared in a local paper.
  • Organizers of a UK youth naturist rally are coming under attack from a family group.
    Dr Adrian Rogers, of Family Focus, said: “Young girls and boys should not be running around without clothes on in front of strangers. Anyone could be snooping around for the wrong reasons - either from the camp or from outside.“This event would appear to be a paradise for paedophiles.”
    The naturists are fighting back.
    However, Ivan Page, treasurer at the camp, in Stoke Holy Cross dismissed the claims, saying it was used to having children at the site, as it was family-friendly. They also reiterated the fact no one is forced to take their clothes off at the event and it is open to British Naturism members only.

    He said: “No child is allowed at this event without their parents' consent and to suggest that children could strip naked without their parents' knowledge is a complete and utter misrepresentation.

    Broadland and all the other camps in the East pride ourselves on being family clubs. Not once has any child been told they have to strip off and it does not happen.

    “Whoever said that just does not appreciate the atmosphere at a family friendly naturist club. The only place where clothes are not allowed is the swimming pool.

    “We have also got a secure site and it's complete and utter rubbish to say it could be a paedophiles' paradise. We have got nothing to be ashamed of and it's quite annoying to think that people would say that.”

Ohio Nudist Roundup

  • The Buckeye Naturists are holding their last clothing-optional swim of the season on May 19 at the Jayceee pool in Westerville, just north of Columbus. Non-members are welcome and admission is only $10 for two hours of nude fun, 8 PM to 10-ish. They also have a Yahoo Group.
  • Bare Valley in Logan, Ohio, is open to visitors on weekends now through September 30.
  • Cedar Trails calls itself "the friendliest nudist club in Southern Ohio". On Memorial Day weekend they are hosting a hot tub party and beer tasting, as well as a Sunday pancake breakfast.

If you know of any other Ohio nudist events, please e-mail and we will post the info here.

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Nudism and Generation Y

The big human interest story this week on the Internet is the attempt by Solair Nudist Resort to recruit college students into participating in nude recreation. Whether it was the bad weather or a lack of interest, apparently the effort failed.
No one is quite sure why nudity, at least the organized version promoted by the AANR and similar groups, is such a tough sell for younger people. "I think people think that we're all hippies," said Laura Groezinger, 22, of Billerica, Mass., who grew up visiting Solair with her family. "Other people, I don't know the right way to say this, but they think it's more sexual, kind of. They don't understand just the being free with your body and being comfortable." Money is also an issue. As nudist resorts become increasingly upscale, catering to baby boomers and retirees with plenty of disposable income, they're less affordable for college students and young families on budgets.
Tom Mulhall of the Terra Cotta Inn has weighed in on the issue.
In my opinion, they do many things that prevent them from getting younger members. One of the biggest turn offs is you have to join the club. People these days are not joiners of clubs. There is an excellent book called Bowling Alone : The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam. He explains that memberships in all sorts of organizations are down an average of 58%. Even though bowling is just as popular as ever, bowling leagues are way down in membership as people are not joining them. So many nudist clubs have a rule that after 3 visits, you must join their club. No wonder they aren't attracting new members.
John Henry on the Nudist Travel Guide Blog seems to think it's a failure of the industry to adapt to the new generation.
Well, the world has changed and become more complicated over the years. The younger generation has different needs from baby boomers. Each individual in the younger generation has to decide such things as “Is nude recreation where I want to spend my time and money as compared to other things like text messaging, cell phone bills and running up credit card debt?” The baby boomers didn’t have this complexity when they grew up.
Henry goes on to talk about his experience at Solair and how he and his wife were manipulated.
Additionally, during each of the first 4 visits, we were supposed to seek out a person with a yellow hat. The yellow hat people do memberships and tell you about the place. After they do that, they’re supposed to sign your membership sheet. Nice idea and I’m sure some people love it, but not us. We just went to Solair wanting to relax and get away from the complications of life for a day. We did not want to talk to yellow hat people.
I don't know if I totally buy any of these arguments, although they all have some impact. Every generation has its burdens - the Depression, World War II, Vietnam, etc. Please don't tell me that cell phone bills and credit cards alone are standing in the way of nudism.

Perhaps the membership issue is a barrier, but people will find a way to do what they really want to do . Tom's example of bowling leagues is somewhat valid, but people are still bowling, they are just not bowling in leagues.

Dan Glaister in The Guardian has a different outlook on the problem.
American nudism, which came from Germany, could be falling to the same pressures as have fuelled the culture wars of the last decade. As social conservatives have been in the ascendant, public nudity has been seen as morally corrupt. Several states have passed laws outlawing public nudity, including skinny-dipping. In Montana it carries a six-month sentence.
While today's college students appear to be more comfortable with their bodies, manifested in nude parties, flashing, streaking, etc., these activities are being more frowned upon by a society that is under the influence of the conservative moralists. Streakers are being arrested and threatened with sex offender status. Women who bare their breasts in public are arrested in most states. States are passing more and more laws against nudity, making exposure a felony in come cases, and threatening the legality of anyone who wishes to practice the nudist lifestyle.

A young person who perhaps has the mindset for nudism is not only faced with the financial and logistical hurdles, but also with the legal and moral ramifications for being nude.

I believe that the future of nudism lies not within the aging social structures of the closed "camps" or resorts, but in the freedom of nude beaches on public lands. Witness the huge crowds that flock to Haulover Beach in Florida. And I have stated several times that I believe that America is poised to become accepting of topfree sunbathing for women on beaches, but it will take some Rosa Parks type of pioneering by women to achieve this equality.

It should be a natural right for every human being to be nude on a beach or in nature. The fight should be to set aside land on public beaches and parks for non-sexual nude recreation. It seems to me that college kids are a lot more likely to hop in the car for a free day at a nude beach, rather than subject themselves to personal scrutiny and membership sales pressure at a privately owned resort.

Until America as a society comes to grips with the fact that the naked human body is nothing to be ashamed of, and that people who want to be nude for swimming and other recreation are not all sexual predators, then nudism as it exists now is in deep trouble.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

The Daily Newds

  • Britain is gearing up for the World Naked Bike Ride on June 9...riders from all over the world are expected.
  • A Swedish psychology student has been lectured on her decision to pose for non-explicit nude photos in what is referred to as a "pornographic" magazine.
    "I don't feel that I have discredited her, but I have certainly questioned the action itself," said Erland Hjelmquist. As a budding psychologist, he thinks that she should have displayed more maturity. "Posing like this raises questions about her way of reflecting on the course content as well as her way of viewing her own self-image," said Hjelmquist.
  • Posing nude as an artists' model in front of a classroom full of strangers is one thing, and posing nude for a struggling artist friend is another.
    Suddenly, seeing fear in her eyes, I was no longer sure. This woman was my friend! I planned to show her my all on purpose! How could I? I wrapped the robe tighter around me. She blushed. I blushed. There was a long, long silence. I looked around me fearfully, like a Victorian virgin trapped by a cad.
  • What did a thirtysomething twice-divorced mother do when life got boring?
    She started going to Caliente, the nudist resort in Land O'Lakes, and eventually was hired to do their marketing. When she's there working, she's in a suit or long skirt and heels. But she does go topless and such for parties...(she) started painting with her breasts, dripping acrylic paint on strategic points and then pressing the canvas to her skin. She gives them away and auctions them for charity.
  • Iranian police are cracking down on women who are deemed to be out of line with Islamic dress rules.
    Women in Iran are obliged to cover all bodily contours and their heads but in recent years many have pushed the boundaries by showing off naked ankles and fashionably styled hair beneath their headscarves.
  • Only 21% of British mothers breastfeed their children for the recommended six months, and legislation is being considered to make it illegal to stop any woman from breastfeeding in public.
  • Dita Von Teese wants to set the record straight about her life as a stripper.
    "I've never had any personal issues with nudity," says Von Teese, who first posed nude when she was 18. "As for my parents, well, I paid my credit-card bills on time. I paid my own rent. So there wasn't much they could do." She was curious about stripping, too. "I realised there was a long history of pin-up girls who were dancers as well, and I liked the idea of that."
  • If you are with your mother in Korea and her favorite thing is to go to a public bath, then you just have to get naked, don't you?
    At the public bath, though, I realized that this exfoliation is very Korean; it involves a little bit of pain for a whole lot of pay-off. An hour and a half after walking in, I emerged feeling like a soft-boiled egg. My DIY spa experience cost $7.50 and I floated out of there feeling like the cleanest thing on Earth.
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Sunday, May 13, 2007

First Full-Frontal Nudity Ad in Britain

A skincare company has seen its sales jump 500% after a 60 second television commercial aired in Britain showing both male and female full-frontal nudity. The owner, 38 year-old Janet Gardiner, appears completely nude in the "Nothing to Hide" campaign. Check the video out here.

(Note: this post had to be modified. Originally I used a link to this video on YouTube, and naturally they deleted it because it was "inappropriate". I applaud Elave for being brave enough to create such an ad, and obviously the British are a bit more accepting of human nudity than the Americans. While the ad is commercial in nature and uses only highly attractive models, it is a big step forward in normalizing the human body.)

Happy Nude Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Weekend Newds

  • Many people consider it exploitation when a woman becomes a stripper and dances naked for the pleasure of men. So what do you call it when a police department sends out dozens of officers to drop $$$ for lap dances in order to arrest a few women?
  • A Northern Island charity is coming under fire for a billboard featuring a nude man and a woman in a swimsuit on a beach, promoting the idea that sex and swimming are good for a healthy heart.
  • Men are lining up in Scotland to learn the art of male striptease.
  • A 70 foot long balloon sculpture of a nude man is floating sans fig leaf in Milan's main park.
    "This wouldn't fly in the U.S.," observed 31-year-old American Adriana Spatafora, an English language teacher passing by.
  • A 15 year old murder case took a new turn with an arrest in a Florida nudist park.
  • Two female college students who exposed their bare bellies in support of their lacrosse team have allegedly stolen all copies of the campus newspaper with their photo on the front page. It is reported that they thought the photo made them look fat.
  • A UK city council has apologized to a breastfeeding mother who was ticketed for feeding her child in her car.
  • A Santa Clara student seems to have a problem with shaving "down there".
    I admit I am not completely liberated from the way society has spun pubes to seem strange and gross, but I do not think being hairless equates to sexiness. Women should not revert back to girlhood because they are grossed out by womanly pubic hair. A hairless vagina is like a porn star -- unnatural and objectified.
  • Two Indian art students have been arrested for painting nude pictures of Hindu deities.
  • The restrictive Ohio strip club bill has stalled.
    House Judiciary Chairman Lou Blessing, a Cincinnati Republican, says his committee has more important issues to address. The bill would require dancers and patrons to stay six feet apart. Blessing says wants to reduce that distance, calling it ridiculous and possibly unconstitutional.
  • A Beaver County woman has a problem with public breastfeeding.
    In my personal opinion, this isn't something I want to see done in public, along with kids with their underwear or private parts of their body showing.Why should I be subjected to this? Where are my rights? Private things should stay private, especially when you're out in public.Why don't we just go back to the times of Sodom and Gomorrah when they did everything in the streets?

Compulsion to be Nude, Part Two

Dreadfree has responded to my original "Compulsion to be Nude" post.
Beyond our fear of being arrested, we all have reasons that compel us to get dressed. For example, I'm a cold sleeper so I like to sleep in a light pair of shorts and t-shirt. That's my standard sleeping attire even when I stay at a nude or clothing optional resort. Getting dressed is second nature for most people. We may argue that nudity is our natural state, but once again nurture asserts her primacy over nature. I may not think that it makes any sense to get dressed before entering a body of water, but I'm in the cheerful minority.
He's right, protection certainly is one of the reasons we put on clothes, and many people put on clothes to enhance their sexual attractiveness (such as sexy lingerie), but these are conscious and rational reasons. A compulsion by definition is an irrational impulse. Since our society is by any measure a clothed collective, the nudist is seen as being irrational, even deviant by some. On the other hand, as a nudist who is naked most of the time, the wearing of clothes for certain activities, such as swimming and sleeping, appear irrational to me.

It was my experience in high school many years ago that the wearing of clothes did not stand in the way of sexual activity. In America, someone once said, "we fuck faces". It's the eyes, nose and mouth that really attracts us. All that teenage fumbling around in the back seat of a Chevy Bel Air was more about touching and feeling than about looking at body parts. If you are a voyeur, there's no place better than a beach to see bodies, anyway.

One of my favorite recent examples of a compulsion to be nude comes from the lips of Drew Barrymore, who said, "I'll drive in Ireland and park my car and run out into the field and rip all my clothes off and just run in the wheat fields naked. That's for no one to see. That's to have that freedom of feeling at one with nature. So I am completely unguarded, still."

Drew's behavior is not exhibitionism, and it's not sexual, although is certainly is sensual. This is the central primal driving force behind nudism, the compulsion to take off clothing and be free and natural. It's in our DNA.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Compulsion to be Nude

One thing that nudists don't talk about much is our compulsion to be nude. The reasons given for shunning textiles are usually body acceptance, freedom, or naturalness. But many of us also feel compelled to take off our clothes.

A compulsion is defined as "an irrational need to perform some action, often despite negative consequences". In my late teens I would be out sunbathing in a secluded field near my home and would feel the urge to take off my shorts, and often did so when I knew nobody was around. I took a photography class, and it did not take long before I was taking nude self-portraits. In later life, I would strip down whenever I knew I was going to be alone in the house for an extended period of time.

I was never caught, so I kept it a secret until just a couple of years ago. I suppressed the urge to be nude for many years, and was so successful that I actually experienced a reverse compulsion - I felt a need to be clothed at all times. This is the compulsion that now exists in the mind of most people in the United States. Why do people put on clothing to go to sleep? Why do people put on clothing to go swimming? Why do people put on clothing when they exercise, or when they do housework, when they get out of the shower in the morning, or even when they go outside to get some sun? It's the compulsion or need to be clothed.

The need to be clothed is based upon many factors, both cultural and religious, and reinforced by politics and laws. A very strong incentive to wear clothes is the fear of being arrested.

What made the 18,000 Mexicans get naked for Spencer Tunick last week? Suddenly the legal ramifications for being nude were lifted, and these people were compelled to sign up and strip down. For some it must have been for a lark, for others perhaps peer pressure, but for many it had to be the compulsion to be nude, and to be nude with others. It's a primal force.

Last week a fellow nudist said to me, "We're just like other people, we do normal things, it's just that we like to be nude." This implied to me that as nudists we were somehow abnormal, and certainly this is how most of society views the nudist lifestyle. But I would argue that the centuries of societal restrictions have covered up the true and natural naked state of the human being, covering up the body with non-protective and unnecessary clothing, and suppressing normal nudity. The compulsion to be clothed is unnatural, and the compulsion to be naked is just the true nature of humans emerging. Nobody is born wearing clothes, but within minutes every newborn baby is shoved into a gown, and when someone dies, they are dressed in their best clothes to wear into the grave.

Even though I spend almost all my home time in the nude, sometimes when I put on clothes I will try on a couple of shirts before I settle on one that "looks good" on me. When I am nude there is no such choice to be made. This is the beauty of social nudism, when everybody is naked and free of the definitions imposed by the color and shape of clothing.

If you read "first time" reports by nudists (there are tons of these stories on the Internet, just do a Google search), many of these people exclaim that being naked with others is the "best thing" they have ever done. So when you feel compelled to be nude, don't be ashamed, or afraid, or hesitant, just take off your clothes and enjoy your natural state, and it won't be long before you lose your irrational compulsion to be clothed.

The Daily Newds

  • May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Prevention is an article with some good advice if you will be baring your skin to the sun this summer.
  • A man who was cared for as a child by Josephine Baker has won the right to mail postcards of the famous dancer in all her bare-breasted glory.
  • A group of eminent artists discuss the dilemma of M. F. Husain, the 91 year-old Indian painter who faces the loss of his home and deportation for depicting Hindu gods in the nude.
    Suhas Roy: Nudes are everywhere in our country — they are part of our history and culture. Khajuraho and Konarak are full of examples of eroticism. But we should be aware that emotions do run high in our country and fanatics do exist.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Germans and Nakedness columnist Mark Schatzker recently visited a German spa and brought with him the Puritanical attitude that plagues most North Americans. His detached observations on the naked Germans are not unlike impressions of watching fish in an aquarium.
Next to the sauna is the steam room. The door is fogged and I can't see inside. I open it and step in. A man is seated right next to the door, naked, his knees wide, exposing a bouquet of genitalia. He stares at me and says nothing. A squat naked woman sits next to him, sweating. I sit on the opposite bench, the fabric of my red bathing suit sandwiched between my body and the tile bench.
Imagine this scene from the viewpoint of the Germans, who see this odd American with his genital phobia sitting and sweating in his little red bathing suit, saying nothing and taking mental notes.

A reader who is from the U. S. and is half European nails the problem with this writer in a reply.
Mr. Schatzker obviously feels that a naked human body is by definition sexual, by definition something a little provocative. Northern Europeans simply do not see it that way. They do not consider a human body to be something to be consumed, like “an elaborate dish”. They are in the sauna to relax, and frankly could not care less what they or anybody else looks like. And that sort of relaxation, in Northern Europe, is not about loud conversation. The fact of being naked around others is not a prurient experience to be enjoyed per se. If there was tension, and I am sure there was, it was due to the look on Schatzker’s face.
I just don't understand why anyone would go into a German sauna wearing a little bathing suit when everybody else is unashamedly naked. The lack of normal and healthy social nudity in the American culture is disturbing, and this writer is a prime example of someone with a serious case of gymnophobia.

An article from last year in Spiegel Online International explains the German attitude towards uptight Americans.
Forget about trying to wear a swimsuit in a sauna. First of all, you'll be the only one with any sort of clothing at all. Secondly, you'll be immediately pegged as a prudish Anglo-American. No one stares, no one tries to make you feel awkward, but everyone in the room somehow knows to address you in English. Though there is also a decent chance that the sauna authorities will come around, pour water on the broiling sauna rocks, and demand in a brisk impersonal voice, "Take off your clothes, please, no clothes allowed!" Jawohl!
American nudists have to sneak around just to find someplace to swim naked, something that should be as natural as breathing. The last bastion of normal nudity, the YMCA, went textile some time ago. If one has enough money, there are nude cruises and plenty of high-end resorts, but for the average person, nudity is something you do when you shower or when you have sex. And even then, we have opaque shower curtains to hide our bodies, and sex takes place under the covers with the lights out.

All Americans with a nudist/naturist mindset all welcome the day when someone says to us "Take off your clothes, please, no clothes allowed!" No shirt, no pants, no problem.