Friday, June 29, 2007

The Weekend Newds

  • Indecent Exposure: A writer for the Daily Mail wonders when we stopped understanding how to dress modestly.
    The answer is very recently, according to Professor Aileen Ribeiro, an expert on the history of dress at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, who says that in the past the rules on appropriate dress were widely understood. She says that plunging necklines for women and tight trousers for men have been recognised as sexually provocative since the Middle Ages.

    But in previous generations, church and society dictated what was allowed. 'Many people no longer know what is appropriate unless it is written down,' she says. 'Hence our anxiety over what to wear on a formal occasion when instructions are not given. 'And when it comes to your village church service, the churches are often so desperate for churchgoers that they don't say what they think the rules should be. If they did there would be complaints.
  • High Interest: The FDIC is investigating an incident where some women enjoyed topfree equality with men at a recent golf outing.
    According to published reports and a source from within the banking insurance group, a top official in the section induced two women to take their blouses off in public.
  • The Nudist of the Opera: Some in China are upset over the surfacing of some photos of traditional Chinese Opera scenes that include nude women.
    Although people realize these bold photos are considered art, they are still talking about the relationship of Peking Opera and nudity.

    A netizen explained, "I'm not against nudity, but I'm firmly opposed to the combination of naked women and Peking Opera. I don't think people should disgrace our Chinese treasure."
  • Oh, Behave!: Mazo Beach in Wisconsin is receiving more patrols because of increased reports of sexual activity at the nude beach.
    Michael McGreevy, 66, a retired real estate broker who first visited the beach 18 years ago and often spends afternoons here with friends, says they alert rangers when they see banned behavior.

    "We seldom saw it," he says. "The mainstream people are not affected" by tougher enforcement.

    He and his beach friends, McGreevy says, do charitable work and are like "a family, a fraternity." Those who believe there's something ominous going on, he says, should "try it and get a life."
  • First Amendment Rights: A D. C. lawsuit challenges a law restricting clubs that offer nude dancing.
    The lawsuit charges that a 2001 law passed by D.C. City Council and signed by former Mayor Anthony Williams, which sets restrictions on the transfer of licenses for nude dance clubs serving liquor, is “unconstitutional on its face under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.” The suit cites past U.S. Supreme Court decisions affirming that nude dancing is a form of “protected expressive activity” under the Constitution’s First Amendment free speech clause.
  • Pants on Fire: A New Zealand man who fled a fire after bolting out of bed naked, went back into the flaming building to retrieve a cell phone and his undies.
  • The Accidental Nudist: A woman doing some housesitting found herself in a pickle.
    I remembered it while I was in the shower. Certain I'd forget to put everything in the car if I waited until breakfast, I dried myself off, deposited the towel on the bathroom counter, and proceeded--au natural--to carry the box out to the garage through Carmie's kitchen. Even as I set it on the floor and heard the kitchen door close behind me, the fleeting thought occurred that I probably should have checked to make sure it wouldn't lock.

    Too late. It already had.
  • Running of the Nudes: A UK woman plans to run through the streets of Pamplona naked as part of a PETA protest.
    She said despite pleas by Spanish authorities to cover up, she and others would run completely naked apart from red scarves, as worn by matadors, and plastic horns, symbolising the bulls. "I don't get nervous about going naked at all, I just feel excited," she said."I look forward to it all year."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Daily Newds

  • In the Rough: A new survey indicates adults prefer a resort that is clothing-optional over one that offers golf or tennis.
  • Life Lessons: A California man remembers his skinny-dipping days and how that innocence has been lost today.
    Today we'd be run into the Sheriff's Station and charged with exposure ... the indecent type. Obviously a criminal act...I read more and more of kids getting arrested, questioned, detained, hassled in every sort of way just because they are being kids. I remember all the things we used to do and know that by the standards of today, most of the Hart High Class of 1968 would have been incarcerated at least once during our high school years.
  • Dirty Dancing: An Australian fast food chain came to the defense of its TV ad featuring a topless pole dancer.
    The board of the Advertising Standards Bureau agreed, ruling that pole dancing was " … a popular form of exercise" and "was not incompatible with family values". The ad "depicted a strong in-control woman who went about her work in a professional manner", because it showed her travelling to work wearing a suit, the board concluded, while the ad had not broken any rules regarding permissible levels of nudity.
  • Like Daughter, Like Mother: An Illinois plastic surgeon is encouraging the mothers of his breast augmentation patients to get a lift themselves.
    "Adrianna," 53, admits "I didn't used to be for breast augmentation--especially for my daughter, Karen. But after she had it, my perspective totally changed."

    When Adrianna, a surgeon, saw how natural Karen's breast enhancement looked, she decided to have the procedure as well. "Now I wish I'd done it 25 years ago," she says.

    What made Karen decide to have breast augmentation? "One night as I was getting dressed to go out with my girlfriends, I put the little 'chicken cutlet' enhancers into my bra and said to myself, 'If I'm going to do this for the rest of my life to look good in clothes, I may as well check out breast implant surgery.'

Getting it Straight

Tom Mulhall is lashing out at reporters, nudist resorts and fellow bloggers because his blog traffic is down and his Terra Cotta Inn is getting fewer bookings from twenty-somethings.

He is reacting primarily to a columnist in the Orange County Register who was dissed by AANR when she tried to get more information about nudism.
I can't believe it. Some idiots who manage nudist clubs do not follow up with a reporter's e-mail which allows her to jump to the conclusion that voyeurs are attracted to nudist club's open houses. The clubs are acting like the nudist colonies of the 60's where they didn't want people to know they existed.
Tom is dead right on this issue. I have tried contacting AANR for comments about certain issues and have never received the courtesy of a reply. That is why I am not a member of AANR.

But then Tom goes on to say:
Finally, I was called to task by a few nudist bloggers because I posted pictures of people enjoying nude recreation who were in their 20's and 30's. I stopped using those pictures here for stories. This is what I noticed. The traffic for my blog has gone down by more than half. That could be people wanting to look at pictures. However, we are also not getting as many phone calls from younger people like we were a number of months ago. That is not good as it could hurt the bottom line of my resort.
Tom is dead wrong on this issue. He was not called to task for posting nude photos of younger people - he was criticized rightly for using "voyeur" photos from European beaches, taken by people with hidden cameras for the sole purpose of arousing prurient interests. If anyone was promoting nudism as attracting voyeurs, it was Tom.

There are a number of factors that could be contributing to Tom's decline in traffic. One reason could be that each and every post that he makes turns into a pitch for his resort. There is nothing particularly wrong with this, he has a business to promote, but it gets tiresome for the reader. If Tom is keeping stats on his blog, he could do an analysis and find out exactly where his traffic is coming from, and where the decline exists. Blaming other bloggers for his traffic loss is just flailing at windmills.

Also, if Tom is not "getting as many phone calls", this could be due in no small part to the current state of the economy, where gas prices are through the roof and home sales are down. The travel budget is the first to be cut.

Getting it straight is important for all bloggers in the realm of nudism because so many misconceptions exist. Perpetuating myths does no good for anybody. If Tom is angry at AANR and reporters for dropping the ball, he should hold himself to the same standard.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Daily Newds

  • How Fast Was My Nipple Going, Officer?: Police in Poland are ticketing topfree female beachgoers.
  • Skin Deep: A columnist ponders our obsession with skin.
    Strangely, naked skin does offend people. In Europe, public nudity is common, unremarked on and quite a blot on the landscape, if we're being truthful. Here, women are tormented for taking advantage of the “mothers only” interlude at the pool. They are mocked for breastfeeding in public, despite the fact that nursing mothers somehow manage to hide their nipples, the only bit that interests the baby or anyone else. Is the most offensive of all skin that bit of the central breast?
  • Moons Over Manhattan: A toilet company is adorning Times Square with advertisements featuring smiling, naked posteriors.
  • The Naked Journalist: A writer for the UK Sun stripped down and joined the hundreds of nudists at Cornwall's Eden Project.
    One old lady smiled and said hello as I passed her, as relaxed and pleasant as if I'd seen her in a supermarket. But I didn't know where to look. I tried not to blush but I'm sure I did. Ten minutes into it and I felt a bit more at ease. Well, sort of.
  • Unlucky Seven: Stephen Gough, the "Naked Rambler", is behind bars for the seventh time.
  • Naked Isn't Nude: A writer reviews "The Naked Portrait" exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
    The critic John Berger argues that the nude is a convention, that to be naked is to be oneself, but to be nude is to become an object. This show could almost have been designed to prove his case. In Nude Woman in Black Stockings, the 1900 painting by French colourist Pierre Bonnard, the subject's face is hidden. Her body, although rendered unclear in the impressionistic haze, is the sole focus. Her nakedness, like her individuality, has gone, replaced by a nudity which is entirely constructed by Bonnard's perception.
  • Money Talks: Southern California Naturists are passing $2 bills around Santa Barbara County to prove their purchasing power to the community.
    (Gary) Messell and his organization recognize the stigma that comes along with their way of life. He says that people who receive the $2 bills are not forced to support their lifestyle but they are forced to think about it.

    "The stereotype is that it's a handful of crazy people who never left the '60s when, in reality, there are thousands of us," Messell said. "We are all community people, we all have jobs, and we're not crazy — we just enjoy nudity. We're doctors, lawyers, and plumbers, Democrats and Republicans, and we're not going away."
  • Release the Twins: Bars in Las Vegas are offering free drinks to women who go topless at the pool.
    Waitress Erica Wise said that while she was initially uncomfortable about being gawked at while partying topless at the party, she was quickly put at ease.

    'I thought it would be a bunch of old creepy men staring,' said Ms Wise, 24.

    'But it's a bunch of people our age having fun.'
  • Cover the Twins: A Connecticut writer bemoans the fact that women exercise in bra tops.
    I finally let myself conclude the obvious. Women wear bra tops not just because they provide necessary support. Women do not wear them because it is too hot outside. Women do not wear bra tops for comfort or ease of wear, especially since most bra tops require a gymnast's flexibility to get into. Women wear bra tops to expose their bodies, and women expose their bodies to attract men.
  • Never too Old: 85 year-old Jim Wetherbee is not afraid to admit that he is a nude model.
    “I think prior to my modeling, there wasn’t a wrinkle in the whole load of other models. It’s relatively easy to find young, slim women who will model, but very difficult to find older people, let alone men, who will model, so this is my contribution to the world of art,” he said.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Assault on Humanity

The above photograph was taken at the Columbus Ohio Gay Pride parade on Saturday, June 23. There must have been about 100,000 people total between the paraders and the watchers - men, women and children of all ages. Several of the banners/floats were sponsored by churches, banks, and other businesses. While the Christianists are pursuing a marriage amendment to the constitution as a means to marginalize the gay community, there is an increasing visibility and tolerance of homosexuality in the general populace that should eventually end or greatly diminish the societal stigma, but there is still a long way to go.

For the record, let me state that I am a straight male. Have been all my life. But that does not mean that I did not experience some homosexual situations when I was a pre-teen. I think that anyone who is being completely honest has to admit to having something "in the closet".

So today I read this article about a group of male Oregon high school basketball players who got a little out of hand in a hotel hot tub and began stripping off each other's swim trunks.

Marshall Roses, 18, who was named this year's most valuable player and graduated this spring after four years on the team, said he was one of about 10 unsupervised teammates in the hot tub when everyone started splashing and wrestling. Soon the boys were "pantsing" each other -- tugging each other's shorts down for a joke -- and chucking the shorts out of the hot tub.

Roses said he was pantsed, along with a freshman and several other players, that nothing more serious happened and that the freshman "was just laughing like everyone else was." The boys who weren't pantsed collected and returned their teammates' shorts, he said, so no one had to leave the tub naked.

Sounds innocent enough, boys will be boys and all that, but the problem is that a freshman on the team is charging the teammates with sexual assault, contending that his anus was penetrated, and that there were five sexual assaults in all. The accused players will be tried as adults and face a mandatory eight years in jail if convicted.

I have no way of knowing if the sexual assault charges are true or not - that will be decided by the courts. Hopefully this will not be another Duke lacrosse case.

So let's go back to when I was a kid growing up in the sixties. I grew up swimming naked at the YMCA with my friends when I was 9 or 10 years of age. We never thought anything about it. When I was about 11 or 12 we moved to the suburbs near a lake, and my friends and I went skinny dipping whenever the spirit moved. I went to an all male high school, where we all swam nude in the outdoor pool, and were naked in the group showers. And when I was about 15 I would go skinny dipping with a male friend at his summer lake home along with some other neighborhood kids. It was just what we did. Sure, at age 15 it began to seem a little naughty, but that just made it more fun.

There was one red-headed kid who was a pisser. You know, the kid who was your age yet already needed a shave. He liked to pull down other boys' swim trunks and grab the twigs and berries.

The rest of us didn't care for that game and avoided him when we were in the water, but he was affable and we all got along with him otherwise. One night when we were all sleeping in the boathouse he managed to convince us all to play "show and tell" so one by one we all stripped down and strutted our stuff. I have a vivid memory of seeing the first erect penis that was not my own that night.

But that was the extent of it. I look back and consider the activity normal sexual curiosity. Nobody did any touching that night and I don't remember anyone wanting to take it that far.

So when I read about the Oregon high schoolers I thought back on my own childhood and remembered similar incidents of communal male nudity and goofing around. The difference today is that children are bombarded with warnings about child predators, which is often linked incorrectly to homosexuality. I don't know what happened with the Oregon freshman, but whether or not there was some sexual contact or not he was traumatized by the "pantsing" experience and was unable to handle the "shame".

He is likely to be humiliated even more if a trial attracts the attention of Nancy Grace and Court TV, and what about the accused? Do they have the resources of the Duke lacrosse players to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in a defense, or do they plea bargain to make it all go away?

Sexual assault is never acceptable. If these boys penetrated the freshman's anus they certainly went above and beyond any permissible behavior, but do we really want to send them all to jail for 8 of the best years of their lives where they will learn all they never really wanted to know about anal rape?

I just think that if our society made nudity a more normal part of growing up, there would be less of these "hazing" incidents, which, according to the article, appear to be getting worse nationwide, and more sexual in nature. Is it the influence of pornography, or violent video games, or perhaps a little of both?

Whatever the underlying cause, it is the fear of homosexuality that is pervasive, that somehow if our little boys see each other's genitals it will spark a descent into the gay lifestyle. Instead, we teach them that nudity is something to be left to the bathtub and the bedroom only, and when they are presented with a situation like the one with the boys in the hot tub, then the connection is made in the mind between nudity, sex, and violence, and how they all seem to belong together.

All you have to do is watch broadcast television one evening, and you will see many sexual assaults, murders and other violence created just for entertainment, but you will not see normal, natural nudity, you will not see naked couples making love to each other. And if you see homosexuals, they will be relegated to sitcoms or reality shows devoted to fashion or decorating, not unlike the Stepin Fetchits of Black Americana before Sidney Poitier came along and pushed aside the stereotypes.

Fear of ourselves, of our own humanity, of our own bodies, only serves to hide away the realities of who we really are, and dooms us to becoming whatever popular culture decides that we should be at any given time.

To paraphrase Al Gore, we are in the midst of an "Assault on Humanity" whereby we are being more and more depersonalized by machines and culture. Nudism is one way (but certainly not the only way) to get back a little bit of that which makes us living, breathing, sensual beings, and see ourselves for what we really are. The more we hide behind clothing, computers, cars, locked doors, and other artificial facades, the more likely we are to lose our personal connections with others, and the more likely we are to do real harm to one another.

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Topfreedom in Columbus, Ohio

ComFest 2007 076
Originally uploaded by broc7
Many Columbus, Ohio, women enjoyed topfreedom this weekend at the annual Comfest gathering. Body painting and henna tattoos were very popular. The event draws people of all ages and nobody cares that female breasts are on display. Congratulations to all who celebrated equality and freedom.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Proud to Be a Nude Artists' Model

Rosemarie Orwin is one of the most high-profile artists' models working today. She has been featured by the BBC and is in great demand by schools, sculptors, and photographers. Rosemarie has her own website, Modelled Me UK, and her husband, photographer Tony Orwin, has a website featuring images of Rosemarie, dedicated to "a celebration of the female form".

Americans are fascinated with nude art models - there seem to be articles nearly every week attempting to delve into the psyche of a person who would stand completely naked in the middle of a crowd of strangers, to be examined in detail and then represented by an image on paper or canvas. We are a prudish society, where being seen naked is something many people fear more than anything, and seeing someone else naked can somehow be dangerous and immoral.

The human body is the single most beautiful sight in the world, yet we cover it up and hide it away as something to be ashamed of. This is the core tenet of any nudist/naturist philosophy, that we should not be ashamed, that we are all unique yet still very much the same when we are without clothing.

While an artists' model is nude, that person is not necessarily a nudist or a naturist. Conversely, a nudist might not be inclined to be a model. One is a profession and the other is a lifestyle, and while there are differences, they both celebrate the human form in its natural state.

I asked Rosemarie to answer a few questions about her work and how it might link to might be linked to nudism/naturism, and she was kind enough to share some generous answers.

Nudiarist: It seems like most people are more fearful of being seen in the nude than they are of anything else. What events or influences set you on the career course of being a nude life model, and did you have any of your own fears or reservations to overcome?

Rosemarie: A friend of mine had been a life model for a local college in her late teens and she had said that it was good fun and easy work (which it isn't, easy I mean). She had a similar personality to me. Quite quiet and not hugely confident. I thought that if she could do it then so could I. It didn't stop me from being very nervous at the prospect of concerned as to whether I could keep still rather than the nudity aspect.

Nudiarist: Your online portfolio shows you nude in nature and architecture. Have you ever experienced any negative (or positive) reactions from citizens or from law enforcement during any of your outdoor sessions?

Rosemarie: I am always very careful about my photographic location work. I usually try to ensure that work is carried out very early in the mornings or during the week when most people are working. I am a nude model and not an exhibitionist so I would not feel comfortable in a location where there was a strong possibility of public presence. However, having said that, I did undertake some photographic work for a gentleman in Essex who wanted to produce a Charity Air Ambulance Calendar. This meant that there would be a strong possibility of being seen and sure enough, I was observed by the postman, milkman and various other delivery people not to mention dog walkers. I just kept telling myself '' Its for charity. Just act normal! ''

Nudiarist: You obviously spend a lot of time completely nude as your career warrants. Do you ever engage in what would be considered nudist or naturist activities, such as going to a nude beach or resort, or engaging in social nudism with friends or family? Do you consider yourself a naturist as well as a model?

Rosemarie: I have visited a naturist beach on a couple of occasions and we have been on holiday to a hotel that had a section for nude sunbathers, all long before I had even considered nude modelling. However, I don't actively participate in naturist activities. I am definitely not a naturist, not that there is anything wrong with naturism, it's just not a facet of my life.

Nudiarist: In a previous interview you are quoted as being euphoric after your first nude modelling experience. Was the joy from relief, or from a certain self-satisfaction, or both? What specifically do you feel were the causes of your initial apprehensions?

Rosemarie: The euphoria I experienced from my first modelling job was a combination of relief, the fact that I had actually managed to keep still for such a long time and the very fact that I had the nerve to go through with this incredible challenge. As I said before, by nature, I don't have a positive opinion of my body and I am actually a shy person.

Nudiarist: You are a bit of a celebrity for being a nude model. It's very unusual for anyone in this world to become well known for positive nudity - naked people are either on page 3 of your tabloids or in the pornographic industry, or selling something. Do you consider yourself somewhat of a role model for advancing the cause of celebrating the human body for it's beauty and health, and not for sexual objectification?

Rosemarie: I would like to think that I have helped to raise the profile of the artists model. In years passed, the role of the art model was undertaken by students to earn a little pocket money and I do mean a LITTLE pocket money. The role of the life model has never been lucrative and unfortunately within some art groups, the model is still considered as the least significant part of the creative process and so, in some cases, recompense for this work is very poor. My focus and determination has raised my profile both as Rosemarie Orwin "Artists Model" and as Rosemarie Orwin "Supplier of Figurative Art Classes, Courses, Workshops and Residential Figurative Art Weekends" to the point where I can earn a reasonable living - but there are a great many models who are not in such a strong position. Unfortunately, there will always be people who consider anyone who takes their clothes off for 'artistic reasons' or anyone who enjoys drawing from a nude model, must have ulterior motives. I myself, am very proud to be carrying a passport which displays my profession as that of an Artists Model. A role which I consider to be very respectable.

Nudiarist: Nudism/Naturism is partly about body acceptance. You have stated that you once had no confidence in your body. Do you now have true confidence in the way you look, and do you find that you actually feel more pressure now to exercise and keep fit to maintain the body image that you want to project?

Rosemarie: I do still lack confidence in my body but that is on a personal level and not as a model. As I have a website ( which indicates my morphology and carries images of my body, I do have to keep it in shape with plenty of exercise . This has resulted in me gaining a reputation for my musculature and anatomical detail - although I am NOT a a body builder!! My work in this area is of value to my clients and I know that it has secured many commissions for me. This does not mean, however, that you have to be a particular size or weight to be an artists model!

Nudiarist: In Britain, naturism seems to be a much larger movement than it is in America, where any sort of nudity is considered taboo. From my understanding, it is not illegal to be naked in public in Britain, although it can be a problem if there is a disturbance. What societal factors do you believe are at work in British society that allows a more relaxed attitude toward nudity than in the United States?

Rosemarie: From the UK perception, America has an extreme reputation for pornography where we believe it to be a multi billion dollar industry. It is perhaps this perception that nudity is related or connected to pornography or commercialism that so heavily skews the American perception of nudity. In the UK there is not this perception and hence a far greater acceptance of nudity in general and in the art world in particular.

Nudiarist: Nudist groups in the United States are experiencing an age problem with most participants being 40 years of age or older. The debate is ongoing here as to how to interest younger people in naturism. In your experiences have you found any differences in attitudes of different age groups, and do you see any people in their late teens or early 20s getting into nude modelling?

Rosemarie: The answer to this question is much the same as the previous one. With regard to younger people entering the world of nude modelling., I receive e mails weekly from young people who want to take up nude modelling and are looking for advice on how to do this. With the exception of one model, all the models I have hired for my workshops, have been in their 20's and younger.

Nudiarist: Have you any advice or suggestions for anyone considering a career in nude modelling?

Rosemarie: There are many reasons why someone may want to take up a career in nude modelling and not always for the right reasons. However, dependant on whether they want to work in a specific area, i.e. art modelling, photographic, television opportunities, they should first consider:

a) Their partner/family especially children - this career path can have a huge effect on your partner and children and extended family.My daughter was teased at school and other children were telling her that I was a pornographic model/ prostitute etc. and that her dad was my pimp. That's how bad it can be. We discussed my work with our daughter and told her in no uncertain terms that if my work made her feel uncomfortable or she couldn't cope with the teasing at school then I would stop the work immediately.

b) Financial implications - modelling is not a well paid job especially an art model. Photographic modelling is totally different and carries a much higher price tag.

c) Consider the real reasons why this job has appealed to you - I think some people may feel that it must be quite glamorous. I have been on the T.V. a few times and since then and the magazine articles I have contributed to, I have received lots of e mails from budding art models. It requires hard work, dedication and commitment.

Nudiarist: What do you consider your most pleasant experience as a nude model? The worst?

Rosemarie: I cannot think of any one particular experience as a nude model that was specifically pleasant. I was presented with a bunch of flowers after one session which was incredibly touching and most unexpected. I have also received a round of applause at the end of a session on numerous occasions. Just being appreciated for the hard work is enough and the fact that an artist can sell pieces of their work depicting your body is incredibly exciting. There have been a handful of uncomfortable experiences. Artists taking photographs without permission, very obviously and secretly! but were seen. Students bursting into the room for a laugh, that sort of thing.

Nudiarist: Anything else you want to add?

Rosemarie: My outlook on being a professional artists model is that it is a constant challenge even with groups you model for regularly. You need to produce new poses for artists, something to keep them inspired. Modelling, if undertaken properly is a strenuous and quite tiring activity but enjoyable. When you are modelling properly, your personality will shine through and the artists will pick up on that. Modelling is a three way interaction with the artists and tutor ( a triangle effect). The Model SHOULD be a catalyst. They produce " energy " in their poses directed at the artist , who pass it on through to the canvas.

Nudiarist: Thank you, Rosemarie, for sharing your thoughts with us.

Other resources:
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Friday, June 22, 2007

The Weekend Newds

  • Decent Exposure: A Wisconsin editorial laments the fact that women have topfree equality in New York State.
    THESE DAY, ideas of modesty and proper behavior are considered hopelessly old-fashioned. Yet it is difficult to imagine the Founders ever thought the laws of the land could be sufficiently twisted to create the “right” for women to walk around bare-breasted in public places.
  • The Hills are Alive: An Oregon artist is painting a 150 foot reclining nude figure on a hillside.
  • Hanging Out: A 63 year-old British man who likes to sunbathe naked has been warned about his exposure.
    Judge Cedric Joseph told him:"This sort of conduct cannot continue. "If you commit and offence of this kind again you will be going straight off to prison."
  • Mondo Condo: Mira Vista Resort in Arizona plans to add 114 new time-share condominiums by 2009.
    "There's a big trend in the nudist community for time shares or condominiums," (co-owner David) Landman said. "They just want a piece of it as an investment, or a retirement home or a place to live. They like the lifestyle."
  • Bare Bodkin: A Washington D. C. area theatre group is presenting a nude version of Shakespeare's "Macbeth".
    Nudity is a pretty conspicuous trait, though, so when naked witches appear alongside naked humans, they all seem to fall into the same order of being.
  • Nudist Revival: Young Canadian naturists embrace the lifestyle but feel that existing resorts are in need of some change, such as adapting to a younger demographic and bringing activities and facilities more up to date. But there are other issues, too.
    “I get frustrated when I hear people say teens have no interest, because my feeling is that we are changing and may just be that at the moment we are going through a phase where that’s not something we’re comfortable doing,” she says.

    Another problem, these young naturists say, is that societal stigmas surrounding nudist camps still exist.

    “People who have never been to any nudist parks feel like it’s one big sex party, but it’s not like that at all,” says (Ayesha) Mitchell.
  • Podcast: A reporter for the Sarasota Herald Tribune has an audio report on the aging problem in nudist resorts.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Body Armor

Pauline Millard has a piece up on the Huffington Post where she talks about her travails in selecting a bathing suit.
Natural ones (breasts), on the other hand, need a little more engineering. That engineering, however, is almost always absent from bathing suits. Most women will say they don't want an underwire in their bathing suit, but considering the alternatives, I encourage all the hardware I can get. After failing at The Gap, I headed over to Macy's thinking that a department store might have a better selection. I tossed about five different suits over my arms and tried them on. The cute, halter tankini, again, didn't even offer extra elastic. A pretty green bikini gaped open and left little to the imagination. Other suits didn't have enough fabric or they made my breasts look like a giant shelf of flesh.
Pauline, are you going swimming or are you going on a drive through Baghdad? I read things like this and I just want to scream. Engineering? Underwire? Shelf of flesh? Bathing suits have got to be the stupidest invention ever, and poor Pauline is a slave to the fashion industry and the unrealistic body image it promotes. The U.S. is way overdue for topfreedom on beaches.

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The Daily Newds

  • Sometimes When We Touch: A Virginia middle school student ended up in the principal's office because he hugged another student, a violation of the school's "no touching" rule. On the other side of the planet, two high schools in Mumbai have also banned touching, as well as "clothing that is inappropriate or that exposes chest, shoulders, bare midsection or buttocks."
  • The End of Skinny-Dipping: An Indiana newspaper notes that the old swimming hole officially came to an end on June 24, 1932.
  • Make Him Wear a Whistle: The ongoing controversy in Surrey over the city's refusal to rent a pool to nudists took a new twist when it was revealed that one of the lifeguards volunteered to do nude duty for the skinny-dippers.
    "We don't want nude lifeguards...They need to be easily identifiable and in a position of authority."
  • Nudefest 2007: British Naturism is expecting 300 people this weekend for the event.
    Activities include workshops in massage, bodypainting, belly dancing, setting up a naturist beach and arts and crafts. There will also be a stall where you can buy Nudefest 2007 t-shirts, which seems to miss the point slightly.
  • I Don't Need No Doctor: Malaysians are upset about a folk healer who dances in the nude as part of her treatment.
  • Got Milk?: A group of Filipino women bared their colorfully painted breasts in support of a government ban on infant formula advertising and to promote breastfeeding.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Daily Newds

  • Naked Truth: A columnist seeking more information about nudism tried to contact AANR and received no response. But she did make her own observation about nudism and age while watching her grandchildren play.
    Once they were out of the pool, they proceeded to strip and put on dry clothes in front of just about everybody.

    In fact, my granddaughter delightedly danced around the pool, apparently feeling the freedom of a clothes-less moment.

    Naturally, her mother's running after her waving garments, insisting on stifling her free expression.

    Clothes make the man – and the woman – and we learn that soon enough. Probably by age 10 when we want to make sure we're wearing the same thing everyone else is wearing.

    Maybe there is something to the theory that elders grow more childlike as years go by.
  • 40 Naked People and a Tree: Photographer Jack Gescheidt's Tree Spirit Project brought out two score volunteers who proceeded to strip down and protest to save an 80 year-old tree.
    (The event) drew people from a wide area. Among them were Annie Shao and her boyfriend, Ben Ward, who live not far from the lake in Oakland. ``Even with our clothes on it was crazy cold," Shao said. "We live near the MacArthur BART station and we come to Lake Merritt for picnics and just to hang out by the lake," she said. "We would not want to see all those trees cut down. We're not at a point that we can be cutting down trees,'' she said. Shao said she had never posed nude before, but felt the cause was a strong one and worth doing. She chose to dance around the tree, while Ward climbed the tree, also in the nude. "He's the one that's highest up," she said. "He looks like a koala bear."
  • Surrey About That: The Canadian city cites its reasons for refusing to rent a pool for nudist swims.
    In a statement of defence, the City says allowing nude swims would contravene workplace harassment policies for lifeguards who work there.It's also an issue if lifeguards volunteer to work at the nude swims because it would cause problems for lifeguards with more seniority.
  • Bare Berkshires: The 10th annual Eastern Nudist Gathering is expecting a crowd of 800 in Lenox, Massachusetts.
    Event organizer Nicky Hoffman Lee, 58, a Wisconsin grandmother and editor of “N - The Magazine of Naturist Living,” said the gathering will consist mainly of nudists ages 35 to 65. Though a half-dozen families are signed up to attend, and there is a kids’ camp, Lee expects conventioneers to be predominantly male and 98 percent Caucasian.

    But whether it’s the Naturist Society, whose membership is only $53 a year, or Rotary Club, Lee laments that youth today simply aren’t into community.

    “I think they’re just not joiners,” Lee said. “When kids get done with college they want their job and their car.”

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Sunday Newds

  • Natural Nudist: Chicago Cubs' Ryan Theriot has a 4 year-old that prefers to be naked.
    Well, he’s into this thing now where, if he gets hot or if he gets wet, he takes all his clothes off. Everything. And he won’t put anything back on. The other day we were playing outside and his shirt got wet. I think he was just sweatin’. So he starts stripping. Next thing I know, he’s running around the backyard [totally] naked.
  • Seattle Solstice Parade: The annual event once again featured nude bikers.
    "There were about four or five guys and a few girls standing around in our group. One guy said, 'OK,' and we all 'dropped trou,'" Gonzales said. "It was pretty scary at first, but you make friends really quickly when you're out there naked."
  • Open House at Sky Farm: The New Jersey resort is holding the promotional event on Saturday, June 23.
    All it takes is that first step, naturally. "You'll find that even those who come here somewhat timid ... by the end of the day, they're enjoying it," Biondo said. "They're realizing there's no one who's any better, worse or any different than me and they just fit in."
  • Topfree Payoff: A 27 year-old New York City artist has received a $29,000 settlement for being unlawfully arrested while taking a topfree stroll down the street.
  • Beauty and the Beach: Society imposes impossible standards on how we look when we are fully clothed, and now the pressure is being ratcheted up for how we look when stripped down.
    I defy most women over 14 to so much as contemplate leaping half-naked on to the sand after 10 months under layers of clothes without lining up a series of appointments with the waxer, tanner and trainer. It takes weeks, sometimes months, to prepare for a successful, or at least not humiliating, beach appearance.
  • Bare Trees: Photographer Jack Gescheidt is organizing another nude photo shoot in an effort to save 224 mature trees in Oakland.
    "This stuff really seems to strike something in a lot of people," said Gescheidt. "Environmentalists, artists, tree lovers, tree huggers and naturalists — they are an obvious group. "(The shoots) tend to attract people who are comfortable with their bodies," he said.
  • Naturist Principle: A Canadian elementary school principal will be reinstated after a suspension following the accidental exposure of a nude photo taken of him at a naturist beach.
  • The OH in OHIO: The restrictive stripper law recently enacted could be put on the ballot in November if enough signatures are collected. Attempts to legislate morality always lead to a slippery slope, apparently gay male dancers who show too much cheek are now subject to arrest.
    “If it’s done on any kind of a regular basis,” said J. Michael Murray, a Cleveland lawyer representing strip-club owners, “they are covered by this bill and would have to abide by all the restrictions, including the requirement that they close at midnight and the requirement that they may go to jail if there’s any innocent contact.”

    Few would consider a gay bar to be in the same category as a strip club, but depending on the amount of buttock hanging from the dancers’ skivvies, the bars could be in the same boat.

    Murray said the law is vague on the definition of semi-nude, and he “wouldn’t even hazard a guess” as to the legal gluteal threshold.
  • Naked in Portland: A writer explores the world of public nakedness in the Oregon city.
    It doesn't take courage for me to take my clothes off in public anymore; I've done it so many times that I'm more comfortable naked than I am in a swimsuit. And here in Portland I'm in good company. Public nakedness is so common here that some people stripped down and ran across the Morrison Bridge on the last day of March before they realized that the advertised "Naked Fools Parade" was just an early April Fool's joke at their expense. Each fall, Lewis & Clark College administrators must debunk the persistent notion that the Southwest Portland campus is "clothing-optional," interrupting a handful of naked dance parties and in-the-buff dips in the school's outdoor pool. And between last weekend's World Naked Bike Ride and a 5K nude walk/run through Forest Park, all Portland would've needed to host a Nude Triathlon was a leg of skinny-dipping at Rooster Rock.
  • Unplugged Redux: The controversial Pittsburgh video installation depicting a nude woman bathing with milk and honey in a forest has been permanently unplugged by Festival Director Elizabeth Reiss.
    She said she can't comment upon the content of the work because she hadn't seen it before it was unplugged by PPG but said she was told that it included full frontal female nudity.

    Citing the festival's commitment to its audiences, Reiss said, "Nudity doesn't belong in street-front windows. For several years now, Three Rivers has worked hard to put important good work in galleries and responsible pieces on streets." While Reiss said that she doesn't censor performance or gallery content, works on the street are "reflective of a more family-friendly value."
  • Judy in Disgust: Seattle City Council candidate Judy Fenton is sure of only one issue: public nude art must be appropriate for children.
    Specifically, Fenton is concerned about the fountain at the base of the Olympic Sculpture Park that depicts a man and a boy standing naked facing each other. "We spend a lot of heartfelt time and effort teaching our children boundaries and guidelines, telling them if somebody touches us in ways that aren't appropriate what they should do," Fenton explains. "If somebody sees that statue, it will undo that and confuse them."
  • Fanny Pack: An outdoors writer in Maine is offered a story on nude camping and is unsure of how to handle the situation.
    I’m a little concerned about the interview. Is it face to face? Would I be able to maintain eye contact? Would it be a clothing-optional interview; and, if so, which option should I choose? If I took photos for the article, would I be able to run them in the paper or online? This is a family publication.
  • Family Friendly: A petition containing 10,000 signatures has been presented calling for the banning of topless sunbathing and skimpy bathing suits on Costa Blanca beaches.

Best of the Breast:

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Sunday Newds

World Naked Bike Ride Roundup:

In Other Newds:

  • Shoot Yourself: How do Nigerian women feel about having nude photos of themselves on a cell phone?
    Afolashade Ajulo: I can’t do it. It’s not proper. It’s not good at all. In fact, it’s terrible. My body is for the Lord and my husband. I won’t even allow my fiancĂ© to see me nude until our wedding night.

    Chijioke Nweze: Me? I cannot afford to keep my nude photo in my phone. You want to know why? It is immoral, immorality of the highest order. No way, you can’t have my picture. My husband needs to be consulted first.
  • Sagging Membership: A British writer looks at the aging population of America's nudist clubs.
    Indeed, nudists laugh off as ignorant prejudice the widely-held opinion that people who go naked on beaches and at resorts tend to be the less physically attractive - a view encouraged by some of the US media coverage of Solair's college day.

    Nudism has also been attacked by the religious Right, especially over children's involvement. "Some people associate nudity only with bathing or having sex," said Miss Schnee. "I think it has been very healthy for my children to grow up in this environment and learn that people can come in all shapes, colours and looks, and still be normal."
  • How Do I Look?: Guardian asks several writers to talk about what they either love or hate about their bodies.
    Kathryn Flett on her tummy: I'm addicted to Channel 4's How To Look Good Naked, in which, every week, I am awed by the sight of women standing around in their bra and knickers being hugged by presenter Gok Wan - a man who habitually refers to breasts as 'bangers' and tells women they're gorgeous when (sorry sisters) they really aren't.

    As if this weren't bad enough, he then makes them get what little remains of their kit off for a soft-focus nudie shoot (for their shadowy husbands) and then makes (sorry: 'encourages') them to take to the catwalk in front of an audience - which always seems to include their mum, kids and best mate, but never the shadowy husband - in no more than a slightly better bra and knickers than the ones in which they arrived.

    And every week I think, 'Well, at least I look better than that!' But who am I kidding? I am walking around carrying what appears to be a prosthetic stomach designed by the Chapman brothers for a cruel and unnecessary sketch show entitled Little Britain In Hell.
  • How Naked Can You Be?: Pasadena strippers have been charged with "excessive nudity".
  • Monroe Doctrine: Marilyn's nude photos are still creating a stir. It is reported that some museum patrons in Dayton, Ohio, are upset over some of the 250 photos in a special exhibit which show the sex icon in the nude.
  • Get Naked, Win a Cruise: Paradise Lakes in Florida is offering its new members a chance to win a 10-day nude cruise for two as an incentive to join. Pete Williams, director of communications at the resort, says that the grand prize will be awarded when 600 new members are recruited.
    "Membership has been sort of flat across the board," he said. "Nude recreation, by all measuring sticks and surveys, is on the upswing, but studies suggest people are joining less and less of everything, whether it's a country club or Kiwanis Club or whatever.

    "We're a time-crunched society."
  • Unplugged: Offended art patrons keep unplugging a nude video installation. The video features artist Carolina Loyola-Garcia bathing nude in a forest with milk and honey and can only be viewed through peep-holes that are too high for children to reach.
    "I am very frustrated," she said. "I feel that I somehow stepped into a time machine and I'm back in the 1950s."

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Weekend Newds

  • Paradise Found: A journalist remembers the time he did a story on Paradise Gardens nudist resort in Ohio and tried to keep his clothes on.
    But a funny thing happens when you are the only person in a campground wearing a stitch of clothing: you begin to feel self-conscious. So, after half an hour or so of worrying that people were looking at me because my fly was down, I turned my back, unfastened my belt and began to drop my shorts. When they were down around my knees, a terrible thought flashed through my mind: What if this whole thing is an elaborate practical joke and, when I turn around, everyone else is fully dressed and laughing at me?

    Fortunately, that didn't happen. When I turned around, everyone still was barefoot all over and no one reacted at all.

    Although one woman did yawn several times.
  • Mommies Dearest: Mother of two Bonnie Crowder has started a web site called The Shape of a Mother and posted photos of her own pregnancy-altered body, inviting other mothers to do the same.
    New mom Erin Mecleary of West Chester loves the site. "When I saw the other women and they looked like me, it was such a relief!" said Mecleary.
  • Showing Bush: Nude protesters have demonstrated at the G8 Summit.
  • Ban Nudes, Not Bombs: A British parish council is considering leasing a beach to the army because it's being used by nudists.
    The army, which has a base nearby, wants to ensure young cadets are not shocked or offended.

The World Naked Bike Ride

The World Naked Bike Ride is Saturday, June 9, and stories are already coming in from all over the world. Here are a few:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Daily Newds

  • Beat It: Australians are upset that gay men are masturbating in front of women and children on a nude beach.
  • The Great Nude North: Wreck Beach has been named one of the top 10 nude beaches in the world.
    Judy Williams likens Canada's foremost nude playground, Wreck Beach, to "a beacon in the night of naturism."

    "It brings people from all over the world because it has the rare combination of physical beauty, a sense of place and a sense of history," says Williams, chair of the Wreck Beach Preservation Society.
  • Emancipation?: A sculpture of a naked little boy might be allowed to remain in front of a Michigan city hall, but some don't like it.
    One of the city council members - Mark Bekken - was quoted in the local paper as saying "It's not appropriate to have a nude African boy in front of city hall."
  • Into the Underbelly: A brave reporter bares all in a trip to a nudist retreat.
    After a while, it doesn't even seem weird anymore that we're all just sitting around like pre-fig leaf Adams and Eves, nothing to hide, nothing to cover up, soaking up the sun and one another's company. Truth be told, I could kind of get used to this—once you lose the mindset that nakedness outside the bathtub and the bedroom is wrong, it's more natural than it seems. As the saying goes, “If we were meant to be nude, we would've been born that way.”
  • Body Freedom Fighters: The Body Freedom Collaborative is working hard to get clothing-optional park and beach areas in Seattle.
  • Give Bates a Chance: Nudists in Santa Barbara County are trying to reclaim a strip of Bates Beach for nude sunbathing.
  • More Bad News: Naturism is on the decline in Great Britain, and traditional nudism in the US is also in trouble.
    American naturists fear that their way of life is shrivelling into extinction. At a conference convening in Florida next month, the American Association for Nude Recreation will discuss how it can lower its age profile; the average age at its US naturist clubs is typically 55. It's a similar figure in Britain, where, although one million people may have sampled naturism at some point - usually on nude beaches overseas - British Naturism's membership has shrunk to less than 15,000.
  • Trim Your Bush: The Naked Gardeners in Britain are holding six clothing-optional days at their Abbey House Gardens this year. On a recent day, 300 people wandered nude through the five acre estate.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Erections Welcome

Sign at the entrance of a nudist resort: "Young single men with erections welcome".

Is this the future of nudism? EJP thinks so. One of his friends got tossed from a nudist resort for having an erection.
Why shouldn't an erection be okay? They're natural, it happens, and the only thing it really says about a guy is that it has a heartbeat, especially for younger guys. He wasn't being accused of stroking it, flaunting it, or waving it in anybody's face. Just having it - which he was obviously unaware of assuming he did. It shouldn't have bothered anyone - and to the extent it did, the appropriate response would be to politely ask him to cover it up or dip in the pool, not going running to management who in turn tells him he's now unwelcome...What behavior would I like to see nudists adopt? In short, exactly the same behavior at equivalent textile venues.
I admit that I have been trying to push EJPs buttons for awhile now because I've always felt that there was something a little out of step with his writings about nudism. The primary clue is his moniker, Gymnophiliac, which is defined as someone who is sexually aroused by being nude.

In past writings he has professed that people have no right not to be offended, so it's no surprise that he would find nothing inappropriate about a public erection. Oddly enough, he directly contradicts himself by defending his friend's erection and then espousing a code of behavior that is equal to that of "textile venues". Help me out, but I cannot think of a textile venue where erections are welcome. Even Pee Wee Herman was busted for his erection, and he was in a porno film house where the entertainment is designed for stimulating male erections.

When EJP excuses his friend's state of arousal as "he was obviously unaware of assuming he did", does he really expect anyone to believe his friend didn't know his penis was engorged? I'm sorry, but I've been fully aware all my life when I have an erection.

You just cannot have it both ways. Any male visiting a nudist resort is expected to maintain control, and if the occasional erection does manage to pop up, the ever-present nudist towel is a good way to cover up.

It's understandable that in today's sexually charged culture that some men might be prone to arousal at the mere sight of a nude female body, or by simply being nude. Such a person is not a good candidate for social nudism. If someone is interested in the lifestyle, then that person should begin by spending a lot of time at home in the nude until the practice begins to feel normal and natural. If arousal continues, then that person might be a gymnophiliac.

Nudists Joe and Natalie have a good Q&A section about erections at nudist resorts.

In his essay On Nudism and Sexuality, EJP also reveals something interesting about his way of thinking.
Nudists are agreeing that there's an arbitrary line of morality that dictates what's acceptable for public behavior and what isn't, and argue that that line should be pushed just far enough such that our lifestyle is acceptable, while continuing to condemn any activity that remains on the other side of that line. Even if you think sexual activities are wrong, if you personally find them offensive, nudists more than other people should realize that that's no basis for condemning it. More to the point, it's certainly not a basis for prohibition via legislation, especially if you believe (as I do) that the general public should learn to tolerate and accept nudity. 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.
EJP fails to take into account that societies have rules. Like them or not, they exist as the result of years and years of social interaction. For thousands of years, people have worn clothes, and it is not insignificant that most people will be offended if a person walks around naked in public. It's part of our DNA at this point, just as we smile in all cultures, we also put on clothes. To have utter disregard for the feelings of others is to operate outside of the norm, and to lose moral authority, not by abandonment, but by default.

It is perhaps due to the sexualization of society, and the pervasiveness of pornography, that has formed EJPs attitudes to nudism and sexuality. Perhaps nudism as a movement is on the wane, and a new sexually charged swinger movement is on the rise. Maybe all the sex on television and on the Internet is on the verge of completely breaking down the societal barriers that have formed our perceptions on morality and sexuality.

But don't expect to see nudist resorts openly advocating male erections. Ain't gonna happen.

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