Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Daily Newds 10/30/08

  • After Gok Wan's Miss Naked Beauty parade, one finalist felt "degraded, confused, and very, very tearful."
  • A New Zealand naturist club's open house brought in zero new members. It is also reported that memberships are dropping at all naturist clubs across the country.
  • "Naked Las Vegas" is a new book which shows people from all walks of life both with and without clothing. "The book is about comparing. Compare the homeless guy to the CEO," (photographer Gary) Friedler says of two people in the book. "See how they're alike and how they're different. Naked, they're equals. But you put the clothes on and they take on completely different roles. And people respond to that very differently."
  • An advice columnist agrees with a 15 year-old boy that his sister's penchant for home nudity is "inappropriate", and that there is no room for discussion on the matter.
  • Please stop referring to creepy people like this one as "naturists".
  • Are you ready for Boulder's 9th annual Naked Pumpkin Run on Friday?
  • A new book by photographer Naomi Harris explores the world of the swinger's lifestyle in America. The article is accompanied by 14 photos which resemble many nudist images but with sexual activity added to the mix. Is nudism simply too tame for people now in our pornography infested world?

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Nudist Photo of the Day 10/30/08

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What I Blog About

Occasionally someone asks me, "If you are a nudist, and believe that nudism is a family-friendly lifestyle, why do you sometimes write about strippers, swinging, and prostitution?"

I think most readers are smart enough to understand why, but here is an explanation for those who have difficulty connecting the dots.

Yes, I strongly believe in the core principles of nudism, and have not changed my mind that social nudism should be free of any overt sexual activity.

The general public has a far different perception of nudists. For many people, it's hard to believe that a group of people in mixed-gender company can participate in nude events without everyone starting an orgy. When Caliente resort began allowing swingers groups to use their facilities, AANR did the right thing by rescinding their membership, even though there was no actual sexual activity happening while the swingers were on the property (reportedly, anyway). It was all about the public perception. All the publicity over the Caliente situation merely affirmed the widespread belief that nudism and sex are one and the same.

When local communities crack down on strip joints, it's the nudity that comes under control by ordinances that prohibit exposure of specific parts of the body, and when they fail in controlling the nudity, authorities impose impossible zoning restrictions, or try and make the argument that strip joints cause an increase in crime. So far, that assertion has never been proven. It's far simpler to argue that a local convenience store, or bank, is a magnet for crime.

As for prostitution, I recently noted that San Francisco is poised to be the first major American city to possibly legalize the sex trade. I personally don't know if it's a good idea or not, but I find it hard to believe that a country which regulates and protects the porn industry, where people are paid to have sex on camera, can have a problem with someone paying for private sex in a hotel room.

These sexual issues speak to public perceptions. At the heart we are still a very Puritanical society, even though we are swamped with sexual imagery in magazines, on TV, and at the movies. It's odd that we willingly accept overt sexuality in the media, but reject the same behavior in our public and personal lives.

So when I link to a news item that has to do with a sexual matter, I do so merely to point out how the public, or the government, is dealing with the issue. One would hope that a more permissive society would benefit nudists, who by comparison with legal prostitution or strip clubs would seem rather tame.

It's very hard to pin down exactly where we are as a society when it comes to nudity. On one hand we have the great success of Haulover Beach and the recent victory of nudists at San Onofre beach, but on the other we have unnecessary anti-nudity ordinances enacted in Brattleboro and Huntington Beach, and a government which is attempting to wipe out any nudity at all from the airwaves.

Only by continuing to examine any and all stories which involve nudity in public can we begin to gauge society's direction on this issue. Some days I am encouraged, and some days I despair. Changing public perceptions doesn't happen overnight, and the freedom that nudists are seeking is not likely to happen anytime soon.

I like to use the swimsuit as an example of evolving attitudes. Prior to the 19th century, it was basically just men that swam in ponds and rivers, and they were nude. If women bathed outdoors, it was usually done in some sort of garment. Early swimsuits were ridiculous woolen coverings - both men and women were basically covered head to toe. It wasn't until the 1930s that men began to swim topless, and thirty years later topless swimming became acceptable for women in many European countries. Today in America, bathing suits leave little to the imagination. Going to topfree, or completely nude, is not a dramatic step for many beachgoers.

So when you look at the total picture, we seem to be moving in the right direction. I hope that from here on most news items that I find will be body positive, and that our society continues to become more and more progressive.

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Nudist Photo of the Day 10/29/08

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Naked Eyeful

Andrew Stephens wonders why the public continues to be outraged by nude art.
Much is said and written about our increased visual literacy in an image-flooded culture but perhaps we are actually becoming less able to read images sensitively and accurately because the opportunity for serious contemplation has diminished? And perhaps we have trouble distinguishing photography - given its overwhelming currency - as an art medium? If these things are so, nudity in art might be easily and mistakenly conflated with sex - or with pornography...

"Nakedness is ubiquitous," writes (Ballarat Gallery curator Elizabeth) Cross - in fashion, advertising, beach culture and the cinema, let alone the vast and insatiable pornography industry. "Engulfed by the ambiguous presence of human flesh at every turn, we do not, cannot, come innocently to the experience of the naked body - if we ever did.

"And yet our naked bodies are our natural condition. Their depiction has the potential to express our fundamental selves, and even something we might count as divinity."
Pictured above: Duo 2008 by Sam Jinks

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Has Nudism Lost Its Soul?

I was recently alerted to this article: Nudism - The Radical Tradition.
In the mid 1990's Hilary and I decided to join the "organised" naturist movement. From historical accounts of radical nudism I felt hopeful that we would meet some fellow spirits, or at very least a circle of intelligent, liberal, open-minded people. The general tone of CCBN literature and the fact that the organisation lacked a democratic constitution should have sent alarm bells ringing. Our first encounter with "organised" naturism was when we attended a CCBN swim where we found a preponderance of males. Where, we wondered, were all the naturist women? The idle conversation in the sauna revealed a very conservative membership far from our expectations. We winced at the homophobia and range of conservative prejudices on display. There was little evidence that this weekly, clandestine, social nudity encouraged the development of any real friendships outside the confines of the leisure centre. It did little to break down the social isolation of the naturist and certainly did nothing to influence ideas in the outside community. Clearly, all was not well with contemporary British naturism.
From my own experience, the same can be said about American nudism.

Let me preface my comments by saying that I see a lot of hope for naturism in America, particularly through the work of The Naturist Society, The Naturist Education Foundation and The Naturist Action Committee. Movements like The Body Freedom Collaborative exhibit some of that radical attitude that the writer found lacking in British Naturism. While the American Association of Nude Recreation espouses all the right naturist philosophies, the emphasis is more on the commercial nature of the lifestyle. And Clothes-Free International is all about selling memberships to get access to the photos and videos, but in the process they do manage to get out a positive message.

When I made my first visit to a nude swim in Columbus a couple of years ago, my first thought was "you need more women here". Males outnumbered females at least a 5 to 1 ratio, and oftentimes higher. While there is nothing inherently wrong in getting old (I'm 54), the average age of the men in the pool had to be about 60.

I'm glad I found the Columbus swims because they got me started in social nudism, but the events were so male dominated that I never felt comfortable bringing my wife, who resisted for a couple of years.

After every swim many of the participants gathered at a local pizza joint, and that was the extent of any real socializing. The pool venue was just a pool - there were no other facilities such as a sauna or exercise room to stimulate conversation. In the pool, like clockwork every swim, the water volleyball game dominated the evening. The sense that I got was that everyone was just going through the motions, putting plastic over the windows, setting up the net, starting the game, keeping score, and then tearing it down and covering the pool, and uncovering the windows.

I will say that the local Columbus swims are welcoming to anybody. If you are a single male interested in social nudism, it's a good starting point.

Certainly there is no apparent homophobia in the Columbus groups, since there are several gay men who participate without prejudice. I will say that at least one Midwest landed club openly discourages gay couples from attending, which is unfortunate.

Basically, nudism in Ohio is very socially isolated. Aside from some ads in naturist publications, and a crude web presence, most landed and non-landed clubs do very little to make contact with the outside world. From my experience, enthusiasm is often met with suspicion and skepticism, and an unwillingness to change.

Certainly, at least here in Ohio, social nudism needs to reinvent itself, or it will just fade away.

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Leaf Wars

It's that time of year again.

I live in a neighborhood of mostly retired couples who have little more to do than putter around their yards.

Some are completely obsessive, mowing their lawns every 4 or 5 days whether it's needed or not.

Now come the leaf wars.

What did the leaf ever do to deserve such disrespect? After nurturing a tree for an entire season, and providing shade for anyone passing underneath, the leaf begins to die, and offers one of nature's most spectacular color displays.

But the problem in my neighborhood is when the leaves begin to fall on those neatly manicured lawns.

Nobody owns a rake anymore. No, the evil leaf needs to be banished with the most obnoxious machine ever devised by man - the leaf blower.
What demonic force possesses someone to do the gardening using gear with an engine big enough to run the electricity grid of a small African country?...The sustained boom in high-powered gardening equipment has sparked a disease in the psyche of suburbs where the grass is always greener on the other side, and jealousy and one-upmanship turn normal men into obsessive-compulsive idiots.
My wife and I were watching TV after dinner and suddenly it sounded like a 747 was landing in out back yard. I rushed outside to find my neighbor with a jet engine strapped to her back, attached to a long snout that was blasting her leaves towards the street, and she was wearing ear protectors! I respectfully reminded her that she was in clear violation of our local noise ordinance, and while I was not going to complain, it was inevitable that one of the local retirees would pick up the phone and call the police. She grumbled a little, but I think she knew how incredibly rude her screaming machine really was.

You have to understand my neighbors. If there is a stray dog running around, it's not long before a police car arrives to arrest the offending canine. One elderly gentleman sits on his front porch all day, any time of year, just watching anything and everything. This is absolutely 100% the truth - you can see him clearly on Google street view nailed to his lawn chair.

But back to the leaves.

Another neighbor uses her leaf blower every two days in the autumn. Even if there are only 12 1/2 leaves on her lawn, they are clearly not welcome and must be blown away. The leaves are rounded up and placed into neat little piles in the street gutter, where city sucking machines come around weekly and slurp them up.

Whatever happened to mulching?

OK, I have to do something with my leaves, too. You can't live in this neighborhood with a blanket of leaves on your lawn. People will think you are crazy, or perhaps dead.

So I pick up that old rake and do it the old fashioned way. It doesn't really take any longer than using a leaf blower, and I get some good exercise.

When I was a kid we would rake the leaves into huge piles and spend the afternoon jumping into them. Then we would call the local fire department for a verbal permit, and would set the leaves on fire. It was a glorious smell filling the air. People would burn their lawns, too, as a means to remove thatch and leaves, and stimulate new growth. For obvious reasons in crowded suburbia, burning of leaves and lawns has been long since outlawed.

So hopefully the day will come soon when leaf blowers are assigned to the ash heap of history. Something tells me that people will not look back fondly on their blower memories.

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Nudest Morans

10 year-old Michael Hayward is protesting nudity on Kapiti Coast beaches, and has made the following statement:
"I was very upset when we saw the man with no clothes lying right where we had to walk past him. It was horrible, I felt embarrassed, I think other children would find it disturbing. It was not something kids should have to put up with."
He was with his mother when they came upon the nude sunbather.

Kids generally don't have a problem with nudity - shame is taught to them by adults.

Little Michael was also taught to spell by adults.

Nudist Photo of the Day 10/25/08

Friday, October 24, 2008

Camp Clothing

Tanya Enberg has many hang-ups about her own body is surprised when most of her friends in "Camp Clothing" exclaim that they would be more than willing to strip down for a day at the spa.
Truth is, no amount of love or trust for my lively circle of friends could quiet down that nattering inner voice that would be obsessing over body stuff like whether they're noticing that my boobs actually do fall on the small side or that regardless of regular work outs, wobbly bits remain (for which I have buttery garlic bread and creamy pasta to thank).Instead of feeling pent-up knots of stress escaping my body, I'd be stressing out by my birthday-suit imperfections.
Tanya professes that she will not lose the towel if she goes with her friends, but something tells me that she will lose her inhibitions once she is among her nude friends, and her follow-up article will be a confession about how silly it was to stress about it.

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The Weekend Newds 10/24/08

  • An 8 foot nude statue of Diana the Huntress was covered up in Pueblo, Colorado, for a Joe Biden political rally.
  • When it comes to topless women at Australia's Gold Coast Indy auto race, Premier Anna Bligh is being urged to "live and let live'.
  • The period of time for submitting concerns over the lifting of nudity restrictions on New Zealand beaches has been extended. "Most of them are saying `no, no, no, no, we don't want our beaches naked' and we're saying `well, no, neither do we, but we can't enforce that'," (Kapiti District Council communications manager) Mr Cronin said.
  • A New Zealand artist has put together a gallery show focusing on the male nude.
  • A stunning collection of Andre de Dienes vintage nudes are available on eBay Included are many Marilyn Monroe glamor shots.
  • A 13 year-old boy is under house arrest for receiving a nude photo of a 15 year-old girl. Authorities say that charges against other students are possible.
  • The Plastic Surgeon General warns of a small breasts epidemic.
  • Australian councillor Elaine South argues against a naturist beach. “I’ve got grandchildren, and I don’t think I would like them to come across people who were ‘optionally clothed’.”
  • Could the nudist communities of Tampa Bay determine the outcome of the Presidential election?
  • The word "evil" was spray-painted twice on the billboard in Australia promoting "The Naked and the Nude" art exhibit.
  • A sex educator in Vancouver is offering an art gallery tour entitled "That Lady is Naked!" designed to answer questions from children and help parents to speak in plain language about nakedness in art.

Nudist Photo of the Day 10/24/08

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Something's Fishy

OK, Im not a doctor, and I'm not a detective, but this story that broke today doesn't ring true to me.

In brief, a 20 year-old campaign worker from Texas reported that she was robbed of $60 at a Pennsylvania ATM machine, and when the 6 foot 4 inch dark-skinned male saw that she had a McCain bumper sticker on her car, he beat her and carved a "B" into her cheek to teach her a lesson.

Why am I suspicious? Several reasons. First of all, the "B" is backwards as if carved when looking in the mirror. Second, there is absolutely no swelling or redness in her black eye (bottom photo). Compare to the person with an actual black eye (top photo). Third, there were no witnesses. Fourth, there is no surveillance video or ATM imagery, but this could surface as the investigation proceeds. Fifth, even though the woman was apparently punched, kicked and maimed with a potentially filthy knife, she refused medical treatment.

Please note that I'm not saying that this is not a real incident, and that this woman is not a true victim. All I am saying is that the story just doesn't add up yet and should not be exploited by either political party until the full facts are known.

Updates: TMZ reports that police have serious questions about the authenticity of the attack. Michelle Malkin even says the story "smells weird". And The Smoking Gun reports that the alleged victim was blogging before and after the attack.

Update: As you know by now, the entire incident was a hoax.

Nudist Photo of the Day 10/23/08

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Figure Illuminated

From the press release:
Etherton Gallery is pleased to present The Figure Illuminated featuring the photographs of Flor Garduño, Alvin Booth and Ralph Gibson. The Figure Illuminated presents three reflections on the mysteries and wonders of the nude, featuring the monumental photographs of Flor Garduño’s sensuous women seen through the veil of magic realism; the erotically charged, abstracted bodies in Alvin Booth’s work, and Ralph Gibson’s deceptively simple, open-ended photographs that highlight tension, rhythm and vision. The exhibition opens on Saturday, September 13th with a reception, from 7:00 to10:00 pm. Etherton Gallery is located at 135 S. 6th Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85701. Regular business hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11am – 5pm and Thursday 11am-7pm. For more information please contact the gallery at (520) 624-7370 or
Gallery website here.
Exhibit review here.

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Nordic Nudes

Since their funding was cut in half, five women from the Canadian National Biathlon Women's Team have posed nude for a fundraising calender.

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Project Censored

Ever feel like the mainstream media isn't doing its job? Check out Project Censored.
Founded by Carl Jensen in 1976, Project Censored is a media research program working in cooperation with numerous independent media groups in the US. Project Censored’s principle objective is training of SSU students in media research and First Amendment issues and the advocacy for, and protection of, free press rights in the United States. Project Censored has trained over 1,500 students in investigative research in the past three decades. Through a partnership of faculty, students, and the community, Project Censored conducts research on important national news stories that are underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or censored by the US corporate media. Each year, Project Censored publishes a ranking of the top 25 most censored nationally important news stories in the yearbook.
Here is a list of the current top 25 censored stories.

A Nudist With His Clothes On

A freelance writer in Cheboygan, Michigan, visited his son and daughter-in-law at their nudist trailer park in Florida, but could not bring himself to join the naked masses.
At the park, I would be among people also naked but, still, it does not appeal to me. At my stage of life, I am pudgy and wrinkled. But that isn't it. Even when I was young and fit, I shouldn't have wanted to be nude around people. In those days, I was underweight and scrawny and I had no waist.
It's interesting that this writer does not seem to have a moral problem with nudism, it's all about his own body image, something that has plagued him for life. He undoubtedly grew up reading comic books with ads for Charles Atlas bodybuilding courses and became ashamed of his own "98-pound weakling" status.

He also has a paranoia about looking at other people who are nude.
At the nudist camp, I kept trying to remember where I looked at people when I met them at a cocktail party or in somebody's home. I couldn't for the life of me remember. I thought I must have looked at their eyes and I tried to do that with the naked people but it didn't seem right. It felt unnatural to keep looking at somebody's face and pretending that nothing existed below their shoulders.
Any nudist will tell you that it's OK to look, it's just not OK to stare. Just as it's perfectly normal to notice someone's suit, dress or shoes, it's normal to notice their body parts. What is not OK is trying to give compliments. Saying "nice breasts" is not quite the same as saying "nice sweater". Human beings are visual in nature, and there is nothing wrong with looking around, just avoid the leering.

Then there's the risk-of-injury argument.
I do a lot of woodwork and, as I may have mentioned, tend to be accident prone. I rarely finish a project without getting a little blood on it or into it. As long as I have enough Band Aids on hand, I can function. But most of my injuries are confined to my hands. I hate to think what kind of trouble I might get into if I were undressed in the workshop.
Nudists are not stupid people. When it gets chilly, they put on clothes. When they are doing woodwork, they put on the appropriate protective attire.

But there is hope for the writer.
One thing about being nude is that I wouldn't mind sitting around and chatting in that condition. But I am not sure I would want to engage in other activities. The thought of playing badminton in the raw or pitching horse shoes does not appeal to me.
I think the real problem here is that the writer and his wife are visiting family at the nudist resort in Florida. While nudism is definitely family-friendly, it's difficult to set aside the societal taboo of being nude in front of your children. It's much easier when the kids are young, but getting naked for the first time with adult children is definitely more difficult. My wife and I easily visit nudist parks and mingle with strangers, but I don't think I would feel comfortable if we were accompanied by our college-age daughter, and vice-versa.

I have to give the writer a lot of credit for trying to understand his son's chosen lifestyle. Many people would not be nearly as understanding, and would never undertake an actual visit. So in some ways he has become a nudist with his clothes on, and that at least is a step in the right direction.

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The Daily Newds 10/22/08

  • San Francisco could become the first major US city to decriminalize prostitution.

  • If you are in New Zealand this weekend, the Southern Naturally club is having an open house. If not, perhaps South Africa's naturist resorts are on your itinerary.

  • Is Naked News pornographic?

    A visit to, with its amateur audition videos and soft-core picture galleries, does nothing to discourage critics who dismiss it as porn. But watch a broadcast and it’s a different story. There are no bump ’n’ grind theatrics. The anchors simply disrobe, read the news and call it a day.

  • Model Sophie Anderton has overcome cocaine addiction and bankruptcy, and is reported to be happier naked than in clothes.

  • A billboard in Australia promoting an art gallery show "The Naked and the Nude" will not be taken down despite complaints that it features a painting of a naked woman with a breast and nipple exposed.

  • The naked man found stuck in a chimney was definitely not Santa.

  • Participants in the Put Your Best Breast Forward fundraising calendar were shy at first.

    "We were all co-workers [at a photography company]," said John, aka Miss July. "And when you work together you don't necessarily walk around topless all the time." At first, John and her friends were embarrassed. "But then, after the shoot was over, the ladies just sat around with their tops off. It was very empowering."

  • Gok Wan is presenting a 6 part series on the BBC entitles "Miss Naked Beauty 2008".

  • More than 10% of the population in the village of Clawddnewydd in North Wales have posed semi-nude for a fundraising calendar.
  • Here are five simple things you can do each day to maintain your sanity.
  • Actress Gwyneth Paltrow says that she has never had a problem with being nude on film.

Nudist Photo of the Day 10/22/08

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Daily Newds 10/21/08

  • Naked parties at Yale feature body painting and dancing under black lights.
  • Another Illinois bartender has been arrested for serving drinks in the nude.
  • PG Porn is sex without the nudity, but with twice the violence.
  • James Franco says that he was "uncomfortable" during the shooting of his nude scene in the new Gus Van Sant film about Harvey Milk.
  • Two children were "removed from the home and placed in protective custody" after a nude photo of the 3 year-old showed up at a film processing store.
  • An Australian school has suspended the entire senior class after many of them ran around the campus wearing only g-strings and school ties.
  • Several Bakersfield College students demonstrated topfree in support of gay marriage in California.
  • An agreement has been reached in Newark, Ohio, so a 15 year-old girl will not have to register as a sex offender for sending nude photos of herself by cell phone to some classmates. In a related story, 10 students have been suspended and more action could be on the way over a similar nude photo incident at a Michigan school.
  • "Perfectly Aged" is the title given to a nude calendar featuring seniors to raise money for the Council on Aging in Pensacola, Florida.
  • Guess which body part "Pricasso" uses as a paint brush.

Nudist Photo of the Day 10/21/08

Monday, October 20, 2008

89 Year-Old Woman Arrested for Keeping Kids' Football

Police in the Cincinnati Ohio suburb of Blue Ash arrested an 89 year-old woman on a charge of petty theft for allegedly keeping a kids' football that was kicked into her yard. Police say that there is an ongoing dispute between the woman and the neighborhood kids.

I don't care what sort of an old grouch she might be, and I don't care how annoying or delinquent these kids are, the police have absolutely no business getting involved with matters this petty.

Buy the kids a new football and tell them the next time it goes into this lady's yard, they buy the next one themselves.

One time when I was a kid about 8 years old, my friend and I were on our little scooters cutting through a gravel driveway behind some apartment buildings. Apparently we were annoying the landlord because he came out and took our scooters from us and told us to never come back.

Now my friend's dad was home at the time, a little Armenian guy who was tough as nails. When he got wind of what happened, he cornered the landlord and in a matter of seconds we had our scooters back. I never found out what my friend's dad said to the man, but I am quite certain it had something to do with inserting his head up his ass.

No police, no trouble, simple solution. Whatever happened to our ability to solve our own problems? Calling the police over a lost football is incredibly weak-minded, and less than infantile.

This news story is certainly fated to get a lot of attention over the next few days for the sheer lunacy of all the people involved. This case is so stupid and insignificant that even Judge Judy wouldn't touch it.

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Video Report on Naturism in Spain

Here is a link to a great video news report on naturism in Spain.

The report opens with a group of naturists who try to deliver a letter to the Spanish Congress, apparently to try and promote the coexistence of naturists and textiles in everyday life. The video continues with visits to a nudist resort and beach, then to what appears to be a group of naturists visiting some historical ruins, getting massages, eating, and finally dancing. It's all in Spanish but knowing the language is not necessary to understanding how normal and natural the clothes-free lifestyle can be.

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Nudist Photo of the Day 10/20/08

Sunday, October 19, 2008

John McCain Accidentally Left On Campaign Bus Overnight

John McCain Accidentally Left On Campaign Bus Overnight

The Sunday Newds 10/19/08

  • A YMCA in the Boston area has a misunderstanding with some Russian-born members who don't understand why bathing suits are required in the steam room.
  • On of Britain's most well known television personalities, Carol Smillie, has stripped off for a series of photographs to raise awareness about breast cancer. "I have been asked to pose topless for a breast cancer campaign. I thought long and hard about it, as I heard that a lot of the others who have been asked are a lot younger than me. However, it's a great cause so I agreed to do it. Yep. They are coming out."
  • The sex industry is finding that business is booming as people seek less-materialistic pleasures. Hey, try nudism, it's about the cheapest simple pleasure on the planet.
  • Students and parents are fighting hard against the current onslaught of dress codes in schools.
    Like a lot of students, Grace Davis, a sophomore at Salinas, said the new rules only compounded the problem.

    “It doesn’t fix the disease. It just covers the symptoms,” she said. “I think we’re still going to have the same gang problem. We’re just going to be angry at the administration, and I don’t think that’s the way to go.”
  • Some people would be pleased if their neighbors paid their AANR dues, but for a Boston couple it's one aspect of a criminal case involving identity fraud and conspiracy.
  • Monroe, Louisiana, is getting it's first "titty" bar, but only because it's going to be "classy", catering to high-end professionals such as doctors and lawyers. Only one girl will dance at a time, and will only remove her top during the last half of her second song.
  • Bill Henson's photos on display in New York are not stirring up nearly the degree of controversy as they did in Australia.
    The gallery's director of photography, Royce Howes, said he did not expect any controversy in the US, where Henson had a strong following.

    Mr Howes said many people in the US were aware of the controversy in May when NSW police seized his photographs from a Paddington gallery amid claims they were child pornography. The images were later released and no charges laid.

    He said that publicity about the exhibition made no reference to the seizure because the gallery did not want to distract from the photographs.

    "Basically, we just want to present the work on its merits," Mr Howes said. "I think … at least for our audience, it's a non-issue. When the controversy was going on lots of people were calling out of curiosity, but for the serious collectors it was not an issue."
  • A nude photo shoot on the roof of a North Carolina building created a bit of a stir, but the models and photographer were not arrested, only given a warning not to trespass again.

Nudist Photo of the Day 10/19/08

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Joyful Nudes of Gregor Podgorski

If you are not familiar with the work of artist and photographer Gregor Podgorski, you are sure to enjoy looking at his joyful nudes. Podgorski was born in Poland in 1965 and moved to Paris in 1984, and is primarily known for his Pieta series of variations on the original Michelangelo sculpture. His "La Rage de Vivre" and "C'est la Vie" series come very close to capturing the spirit of nudism and naturism. His subjects are natural, happy, and comfortable in their own skins.

While most photographic nudes are more concerned with the lighting and composition, Podgorski's photos are focused on the humanity of the subjects, from singles, to couples, to families, displaying all body types, as well as surgical scars. They are all uniquely beautiful.

Although the photos are done in studio, many capture the essence of photos in naturist magazines, but filtered through an artist's eye. Nudists and naturists when posing for photos tend to smile (a lot), and assume a somewhat proud pose. This is done naturally, undoubtedly brought about by the freedom and confidence which comes from being nude. Podgorski is not afraid to let his subjects shine, exposing not only their bodies, but also their feelings. They are warmly engaged with the photographer, rather than being coldly detached.

A Playboy nude is alluring, a Mapplethorpe nude is confrontational, an Arbus nude is disturbing, a Tunick nude is a landscape, but the Podgorski nudes are playful and natural. Capturing the true essence of a nude is very hard to do for a photographer, who not only has to be concerned with his own artistic control and ambitions, but with the needs and feelings of his subjects. After all, these people are being asked to strip completely naked and stand in front of a camera, something the vast majority of people would never consider doing.


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Nudist Photo of the Day 10/18/08

Friday, October 17, 2008

Absolute Naturism

I recently heard someone refer to "absolute naturism".

I did a cursory Google search and only came across a soft core porn fiction piece about a futuristic society in which being unclothed is the norm.

Many nudists and naturists already adopt the motto "nude when possible, clothed when necessary", so what would constitute being an "absolute" nudist or naturist?

Perhaps the best source of understanding what it's like to be a full-time nudist living in an nudist community is at The Nude Life, although the postings there are rather few and far between. The blog is maintained by a couple who moved permanently to Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Florida. Just recently they wrote:
We took the decision when we moved here that we were not going to make choices and arrange our lives so as to suit other people’s wishes or desires. Living the nude life is what we want to do, and so we are doing it. We aren’t going to spend the rest of our lives, which we expect to be happy and many, living in the textile world just to suit the social mores of the textile world.
In nudism, there are many references to the "textile world", as if those who choose to live life unclothed are somehow exiled on a different planet. In order to become an "absolute" nudist, does it entail putting family, friends and the rest of society in the rear-view mirror?

Perhaps it does.

Perhaps our society is so deeply invested in clothing, and a culture of body shame, that a person who rejects clothing cannot fully integrate into the everyday life.

If you watch "Mad Men" on AMC, you know that one of the advertising people is a gay man, hiding behind his "beard" girlfriend and pretending to be as macho as the other boys. Since the series takes place in the early 1960s, it was a time when homosexuals were not accepted in the workplace, and any mention of "fags" or "queers" elicits giggles and a general resentment. But times change, and in the last episode a new employee from Europe had no misgivings about announcing in front of everyone that he likes boys, not women. Time will tell if the firm will find a way to get rid of the gay man, but he has become a friend of Peggy, the only woman to crack the "boys club" in the ad world, so he has a strong ally.

In addition, the only presence of African-Americans in the show is as servants, or elevator operators.

In America today, gay men and woman have achieved much in the way of equal opportunity, as have people of varying ethnic origins. There is still a long way to go, but the fact that the country is on the brink of electing its first African-American President means that progressive-minded people are prevailing in the culture wars.

Yet, despite a wider acceptance of people based upon their skin color, ethnic origin or sexual preference, nudists and naturists still live in the closet. I know I do.

I would certainly be an "absolute" if given the opportunity. I've always hated clothes and would not miss them for a minute, except for the times when they are needed for warmth, or protection. I am nude at home as much as possible, but when I am at home working during the day I really like to open the blinds and let in the natural light, so I reluctantly get dressed.

It's odd that we make celebrities out of people in the pornography business. The names of Hugh Hefner, Linda Lovelace, Larry Flynt, Ron Jeremy, Traci Lords and Jenna Jameson are all well-known. Soon to open at your local theatre will be "Zack and Miri Make a Porno", marking a point in our culture where pornography is so widespread and accessible, that a mainstream comedy film can take on the subject matter. Comedy is only funny when there is a commonality in the material so recognizable that people immediately understand and react. Just about everyone in America has now seen explicit pornography, and many see it on a daily basis.

So what am I getting at here?

Ron Jeremy and Larry Flynt are absolute pornographers. There is no doubt about the identification. Congressman Barney Frank is an absolute gay man, everyone knows his sexuality. Ellen DeGeneres is an absolute lesbian. They are not only known for their lifestyles, they are identified by them.

So can you name an absolute naturist?

The folks who write The Nude Life are anonymous. While they are living the nude life, they are still basically in hiding. nakedjen is really not a naturist or nudist - she basically just likes to throw off her clothes at the drop of a hat. Earth Friend Gen comes pretty close, but many consider her to be a kook. Same with Stephen Gough, who spends more time in jail than he does nude.

I think an absolute nudist or naturist is someone who is not ashamed to tell anyone about his or her chosen lifestyle, someone who is willing to lay it all on the line for the cause. It's not just about living without clothing, it has to be about living without fear, and integrating with society.

When you look at the board members of the Naturist Action Committee, I believe you are looking at absolute naturists. People like Bob Morton, Bill Schroer, Kath Rooney, Morley Schloss, Judy Williams, Mark Storey, Jonathan Shopiro, Allen Baylis, Virginia Schnee, Lee Baxandall and Nicky Lee, who are proud enough of their naturism that they are willing to expose their bodies and their identities for all the world to see, and are strong enough to maintain ties to the "textile world".

My sincere hope is that someday I can be in the position to become an absolute naturist. To me, it's not about merely living the nude life and running away from the rest of society, it's about having the fire in the belly to confront one's own identity, share it with others, and ultimately make a difference.

I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but I'm going to try.

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Talking Book

If you are in Santa Monica on Saturday, you can saunter down to the main library and question a live nudist about his lifestyle. No, he will not be nude, so you can bring the kids. Also on hand for the "living library" project will be a vegan, a Buddhist, and a celebrity publicist, fourteen experts in all.

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The Weekend Newds 10/17/08

  • Bianca Doesn't Know Best: An advice columnist steers a woman seeking advice on nude modeling (not porn) to
  • A group of women who successfully lost weight in the UK have posed nude for a calendar to raise money for cancer research.
  • People are slowly beginning to realize that government security agents will be electronically stripping passengers naked before boarding any airplanes. One article justifies the invasion of privacy by noting that there would be "a woman looking at the scans of women and a man looking at the scans of men", while a commentator feels that the scans go too far.
    When I objected to having had a photo taken under my clothes, the agent snapped, "It's not a nude picture," but then couldn't explain what it is.
  • An Australian art gallery is showing "The Naked and the Nude".
    The humanist idea of the beautiful body as symbolic of goodness and harmony is not just different from, but antithetical to, contemporary commercial images of glamour. Beauty makes the viewer feel stronger and more serene; the images of commercial exploitation provoke anxiety or arousal, or both at once.
  • "Nude-a-Palooza" is being held this year on November 8 at the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort and Spa in Kissimmee, Florida. Resort web site here.
  • Is this the worst nude calendar ever?
  • Even though a medical test proved nothing, two Britons have been sentenced to three months in prison for committing an "indecent act" on a Dubai beach.
    "The verdict shows that the judge was convinced that they did not have sexual intercourse but he punished them for the indecent act of kissing (in public)," (defense lawyer Hassan) Matar said.

Nudist Photo of the Day 10/17/08

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Illustrated Man

You can be naked in a Japanese bath, but you will not be welcome if your skin is covered in tattoos.

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Advice for American Prudes

A writer on, who was raised in Europe, is amazed at the prudishness of Americans.
We are not taught to cover up our bodies, to hide our boobs when we're three years old, or to be ashamed when we see a naked body on television. Maybe in America, the very thing that is trying to "protect" us is having the exact opposite effect. Why else would so many women and girls be ashamed to do simple things like change in front of friends or wear a bathing suit?!
Her advice to everyone is to get naked at the next opportunity and shed some of that American shame.

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Kanye West and his 40 Nude Women

Kanye West has unveiled his new song Heartless by unveiling 40 live models at a Los Angeles preview party. Something to do with the songs on his new album being "pieces of real life".

UPDATE: Kanye explained the presence of the nude models:
"I like the idea of nudity because I realize it's society that told us to wear clothes at a certain point," said West, 31, when his 50-minute album concluded. "The irony for me [as] somebody who's talked about so many labels – Louis Vuitton this, [Mercedes] Benz that, this girl looks good – [is that] now it's time to deliver ideas in the most naked form possible."
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