Friday, May 01, 2009

Nudist in a Corner

If I look a little old and tired, it's because I am.

Two weeks of heavy moving have taken a toll, and closing in on age 55 doesn't help, either.

Going up and down stairs hundreds of times with 50 pound boxes made me a little delirious at times. Lots of random thoughts kept running through my head, mostly about my own life and family, but also about the state of nudism.

One month ago I issued a call for readers to send me their home nudist photos. Only one brave soul responded. Just one person out of the thousands who stop by here every day, just one nudist willing to step forward to say "here I am".

Americans just love idealized nudity and sex. They can't get enough of nipple slips, nude scenes in movies, hardcore pornography, and nudity in magazines and advertising, but the sight of an average nude body, something everybody has under their clothes, is still something most people are unwilling to accept. Nudity as a marketing commodity is fine, but normal, natural, and imperfect bodies are still taboo.

A local nudist group here in central Ohio doesn't have a formal club name, doesn't maintain a web presence outside of an email list, and never refers to nudism or naturism, only once in a while making reference to the "n" word. While I personally have no problem with anyone trying to maintain privacy, it saddens me that nudists and naturists feel the need to practice the lifestyle in the shadows.

In a sense, we are only backing ourselves further into a corner by denying to others our desires and rights to be nude.

I'm in a corner, too. It's been a long, grey winter here in Ohio, the move has worn me out, it's been a tough year health wise for people I love, friends have let me down, the economy sucks, business is slow, and swine flu is threatening to become a pandemic.

So I have every right to be depressed, but I'm actually quite optimistic.

There's something about being in a corner which increases clarity. There's only one direction in which to go, and that's forward.

All of you nudists and naturists out there need to step out of the corner with me and do something, anything. to help legitimize and de-stigmatize the lifestyle. Joining AANR, TNS, Skinbook or True Nudists is fine but it's not nearly enough, you actually have to do something.

Invite a friend or a family member to a nudist event or venue. Tell someone who has no idea that you're a nudist. Go skinny-dipping with some friends. Support the Naturist Action Committee by making a donation and actually doing what they request in their periodic action alerts. Support your local nudist clubs by paying dues and attending events, and volunteer to help. If there is no group or club in your area, start one. Just get involved.

Every year I've tried to take another step forward in the nudist lifestyle. I started this blog joined clubs, attended events and venues, told some family and friends, and finally overcame the fear of posting nude photos of myself online. I still feel that I have a long way to go. I'm not sure what 2009 will bring, but I intend to keep moving forward and out of this damned corner I've found myself in.

What are you going to do?

1 comment:

rickromig said...

I know from much experience that moving is never fun. I perfectly understand why you feel old and tired.

I feel like I'm in a corner too. I've been looking for a job in my field for 3 months now and it's been quite stressful. It's also hard to be optimistic when the paychecks stop coming. I probably am depressed.

You're right. We can't promote nudism, change attitudes, or educate people about it if we hide in the shadows. When we hide what we do, people naturally assume the worst.

I got on Facebook recently and have joined a number of naturist groups there so it's no secret. Any friends and family members in my friends list certainly know.

Admittedly, I've been absent from social nudism for a while but the need to get out, be among others, have a bit of fun, and de-stress has been growing stronger.

Although I've already posted my photo on my own blog, I'll take your challenge and submit one to yours.