Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Get Over It

A reader made the following comment on my Nudist Photo of the Day blog:
You've been heavy on the women for the last week or so... Mix it up a bit.

I know that there are probably more photos of women out there. And I know that you have a photo blog dedicated to the men and another dedicated to couples. I'd recommend using this blog to show more groups of mixed gender, which is a better sample of what being a nudist is all about.
Artists and photographers have put the female form on a pedestal since the first cave drawings. One cannot go through any art museum without seeing more nudes of women than of men.

But it is precisely because vintage nudist photos are so gender imbalanced that I started the Adam and Eve and Nudist Men blogs.

I've heard this critcism before. Some nudists and naturists, especially TNS members, hold themselves to a more elitist standard, to a Utopian vision where people of all ages, genders, races and sexual preference frolic in the fields without a care in the world.

Well nudism and naturism aren't that neat.

You want gender balance? Try starting with the vast majority of landed and non-landed clubs which struggle every day to attract more women. In Columbus, Ohio, local swims are about 5-to-1 men, sometimes greater. Most clubs have given up on the gender balance issue because they so desperately need members that they now accept single men. There are also quite a few "men only" naturist clubs and resorts - do you know of any "women only" groups?

You want racial balance? Try starting with the AANR and TNS publications which are show tons of pretty pink people engaging in naturist activities, but virtually no people of color. One can argue that nudist organizations are guilty of institutional racism since they make no effort to balance the ethnic and racial makup of their membership.

You want age balance? Try starting with the AANR and TNS publications which have all but phased out images of anyone under the age of 18. At Green Valley where I was one of over 200 nude people in the pool, there was only one child - a toddler in diapers. Children are rapidly disappearing from this "family-friendly" lifestyle, which is being threatened by sexed-up resorts like Caliente, and a society increasingly believing that any nude image of a child is somehow pornographic.

And naturists patronizing swinger clubs certainly doesn't add any credibility to the purist argument.

Personally I love the vintage nudist photos, despite the obvious gender imbalance. They're fun, kitschy, and often beautiful in their simplicity and playful innocence. They are visual evidence of a time gone by, lost to the sexual revolution, feminism, and other cultural shifts.

So "get over it."

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