Monday, April 13, 2009

The Daily Newds 4/13/09



  • Organizer of the Glade festival in the UK are seeking legal advice over the request of 30 Germans who want to attend the event in the nude.

  • A man sneaked into a Ball State University life drawing class and snapped a photo of a nude model, and then ran away.

  • An article on the Bird Island nudist controversy approaches the subject in a fair and neutral manner, concluding that it's all basically a "non-issue" in the first place.

  • At Lolo Hot Springs in Montana, it's clothing optional after 9 PM.

  • The Singapore woman charged with indecent exposure for her nude public walk with a Swedish friend is a member of Mensa and is persuing a PhD in infection biology at Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

  • The Bare Buns 5K run is scheduled for 1 PM on Saturday, April 18, at Star Ranch in Texas.

  • "Calendar Girls" has opened in London's West End, prompting critic Michael Coveney to examine the evolution of nudity on stage.

  • Nudism seems awfully tame next to some social phenomenons, like fetish parties.

  • Sexting Roundup: Ohio introduced a bill to make criminals out of teenagers, while Vermont indicated that it would totally decriminalize consensual exchanges of nude photos between two people 13 to 18 years old. Warner Todd Huston of the American Daily Review says that rushing to enact new anti-sexting laws in the wake of the tragic suicide of Ohio teen Jessica Logan is bad legislation.

  • I think that child beauty pageants are a bit creepy, but one legislator wants the government to oversee the events, even to the point of regulating "excessive makeup".

  • Padma Lakshmi, Chelsea Handler Eliza Dushku, Lynn Collins and Sharon Leal have all posed for Allure's nude issue.
    ALLURE: Are you comfortable with nudity?
    ELIZA DUSHKU: "I grew up with three brothers, and I was never shy about covering up. It got to the point where my mom was like, 'OK, honey, it's time to put some clothes on now.'"

  • Joe Shuster, one of the creators of "Superman", drew underground comics in the fifties which contained "naked women with whips, brutish men brandishing red-hot pokers, exotic torture and politically incorrect spankings."

  • The New York Times studies the legal challenges facing communities that want to outlaw saggy pants in public.

  • A British poll finds three out of four adults are willing to pose nude for 6500 pounds. Everybody has a price.

  • This article is a bit satirical on the subject of topfreedom, but the point is serious.
    If we took away the taboo of the bare breast, it might allow us to unclench just enough that we realize that it isn’t going to kill anyone, or turn our children into depraved maniacs. Then maybe we can start focusing on things that are really critical to mankind’s enlightenment.

  • Finally, nudity comes to daytime TV in Great Britain as Channel 4 is broadcasting life drawing classes featuring nude models so people can sketch from home.
    John Whittingdale, the Tory chairman of the Commons culture select committee, said that, in principle, he would not object to nude life drawing classes before 9pm if they were in an “educational context” and avoided “gratuitous titillation”.

Nudist Photo of the Day 4/13/09

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Daily Newds 4/9/09

  • An article claims that many Gujarati people from India are losing their inhibitions on nudist beaches in South Africa, and Australia.
    "If you are not sure if you are sufficiently uninhibited, you should stick to 'clothing optional' beaches," (Deval) Surti said. "It is difficult for an Indian to accept and feel relaxed in the primitive atmosphere of nudist beaches. I am an open-minded person, but when I went to Point Impossible in Australia, I had to use all my willpower to let my guard down. Once you are comfortable with the 'no clothes' idea, it is great fun!"
  • Lachlan Mackintosh ponders getting naked for winter sports.
  • A Nova Scotia politician has apologized to candidate Lenore Zann for circulating a photo of her bare-breasted in a scene from the TV series "The L Word". There was a time when the woman would be the one forced to apologize, so society is making a little progress on this issue.
  • A Swedish student and his friend were charged with public nudity for going without clothing in a Singapore restaurant district a few months ago.
  • A study published in the Journal of School Health reports that teens are engaging in sexual intercourse as early as age 12.
    In the study, (Dr. Christine) Markham and colleagues defined sexual intercourse as vaginal, oral or anal sex. According to their research, by age 12, 12 percent of students had already engaged in vaginal sex, 7.9 percent in oral sex, 6.5 percent in anal sex and 4 percent in all three types of intercourse.

    The study found one-third of sexually active students reported engaging in vaginal or anal sex without a condom within the past three months, and one-fourth had four or more partners. The more experienced students in all three types of intercourse were more likely to be male and African-American.

    "We need to develop prevention programs that address the needs of students who are not yet sexually active in order to promote skills and attitudes to help them wait until they are older to have sex," Markham said. "And we need to provide skills and knowledge related to condoms and contraception for youth who are already sexually active."
  • Sex educator Jay Friedman says that he resorted to looking at photos of naked natives in National Geographic when he was a teen because school sex-ed classes were so inadequate.
    European society and American society differently inform young people about sex. Freidman said Northern Europeans especially have lower teen pregnancies, lower abortion rates, and lower sexual assault rates because Europeans are more frank about sexuality.

    He said that while the east and west coast seemed to be open-minded, he found more close-minded and conservative views of sex in the Midwest, where his words were the most controversial.

    The resistance to the truth may partly have stemmed from his belief that “politics has everything to do with sex.” Friedman slammed political issues, such as abstinence-only programs that he thinks are “damaging for young people and society” and “cripples them with sexual ignorance.”
  • The Arizona State University online news source has a positive article on naturism, interviewing a student named "Roy".
    “It's the enjoyment of not having to have clothes on — it's sort of an opinion about the necessity of clothes more than anything else,” he says. “I don’t think of it as a lifestyle, I think of it as a clothing style.” Roy says in fact going without clothes can be better in many situations. “If it’s 20 degrees outside, then go put on a jacket,” he says, “but if the day’s really nice, then why [wear clothes] if you're indoors, or especially with swimming.”
  • NJ.com is on the record for leaving the legal system out of teen sexting incidents.
    Technology has moved at the speed of light, outpacing what lawmakers most likely envisioned would occur under our laws. We need to reconsider how to approach these issues productively before infringing on the liberties of children and jeopardizing them beyond their own bad judgment.

Kenyon Women Fight for Topfree Equality

A story today in the Kenyon College Collegian newspaper describes how topfree women were kicked out of a "Shock Your Mom" party event on campus, which sparked a protest by a group calling itself "The Women Behind the Boobs", who hung photos of their own naked breasts along an area called Middle Path. A letter was circulated from the protesters, who said, "We love our bodies and we want you to see why! We just wonder why 'common decency' requires us to cover a part of our bodies that not only do men not have to cover, but that is a natural, integral part of ourselves."

According to students interviewed for the story, nudity at the annual event was expected, even though officially prohibited, and that the Campus Department of Safety decided to crack down this year. One student with flowers on her nipples was "grabbed by the shoulders" and told to leave.
According to (student Emma) Lippincott, between 50 and 75 women were involved in the demonstration in some way. While perhaps not all participants saw the demonstration as feminist, Lippincott said that she did. "For me, the true definition of feminism is about egalitarianism between the sexes," she said. "If one gender's chest is viewed as completely sexualized if it's exposed, if it's viewed as pornography when it's just breasts... that's an issue of equality."
Kenyon College is a liberal arts school with 1600 students located in Gambier, Ohio.

UPDATE: The Kenyon Collegian has an editorial supporting the students. It's a little awkwardly written but the point is clear.
We sympathize with the students who felt degraded by the comments they heard when they were asked to leave. Many students in the past have seen Shock Your Momma as an opportunity to expose themselves. These students find liberation in revealing their bodies in a relatively safe environment. When students feel as though they are invited into that environment and then they are pulled away from it, they may feel an understandable amount of shame from putting themselves out into exhilarating and uncomfortable nudity and being pulled away from it by a shaming force that says they are behaving inappropriately.

Sexting Hysteria Breeds Stupid Lawmaking

As predicted by Dr. Marty Klein, Ohio state and local legislators and law enforcement officials, accompanied by Cynthia Logan whose daughter committed suicide for reasons attributed to a nude photo she took of herself, are set to announce a new sexting law which specifically targets children. Make no mistake - if you are a parent in Ohio, your children will now be able to be arrested merely for being stupid sexually, and charged with a misdemeanor. As if our prisons are not already overcrowded with people incarcerated for drug possession and other pointless crimes, we are now plotting to put sexually curious children behind bars.

The answer is to change current child pornography laws so that children are not made victims of the very statutes which are supposed to protect them. Adding this new law that "would make teenagers sending sexually provocative or nude pictures of themselves or others a first degree misdemeanor" is a crime in itself. I find it astounding that so many public officials could actually think that they are protecting children by turning them into criminals, putting blemishes on their records which could keep them out of college or a job, prevent them from getting a loan, etc.

And who is going to decide the definition of "sexually provocative?" Any teenage girl who poses for a photo showing a little cleavage and making pouty lips could be arrested.

In one respect, it's correct that these lawmakers feel that making sex offenders out of children is wrong, But this is not the way to correct a system gone awry.

So what's next? Teens caught half-naked in their cars on lover's lane will be locked up and charged with a crime? What about a teen who gets pregnant after having real in-the-flesh sex - will we lock her up, too? If the law is written to consider the mere image of sexuality to be criminal, it's only logical that eventually the real thing will be outlawed, too.

As a society we cannot keep allowing lawmakers to interfere with our personal lives, to not only take away civil liberties, but parental rights as well. The "nanny state" mentality has really run amok.

Nudist Photo of the Day 4/9/09

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Naturist Society Eastern Gathering June 22-28, 2009

The Naturist Society has announced its schedule for the 2009 Eastern Gathering at Eastover Resort in Lenox, Massachusetts, so if you are a member, be sure to check out all of the info here.

Ohio Prosecutor Wants to Send a Message by Destroying Lives of Children

Ohio prosecutor Jessica Little wants to send a "message" to four teens charges with felonies over a nude photograph transmitted by cell phone.

"They haven't got the message yet that sexting, nude pictures of a minor, they don't know how dangerous that water is," Little said.

She said she hoped to make an example of the 16-year-old girl, two 14-year-old boys and the adult, who, if convicted, could possibly be classified as sex offenders.

According to victim's advocate Denise Neal, these children would have to report for 25 years. Somebody please step in and help these children fight this crackpot prosecutor.

Naturally, Little is a Republican, and has a MySpace page here, and can be emailed at jessgun@aol.com. Apparently in order to save the children you need to destroy them first.

The Daily Newds 4/8/09

  • There were 44 videos uploaded to the World Nude Day 09 site. Click here to see them all.
  • It's confirmed: Bay to Breakers will feature the usual assortment of body freedom participants.
  • A tongue-in-cheek article exposes the ridiculousness behind the banning of nude sunbathing on Bird Island.
    It is a known fact that nude sunbathing is a gateway activity that leads to more serious civil breaches. For purposes of modesty, I will not dwell on the issue of visible cleavage in the workplace, but we all know it costs the nation more in lost productivity than the NCAA tournament.
  • A letter to the editor in Florida claims that law enforcement is "clueless" about the law, and "completely unaware" of naturist values.
  • William Saletan of Slate Magazine regrets once supporting body scanners in airports.
    Now I'm having second thoughts. I still like the technology. It's the people behind it who worry me. Yes, the scan is less invasive than the pat-down. But TSA has just demonstrated its ability and willingness to move the goalposts. When TSA offered pat-downs as the alternative to body scans in secondary screening, the scan sounded pretty good. Now TSA is offering pat-downs as the alternative to body scans in primary screening, and again, the scan sounds better. And if TSA announces tomorrow that pat-downs are the new alternative for all train or bus passengers, body scans will seem preferable there, too. Anywhere we're threatened with pat-downs, we'll settle for body scans. Where does it end?
  • Sexting Roundup: Dr. Paul Rapoport writes, "If Pennsylvania wants to reduce sexting, especially in cases where there is no victim, it should not turn to the police or the courts. The keys are education about technology's relation to sexuality, and about society's body phobias and sex obsessions." A nude photo of a teen is causing a "big stir" in Glen Rock, New Jersey. Mike Galanos of CNN writes, "There is no control over that image or video once it gets out. But that doesn't mean little Suzie should be charged as a child pornographer." And the Wall Street Journal asks if the worry about teen sexting is the real epidemic.
    "Most of the mainstream media uses semi-nude models to sell us things -- so why is it surprising if teens have modeled this?" says Terry Humphreys, an assistant professor of psychology at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. "I would want to see the results separated for semi-nude and nude before I get too anxious about what our teens and young adults are doing with their cellphones."
  • A sculpture of a naked woman on a cross is offending the Christian establishment.
    Living Way Church Pastor Lanil Gunasekara was outraged by the sculpture.

    “It is a blasphemous insult to the image of Jesus Christ who was crucified on the cross,” he said.

    “There is something wrong with an artist who produces something so insulting to Christians.”
  • Carol Muske-Dukes recalls her stint in a French production of "Hair" in the 70s.
    Then we all rallied for the final scene before the break - the famous nude scene. I'd never taken my clothes off for this climactic moment before - now I felt the time was right. I had "laid bare" the essence of HAIR, I thought - this was a breakthrough. I stood with my fellow cast members, shivering a little in the garish lights, naked. Then the great velvet curtains closed and I turned to pick up my bell bottoms and "pull-over-aire". They had vanished. The French cast had hidden my clothes.
  • The Keys chapter of South Florida Free Beaches is lobbying for a clothing optional beach.
    The two prime candidates for a clothing-optional beach would appear to be a portion of Higgs Beach, which is owned by the county, separated by the main beach by the West Martello Tower; and Rest Beach near the White Street Pier.

    Haulover Beach in North Miami drew 1.3 million visitors in 2006 and, including direct and indirect revenue and things like sales tax, generated $179 million, according to Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department data.
  • A Calgary women has received an "avalanche" of hate mail over her stand on public breastfeeding.
    "I've been called a pedophile, I've had people threaten to perform obscene acts on me," said Gemma Kelsall, describing the messages that have been sent to her Facebook account and on the websites of various news sites that featured her story.
  • And congratulations are in order to the editors of the Eureka High School in California for winning the James Madison Freedom of Information Award for taking a stand against school censorship. A nude drawing had been published in the school newspaper, prompting the principal to order the custodian to round up all the remaining copies.
    The law is on the side of student journalists when it comes to censorship, said (editor Drew) Ross. Right away, his publication received calls from the media, including the Student Press Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU sent the Redwood Bark legal information about their rights.

    Ross said the ACLU told him his paper had a very strong case against school censorship. Steffen violated a state anti-censorship law that prohibits a person from taking more than 25 papers off any newsstand, said Ross. “This is a huge crime,” said Ross. “A person could be fined or go to jail.”

Nudist Photo of the Day 4/8/09

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Naked Activities in Europe

In case you have not yet discovered Naked Activities in Europe, be prepared to spend some time browing the extensive web site. Some of the links need to be updated, but there are lots of great photos of freehiking, nude bicycling, and other nude outdoor activities. The Europeans are way ahead of the US when it comes to healthy, harmless and fun naturism.

Naked Events

John Cornicello has a nice collection of naked events on Flickr...

Pirate Statue Rated "ARRRRR"


A sexy statue of a female pirate in a Pennsylvania antique store is under attack by a Catholic priest who has reportedly "cursed" the figure and called it "soft porn". Apparently the shop owners are thrilled with the controversy because it will certainly draw in tons of new customers. And somebody please take this poor priest to a public pool or beach if he thinks the statue is showing too much flesh. Story with video report here.

The Daily Newds 4/7/09

  • More than 40% of Australians polled believe that nudity is natural, and that more nude beaches would be a boon to tourism. Only 33% were in favor of banning nudity on beaches, and the rest were neutral on the subject.
  • As a contrast to the above story, Brunswick County commissioner Marty Cooke wants to ban nude sunbathing on Bird Island in North Carolina. Apparently Cooke's impetus comes from an email complaint he received from a physician who lives on Sunset Beach, which is connected to the island by an accumulation of sand which encourages hikers. Police report about one complaint per week during season, which would be only about 16 per year between June and September. The article reports no citations issued, but occasionally an officer is sent out to patrol when complaints come in. There is also no indication if complaints are coming from the same person or persons. Cooke is quoted as saying, "I would have thought there would be some degree of decency...Obviously, these folks have no shame." It's unclear whether Cooke was referring to the complainers or the nude sunbathers.
  • What is ABC News doing about the sexting phenomenon? They're fanning the flames with a "Send Your Sexting Questions" promotion which will be answered on air by their unnamed "expert".
  • The sexting issue is not going away. This article warns parents about sexting dangers without actually explaining what those dangers are, other than becoming the victim of overzealous prosecutors. In Ohio, Monroe schools are planning a "Cyber-Shield" educational class for parents with children in grades 5-12, even though the school superintendent admits that her district really doesn't have a problem with sexting. Also in Ohio, four teens between the ages of 14 and 18 years of age were arrested and charged with felonies for having nude photos on their cell phones. And finally, a 14 year-old Florida high school freshman received a photo on his cell phone of a girl posing topless, was hauled into the assistant principal's office, and told he was "in deep trouble, ...in possession of child pornography and could go to jail". The kid and his mom are fighting his three day suspension and blemish on his record which could keep him from attending the college of his choice.
  • On vacation in St. Lucia, pop diva Amy Winehouse was told by resort personnel that topless sunbathing was against the rules, so she bared her breasts anyway in protest.
    One guest at the Cotton Bay Village Hotel said: “Everyone was shocked by her behaviour. One minute Amy was relaxing on the beach, the next she was running around half-naked.”

National Coalition Against Censorship Statement in Response to Resignation of UNC Wilmington Provost Brian Chapman

Short Tenure Overshadowed by Censorship of "The Century Project"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2009

CONTACT: Svetlana Mintcheva, (212) 807-6222 ext.23 or svetlana@ncac.org

New York, NY - Brian Chapman, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, resigned this week after a less than a year-long tenure. The resignation came shortly after the UNCW Faculty Senate passed a motion admonishing the UNCW administration for not consulting with the Women's Resource Center, Faculty Senate Steering Committee and other interested parties before requesting the censorship of a large part of the Century Project, an exhibition which visited the UNCW campus earlier this year.

The Project presents a chronological series of nude photographic portraits of diverse girls and women of many ages, shapes, sizes, and conditions, plus their personal statements about their bodies and experiences. A complaint from an associate professor in Oklahoma was sent to colleges where the Project was to appear, telling them to reject it. It claimed that The Century Project was pornographic and harmed women. At UNCW, the complaint went to the Chancellor and the Provost. After receiving the complaint, the Provost banned the photos of anyone under 18. UNCW became the only organization to censor the Project in its long history.

The NCAC sent a letter to Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo arguing that the decision to censor the show violated well-established principles of academic freedom and displayed disregard for the core mission of an educational institution. It also stated that the censorship of art was likely to damage UNCW's reputation vastly more than permitting the display of a well-regarded art project.

The act of censorship was not stated as an official reason involved in Brian Chapman's resignation, though it certainly overshadows his short tenure at UNCW.

Read NCAC's letter to Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo here.

About the National Coalition Against Censorship
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), founded in 1974, is an alliance of 52 national non-profit organizations, including literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups. United by a conviction that freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression must be defended, we work to educate our own members and the public at large about the dangers of censorship and how to oppose them.

Nudist Photo of the Day 4/7/09

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Daily Newds 4/6/09

  • The naturist resort at Berry Springs in Australia's Northern Territory has proved to be so successful that Central Australia wants a piece of that tourist pie.
  • Anybody who looks down at San Francisco for its permissive attitudes about sex and sexuality, should take a look at Japan's Steel Phallus festival where a ginormous pink penis is paraded through Kawasaki, while spectators of all ages suck on their penis shaped lollipops. No kidding! A photo gallery is here.
  • Loretta Laroche calls teen sexting "nonsense" and calls for a return to "scare tactics" from nuns and mothers to put kids back in line. On the other side, an editorial in The Buffalo News says that the country needs to "come to grips" with how to respond, if at all.

    What is lacking in all of these commentaries and editorials is any real concern about the fact that teens are having real in-the-flesh sex, oftentimes unprotected. Parents, lawmakers and prosecutors are all up in arms about some pictures, as if eliminating any photographic evidence of sex will also suppress the reality of it all. Photos are not reality, they are only images of reality. The dangers of risky sexual activity far outweigh any of the consequences of a mere photo.
  • Here's another article on the German nudist hotel, and it seems that the idea is not only taking hold, it's spreading.
    Mr Haferkorn hopes his hotel will attract both walkers who like to go bare and nudists who like to walk.

    And while the strict nudity rule only applies within the grounds of the hotel, guests keen to bare it all on their walks may not have to wait too long for permission: two villages in the Harz mountain region are reportedly looking into designating some of their walking paths as nudist routes.

Nudist Photo of the Day 4/6/09

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Sunday Newds 4/5/09


  • A New York judge has ruled that pole dancing is indeed an art form, and that cover charges collected by an all-nude strip club qualify as exempt from sales tax.
  • A Canadian woman has cancelled a "nurse-in" at an aquatic center because she's "satisfied with the city's response and the positive changes that have been made" about policies related to public breastfeeding.
  • I fear that this columnist's views on nudism are reflective of the general public. In response to the news of Germany's new nudist hotel, she made the following ignorant statements:
    Also, as someone who has spent around two hours on Vancouver's famous Wreck Beach, I can say with some authority that nudist hot spots seem disproportionately populated by wrinkly, naked old guys and much less so by the young, supple beauties they seek.

    This is logical given that while what attracts old guys to young women is the idea of them walking around naked, the same is definitely not the case the other way around. In fact, I would wager that women, young or otherwise, are far more attracted to guys when they are clothed. In suits. With pockets lined with money that they are willing to spend on them.

    With that in mind, the Germans can boost their hotel tourism industry by setting up in-house brothels.
  • Rob York tries to explain why Americans are so hung up on nudity, and how it creates a culture shock when spending time in other countries like Korea.
    Among the joys of living in Korea for many years is the gradual shedding of inhibitions that comes from repeated exposure to such circumstances. Over time, even foreign males of an individualistic, fully clothed society come to see the virtues of a place where they can gather together, free of restraint or pretense. It is among the first experiences we share with the new foreign workers who come here.
  • If this story about how sexting hysteria nearly ruined the life of a 30 year career teacher doesn't make your blood boil, then you're dead.

Nudist Photo of the Day 4/5/09

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Portrait of the Nudist as a Young Man, Part Three


Another nude self-portrait from 1977...

The Weekend Newds 4/4/09

  • A federal judge has struck down a Maryland statue which would have banned strip clubs.
    On first gloss, the Maryland law would simply seem to ban such activities as exotic dancing, peep shows and lap dances anywhere with a liquor license. But by putting strictures on a whole list of naughty-sounding activities, including anything even simulating a sex act, the legislature went too far, wrote Judge Marvin Garbis of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division. Bans against performers touching each other's buttocks, for instance, could prevent ballet dancers from lifting each other into the air, he noted, quoting the plaintiffs lawyers. Restrictions on even brief nudity would have prevented the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Wit" from being performed. Shakespeare, political satire and musical theater (think "The Full Monty") could all suffer as well.
  • Mothers are planning a nurse-in at a Canadian pool to protest harassment by lifeguards.
    Gemma Kelsall, 32, is one of the organizers of a "nurse-in" planned for 10 a. m. at Killarney Aquatic & Recreation Centre. Kelsall visits the Killarney pool once or twice a week and sometimes nurses her 21-month-old daughter Kaliya in the water. She said she's been asked not to breastfeed "about 200 times" by lifeguards in the past 14 months. "In the past five weeks, they've been getting more aggressive and abusive about asking me to leave," said Kelsall, who operates a day home.
  • Australia has joined the United States on the list of countries which seek to criminalize teenage sexuality.
  • This article provides more details on the German nudist hotel.
    "We want to create a relaxing environment in which like-minded people can enjoy a natural environment in complete nudity," Mr Haferkorn said. "Lots of people try to portray nudity as something smutty, but we aim to show that it is something completely natural." Mr Haferkorn said his hotel's website had been inundated with booking requests.
  • Three teenagers were trapped on a cliff while trying to get down to the clothing-optional Black's Beach in California, and had to be rescued by lifeguards.
  • A student editorial from North Carolina State University supports the rights of women to pose nude for Playboy magazine.
    I am a beautiful young woman (inside and out), but I also know I do not fit the traditional standard of beauty portrayed in magazines like Playboy. If I want to go let someone take photos of me in a bikini, I have every right to do so. It does not make me any less of a woman. It does not mean I am going to lead a life of prostitution or become a victim of abuse. It does not mean I am objectifying or disrespecting myself. What it means is I am comfortable in my skin and happy with my body.

Topfreedom in Iowa?

The stunning news yesterday that the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional has taken most people by surprise, and further defined the debate as being about civil rights instead of morality. There is no appealing the decision, but opponents will likely seek an amendment to the constitution, requiring a public vote, guaranteeing that gay marriage in Iowa will be in effect at least until 2012.
“We are firmly convinced that the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective,” the court said in an opinion written by Justice Mark Cady. “The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification.” The ruling appeared to dismiss the option of civil unions as a marriage alternative, finding that “a new distinction based on sexual orientation would be equally suspect and difficult to square with the fundamental principles of equal protection embodied in our constitution.”
Andrew Sullivan writes:
Once you have accepted sexual orientation as a fixed and profound part of someone's identity, and once civil marriage is not restricted to those with children, it is simply very, very hard to find a secular argument for denying critical civil rights under constitutions that guarantee formal equality. You can reach for Biblical injunctions, or try the logic of unintended consequences, or in the end invoke pure prejudice in a Burkean fashion. But even Burke understood that societies change and grow, social beliefs shift, our understanding of humanity deepens, and an intelligent conservatism adjusts.
Logic and intelligence have prevailed over religious based prejudice. Here is more from the opinion, and be sure to read it carefully:
We begin with the County's argument that the goal of the same-sex marriage ban is to ensure children will be raised only in the optimal milieu. In pursuit of this objective, the statutory exclusion of gay and lesbian people is both under-inclusive and over-inclusive. The civil marriage statute is under-inclusive because it does not exclude from marriage other groups of parents--such as child abusers, sexual predators, parents neglecting to provide child support, and violent felons--that are undeniably less than optimal parents. Such under-inclusion tends to demonstrate that the sexual-orientation-based classification is grounded in prejudice or "overbroad generalizations about the different talents, capacities, or preferences" of gay and lesbian people, rather than having a substantial relationship to some important objective. See Virginia, 518 U.S. at 533, 116 S. Ct. at 2275, 135 L. Ed. 2d at 751 (rejecting use of overbroad generalizations to classify). If the marriage statute was truly focused on optimal parenting, many classifications of people would be excluded, not merely gay and lesbian people.
I asked Dr. Paul Rapoport of TERA if he thought this decision could have ramifications for topfreedom in Iowa. His reply: "The case law on topfreedom is quite different, hardly ever involving the Constitution's equality notions (14th amendment or other)."

Perhaps it's time to test the constitutionality of banning the exposure of women's breasts in public. While it is perfectly legal for a man to walk down the street exposing his nipples, no matter how large of small the breasts, a woman can be arrested for doing the same. One can make precisely the same arguments regarding women's topfreedom as were made for gay marriage in Iowa, that merely singling out women as targets for prosecution in the matter of nipple exposure is under-inclusive because it does not exclude men who have large breasts, and is over-inclusive because it punishes all women no matter what size the breast. The only logical conclusion is that women do not have equal civil topfreedom rights simply because they are women, so the law is clearly based on prejudice.

I say this with the full understanding that even if the law was changed tomorrow, most women are not going to throw off their tops and walk around downtown. The point is not to encourage people to walk around half-naked; the point is to stop making it a crime if they do. People who champion the cause, such as Linda Meyer and Liz Book, have put their own personal and legal safety on the line time and time again to change the law so that women who choose to be topfree are not branded as criminals or sex offenders.

The language of the Iowa court's decision gives hope that such breathtaking clarity and logic will begin to spread around the country, bringing us out of our long languishing unwillingness to abide by our basic tenet that all men and women are entitled to equal protection under the law, and that it's time to bury our prejudices when it comes to sex and sexuality.

Nudist Photo of the Day 4/4/09

Friday, April 03, 2009

Peaceful Nude Protest at NATO Meeting


Love and peace was the message at a small non-violent protest near where President Obama was meeting with Angela Merkel. Some of the protesters took off their clothes to prove their points.

Throw Them All in Jail

Gregory J. Sullivan, an attorney in Bucks County, PA, writes today in an op-ed that teens who take nude photos of themselves should have the book thrown at them.

With its inerrant instinct for the wrong side in every public-policy dispute, the ACLU is seeking to thwart this legitimate exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Its position is not really a legal but a policy objection.

“Kids should be taught that sharing digitized images of themselves in embarrassing or compromised positions can have bad consequences, but prosecutors should not be using heavy artillery like child-pornography charges to teach them that lesson,” sermonizes Witold Walczak, Legal Director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

Actually, by bringing child-pornography charges in these cases, kids are being taught just that. So widespread is this problem becoming — some surveys disclose that 20 percent of teenagers have engaged in some form of sexting — that the criminal law must move forcefully and quickly just to begin curbing it. Highly publicized prosecutions are needed to bring the issue to public light and begin the imposition some order.

Sullivan goes on to decry pornography as the "real danger" to society, and that we have lost our "moral confidence" to stop it. He basically advocates throwing 20% of our teens in jail as a means to eradicate pornography from our society.

Now we can argue back and forth all day whether or not pornography is harmful to anyone. As a country, we've tried to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol, women and African-Americans from voting, gays from having sex, books and movies for objectionable content, abortion, gambling, stem cell research, strip clubs, men from baring their chests in public, etc., and all of these have failed over time. Today we are fighting for women's topfree equality, the right of gays to marry, the legalization of marijuana and other drugs, and now the rights of teenagers to have dominion over their own bodies, and for parents to be the ultimate responsible party for their own offspring. It seems that the fight for freedom of expression is a never-ending struggle, but history has shown that the government attempts to legislate morality ultimately end up in failure, with millions of dollars wasted in trying to control the uncontrollable.

The argument is always based on Sodom and Gomorrah, or the fall of Rome, that the more corrupt a society becomes, the quicker it is to fall. First of all, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a moral fable, not a historical fact, and while decadence was prevalent in Rome during its decline, that Empire fell due to a variety of factors, chiefly among them Christianity, monetary problems, and military failures. Actually, Rome kinda sounds like the United States of today.

Blaming human sexuality is too easy because it's always present in society, but not always out in the open. Even during Puritan and Victorian times people managed to reproduce quite effectively. When sexuality rears its head, such as with the novel "Peyton Place" and Playboy magazine in the 50s, hippies and free love in the 60s, discos, "Deep Throat" and Plato's Retreat in the 70s, the boom of pornography in the 80s due to home video, and the revolution of online porn and social networking from the 90s through today, society has managed to move along nicely.

So when people go around advocating police actions against children for morality lapses, when the government fines television stations for a glimpse of a female nipple, when Congress passes a Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act which threatens the freedom of expression of consenting adults, they are advocating the suppression of our basic human rights. It's not a legal argument, it stems from personal religion and morality, and lawyers and lawmakers who legislate from the pulpit are the real dangers to any society.

Sullivan sums up with the following statement:
A great deal is at stake, which is why the prosecution for child pornography is justified. The seductive combination of omnipresent technology and pornography must be checked by the force of the criminal law. Protecting us from others and ourselves, within the confines of prudence, is the purpose of government.
No, government's job is of a civil nature. The Founding Fathers did not set up our government to be morality police. Read the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, we declared our right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", and the fourth amendment arguably provides a right to privacy. Ultimately any laws against teens sexting will be held to be unconstitutional, and in the first real test of prosecutorial rights in these instances found a judge ruling that charges of child pornography would be a violation of the teens' rights to freedom of expression, as well as a violation of parental rights. It's really a no-brainer.

Once again, I highly recommend Dr. Marty Klein's Sexual Intelligence blog, where he tackles all the issues where government tries to interfere with human sexuality. He writes about sexting:

So I predict we’ll soon hear about Jesse’s Law, which will make lifelong sex offenders out of every kid who takes, sends, or receives a nude photo of another kid. This won’t make anyone safer—but it will ruin the lives of thousands and thousands of normal, healthy kids with poor judgment.

Teens in Greensburg, PA, Fort Wayne, IN, and a dozen other cities are now life-long criminals. For childish pranks. Arresting these kids for the creation, possession, or distribution of child pornography is a perversion of the law. It turns the 15-year-old who poses into both a victim and a perpetrator (what kind of law does that?). It defines a stupid boyfriend as a snarling predator.

And by watering down the definition of “child pornography,” it undermines our attempts to reduce the actual sexual exploitation of children, and to catch and treat those who would really harm our kids. Real child pornography is a record of child abuse. “Sexting” is a record of adolescent hi jinks. Lumping the two together reflects adult anxiety about young people’s sexuality, not a sophisticated understanding of it.

Understanding. Patience. Education. These are the means to deal with teens, not courts and jails. People like Gregory J. Sullivan who want to lock up 20% of the teenage population for moral purposes are dangerous, morally bankrupt, and a blight upon a society which should be showing compassion, not the wrath of God.

UPDATE: Sonia Arrison of TechNewsWorld sides with the ACLU.
Teenage hormones are almost always raging, and many teens are reckless and looking for attention. Deploying child pornography laws to deal with this reality is like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly. If the girls are found guilty of these overblown charges, they would face not only the possibility of jail time, but also the requirement to register as sexual offenders for at least 10 years. Clearly, such harsh punishment would be overkill, but the situation is indicative of the growing mentality that government must play the central role in fixing every problem society encounters.

Nudist Photo of the Day 4/3/09

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Bright Light at Michigan Tech

Lena Wilson is wise beyond her years. In a column yesterday for the Michigan Tech Lode, she proves that she understands the difference between sexual behavior and natural nudity.
Ultimately, nudity is something that should be discussed. A naked human body can be very beautiful. If we are so comfortable with others in our species, then natural nudity should not be something shunned and seen as offensive or naughty. Our culture must learn to differentiate and understand nudity instead of seeing it as indulgence and as only associated with sexual activity – especially that of inappropriate sexual activity.

The Daily Newds 4/2/09


  • In order to circumvent the right to freedom of expression, Texas lawmakers approved an admissions fee tax on all sexually oriented businesses. The state plans on taking 10% of the gross receipts. Organized crime and government have now become one and the same.
  • A judge in Virginia has dismissed child pornography charges against a school official who had an "inappropriate" photo of a student on his cell phone, which was sent to him by another student. It was ruled that the photo was not sexually explicit and did not meet the definition of child pornography.
  • Police in Wisconsin are recommending juvenile disorderly conduct charges against four 15 year-old kids for sharing a nude photo of a student. How this constitutes "disorderly conduct" beats me.
  • "Show us your best bits" is some sort of ad campaign which encourages people to strip naked on stage. NSFW video here. [via AdRANTS]
  • The question of the day is "if Germans want to be nudists, why did they invent trousers?"
  • The powers that be at McDonald's are all in a titter over a Swedish strip club which has ripped off the famous golden arches on their sign.
  • Apparently not an April Fools story (but don't bet the farm on it), students at Bellevue Community College near Seattle are fighting for their rights to hold their nudist club meetings on campus.
    Repeatedly told to put clothes on, the recently chartered Nudist Club has been asked not to hold meetings in public locations on campus. Denied what they call the basic right to adorn themselves with whatever they wish or wish not to, the club’s members have appealed to the student government for help, asking for construction of a club Garden on campus for the specific use of their protected engagements...The Nudists formed out of an anthropology class here at school. According to Freddy Smoteson, anthropology student and founder of the group, his Anthropology instructor, who prefers to remain nameless, did a week long segment about the role of nudity in human culture...Feeling inspired, Smoteson and several of his fellow classmates decided those born nude should stay nude. They formed a “group for people who are enthusiastic and ego less about nudity”.
  • Nude male models were brought into an English school as part of a sex education class.
    “I learned more from this than from my previous sex education classes,” said student Tom Harvey, 16. “It was really interesting the way they taught us about everything. It was practical and made it more understandable.”
  • The Palm Beach Post has an editorial denouncing the criminal prosecutions of teenagers who engage in sexting, but a columnist for the Times Record News in Wichita says "With parents, councilors (sic) and clergy seemingly unable to convince teens that emulating porn stars is a bad idea, maybe sheriff’s deputies with arrest warrants can."
  • A University of Texas student throws herself into the world of social nudism.
    I had been worried leading up to the event that I’d arrive to find some massive middle-aged orgy, or that I wouldn’t be able to stop looking at all the penises on display. But no orgies (at least in front of me) and I only sometimes glance at the penises, a little. The ceviche and empanadas are divine, and the atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and respectful.
  • The mayor of Auckland is powerless to stop the Boobs on Bikes parade.
    "In a perfect world we wouldn’t have Boobs on Bikes in Queen St, but we don’t live in a perfect world," he says. "I’m very aware that in these post-Christian times, in this slack and ill-disciplined society, holding up a bylaw around what is decent and what is not will be very difficult."
  • Here's a guide to Melbourne's best nude beaches.
  • The Village Players in Oak Park, Illinois, are giving the full monty treatment to a production of "Driving Miss Daisy".
    The Pulitzer Prize-winning play involves the relationship between an elderly Jewish woman in Atlanta and her African-American chauffeur. Occhipinti explained, "By the last scene Miss Daisy is 97 years old and Hoke, her driver, is 85. What could better express the common humanity of these two lovely characters than seeing them in the buff?"
  • AMC TV has a list of sex in movies which challenged the ratings.

Portrait of the Nudist as a Young Man, Part Two

Another self-portrait from 1977. At the time I only had the guts to show them to one person, and she called me a few days later and asked me to take similar photos of her. Sorry, you won't be seeing those pix.

The Little Nudist

This is a photo of me taken by my parents when I was about a year old. No wonder I like being naked!

Be Careful What You Write

Thankfully, The Academic Naturist was pulling an April Fools' joke when he announced yesterday that career considerations were putting an end to his naturist blogging and other activities.

I took the bait and ran with it, and about an hour later I realized that what he had written was probably just a prank. A careful review of his post yesterday revealed some clues that it was all in jest.

Let me just say one thing, and it's got nothing to do with the fact that I fell for it. Be careful what you write, because in the blogosphere, people tend to speed read, oftentimes only partially reading posts, or reading with only a fraction of the needed comprehension.

Announcing that you are pulling the plug on a blog is the virtual equivalent of telling friends that you're dying of cancer in the real world. Nobody laughs when that pronouncement is revealed to be nothing more than a device intended for humorous effect.

When it dawned on me that TAN was likely not serious about packing it in, I didn't laugh, but I did feel some relief.

I'm not criticizing Mr. Academic per se, he writes way too many valuable posts about naturism so he's more than earned a pass this time, but when a joke turns out to be unfunny when the punch line is revealed, it ceases to be a joke and becomes something else, something kinda dumb.

An Onion-like fake news story about the President and First Lady meeting the Queen at a nudist resort, that would have been funny. I should have thought of that.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Clothed vs. Unclothed

Here's another nude study from my 1977 self-portraits.

Never Nude Land

Zach Braff, who apparently is a gymnophobe, has founded a new social networking site called Never Nude Land, which is currently in private beta testing.
But what NeverNudeLand lacks in originally, it makes up for with its tight-knit community. Members can be found helping each other with common Never-Nude issues on a forum frequented by Braff and other celebrity members. Popular threads include "How to bathe in the never-nude", "Sex, Denim, and You" and a photo sharing section where members can comment on how effectively their outfits 'hide their thunder'.
I don't know if this is all just tongue-in-cheek or not, but one thing is certain - "Always Nude Land" can't be too far off on the virtual horizon.

College Students Plan Nude Protest March

The West Coast Chapter of the National Academic Nudists of North America are planning a nude protest march at Solano Community College in Fairfield, California.
"Our nation frowns upon free self-expression whenever there's nakedness involved," said Jane Carlin, 25, vice president of the West Coast chapter and liberal arts graduate student of Stockton State University. "We believe it is our first amendment right to march (naked). It's our way of standing up for free speech." Carlin estimated the number of protesters coming to SCC to be between two and three hundred.
UPDATE APRIL 2: APRIL FOOL!

Portrait of the Nudist as a Young Man

I was rummaging around through some old photos and discovered a collection of self-portrait nudes that I did back in 1977. I'll post one every once in a while as I scan and touch-up these older images. At the very least, they prove that I've been a nudist at heart for a long, long time.

Wait a Minute

It's April Fools Day. Did the Academic Naturist just punk me? I hope it's just a joke!

Numbers

During March, this little blog received 32,489 visitors, 140,636 page views, and 4.33 pages per visit. Not too bad, considering that Google has us blocked, otherwise it would probably be double the traffic. Thanks again to all who take the time to visit every day!

Another One Bites the Dust

There must be something going around, because there's some sort of plague attacking nudist bloggers and taking them down. Gymnophiliac, Being and Nakedness, thenudelife.com, Earth Friend Gen, Nothing to Dread, Pasco Naturally, Nudist Day and others have either disappeared altogether or have simply stopped updating. Now comes the sad news that The Academic Naturist is packing it in.

Say it ain't so! TAN is the best and brightest young voice in the nudist blogosphere. He just completed a highly detailed 7 part series on building the perfect naturist venue, and now he says he's walking away?

Yes, life does get in the way sometimes. I nearly walked away from this blog a year ago, but I came back. Over the last month I've been very busy, but I hung in there and kept the faith alive.

I hope this retreat wasn't triggered by his skeevy experience at the VVRC Winter Party, which he wrote about here. Apparently some swingers exhibited some "questionable" behavior which certainly left a bad impression, not only on Mr. Academic, but his date as well. If the girlfriend is turned off, it's all downhill from there.

Anyway, it's a sad day, and I hope that the promised part two of Doug's "suicide note" holds some hope for the future. This is a guy that I thought would go all the way, who would have been active on the Naturist Action Committee, fighting on the front lines for body freedom.

This is a time when nudism and naturism should be taking great strides forward. With the economy in shambles and governments looking for innovative ways to raise revenue, AANR and TNS should be fighting hard for more public lands to be set aside for nude recreation. Westmore Vermont just voted down a measure to spend $25,000 to ban nude bathing at Lake Willoughby, so it's logical to assume that there are many towns out there who would vote for nude bathing if it's proven that $25,000 could be raised by admission and parking fees.

But if people are walking away, if the Naturist Action Committee can only muster up one blog post so far this year, and if AANR just keeps publishing a bulletin which is merely an advertising vehicle for affiliated clubs, then the status quo will quickly turn to rapid decline. If you think the economy sank like a rock, just watch how quickly nudism is swallowed up by the adult industry. There are far more swingers in America than there are nudists, and I fear that soon the majority of nudists will also be swingers.