Lately, I’ve been reading some great nudist articles and blogs that I’ve found via Twitter and Facebook and rather than just add them to my blogroll, I decided it was time to go through and clear out the dead links. In my list were a lot of nudist blogs that are still on the Net but haven’t been active in a year or two. They still have some good posts and information so I grouped them together in a new category, Old Blogs.
Nudity is our default and natural state. We all entered the world in that state and we felt no shame or embarrassment as we saw our first light and took our first breath. As we grew older we learned how to feel shame and embarrassment about our bodies from our parents, our teaches, our churches, our media, and from our culture in general.
There is, however, a place deep inside each of us where we remember our innocence, our freedom, our natural state. In this place we intuitively know that any alteration to our natural state (i.e., clothing) is an aberration. Unless the addition of garments is a necessity for warmth or for protection from the elements and hazards, the choice to cover our natural state is likely either a compromise or vanity (satisfaction of the ego).
Our natural unclothed bodies are not, in and of themselves, in any way offensive, shameful, sinful, repulsive, or degrading. These adjectives are applicable only to behavior and reflect our own fears, inadequacies, and insecurities. Using them to shame or degrade a fellow human being is an attempt to project our fears, insecurities, inadequacies, prejudices, and our ignorance upon others. The shaming of others is a reflection of the shame we feel toward ourselves.
When I did my home yoga practice at home the other day, I started it wearing a T-shirt and a pair of shorts. After just one sun salutation, I had to stop and remove them. Wearing clothing just felt so distracting and restrictive. Once nude, I continued with my practice. The clothing was just one more veil, one more obstacle, to overcome. My inner guru has no need for clothing.
“You know, it’s good not to wear clothes.” — Maharaj-ji (Neem Karoli Baba)
This morning I read Time to STOP Being “Naked & Afraid!” on An Outgoing Nudist – My Naked Life & Dreams. I thought it was an excellent article.
Nudity is definitely not shocking or even arousing. The longer I live and promote the lifestyle, I think as a society we need to simplify things and take a more practical approach to nudity and even sex. I think that everything that “exists” is normal, so there’s no need to make such a big fuss. If I could, I would take it a step further and say, that I believe we should let everyone have their dignity and do what they enjoy most! I also would like to live in a place/society where that idea doesn’t stop with naked recreation, but have the same attitude towards sexual orientation, race, etc. – EVERYONE is ACCEPTED just as they are!
I certainly agree, that as a society, and as individuals, we need to simplify and take a more practical approach to everything. We have over-complicated our lives with technology, beliefs, politics and all the drama we bring into our lives. Life doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s only complicated because we make it so.
Whenever a celebrity gets naked or talks about getting naked, she suddenly becomes a defacto spokesperson for nudism. (It’s rarely a male celebrity.) Why are nudists so desperate and anxious to have a celebrity endorse their lifestyle? How many of these celebrities who claim they like to get naked are AANR or TNS members? How many of them actually go to nudist clubs, go to American nude beaches or attend AANR conventions and TNS gatherings? How many celebrities are campaigning to save nude beaches or to open up public lands for nude use? I haven’t heard of any. The public isn’t going to accept nudism just because Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Aniston or some other pop star or actress gets her kit off. Big whoop.
Larry Darter’s article Roots of nudist culture reminded me that many of my own ideas about naturism are grounded in the ideals, concepts and philosophies of the Nacktkultur and Freikörperkultur movements of the early 20th century. There was an emphasis on fitness and health that seems to be generally lacking in nudism today.
It seems that in the last 40 or 50 years, the emphasis shifted from health and fitness to body acceptance and nude recreation. There is nothing wrong with body acceptance and nude recreation. There is a need for body acceptance and nudism should be fun. However, body acceptance is a beginning, not an end in itself. Many people mistakenly equate body acceptance with body satisfaction — “I accept my body as it is and I’m okay with it. I don’t need to do anything else.” They accept their body and go no further. We need to accept things as they are but if we can change what is for the better, it behooves us to do so.
I’m not advocating a return to group calisthenics at the crack of dawn or anything like that. Nor am I advocating that nudist strive to achieve some impossible aesthetic ideal of “looking good naked.” I’d like to see more emphasis on health and fitness, promotion of nudism and naturism as a healthy lifestyle and more healthy alternatives offered at nudist venues.
Another year has passed and I don’t really have anything to report since a year ago. I had tentatively planned on attending the Northcoast Naturists hike at Chautauqua Gorge and the Skinny Dip Record attempt at Cedar Trails but things came up. I don’t know if I’m losing interest in social nudism or in traveling to participate. Maybe I’ll get out and be naked more next year. I’m not promising anything.
My posts here have been few and far between, I guess I haven’t had much to say. I’ve commented on some media articles that struck a chord but haven’t really voiced many new thoughts on the subject. I like the AANR/TNS “Sharing your naturism” initiative in their respective publications. I’ve noticed that many nudists and resort owners are ill-equipped to present the ideas and principles of nudism and naturism effectively. I hope they will continue with this program.
My attitudes and philosophies haven’t changed much in the past year. I regard the naked human body as its natural state and not a source of shame or embarrassment. I hold that there should not be laws prohibiting simple, casual nudity. It harms no one. Nudity represents an essential aspect of fundamental human freedom.
In 2014, I suppose I’ll continue to be a home nudist, being nude as much as I can, enjoying my naked time and practicing my yoga nude, at least in the privacy of my home studio. If an opportunity to take part in a nude yoga class presents itself, I’ll do everything I can to be there, even if it means a little traveling.