The crazy stuff that is parts of America

This week I tried to publish my first Dutch naturist fiction book.

A naturist book which is a crime story. As usual I chose a platform called Draft2Digital to get the book ‘out there’. That, combined with Amazon, gives me a good reach for books. Except this one.

Imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail from Draft2Digital telling me that most online bookstores do not accept pornographic content on the cover of a book. Let me show you the cover:

High-Tech Recherche

I assume you are shocked over the pornographic content displayed here. If so, accept my apologies. If not, I’m glad to meet a human being with a sensible mind.

To make sure I was indeed offending some policy, I went to wikipedia to have a look at their (Wikipedia’s) definition of pornography: “Pornography (often abbreviated porn) is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal.”

If a man’s back and naked behind is sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal then I wonder what kind of people decide this image is exactly that.

Considering the fact that Draft2Digital is an American company, I should not be surprised about this rejection. Still, being stubborn, I decided to try my luck at Amazon because there is a Dutch Amazon-website for books. And lo and behold… American company Amazon sent me this: Congratulations, your book “High-Tech Recherche” is now live and available* for purchase in the Kindle Store!

I decided to publish the e-book through a Dutch e-book distributor. This means it will
a) be a bit more expensive
b) not get to Apple iTunes or B&N
but that’s something I’m not going to be bothered about.

I know, this is not my typical kind of post but I had to vent this somewhere, and this is as good a place as any. If you want to know more about the book, please let me know. The plan is to get an English version out too, and I would like to point the Dutch visitors to my Dutch author website where I will announce the book shortly.

The battle against faketurists

Yes. I hear you. Faketurists? What the hell are you talking (writing) about here? Let me tell you.

Time and again I come across posts on Twitter and other places where genuine naturists/nudists mention being followed by ‘other naturists’, who after some quick inspection prove to be swingers, sex- and porn-lovers and the like. I am sure we all know the kind by now.

These folks always have pictures on their timeline/profile, and they are not as naturist and calm as the one here.

Fake naturists. Hence faketurists.

They’re a pain in the eye and the mind for real naturists, and with reason.

It’s difficult to get rid of them in their entirety since going after them and ‘exterminating’ them is a) time consuming, b) costly and c) illegal. So we end up blocking them, reporting them, the works. I’m sure most people reading this post recognise the problems.

Some of the accounts I blocked on Twitter

The crap thing is that, yes, sometimes it’s hard work to check each account that is following you, me, anyone. Still: keep doing it. No one is doing it for you, and if you want to keep your presence as clean as possible, it’s a necessary evil. The ones with explicit names or profile images are easy to catch. Some require inquiry. Alas.

An idea I suddenly had was to get some kind of swap-space going where naturists can swap their block lists, at least the one from Twitter. On Twitter you can export your blocked-list by clicking your profile image and select Settings and privacy from the menu:

From there select Blocked Accounts on the left, click advanced options and export your list:

Save the list and that’s most of the work. On the swap space everyone can then download your list and import it to their own blocked accounts (which, as you see, is also a choice in the advanced options, and that will save everyone a lot of work going after each suspicious account.

A drawback is that you might block an account that someone finds offensive, gross of insulting while you might like that account very much. It’s a personal trade-off.

I wonder what you think of this idea, and if you have specific ‘controls’ in place to keep your online, naturist presence ‘clean’.

Naturist Witch Trials?

Our world is a remarkable place.

So many people, so many cultures, philosophies, religions and ways of life. And we all are part of it.

There is a problem though. Most of the world isn’t like us. Most of the world prefers to cover up, even when it’s hot, and does the smart thing by buying machines to cool down.

We are the strange ones in this mental picture. Acknowledge it. We don’t do mainstream coverups well when it’s hot. We play along because we have to. We’re being forced into this.

What makes me say this?

You may have noticed a parallel with the Salem Witch Trials in the title of this blog post. This is on purpose and kudos for those who noticed that.

Scene from Salem Witch Trial

The Salem Witch Trials happened in the world of Puritans, who wanted to build their ‘City on the Hill’, according to their own pure insights and laws. (Problem was there were no real laws after a while, when England handed over jurisdiction to the locals.)

Naturists and nudists face more and more Puritanism in the modern world. People are become more prude. The mainstream media make people ashamed of their less than paintbrushed and photoshopped body which increases the ‘need’ to cover up. And, take it as you will, religion has its foot in the door as well. Muslims are spreading all over the world, and they are – as far as I know – very inclined to cover the body as well.

Why would you cover yourself up if the weather’s fine?

As I was thinking about with trials, listening to a podcast about them, and incorporating them in a story, it occurred to me that this spreading out of modern body-Puritanism might well flash back on us, naturists and nudists, if the lawmakers aren’t doing something. But for that to get into lawmakers’ skulls, we have to stand up and proclaim we’re not evil. We don’t work together with some modernday satan, as the former witches were convicted of, to bring down society.

There were no witches during those trials. Only innocent victims of mass hysteria. Hysteria caused by fear, stress and uncertainty, because the puritans in Salem Town and Salem Village (currently known as Danvers) had their share of problems. Disputes about who had the right religious system, famine because of bad harvests, feeling forgotten by England, and the many attacks by Natives and the evil, catholic French took their toll, and the ‘witches’ had to suffer from that. They were the scapegoats.

Let’s make sure we aren’t becoming scapegoats either.

Being naked is natural. I think that’s the main concept we need to get across.

Society is losing touch with nature, hand over hand, which is a shame in itself. At the rate nature is being destroyed, our options are getting limited.

Let’s stand up. Speak up.

A restaurant bites the dust

We probably all know it by now. The Parisian nude restaurant is closing.

Yes. That is a sad thing. Why did they not make it?

Apparently the restaurant is well liked by all who dined there. Unfortunately there weren’t enough of those people, which put the restaurant in a dire, financial spot. The food, as I read in many places, was very good, and the atmosphere in the restaurant was described as very pleasant.

The owners, Mike and Stephane Saada, stated:

“Thank you for having participated in this adventure by coming to dine at O’Naturel. We will only remember the good times, meeting beautiful people and customers who were delighted to share exceptional moments.”

Source: https://www.cntraveler.com/story/paris-nude-restaurant-is-closing

Let’s hope there will be another occasion for a nude restaurant in France. I think that’s important, since France is one of the countries where naturism is huge and growing.

I’m glad to see that the Bunyadi restaurant in London is still open, and that in Bristol, the Greenbank pub has hosted several Naked Dining events.

Let’s hope more restaurants will start seeing the possibilities for nude dining. The way O’Naturel was set up, catering to nude guests only, is perhaps a bit too optimistic. Opening for nude guests a few times per week might have been an economically better idea in that light.

On the other hand, the world of naturism and nudism is facing fierce opposition and that pressure is growing. Establishments like O’Naturel are important because they fight back. It is important to remember that prudishness and the feelings of shame, which are spreading over a world that has made steps into the other direction, can be pushed back. We do need a backbone and some guts for that push. Let’s push!