Until a few days ago I didn’t shout my involvement with and love for naturism from the roofs. Okay, I still don’t but a while ago I simply felt I had to do something. That something turned into a blog post on one of the sites I own, a site I don’t use very often. If you want to see what I put up there, please follow this link (which will open in a new window/tab, so be warned). Note that just about everything in that post is stuff everyone of us already knows.
I did this because at times I hear so many bad, weird and wrong things about naturism (and this past week was one of them) that I felt the need to set things a bit more straight via a blog that gets a reasonable amount of attention and which hasn’t mentioned much in the light of naturism so far.
This blog is connected to the evil place called Facebook. That assured me that I would reach a lot of people. Faceborg doesn’t show everything to everyone so this was a long shot, but I think one that paid off. (The post was hardly touched on the big F, as in hardly any ‘likes’ and only a few comments) but the amount of views of the post was impressive.
Will I do more of those posts?
I really don’t know. It felt good to do this one. The people who saw this now should be a little more educated about naturism and its benefits, and those who aren’t won’t ever be, so I doubt that hammering them with more is going to pay off.
Nipples are difficult and dangerous, or so it seems. Even more so than skilled karate hands and tae-kwon-do feet.
Nipples – let me rephrase that – female nipples are so dangerous that they need to be blurred on ‘regular’ television and in most media.
What is wrong with them?
Recently I listened to a podcast of the Naturist Living Show about breasts and nipples. The things I heard there were astounding…
In that show Stéphane talked about a plastic surgeon that corrected breasts, either to enlarge them or to make them smaller, but also how a woman was changed into a man. The odd thing, he said, was that – when the patient was still a woman, her nipples were blurred. After the procedure of removing the breast tissue was completed (note that this was still the same person but now considered a man), the nipples were shown on television without any form of censorship. The very same nipples! Talk about hypocrisy…
Free the nipple.
It’s because of this idiocy (the only word that fits the bill) that I support movements like Free the Nipple.
Everyone has a body. A body is natural. Why should specific, tiny parts of the female body be regarded as dangerous, illegal, immoral or otherwise be put in a bad light?
Point of view? For naturism or nudism? How does this matter, you might ask? Well, for me there’s a big difference between points of view. I was struck by that again when I saw a tweet that pointed this out very clearly to me. Maybe, after reading this post, you’ll see my point.
This is the text of the tweet and the image that came with it. You can find the original tweet here.
Well, you may ask, what’s wrong with this? Isn’t this what naturists and nudists stand for? To this I say yes and no. The answer depends on, you guessed it, the point of view.
Yes. Waking up naked is good. There are lots of studies all over the Internet that show how sleeping in the nude is healthy. It’s also most comfortable. The people who sleep naked know this. It’s a valiant attempt to convinced people who sleep all dressed up to try this.
No. And here we switch to another point of view.
The wording in this tweet depict nudity as something extraordinary. Wake up NAKED. Have coffee NUDE. Emphasis, emphasis. Be CLOTHESFREE for the rest of the day. More emphasis. This speaks as if the person creating the tweet also finds these things amazing and out of the ordinary. A mindset that leans towards textilism. (Is that actually a word; a person who thinks the way textiles think?)
My way of phrasing this would be:
and remain #clothesfree for the rest of the day…
A changed point of view
Do you see the difference? My version, the one I’d love to live (especially the third one as that’s close to impossible), comes from the naked mind, the way of taking nude life as normal.
The first one, pointing out the naked awakening and the coffee in the nude, feels to me as if it originates from what I might call a ‘convert’, someone who is trying to live the nude life but still has his or her hooks and anchors in the dressed manner of being.
Challenging the mind
Of course, as you may have understood by now, this is a tournament of the mind. A way to think differently, to embrace the concept of nudity, naturism, the clothes-free life, or however you want to call it in another way.
Yes. It happens. All around us. The thought that naturists stand for, that every body is a good body, isn’t supported nor carried by everyone.
As I was listening to the November 2009 episode of the Naturist Living Show podcast, a show I can really recommend, I heard so many things that struck me and rang my bells that I had to write this post about it.
So, what’s the buzz?
In the podcast I heard (among other things) a story about a young woman who apparently looked good and healthy, who was incredibly influenced by the media and their unrealistic goals of “beauty”. She had decided to contact a plastic surgeon who would make all kinds of fake alterations to her body to make her “beautiful”.
There would be breast implants, a “tummy tuck” and a few other “improvements”, which she wanted to get done as a “surprise” for her husband who was away. (Image is not of said young woman.)
Now really… who would want to improve a body when there’s nothing wrong with it? And that only because the outside world is proclaiming that you are not good enough unless you look like Kate Moss, to name one of the super models that clearly are the basis of existence for many woman.
It’s a shame and it angers me tremendously that wonderful people with what, a flaw, a wrinkle, a tummy, stretch marks… that such good, healthy, beautiful people feel compelled to obey the words of a bunch of lunatics who are only after their money. Because that, of course, is the name of the game. Beauty products that cost hands full of money. Plastic surgery isn’t the cheapest kind either. And for what? To be turned into unreal, plastic versions of themselves?
People who have no wrinkle, who are “industrial beauties” and whose cheeks probably will crack when they try to laugh (if their plastified cheeks actually allow them to laugh)?
Stop the plastification of people!
Real people are much better in my opinion. The true value shouldn’t be put on someone’s outside. That’s not going to last, no matter how much cash you throw at plastic surgeons, pill mongers and diet advisers. In my view it’s much healthier to cultivate your inner beauty.
It’s something that will cost you less and bring you much more. Be beautiful the naturist’s way. Trust me, there are more people like us, with our flaws and flabs, than there are industrial grade beauties. We’ll outnumber you always. And we’re far happier.
Today’s naturist’s view is from a fellow naturist who sent me his remarkable but also fabulous experience while in Amsterdam, waiting for a connecting flight. Here’s Colin’s story.
I was travelling home [to the UK] from a short business trip in Germany. All was going well until my flight was cancelled because of the wintery weather. I needed to stay over in Amsterdam and quickly found a hotel at the airport. The following day, once I had checked out, I had a bit of time to pass before my flight in the early evening [which was also cancelled, but that’s another story]. I considered what I would like to do and concluded that I would enjoy a swim.
I just lacked 3 things: a pool [even the hotel that I had just left did not have one], swimwear and goggles. Finding a pool was a matter of using booking.com to find local hotels and filtering to show ones with a pool. There were two that looked promising, so I hopped on a shuttle bus. At the hotel, I explained my problem and asked if their pool was available to non-residents. The woman said that they had no policy, but I was more than welcome to use the facilities [free of charge!]. So, one problem solved and, as I can manage without goggles, I only needed to address the swimwear question.
My first choice would be to swim nude, as this is always my preference. I figured that Holland is quite a liberal country, so I might be able to get away with it. Otherwise, I guess I could have worn underpants. I headed to the pool changing room, got undressed, wrapped a towel around myself and went to the pool. There were two other users; a pair of young women, who, it turned out, were also English. I explained my “problem” and said that I would be OK to wait until they were finished, if they were embarrassed by someone’s nudity. Their response was to say that I should just carry on – they did not care. So, I had a very pleasant swim.
The moral of the story is: if you want something [in my case, the use of a pool and permission to swim nude], you should just ask. What is the worst that can happen?
Thanks for sharing this, Colin!
If you, dear reader, have a story you’d like to share, don’t hesitate. You can reach me through my contact page, or go the old-fashioned way and drop me an e-mail.
Paintings have been made since the early days of mankind. For example the cave paintings that were found in France.
Back then no one had any issues with people being depicted naked, dressed, full frontal or in any other way.
How different things are now. Paintings that show nudity can be removed because of the type of visitor showing up in the gallery or museum (remember the horror about Hylas and the Nymphs?)
Nudity in art is of all times
What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful that the garment with which it is clothed?
I seriously cannot wrap my mind about the fact that the nude form of people can be the subject of so much debate and controversy even in art.
We all have this one, fine layer that protects us from so much. It’s our skin. Why does that need to be hidden, stashed away as something dirty or unclean?
As you can above, even the great master Michelangelo knew this.
There are only few great, ancient painters that may not have created images of nude people. Also modern painters don’t shy away from that, and with good reason: what more beautiful can they portray than humans in their most humble, natural form?
Nudity is honest. Nudity doesn’t hide flaws. Anything not portrayed is up to the discretion and intent of the painter. This is 100% contrary to clothes, where any piece of fabric can and will be used to cover up whatever one wants.
I wonder (actually I don’t!) if the people who despise nudity in art (or anywhere else) carry that conviction from their own experience and will, or if this is all implanted through culture and upbringing.
Ancient times and nude art
The above Egyptian painting shows nude dancers at the tomb of Nembamun. It was painted around 1400 BCE. Nudity was normal back then and no one had a problem depicting something that was normal.
I want to finish this little trip (okay, I admit those are jumps) through the history of nudity in art with this painting of Cleopatra by the Italian Giampietrino, actually Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli. It was created somewhere between 1520 and 1540.
Through the ages, nudity hasn’t posed a problem. Why then, I ask, is the world suddenly churning out so many prudes and sensitive people who pale at the sight or idea of painted skin?
Questions for you.
So now I will leave you with some questions:
What is your favourite painting? I really would like to know. They can be ancient, modern, any style.
Who is your favourite artist?
Do you make paintings? If so, where can we enjoy them?
Yes. I know most of you have encountered the strange rules and shifting regulations on our most admired site Facebook.
I have tried a naturist-friendly approach there, trying to stick to their rules. I failed. Miserably and then some. Facebook jail for 2 weeks after what was perhaps the 4th post. The reason? An image of a statue of a nude male that showed from a post on this here blog. It didn’t even show genitalia. It’s not hard to understand, I think, that I deactivated my account there. Normal nudity is not okay there, but the amount of porn that goes around in that place is staggering. That’s okay. Nudism and naturism aren’t exciting enough I think.
So where are the safe places?
The place I like very much at the moment is ‘Mewe’. You can find me there at mewe.com/i/p.z..walker. Being a member of several nice naturist groups that are really naturist, so no porn and stuff, has proven the place good.
Note that ‘Science Fiction Fans’ is not a naturist group (just sayin’).
You can create an account for free and you get 8GB of space to upload images, videos, whatever. If you need more space you’ll have to buy that, but trust me: 8 gigabytes is really a lot if you’re not in the habit up uploading 4K, 2-hour feature films.
Another nice place is ello.co. Branded mainly a site for creative people, ello also has no problem with nudity. For instance I follow the famous, Canadian naturist park Bare Oaks on Ello.
Images like this:
are perfectly okay on Ello.
Another site is Diaspora. Word of warning: this is a bit of an odd site and at the moment hardly seems to harbour naturists. After creating your account you will need to actively search for people to follow. Give it a try if you feel adventurous.
Do you know of places that are safe? Where naturists can be themselves and post images of themselves without feeling the hot breath of censorship? Please share them in the comments. The more, the better.
Now there’s a TeamNaturist project going on to put a lot of this into view:
If you want to participate, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can trust the person who initiated this; he’s a good person and dedicated naturist. Have a look at his twitter feed if you’re still not convinced.
Really, this is for a good cause. Our cause. A naturist cause. Björ hasn’t received any contributions from ladies yet, nor from people of colour. Please support his cause. He and I both appreciate it!
Of course do naturists have cars. Together with walking, cycling and public transport they’re a great way to get around. Wait, did I say public transport? Sorry! 😉
Cars and clothing laws.
As with just about anything in life there are laws concerning cars. They need to have tyres that all touch the ground, a working engine, lights, stuff like that. My main gripe about car laws is that there is nearly no clarity about the way you need to drive. I don’t mean adhering to the rules of the road, but – you guessed it – what you need to wear. Or not wear. So far only Germany has an (as far as I know) clear statement about that. You need to wear proper footwear to operate the pedals. You can be naked in your car (let’s all move to Germany). You can’t however be naked getting out of your car unless you’re at a place where nudity is accepted. Germany is cool.
Where I live, in the Netherlands, there’s a lot of fuzzy commenting going around about naked driving. I’ve seen police statements where cops chased a nude driver, I’ve read reports on people simply driving along in the nude without a problem. For myself I can state I’ve driven around in the nude plenty of times and never had a problem with that.
That either means things aren’t as bad as they’re depicted or I’ve just been very lucky.
Driving naked, the international version.
I haven’t investigated every country exhaustively. Firstly because I don’t want to spend too much of my time doing that, secondly because there are too many countries and too obscure laws. 😉
I found a few resources for you.
America, you might like to read this. Short version: “We were surprised to find little consensus on whether it is actually illegal to drive naked. There don’t seem to be many laws on the books that specifically address nudity in cars vs. nudity in general. One rule of thumb: It’s probably OK to drive naked, but only if no one else sees you.”
Scotland and England, here’s a link for you. Short version: “It’s not an offence to be naked in public in England and Wales but it does become an offence if it can be proved the person stripped off with the intention to upset and shock. The complainant has to prove this.
In Scottish law there is no statutory offence, just the common law offence of offending public decency – a strand of the breach of the peace. The test is essentially the same as in English law, that a member of the public has been put in a state of fear or alarm.”
It doesn’t state driving explicitly but if you can be nude in public you should be fine in your car.
Sweden, maybe this is of interest to you. Short version: “…as nudist Ronja told the magazine: Being naked is about freedom, and not conforming to others. But this type of freedom involves a few guidelines. So here we go…ten commandments of Swedish nude etiquette.”
Again, no explicit mentioning of cars, but if you can be naked at home, a car shouldn’t be a big problem.
How is it in your country? Do you know?
Maybe you have some inside experience that might help others who like to drive in the nude. Driving naked is nice when it’s hot (or not cold). Tips and such are, as always, appreciated!