Nudity and religion

Religion in (my) school

Religion keeps confusing me. I know I’ve been at this before, but it is something so incomprehensible to me that I want to address it again.

When I was 15 or 16, which is quite a while ago, I made sure the catholic church removed me from their subscription list. I’d gotten into arguments with the priest who, in school, taught religion and got thrown out of the classroom quite often ‘for asking the wrong questions’. Even at that age I was aware that, if someone who is supposed to be a professional at his job (priest is a job, right?) and he can’t answer the most obvious of questions, then there’s something wrong with the background of his job.

It was around that time that I discovered nudism (as it was still called back then). That was the straw that broke the religious camel’s back: I asked the priest why Adam and Eve had decided to put on clothes when being naked was so much more comfortable.

This was the result, as it were. Words like ‘insolent’ and ‘blasphemy’ (that last one threw me, still does) were the last ones from the priest before I left that class forever.

The library was my friend after that.

Because of this ‘insolence’, I had to report to the headmaster, for being thrown out yet again. I explained my side of the argument, the priest called me a liar and Satan’s child (yay me!), and the headmaster decided I should stick to the library from then on and leave religion class behind me. In that library (yes, the school library) I read a lot about all kinds of religions and even more about nudism. Even back then, in the 1970s, our schools were so liberated.

Since being naked felt much better than religion, I read up a bit about the combination. Since the priest had gotten fired up so much, there had to be something.

Religion: the practice of shame and guilt (a.k.a. control)

Religion, for me (and many others), is the ultimate form of controlling others through shame and guilt. In Christianity, everyone’s born with guilt. The original sin. In Islam the body has to be covered all the time as that is ‘the law’ (of Islam), and exposing one’s ‘intimate parts’ is sinful.

Sin, according to Wikipedia, almost always refers to religion. Almost always? Yes, there is a trigonomy function written as sin as well, but that’s not the one on display here.

So, sin is a human invention. Sin is an offence to a God or divine law. It’s interesting that there are Christians and also Muslims who are naturists, despite their godly laws of sin and guilt and shame and what not. And the good thing for them is: their god hasn’t struck them down for being disobedient. Insolent. Shameful. Guilty. Any ‘striking down’ so far has come from people who stick to their holy books, be it verbally or literally (using techniques involving throwing rocks etc.).

Rocks should be used to hike over. Naked. Without the burden of some religion or god hovering over you for doing ‘the wrong thing’. Because being naked is natural. It is how we’re born.

Naturist kids

Note upfront: I have no children. I desire no children. I do desire children to have the best youth and life they can possibly have.


Let me kick off a few questions at the start. Do you have children? Did you take them nude venues like beaches and resorts when they were young? And if you did, do you think they suffered from it?

I somehow doubt they did. At our local nude beach I have seen kids play, swim and have fun, and no one had any issue with it. Hooray for free minds and people who feel good about being naked. I am sure you all agree.

This topic has been on my mind a while, especially since the number of protests from textile ignorants who claim that children should not be present at a naked swim organised by British Naturism.

Something that crawls up on me is the persistent refusal of these people to at least come and have a look. (Which would go against their textile habits, of course.) But how do they know that children will be harmed at such venues? We all know that kids are as safe as peas in a pod, but they don’t. They base their opinion on what happens in their world. The clothed, covered world, where nudity is a taboo.

Such people condemn us like they would condemn child molesters without knowing any better.

I for one am very glad that the owner of the water park, Mr Chaudry, spoke out against these people’s allegations, stating that the popular Stoke-on-Trent tourist attraction has been ‘unjustly accused of encouraging paedophiles’.

Good on Mr Chaudry. There should be more open minds like him around.

My parents weren’t naturists so their children weren’t brought up with the naturist idea. Still they were open-minded enough to let us choose our own paths and ways. I’m glad I walked down Nudist Lane, so to speak. Granted, I wasn’t a child any more, but I was still “young enough” in starting to fully enjoy it, knowing I would do so for a long time. Now I’m 59 and it seems as if I enjoy being clothes-free more and more each year. I have no explanation for it and I darn well don’t need one.

Nude child with bouquet (image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons)

If everyone’s kid would just be so lucky – and have an earlier start!

Children should be immersed in the lifestyle and later given the choice to continue or leave. It’s a part of growing up and making educated choices. Unlike those who remain in the textile realm and condemn us, the ones who know how good it is (mentally and physically) to shed our clothes and enjoy life the way we were born.

To everyone, including children, I proclaim:

BN (Be Naked), not BS!

Do nude whatever is possible

In case you didn’t know: it’s not a perfect world

Naturists and other clothes-free loving people often complain that the world isn’t accepting us the way we want. True, I immediately agree with you. However, we still have options to do what we want, be it in our home, in saunas, on nude beaches, nude resorts and any kind of venue that is organised by people with open minds. Like the British Naturism swim in a water park that attracted so much attention lately.

Compared to many people who have no opportunity to be as free as we are in their country, we can count ourselves lucky in a way. Of course, there are those who are in our league and they draw the short end in their country too. For instance in Egypt, where nudism is illegal. I once read an article by the Egyptian Nudist where he and some friends occasionally came together in someone’s home to have some relaxing nude time, and even that was risky for them.

The world is a weird place. Let’s be happy with what we can do, instead of constantly bemoan what we can’t. Life is too short to whine and complain, trust me. Suddenly you’re old and you should not look back in regret.

Instead, seize every opportunity to be nude and enjoy it. Be as open about your lifestyle as you can. Some can be very open, some risk big problems, so also don’t complain if someone who is not you, is not doing as you do. You shouldn’t judge someone’s seeming unwillingness to talk freely about his or her naturism or nudism. Their life isn’t yours.

Do you have good ideas? Spread them.

I think that’s the best thing you can do. If you have a clever idea to be nude without breaking your local laws, tell the world about that idea. You may not reach someone close very quickly, but the internet (think about places like Twitter and such) has a way to spread your idea like wildfire.

Don’t keep the good things to yourself; you could make a fellow human very happy.

In the case that you’re afraid people will know it was you who had the idea, tell a friend about it if you think he or she can spread the idea, or open an anonymous twitter account that isn’t easily linked back to you. I’m sure many naturists have something like that, and it works.

I hope I have motivated some people to look at the bright side of nude life. I’ve seen plenty of examples where ‘activists’ are not happy. Of course, there will always be unhappy people. As I said, it’s not a perfect world. But spreading good and positive ideas is one way to slowly turn that tide.

Nude hiking is the best

While you read this, I’m probably on my way home from a short vacation on one of the Canary Islands. These islands are wonderful for the naked tourist. No, alas, that doesn’t mean you can wander around in the nude anywhere without getting into trouble, but they offer lots of places where you can.

On Easter Sunday I was out for a walk. I had been looking forward to this particular one as it is a walk I can’t do at home (lacking mountains and the space to do it naked).

Walks like this are always good. I know that many of you, reading this, can and will agree.

For me, the experience of consciously taking my clothes off and going for a long walk (this one was about 3 kilometres long) is an almost spiritual experience.

I am peeling away the physical boundaries between me and nature. All of me will be able to feel the sun and the wind. All of me will be moving without being bothered (yes, that is really it) by the stuff other people demand I wear when in most kinds of company.

And the best thing: it’s free.

And then I mean free in the most literal meaning. No one who has a problem with me being how I want to be. Nothing holding me back except gravity (and I am very grateful for that one 😉 ).

Having this possibility to walk around clothes-free is truly amazing. The sad thing always comes when the walk comes to an end and I have to put the hot stuff on again. That moment tells me how unnatural it is to wear clothes in an environment that is made for bodily liberty.

I can hardly wait to go on another nude hike. Let’s hope the world will someday get its act together and understand that our lifestyle isn’t bad. That we’re actually preserving energy and water.

And let’s hope it happens in our lifetime.

Fundamental human rights

A while ago I ran into this tweet:

While I do agree with the sentiment behind it, I replied to the original poster that it’s not in the list of human rights as agreed upon.

Because I like simplicity, I found this website which tells you about the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in an easy to understand form. (Yes, it’s for children. I said I like simple, right?)

I also had a problem with the claim that we are forced to buy and wear clothes. I don’t think that’s true. We’re supposed to cover up, dictated by law, in the name of ‘decency’ (theirs, not ours). Walking around in a cardboard box is also covering up, even if you found (did not buy) that box.

Perhaps this blog post is too much over such a tweet but I do like to check the facts before I make claims like the original poster made in his tweet.

Thinking further on this subject, I wonder how far one could go in the clothing arena. On textile beaches, the amount of actual textile can dwindle down to something you can’t even make a handkerchief of.

Or, like the lady on the right, would something like this go against the hairs of the textile-loving community? She is dressed, after all, and from the looks of her, the dress and the location it’s a very expensive design too.

We all know that clothing is massively overrated these days. I recall seeing people in wool hoodies when it’s so hot that birds faint in flight. Long coats and long pants when the asphalt is close to melting. These people take things a few notches too far.

Still, there is no human right to be naked (and that’s a shame…)

Nudist? Naturist? Or plain clothes-free?

Do you call yourself a nudist? A naturist? I hope you’re happy with your choice.

sunday nudist happy together

More and more I see how these ‘labels’ are abused by the porn-happy community, and that makes me think.

Is it still a good thing to call myself a naturist when that name, or title, or what have you, is being dragged through the mud so often?

The pros.

Sticking with nudist or naturist name/label is probably the strongest statement that we’re not giving in to what the porn-happy community tries to make of our lifestyle. The problem here, of course, is that we’re up against a giant ‘opposition’, even when that mostly lives online. Since more and more of our lives take place online, that’s something we can see as a battleground.

The cons.

With porn sites abusing the naturist and nudist label, it’s increasingly difficult to convince the textile world that these sites are wrong and we are right. Most certainly considering the rise of the prudes that we can witness. It’s as if the opposite of the sixties is surfacing.

Because of these things, I sometimes wonder if it’s worth sticking to one of those two labels. Perhaps “clothes-free” is a better option. After all, one would think that “clothes-free” would be a neutral enough way of describing who we are and how we would like to be.

Alas, that won’t hold water for long either, I realised, after some more thinking. Nudist was the best word long ago. Then it became naturist, be it mostly in Europe. Why change again? Whatever name we think up, there will be some crowd that finds a way to drag it through their personal kind of mud.

That is what made me decide that nudist and naturist are perfect. Let’s take pride in the history of those words, of the people who paved the way for us to be naturists and nudists.

As usual, I welcome your thoughts on this subject…

The fight against faketurists continues…

This is what we’re fighting. Almost daily, I fear.

‘Naturist’ jailed for having 80,000 child pornography images.

Isn’t that disgusting? And we all pay the price for this because it’s sensation and sensation sells. People like you and I aren’t interesting enough, apart from the fact that we like to walk around naked. The uninteresting bit about is that we don’t ‘go wild’. We don’t have sex in the street, we keep to ourselves. Heck, in general, we have the name to clean up after ourselves better than our dressed human counterparts.

A good thing in this article above is the ‘naturist’. (Note the quotes!) Obviously the source wherever this article originated knows the difference, which is something to be grateful for. (I can’t tell where the article came from, there are too many links with the same title to check.)

This kind of faketurist is hard to battle. On the few social media where we can still have some influence, we can stand up and point them out, but the hidden kind, like this individual up here, operates in darkness and then suddenly throws a bomb in our midst.

They have nothing to do with real naturism or nudism. I wish there was a way to eradicate all that ignorance once and for all…

How nudity brings sheer happiness

It’s not a big surprise, is it?

It’s probably not a surprise to most of you reading this: being nude brings happiness. This of course counts if you can be nude in the right circumstances.

A right circumstance.

As the above image shows, simple things in life can make a person happy, and there is no need for anything like clothing involved. Even the basic action of removing those layers of fabric, leather, plastic or whatever people put on is a reason to be cheerful. Which reminds me of an album by Ian Dury, by the way…

…and no, you don’t have to watch the video or listen to the song if you don’t feel like it. 😉

Why does being naked make people happy?

For this, I think, we need to look at the beginning. The beginning of life. Look at children and how they like to be naked. How many children hate being or getting dressed when they’re not yet ‘used’ to that?

As nature intended

The adult ‘problem’ with this is that same being used to clothes. It’s ingrained into our mind and system, and only the lucky few naturists and nudists haven’t lost that connection to nature. We probably all know how hard it is to change someone’s mind regarding nudity when that person hasn’t been in contact with her or his or its skin in a long time.

Now I don’t know all of you who read my blog (for which I sincerely thank you) but I think it’s the connection to that early joy of nakedness that makes it easy for naturists (and nudists, yes, I know) to find their way back to that feeling if ever they have lost it for a while. If you were brought up in a naturist family and never had to lose the connection, even better. Not everyone is so lucky.

The lucky circumstances.

WNBR

What are your lucky circumstances? Do you hang out naked in your home to feel that happiness? Do you participate in World Naked Bike Rides for the feeling or for an extra boost? Are you lucky enough to have a garden where you can be naked and happy?

I’d like to hear from you. Your words can make a difference to everyone who visits this page, and this way, together, we can make the world a better, happier place. And we all know the world needs that.

Do you still think of being naked?

That’s something I realised a while ago. Being undressed in the right weather / temperature conditions has become so natural to me that I hardly think about it.

(This is not my front door!)

That’s also the reason why I opened the front door naked a few times this summer; it was Very, really Very Warm for a long time.

The interesting bit was that some people, after their initial surprise, seemed to pay little mind to my (lack of) attire. Especially after explaining why I wasn’t wearing clothes. It was – in a way – weird to find that many people at the door understood the reason immediately, but that I had to explain the why to them first.

After hearing that, most of them agreed that it was a clever thing to do. Such encounters tell me that being naked is basically accepted by many people, but that the actual doing is something that doesn’t cross their mind until they see someone who actually does it. (Leading by example, anyone?)

But back to the original question: Do you still ‘know’ you’re naked when you’re naked?

In the forest
Out on a forest walk.

Being naked has become natural to me. It’s the best way to be. I tell everyone who is open enough to hear it. (Which is a surprising thing too, sometimes people I least suspect of being open about nudity are most open about nudity.)

The thing I am sensitive about it temperature. Not being nude. And I’m curious to learn about your experiences!


A naturist’s view on driving naked.

Driving naked

I talked about this before. Intrigued as I was by the comment of Artur, I decided to look into the Dutch laws about the need to be dressed while driving. I spent several hours going through all kinds of law texts, searched for stuff on a Dutch law website, and I came up with nothing related to the need to be dressed. The only law article that came up several times was the famous 430a, which ‘regulates’ the options for being nude in places. It decrees that you can’t be nude in public places. Places that are obviously not suited for it. Places where lots of people pass by.

This brings up the argument if the inside of your own car is a public place or not. I would assume it’s not. In a public place everyone can come in and sit down. That is not the case with my car. Now you may argue that it’s public enough for people to look inside and see a nude person in there. Correct. However, in the Netherlands it’s legal to be nude in your own house without having all drapes or curtains closed. People looking inside do so on their own risk.

back road trailAlso it is okay to be naked in outside places where people can ‘look in’, meaning that you can be naked without having to take precautions not to be seen (a.k.a. ‘offend’ others). Places like this, on the right. Hardly a through road, right?

United States

I know, having read many accounts online, that lots of people drive naked in the US of A. I actually found this interesting website for Americans about it at compare.com: Is Driving Nude Legal? (And Is It a Good Idea?)

woman driving nakedApparently it’s mostly illegal over there, but restrictions happen on a per state basis, so know your rights. The most important thing there is what I’ve always said and thought also: don’t do crazy stuff. Drive like a normal person. Don’t attract attention. If there is no reason for people to look at your car (and you), they won’t. They’ll just drive on, paying attention to traffic as they (and you) should.

England

Considering the post I made about freehiking in the U.K. which details quite precisely what is okay and what isn’t, I would guess that driving nude there is safe also, provided you are in control of your vehicle (wear shoes).

Again

Yes, I know, I’ve posted about this several times before because it’s a topic I really am intrigued with since there are (at least in the Netherlands, as I said) no actual rules that I’ve found. And I love driving clothes free because of the liberating feeling that nudity gives me.

Have you driving naked? In what country? Do you have tips and suggestions? With enough feedback I might compile a ‘driving naked’ page with them!