Club Membership

I let my membership in the Dayton Warm Breezes Naturist Club expire. I’ve been dropped from their mail list. I was on the fence about joining for about a year and attended one of their house parties in February 2017. In 2018 they waived the membership dues so I went ahead and joined.

In all that time, the only event I attended was that one house party. When my membership came up for renewal this year, I decided that it wasn’t a very high priority. Most of their events were on Saturday evenings which often conflicted with family activities. There were usually conflicts with their other events as well.

I had hoped to be able to at least attend a few swimming events but they lost their access to the facility they’d been using and they hadn’t been able to secure another. They thought they’d found one but the cost of the required insurance was prohibitive.

I disagree with bans on cameras and any devices with a camera a common policy in most nudist and naturist clubs. I understand about wanting to maintain personal privacy and people not wanting their images appearing on porn sites. I get that. Just the same, it irritates me to no end that, in most cases, I’m not permitted to document my naturist lifestyle or activities in the same manner as I would if I took part in the same types of activities whilst clothed.

The presence of cameras in our electronic devices is ubiquitous and it’s not going away. We need to learn to deal with it. Banning these devices from places and events where we are nude is reactionary and, ultimately, counter-productive. It gives the impression that what we have something to hide or we’re ashamed. Or are we assuming that in a nudist environment anyone with a camera is some kind of pervert wanting to exploit our naked images on the Internet?

At public events such as the World Naked Bike Ride, there are no restrictions on photography or on how those images can by used. I’ve participated in a naturist club sponsored nude hikes where nearly everyone had a camera and took pictures. No one had a problem with it. We just need to respect our fellow naturists.

I don’t hold anything against the club for their “no camera” policy. I know that they’re acting in the interest of their members. Still, it seems to be a pervasive attitude among nudist and naturist organizations. If we don’t adapt to change, our days are numbered.

Penultimate Day 2018

There wasn’t much activity on this blog in 2018. I didn’t actively participate in any nudist or naturist events despite opportunities for nude hiking in Chautauqua Gorge, the Columbus (OH) WNBR, or the monthly gatherings with the local nudist club. Often I had other commitments and at other times I really wasn’t all that interested.

But that should come as no surprise to my regular readers (if there are any) because my interest in social nudism and in nudism/naturism in general has been steadily declining for a number of years. It has become less and less of a priority with each passing year. I don’t see my level of participation rising in the coming year.

DWB

At the end of 2017 I was still on the fence about joining the Dayton Warm Breezes naturist club but when they offered a free year’s membership, I took advantage of it and joined. Still, I didn’t attend a single party or event.

When they found an organization that would allow them to use their pool for a nude swim I considered attending the swim. The hosting organization’s requirement for insurance coverage put the individual cost out of reach so the idea was scrapped. Someone proposed an idea to buy some property and build their own facility but the cost per member put it out of my price range. My my current membership will lapse at the end of January and I will probably let it expire. A decade ago, belonging to a local club would have been great and I would have jumped at the chance to be a member.

R.I.P. Steve Willard

In April the naturist community suffered a great loss with the death of Steve Willard of All-Nudist. He was a voice of reason in the naturist community although many didn’t always agree with his views or how he always spoke his mind. He is greatly missed. The site is still up but isn’t being maintained.

Closing Thoughts

I really didn’t kept up on nudist and naturist news anymore although I occasionally come across something interesting and post some commentary on it.

I still believe that nudists and naturists need to come to grips with current and new technologies and learn to live with the fact that nearly every cellphone and tablet device has a built-in camera. They’re ubiquitous so get over it already. We need to get past our paranoia of being outed as nudists. We need to trust one another.

I might be more interested in participating in social nudity or naturist events if were given the opportunity to document my participation just as I would at any clothed event. We’re never going to have a shot at normalizing casual nudity if we act as though we’re hiding something.

I’m very much in favor of transparency whenever possible. Maybe not all of my family, friends and acquaintances know I’m a naturist. I don’t proclaim it from the rooftops but I don’t hide it either. It’s out there in the open and all anyone needs to do is look for the evidence or make inquiries. It’s not a secret, nor should it be.

Comptemplating Aquatic Nakedness

The DWB nude swim in Yellow Springs is still a little over a month away and I’m still on the fence about attending. It would be nice to have two or three hours of aquatic nakedness even if I will only be able to record my memories of it in words but not images.

The only reason I can’t have pictorial memories is because there will be nudity. I can have pictures of a clothed swimming event but not a nude one. We don’t want to take a chance that a naked picture of someone in the group might appear somewhere on the Internet and someone’s friends, family or employer might find out they’re a nudist. I’m quite weary of the double standards, the secrecy, and the anonymity that surround naturism and nudism.

The idea that there will be someone at the door to ensure that I do not have my cell phone with me implies distrust. It’s not like they are a clandestine organization with secret rituals. Or are they? An outsider might jump to the conclusion that being naked is naughty and they’re engaging in orgies and other illicit behavior.

YellowSpringsThere is a large window at the pool so I’m sure that most of it will be covered with brown paper. Whether that will be to ensure our privacy or to prevent anyone who might be passing by from potentially being offended by naked human beings depends on your point of view. I’m going with the latter although I’m sure that most participants will be concerned about  their privacy. I’m not all that worried about my privacy but I understand the concerns other members may have.

I’ve been ambivalent about my membership in this club from the beginning. I’ve only attended one club event and waffled for over a year before finally joining. I haven’t been to their monthly gatherings because of family and social commitments on those Saturdays. I really haven’t had much of a chance to get to know anyone in the club but it seems unlikely that I have much in common with them.

There’s a chance that I may put aside my philosophical differences and enjoy some naked time. If I do attend, I will have the chance to have one pictorial memory of the event, a single group photo taken by a designated photographer. I’ll treasure it, I’m sure.

 

 

Another Nude Recreation Week

Nude Recreation Week 2018 ended yesterday with National Nude Day and today I find myself thinking about my participation in nude recreation or, rather, my lack of participation. Other than a nude house party about a year and a half ago, I haven’t been nude with other like-minded souls since this time in 2010 when I went to Cedar Trails Nudist Retreat for the Skinny Dip World Record attempt. It was fun being a part of that, to be in the pool with over a hundred other naked people.

Each year as the week approaches, I mark my calendar with the intention of going to either Cedar Trails or Sunshower Country Club but nothing comes of it for whatever reason. I often make tentative plans to visit family and, while I’m there, run up to Chautauqua Gorge for a nude hike and a little skinny dipping but I rarely follow through.

Am I still a “true” nudist or naturist? By some definitions, probably not. Just the same, I still identify as a naturist in my attitude, my perspective, and in my general life philosophy. Nude recreation hasn’t been a high priority in quite a while and being nude socially hasn’t been particularly important to me.

In our society nudity may not be normal it is natural and while wearing clothing my be normal, it is not natural. I know it’s a Utopian idea but I believe that being nude should be a viable choice and free of social and criminal sanctions.

As a society we seem to be hung up on arbitrary rules and sanctions for activities and lifestyles that harm no one. Why do we insist on being ‘protected” from what is not likely to cause harm? At the same time we do almost nothing to protect ourselves from things that actually do cause harm to people. There’s something wrong with our society.

Steve Willard of All-Nudist.com passes away peacefully last night | The Naturist Page

Steve will be missed. He always spoke his mind and was a voice of reason in the online Naturist community. Though we’d never met in person, I considered him a dear friend.

RIP Steve, I will miss you.

The Naturist Page

Capture26195981_1821835424524412_658737643471772495_n[1]It’s a sad day in the Naturist community today. I was given word from his wife, Angie, that Steve Willard — an iconic man who dedicated himself not only for his education on Naturism via his website, but a great friend of mine and a loving husband to his wife, Angie.

Yesterday, Angie came on his personal Facebook account to mention to all his friends and family that he had fell ill last Sunday under hospice home care. It was then Angie mentioned that his time was near and he is comfortable. However was not able to communicate. At 9:30am EST, Angie posted on Steve’s Facebook that he passed away.

My heart goes out to the family & friends who knew this amazing man. May he rest in peace. My deepest condolences.

RIP….

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Self Censorship

I’m guilty of self-censorship, not only of nude images but of my thoughts, ideas and beliefs. I often hold back on posting articles on my blogs that my readers might find objectionable or offensive or to avoid confrontation with those who disagree. At the same time I want to be more open, more honest, and more authentic. It’s not easy to break the bonds of the self-censor.

Naked Yoga

1516018660750-yoga-2“There is nothing special about Naked Yoga; it’s just yoga and you just happen to be naked.”

This morning I read I Tried Naked Yoga and Got Acquainted with All My Orifices by Insa Schniedermeier. While I found it to be a good article, I have to take issue with a few of her statements. I’m sure she meant well but she propagates many misconceptions about naked yoga and nudity in general. I thought the title was a bit tacky too.

“The mats on the floor are laid out in a semicircle-for obvious reasons, you don’t want to sit behind someone when you’re doing yoga in the nude.” I understand that some people are a bit put off by seeing an anus or a vulva but I guess I’m put off by the “for obvious reasons” part of that sentence. No body part should be considered offensive in and of itself and if you’re focusing on your practice, you’re probably not paying much, if any, attention to anyone else’s anatomy.

“I’m sitting on my yoga blanket. The woman next to me forgot her hers, so I lend her my towel. ‘Are you sure you’re OK with that?’ she asks, knowing what she’ll soon be doing on it.” That sounded as if she was going to be doing something nasty on the towel or mat. I’m sure the lady bathes and the author will be putting the towel into the laundry afterward. Being naked is not any less sanitary than being clothed. I feel that clothing is probably much less sanitary than nudity.

“It’s only during the Happy Baby Pose – where you lie on your back with your hands gripping your feet while stretching your open legs in the air – that I remember how thoroughly I’m exposing myself to my new friends.” The mats are laid out in a semicircle and everyone is on their back pointing toward the center. No one is seeing anything except the ceiling. Unless it’s a mirrored ceiling, there’s nothing to worry about. In a normal clothed yoga class I’ve seen plenty of camel-toes; it’s not a big deal. As it was an all female class, they all had essentially the same parts down there. Again, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

After you’ve been naked around other naked people a while you realize that “perfect” bodies are the exception rather than the rule and we’re all basically about the same. We are each covered in one continuous piece of skin. No part of our body should be considered indecent, obscene, or shameful. Our insecurities and our apparent dissatisfaction about our bodies come from our egos and yoga is about letting go or our egos.

Penultimate Day – 2017

Once again it’s Penultimate Day, time to reflect upon 2017 and consider what 2018 has in store. It was another year in which my participation in social nudism was minimal and some of my lack of participation may have been intentional. There were opportunities and I chose not to take part.

After more than a year, I’m still on the fence about joining the Dayton Warm Breezes. I attended their February house party and it was okay. They’re all really nice people. Their monthly activities are generally on a Saturday evening and I often had other commitments. I’m surprised that I’m still on the email list. They lost access to the pool they’d been using and they still haven’t found another venue willing to allow nude swimming. I’ve been told that the club is waiving the annual membership fee for 2018 so that may be enough incentive to join. Still, I probably don’t see myself going to a lot of events.

Over the year, I commented on articles by other nudist bloggers about several topics. In the ‘nudist or naturist’ debate, I tended to reluctantly identify myself as a naturist and explained my reasons. I don’t care much for applying labels but I recognize that people feel the need for them. I also put my two cents in about erections and the obfuscation of nudity in the media. I feel that most of the arguments against the former and for the latter are generally based in ignorance and are part of the overall war by humanity against nature, humanity, and ourselves. We seem to be committed in our denial about everything that is natural about ourselves as if our natural self was something to be repressed, suppressed, and, ultimately, conquered. This attitude, I feel, is very unhealthy.

During the year I continued to promote the decriminalization of the human body and equity and common sense in nudism, not just equality. I also advocated the need for all of us to learn to accept the ubiquitousness of the camera in the electronics we depend upon and use almost continually – mobile phones, tablets, laptop computers. The very idea that I can’t take a phone call or snap a discreet selfie just because I’m naked with others seems a bit nonsensical. I don’t feel that a total ban of anything that might contain a camera at a nudist event or venue is practical.

I should be able to document my naturist activities in pretty much the same manner as I would my clothed activities. Obviously in a nudist setting discretion and respect for privacy must be primary considerations. As nudists and naturists we need to foster an atmosphere of trust, integrity and consent among ourselves.

I also pointed out the need for openness and transparency about out naturism. Our secrecy, our compulsion for anonymity, and or our complacency in accepting the status quo do nothing to promote our values or interests nor do they help us educate our textile brethren.

As for 2018, it’s likely that I will practice my naturism privately for the most part. My ideas, attitudes, and philosophies will continue to evolve. And I have no plans to rebrand Penultimate Day as Naked Penultimate Day..