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.

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Defying Dogma: Contrary to Popular Opinion Our Private Parts are not Unique

To paraphrase another nudist blogger, “Naked, we resemble one another.” Speaking from my own experience, we do.

We pride ourselves on our uniqueness but we may only be unique in a very small sampling. The larger the sample size, the less unique we become.

I agree that being seen nude does not give the viewer any kind of consent or power over us.

Camp Natural

There, I said it. A bitter-sweet truth. There is nothing terrible special about my body. At least in its “components.” Now, it being mine means it is beyond special. To me. Because it is the only one I will ever have. But in the grand scheme of things, it is a vehicle for exploring this world, just like a few billion others. Nothing demonstrates this better than one of the excellent photos by @SpencerTunick. From a distance, we are one great sea of similarity.

We are told from a very young age about our “private parts.” In the context of teaching children about boundaries and empowering them to have control over their bodies, these are very good lessons to teach. Where the lesson tends to go astray is when it morphs into the implication that our private parts are somehow unique. They are special to be sure, because they are…

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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.

Sky Clad Therapist - The Naked Psyche

Self as author of fear

I used this same image for a different post at Naturist Lens, with a difference. I cropped it so that it would be more “acceptable.” I took the photo early in the morning before I did anything else other than check out the weather out-of-doors.  What was that all about, the self-censorship? Or, perhaps an even more important question, “Why on earth did I take the photo knowing the state of my “member?”

Before I delve deeper into the questions, I want to note that I have quite a number of “friends” who take self-images, some of them selfies while other images are more composed using timers and such. With very few exceptions, everyone has a number of “those” images which straddle or cross the line of what “others” would deem as being “appropriate” nude images, especially in the naturist communities. Even a number of…

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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 bed 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 choose 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..

What’s in a Name? Nudist or Naturist

I despise labels but if I have to attach myself to one, it’s naturist. I choose the naturist label not because I like to commune with nature in the nude (although that is quite pleasurable) but because my ideas and philosophies are rooted in the European naturist movements of the early 20th century. although I certainly haven’t embraced all of them. My ideas about naturism as a lifestyle have evolved over the past decade, going well beyond mere nudism. Naturism, to me, is about respecting the human body and those that inhabit them.

Naturist Fab

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How do you define yourself? A Nudist or Naturist? Although both have similarities they do have different meanings depending on which side of the ocean you are on. In the UK the most common term for someone who prefers to be clothes-free is a naturist, while here in Canada and the United States we prefer to use the term nudist (personally I like naturist).  So, how do they differ?

A naturist is someone who tends to be clothes-free almost 24/7 and  prefers to commune with nature in the open outdoors either at a lake, stream or beach.  Even hiking in the wilderness without feeling trapped by an enclosed setting is appealing.

A nudist prefers social nudity within an enclosed private space with no fear of prying eyes or the law. Private resorts or with activities provided by nudist organizations is also something that is enjoyed.

Invariably, it goes without saying…

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Why get naked?

WHY GET NAKED? ONE YOUNG MAN’S ON NUDITY AND COMFORT

I simply find myself caring about the issue less and less. It’s not a passion for being naked that draws me to nudism, but ambivalence about being clothed. For some people nudity may be about a thrill, or a movement, or even some sort of cause, but for me, getting naked is just about being comfortable.

This YNA guest blog goes back to 2012 but it still rings true. I enjoyed reading Daniel Jacobs’ perspective on nudism and nudity. The last paragraph particularly resonated with me. From the beginning of my involvement in nudism, the comfort of being nude has drawn me to it. I like to feel comfortable in whatever I’m wearing, even if it’s nothing at all. If what I’m wearing, or not wearing, makes others uncomfortable, then perhaps they need to ask themselves why it makes them uncomfortable. If they feel offended or uncomfortable because of my nudity, it’s a choice they’ve made, either consciously or unconsciously.  I’m not the root cause of their discomfort; it goes much deeper than that.

When I Knew I Was A Naturist

I don’t recall ever having a moment when I realized that I was a naturist. My naturism seemed to gradually evolve over the years.

It was during my overseas tours that I found that I enjoyed relaxing in the nude. It was then that I first engaged in social nudity in the saunas and spas I would often frequent in my travels. I didn’t see these activities as nudism or naturism. Being nude in those situations, either alone or with others, felt natural and clothing didn’t seem appropriate.

Much later I began to investigate nudism and naturism to include the history and philosophy. Many of the ideas of the naturist movement in Europe in the early twentieth century appealed to me, resonating with many of my own ideas that I’d developed over the years. Many of these ideas still form the basis of my naturist philosophy.

I still have vivid memories of my first visit to a naturist camp. From the moment I shed my clothes, being nude among others in nature felt completely natural. I felt no embarrassment nor any self-consciousness. I felt so alive. Subsequent visits to other nudist venues and activities substantiated those feelings.

In the years that followed, I found myself participating less in social nudism and the nudist and naturist venues to which I could visit drew my interest less. My naturalism evolved and I’ve incorporated my naturist ideas my everyday life. For me, naturism is more of an attitude and a perspective toward life. While nudity is at the core of my philosophy, actually being nude isn’t a necessity although I try to engage in nudity whenever it’s feasible to do so. The naturists of a hundred years ago felt the same in that respect.

Camp Natural

Please share your own story in the comments, or by email (campnaturalmn@gmail.com) and we will compile them and share them over time.

When I knew I was a naturist, it was long after I got comfortable being nude. I grew up exploring the wilderness areas of the Midwest, Canada, and the Rocky Mountains. On warm days you stripped and jumped in the water. There was no thought involved, it was a natural as the unspoiled lands we travelled through. But even with that backdrop, it was not until years later, and thousands of miles away, that the lightbulb went off about what naturism was, and what social nudity and body acceptance could do for a person’s mental health and physical wellbeing.

Travelling through Europe I found myself in a small town and was befriended by two locals who showed me the area for a couple of days. It was a…

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