I took this selfie after my shower this morning. I thought the shadows and the composition were interesting. Of course it’s a nude selfie.
I took this selfie after my shower this morning. I thought the shadows and the composition were interesting. Of course it’s a nude selfie.
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.
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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“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.
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..
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.
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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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.
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.
Please share your own story in the comments, or by email (email@example.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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« Nudism is a form of freedom. Nudism is pure freedom and happiness. »
While people love to talk about freedom and declare how « free » they are, freedom actually scares most people and they are resentful of those who who express their freedom.
Come on, it continues to blow my mind, what is it really about being naked and nudism? We all have a body. All women are made the same way, all men too. Of course, some are fatter, thiner, bigger, smaller, darker, lighter, etc. However, we are all coming from the same mold (we share all a lot of the same DNA).
Therefore, the body you are looking in the mirror when you are naked is not very different from another body you could look at when naked. So what the fuss around naked bodies? Well, it’s just the way society wants us to rethink our relationship with our body: money and shame! You need to be ashamed so you can spend money, on clothing, on religion, on stupid useless stuff.
Of course, you need to get protection when it’s cold or dangerous. But in all other case, when the weather…
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I agree with Paul’s assessment – clothing is overrated. It’s useful for keeping warm when the temperature dips a little too low for comfort but if your surroundings are warm enough so that I don’t need to worry about my core body temperature dropping then what’s the point?
Personally, I’m rather ambivalent about clothing but if wearing clothes is deemed “appropriate and necessary” then I’ll opt for something that’s loose and comfortable that’s not restrictive and won’t leave indentations on my skin.
Despite more than a decade of unlearning the clothes-wearing habit, I still have to live in a clothing-compulsive society with it’s arcane and arbitrary rules about what constitutes “modesty and decency.” If the ambient temperature is warm enough and I have garments covering certain parts of my body it’s most likely for the comfort of others, not my own. I can’t seem to convince them that they’re the ones with the compulsive behavior. They don’t even question the wearing of clothing except maybe to discern whether or not the colors clash. I prefer to go with the default and add to it as needed for warmth, protection, and comfort. Covering my natural state is always a conscious and deliberate decision, not to be taken lightly.
I’m sure somebody knows. It’s probable that a lot of people know that I’m a nudist, a naturists, or someone who prefers to be nude. Does it really matter? It’s not exactly a secret.
If anyone doesn’t know, it’s only because they haven’t made an effort to find out or because they haven’t asked. I’m fine with that, not everyone has to know. I don’t need affirmations for my beliefs or my life philosophies. Nor do I seek to convert anyone to my way of thinking or for anyone to understand it.
For anyone wishing to understand it, all I can suggest is to temporarily suspend your beliefs and assumptions about nudity and nakedness and experience it directly for a while. Maybe it will change you or maybe not. All I can relate is my own experience. Once I experienced the comfort, the naturalness, and the freedom of being in my natural condition, I knew I could never replicate the experience while clothed.
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