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 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 or maybe 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.
To be honest, I really haven’t been thinking about naturism much at all lately. I still enjoying being nude but my nudity is usually private and at home. I haven’t partaken of any social nudism since the DWB house party in February. Before that, it was the Skinny-Dip Challenge at Cedar Trails and a free-hike at Chautauqua Gorge in 2010.
It’s been nearly a year since I heard about DWB and I’m still ambivalent about joining. I’ve been to one event. Many of their monthly events have conflicted with other plans and, frankly, those plans were more important to me that hanging out with a group of naked people. This month’s event is a little further than I want to drive but next month’s gathering will be close by so there’s a possibility of attending. It’s on my calendar.
Nudity is natural and our default state although, in our society, it may not be normal. My naturist philosophy is that nudity should be spontaneous and casual without any need for justification or a reason. It’s my natural state, not an event. Naked is what I am, not what I become.
For many, nudity is an event – a visit to an nudist venue or activity, National Nude Day, Nude Recreation Week, World Naked Gardening Day, the World Naked Bike Ride. Even mundane reasons for getting naked like taking a shower or having sex, are events. Ideally, getting dressed for any reason should be considered an event. Wearing clothing should be a deliberate and conscious choice with full awareness that it’s an aberration from the default.
Many of my ideas about naturism may not align with current paradigms in the nudist and naturist world. My views on naturism also conflict with the cultural paradigms of nudity within the society at large. I dream of a world in which casual nudity is normal and appropriate. I know it’s not going to become a reality, at least not in my lifetime. A massive, world-wide cultural shift would be required in which everyone has to unlearn thousands of years of religious, political, cultural, and social shame and indoctrination. That’s a seemingly impossible (and improbable) task but all change begins with one individual. I’m learning to unlearn.
This morning I read My Naked Journey on the Tantrachick blog. While talking about a nude photo session she’d done, Joy (the author) described herself as a “situational nudist.” She defined it as when it feels comfortable and safe to be naked in a setting that makes sense.. I like it.
I’m familiar with the discussion. The discussion, debate, or argument over what defines a true or real nudist or naturist and what kinds of photos are appropriate for a true naturist to post and what types of images a true naturist should never post. Sometimes the discussion goes into the minimum number of images a true naturist should post of him- or herself. There are many in these online communities who feel that any one who does not have at least a nude profile picture is obviously only there to look at everyone else’s’ naked pictures. This “discussion” can be found on nearly every naturist social media site or wherever naturists gather online. It’s probably been going on since the Usenet days.
In all that time, the discussion really hasn’t changed nor has it progressed. I’ve seen so many lists specifying that a true naturist must do this and that but can never do these other things. When I run across these discussions, I generally make a hasty retreat. I’ve found that there is no usually point in expressing a different viewpoint as their minds are made up and to try to use reason and logic with them is futile.
When it comes down to it, we are all self-defined naturists. We are all naturists for personal reasons and how we define ourselves as naturists is as individual, and often as complex, as we are. We each have our own reasons for practicing naturism and have own expectations of how we benefit from it. Sometimes our reasons are hard to articulate, especially to those who don’t have that core experience which serves as a reference.
It’s natural for us to want to fit everyone into neat categories. It’s convenient when pegs fit neatly into their assigned holes. But some of us, probably most of us, have a few rough edges that prevent us from fitting into the hole perfectly. I think it’s those rough edges that make us more interesting to others.
What’s the point of the “true naturist” discussions? I honestly don’t know. I find them largely irrelevant. I don’t care if I meet anyone’s definition of a true naturist. I have the core experience of naturism and although my definition of myself as a naturist is continually evolving, I think I’ve found a good core set of naturist values to guide me, not only in my pursuit of naturism but in my life.
Be the best naturist you can be, naked or clothed. That’s being a true naturist.
Self-Definition as Naturists in a Textile World
“If we are promoting nudism as a natural and viable lifestyle, then erections should be included in the equation. Not that I plan on getting a chubby at the next hot springs I go to, but if we can get past the automatic association with sex, we can get past the inherent embarrassment when one occurs.”
it happens by Timothy Lowe @ The Naktiv Network
I can’t think of anything to add. I know that I sometimes get partial erections at times and in situations that are not at all sexual in their context and sex is the furthest thing from my mind. It just happens.