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.
When I first got into nudism and began participating in social nudism, I noticed there a definite emphasis on recreation and body acceptance which isn’t, in itself, a bad thing. When I delved into the history I noted that in the early part of the 20th Century, there was, at least in the naturist movements, an emphasis on health and fitness which profoundly influenced the philosophical basis of my evolution as a naturist.
I can’t say that I’ve followed through completely on that philosophy but it’s still something for me to shoot for. When I exercise, do yoga, or hike, I prefer to do them in the nude. I think I might have more interest in social nudism and visiting landed clubs if there was more emphasis on health and fitness while providing more activities promoting it.
I had a pretty good Independence Day despite spending much of it clothed. You know how it is, state and local ordinances, social conventions, self-appointed protectors of our morality, and other conspiracies to suppress nude freedom.
Much of the morning was spent preparing for a family cookout – mowing the lawn, setting up a canopy to provide some shade, and other sundry tasks. With the temperature in the mid-80s and about 65% humidity, I worked up a sweat and it was, of course, absorbed by my clothing. I had planned to get a shower and change before the family arrived but I never got the chance.
We had a wonderful cookout with plenty of the usual cookout fare. Around four, leftovers were packaged up and the kids (they’re in their late 30s but they’re still my kids) headed home. I cleaned up and put everything away. Then around five, my wife went to visit friends and my other son (who lives with me) went out with his friends, leaving me with the house to myself.
Having the house to myself for several hours, I decided to celebrate Independence Day my way by declaring my independence from clothing. After being stuck in sweaty clothing all day, my first thought was to undress and take a shower. Well, I undressed but didn’t get to the shower right away. After being nude for just a few minutes, I already felt more comfortable than I had since I got dressed this morning. I didn’t even feel sweaty any more.
Finally, I did take a cool, relaxing shower and felt even better and I was in no hurry to alter my natural state with clothing. I spent my nude relaxing and watching television. Being a good nudist, I did place a towel on the seat of the recliner. It felt great to enjoy a little over six continuous hours of naked time. I thoroughly enjoyed it.