Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Being 'Nudity' Correct?

I got a comment from a reader of this blog today that took me to issue over the amount of skin showing in my profile picture . . . and specifically for the picture accompanying the Afternoon Hike on Iron Goat Trail a week or so ago. That puzzled me because this person identified himself as a nudist and to me, being nude means you have NO CLOTHES ON. Which means, of course, that my genitals (I hate that word) are not covered up and are fair game to be visible in an acceptable nudist forum. Still, out of decorum, none of my pictures to date in this blog have actually shown my genitals . . . though the implied, complete nudity is obviously evident in the images. I believe the pictures of myself that I do post within this blog are in good taste. Full nudity is available off-site for those who can appreciate it. So, I am confused. What is this individual 'bitching' about?

I actually debated this very issue with myself when I decided to create a blog for my experiences in Northwest Nude hiking in the first place. I am not ashamed of my body. I'm rather proud of it and consider it a compliment for others to enjoy my nudity. I know this harbors dangerously on exhibitionism (see my article on same here), particularly as it begins to equate the practice of nudism with a sexual connotative display of one's 'equipment'. But why not? What is wrong with sharing ALL of your nudity with others? Must I cover myself up when practicing nudity in front of other nudists or individuals interested in the nudist lifestyle? If so, then I might as well keep my clothes on because that defeats the entire experience.

There is a difference between walking about naked because you enjoy the sensation and walking about naked AND INTENTIONALLY SEXUALLY AROUSED. One is nudism and the other is not. None of my pictures (at least that I post) show or imply any sexual arousal, whatsoever. That is not the impression I want to inspire in my readers and perhaps convince the curious to join the non-textile lifestyle. This blog is educational; not entertainment.

I've noticed it in other nudists I associate myself with. Pictures are taken at events but few of them ever show the genitals . . . as if they were embarrassed of their bodies. Of course, I understand the stigma associated with an alternative lifestyle . . . it was one that held me back from group-organized nudism for a very long time. Faces don't want to be seen in photos . . . buns are more often shown and rarely the front. Why? What are you ashamed of? But I don't push the issue. Everyone has their own comfort level and I abide by that. In any case, nudists and naturists do not focus on genitals . . . they focus on the whole person without the artificial statement of clothes.

In this modern digital age there is a very real possibility of images getting posted all over the Internet and possibly compromising the personal and professional lives of people. That is unfortunate and I understand the reticence of most about being photographed. For myself, post away because I make a statement about my nudity the more people see me in that state.

For myself, you can see anything you want . . . even the toenails. And if you are offended by my nudity then you have a ways to go before you can call yourself a nudist. When we meet at an organized nudist event we certainly don't suddenly cover our private parts up. This past summer I spent many a hot sunny afternoon at LARC enjoying the sun au' natural and reading. I did so even during big events organized there and at one, the LARC official photographer asked me if I minded my picture being taken for their newsletter. I agreed without a second thought and continued reading away. I saw the photos weeks later of myself reclining on a patio chair intently reading my book (the latest Frank Herbert Dune prequel). What was striking about the photo was that the photographer made no effort to censor the image. My legs were spread to maximize the sun on me and the image caught all in crisp detail. I liked the photo and I wish I'd gotten a copy for my collection.

Me backpacking along Dogfish Point Beach totally nudeSo, for my detractor, I suggest he lighten up. There is nothing for us to be ashamed of for showing our entire bodies to the camera. Perhaps those thinking of a nudist experience will relax and see how natural nudism and naturism can be. For those that continually hide themselves in photographs, you send the wrong and perhaps a negative message of shame to the potential convert. Do not be ashamed of your body and don't ever let anyone else tell you that you should be ashamed of yourself. Finally, for my detractor, I offer an uncensored image of myself enjoying nudism. Yes, it is still in good taste and if you see something of a sexual nature in my photo then you have problems other than an uptight attitude on nudism.

Respectfully, and certainly never politically correct,


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