Thursday, May 7, 2020

Ten Years of Truth & Beauty

I've been reminiscing over the last month in anticipation of this blog's ten year anniversary. Can you believe it? I've been posting my thoughts (and a lot of my photography) on this blog for ten years, and it's still a regular fixture in my life. Then again, looking back at the first year of posts on this blog, I'm surprised at how early I was debating some of the very same issues that continue to plague me today (although it seems as though I really began to hit my stride around 2016) - such as the tenuous line between erotic photography and nudism, the inadequacy of cis-normative conceptions of sexual orientation, and the misrepresentation of voyeurism and exhibitionism. But does that mean I should hang up my hat, and call it a day? Surely, by now, I've said everything I have to say on these topics. Right?

Except that this blog serves as a therapeutic outlet for my tireless mental processes. And I enjoy writing for it. In ten years, I have posted a whopping 1,332 entries. Yet, that is a huge and intimidating barrier of entry for new readers. I wanted to compile a "top ten" or "best of" list to accompany this post, but even with a month's preparation, that would have required an inordinate amount of reading (and digestion) on my part. Still, I browsed through the archives, and tracked down some of my more memorable posts (numbering in the dozens), that I think are among the most insightful, or entertaining to read. I've split them into general categories for your convenience (with the understanding that a lot of these issues frequently overlap).

Art, Modeling, and Photography

The Principles of Exposure
Body Appeal (And Other Issues)

Nudism

My Life In Nudism
Spending a Day at a Nudist Resort

Voyeurism & Exhibitionism

The Illicit(?) Thrill of Nudity
Cost Benefits of Naked Exhibition
Sex-Positivity

The Gender Scale
Adventures of a Transgender MtF in Hicksville, USA

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Desensitization to Nudity

"...there is truly no reason for clothing in the comfort of our own homes, or outdoors on a beautiful sunny day."

I just came across a really great article that, if not for the images of nudity accompanying it (although I, personally, enjoy the images), I would be tempted to present to a general audience, to explain to those curious what makes nudism so appealing. I just have one comment about the discussion in the two paragraphs preceding the section subtitled "The Illusion of Shame".

Textiles often assume that regular exposure to nudity will either overtax or short-circuit their erotic response to the human body. In other words, they fear that they will either constantly be thinking of sex, or else that they will lose their ability to appreciate the sex appeal of nudity. The author of this article adequately addresses the former case, explaining that people frequently exposed to nudity tend to become desensitized to it. But in so doing, fails to recognize that he is contributing to the concerns of those at the other extreme.

Moreover, the author compounds the tenuousness of his position by making claims that would seem to support the "escalation model" of erotic conditioning - this specious idea that a person exposed to erotic triggers will need increasingly more extreme stimuli in order to get off, like an addict developing tolerance. Do people have a tendency to expand their erotic horizons, and seek novelty in sexual stimuli? Of course! But if this model were accurate, then it would only be a matter of time before all of us, with the proper exposure, would grow tired of the most extreme porn and completely burn out our libidos, becoming no longer capable of arousal - and this just isn't how human sexuality works. How else can you explain the fact that I've seen hardcore pornography, yet I still get excited every time I see a pretty girl, even when she's dressed? (Although, yes, any amount of exposed skin will enhance the experience).

"Simple nudity just doesn’t stay sexy for long"

It's true that people regularly exposed to nudity have a tendency to become desensitized to it. And that's a good thing - not being driven into a frenzy every time a bare breast enters your field of vision. But there is a middle ground between thinking about sex every time you see a naked person, and becoming incapable of finding a naked person sexy. The latter doesn't happen just because you've seen a lot of nudity. That wouldn't make sense, from an evolutionary perspective.

Take me, for example. I've been a nudist and a nude photographer for many years now. I surround myself with nudity, whether in person or online - and of both models and regular people - on a daily basis. Yes, it loses its novelty. And as I've said, that's a good thing. It's called maturity. But I still think nudity can be exciting. There's a reason I haven't given up on being a nude artist by now. Seeing a lot of naked bodies doesn't blind me or numb me to their beauty, or their potential for eroticism.

Monday, April 27, 2020

A Summer Without Pools

A summer without pools is like Christmas without presents. And I'd happily give up Christmas to live an endless summer.

At the moment, the prospect of being able to go to the pool this summer is looking pretty grim. (For once, you might get through the summer without having to listen to me rant about the stigma of men's swim briefs in this country :-p). And I was thinking about how sad it will be not to be able to lounge in the heat and sunshine, and splash about - of course, even without a pool, I can do these things at home, in my back yard, with the garden hose. But what I can't get at home is all the eye candy; and I'm not gonna lie to you about how much I enjoy the sight of attractive young women in barely there bikinis, skin glistening wet - all in close proximity.

I have mixed feelings about stating this so openly, because on the one hand, it seems stupidly obvious, and something that I'm sure a lot of people appreciate about pool culture, without it needing to be said - or, rather, refraining from saying it because, on the other hand, you're liable to be labeled a "pervert". And yeah, I am a pervert, but that doesn't mean I want people associating me with all the bad things that tend to go along with that. I'm not a creep or a predator just because I'm not ashamed to enjoy the erotic pleasures in life.

Because, although the pool is a place where people (and some, perhaps even many of them, will undoubtedly be attractive) congregate while dressed in scandalously skimpy clothing (despite the fact that, aside from the buttoned-up prudes that most people rightfully ignore, nobody ever seems to acknowledge that there's anything indecent or inappropriate, or indeed even threatening to a "family friendly" atmosphere, about all this nubile flesh on display, in public - I just don't understand how this can all be taken for granted in the narrow context of a beach or swimming pool, but just about anywhere else, similar exposure is grounds for serious concern or alarm), I feel that there is something untoward about admitting that you enjoy those sights on display.

Like, you can go there and get an eyeful, and as long as you behave, there's no problem. But if you were to, say, come right out and express the desire to be surrounded by scantily clad women (or even suggest to the women you might otherwise be surrounded by that you would enjoy seeing them in less clothing), you would be drawn and quartered. Or, in the best case scenario, your request would be laughed off, and the women still wouldn't consider disrobing.

And I just want to say, what's so wrong with that desire, anyway? Is there some reason - some obligation we have - that it ought not to be fulfilled? Does enjoying that somehow make you a bad person? Or is it because we've been exposed to too many bad role models, and the public consciousness associates those sorts of desires with bad men - predatory, chauvinistic, single-minded males who habitually harass and objectify women?

I have nothing but respect for the fairer sex. I treat them as human beings. I also really enjoy the sight of their bodies. Not to the exclusion of their minds, or personalities. But if I enjoy their bodies, too, is that wrong? Is that not an earthly pleasure we should be allowed to indulge in? Openly and honestly, and not pursued by surreptitious means (the difference between keeping mum and satisfying yourself with whatever you can get, versus asking straight out for what it is you want in life). Because I seem to encounter an awful lot of barriers to doing just that, and it's frustrating.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

He is Risen!

Just enjoying some early spring sunshine...


I'll level with you. I like Easter. It's a nice holiday. But all the religious mumbo jumbo grates on me. Give me a nice, pagan, spring fertility festival - you can even keep all the rabbit and egg symbolism - and I'm happy. Christians are such spiritual vultures. And so narcissistic!

Anyway, you can see my proper tribute to Easter 2020 on Patreon.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Incidentally Erect

Nudists take nudity - something that, in a textile society, is often associated with sex - and interject it into an otherwise totally non-sexual lifestyle. Now, stepping back from the textile perspective, it's not altogether illogical to consider the unclothed human body separate from the act of sex. One would have a harder time, however, making a similar argument for erections, which are a physiological process designed to prepare the male organ for sexual penetration (of the female). Nevertheless, there is some little room for that argument, as erections may be stimulated psychologically or even with incidental contact, without the presence of, or even necessarily the intent to engage in, any explicit sexual conduct.


I would not spend too much time arguing that the selective exhibition of such cases of erection-absent-sex (with "sex", I suppose - by a broad definition - potentially including such things as manual stimulation - e.g., with the hands or other body parts - or actions such as thrusting of the hips) would not carry with it some level of erotic intent on the part of the producer/distributor, or that it would not primarily be viewed in such a fashion by its consumers. However, it would seem to strike an ironic parallel with nudists' attempts to "desexualize" nudity: by featuring erections in everyday situations, without making any overtures toward the organ's sexual function.


Is there such a thing as a "non-sexual erection"? And even if we must conclude that there is not, could there not still be individuals with an interest in erections depicted in non-sexual contexts? Some might say, "what's the point? You're showing an erection. Most people would consider that sexual. You've already crossed that line, so you might as well go all in." But I think that the novelty of an erection appearing outside of a sexual context could very well have a unique appeal to a subset of the population. After all, in the realm of pornography, "softcore" may be considered by many to be a synonym for "watered-down", yet it remains a popular subgenre for a great many people who can appreciate the subtle art of suggestion over a more direct, in-your-face approach. I, personally, while tending to lean more toward softcore, maintain that both approaches are interesting, and worthwhile to explore.


If anything, though, I think this demonstrates that erections themselves (independent of what's being done with them) should not necessarily be considered "sexually explicit". How is a non-sexual scene with an erection any more shocking or alarming than it would be if the penis it featured were flaccid? What is it about the shape and size and turgidity of a penis that agitates people? Is the stiffness of a penis uniquely offensive in a way that a view of the organ itself, in its restful state, is not? Or is it because it is liable to invite questions, or direct one's thoughts toward the "immoral" subject of sex? (Although, in a textile society, one could say the same thing about nudity in general; the fact that nudists have divested themselves of this assumption is only evidence that the same could perhaps be accomplished in a more erection-tolerant society).


I feel (and I could be wrong - this is just my personal impression) that a great proportion of the perceived offensiveness of pornography is in its vulgarity - the closeup on body organs, the liberal depiction of bodily fluids, and the great diversity in the distinction individuals make between what is appealing, sexually, and what is disgusting (as well as the variability in a single individual's opinion depending on whether or not he is currently aroused - a character flaw the Marquis de Sade once cautioned against). None of this would seem to me to hinge primarily on whether or not a penis is hard or soft. I maintain that if you have the maturity to see a penis in its flaccid state, then there is no reason you should not be able to handle the sight of it erect.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

On The Misrepresentation of Exhibitionism

We're in the early part of spring when the weather is becoming mild, yet the trees are still mostly bare, only a few of them beginning to bud. I found myself desiring fresh air in my lungs and warm sunshine on my skin. So I went outside to toss my volleyball around - for the first time this year! - in spite of the fact that it's still unclear the extent to which everybody's regular summer plans will be affected by the pandemic we are in the midst of. Will there even be volleyball tournaments this summer? And even if they are still held, will I consider it wise to attend them? It's too soon to tell.

So I was tossing my volleyball around, and I was feeling distinctly self-conscious about the many windows with partial views onto my back yard, thinking that I was looking forward to when the trees fill in and the yard becomes considerably more private. And it struck me that there are a lot of people (especially nudists I've grappled with online) that would simply not accept that an exhibitionist could feel this way. And I realized that this was an excellent example of what I've tried to explain many times before about exhibitionism.

Firstly, I am a nudist. Genuinely. I like to be naked in non-sexual situations for comfort, convenience, and about twenty other reasons I've written about in a book I've published. But I am also an exhibitionist. I have recorded videos of myself not just naked but masturbating (and in some cases having sex with another person - with her full consent, of course) for anonymous strangers to view and appreciate. I get off on random people making sexual comments about my naked body (online - where it is easier to maintain the boundary between vision and contact). I dare anyone to define me as anything other than an exhibitionist. Yet I still can be self-conscious exposing myself to unsuspecting people. Because I care about consent. And shocking and offending people, or getting caught and dealing with repercussions, does not interest me or turn me on.

Yet there are those who would tell you that I don't exist. That I must be lying about the way I feel. Or that I am so rare an anomaly that my perspective doesn't count. They make assumptions, and jump to conclusions about exhibitionism, based on sensationalist news reports and cultural stereotypes, without direct, firsthand experience with exhibitionism, and often in flagrant contradiction to what exhibitionists will freely tell you about themselves. They talk about "trench coat flashers" on the subway with a straight face, not realizing that this caricature is no less cartoonish than a criminal twirling a handlebar mustache. And they refuse to listen when you say so.

I am an exhibitionist. I am not some sex pervert that lives on the fringes of society, some antisocial vagabond who doesn't know how to interact civilly with other people, a disgusting criminal eroding the fabric of society, for whom it's only a matter of time before I cross some line and have to be put away for the good of mankind. I'm a person - a human being, just like you. Not all exhibitionists are the same, but I'm intelligent. I'm well-bred. I'm decent, and I know how to treat people with respect. I'm a part of society. I contribute to society. Society is better off for having me in it. And my exhibitionist feelings are not a disease or a sickness, or a criminal compulsion, but a wondrous example of human diversity. And I am not the only one like me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tweets For Posterity (Volume 2)

I will refer you to the first volume for an explanation of this series, rather than waste space here repeating myself. On to the tweets!

---

It's the value judgment that gets to me. If you choose to express yourself sexually, it's not just a matter of, "I don't like this, I'm gonna turn my head." It's "you're being a poor role model." But we need to model a confident and healthy sexuality, too.

Grappling with the contradiction between the belief that "all bodies are beautiful" and my own human compulsion to view some bodies as being exceptional. Is it not possible to honor the relative splendor of beauty without causing individual or societal harm?

It's hard to draw attention to issues like gender equality and body acceptance when your town is dealing with arguably more serious problems like drug addiction. And then you look kind of insensitive, because it's like, "THESE are the things you're concerned about?" But honestly, it frustrates me that we're still wasting time with things like sexism and racism that should be behind us. And drugs are a thorny problem, but moralism isn't helping. These aren't realities for me, because I'm above drug abuse, racism, and sexism. What IS a reality is being discriminated against for expressing myself in a gender-nonconforming way, and my belief that nudity is normal & natural. I'm not insensitive to bigger problems in the world, I just think y'all are idiots because you're STILL grappling with them!

The true test of character is how a person behaves towards his enemies. Yes, there is scum in this world. No, it is not dignified to hurl epithets and invent new modes of torture that would shame the Devil. Some people can't be helped. But what do we become if we don't try?

I'm not gonna lie. One of the advantages of nudism is - occasionally - getting to see someone you're attracted to completely naked. The cost of that reward is acting civilized and respectful. You must pay the cost. But if you can afford it, then you're free to reap the reward.

I know a thing or two about deviant sexual fantasy. And it doesn't necessarily correlate with criminal behavior. A criminal might be likely to have deviant fantasies, but it's not fair to assume a person with an active imagination would be willing to commit a crime. #thoughtcrime

There are two kinds of people in this world: those for whom nudity represents their most vulnerable state, and those who feel most confident when stripped naked. But listen, it's never too late to start working towards being comfortable in your skin.

Exploitation is sharing your girlfriend's nudes without her permission. Masturbating on camera to satisfy the desires of a paying audience is entrepreneurial spirit.

I guess some people feel victimized by the sexual thoughts of themselves or others. I've never experienced that. My life has been a journey of overcoming shame and embarrassment and accepting my sexual feelings as positive and natural. So it seems weird to me to interact with a community that seems to think that there is too much sexuality in the world, and that we need to pull back. I respect those who feel that way. But I don't want that attitude to be synonymous with nudism.

It's okay to say that certain behaviors don't accurately reflect nudism, and to remind people what nudism is about. It's when you start "doubting people's motives", or saying they're not "true" nudists because they also have a sex drive, that I become concerned. It either betrays a sex-negative attitude, which is worth calling out, or else it represents the point where one's dedication to public image crosses the line where it becomes justifiable to shame people's sexual feelings. Which is also worth calling out.

Maybe this says more about me, but I find it surprising that there are people who haven't had, shall we say, "creative" sexual fantasies, and realized that this doesn't automatically make them immoral degenerates who should be locked away to protect the rest of society. By the way, this is part of the destructive, antisocial, inhumane thinking that develops from sex-negativity, and that I want to change.

I consider social media a platform for self-expression: a stage, but where everyone gets their own booth, like at a convention. You can avoid the booths you don't like, and call security on anyone that harasses you, but I'm not going to control who gets to listen at my booth.

I don't feel good saying that I don't think everybody is beautiful, but that's my perception. Beauty is as relative as it is subjective. Does that make me insensitive? We don't get to say "everybody is smart/athletic/funny" just because those are desirable traits, too. Saying "everyone is beautiful" actually reinforces the importance of beauty, leaving out those who're unconvinced. I think a more honest approach is to emphasize the limitations of beauty. Beauty isn't everything. It's only something. And there're a lot of somethings to focus on.

I'm not even a very competitive person, but "more" and "less" are realities, not fictions. You don't get a trophy just for showing up. You do the work, balancing your skills against your interests, and your accomplishments are weighed against others'. That's life.

Honestly, some people seem surprised that a species whose continued existence beyond the life of any one individual depends on an enthusiastic interest in sex spends a lot of time thinking about sex. In this culture, it amazes me that we can still manage to be over-populated. For ages, civilization has counter-intuitively been defined by the repression of our sexual natures. As a sex-positive, I want to see a model for civilization that incorporates sex into our lives in a healthy, natural, pro-social and non-disruptive way. Can we do better in how we express our sexual feelings to each other? Of course. That should be part of the education curriculum. But insulting people essentially for thinking about sex isn't productive. "Keep it in the bedroom and pretend it doesn't happen" is dishonest.

A tip on art and beauty. So you see a still life and want to imitate it. You have a bowl of fruit at home! And a camera. But that doesn't mean you can produce a work of art. You must arrange the fruit, and know how to shoot it properly. This requires talent and experience. The same is true of nude and erotic photography. Just because you have a camera and a body doesn't mean you can create beautiful art. Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. But it may take several years before you really get a knack for it. Of course, with nudity and eroticism, there are always hungry fans who will devour any picture, no matter how ill-composed. But don't let this discourage you from improving your craft. There are those, like me, who have developed more sophisticated tastes.

My social platform for nudism is "responsible nudity in reasonable contexts," but it occurs to me that I live in a culture where people will complain about encountering nudity even in locker rooms, where people are expected to shower and change clothes... How do you reconcile freedom of choice in a hypersensitive culture where tolerance comes in the form of an authoritarian impulse to censor anything that might offend somebody? In a free society, what one encounters in the public square ought to be challenging, not comforting.

Nude, naked, au naturel, in the altogether, in my birthday suit, bare, undressed, unclothed, disrobed, stripped, buck naked, in the buff, nekkid, starkers, nakey, wearing nothing but a smile, skyclad, air-bathing, skinny dipping, exposed, without a stitch, naked as a jaybird...

Here's a wild and unverified hypothesis. What if sex crime and maladjusted, antisocial sexual behaviors aren't the result of perversion and obsession, but actually a symptom of making people feel scared and ashamed of their prime, biological directive from an early age? What if we're approaching this from the wrong direction? What if we're asking all the wrong questions? I can only hope that someday, in the course of human history, we'll look back and recognize how utterly cruel and inhumane we were being.

You can write me off as a naive idealist if you want, but I don't think sexual desire creates monsters. Loneliness and resentment, fear and shame - these things create monsters. And sometimes those with violent and antisocial tendencies express them in sexual ways. But this paranoia about sex? That it has some kind of magical ability to corrupt and destroy people's lives? That's not sex. That's just people. And some people are bad. But sex? Sex isn't bad. It's something to enjoy, not fear. That's what it means to be sex-positive. And sure, most people would say, "I enjoy sex - when I'm having it." But start thinking about other people's sexual feelings, and they become terrified. We're all just looking for pleasure. That doesn't excuse crime, it just means we shouldn't freak out about it so much. Also worth noting is how individual sexual tastes are. We all like different things. Someone else's turn-ons may seem disgusting to you, but yours aren't special either. Don't assume someone else's desires are odious; imagine them feeling the same way you do about yours.

In the 2000 movie The Cell - about tracking a serial killer from inside his mind - after learning that the killer has endured a lifetime of abuse, the lead detective on the case, after stating that the killer's history doesn't justify his crimes, stops just short of admitting his reasoning - that he too has endured abuse, but that this hasn't made him a killer. Character is defined by what you do, not what happens to you. Or, as Dumbledore said, it is our choices, not our abilities, that show what we truly are. Why do people assume that sympathizing with the hardships that contribute to antisocial tendencies is incompatible with the doctrine of personal responsibility? Because it absolves them of any responsibility for the way they treat others? In a way, justifying abuse. Acknowledging the seed of humanity that lies dormant underneath layers of monstrosity doesn't negate the monstrosity. It just means we can start looking at what contributed to the monstrosity's development, so that maybe we can figure out ways to prevent it. This doesn't absolve personal responsibility. It's a way we can maybe reduce the amount of tragedies that occur, instead of washing our hands of it, believing in pure evil, and using that as a justification for our own feelings of anger and vengeance. This was largely the theme of the first season of Mindhunter, which documents the birth of criminal profiling, which - although not without flaw - seeks to understand criminal psychology, to better find and stop (and maybe prevent) monsters before they do more damage. Some people, though, would rather bury their heads in the sand, and persist in believing in a black-and-white, good-versus-evil philosophy, for their own comfort, no matter what cost this belief has on us as individuals and a society. Let's not humor these people.

Correcting people who make some kind of misplaced association between nudism and sex - ok. Repeatedly bringing up, apparently without instigation, the fact that nudism is not related to sex? You're just demonstrating that nudists are people who can't stop thinking about sex. And if people ever do stop mistakenly associating nudism with sex, would you notice? Or would the only associations that still exist between nudism and sex be from nudists suspiciously bringing the topic up over and over again?

Sometimes it seems to me that the most prudish people in society are the tight-collared religious zealots and the nudists. And that's not a good look for nudism.

Any feminism that allies itself with religious conservatism is not true feminism in my mind. On that note, why is trans-exclusionary feminism called "radical"? I associate that word with positive change - ideas so far from the mainstream that they might just be able to improve the sorry state of society. Trans-exclusionism isn't radical, it's just conservatism.

I hate to be a buzzkill, because I know that it's important to maintain hope. But it's also important to stay grounded in reality, and I just don't see this happening any time soon. Being out of touch is one of those stereotypes nudists need to shake off. Yes, we must continue to fight for our civil rights. But we should have realistic expectations. We're a long way from public nudity being "normal". Let's focus on things like awareness (tell people you're a nudist!) and standing up to discriminating judges and employers. And yeah, I advocate for lots of sweeping changes to society, some many would describe as "radical". I'm not saying stop doing that. But I don't harbor any delusions that it's only a matter of months or a few years before, say, the crime of "obscenity" is stricken from the books.

Bill of Rights: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. Obscenity: It shall be a felony to express speech of a sufficiently low moral character and social value, determined by arbitrary "community standards", even if shared only between consenting adults.

Sick to death of people talking about things they don't understand and have no personal experience with. Especially when they end up talking to someone who does have that experience, only to find that their reality is being dictated to in the form of ignorant stereotypes.

I submit that most (if not all) pornographers that exploit nudism are probably NOT nudists, and that this does not prove an incompatibility between porn and nudism, because those pornographers who ARE nudists are not the ones engaging in this exploitative behavior.

When a sexual desire/behavior is stigmatized in society, those who experience it will be incentivized to hide it. Anyone who is moderately bright and well-adjusted will do just that, and the only ones we see with it will be the dumb, impulsive, antisocial, or even criminal. This feeds into a stereotype, whereby people will fallaciously infer an association between the stigmatized desire and these qualities of social impairment; one usually being cast as a symptom of the other. This is a selection bias resulting from a failure of visibility.

Censorship isn't removing disruptive individuals from a venue, or punishing speech that constitutes abuse or harassment. Censorship is the belief that there are some ideas that are simply too dangerous to express, no matter how politely or impersonally they may be expressed. The true test for censorship is whether you are silencing a person for their behavior, or for their ideas. (Also, private citizens and companies are capable of censorship; just because it isn't against the law doesn't mean it's not an infringement of freedom and speech).

I understand that nudists face discrimination as a result of misunderstandings about the lifestyle, and I respect nudism's need to emphasize non-sexuality when describing/advertising the lifestyle. That is not the time to remind people that nudists still have sex. What irritates me is when nudists suggest to general audiences, or amongst themselves, that certain tenets of the lifestyle are incompatible with living as an erotic being. That you can't, e.g., watch porn, make erotic art, find nudity sexy, while still being a nudist. There's an antagonism between nudism and sexuality, because they are not only distinct, but often get confused, and sexuality brings with it enormous stigma. This is unfortunate, and many nudists resent sex for that. But we are still fundamentally sexual beings. I am not asking nudism to embrace sexuality - I never have, and never will. I am just asking it to permit the existence of nudists who do not crusade against sex. To campaign for the non-sexuality of nudism without tacking on a "sex-negative" clause. Educate, don't denigrate.

When we teach girls to cover up, instead of teaching boys to be respectful, we harm ourselves twice over.

We are a sexual species. We procreate through sexual reproduction. Because this activity is so important to our continued survival beyond any one individual, it's not a mystery why we've developed such a heightened interest in sex and all forms of sexual stimulation. Moreover, given how complex the human brain is, we have the psychological ability to associate just about anything with sex. One of the least surprising of these triggers is the shape of the human body, which may be more or less apparent whether clothed or unclothed. In a textile society with a nudity taboo, where people undress in front of others primarily to engage in sex, it is also unsurprising that many people will develop an association between nudity and sex. This isn't a malfunction, it's just a limited perspective. I applaud nudists' efforts to give nudity meaning beyond its sexual implications, because - although I, like most humans, enjoy sexual stimulation - I have also learned that nudity is both practical and enjoyable for other reasons, and to miss out on these is a shame. But it would also be a shame to "desexualize" nudity to the point that either nobody ever appreciates its sexual potential, or else those that do are considered diseased or impaired. We don't need to change the purpose of nudity, we just need to expand its possibilities.

I enjoy watching attractive people perform mundane activities in the nude - without sex involved. I don't think that's strange at all, even if people are willing to pay for that privilege. Should this be counted as an erotic desire, or is it merely an aesthetic appreciation? It seems to me that nudists are perfectly poised to indulge demand in this form of entertainment. Some of us who don't mind being seen also don't mind being admired, and it promotes the vision that nudity is beautiful. But does it violate some of the precepts of nudism? Does acknowledging that people are attracted differently to different bodies undermine the goal of body acceptance? If somebody has sexual feelings towards non-sexual nudity, does that "taint" the nudity in some way? Does charging for some nudity make all nudity less freeing? And if so - if we are to draw a firm line between perversity and monasticism - what happens to everything in between? What about the people who are neither comfortable in whorehouses nor in monasteries? Where do they belong? Should they be forsaken for insufficient piety?

Absence of illegality is not evidence of legality (contrary to what the Constitution would suggest). A freedom not practiced (or practiced surreptitiously), and rescinded the moment it starts being practiced (or that practice is discovered) is no freedom at all.

What if clarity isn't a matter of gaining focus, but rather becoming, through familiarity, selectively blind to the fuzzy spots?