Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Nude At Home

This photoshoot was inspired in part by a post on a blog I've just discovered - which is worth taking the time to peruse - by one who intriguingly refers to himself as a "Naturist Philosopher". My primary inspiration came from a recent post discussing the extent to which naturism (or nudism - in my opinion, the terms are interchangeable) continues to be controversial from a mainstream perspective. The post features an image of a nude young woman (who appears to be a genuine nudist, judging from her even tan) in a kitchen, labelled with the words, "of course I go nude at home - doesn't everyone?"

Obviously, not everyone does go nude at home, or else we wouldn't be having this conversation. On the other hand, it's not unheard of for a person to (often unexpectedly) chime in, when prompted, and say, "oh, sure, I go nude around the house - it's no big deal." I would go so far as to wager that a lot more people engage in so-called "home nudism" - even if only on occasion, and only when alone - than are willing to let on. Many of them probably don't even consider themselves nudists. But in the privacy of your own home, and especially when you're alone, it's not so scandalous to occasionally go nude. It's the next and safest step past changing in the bedroom, or washing up in the bathroom. And as long as you keep your nudity to yourself, and insist on covering up the moment you hear a knock at the door, few members of the general population will have anything substantial to complain about.

But that is precisely where the serious nudists differ from the casual ones. "Social" nudism is defined by participation in nudist activities among other (like-minded) people. And that's where "normal" textiles trip up. Going nude alone is largely a matter of how comfortable you are with your own body, but going nude in front of others violates some serious taboos that are tied in to traditional (and, frankly, outdated) notions of privacy and modesty. That they are unhealthy notions that deserve to go the way of the dinosaur doesn't change the fact that the majority of the population still believes in them. And going nude with other people who are also nude? Well, how could the purpose of such an activity be anything other than total, unrestrained sexual abandon? It's no wonder so many people think nudism is a front for wild sex orgies. The truth is quite contrary to that belief, and exposure to the lifestyle - what it actually is, and what it actually isn't, as well as how it genuinely differs from other more and less similar lifestyles that it is constantly confused with, such as "swinging" - in more and more mainstream channels can only serve to help alleviate that misunderstanding.

That is why it is my belief that a more permissive approach towards the use of cameras in designated nudist areas can only help nudism, and not hurt it. Of course, we as nudists must be willing to get over the fact that people are going to see us naked - but it strikes me as odd that nudists, of all people, would have trouble with this. To be fair, there is stigma against nudists among the textile population, and many nudists hide their lifestyles for fear of repercussions from the people they know, love, or work with finding out, but we can only move forward and build tolerance by coming out wholesale and letting people know who we are, what we're about, and that we're not willing to just lie back and let people discriminate against us.

What about the gawkers, you say? The fact of the matter is that nudity attracts people's attention. It's why it's often used in art and protests that otherwise have nothing to do with people's bodies. That might be less true in a more nudist-accepting society, but I think that even among nudists, there is a certain biological interest that isn't going to go away. But what's wrong with this? Should we fight human nature, or just roll with it? Giving people a view into nudist environments (instead of erecting tall fences) will indulge, but also satisfy many people's curiosity. And if we want to draw the attention away from the resorts themselves, where basically having a looking gallery would affect the comfort of the nudists in attendance, we can simply outsource the view by allowing photography, and sharing more images and videos of what goes on inside those fences with the public, perhaps via media sharing online. It's a radical approach, but evolution can only occur through change.

I suppose I am working at cross-purposes to the nudist strategy of disassociating sex with nudity by posting images like this one. Is it not enough for me to disclaim that this particular image is not indicative of a nudist environment? If I were posting a nudist brochure, I would certainly omit an image such as this one - not out of a desire to hide anything, but simply to avoid misrepresenting the lifestyle. But this is my personal blog, and I am as much fighting for sexual liberation as nudist acceptance, and I am first and foremost a nude and erotic photographer. I think both subjects (nudity and eroticism) are beautiful and life-affirming, and frankly (this may be a mark against me, but so be it) the more time I spend on this Earth, the less patience I have for the less evolved members of the population who can't make the distinction between the two without having their hands held the whole way, and those who can't conduct themselves with dignity and self-control in the presence of those situations where the two (nudity and eroticism) inevitably overlap.

Let me just explain it like this (I've described a similar situation before). Sex, like nudity, is something taboo that the general population begrudges the existence of, but insists that it remains a "private" function. Nudists reject this conclusion for nudity. I reject this conclusion for both nudity and sex. Regardless, consider a typical nudist who might practice social nudism on occasion, but still firmly believes that sex acts deserve to remain private. When he is among textiles, he remains clothed. When he is among nudists, he will go nude. When he is alone, he may engage in sex acts, but not when he is with other people - unless it is a person (or persons - let's be inclusive here - that he is sexually intimate with). Suppose he is home alone. He may decide to go nude. Or he may decide to browse porn on his computer. Or, he could do both. If he does browse porn, though, this is not a strike against nudism in any way, because he is doing so at home, alone. This is true even if he is nude. So if you practice home nudism, and you also occasionally practice "home eroticism" (like me prancing about the kitchen with an erection, as seen above), there is nothing wrong or contradictory about that. The fact that I am willing to show you both merely demonstrates my position not just on nudism, but on the freedom of sexual expression as well.

And with that, I'll leave you with one last image, just for fun. Because if life is too short to waste time paying lip service to our nudity taboos, then it is also too short to observe the similar restrictions placed against sharing in all the fun that comes when we indulge in our sexual desires. As long as we can do so with dignity, and in a civilized fashion, then I see no problem with it. And if too much of the population is incapable of holding themselves to these standards, I think that's dreadfully unfortunate, but I'm not going to let the failures of the many prevent me from getting some meager enjoyment out of life. As I said, it's too short to do anything otherwise.

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