Thursday, August 10, 2017


On a popular online forum (that will remain nameless), I recently made a comment about how nudist documentaries demonstrate the perfect symbiosis between nudists and voyeurs, but instead of having a critical discussion on a topic of much controversy (as opposed to mindlessly reciting dogma - how un-intellectually-stimulating), the topic was locked (a form of censorship - silencing debate), though not before several dullards deemed it fit to remark on how disgusting children's bodies are, like that makes them bastions of virtue somehow.

Since I couldn't continue the conversation there, I'm going to continue it here.

To establish some context, in response to the question, "why order a DVD of nudist photos?" (a question that baffles me as a nudist photographer - but I guess it's just as hard for me to imagine someone being supremely ignorant of the potential aesthetic appeal of a nude photograph), I replied:

"It's a perfect demonstration of the natural symbiosis that exists between nudism and voyeurism."

To which somebody else (names have been changed to protect the idiotic) felt it pertinent to ejaculate, "people do not go to nudist resorts for your viewing pleasure," apparently reading way too much into my astute observation. Here's my reply:

Thanks for the one-line lecture (by the way, don't strain yourself). But I'm a nudist; I already know that. I don't want to be stared at when I'm practicing nudism (unless I'm engaging in a spectator sport, like volleyball, in which case I don't mind). At the same time, it's human nature to be curious and enjoy looking at naked bodies (whether for sexual purposes or otherwise). We can try to row against the current, and insist that this is some unholy behavior that needs to be stamped out, or we can consider how we might be able to please everyone.

Creating a documentation of nudism (featuring only that subset of nudists who are comfortable with their image being recorded - among which I would include myself) enables the curious to get their eyeful in an indirect manner (as opposed to leering over the tops of fences) that doesn't make anyone uncomfortable (except, apparently, overzealous, uninvolved third parties - I applaud your unsolicited outrage on behalf of others, o holy savior).

Instead of demonizing the all-too-human desire to look at naked bodies, we should be emphasizing the contexts in which it is appropriate (e.g., when someone has created a record expressly for the purpose of being viewed by anonymous strangers) versus those in which it is inappropriate (e.g., when you're meeting someone face to face) to indulge that desire too heavily. Or are we such primitive creatures that we can't handle that kind of sophisticated civility, knowing that something can be inappropriate in one situation, but not necessarily verboten in all situations?

This is what I mean when I say that there is a natural symbiosis between nudists and voyeurs. It does not mean that nudists exist for the pleasure of voyeurs. But people who like to take their clothes off and people who like to look at people who take their clothes off have a natural potential for symbiosis - provided the people who take their clothes off don't mind being looked at in certain deliberately constructed contexts (such as the ones I create when I'm modeling for photographs). Which is what we're talking about - people who have consented to be recorded for this purpose. Just because you're not one of those people doesn't give you any recourse to criticize those who are, or - to target the low hanging fruit - the anonymous voyeurs who indulge in it. I only hope your mind is not too feeble to grasp this concept.

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