Wednesday, September 26, 2018


I wish I could communicate to you in a photograph the warmth of the summer sunshine on my exposed skin, the texture of the grass and pavement under my feet - a constant reminder of my unclothed state - or the pleasant sensation of freedom that comes from the feeling of my genitalia swinging freely as I move (which would not be possible in an otherwise body-baring pair of shorts or a swim brief). I can hardly describe the holistic sensation of being naked, especially outdoors (but indoors, too). It is not sexual in nature (although it is not immune to erotic interpretation), but more akin to a spiritual delight. I can show the beauty of the human body in an image, and even hint at the joy I feel in practicing nudism, but I can't make you feel those things. Only by participating in the activity yourself is that possible.

But you may not experience it the way I do. Whatever combination of physical and psychological factors contributes to my enjoyment of being nude may not combine to form the perfect cocktail for you as it does for me. You cannot know without trying, but trying is not a guarantee of agreement. I can use my words to describe my perspective, and hope that you can empathize with me. But there is a possibility that you will not believe me, either because you do not know me and cannot trust me, or because my perspective clashes with your opposing one in some fundamental way.

What to do then, if you cannot understand me? Should I be forced to submit to your view, or should you be forced to submit to mine? And if either be the case, what justification is there for it not being the other way around? The only equitable solution I can foresee is for us to "agree to disagree". You continue your life under your perspective, and I continue my life under mine. Not forcing others to behave as we would choose to in the same circumstances, but allowing them the freedom to diverge.

But I cannot hope for all mankind to be so reasonable. Certainly, experience bears out the fallibility of the human condition. If I expect another to be my rational and tolerant equal, I should have no fear in going about my business, content that he will not object on grounds of mutual liberty. But I have learned not to be so gracious, for fear of my own safety. If that other is less than perfect, as we all are, then he may object on account of personal distaste; and however unjustified his complaint may be, I am likely to experience as much discomfort as I have "inflicted" upon him, whether at his hands or at the hands of the machinery of the state. What is the likelihood of this outcome? I do not know. For sure, it is not guaranteed. But it remains a possibility, and not an entirely unlikely one. So I must make a gamble, between living the life I want to lead, and caving to peer pressure in order to avoid a lesser or greater potential inconvenience.

I don't want this anxiety on my mind. To be true, my opponent has already won. Because even if I do continue my lifestyle as desired, I do so with a mental burden of fear. Is this just the price I have to pay for being different from the majority? Before, I was unselfconsciously pursuing my happiness - being naked outdoors, pursuing the vocation of photography. Not harming, not bothering anybody. Just minding my own business. But the fear of external judgment sabotages that peace. Should I continue minding my own business as long as anyone who stumbles upon me continues minding their own? Or should I make a self-sacrifice, to prevent the possibility of future complications? There are no easy answers in life.

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