Author Topic: Fear of nudity  (Read 1797 times)

Naturistplace

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Fear of nudity
« on: February 04, 2019, 03:23:41 AM »
Here's a new post on my private blog. Feel free to comment either here or there.

https://www.naturistplace.com/theblog/2019/02/04/additional-thoughts-on-the-fear-of-nudity/

Bob Knows

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 06:03:51 AM »
Thanks for presenting this explanation.  Unfortunately this argument still begs the question.   It argues that nudity is prohibited because social custom or "norm" prohibits nudity.  It does not explain why social "norm" prohibits nudity.  It really just argues that clothes are required because clothes are required.   
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Naturistplace

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 06:58:11 AM »
I wasn't addressing the issue of why social norms exclude nudity. There are various answers to that, such as religious objections. And that leads to the issue of why the religious objections. Religious desire for social control is one possible answer. But that's a whole separate topic.

The question I was addressing is why John Q. Public, who may have no specific opinions on the rightness of nudity per se, or even approve of it, yet is still fearful of experimenting with nudity. My answer is that he has reasonable fears of violating social norms, even if he doesn't agree with them. Other answers may also apply, such as the fear that nudity may lead to inappropriate sexual activity. In this case, "inappropriate" isn't necessarily related to social norms, but instead, say, to fear of unwanted sexual attention.

In posts that preceded the one in question, I listed many possible reasons for fear of nudity, some of which will apply for specific people, and some not.

BlueTrain

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 11:11:12 AM »
I'll go along with most of the reasons, although I suspect that religious reasons are among the weakest, generally, though not specifically. I say generally because people in the United States belong to such a huge variety of religions and sects, not to mention those with no professed religion. Within a specific sect, variations are great.

Ironically, there seem to be the same norms within the nudist/naturist world, too. They just happen to be a little different.

Most people probably have no interest in social or public nudity. They have no particular reason to be nude outside or in front of other people, sometimes including their spouses. I think that suggestions that nudity removes social barriers is false. Rather than removing false differences, it may in fact emphasize the physical differences. I'd likewise say that a lot of people have never heard of nudism.

On that point, I don't recall when, where or how I first heard of nudism as we think of it. Although I never lived anywhere where skinny-dipping was a possibility, I was doing nude hiking out in the country when I was in high school and there was nude swimming at a college where I was working the summer after I finished high school. But I don't remember if I had heard of nudism yet by then or not. It has never exactly been promoted. In fact, it has always been rather secretive, mostly because of reason mentioned in the blog entry. It has been "no last names, please!" and "no photos!" But I first saw real nudist magazines when I was college, fifty years ago.

Peter S

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 03:39:23 PM »
I suspect most of us “of a certain age” enjoyed nudity before discovering it was “ a thing” and that others did it, our age predating us before the internet made all knowledge possible (tongue in cheek).

As regards the social acceptance argument, I believe this is one of the strongest prejudices we (nudists/naturists/nakedists) face. Society has two sets of laws; one set is enforceable/punishable by fines, jail, litigation, the other is society’s belief in what is right and wrong - please and thank you, holding doors open, not walking naked down the high street. The second sort can often carry more weight the first.
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Bob Knows

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 03:53:00 PM »
The argument that clothes are the "norm" so everyone must wear clothes is true, but circular.  It is the "norm" because everyone wears clothes.  It can be changed by some people NOT wearing clothes until clothes free or naked people become part of the range of "norm."   

The "norm" of wearing clothes is being challenged and changed on thousands of Internet social media sites where naked is now within the "norm" of expected photos and videos that most people see frequently.  The "norm" of wearing clothes is also being changed more slowly in "real life."  Naked bike rides parade bodies through city streets in many towns.  A Nude Protest for public legal nudity was held last year in the center of New York City. Paris established a nude park.  Nude protests are held often in San Francisco, California.  The UK police have stopped arresting people for simple nudity, and I saw a news article about a group of nudists who dared to go naked at an ordinary "clothed" beach.  Sections of Spain, France, and the US have official or unofficial nudist areas. 

Changing the range of "norm" to include naked has begun and needs to continue.  Nudists and nude advocates in many countries need to get out and be seen naked while doing ordinary activity.  Each of us can be seen by one or more other "textile" compulsive person.   We are making ourselves acceptable slowly.   I stood on the sidewalk in down town Seattle and watched 50 nude bicyclists of the Seattle Naked Bike Ride roll past.   Of the hundreds of "textile" citizens within my observation nobody shrieked in horror or even shouted.  Of those who noticed the naked bike ride most were mildly curious.  When the riders stopped for traffic a very few engaged them in interested conversation.  I saw no fear or outrage among the thousands of down town textiles who witnessed 50 nudists on a summer afternoon.  Whether its an event like the bike rides, or individual washing his car naked in his front yard, we nudists all need to do our part to be seen and be seen and be seen until it becomes "norm" for the public to see SOME naked people.  And all it takes is some. 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 03:55:27 PM by Bob Knows »
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jbeegoode

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 12:00:57 AM »
A company wants its employees to present a safe mage. It is not a norm for a company to expect ones private life to conform with the image presented by the company at work to apply at home. The one example goes back to "what about the kids." Nudists are not moral enough to be around kids in public education situations? This is as valid as hiring and firing teachers, etc. because they are gay. The facts don't add up, it didn't hold up. The man who wrote, Growing Up without Shame, Dennis Craig Smith the definitive book on children and nudity, told me that he was a retired 5th grade teacher and a nudist the entire time, and publishing books as a teacher. There might be a court case there.

One reason a teacher wouldn't want to be discovered by her students nude on the internet. It would teach all a damn good lesson in body acceptance and sexuality, if someone did, but the scenario could be very different. "TEE hee hee, its Mrs. Bates, naked." "Oh dear, she as lost the respect of her students! She can't effectively teach anymore." Is this something to fear?

Nudity might be a secret red flag when hiring, but firing someone as a nudist would be contentious. They would need to prove that it harmed the business, or agency. You would need to put pictures on the internet in lewd poses. Letting someone know that "I went to a nudist resort" isn't a problem. Using the Gay history again, being blackmailed to extract military secrets is hogwash, too, and illegal, now. Belonging to a nudists organization is not as bizarre to conservative America as having a sexual relationship with a member of the same sex. Today, it is accepted and at the worse, tolerated, ceptin' a certain V.P. that gets power from pleasing his base.

What is to fear? Nothing from friends. Something from nasty petty competitors, but generally manageable.

I'm thinking that your opinion is placing too broad of a stroke over social fear of social nudity. There would seldom be a reason for a naturist to fear coming out, or be outed. The ramifications would be little more than some kidding and some boundaries being drawn among co-workers. Being a nudist, isn't shocking. The fear is mostly unwarranted.

So, there is fear out there. Your article, well written I must say, intends to analyze, but comes across as spreading fears, to me. Just me saying how it affected me. I wish that it would prop up nudity. I don't know where you are getting these "well known facts" and where your experience is from, which has been less liberal and so overtly conformist as to give you your perspective of business life, but there are no polls or studies supporting what you perceive. We are diverse and life is different in different places, it does exist somewhere as you perceive, but I wouldn't be so sure, not by looking at our mass cultural hints at what is actually out there in social opinion.

Last week, I addressed and introduced these issues in the "The Impact of Coming out on Your Job & Family" thread.
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« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 12:14:36 AM by jbeegoode »
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jbeegoode

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2019, 12:46:42 AM »
Incidentally, I went back and read Parts I and II about fear. I enjoyed those. That was one fine list.
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Naturistplace

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2019, 02:16:02 AM »
In response to this comment: http://freerangenaturism.com/forum/index.php?topic=1217.msg13705#msg13705

"The "norm" of wearing clothes is being challenged and changed on thousands of Internet social media sites where naked is now within the "norm" of expected photos and videos that most people see frequently."

Could you clarify this? I wish I could find those thousands of social media sites. I've looked hard for them, and found very few. Only two or three significant social networks for naturists/nudists. Fewer than half a dozen significant forums like this one (which seems very good, btw). Maybe a dozen of so active naturist blogs. In all these types, I've known there to be more examples only two or three years ago. If there are many sites I don't know of, they're certainly well hidden. Impossible, I'd think, for people not yet into naturism to discover. But I'm considering only sites using English.

And as for mainstream sites like Facebook? Facebook has always been hostile to naturism. Although there are dozens of naturist groups, any instance of "explicit" pictures are quickly penalized. I've heard that MeWe has lots of groups, but they all seem to be hidden, so are very hard to locate. (If anyone reading this can "invite" me to good groups on MeWe, I'll be glad to check them out.) Tumblr just banned all "explict" pictures in December. Pinterest has cracked down hard on naturist posting. Twitter is gradually becoming more restrictive, as far as I can tell. Google+ (now closing down) was as restrictive as Facebook. Yahoo had some good naturist groups around 2000, with pictures, even. I started a couple of them. A few groups remain, but are all porn now. So where are all these places that "most people see frequently"?

"The "norm" of wearing clothes is also being changed more slowly in "real life.""

I'm not really seeing this, either. All of my direct experience is in California. There are far, far fewer people visiting nude beaches now than I was aware of in the 1980s. There has been a net loss of four or five landed naturist/nudist clubs in California since the 1980s. San Francisco about 5 years ago placed severe restrictions on public nudity that had previously been tolerated. The WNBR in San Francisco is pathetically small (about a dozen or so riders). I could go on. But on the other hand, it appears that clubs are doing much better in Florida, and possibly beaches too. On the whole, across U. S., I can't see much progress of "free range" nudity since the 1980s. I know less about Europe, though I saw first hand that the Englisher Garten in Munich was a real paradise for nudity in the 1980s. And other places in Munich too. I know of little evidence that free range nudity has become more prevalent in Europe over that time. And the O'Naturel nude restaurant in Paris is due to close in 10 days for lack of customers, having been open for less than two years.

Honestly, I'm not trying to diss naturism, free range or otherwise. I really want the idea to spread vigorously. I just can't see evidence that it's happening. There were more nude "demonstrations" in Berkeley 20 years ago than there are now. (The Berkeley "Naked Guy" Andrew Martinez managed to get public nudity outlawed in Berkeley in 1993, although unintentionally. I can attest, however, that there still were some "demonstrations" around 2000 or so.)

I will look through other discussions here to search for reports on what's happening now, so I can better judge whether much has changed over the past 40 years.

jbeegoode

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2019, 05:01:52 AM »
I'm not sure what social media sites are, except email and Facebook, twitter, etc.

I googled nudism, naturism social nudity, social nudism and saw dozen of websites, pages, posts and the list appears to go into the thousands. Perhaps Bob is talking about those.

I don't know if your blog is Wordpress, but probably every other week, I get another follower that runs another Wordpress blog and most have to do with naturism in some way, or in the least have interest in it at times, like travel blogs, health and lifestyle blogs. Several have been naturist blogs. Three or four have ping-backed my stuff and I noticed the numbers rise on my stats page at those times. So they are small (fifty extra hits give or take), but healthy. So, there are many sites that don't pop up first, but they are there.

Out of all of these I haven't found a negative anti-nudity site. Bob and I sometimes troll sites and contradict negative comments. A couple of jerks here and there making dumb remarks and numerous positives and support are found.

Kids are growing up with sexually charged nudity, but many are seeing what the truth of the matter is, too. What kid isn't going online searching for porn and not investigating social nudity? Young people will experiment. They probably won't show up at a resort very soon, but I didn't go to a resort until I was in mid-thirties and finding myself uncomfortable free range with a baby and young mother. I still rarely go to them. I don't need it. That's what my blog is about.

I'm not too worried about declining numbers. The Naturist Society's NEC polls are staying consistent and growing slightly. People are being inundated with skimpy revealing clothes fashions, like dark form fitting panty hose for pants and ultra short skirts and lo what I've been seeing around town. Internet nudity images are inescapable, if you do any search...maybe not with the family filter on, I don't know.

There is less to fear, if you live with something everyday. There is liking something, or somebody with more frequent contact with it, or them. Fear is also attractive to people. The more people see bodies, the less objectionable it is.

The Victorian era is gone. Its stragglers are decreasing, or else we would have seen a fullblown backlash years ago, against sex and nudity. Most restaurants are like fads, nude or not. I thought that I read that naturist resorts business in France was increasing. It is big bucks here, the cruises, the high end and somebody is going to these new places in exotic spots that pop up. I think that kids are looking to try skinny-dipping in the neighbor kids pool. The girls are gonna wear something skimpy and flash somebody. They'll probably grow out of it, seeing it as harmless, or continue nude escapades of some sort. 

Tunblr and FAcebook will slow and die and the $%^& execs that made their monetary decisions will bend to trends that make money, sex, nekkid bodies and such.

I've gotta disagree with much of your last post Naturistplace.

I did look through your site and enjoyed myself. Well done. I liked that couple in South Africa in the Daily News, with the website. 47,000 followers on social media, till the corporate media censored it...wow! Their sites are like Carla and Stuart. DF and me,too, in many ways. And they are very free range. Thank-you.
Jbee
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 05:04:22 AM by jbeegoode »
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BlueTrain

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2019, 11:55:37 AM »
I can't speak first-hand about the Victorian era, which technically was only in Great Britain and the dominions, but the 1950s were hardly Victorian. That was the era of the blond bombshell, pinup quality photos in Look and Life, and Mimi in Mechanix Illustrated. Playboy magazine also began in the mid-1950s. Of course there was no internet but otherwise, there was plenty of sex all around us when we were kids. And don't forget those ads in the back of comic books for spectacles that could see though clothing.

I don't think the 1950s were particularly conservative, maybe even a little progressive. What they were, though, was conformist.

Bob Knows

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2019, 03:39:02 PM »
Even on Facebook they constantly have nude photos from behind or with a blur or block out of the "bits."    All of those blurred pictures teach a generation of youth that the naked person was happy being naked wherever the picture was taken, and only had to blur for Facebook censors.  Even on Facebook the censors have to constantly fight to prevent users from posting nude pictures without blur or blocks.  The public wants it.  Over on MeWe which now advertises itself as the replacement for Facebook they have full blurred nudity.  And "porn" has been something like half of all Internet traffic since Internet was invented.  Weather its blurred pictures on Facebook or full sex on legions of porn sites, it all teaches the Internet generation that the people in the pictures were not harmed by whatever they were doing, and  seeing human bodies did the viewer no harm. 
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Peter S

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2019, 07:48:34 PM »
Quote
it all teaches the Internet generation that the people in the pictures were not harmed by whatever they were doing

Unfortunately, while the internet might be trying to give that message there are plenty of people out there trying to counter the message. Apart from the platforms themselves, which go to ever greater lengths to hunt down and obscure or ban naked content, there are media, schools, parents and self-appointed moral guardians preaching that online sex is wrong, sexting is wrong, unfettered internet access is wrong, all  demanding that the social media platforms do more to cover up the naked body (which is what happened on Tumblr, don't forget).

The fact these same people then say that art, mastectomies and breast feeding must be allowed to be shown just confuses matters for the poor viewer. ...
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John P

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2019, 08:26:44 PM »
...online sex is wrong, sexting is wrong, unfettered internet access is wrong, all  demanding that the social media platforms do more to cover up the naked body (which is what happened on Tumblr, don't forget).

The fact these same people then say that art, mastectomies and breast feeding must be allowed to be shown just confuses matters for the poor viewer. ...

I'm not sure that it's the "same people" asking for more freedom. Some people are asking, anyway.

However, I think it's a mistake to lump together all those items starting with "online sex". I'd let the sexual interests sink or swim as they can, but emphasize that nudity isn't necessarily connected with them. Our problem is that the world sees nudity as always sexual, and in fact pornography is so common that we have to point out our tiny separate corner. What I'd try to do would be keep trying to say that the harms that are claimed to result from pornography don't come just from nudity. Then to maintain credibility, we have to make sure that anything claimed to be naturist isn't some sexual material trying to sneak by using us for cover! ("Cover", ha ha.)

Bob Knows

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Re: Fear of nudity
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 03:42:08 PM »
Quote
it all teaches the Internet generation that the people in the pictures were not harmed by whatever they were doing

Unfortunately, while the internet might be trying to give that message there are plenty of people out there trying to counter the message. Apart from the platforms themselves, which go to ever greater lengths to hunt down and obscure or ban naked content, there are media, schools, parents and self-appointed moral guardians preaching that online sex is wrong, sexting is wrong, unfettered internet access is wrong, all  demanding that the social media platforms do more to cover up the naked body (which is what happened on Tumblr, don't forget).

You are right that a public demand for human beings on Internet has opposition, but the opposition isn't succeeding.   A picture is worth a thousand words, and every picture of naked people enjoying themselves conveys a message that opponents can't overcome by arguing against.   Yes, they censor big corporate platforms such as Facebook and Tumblr.  But the younger generation moves on to other sites that aren't censored. 

Yes there is resistance, but if nudists accept the resistance as final we have lost the war before we began.  Most of the people want to see human beings on Internet and in real life, and have a deep desire to be seen and appreciated.  Nudists have a real chance of changing the moral dogma.  We must have courage. 

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