Author Topic: A simple question!  (Read 3825 times)

eyesup

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A simple question!
« on: December 07, 2015, 06:57:45 PM »
Unfortunately, I think the vast majority of the nudity that most people encounter is intended to be erotic . . . . At least we middle-aged guys have the memory of getting unabashedly naked in the locker room! Now the young people are complaining about "old guys waving their bodies around" as if it were obscene--which to young people, it pretty much is. The possibility that nudity would ever become totally mundane is very far away, and I don't think we're getting closer to it.

This comment from the thread "Nudes in the news" reminded me of a post I read and one I placed on another site. The discussion had to do with people's reaction to seeing someone else, a non-family member, nude. I made a comment that most of us have done so.

The following is the post from that other site regarding ideas on how to promote acceptance of general nudity. My response is shown right after it. The conversation that followed, after my response, was somewhat surprising. Some of it I had heard before but had been unaware of how common some of the ideas were. It made me aware that views on nudity, in this country in general, seem to be wobbling off into the rough and the high weeds where there doesn't seem to be any rational thought going on which brings to mind Emerson's comment about "the hobgoblins of small minds".

The influence of the entertainment industry has so polluted public discourse with the effluence of it's eroticism that when it comes to nudity, either in practice or conversation, that it's impossible to talk about it without the sexual/erotic aspect impinging on the disussion. Once that happens, the conversation gets hijacked into the legal side of how nudity is treated and we spend too much time trying to justify a simple and innocent practice against the public stance of practishoners of the erotic/porn trade.

I include "news organizations" in that group as I am beginning to suspect that there aren't any news organizations extant. Political correctness has so warped the trade, I believe any coherent voice must come from outside "that" entertainment industry.

The post asks a question on how to promote nudity without veering of into knee jerk territory.

===============================================================================

Quote from: Original post (not me)
We often brainstorm on how to promote acceptance of public non-sexualized nudity. As stated earlier in this thread, most people aren't really opposed to seeing other people nude unless they're:

1) Surprised by the nudity in an in-your-face kind of way. This would be
   the flashers, etc.
2) Worried about other people realizing that they aren't really opposed
   to nudity.

Since naturists aren't the "flasher" type, the 2nd item could be our focus.

We need to figure out how to make people more willing to admit around their family and friends that they really aren't offended by seeing someone nude in real life. To do that, we need to answer the question: Why do people wear a mask that says "I'm opposed to nudity" when under-the-mask they're not? Obviously fear of others is central to this issue. So how do we lessen the consequences of admitting that we're not opposed to seeing other people naked in real life.

Any ideas?

Maybe there's some baby steps:
1) Admitting to others that they DON'T really fast-forward the movie when
   nudity appears.
2) Admitting to others that they have been skinny dipping before.
3) Admitting that they saw someone naked in real life and DIDN'T call the
   police.
4) Admitting that they saw someone naked in real life and DIDN'T look the
   other way.

So how do we help people take these baby steps? Are there any other baby steps.

When I realized that most people really aren't opposed to non-sexualized nudity as long as they're not suprised in an in-your-face kind of way, it was very encouraging to me.

===============================================================================

Quote from: My initial response

Most of us have been in a room with naked people. It was always the same gender. It's called a locker room. We just don't think of it as being in a room of full of naked people.

When I was in grade school we would go to the municipal pool and change clothes there. Later on it was in jr. high and high school during PE. When I was older I was a member of a health club and had the same experience. But it was always a locker room.

What most of us don't have, is that sort of experience with mixed gender.

I'm fairly certain that if I were to walk into a public bath house like that, I would get used to it quickly. I've heard that some European countries have these at public beaches. It's a public place and it's accepted that people will be naked when changing into a swim suit. We do not have those in America. Being naked out of context is an issue. Context means a lot to most of us.

I go on naked hikes on trails that are not popular or well known with the general public. They are remote and I am usually the only person there. If anyone else goes to the same place, the probability is that they like quiet and remote places also. For the same reasons.

Most people I have discussed this with online tend to agree that those of us who appreciate nature would find naked hiking perfectly acceptable for the enjoyment of nature. If I were to meet someone on the trail and we both were hiking naked I think (and hope) that both of us wouldn't be bothered by nudity for that reason. For us it would be "in context".

To accept being in a common or family changing room would mean stepping into unknown territory. We would be adopting a position at odds with others in our family or community. It would draw attention to us. I am not particularly fond of attention.

I go naked hiking, I have driven on the highway naked and I spend time at home naked. I have always done these things alone or with my wife and have been active at it for about 8 yrs. To my knowledge, no else one in my life knows about my special hiking outfit.

I have met another hiker only once while I was hiking naked and he was dressed. Even though it has yet to happen, I feel confident I would be ok if I met a naked hiker on the trail. I did ok on the one meeting.

In other words, people who appreciate being in nature, even if they or others are au naturel, might see nudity in nature as acceptable. It would be in a positive or natural context.

We have a small (emphasize small) degree of acceptance for nude beaches in America and as has been mentioned here, most of us have at least one skinny dipping episode in our life. These two naked venues are known by most Americans and don't represent radical behavior, just odd or different.

These areas of familiarity with nudity might be a good jumping off point for getting the average Joe(sephine) to become more comfortable with the nudity of others.

There is a mountain of conditioning by our culture regarding nudity. Breaking the notion that if there is nudity, there must sex happening, is a major challenge. Since sex is so wrapped up in physical attraction, self esteem and body issues enter into the mix, which only complicates the conversation.

To add to the list of baby steps:
5) Point out to others that they most likely have been in a room full of
   naked people. It was a locker room and the world didn't end. It would be a
   small step to include the rest of the family.
6) Ask them if they have ever been skinny dipping. Tell them they don't have
   to answer. But if so, remember how much you enjoyed that and how it felt.
6) Hiking naked, starting out alone or with your spouse, can be an exhilirating
   experience as an appreciation of nature.

It's a start. As mentioned, it's baby steps.

It's a small wonder that young people react to "old guys waving their bodies around" with aversion. They are looking at it through the "Hollywood prism" of nudity must be erotic else how can we possibly sell it. This is one reason that the response, at least here and on that other site, to the Walgreens ad is so positive and supported.

Duane

Bob Knows

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Re: A simple question!
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 09:37:44 PM »
Quote
When I was older I was a member of a health club and had the same experience. But it was always a locker room. What most of us don't have, is that sort of experience with mixed gender.

I'm fairly certain that if I were to walk into a public bath house like that, I would get used to it quickly

Non PC comment:

When I was young at the YMCA I had never heard of gay men.  I didn't know such people existed until I was 19 and had gone away to college in a big city.  So much has changed.   By the 1980s the term "public bath house" became a euphemism for a gay sex emporium.  By the 1990s there were gay guides to the best "nudist" beaches for public sex, and public parks, and mall restrooms, and everywhere else. 

Just yesterday on another nudist web site I was reminded that there are often gay men prowling on-line nudist sites for contact with other men.   I get "hit on" even though I post on my profile that I'm old and not interested.  I'm sure that boys and young men are frequently hit on by aggressive homosexuals trolling for innocent boys or young men.  I'm sure its a large part of the reason so many young men are shy about nudity in "public locker rooms" at schools or swimming pools.  And its never PC even to talk about it so nobody ever steps in to defend the young normal boys and men. 

I'm sure this is a large problem for the next generation of would be nudists, just as it has been for the nudist resort business. 

Bob





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Davie

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Re: A simple question!
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2015, 01:10:35 AM »
Separate changing rooms for men and women were the norm as "each unto their own" took out the sexual factor, but I do think there is an element of potential sexuality with same sex relationships being more prevalent and certainly open. It may be that some people want privacy as they fear an approach.

Davie  8)

John P

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Re: A simple question!
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2015, 06:04:53 AM »
Non PC comment:

When I was young at the YMCA I had never heard of gay men.  I didn't know such people existed until I was 19 and had gone away to college in a big city. ...
Bob

Your home town must have been different from mine. I can remember with some embarrassment now how we used to make jokes about "homos" and "queers". But it was all in a detached way, as though we were never personally likely to meet any of them. Now kids are much more accepting that there are alternative sexualities out there, and that's a fine thing. But they're also being told to be watchful of sexual predators, that such a person "could be anybody". And back when we had our jokes about gays, there were in fact a fair number of sexual predators, very few of whom were getting caught (of both homo- and hetero- varieties). So there's this idea out there that anyone might make a pass at anyone else now, and kids have to be on their guard. Don't let yourself be seen naked, because you never know who's eyeing you as a potential victim!

And yes, any actual nudity that the kids see nowadays is pretty sure to be sexualized. There was a time when all the porn a kid got to see was a surreptitiously passed copy of Playboy. Now there's an ocean of erotica at every kid's fingertips! When they want a few even more naughty thrills, they make their own porn--sexting, they call it.

It's a sad situation, that is for sure. Innocent nudity, in any form, is pretty much extinct, and people would be suspicious of it if they encountered it, because they're so familiar with the non-innocent kind.

Um, there was supposed to be a "simple question" but I'm not sure what it is!

nudewalker

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Re: A simple question!
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2015, 05:58:06 PM »
In my day at the "Y" I had heard of "homos" and "queers" also. It was just assumed that those kind of people didn't do "manly" things such as sports so there would never be one there. Guess it just goes  to show you how na´ve we were then. Since then I have been approached both online and in person. Never had a problem with a simple "not interested" in a way that doesn't sound like I'm being judge and jury. Funny that two articles yesterday mentioned that "exhibitionism is the new norm in locker rooms"  and "you're not an adult if your afraid to be naked in the locker room". I have noticed the trend to pull underwear up while having a towel wrapped around the waist. Is there a disconnect between my gym and the ones written about? Or is it an east coast, middle America, west coast thing?

Innocent nudity? It may be a thing of the past with all the easy access to all kinds of sights and wonders on the web. Sure beats the stash of magazines Dad had hid in the garage! Or maybe they were not hid; just available for a curious teenage mind? After all, we were practically nudists until the area began to develop. I often wonder about my early childhood friends, what journey in life have they traveled? Did the early nudist tendencies we had as children carry over to adulthood?

 The mention of skinny dipping brings some sly smiles on faces. Sometime I wonder if it is not more accepted because women tend to dress for other women, would undressing be the same? Body acceptance and confidence being the key I suppose. There are times when out of the mouths of my teen relatives I see glimmers of hope only to be swept away with the next sentence. Peer pressure is evident in a lot of cases. As a group they hold to the same thoughts but one on one there have been open conversations where they deviate from the norm. I can't speak for the private lives but if what they tell me is true the media does not have the hold we might expect.

So I guess the simple question is "how does one go about being a spokes person for the lifestyle"? I try off hand comments to gauge reaction. The Walgreen's ad was perfect a few times. Skinny dipping discussions also open the door for conversations. If the feedback is negative don't press the issue but let the conversation flow. The usual question to me is "where is there a place to go skinny dipping around here?". So far it has not much past a few comments as the subject usually changes quickly but if the seed is planted one day it may yield fruit.
"Always do what you are afraid to do"-Emerson

eyesup

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Re: A simple question!
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2015, 06:26:14 PM »
Quote from: John P
. . . there was supposed to be a "simple question" . . .
It is, "How to promote nudity without veering of into knee jerk territory."

Like your decision to not participate on naturist websites that state that the site is for adults only, maybe we should adopt a similar attitude that simple and innocent nudity is not only for adults.

This is contrary to prevailing belief that nudity must be erotic. If it is erotic, it must involve sex of some sort. If sex is involved, it must be for adults. All of us know that kids of all ages engage in sex. So that assumption is wrong. Eroticism does imply an appeal to the imagination. One that is usually conditioned, through experience, to react to the sort of visual stimulation that commercial nudity creates.

The implication is that it is adult content, but not necessarily mature content. That everyday nudity is not erotic could carry the same level of importance as the choice of what to wear. When we do wear clothes, that is not necessarily a fashion statement. It could be, but doesn't have to be.

The question is simple, the answer, not so much.

Duane

nuduke

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Re: A simple question!
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2015, 09:55:30 PM »
The 'adults only' website comments prompted a thought.  It occurred to me that in all the years of TSNS and here on FRN and e;sewhere there were no younger persons (under 20) to speak of that signed in and joined a discussion.  We had a few 20 somethings up to 30 somethings each residing but briefly, I think, but it seems to be we ageing male beauties (50+) that stay awhile and chaw, & chat.
Why is that?  Why don't we have 'students' who want to hear how to be a secret naturist?  Most of the people that linger longer are not new to naturism.
Hmmm...need to mull that one over.  Must be reasons.

John

John P

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Re: A simple question!
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2015, 11:58:22 PM »
It is, "How to promote nudity without veering of into knee jerk territory."

Like your decision to not participate on naturist websites that state that the site is for adults only, maybe we should adopt a similar attitude that simple and innocent nudity is not only for adults.

Now you need to explain what "knee jerk territory" is!

If you say "adopt an attitude that simple and innocent nudity is not only for adults", all I can say is "Duh". You make it sound as if that's an innovation, when it's what we've been doing, or should have been doing, since forever. Honestly, I don't think there are any gimmicks or variations we can offer: all we can do is tell people what our beliefs are, and then demonstrate that we're following them and that we're having fun and satisfying some goals at the same time. The "goals" being acceptance of people by each other, and accepting ourselves with all our imperfections. Or really, not "imperfections" so much as recognition of how we're all different and how there's room in the world for everyone. As for actually attracting young people (as opposed to not making rules to keep them away) maybe a philosophy that's optimistic rather than cynical would appeal to whatever idealistic streak they might have.  But we have to be honest about being good naturists.

Bob Knows

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Re: A simple question!
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2015, 03:35:00 AM »
The 'adults only' website comments prompted a thought.  It occurred to me that in all the years of TSNS and here on FRN and e;sewhere there were no younger persons (under 20) to speak of that signed in and joined a discussion.  We had a few 20 somethings up to 30 somethings each residing but briefly, I think, but it seems to be we ageing male beauties (50+) that stay awhile and chaw, & chat.
John


Experience Project dot com has a bunch of twenty year old would be nudists who engage in discussions about being naked at home, going out naked, etc.  Its a more open discussion with encouragement rather than criticism.  EP posts get lots of encouragement for anything naked without criticism for being illegal or otherwise not "adult."  EP also doesn't criticize sexuality which is always near the top of teen and twenties thinking. 

There is often some critics who opine that teens have screen accounts claiming to be older, and complaining that management doesn't censor them.  Management does censor naked photos and restricts communication between teens and adults unless the teens create and "adult" account.  Its self identification of age. 

I don't recall any teens on here who came and went.  Perhaps they didn't stay long enough to make an impression.  Perhaps conversation on this site is not sexual enough to keep teens and twenties interested.  Hard to guess.

Bob
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 03:37:29 AM by Bob Knows »
Human bodies are natural, comfortable, and green.
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