What I Blog About

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY Occasionally someone asks me, "If you are a nudist, and believe that nudism is a family-friendly lifestyle, why do you sometimes write about strippers, swinging, and prostitution?"

I think most readers are smart enough to understand why, but here is an explanation for those who have difficulty connecting the dots.

Yes, I strongly believe in the core principles of nudism, and have not changed my mind that social nudism should be free of any overt sexual activity.

The general public has a far different perception of nudists. For many people, it's hard to believe that a group of people in mixed-gender company can participate in nude events without everyone starting an orgy. When Caliente resort began allowing swingers groups to use their facilities, AANR did the right thing by rescinding their membership, even though there was no actual sexual activity happening while the swingers were on the property (reportedly, anyway). It was all about the public perception. All the publicity over the Caliente situation merely affirmed the widespread belief that nudism and sex are one and the same.

When local communities crack down on strip joints, it's the nudity that comes under control by ordinances that prohibit exposure of specific parts of the body, and when they fail in controlling the nudity, authorities impose impossible zoning restrictions, or try and make the argument that strip joints cause an increase in crime. So far, that assertion has never been proven. It's far simpler to argue that a local convenience store, or bank, is a magnet for crime.

As for prostitution, I recently noted that San Francisco is poised to be the first major American city to possibly legalize the sex trade. I personally don't know if it's a good idea or not, but I find it hard to believe that a country which regulates and protects the porn industry, where people are paid to have sex on camera, can have a problem with someone paying for private sex in a hotel room.

These sexual issues speak to public perceptions. At the heart we are still a very Puritanical society, even though we are swamped with sexual imagery in magazines, on TV, and at the movies. It's odd that we willingly accept overt sexuality in the media, but reject the same behavior in our public and personal lives.

So when I link to a news item that has to do with a sexual matter, I do so merely to point out how the public, or the government, is dealing with the issue. One would hope that a more permissive society would benefit nudists, who by comparison with legal prostitution or strip clubs would seem rather tame.

It's very hard to pin down exactly where we are as a society when it comes to nudity. On one hand we have the great success of Haulover Beach and the recent victory of nudists at San Onofre beach, but on the other we have unnecessary anti-nudity ordinances enacted in Brattleboro and Huntington Beach, and a government which is attempting to wipe out any nudity at all from the airwaves.

Only by continuing to examine any and all stories which involve nudity in public can we begin to gauge society's direction on this issue. Some days I am encouraged, and some days I despair. Changing public perceptions doesn't happen overnight, and the freedom that nudists are seeking is not likely to happen anytime soon.

I like to use the swimsuit as an example of evolving attitudes. Prior to the 19th century, it was basically just men that swam in ponds and rivers, and they were nude. If women bathed outdoors, it was usually done in some sort of garment. Early swimsuits were ridiculous woolen coverings - both men and women were basically covered head to toe. It wasn't until the 1930s that men began to swim topless, and thirty years later topless swimming became acceptable for women in many European countries. Today in America, bathing suits leave little to the imagination. Going to topfree, or completely nude, is not a dramatic step for many beachgoers.

So when you look at the total picture, we seem to be moving in the right direction. I hope that from here on most news items that I find will be body positive, and that our society continues to become more and more progressive.

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