not to be rude or mean to anybody out there who just happens to be part of one... but i think they're soo funny. i mean hey here's a good idea "let's all run around naked staring and scrutinizing the imperfections of everybody's naked bodys. and that way we aren't juding on only manufactured appearance but what god has given us." just what i think, but to eaches own.
Posts: 9 | From: canada | Registered: Dec 2001
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Actually, Lux, you may want to read some accounts from people who live in nudist colonies, because basically their whole intention (usually) is exactly the opposite of what you just said.
Most people who get used to nudity tend to STOP with all the scrutiny, because it becomes patently obvious -- inescapably so -- how different all bodies are in all shapes and sizes and at all ages.
It's a very similar sort of thing that happens with anyone who is immersed -- be it via a type of work or what have you -- in constantly looking at real, average people's bodies. It tends to make you more accepting, not less.
In terms of nudity not being "special" anymore, Keoki, while I'm not part of a nudist colony, I have done fine art nude modeling for well over ten years, and while it perhaps means a mental switch in terms of seeing physical or sexual intimacy not in terms of getting naked, but in terms of literally being intimate with one person FOR intimacy, I've never found that it makes my intimacy with my partners any less special. if anything, it many make it more so, simply because I am so at home in my own skin.
i'm not part of any formal "nudist colonies" (although maybe i ought start one...), i'm a big fan of what my friends and i call "naked time". "naked time" is simply time spent without clothing. it isn't sexual time. sometimes its just too hot so you take off your shirt. sometimes you don't like any of your pants so you decide not to wear any. sometimes you just want to sit wrapped in a fleecey blanket and feel the softness against your skin. we keep it contained in our room because not everyone is comfortable with nudity.
my first year in college, i lived in a dorm which had "gang showers" (one room with four showerheads), and the rule was that you needed to ask before entering if there was already someone in there (there were seperate "male" and "female" bathrooms...but that's a whole other issue). at first i was a bit apprehensive. i'm a modern dancer, so i'm used to a lot of acceptance of various body types, but i'm also used to other dancers scrutinizing my body, and i'm used to weighing a lot more than the ballet dancers i took classes with. but, after a week or so, i got tired of waking up early and waiting in line to shower. so i started going into the showers while other people were there, or letting other people enter while i was there. i can't even begin to tell you how much it changed my perceptions of my own body and of other people's bodies. we so rarely see real people naked, and i think that's a terrible shame. we are constantly presented with nearly-nude images of very thin people who fit a beauty ideal that is, quite simply, unrealistic. and when we do see other people naked, it is often in a sexual way, whether they are women whose bodies we are examining out of our own sexual interest, or whether as sexual competition, etc. seeing other women naked in totally nonsexual, routine way was terrific. some women shaved, some didn't. everyone's body has its own unique shape, and some women on the hall had bigger hips than me, and some didn't. some had long legs, some had short legs. you get the idea. after a while, i stopped even paying attention to who was there with me-- it was enough to just acknowledge that there was another person there, maybe talk to them or maybe not, and get on with washing my hair.
naked time, for me, is about enjoying my body, not as a sexual thing, but as a part of who i am. the first time my friends and i decided to all get naked together, i was the first one undressed, while another friend took off her shirt, one took off her pants, and the other removed shirt and bra and then hid under the covers. was i braver or more comfortable than they were, at that initial point? no way! but i decided that if i was going to become more comfortable with nudity, i was going to have to jump right in and actually take my clothes off, and not sit around talking about how, theoretically, it would be great if more people were more accepting of nudity on a regular basis. that was what worked for me. a nudist colony is, i'd say, a big step. maybe a good place to start is just sitting in your room naked for a few minutes when you get out of the shower.
as to the issue of whether a nudist colony would affect how "special" nudity was, and whether it would change how you associate nudity with intimacy: it might well have that effect. i can see how a lot of people view nudity as a very special thing, something reserved for sexual partners (or only the closest and most serious sexual partners). on the other hand, participation in something like a nudist colony could very easily increase one's self-confidence in one's appearence and in one's body...which in turn is a very sexy thing when you're with a close partner. the other thing is that there is a difference, to me, between "routine" nudity, such as the type you would be engaged in at a nudist colony, and a more sexual nudity--the situation definitely helps shape how i feel about being naked, and if i'm with a lover, that will feel very different than if i'm doing my science reading with no clothes on.
and, just because i can't resist throwing in this corny line: we're all naked under our clothes!
hugs and nekkid time! -rek
Posts: 72 | From: oberlin, oh / new york city | Registered: Dec 2001
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I'm not part of a nudist colony, but I sometimes think about joining one.
I see the nude human body as beautiful, not in a sexual way, but as an art form in itself. I think it's a shame that nudity is usually age restricted. I feel it would make everyone a whole lot more confident about themselves if they were surrounded by nudity their whole life.
Miz S, Have you ever modelled with masses of people outdoors (there was an american photographer who took photos of 1000's of people crouched by the river in Melbourne last year)?
The whole landscape was covered with peoples butts sticking up in the air!
Hugs & Scully & Annabeth, Winnie :0)
Posts: 465 | From: Canberra, ACT, Australia | Registered: Jan 2001
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Winnie, you are probably referring to Spencer Tunick. He was in Montreal this summer for a big shoot like that. I wanted to go but by the time I heard about it they were turning people away because they had reached the space capacity.
I consider myself a part time nudist. I go to nude beaches in the summer and like to travel to places where there are some. I find the atmosphere most relaxing and except for a few lookie-lous people don't stare at all. Scruntiny goes out the window.
Most often the nudists are older than me (I am 30). I like seeing different body types and find that it helps me put the human body in perspective when media images portray a limited type of body.
The same goes for when I go to the Y or some other family orientated gym. I get to see women as old as 95 and as young as 6 months in the nude. It was one of the best things I could do for my body image and for the concept of not being attached to my body in one state or another.
The concept of intimacy is very different for me. I am not sexually monogamous, but I am only in love with one person (so I am not polyamorous). I am comfortable sharing sexual intimacy with more than one person. I also do not see my nude body as only a tool to express sexual intimacy. It can be, but it is not necessarily so. My family has seen me nude (and still does on occasion), and so have many doctors. Throw in some girlfriends I used to skinny dip with (those were the days!) and you have a life long trend of nudity not equaling sexuality.
------------------ Louise Lalonde -Scarleteen Sexpert & Volunteer du Jour
"Glad to have a friend like you, And glad to just be me" -Carol Hall
Over here there is a sort of on and off campaign to have public nudity legalised. If you think about it, it is a very strange social construct that it is wrong to wear nothing.
I suppose clothing was orignally made for protection from the elements but now it is so strong culturally that it is illegal not to wear clothes! A future society might regard laws like that as something akin to how we view Taliban laws right now. Course if laws were changed here it would not make much difference. Its nearly always so cold that it would only have any effect during hot days in the summer.
Is there anything immoral or shameful about nudity? Or more to the point should there be anything shameful about it?
------------------ 'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky
Wow, after reading this I'm starting to feel the same way as some of you guys. I'm beginning to see what you're saying when you talk of nudity not as a sexual form, but an art form. I think that's pretty cool.
I think the notion that nudity=sexuality actually gets us into a world of trouble. It's why people have issues with women nursing publicly, for instance. It's why gorgeous amazing works of non-erotic art get censored simply because they contain nudes. It's why we cannot have artwork shown which depicts nude children in many pleaces, because people feel it implies sexuality. It's why you might note that -- though there are also other obvious factors at play as well -- in many tribes where nudity is common, you don't see a ton of rapes: nudity when natural, when common, doesn't get a sexual fixation attached to it by default.
To me, nudity and sexuality are not only not one and the same, I'm not even sure how linked they are. You can be nude and not be sexual, and you can be sexual and not be nude. That the two can be intertwined really doesn't mean very much, save where we see our culture use (and abuse, I'd say) them both to intertwine shame.
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