Naked in public

Getting acquainted with the characters in my stories is always a joy to me, whether they are easy-going and likeable, or emotionally damaged. Like getting to know a new friend, sometimes one will catch me off-guard by revealing a surprising detail about themselves. This happened to me yesterday, when my current protagonist let me know she’s a naturist. I have no idea where it came from–I’ve never met a naturist before (that I know of) and haven’t ever had a reason to research the lifestyle. My only brush with naturism was in the sauna on a cruise ship that departed from Hamburg with mostly German guests…

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Anyway, when Alex (a sculptor) made it clear that being naked is crucial to her creativity, I was intrigued. And when she’s offered a commission to create a sculpture in a public park (in my current work in progress), I couldn’t help but get excited. What would she do? The work promises to generate valuable publicity for her career, but will being naked beneath her overalls be enough to satisfy her muse? If her employer, workmates or the general public found out about her love of nakedness, would she be treated as a curiosity–or a pervert? And what sort of influence does being a naturist have on her sexuality?

When I thought about it, it seemed the nudist lifestyle had gone quiet lately–doubtless due to the recent social sensitivity to sexual harassment–so I did a little digging.

Sadly, it has become necessary to disassociate public nudity from sex. Genuine naturists can struggle against the assumption they are sexually promiscuous, involved in swinging or orgies. But the fact is nudists have sex just like non-nudists do. Sometimes they meet a person they like and want to get to know better–intellectually and/or physically.

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Personally, I think it’s healthy for people to see the truth and diversity of the adult body, especially young adults who may have only been exposed to idealised human forms in fashion and advertising (‘perfect’ specimens + post production airbrushing).

I found lots of posts and articles with interesting perspectives, and have copied them here, along with the links:

 “…like everyone else we keep the sex for somewhere private.

Being naked doesn’t mean that your urges or morals change, and it’s not because we feel sexually attracted to someone that we’re not able to control ourselves anymore.

We don’t need clothes to prevent ourselves to act like wild animals.

It’s like going to a bar and you see this cute woman or man and you feel that you’re getting excited. That doesn’t mean that you’re going over take off all clothes and have sex.

Well it’s exactly the same thing for naturists. Except the taking off clothes part.”

Nick & Lins

“it’s worth considering that nudity in modern society is mostly confined to the virtual realities of commercial pornography, which suggests nakedness is always sexual and tends to be experienced in social isolation, or commercial sexual environments such as lap dancing clubs, which play on sexual exploitation and sexism.

The idea that naturist environments potentially offer a unique space to explore the breadth of sexual feelings, and to experience these in a more balanced and real way, could make them very attractive to a younger generation. And breathe new life into naturism.”

Dr Glenn Smith

Also, during my research, I came across a part of naturism I hadn’t considered–erections when naked in public.

“I think that the only people who discuss it are men with no experience of social nudity.

Because in a social nude situation, an erection just isn’t going to happen.

You won’t be confronted entirely with people who you find physically and sexually attractive. You will see all sorts, men and women. And they will see you. You will not get an erection with that particular cocktail of factors going on, I guarantee it. And as soon as you have experienced social nudity, you will wonder why you ever worried about getting an erection.

Erections are taboo, but that’s because they are so rare in social nude situations that the only people displaying them openly are those who are there because they find the whole thing sexually arousing, and they aren’t welcome at most nude venues.”

The way I see it, the absence of clothes represents freedom of choice and is a rare equaliser–the clothing we wear being a clear indicator of wealth and social position.

All very interesting. Thanks for the idea Alex, I might even be tempted to try it myself…

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