"An expert knows all the answers - if you ask the right questions."
- Levi Strauss
From time to time readers email questions about some of the things discussed here at Dallas Nudist Culture Examiner. A writer always appreciates questions, or at least should. If something wasn't quite clear to a reader, he appreciates the opportunity to explain it further. In addition, hearing from readers forges a connection with them which is the very thing most writers take up the craft for in the first place.
Here are a few questions that have been asked numerous times in one form or another. The thought occurred to me that there are likely others who have these same questions or at least very similar ones but have just never asked them. Perhaps others might appreciate having these same answers.
Question: "Why might someone want to be a nudist, isn't that kind of weird?"
If by weird you mean being a nudist forces you to question how you have been taught to feel about naked bodies then yes, nudists are very, very weird. For most people, by the age of 5 or 6, societal conditioning has taken root and they never question what they were taught, that nudity is something that is supposed to be shameful and something always sexual. The nudist or naturist lifestyle could actually solve many of the sexual hangups and body image issues that plague our society. It's a very liberating and empowering philosophy centered around acceptance and the appreciation of the human body in all of its forms rather than just a few of them.
Question: "Doesn't it make it difficult for a nudist to get turned on when they want to be intimate with a partner after being around naked people all the time?"
Being a nudist doesn't mean your body is no longer sexual, it simply means being able to make a distinction between erotic or sexual nudity and just plain old nudity. Nudists have simply rejected the societal taboo about nudity, that being naked is always sexual. People who accept the lie foisted on them by society are those who find it embarrassing to change clothes or use the showers at their local gym and feel anxious when they have to disrobe in circumstances as innocuous as a physical examination at the doctor's office. Nudists have sex just like everyone else and being a nudist doesn't complicate getting turned on with an intimate partner. In fact, studies show that nudists tend to be far less likely to have the common sexual hangups that many in general society have.
Question: "Do nudists just hate wearing clothes?"
Nudists don't hate wearing clothes and recognize that there are circumstances where clothes should be worn like when it is cold, during inclement weather or when cooking bacon. Nudists believe in being naked when it is convenient and appropriate. Since public nudity is illegal in most places, nudists don't object to wearing clothes when in general public, while at work or any other time when people are present who might be offended by nudity. The truth is few nudists would go nude in public where most everyone else was clothed, even if it were lawful. After all who would want to be in a situation where they would be stigmatized, sexually objectified or demonized? A nude person in a situation where everyone else was dressed would stand out just like a clothed person would stand out in a nudist setting and nudists like most people don't want to stand out, they want to fit in.
Question: "Isn't it true that the naked people you see at nudist clubs are exactly the kind of people you would never want to see naked?"
If you are asking whether you might see older, chubby, wrinkly, hairy, saggy bodies then yes. Nudists come in all shapes, sizes and ages. A person who has the mindset that nudity is only sexual and that believes the sight of a naked body should excite and titillate them should stick to porn and not bother trying social nudity because they will only see what real naked people look like. When you really adopt the nudist mentality you find you don't really care that people don't have perfect bodies. You might find yourself starting to appreciate the diversity of human bodies. The truth is most men find a scantily dressed woman far more titillating than a naked woman no matter what kind of body she has. The popularity of lingerie is evidence of that fact.
Question: "Isn't nudity immoral and sinful?"
Uh, no. Is that a trick question? We were born naked. We bathe and shower naked. We are all naked under our clothes while wearing them. If you happen to be religious or believe we were created by a supreme being, don't you think it would have been kind of rude to create us naked and then consider it an offense if we went around without clothes? That just doesn't make any logical sense.
[More from Dallas Nudist Culture Examiner: Is nudism immoral?]
Question: "Aren't nudists just perverts who want to see other people naked or be seen naked by others?"
Did you see my photo on the web page? Come on! Do I look like a pervert who wants to see people naked? Actually, don't answer that question. Seriously, the truth is if you visited a nudist club or park and spent time around nudists one of the things you would notice right away is that there would be a lot more eye contact than you might normally find in a clothed social setting. You never hear a nudist woman saying, "Hey buddy, my eyes are up here." Nudists have social rules and structure just like non-nudists do. They aren't immoral, their morals are simply different from those other people might have. It is considered just as rude to stare at someone's crotch or bare breasts at a nudist club or resort as it would be in a clothed social gathering. Being naked with other people doesn't mean your manners go away. Anyone visiting a nudist club expecting a sexually exciting time end up feeling pretty disappointed. At a club or resort you would see nudists socializing, engaging in recreational activities, swimming and sunbathing. You would not see anyone strutting around trying to get people to look at their naked bodies. Voyeuristic or exhibitionist behavior isn't allowed or tolerated and the vast majority of creepers who attempt to get into a club for those kinds of reasons get screened out by the staff before they even get a chance to gain admittance.
Question: "Since you write about nudity why do you not include photos of naked people with the articles?"
Good question! It does seem logical that an examiner of nudist culture would illustrate articles with images of nude people. After all it might help people struggling with body image issues to see what real naked people look like and it might help non-nudists to lighten up a little when it comes to nudity. But here is the problem. Examiner prohibits the use of images that depict nudity. It doesn't violate any laws to publish photos of nude adults but I do understand the intent of the rule. Examiner wants to appeal to a diverse audience and want to keep things PG rated. They are sensitive to the fact that some readers might be offended by nudity and rightly so. As I write about often, there are lots and lots of people who are sincerely offended by nudity and their feelings deserve to be respected.
Actually I have to say that Examiner has been more than fair and have often cut me some slack when it comes to images. Sometimes, an image showing naked buttocks is allowed. Frontal nudity is always prohibited. Recently, after spending several hours writing a piece I included an official video produced by the American Association for Nude Recreation. Shortly after the article published, it was removed because an editor deemed that the video contained nudity and was therefore offensive. The video showed four nude association members up to their necks in a swimming pool. I looked at the video from every possible angle and wasn't able to see anything below the surface of the water, yet the decision was the video wasn't allowable. The particular article was newsy and time-sensitive so once it was unpublished and I became aware of it, the information was dated and useless so it didn't make sense to remove the video and re-publish it. The time I spent researching and writing the article was wasted and I won't be compensated for it. I share this only to make the point that it is near impossible to find nude photos that would pass the Examiner test. Not to mention whenever there are rules there are different ways of interpreting them. It's against the rules to use photos that depict nudity and just isn't worth the risk of pushing the envelope so to speak with questionable images because of the chance that hours of effort may all go for naught if an editor decides it is outside the bounds of what is acceptable.
Hopefully this article answered some of the questions you have about nudists and their lifestyle and about Dallas Nudist Culture Examiner. If you have a question that wasn't answered, always feel free to email it. Remember the only stupid questions are those I don't have answers for. At least where it comes to Dallas nudist culture, no one has stumped me yet.
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