- Dating & Nudism
Isn’t this something that most naturists who aren’t in a long-term relationship wonder about? The conventional wisdom is that the best way for a naturist to find a compatible date is not to search for someone who’s already a naturist. Why? Partly because of the well-known gender imbalance problem, if for no other reason. In particular, a naturist man would be doing naturism itself a favor by finding a dating partner who’s not already a naturist and persuading her of the many healthy and wholesome features of social nudity. (Just for this point, assume heterosexual dating.)
The article cited is from the new Our Natural Blog of Sam and Aleah. (Previously referenced in this post.) The very first point made there is to focus on people outside the naturist community – because otherwise the task “is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It would severely limit your dating pool and probably end up working against your dating success.” A corollary of this point is that if you want to find a compatible date, you’ll have to be able to make an honest and persuasive argument for the benefits and reasonableness of naturism. So you’d best have a fair amount of naturist experience yourself in order to be considered a knowledgeable source of information.
The next point is to focus strongly on compatibility. You need to find a person who’s not only open-minded enough to seriously consider naturism, but also shares a variety of interests with you that have little to do with naturism. For example: activities and hobbies, philosophy of life, previous experiences, and life goals. Even if your ultimate objective isn’t a long-term relationship, you want whatever you do together to be enjoyable for both of you. There’s a lot of additional great advice in the article – so just go read it if you’re seriously interested in naturist dating.
- Why is this artist photographing random naked people in random spots on the streets of Vienna?
Martin Gabriel Pavel (MGP) is a Czech photographer who has been doing a series of photos, called “Daily Portraits”, since 2011. All portraits are of models who are naked or semi-naked volunteers, and who pose at a wide variety of urban locations in Austria and other nearby countries. (The headline is misleading, since MGP doesn’t work only in Vienna.) The portraits are eventually collected into books, which are sold to support MGP’s work. The images are quirky and sometimes surrealistic instead of straightforward personal portraits – in other words, “artistic”. Viewers are left to make their own interpretations, but in general the images raise questions like “What is the deeper meaning, if any, of this naked person in this particular place?” And “What is the subject feeling about the experience?”
When asked by the interviewer to explain the “concept” of the series MGP is currently working on, he says “Each series has a different concept. In the last series in Berlin, 381 people were photographed naked, and those who were photographed, also took photos of other strangers. For example, I photographed Elle in her apartment, then I gave her my camera and she went and photographed another stranger in his apartment, and so on.” So, in part, the work is about random people who are willing to be photographed naked and possibly to then photograph others, also naked. Inevitably, too, the work is about nakedness itself. MGP says, further, “The aim of this series is to capture a feeling, the atmosphere of the city through pictures of the naked body.”
All subjects, of course, gave consent, and often enjoyed the experience enough to tell friends about it and encourage them to volunteer also. MGP says that “Most of my models have never posed naked before. They feel empowered after the experience.” It seems unlikely that this sort of work could be done in the U. S. – or probably in most other countries besides where MGP works. Not only have many people without previous experience posing naked volunteered, but it seems that local police and the general public very seldom object to the project. Unlike the work of Spencer Tunick – most of whose subjects are simply anonymous “bodies” – MGP’s subjects are (mostly) distinct, identifiable people. One wonders whether nudity is already more “normalized” in the places where MGP works. Certainly, the books that are produced as a result are a great example of “normalizing nudity”.
- Alton Towers hotel is being taken over by nudists for a clothing-free weekend for families
Unless you’re British, this is a bigger deal than it might seem. According to Wikipedia, “Alton Towers Resort is an amusement park in Staffordshire, England, near the village of Alton, which … incorporates a theme park, water park, spa, mini golf and hotel complex.” So it’s not just another water park, several of which in the UK occasionally host naturist groups for private swims. According to the resort itself, it’s “the UK’s biggest Theme Park”. In other words, much more like Disneyland, and in fact it offers more: a water park, spa, and mini-golf.
Even though the event isn’t scheduled until the weekend of November 20-22, it’s received coverage from a number of UK news outlets (links below). Most importantly, it has been organized by British Naturism – the UK’s official naturist organization. Nudity’s allowed 24/7 in the waterpark and hotel areas. (Because of the season, most outdoor facilities won’t be open.) The place will be closed to the general public (although presumably anyone can attend if they pay the admission, aren’t bothered by nudity, and belong to or join BN or INF). Accommodations for two nights and use of facilities are priced at £325 (about US$423) for a family of four. And children of all ages are welcome. This will actually be the 14th year for the event. More than 400 naturists are expected to attend. (The limit’s probably dictated by the number of hotel rooms available.)
Here’s the official announcement and reservation page. Can anyone among U. S. naturists imagine either (or both) of the U. S. naturist organizations taking over even part of a Disney property for a weekend?
- BBC to screen two hours of ‘slow TV’ cameras panning around naked bodies of life drawing models… in the hope that viewers will sketch them at home
If you’re like most people in the U. S., outside of major urban areas or far from large universities, it can be quite difficult or impossible to find places where you can sketch or paint naked life models. The same is true (possibly to a lesser extent) in other modern countries. But now in the UK the BBC has a solution. According to the article,
“Budding artists will be given a lesson in life drawing from the comfort of their own home in a two-hour special on BBC Four. Life Drawing Live, an interactive class where viewers can draw the nude models on their screen, will make television history on highbrow channel BBC Four. Billed as an art lesson for the whole country, the special could be the first of many interactive cultural programmes. The audience will be asked to draw along from their living rooms as the class is led by award-winning artists Daphne Todd and Lachlan Goudie.”
The BBC cameras will pan slowly around the room so that viewers have time to quickly sketch models. However, it’s unclear whether this will be repeated regularly instead of being a one-off event. And the article doesn’t say when the broadcast will occur, except “early” in 2020. Anyone outside of the UK, of course, is still SOL. In any case, people anywhere can go to YouTube or Vimeo, search on “life drawing” or “life modeling” and come up with videos that offer pretty much what BBC plans to do. Better still, you can watch the videos as many times as you need to improve your drawing skills. Perhaps the BBC thing is more of an attention-grabbing stunt. But at least the BBC will offer something that many people would otherwise not even think of trying.
- What is Naked Therapy?
The article answers that question:
“Naked therapy is a form of mental health treatment that isn’t sexual in nature. It helps people become more comfortable with their bodies. It began in the 1930s when Howard Warren, who is a Princeton psychologist, and at the time was president of the American Psychological Association, spent a week’s time at a nudist camp in Germany. After that, he wrote a paper called “Social Nudism and the Body Taboo.” Warren discovered that being naked made people feel more comfortable with themselves; less self-conscious.”
The article’s about body acceptance. It’s actually targeted at men, and published on a men’s site, even though body acceptances is more often considered a women’s issue. Of course, most naturists have already realized that being naked socially is quite enjoyable, as well as providing emotional and psychological benefits. “Therapy” means participating in an organized group where people are naked and explicitly discuss body acceptance issues under the guidance of a trained professional. In other words, it’s a way for men (and women) who aren’t already used to social nudity to discover and experience some of its psychological benefits. A naturist might want to investigate naked therapy to recommend to friends and relatives who have body acceptance issues.
Naked therapy was a popular thing back in the 1960s and 70s, although it was sometimes associated with open sexuality, drug/psychedelic use, and other counter-cultural fads of the time. As this earlier article explains, naked therapy is much less used now, although it can be experienced with some online sources. Truthfully, however, for people whose body issues aren’t too severe, visiting a good naturist club or resort a few times – or just being naked often at home – is simpler and cheaper. But for more serious issues, a professional counselor or therapist may be better.
- How to Cover Nudists the Wrong Way
Here’s another plea on Matthew McDermott’s blog for mainstream journalists to write intelligently about naturism. I’ve already cited here an earlier article by Matthew about this. Any naturist who interacts with journalists needs to understand the biases and habits that journalists bring with them. At the end of the new article are four key suggestions that naturists and their clubs should keep firmly in mind.
Consider some examples of the language some journalists use to slyly disparage naturists and naturism – from this article about the Alton Towers event described above. The headline reads “Alton Towers water park set to be overrun by nudists for a ‘weekend of fun'”. It says the park will be “overrun” – like a plague of locusts? – by naturists. And notice the use of scare quotes at the end. The first sentence uses “descend on” instead of “overrun” – but implies the same comparison to locusts. Most of the remainder of the article is straight from the British Naturism announcement. However, the last four sentences repeat the often alleged but never verified charges by a “paedophile hunter” of the supposed dangers tp children of such events. So the writers continue to gratuitously repeat a nonexistent link between naturism and pedophilia. Also questionable is continuing to write “nudists” instead of “naturists” – where the latter term is now more common in Europe, and in England itself.