Most places in the U. S. are not terribly receptive to the idea of
enjoying life without clothes - and many are downright hostile
(see some of this week's news). So if you are unfortunate enough
to live in such a place (which is fairly likely), your best option
for clothes-free relaxation (outside of your home) is travel.
Maybe it's the time of year - summer in North America is long gone,
winter is setting in, our thoughts wander to... somewhere else.
Somewhere where it's warm enough to be naked outdoors. Whatever
the reason, there are a couple of very recent instances where the
mainstream media has picked up on the idea of clothes-free vacationing.
Consider the November issue of Conde Nast Traveler. The theme is
"privacy". Privacy for what? Unfortunately, the article entitled
"The naked escape" promises more than it delivers. It starts off
well: "There are places in the Caribbean so private you can leave
your clothes at home." Most of the locations reviewed, however,
are not situated near well-known clothing optional Caribbean beaches.
And nowhere is it really made clear which places are private enough
that you could actually spend a whole day naked outside of your
room. The headline seems more likely designed just to draw attention.
Yet it's interesting that the editors expect this will attract
Fortunately, another article in the magazine, entitled "In the Private Zone",
actually does come right out and get to the point. The article's
author, Michael Shnayerson, admits he likes to be naked. His assignment
was to visit three Caribbean resorts to evaluate their potential
for offering privacy, or at least relief from civilization's crowds. In
the first of these, he reports, "I felt entirely comfortable exploring
my new digs, inside and out, in the nude - as is my wont." Evidently,
it passed the privacy test. His second stop, by far the poshest,
offered a villa with its own private pool, beside which the author
could comfortably lie "naked and slathered in tanning gel on my pool
chair." And the third had villas in which "it would have been easy to
spend a week in the nude there." Now, this is all well and good.
Still, the reader is left with the depressing feeling that it is
only privacy which enables the enjoyment of a holiday in the nude.
One could, just as well, have spent a week in one's own home for that. The
fact that there are resorts and public beaches in the Caribbean
which can be enjoyed without clothing is left as the subject for
a different article from this one.
If you're inclined to pursue that direction, take a look at the current
travel section of the online
be greeted right away with the advice,
"For your next vacation, consider packing your
birthday suit and nothing else; you won't believe
how much you can do without your clothes on."
The remainder of the article is a whirlwind tour in about 400 words
of naturism and naturist travel opportunities. We sort of liked it,
since it starts out by mentioning our own
naturist links pages and (later) this very newsletter. There are also a
few links to specific destinations and some travel agents that can
help you get there. It's brief, but it's a start, and very welcome
to see in a mainstream Net publication. The concluding advice is
right on target: "get going and get nekkid."
- Supreme Court Fails to Challenge Denial of Topfree Equality
- On Friday, October 24, the Supreme Court refused to hear the
appeal of Angie Carreras in an important topfree equality case. Carreras
was arrested in 1993 when she removed her shirt at an outdoor
music festival in Texas. Police didn't interfere with Carreras'
male companion, who also removed his shirt. Carreras was charged
with "disturbing the peace". Unlike the similar top-freedom
cases in Canada, there is no issue of "indecency" here. Indeed,
Texas, like most states, has no specific laws prohibiting women
from being bare-chested in public, on account of "indecency" or
for any other reason. Nevertheless, there is a clear
gender inequality in the handling by officials of apparently
simple and harmless personal choices about attire. The Supreme
Court is not required to give any justfication for refusing to
hear an appeal, and none was given in this case. The issue therefore
remains up to local jurisdictions, and no precedent is created
(outside of Texas).
- California City Overrules Censorship of Breast Exam Program
- Further west, however, in Contra Costa County, California,
the Board of Supervisors, on a 5-0 vote, overruled the manager
of a community cable TV station, who had refused to allow the
broadcast of two videos dealing with self-examination for breast
cancer. The reason given by the manager - a woman, Patricia
Burker - was that naked breasts were shown, which in her opinion
would be "too graphic". Unfortunately for Burker, the San Francisco
area, in which Contra Costa County is located, has a much more
enlightened attitude towards the body, and certainly better
priorities in regard to providing valuable information about a
serious health issue.
- Mormon Church University Censors Rodin
- In a move that attacks both academic freedom and personal body
acceptance, officials of the Mormon-run Brigham Young University
successfully demanded the exclusion of celebrated sculptures
from a popular touring exhibition of Auguste Rodin's work. Four sculptures
were judged too challenging for Mormon eyes to view, including
Rodin's well-known "The Kiss". The Director of the BYU Museum
of Art felt that work, which depicts a naked man and woman
embracing, would disrupt the exhibit and offend some viewers. A
statue of John the Baptist was also excluded because officials
perceived some conflict between it and their religion. BYU is the
same university that only three years ago censored portions of
the movie "Schindler's List" which contained nudity. One has to
wonder whether BYU students have any opportunity even in their
classrooms to consider ideas not approved of by school officials.
- PBS Televises Debate on the "Morality" of Nudity
- During the week of November 3, the PBS show, Debates-Debates,
will feature the question "Is Nudity God's Will?". Speaking for
the affirmative are three naturists: Jim Cunningham, leader of
the Christian naturist group
Naturist Life International, Jim
Dodge, a Catholic priest, and Claudia Kellersch, a lifetime
The Naturist Society. Speaking on the other side are
Benedict Ashley, another Catholic priest, Bawa Jain, a United
Nations delegate from India, and Peter Thiel, a lawyer and former
member of the staff of the conservative Secretary of
Education William Bennett. Don't expect a raucous shouting match though.
The participants have already reported that the debate (which was
taped several weeks ago) was conducted in an amicable manner.
But it is noteworthy that this is one of the few opportunities
that articulate spokespersons on behalf of naturism receive to
present their case to a national TV audience.
- Local Anti-nudity Law Receives Recognition as "Freaky Foul-Up"
- Radical right-wing religious groups have been advocating
local anti-nudity laws containing very specific language that
attempts to define just how much skin is too much for sensitive
eyes to see. It is felt necessary to ensure that no one is
confused as to what constitutes the critical body parts. For
example, the definition of "buttocks" begins "the area at the
rear of the human body (sometimes referred to as the gluteus
maximus) that lies between two imaginary straight lines running
parallel to the ground when a person is standing, the first or
top of such line being one-half inch below the top of the vertical
cleavage of the nates..." In this month's issue, the political
magazine George recognizes a St. Johns County, Florida
ordinance containing that language (and much more) as one of the
Top 10 "freakiest bureaucratic foul-ups in recent history".
(Another winner was an Iowa law that rewards motorists
for running down deer on the highway.)
Top-Free Equality Web Page
- In view of the Supreme Court's rather cowardly decision
not to decide a topfree rights case as reported above,
and the Contra Costa County breast cancer programming
controversy, it seems appropriate to mention this excellent
set of pages. They are part of an Ohio nudism/naturism site,
since this is currently a hot topic there. It seems that
there are several places on public land in the state where topfree
swimming and sunbathing are common (but not full nudity). And
the local conservatives are strongly determined to put a
stop to it. They need new legislation to do so, however,
since courts have already ruled that it's currently legal
under Ohio law. But they are hard at work on it.
Naturism and Sports
- The term "nude recreation" got a big boost a couple of
years ago when the largest U. S. nudist organization, the
American Sunbathing Association, changed its name to the
American Association for Nude Recreation. Some people still
think that's kind of a wimpy name which doesn't fully
acknowledge the philosophy of many people who simply like to
be naked. Yet it does suggest that nudists and naturists
like life to be a little more active than simply lying in
the sun. This site provides a list, with short commentary
and illustrations, of a large number of sports than can
pleasurably be pursued without any clothing. It's not just
swimming and volleyball. Consider gymnastics, hiking,
running, cycling, archery, sailing, canoeing, horeseback
riding, yoga, golf, tennis, skiiing...
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