No, this is not about streaking. It's about serious, competitive running,
where the competitors, at least some of them, are completely naked.
Some naturists like serious running, and some serious runners like to be
naked. Ideally, these interests could be combined. And as it happens -
they can be. There are now a number of cross country runs held annually
at nudist/naturist places in the Northwest, in Texas, and in Florida.
From all indications, this number is growing yearly.
There is also the unique Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco. It attracts
upwards of 80,000 participants and two or three times that number of
spectators. Every year for over a decade, a handful of runners do it
wearing only shoes and socks (and perhaps a bra, if appropriate). The
number last year was about 20. There has been no interference from the
local police since 1993, and the crowd's reaction is overwhelmingly
favorable. Think about that for a moment - where else in the U. S. can
naked people run (or walk) unhindered through the streets in broad daylight?
The Bay to Breakers will be held on May 17 this year. If you're anywhere
near San Francisco at that time, have a look at the appropriate links
below to find out more about it. You may not want to miss it.
And note that you can do it walking (nude) if you're not quite in shape
for running it. Here's an example of nudity as an accepted part of a
Elsewhere in the country, there are running events as early as May.
This may be a good way to have a look at the more "organized" side of
naturism, since all other events are at naturist/nudist venues. But you
don't have to be a member of the host club, and in some cases you don't
even have to be naked. (Maybe you could use that fact to convince a
friend to join you.)
Nude Running in General
Calendar of Nude Running Events
- This page by Ken Raich is the best general source of information on
past and future nude running events.
Bare as You Dare Cross Country 5K
- Ken Raich is an organizer of this event, to be held August 22
at the Bluebonnet Naturist Resort in Texas (about an hour from
Bare Buns Fun Run
- This run will be held July 26 at Kaniksu Ranch Family Nudist
Park near Spokane, WA. It's clothing optional: you don't have
to be nude, but why on earth would you want to miss the opportunity?
Dare to Go Bare 5K Run at Lake Como Club
- This event will be held at Lake Como Club near Tampa, FL on
Wreck Beach Bare Buns Run/Walk
- To be held July 11 at Vancouver's Wreck Beach.
Bare Buns Fun Run West
- Held at Fraternity Snoqualmie in July, 1997.
Running Au Naturel
- A nice page by "Pete", a participant in the Bare Buns Fun Run.
Bare Buns Fun Runs and Bare to Breakers
- A brief page of information about nude running.
San Francisco Bay to Breakers
Bare To Breakers
- This is the "official" page for naturist entrants in the race.
Everything you need to know about doing the run naked is here.
Bare to Breakers!
- An excellent, detailed story by Mike Marinacci on what it's
like to run naked in front of hundreds of thousands. Conclusion:
Bare to Breakers Pictures
- Gallery of photos from the nude division of the
San Francisco Bay to Breakers run.
Walking the Bay to Breakers
- Article by Charles Crockett for the Canyon State Naturists
newsletter. (Some people like the opportunity to be nude, but
don't particularly care for running.)
Bay to Breakers Run
- Article by Tom Middleton of the Camping Bares. (Another
perspective from someone who walks the race.)
Bay to Breakers '98
- The official San Francisco Examiner site for the race. Everything
you need to know to enter is here.
Bay to Breakers
- General site about the race by a non-naturist. (See the list of
"wackos", which includes "anything nude", as well as "the Pope".)
- Peter Guither is a university professor of theatre management,
a very accomplished photographer, and an open naturist. His Web
site is rich with material from each of those areas. The
photography involves both theater and the naked body - but the
latter in a way that is completely unlike "glamour" photography or
even traditional "fine art" nudes. The naturist section includes
an instructive parable called
Robert's Naturism Hub Page
- Like Guither's pages, Robert Tedder's site has quite a bit more
interesting content than the usual personal home page. Here you
will find many contributed stories of first-time experience with
naturism, as well as personal stories from other long-time
naturists. There are also some of Tedder's own published articles
on naturism, a selection of email comments he has received, and
some pages of contributed pictures.
Texas Topfree Oral Arguments
- Although the U. S. Supreme Court last fall declined to hear
the appeal of Angie Carreras in a topfreedom case (see
Vol. 1, No. 5), the arguments
developed by her counsel are very persuasive. Everyone should
read them in order to pick up some compelling arguments as to
why changes are needed in our society's attitude towards
bodies in general, and women's bodies in particular.
- Swedish nude political ad
- Yes, nudity figures in a story about elections. One can
hardly imagine such a thing happening in the U. S., but in some
countries which don't have such backward ideas about the human
body - such as Sweden - nudity is used in ads by major political
parties to symbolize what is wholesome and good in life. The
equivalent of motherhood and apple pie in the U. S.
Sweden's Centre Party recently came up with an ad depicting a naked
woman wading in a picturesque lake. It was intended to evoke images
of everything good about Sweden, such as a summer's evening and a
Nevertheless, the ad provoked considerable criticism from women,
not because of "indecency", but because it exploited women to make
political points. Obviously, the ad designers should have included
an equally naked male - or even better, a whole family.
- Virginia censorship quashed
- A recent Federal court ruling in Virginia has once again supported
the important notion that nudity, per se, should not be considered to
be "sexually explicit material". On February 26, a U. S. District
Court judge struck down a 1996 Virginia law that prohibited State
employees from using state computers to access such materials over
Unfortunately for the State censors, university professors who are
State employees and working in fields such as art history, human
sexuality, English literature, and psychology were found to have a
legitimate need to access material involving nudity, in addition to
material which actually is sexually explicity, as part of their
research. Six professors and the ACLU sued, and the result was
another welcome loss for narrow-mindedness.
- PETA protest in Hong Kong
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) continues to
use public nudity in political protests around the world. While the nudity
itself probably doesn't change anyone's mind on the animal rights
issues, it certainly does draw attention to PETA's cause. On February
28 in Hong Kong two women wearing nothing but body paint briefly
appeared in the central business district. The protesters were
painted with leopard spots and feline whiskers. Skin is the issue.
One of the women was quoted as saying "By showing some of our skin, we
hope to save animals' skins."
PETA activists have conducted similar
naked protests in Tokyo, Paris, Milan, New York, London and Moscow.
We reported on one
example last November in New York in
Vol. 1, No. 8. A PETA advertising campaign has featured well-known
models such as
Christy Turlington appearing nude with the slogan, "I'd rather
go naked than wear fur." (As should anyone in their right mind, even
even if they aren't animal rights activists.)
- Cap d'Agde makes the news
- Nothing especially newsworthy has happened of late at Cap d'Agde (as
far as we know) - it's winter there too, after all. But perhaps it
is newsworthy that the Associated Press recently offered a story
about it entitled "This 'naked city' is the real thing".
As is typical of news reporting in general, there are both large and
small inaccuracies in the story. For instance, it is
claimed, incorrectly, that one can't visit unless one has reserved
accommodations. There are many quotes in the article from Pauline
Tartanella, co-owner of
Through Our Eyes Travel, an agency specializing in travel to
Cap d'Agde. Unfortunately, the article also states quote erroneously
that Tartanella and her husband own the Cypress Cove nudist resort
However, these errors do not put Cap d'Agde itself in a bad light. Overall,
the story ought to arouse a healthy curiosity about nude vacationing.
And it is a positive thing, especially for the general public in the
U. S., to know that a place like Cap d'Agde exists.
- Advertising agency: Grey Direct
- A British advertising agency has taken nudity to a logical
conclusion, of sorts, by featuring about half of their own staff
entirely naked in a group photo that forms the centerpiece of an
ad for the agency in a trade magazine. The ad copy reads, "We won't be
hiding behind the usual protocols and procedures -- or anything else
for that matter."
Great creativity was obviously employed in the positioning of arms
and legs of each of the staffers so that no naughty bits are visible --
as you may confirm for yourself, since the picture is at the company's
This use of a popular advertising theme to promote an ad agency itself
was considered so newsworthy that it rated a
CNN news article.
- Internet service provider: Virgin Net
- Yes, nudity is now being used to sell Internet services. The
only copy in Virgin Net's
ad in the February issue of the UK .Net
magazine reads "Roam free on the Internet". The picture, which fills
a whole page, show a young nude couple, from behind, running hand in
hand through a field of wildflowers. (Must be hard on the feet.)
Now, one might say that the ad is really using a sex/romance angle
here, and there is perhaps some truth to that. On the other hand,
the ad copy suggests that the nudity is being used to suggest the
idea of freedom - an important part of the naturist concept. In any
case, note that this is aimed at the UK market. It might be a little
too "daring" for the U. S. mind set.
- Perfume: Acqua Di Gio
- Nudity in perfume ads is old hat. But such ads are most commonly
found in women's magazines. Here's a full page example in the New
Yorker's February 23-March 2 issue. The theme is water. Apart from
the name of the product and the manufacturer, there's nothing in the
ad but a picture of a very thin, completely naked fashion model,
from behind, standing in the surf. Not bad as an invitation to
skinny-dipping. Of course, even here there is a little bit of
timidity in the image. In addition to being taken from behind, the
water splashes in such a way that the crack of the model's butt
can't be seen, even though well above the water line.
Just as we noted back in October of last year
(Vol. 1, No. 4) profoundly misguided would-be censors continue
hard at work attacking artistic efforts to provide everyone with a more
healthy attitude towards something we all have in common, our bodies.
Since our last issue, two indictments have been announced in Alabama
against the Barnes and Noble bookstore chain for selling books by
naturist photographer Jock Sturges.
The earlier indictment of Barnes & Noble in Tennessee
(see Vol. 1, No. 7)
turned on the idea of nudity per se as "harmful
to children", the imaginary trauma that might be inflicted in case
a person under 18 might see a naked body such as depicted in one of
Sturges' books. In Alabama, the allegation is even more serious, that
the books themselves are "child pornography". They are not, of course,
by any test that has held up in a U. S. court in recent years.
The concern that naturists have (or should have) is that somewhere,
somehow, the enemies of a more healthful outlook will manage to find a jury
which goes along with their uninformed prejudices. This would add support
to the radical right opinion that mere nudity, of either adults or
children themselves, is inherently inimical to the welfare and well-being
of children. This is simply an unfounded prejudice, not unlike
other unscientific opinions dear to the radical right, such as belief
in the validity of "creation science".
There's a lot more that could be said about this, but for now we offer
some news reports and other references on the most recent developments in
this controversy. It now has the attention of "the media", so we can
expect to hear quite a bit more about it.
Barnes & Noble Indicted in Alabama
- A summary of the situation from the American Booksellers
Jock Sturges: Portfolio
- Sturges doesn't have his own home page on the Web, and there
are no sites with large, authorized collections of his work.
However, you can see three examples of his images here.
Book review of Jock Sturges
- This review, by Charles Taylor, reflects on how Sturges (like most
photographers who deal with people or anything else mutable) uses
his art to document the passage of time. Since he returns again and
again to the same individual subjects, we get a series of "flashbulb"
images from the subjects' lives. Yet, "The photos that seem to capture
his subjects' essence are possessed of a silvery fluidity that
keeps them from becoming frozen moments." (One image included.)
Workshop Speaker: Jock Sturges
- Report of a talk given by Sturges at the Eddie Adams Workshop.
You can read some of the photographer's own explanations of his
work. (Two images included.)
The File Room: Jock Sturges
- The File Room is a large site consisting of case histories of
artistic censorship and other freedom of speech violations. This
page summarizes the events of 1990 in which Sturges first came
to public attention. (One image included.)
Tennessee Indicts Bookstore for Obscenity
- Reuters article concerning the November, 1997 Tennessee indictment.
We couldn't think of a way not to mention this item, yet it is a
The March, 1998 issues of Men's Health magazine actually has a
short (about 1/3 page) sidebar promoting nude travel and recreational
opportunities. It is, of course, welcome to see something like this is
a "mainstream" magazine.
There are brief discriptions of five destinations or resources which
are recommended. To save you the trouble of finding this mag or spending
$4 on it, there are Web sites you can visit for all of the items:
Contact information for TNS and AANR is also provided.
So what's wrong with this? Well, there's an illustration with the article,
a picture of a nude female windsurfer. Only... there are fig leaves crudely
pasted into the picture to cover her pubic area and her nipples.
And this is a men's magazine, promoting nude recreation? Duh...
I guess they figured children might be reading it, or else some 25 year-old
jock contemplating a vacation at Hedo II might be shocked by nudity.
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