There's nothing you can explain about it that will convince people who are determined to remain dubious or even hostile regarding the pleasures of nakedness. Only the experience itself is really convincing, if one is willing to try it.
But sometimes a skilled and enthusiastic writer who can describe his or her own experience in glowing terms will convey enough of the essential idea to nudge people with an open mind and some spirit of adventure to give it a fair try.
Someone, for instance, like the young woman, Jan Gay, in her book, On Going Naked:
It is one of the grandest feelings in the world to go around without clothes.Jan didn't discover this later in life. Like many children in our society, she was raised in a strict, religious environment that strongly discouraged nudity. Nevertheless, also like many children, she had early and very positive experiences with nakedness:
One of the clearest recollections of my childhood is of a summer storm when I ran out naked into the yard to feel the rain pelting on my body. The grass was newly cut. Little pools had formed on the hard turf. I rolled over and over in the puddles. When I was discovered the cut grass clung to my hair and my wet body. I was spanked, but I have never forgotten the pleasure of that afternoon.As a teenager, living in a foster home in the U. S. midwest, life seemed pretty bleak, and (like many other teens) she flirted with thoughts of suicide. Nudity was one of her few pleasures:
Once during this period, in a spirit of daring, I stole a rowboat, crossed to a sandy island in the Kaw and there took off my clothes to lie in the sand for an afternoon. I was extremely unhappy, with that desperation of adolescence which does not know where to turn for understanding or guidance. I thought of jumping into the muddy river and trying to drown. I went to sleep lying naked in the sun. When I wakened I was more tranquil and found it possible to return and endure my uncongenial surroundings a little longer.She was hooked. As a young adult, though she had not yet discovered "organized nudism" she still loved to be naked. Not for sexual reasons, but just for the pleasure of it:
There followed years of greater freedom to go naked when I chose, so that whenever I found myself in any isolated field or forest, or alone and unlikely to be disturbed in a room of comfortable temperature, I took off my clothes.Jan's book has many other stories of nakedness enjoyed in out of the way country places and even in the heart of New York's Central Park. When she finally did discover that there was such as thing as organized nudity, she enthusiastically visited nudist parks, particularly in Germany, France, and Scandinavia.
Of course, many young people today either have a decided aversion to the idea of nudity, or at "best", conceive of it only as a sort of sexual adventure. Perhaps Jan Gay is of an earlier generation - maybe a child of the 60s? An earlier generation, yes - much earlier. In fact, she grew up early in this century, and her book was published in 1932.
She was one of the pioneering "nudists" in the U. S. Only a handful of nudist camps existed here at the time, and her book was one of the first published here - or anywhere in English - about nudism. Even in Germany, where it began, organized social nudism was only about 25 years old at the time. The nudist movement here enjoyed a springtime of a few brief years of public curiosity and interest before the iron fist of puritanical moralism came down and nearly stifled it entirely, until a gradual and modest revival in the 50s.
Someday perhaps we'll have as much tolerance even in the U. S. of A. (See the story in Vol. 1, No. 16 on attitudes towards artistic nudity in Texas.)
According to the article, DHL does this "as a customer service". We suggest you visit their home page and leave them a comment telling them just what you think of their "customer service".
In fact, the protests are becoming quite numerous, and no longer focus only on celebrities preferring to be naked rather than wear fur. Protests have recently been staged in Michigan, New York City, and Aspen, Colorado. You can keep up to date on such actions at PETA's Fur is Dead campaign page, in addition to their main site.
Even in chilly Copenhagen, four men and two women wearing only underpants staged a protest outside a fur auction house in temperatures around 0 degrees C, according to a December 14 Reuters' story. And in Milan, Italy, socialite Marina Ripa di Meana joined other protesters by baring her breasts to photographers and television cameramen with the violet inscription "No Furs" before a performance of Richard Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" at La Scala opera house.
Lori was also present in a recent incident at a local watering hole when some of her friends (but not Lori herself) were charged with trespassing for refusing to leave after a group of about 20 men and women enjoyed a bit of dancing at the bar topfree.
The title is a little misleading. The article isn't so much about what nudists are doing as it is about the reporter's attempts to find an answer to the question "why?" Of course, there are dozens of possible good answers to this, and the reporter (Ralf Kircher) managed to elicit a number of them. It's a fair and balanced article. But at the end the reporter doesn't seem to have found a persuasive answer. Unfortunately, no one seems to have suggested to him he might have been equally unsatisfied had he tried to answer the question, "why not?"
What's that old Chinese saying? Something like, "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand."
In other words, offer the kids an initiation/rite of passage experience to mark their coming of age as adults. Something the Aborigines (to say nothing of countless other cultures) have been doing for thousands of years in the form of the "walkabout" and similar ceremonies.
Is there anything "new" in this? It's hard to tell, as details of the proposed program in this November 22 article are rather sketchy. From the reactions of some of the people quoted, however, it appears that nudity might have been part of it. "The idea was fraught with danger," is how the reporter summarized many reactions. One legislator put it thusly: "Initiation ceremonies and the idea of having adolescent teenagers running around the scrub in the nude worries me a little." Not mincing words, a spokesperson for what appears to be Australia's equivalent of a U. S. right-wing "family values" organization put things more bluntly: "It (a camp) is not the place to discuss sexuality issues. A whole lot of kids together at that stage (of their adolescence) - their hormones are running wild and they could be influenced by certain discussions."
Imagine that. Discussing subjects of keen interest to the kids might influence them somehow. Wouldn't that be the whole point? Certainly, participation in any program like this should be with parental approval. But wouldn't it be great if this sort of thing were at least available?
The only reason we mention the article at all is that this seems like a good sign to us.
There is one thing amusing about it. Early on, the writer asks, rhetorically, "Have the standards of the American public changed that much in 25 years? Or is Hollywood up to something?" The answer he wishes to persuade the reader of is the latter. Yet just a little further on he mentions two noteworthy movies of the 60s, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Blow Up", which because of their frankness supposedly brought about the MPAA rating system. He observes: "By today's standards, neither of these films is particularly startling. But in the mid-'60s, they were revolutionary."
In other words, our cultural standards have changed! And in the direction of a healthier tolerance.
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