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Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

Beachgirl
My generation we are pushing for women's right to go topless and now more women are going braless.


You really know how to open a discussion, don't you?

Men, this is a woman thing. Most men don't understand. I'm opening a separate thread because I think going topless or braless is quite different from the topic of first-time visit to a nude beach on which Beachgirl had been posting, and it deserves its own topic.

It's hard for men to understand the issues many women have with bras. Even when they fit well, they are often uncomfortable, and many bras don't fit well. Far too many women rely on advice from mothers, older sisters, and female friends, and have never invested the time and money to visit a quality women's store to get a professional fitting consultation to help them learn the right fit for their body. In bras, as with many other things, you get what you pay for, and women who visit a quality women's store for the first time sometimes learn they're wearing a totally wrong size for their body, or learn that sizes vary by brand and they need to go up or down at least one size, or maybe more, when comparing brands.

Even with the best-fitting bra, a larger woman is likely to have a huge feeling of relief at the end of the workday when she gets home and can take off her bra and heels. Underwires just aren't designed for comfort. Straps can pinch. Sometimes I envy my "A-cup" friends who don't have these issues.

The alternatives to a bra aren't always good. A camisole with enough fabric in the right places prevents nipples from showing through a dressy blouse, which is one of the most important reasons for wearing a bra, but that's not a good match for a T-shirt or polo shirt or other casual clothing. Younger women and women with smaller busts may be able to go braless without discomfort, but older women and larger women really do need the support if they want to look nice in public.

When women choose to go braless, other things also happen, and they're more difficult to discuss than supporting the bust and avoiding offense by preventing the shape of the nipples from showing.

Nipples respond to sensual stimulation by getting firmer and bigger. That means they more easily show through a blouse and are almost certain to show through a T-shirt or other thin fabric. I can't speak for other women, but when I've gone braless (yes, I've done it) the unexpected feeling of my nipples rubbing against the fabric of my shirt had much the same effect as swimming naked with water gliding over my breasts -- physical arousal that can be noticed by other people. Is that what a woman wants? Maybe at a club, but it's not what I want at work in a professional office environment, it's not what most students want in school, and it's not wanted in most social settings.

Bras for women perform a function similar to shorts for men -- reducing stimulation, making arousal less likely, and (at least partly) hiding arousal if it happens.

My husband read this and said I'm overestimating the effectiveness of shorts for men. "Welcome to the club! How do you think men feel when they see an attractive woman at work and she happens to notice our pants?"

Okay, maybe men understand more about this than I gave them credit. But by putting padding between the nipple and a woman's shirt, bras perform an important function of preserving women's modesty.

Maybe society will change on this and it will become okay for a cute young secretary to go braless at work. That day is not today, and while young male co-workers may not mind, bosses and HR people will.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

I thought the purpose of shorts (underpants) was purely sanitary. It hasn't been all that long, though before living memory, that men began wearing shorts. However, that fact must be taken along with all the other little details of men's clothing. At one time, a man's shirt reached to the knees. But it was also considered an undergarment. Long underwear was also worn for warmth, too, of course, because heating systems were not so efficient and we didn't dash from the house to the car in our shirt-sleeves. Beyond that, you can make up any story you like about the purpose of undergarments.

My grandmother, born, I think, in 1879, never owned a bra. She still owned corsets, although she had given up wearing them by the time I came along. She wore "step-ins," vests, thick stockings and dresses. I am unable to provide any insights into her feels on her clothing.

Basically, however, what is being discussed is dress reform, which comes up every couple of generations. Feel free to discuss whatever ideas you have regarding clothing, male or female, adult or child.

In the meantime, you might be interested in knowing that a few nudist clubs suggest that as the weather gets cooler, which it may or may not do this year, that club members may begin wearing appropriate garments. But the last part of the body to be covered is the genitals. One might conclude that nudism is all about exposing the genitals. Feel free to discuss that idea, too.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

Good points, BlueTrain.

BlueTrain
I thought the purpose of shorts (underpants) was purely sanitary.


Mmmm... I texted my husband. He agrees. He explains he meant that the choice of boxers, briefs, "going commando" or something else affects how much padding the pubic area gets, how much stimulation men feel "down there," and how much concealment is provided if something causes arousal. He was trying to compare the role of men's underpants to the role women's bras have in preventing the shape of nipples from showing through a blouse and also protecting both men's and women's "private parts" from unwanted stimulation. Still, concealment is not the primary purpose of men's shorts, at least not in the way that concealing the nipples is a major reason why women wear bras.

BlueTrain
Long underwear was also worn for warmth, too, of course, because heating systems were not so efficient and we didn't dash from the house to the car in our shirt-sleeves... Basically, however, what is being discussed is dress reform, which comes up every couple of generations. Feel free to discuss whatever ideas you have regarding clothing, male or female, adult or child.


Totally right!

The clothing choices we have today are made possible mostly because of our ability to control the climate in which we live. My parents grew up with no air conditioning. It was a luxury their own parents could have afforded but considered an unnecessary expense for the few days per year the temperature went into the 90s. My mother was told, "What would you rather have mom and dad buy, an air conditioner or the pool we got for our family in the back yard?" Of course, as a young girl and teenager, my mom DEFINITELY preferred the pool. Maybe something rubbed off from mom to me?

Lots of the "old traditional style rules" on what clothing could be worn before and after Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc., were based on practical realities of what it was like to work in an office environment in the summer with no air conditioning in which fans and open windows were the only way to cool down a room full of people.

Even today, a woman wearing a thousand-dollar outfit who needs to walk from the subway station to her office in Manhattan is likely to put her high heels in her purse and wear tennis shoes or other "sensible shoes" for walking until she gets to her office, where she will slip off her walking shoes and put on her heels. She'll wear warmer clothes in colder weather and lighter clothes in warm weather due to the duration of her walk, choosing differently from a woman who parks her car in a suburban office parking lot and walks two minutes from her air conditioned or heated car to reach her air conditioned and heated office building.

Not having to worry about heat or cold means people can wear clothing which is thinner and is selected for looks, not warmth. I have a fairly tight V-neck blouse that is attractive but not overly sexy which I sometimes wear if I'm going to make a sales call on certain clients. I put a blazer over the blouse if I make sales calls that day on clients who would not like it. I don't put the blazer on for warmth or for my comfort, but for the attitudes of the people I'll meet. The silk of that blouse is way too thin to wear without a bra since the shape of the underlying nipple would be immediately visible, but I may wear it braless at home when I get back from work before my husband if I'm in a romantic mood and decide to keep my office clothes on to get him "interested." Some things are fine for husbands and wives at home that are not fine in an office.

BlueTrain
My grandmother, born, I think, in 1879, never owned a bra. She still owned corsets, although she had given up wearing them by the time I came along. She wore "step-ins," vests, thick stockings and dresses. I am unable to provide any insights into her feels on her clothing.


My guess is she didn't wear a bra because she didn't need one. Based on the date of her birth, the type of corset common when she was a younger woman provided support not only for the stomach, back and breast, based on the styles of that day for a certain type of figure, but also padding necessary to prevent nipples from showing which is today provided by bras.

Even without a bra, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, fashion styles for women used thick cloth with multiple layers and there wasn't much risk of the nipple shape being seen through thick fabric. Modesty in that era focused more on skirt length than the bust. For formal wear, while some women were careful to have necklines buttoned all the way to the top, for formal wear, low-cut bodices were not unusual in some eras.

As for how she felt about her clothing -- women in that era endured so many restrictions and limitations that I'd guess wearing a corset, thick stockings, and dresses were low on her list of concerns about life. But obviously I can't know for sure.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

This is from Beachgirl's post on Nov 18 in "My First Nude Experience"

Beachgirl
My generation we are pushing for women's right to go topless and now more women are going braless.
I don't see how people can be afraid of nudity. I understand how your generation have paved the way as
there are only a couple of nudist beaches in the USA.

My wife, so far, has not demonstrated any desire to go nude or even topless outside. I made a comment once about the fact that in most places it is illegal for a woman to be topless while it is not for a man. I said that a law that singles out one group based on gender for a specific behavior was wrong. She agreed. She probably wouldn't go topless if it were legal, but she had no problem if someone else did. It is slowly changing. She works in a corporate environent. As a professional she is in agreement with BeachBunny on dress codes in the office. It is a distraction. We get paid to do a specific job and having someone, man or woman, dress provocatively causes problems that don't belong there.

BeachBunny
Bras for women perform a function similar to shorts for men -- reducing stimulation . .

Can't comment on the female side, but I'm going with BlueTrain on this one. It was never mentioned to me that I should wear underwear for this reason. It was always about hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know about arousal and what it meant, there was no way either of my parents would have counseled me about my underwear. This may have happened with some, but not me.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

Duane
I made a comment once about the fact that in most places it is illegal for a woman to be topless while it is not for a man. I said that a law that singles out one group based on gender for a specific behavior was wrong. She agreed. She probably wouldn't go topless if it were legal, but she had no problem if someone else did. It is slowly changing.


We agree. Let's first deal with the legalities and move on to the rest of your post.

I don't see the point of going topless. My feeling is if I'm going to undress, why not fully undress? But if it becomes socially acceptable for women to walk around topless that's fine with me and I'd probably join in. Right now, apart from nude and clothing-optional beaches and private nudist resorts, toplessness is usually socially unacceptable even where it's legal. Seeing women topless offends many people and I don't want to offend people who go someplace not expecting to see people nude or partly nude.

I know there are people, some of them on this website, who insist on the benefits for children of seeing people nude or who say the only way to get society to change is to "push the limits" by things like showing up topless at public parks and textile beaches.

I don't discuss issues online with children and nudism. It attracts an element I don't like and don't want to associate with. I know the arguments about the benefits of raising children to be "body positive" and avoiding the transmission of wrong attitudes toward modesty. What I will say is that's a decision for mothers and fathers, not something that should be forced on a family by some random person walking nude or half-nude in public.

I have many friends who would be horrified if they were walking in a public park with their young son or daughter and had to explain the anatomy of a woman walking around in her jeans and nothing else. I need to respect their values if I want them to respect mine.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

Duane
She works in a corporate environent. As a professional she is in agreement with BeachBunny on dress codes in the office. It is a distraction. We get paid to do a specific job and having someone, man or woman, dress provocatively causes problems that don't belong there.


I so much wish everyone agreed with your wife on this.

Some new hires seem not to understand the difference between going clubbing and going to work. Usually they don't last long because their clothes are just a surface symptom of deeper problems with work ethics. People need to act like adults or find a job that will let them act like college kids. That job is not our company.

Duane
BeachBunny
Bras for women perform a function similar to shorts for men -- reducing stimulation . .

Can't comment on the female side, but I'm going with BlueTrain on this one. It was never mentioned to me that I should wear underwear for this reason. It was always about hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know about arousal and what it meant, there was no way either of my parents would have counseled me about my underwear. This may have happened with some, but not me.


I think I'm showing my ignorance of male anatomy. I've heard my husband say briefs and boxers are very different in how much they hide if something happens "down there," and that "going commando" is quite stimulating for him. "Mr. Beachbunny" is busy and I can't talk to him until much later tonight, I'll respond as best I can.

There are reasons why bras and bikini tops are padded with soft material. One is to hide the nipples and keep them from protruding out enough to be visible through the blouse or shirt. Another is to prevent the nipples from coming in contact with the material of the shirt or blouse.

Female nipples are sensitive and can be scratched or irritated by contact with clothes. They can also be stimulated by that contact.

I don't want to get too specific here but there are reasons why silk lingerie is designed to be sheer. I have some Victoria's Secret pajamas which aren't at all sexy, basically a V-neck shirt and pants completely made of silk, and I was confused at first when I realized the brand. (They were given to me as a wedding gift by a friend.) I understood when I realized the smoothness of the silk felt REALLY good as it moved around touching my nipples, and my husband immediately noticed that my nipples stood out as much as they would in a tight T-shirt.

I've sometimes worn polo shirts in public without a bra. I've learned not to do that. Example: I'm not a big golf fan, but one summer evening after work some colleagues invited me for a game. My legs and shoulders were killing me (I'd recently bought new heels and a brand new bra) so when I changed from office clothes into a polo shirt, shorts, and casual shoes, I left the bra in my bag. Big mistake. The shirt fabric rubbed in just the right way to be stimulating, and then something that might not normally be visible became very visible, especially since my shirt was fairly tight and tucked into my shorts. Fortunately most in the golf game with me were female, and the only man who commented was a male friend from another company who knew me well enough to make a joke that my husband is really lucky to be married to me. I laughed and replied that his wife (who happens to be his secretary, and was with us) looks pretty good, too. But I won't wear that shirt again in public without a bra.

Same with T-shirts, which I only wear in public without a bra when I'm headed to a nude beach or nude swim or something like that. I guess I feel, "Hey, I'll soon be totally nude so who cares if someone notices I don't have a bra under my T-shirt." Even then, I try to avoid making it obvious that I'm not wearing a bra underneath, usually wearing the T-shirt loose and not tucking it in.

Back to male anatomy. My husband would never normally "go commando," but when we're on our way to a nude beach, sometimes all he wears is a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt. He says the fabric of the sweatpants can have the same effect on him "down there" that a polo shirt sometimes has on me when I'm braless.

Back on the legality of toplessness -- if it had been socially acceptable for me to take off my polo shirt on that golf course, would I have done it? Absolutely! My shoulders and back had been hurting all day due to my new bra, and given the types of movement necessary in playing golf, there was no way I was putting the bra back on even after I realized my polo shirt was showing more than I expected. The women understood and the men didn't mind. I wouldn't have minded playing topless and I think a few of my friends would have been okay with it. But even if it had been legal, most of my friends wouldn't have accepted it and some would have minded a lot.

I value my friends enough not to annoy them with my choices which aren't their choices.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

Were there any men playing golf without shirts when you were there?

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

BlueTrain
Were there any men playing golf without shirts when you were there?


I think I see where you're going with this ... are you saying if it's allowed for men it should be allowed for both men and women?

The answer is I don't think any men were shirtless but I don't know for sure. Your next question may be whether there is a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" type of rule which would apply to men and women both, and I don't know that either. I rarely play golf, don't like the game, and only go for business reasons. I could check the rules at that golf course. I'm guessing there is no rule one way or the other, but that men rarely if ever go shirtless, and then only on the very hottest summer days.

Even if female toplessness had been legal, as I understand it is legal in some places, my point in an earlier post was I wouldn't have done something to offend friends, even if legal.

Going braless didn't offend my friends and colleagues because they understood I had a reason (an overly tight new bra was causing back and shoulder pain), but if I had done that a few hours earlier at my office, it would have offended clients, colleagues and friends. At my office I needed to put up with the pain. After working hours while playing golf, I could relax a bit because my friends and colleagues didn't mind.

What I was trying to say, but maybe didn't say very clearly, was that context is everything.

I know some women like to push "free the nipple" stuff, which sometimes means going braless and sometimes means going topless. Certainly I have no modesty objections. I do have objections to offending people who didn't expect to see things and didn't get the chance to say, "Hey, I don't want to see that."

People going to a nude beach may see signs saying "beyond this point you may encounter nude sunbathers." Those signs are there for good reason.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

BlueTrain
Were there any men playing golf without shirts when you were there?


This is a very interesting thread and I predict that it will get a lot more response. It is so in the news today. There are many websites devoted to top-free equality, etc. In theory I am in complete agreement with the argument against the double standard. In public areas where sunbathing is the norm; ie. beaches, pools, public parks I think that there should be the right for women to be top free just as men are.
But.....there is something called "taste". Beachbunny's comments abound with this concept even if it is not stated as such. Maybe it's my age (75), but I grew up with a concept of respect and responsibility to the community. I'm retired and I love being nude at home. There are days when I never put on any clothes. I do my yard work in my fenced in back yard nude. But when I ride the mower out to the street to unload the grass, I stop at the gate and put on shorts and a tee shirt. I could easily skip the shirt, but I don't. It's purely a matter of taste for me. That's why I quoted BlueTrain. It's a matter of taste and respect.
On a related note, I think the prejudice against public breast feeding is TOTAL INSANITY. A woman should be encouraged to breast feed her child any where at any time with nothing but respect and support from all who are around her at the time.

Philip

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

For me as a male, the stimulation item was more of an issue when I was younger. Also, the more I went "commando" the more I was used to it. Last point is that we are humans who have the extraordinary ability to modify their environment. As some have mentioned, that's a/c and heaters, but that could also apply to clothing. For example, jeans can be uncomfortable to wear commando for some people and so someone came up with fleece-lined jeans...maybe for warmth too but I think it was advertised as for those who want to wear less.

So could there be clothing tailored to the concerns mentioned here?

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

Philip
This is a very interesting thread and I predict that it will get a lot more response. It is so in the news today. There are many websites devoted to top-free equality, etc.


Yep... which is why I moved my response to Beachgirl's comment to a separate thread. What she said on another thread could have gotten buried in a general discussion about nudity, but deserves more attention.

Philip, I want to agree with you and I think we agree on the core point of showing respect. But I have cautions and concerns.

Philip
In theory I am in complete agreement with the argument against the double standard. In public areas where sunbathing is the norm; ie. beaches, pools, public parks I think that there should be the right for women to be top free just as men are.


I understand your point, but in places where I have lived, many and perhaps most beaches, pools and public parks are full of children and teens. Beaches exist based on where oceans and lakes and rivers just happen to be, but when people build parks or water-based fun places like aquatic centers and public pools, they are frequently designed specifically with children in mind.

As I've said before, I don't want to discuss children online in connection with nudism. That kind of talk can attract bad elements I don't want to be associated with. However, I hope we agree that decisions about what children should or should not see are up to parents. I would never want a young mother to be forced unexpectedly to explain a topless sunbather to her child, or to have a father deal with his teenage son who unexpectedly sees a topless woman walking in a park.

That sort of thing does not help and can get nude places shut down faster than almost anything else.

Philip
But.....there is something called "taste". Beachbunny's comments abound with this concept even if it is not stated as such. Maybe it's my age (75), but I grew up with a concept of respect and responsibility to the community. I'm retired and I love being nude at home. There are days when I never put on any clothes. I do my yard work in my fenced in back yard nude. But when I ride the mower out to the street to unload the grass, I stop at the gate and put on shorts and a tee shirt. I could easily skip the shirt, but I don't. It's purely a matter of taste for me. That's why I quoted BlueTrain. It's a matter of taste and respect.


Here we agree! Nine times of out ten, asking ourselves "what would I do if I were in the other person's shoes" not only solves problems but prevents them before they start. If we want our choices to be respected, we need to respect other people, too.

Philip
On a related note, I think the prejudice against public breast feeding is TOTAL INSANITY. A woman should be encouraged to breast feed her child any where at any time with nothing but respect and support from all who are around her at the time.


Mmmmmm... little more complicated. Sometimes life happens and we must "choose the lesser of two bad choices." Breast pumping beforehand avoids many issues, but not all. What happens if the milk bottle opens by mistake and spills inside the carryall case, and a mom has to decide between letting a hungry baby squall or putting a blanket over baby's head and quietly breastfeeding in the back of the room? I think most people understand that.

What I don't understand is women who, when there are so many options today to encourage and support breastfeeding and so many things like nursing bras and clothing choices that make using them easier, insist instead on baring their entire breast somewhere in a public place that everyone will see. Do I want women to be forced to use a possibly unsanitary ladies' room to feed their baby? No. But unless a breastfeeding mom's intention is to push the edges of acceptability by calling attention to herself, choosing the place and method least likely to offend is best.

Before someone jumps on me, I am NOT saying feeding babies is offensive or that it's a bad thing that should be hidden away in secret. I'm saying lots of people don't want to see it. If I'm in a room with a group of friends and one of them is a mom whose baby starts crying, I'm perfectly okay with her asking, "Is it okay if I feed my baby," and I'll say, "Yes, it's fine," and it won't bother me in the least if she doesn't use a blanket to cover up. I will also support and encourage a mother in that room who is there with her daughter and says, "this is something you should learn about and it's how I fed you when you were a little baby." But if a man is there and is uncomfortable, or if a mother doesn't want her son to see breastfeeding, I think we need to respect their discomfort.

For those who yell and demand their rights to breastfeed in public, please re-think how far the acceptability of breastfeeding has already come. Pushing too hard just makes people mad.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

JustCurious
So could there be clothing tailored to the concerns mentioned here?


Yes, and that's why bras were invented!

Look at the history. Well-dressed society women of the late 1800s and early 1900s wore corsets. As fashions changed and doctors realized tight corsets were causing real injuries to women, what we now know as bras developed to provide the role previously played by the top part of the corset, supporting and lifting the bust while covering up the nipples. Bras did that without constricting the chest and causing the problems of corsets.

Preventing the nipple shape from showing through blouses became more important as women started to wear less clothing, thinner clothing, and fewer layers. It also became important as the job of a secretary, which had once been the role of a young male assistant to an older male executive or manager, became a predominantly female job and lots of young women, often single women, were working for the first time in offices alongside men. Women needed to wear clothes that wouldn't interfere with their work, but because they were working alongside men, needed a certain level of modesty while still wanting to look nice.

Fashions don't "just happen." They develop and change for a reason. Bras were invented to meet very real needs in the context of the early 1900s.

Of course, society changes too. I have a colleague whose LinkedIn photo, which is supposed to be professional, shows a "headshot" in a nice blouse and scarf. No issues there at all. Her Facebook photo is the exact same outfit, maybe even the same photo, but the photo is cropped far enough down to show she isn't wearing a bra since the shape of her nipples is noticeable. Other Facebook photos from the same photo shoot show the rest of her outfit with her walking, sitting, giving presentations, etc. She's wearing an attractive white blouse with only one button open, a scarf, a bracelet, a black pencil skirt, and shiny black heels. I just went back and checked her photos -- a closer look at some of her photos shows her black pencil skirt has pinstripes and in a few photos she is wearing a matching jacket as part of a skirt suit.

What message is she trying to send? I've asked her. She's trying to point out she can be an attractive professional woman wearing "power outfits" while being a feminist who refuses to wear a bra out of a refusal to "let men dictate how I dress." In her company that's fine. It wouldn't be fine in my company, and my female clients would be among the first to complain if I dressed like that. As I've told my colleague, some of my male clients might like it if I dressed that way, but I'm not going to do it because I want to be respected as a professional, not looked at as an object.

Which one of us is letting men dictate how we dress and which one is encouraging objectification of women? Things aren't quite as clear as some would like to make them.

Someday maybe it will be widely accepted for women to go braless in a work environment. That day is not today. At least for now, it would send a message I don't want to send.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

Makes sense that a bra is A solution, but I was wondering how to take it further an make it so that the issues with a bra and other underwear are addressed yet keep the rest of the fashion standards (e.g.. suitable in professional or non-sexual situations) or all the other undesirable results mentioned above.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

BeachBunny


Philip, I want to agree with you and I think we agree on the core point of showing respect. But I have cautions and concerns.

Philip
In theory I am in complete agreement with the argument against the double standard. In public areas where sunbathing is the norm; ie. beaches, pools, public parks I think that there should be the right for women to be top free just as men are.


I understand your point, but in places where I have lived, many and perhaps most beaches, pools and public parks are full of children and teens. Beaches exist based on where oceans and lakes and rivers just happen to be, but when people build parks or water-based fun places like aquatic centers and public pools, they are frequently designed specifically with children in mind.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate it when you comment on my posts. Even though we have that vast difference in our ages (or maybe because of it), I feel like your understanding informs and enlightens me on these issues. I can't believe I'm advocating this after the way I lived the first 50 years of my life, but I don't believe the display of nude or partially nude adults is at all harmful to children or teens. I must qualify that statement. I'm speaking of a completely non-sexual situation. I have to say that I've been to nude beaches where that was not the situation. I'm speaking of family nudism in the truest sense. I don't think it harms children. I think it benefits them. Beaches, pools and parks would be a good place to start. I believe my own transition from childhood to adulthood would have been far easier if I had not been so sheltered from any knowledge about or contact with "the body", mine or anybody else's.


Philip
On a related note, I think the prejudice against public breast feeding is TOTAL INSANITY. A woman should be encouraged to breast feed her child any where at any time with nothing but respect and support from all who are around her at the time.


Mmmmmm... little more complicated. Sometimes life happens and we must "choose the lesser of two bad choices." Breast pumping beforehand avoids many issues, but not all. What happens if the milk bottle opens by mistake and spills inside the carryall case, and a mom has to decide between letting a hungry baby squall or putting a blanket over baby's head and quietly breastfeeding in the back of the room? I think most people understand that.

I should not have brought up the breastfeeding subject, but I had just read this morning a news story about a young mother carrying her expressed breast milk aboard a plane and getting hassled by a TSA agent about it in public no less. I was still steaming about that. I am a great advocate of breastfeeding and have been since before my first born 44 years ago. I would like for it to be more normalized and easier for the mothers. I feel bad for the babies who have to eat with their head under a blanket. I wouldn't want to to that, even if my eating offended the person sitting next to me. That's all. I'm off my soapbox.
Thank you again for your instructive and kind comments.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

My comment questioning if there were "topless" men on the golf course was to suggest that men may not in reality have the freedom to go without at short as much as is suggested. At one time, as you probably know, men had to wear shirts at the beach. But conventions vary a great deal, both from place to place and from time to time. For instance, when I was little and even on through high school, I never saw one man wearing shorts. Some men I knew never ever wore short sleeved shirts. To have suggested to any of those men that there was a double standard with regards to modest clothing would have been laughable.

But on the other side of town, who knows what conventions prevailed?

But there are some peculiar standards, to be sure, and women have it harder, I think. It is odd, in a way, that women are expected to not allow the hint of a nipple to show, yet woe to a woman who is flat-chested.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

Philip
I should not have brought up the breastfeeding subject, but I had just read this morning a news story about a young mother carrying her expressed breast milk aboard a plane and getting hassled by a TSA agent about it in public no less. I was still steaming about that... Thank you again for your instructive and kind comments.


Makes sense to me. Thanks!

Philip
I can't tell you how much I appreciate it when you comment on my posts. Even though we have that vast difference in our ages (or maybe because of it), I feel like your understanding informs and enlightens me on these issues. I can't believe I'm advocating this after the way I lived the first 50 years of my life, but I don't believe the display of nude or partially nude adults is at all harmful to children or teens. I must qualify that statement. I'm speaking of a completely non-sexual situation. I have to say that I've been to nude beaches where that was not the situation. I'm speaking of family nudism in the truest sense. I don't think it harms children. I think it benefits them. Beaches, pools and parks would be a good place to start. I believe my own transition from childhood to adulthood would have been far easier if I had not been so sheltered from any knowledge about or contact with "the body", mine or anybody else's.


Thanks, and I think we probably agree.

I've seen and heard the arguments in favor of children and teens seeing non-sexual nudity. In person, with one-on-one discussions, such talk can be helpful. Online, let's just say it attracts people I don't want to deal with.

All I can do is speak from my own experience. As a young girl, or as a teenager, how would I have responded if my parents had brought me to a nude beach or taken me to a swim party? (Never mind they never would have done that, and they don't like me doing that now even as a married adult.)

As a young girl I would have resisted but probably would have done what my parents wanted. I would have been like, "Mom, is this really okay to do?"

As a teenager... "MOM!!! DAD!!! Have you TOTALLY lost your minds?!!!!?!!!!?? No way will I, not EVER, NEVER, NOT IN TEN MILLION YEARS take off my swimsuit with guys!!!!"

But as I write, knowing that's what I would have said with my mouth, I also know there would have been buried, way deep down somewhere, some little voice saying, "That might be fun." I can't think of anything my parents could have said to talk me into social nudity. Nobody else I knew back then could have done it, not any of my boyfriends, not my female friends.

I didn't meet the man I married until college. Could he have talked me into going to a nude beach if he had met me in high school the way he later did in college? Well... maybe. I wouldn't have defied my parents in high school, but if they wanted me to go to a nude beach, and if I knew my boyfriend wanted to go... eh... hard to know for sure what I would have done. It would have been REALLY hard to say yes, but I would have thought a long time, and even if I had said "no," it wouldn't have been a firm "no" and might have changed.

What I also know is WAY too many of my friends in high school were putting as much of their bodies as they could on display at textile beaches, either because they were trying to attract guys or because they felt they'd lose their boyfriends if they didn't do what their boyfriends wanted. For many, what started on beaches ended in bed. I don't know if any of my friends who did that ended up marrying, or even having their relationship last much past high school. Clearly our dating culture in high schools is seriously messed up and is leading to young people doing things they're not at all ready for, and fueling some horrible emotional trauma when those relationships break up.

I hear nudists say those who grow up being familiar with nudity grow up better adjusted, and as teens and young adults, have fewer relationship problems and less promiscuity. But I also know many children raised in nudist families drop out as teens. I sense what's happening is that only a small number of people raised in nudist homes continue with nudism after puberty hits, and while they may be better adjusted, we aren't hearing how things go with the majority who drop out and usually never come back to nudism.

I think there are at least two sides to this. It's not easy. But I do think the discussion needs to be with real live flesh-and-blood parents and families, not abstract discussions online. Even within one family, kids are different, and what works with one person may not work with another. To make matters worse, there are people who latch onto discussions like this who are just awful people and I don't want to attract people like that to this forum.

These discussions need to be in person, not online.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

BlueTrain
My comment questioning if there were "topless" men on the golf course was to suggest that men may not in reality have the freedom to go without at short as much as is suggested. At one time, as you probably know, men had to wear shirts at the beach. But conventions vary a great deal, both from place to place and from time to time. For instance, when I was little and even on through high school, I never saw one man wearing shorts. Some men I knew never ever wore short sleeved shirts. To have suggested to any of those men that there was a double standard with regards to modest clothing would have been laughable. But on the other side of town, who knows what conventions prevailed?


Yep, customs vary widely, and used to vary even more widely before television. What people do in Manhattan, Kansas, may be very different from what they do in Manhattan, New York.

Am I right in remembering that in the older generation, "short pants" were a sign somebody was a young boy, so pretty much all males, once they became teens, wore long pants since they could finally "wear pants like adult men?"

BlueTrain
But there are some peculiar standards, to be sure, and women have it harder, I think. It is odd, in a way, that women are expected to not allow the hint of a nipple to show, yet woe to a woman who is flat-chested.


I'll add another oddity: Some friends with an "A" cup can get away with going braless even if the shape of their nipple is clearly seeable under their shirt, and even when a woman with average or even relatively small breasts could not. Yes, it's considered to be flirtatious and indicating a lack of modesty, and not acceptable in a formal setting, but not always unacceptable, at least no more unacceptable than a low-cut V-neck would be for a woman with a larger bust. One of my petite friends doesn't wear a bra while playing tennis since she says it's too much bother to always adjust her bra straps, and she thinks nothing of chatting with friends wearing a polo shirt after her tennis matches. She knows guys notice, doesn't mind, and probably does it partly so they will notice.

I think some petite women compensate for being small by going braless since they know guys will notice.

Not something I would do, but I don't have that body type so I can't say I really understand.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

You make some very good point, BeachBunny. My visits to nudist resorts, mostly Cypress Cove, were mostly in the late 90s and early 2000s. There were very few families with teens there at the time. I suspect it is the same now. There are very few kids who were raised as nudists in the 80s-90s who are practicing nudists as adults today. I don't know why that is the way it is. I've often wondered.
I think the golden age for family nudism was in the 50s-70s. I base this on the books and magazines of the time that I have been able to see. There were so many families with everything from infants to teens enjoying vacations or weekends at their local nudist clubs. The youth seemed so natural, relaxed, unaffected by having their pictures taken; just enjoying themselves. In my visits in the 90s I saw nothing even approaching those family scenes.
I must add that I'm far from an authority on the subject. I've not visited enough clubs, in enough locations, for a long enough times to really make an informed judgement. It's just my impression, for what it's worth.
And I do agree completely with you, BeachBunny that as far as families are concerned this is not a discussion to be had on the internet. It is to be had face to face within each individual family.
I probably have exhausted all of my knowledge and opinions about the matter.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

The "Golden Age" is never the present, is it? I've seen a lot of the nudist magazines from the 1950s and 1960s (they largely disappeared in the 1970s) and while it is true they generally showed families, it is doubtful that they depicted a true picture of nudist clubs. They naturally wanted to present the best picture possible of nudist life. They typically never showed old people, as the few nudist magazines that exist now do. The whole subject of nudist magazines is an interesting topic in itself. One could also note that nobody today looks like anyone in the 1950s or 1960s.

I think there may be a lot of reasons why you don't see many teenagers at nudist clubs. Some teenagers don't even want to be seen with their parents at the mall, much less in a nudist environment or at a nude beach (which I do not categorize as a nudist environment). There is a group-think mentality among teenagers that tends to prevent them from wanting to do anything with their parents. I suspect there is also the fact that teenagers are feeling their hormones, too, probably beginning as early as 6th grade, if what my schoolteacher wife tells me is true.

Another thing is that no one seems to join the kinds of social clubs that people belonged to in the 1950s. All the traditional organizations from churches to bowling leagues seem to have experienced the same thing. People might belong to some kind of club but it might be a spa where they go to workout at 5:30 in the morning. Some of the clubs where all those wonderful photos in the old nudist magazines were taken are history now, although I believe there are a few newer ones and some are still going strong. But there are alternatives now. People in general or at least the sort who might visit a nudist club, are more affluent now and are just as likely to fly off to Florida or the Caribbean for a dose of nude recreation as they are to drive to a club a hundred miles away to set up a tent and use a tiny little swimming pool. Anyway, the older clubs would never be described as a resort. Maybe the whole idea of nudism changed over the years. It doesn't seem to be about sunbathing anymore.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

Excellent points all around, BlueTrain. I immediately thought of Robert D. Putnam's 2000 best seller, "Bowling Alone".

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

I thought of that, too, only I've never read the book. However, all of my comments are just my own impressions and may be off the mark. For one thing, my own relatives when I was little did not belong to anything except unions, all of them being blue collar workers. But my father was a faithful church member his whole life. We have tended to be also and in fact, my wife has two relatives who were or are (one is deceased) clergymen, one of whom married her parents. Other than church, the only thing we belong to at the moment is a swim club two blocks from the house. My wife is also a faithful lap swimmer. At one time, though, we were very active in certain folk dance clubs but we quit doing that when we had children.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

JustCurious
Also, the more I went "commando" the more I was used to it.
I can confirm this. It felt very daring/erotic to go commando when I first started years ago, but as time went by and I got more and more used to it, it felt totally normal and not daring/erotic at all. It may have been occasionally arousing years ago, but not anymore.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

NakedG
JustCurious
Also, the more I went "commando" the more I was used to it.
I can confirm this. It felt very daring/erotic to go commando when I first started years ago, but as time went by and I got more and more used to it, it felt totally normal and not daring/erotic at all. It may have been occasionally arousing years ago, but not anymore.


I wasn't going to respond, but my husband is sitting next to me and asked me to pass along his comment. (I've edited a bit but mostly this is what he's dictating to me.)

"NakedG -- you must be much older than me! I've tried 'going commando' a few times. It doesn't work, at least not with me. Having tight shorts, or loose boxers, is important under my pants to 'hold things in place' or 'be bulky so things don't show.' Before I married BeachBunny it happened more, but even now, I can't risk having something happen that others might see."

He and I decided it's best not to post some additional things he said. The gist of those things is that getting married greatly reduces random experiences of sexual desire (surprise, surprise -- kind of obvious there). Also, even before we married, he became aroused much less often after we started visiting nude beaches than before he had the opportunity to see very many women nude. As he reminds me, there are REASONS why we regularly showered together and made out before visiting nude beaches back in college before we married, and why today, now that we're married, we always try to make love before we leave for a beach visit or a pool party where someone will be present who we haven't gotten to know well through social nudity.

But "much less often" does not mean "never."

He pointed out that some women, particularly during summer months, wear clothing which is designed to catch men's eyes and sometimes he does physically react. Being totally nude is much less sexy than swimsuits or low-cut V-neck blouses or tight jeans. Men wear boxers or briefs for good reasons and one of them is to hide or control things "just in case."

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

BeachBunny
"NakedG -- you must be much older than me! I've tried 'going commando' a few times. It doesn't work, at least not with me. Having tight shorts, or loose boxers, is important under my pants to 'hold things in place' or 'be bulky so things don't show.'
I'm a fifty-something with the libido of a twenty-something.
However, I've always had exceptional 'control' in that 'area'. Maybe that's why it's easier for me.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

NakedG
BeachBunny
"NakedG -- you must be much older than me! I've tried 'going commando' a few times. It doesn't work, at least not with me. Having tight shorts, or loose boxers, is important under my pants to 'hold things in place' or 'be bulky so things don't show.'
I'm a fifty-something with the libido of a twenty-something.
However, I've always had exceptional 'control' in that 'area'. Maybe that's why it's easier for me.


Okay... my husband isn't awake yet so I can't answer for him, and he might not choose to respond. This isn't something I know much about. The best parallel for women might be wearing a T-shirt with no bra, which can be quite stimulating if the fabric feels good, or wearing certain types of satin or silk pajamas or lingerie. But if women are wearing that type of clothing they're usually doing it with the intent of causing arousal and it's hard to know how much of it is the fabric touching sensitive skin or the mind being "in the mood" for things to happen. Probably both working together.

I can say from observation that male arousal is rarely seen at nude places unless that's the reason the man came there, in which case he shouldn't have come at all.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

BeachBunny
I can say from observation that male arousal is rarely seen at nude places unless that's the reason the man came there, in which case he shouldn't have come at all.
Exactly! And in my 23 years of going to nude places, I've rarely seen it either.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

NakedG
BeachBunny
I can say from observation that male arousal is rarely seen at nude places unless that's the reason the man came there, in which case he shouldn't have come at all.
Exactly! And in my 23 years of going to nude places, I've rarely seen it either.

And I was at a Spencer Tunik installation with another 1200 people (probably 50/50 split) and didn't see it there either!

Cony

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

A few years ago, the small company I owned had leased office space. My small programming staff would often be offsite, so my secretary (a member of my church and a devout Christian, as I am) and I would be alone in the office together. It is germane to the story to mention that she is quite large-breasted and has to wear blouses nearly to her neck to show no cleavage.

Her desk was in the entry to the business - a small lobby with a couple of chairs for guests and her desk to one side; there was a hallway nearby, where our networked printer was. My office opened into the lobby near the printer.

One day, I went to get something from the printer and saw a brown paper bag (lunch sack) lying near it on top of the shelf that held supplies. Curious, I opened it see nothing but a good-sized bra! I was puzzled, and racked my brains to figure out how it got there, and tried to remember any female visitors we had had, and what on earth would have led to the bra-in-the-bag!

After a day or two, it occurred to me to ask my secretary if she knew anything about it. She laughed and said that it was hers - she just hated wearing a bra and sometimes went into the restroom and took it off.

Of course I told her that it made no difference to me - that she should always opt for comfort. This led into a discussion of bralessness, and toplessness, and of nudity in general as Christians. I admitted to her that my wife (whom she knows) and I skinnydip and do other things in the nude, and she admitted that her husband goes nude at home, and they both use their hot tub in the buff - her comment was "Is there any other way?".

We've joked about it privately from time to time, in a quiet moment after church. She is an ordained associate pastor in the church and very much on-fire for our Saviour - but understands the freedom He has given us.

I do wish we could have gone on to enjoy social nudity with her and her husband - or at least to have a clothing-optional office - but I wasn't as open then to suggesting it as I probably would be now.

I think if women commonly went braless, and the outline of nipples were a common sight, people would quickly get de-sensitized to it, just as we did with the sight of halter-tops in the 60's and 70's.

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

We did?

Re: Beachgirl's comments about topless/braless

You mentioned going "commando". As child I always wore cotton briefs. When I joined the Air Force they issued cotton boxers. I found they would shrift around and pinch so I went to back to briefs. Just recently I have switched to boxer briefs and find them the most comfortable.
You mention nipples showing under your blouses. The girl I was engaged to before I meat my wife had inverted nipples that were under her breasts until she became aroused. Usually we were alone together when this happened. She always wore a bra when we went out in public.I was not a nudist when I was dating her. I did ask her once to join me to visit a nudist camp. she did't tank that suggestion very well. We broke up shortly after that.