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Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I have long since convinced myself that God is not in the least offended by my nudity. Lately I have been wondering if He is offended by my wearing of clothes. This question came into my mine after reading T.H. Pine's new book, "Father Al Sees The Future" (available on Amazon).
My question is based on a few observations:
1. God created us nude and in his image and called it "very good"
2. Before the fall God and Adam and Eve walked together nude in the cool of the evening in the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden.
3. Our skin is the largest and most sensuous organ of our body.
4. We were created to live in community.
5. We are taught to be honest, modest, open, forgiving, tolerant, and loving in our relationships.
As I see it, the unnecessary wearing of clothes hinders the full enjoyment of any of these factors and renders a couple of them (2 & 3) virtually impossible.
Reasons 2 & 3 are the two new thoughts that recently came to my mind. Why would God in His wisdom create such an organ as our skin with it sensitivity to the warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze of the evening and want us to deny it?
The church is one organization that has always taught me that only a covered body is acceptable to God.
I don't think I'll be able to argue my opposite conclusion in church next Sunday, but still I wonder. Am I wrong?

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I don't think so, at least not in and of itself!! After all Gen 3:21 says "And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them." So, no, not an insult. I'm reasonable sure that he would be more insulted by the blatant use of clothing in a tempting way. It is a dilemma, fashion in some places has young women wearing reasonably skimpy summer clothing. For most that is fine and wonderful to see, but for some women that is an excuse to be temptresses. The other side of that is there are also men who would look on that as an "invitation" when it is not!

So, without getting into a lengthy diatribe to explain it further. Humans are and always have been the source of the problem!

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

If what you say is true, then God didn't intend for us to live in Minnesota.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Thanks to the both of you for your responses I purposely made this post short and vague in order to try and generate a lively discussion. You both make very excellent points.
Thanks for responding.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

BlueTrain
If what you say is true, then God didn't intend for us to live in Minnesota.
Or Canada... and so many other places. But, having become clothes-compulsive, we now *can* live in cold climates. The question that then arises - why?

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Some people were born there. But where does this "compulsive" thing come from?

But notice how virtually everyone everywhere wears some clothing all year round? It may not be much but even the most isolated people in the Amazon River basin or somewhere in Borneo wear clothes. In those very few places where people do not generally wear anything, among adults it is usually only the men who are completely naked. Of course, those people probably haven't heard of God, or at least of the one we frequently make reference to, I assume, so they are off the hook as far as insulting anyone.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I don't know about you lot, but if it wasn't for the puritanical thoughts around here (including crazy work criteria), I would be naked from March to November (sorry but the winter months are just too cold, even though there are days which are great - like today with temperatures in the lower 20s).

Cony

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I've not posted here for a long time (I've backed off a lot of boards). I wanted to comment on this thread, however, that the first issue of Fig Leaf Forum (November 12, 1994 www.figleafforum.com) explores this with an article titled "The Second Sin".

Although FLF is not very active anymore, it has a lot of resources for nudists and naturists. As far as I know you can still sign up to read the articles.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Thanks for bringing up the FLF publication. Someone advised me about that forum back when it was just getting started. I have all of the print copies. I'll have to go back and read #1.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Yes, both FLF and Sunny's site have been immensely helpful to me in my pursuit of truth and encouragement in my journey into nude living.

Back to the original point of this thread, I don't believe God is insulted by our clothing, but it can be a reminder to us that clothes were the original (attempted) cover-up of sin. So, in that sense, shedding our clothes can be a symbol of our declaration of openness to God, and therefore a way to bring glory to Him. For the last several years, I have had my morning devotions, as well as my daily prayer time with my wife, while still nude. I often declare to Him in beginning my prayer that I am coming before Him with nothing between us. I am abandoning any attempt to hide from Him that which he so wondrously created.

My wife doesn't fully agree with me on this, but she is accepting, and it is a good reminder to me of my relationship with my Lord. The only thing I can find in scripture that He tells me to put on is righteousness, not clothing.

So, in my view, clothing is not an insult, but nudity can be a praise to God.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I stumbled on this by accident but sometime there is a divine intervention that causes these things I feel.

In the beginning Satan and his minions were cast out of heaven because they wanted to be like God. When man was created in his image and likeness Satan became jealous or else why would he have tempted Eve to eat from the tree? Now as far as I know the one thing man can do that angels can't is procreate. The one Godlike thing that we can do with God's help is recreate life! So it only stands to reason that Satan made them ashamed of the parts of their body used for procreation thus the fig leaves.

The clothes God made were for protection from the outside world (Minnesota); the cold, wind, rain and things that bite and stick. I think we got it wrong, the body should be exposed and covered when necessary. Modesty is a man made ideal from those who found it hard to control themselves; so they decided to control the rest of us.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I was hesitant to jump in on this thread initially. I try to steer clear of making statements about what God is thinking. Only in a few places are we told of His thought processes and those are on specific subjects, such as the presence of sin or the practice of idolatry (read any of the prophetic books). We were given the 10 commandments but those only hint at what God was thinking.

My 1st reaction to the question by Phillip was, “Can any thing we do INSULT God?” We can anger Him or cause Him sadness through our actions, but do we have the ability to insult Him? I don’t know, I don’t think so. Being able to insult implies a power or control over someone’s mental or emotional state. It’s an interesting question though.

Any discussion of clothing ultimately has to go back to the garden. That’s the 1st mention of clothing in the Bible along with the events leading to their making. On this business of the clothes, God didn’t tell them to wear them. Adam and Eve chose to make the clothes, God showed them how to make them*, and then sent them out.

Nudity in general is not mentioned much in the Bible. Nakedness is described as less than preferable. The usual result was the naked person being clothed as an act of kindness. Being naked outside of your control implied you were poor.

We are told Peter, and likely others, as a tradition, worked the fishing boats naked to preserve their clothes. Isaiah was asked to go about naked for three years as a sign to Israel of their impending enslavement. Conquered people were usually carried off to slavery by the victors. Not only were they stripped of their freedom and belongings, but also their clothes. This was to enforce the power of the victor over the conquered. If you were naked you most likely were a slave.

Clothes, in general, were a tool. Like a hat or a shovel. Their purpose was to shield or protect from the elements. When we begin to think of clothes as necessary or important to who and what we are, we begin to walk close to the edges of idolatry. I think this is what Paul spoke of in 1 Tim 2:9. Do not make clothes more important than the person. People (souls) are more important to God than clothes. Jesus tells us in Matt. 6 and Luke 12 to not worry about life, food, bodies or clothes. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matt. 6:25. He is not saying to go around naked, but to not make status symbols, elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, (1 Tim 2) into a form of idolatry. Bringing the focus on yourself not God.

Rob
So, without getting into a lengthy diatribe to explain it further. Humans are and always have been the source of the problem!

Having gone where Rob refused to go, I don’t think God is insulted. I think he may be pained or angered when we engage in anything the takes away our focus on Him or takes away the glory that belongs to Him. That is what idolatry is and that will anger God, not insult Him.

Maybe you could say anger instead of insult.


* An interesting thing about the clothes. Adam and Eve attempted to make clothes out leaves. :) Why? To hide sin? To hide their bodies? Was it a knee jerk reaction? The scripture only says “. . . they realized they were naked”. They had eaten of the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil and then knew about that, but not about how to make clothes. God had to show them how. The result of the 1st sin ** was bloodshed. An animal had to be sacrificed to make the clothes. Gen. 3:21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

** Was the 1st sin eating the fruit or lying about it? If Adam and Eve had admitted their guilt and asked for forgiveness, would we be here today? Those are questions for another day.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Phillip, I agree we are made in His image, but I have always thought of that as “spiritually in His image”. I don’t think I physically look like God.

BlueTrain, clothes-compulsive to me is having clothes associated with every human endeavor. An outfit, suit or uniform for everything. Nothing we do requires nudity except bathing and some don’t even disrobe for that!

Bornnude, thanks for the link to Figleaf Forum. Got a copy and will read it.

Nudewalker, interesting idea about Satan and re-creating life. Hmmmm.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Just curious?? Who of us has the likeness of the spirit of God? Oh some but not all. God is love but we don't show it.

Adam heard Him walking in the garden... has feet?
God Spoke. He has a mouth John 9:29
God Sees. He has eyes Is 53:10
God hears. He has ears John 9:24
God has hands Job 6:9
Sits on His Throne He has a butt Is 6:1
Wears a robe Shoulders?
Jesus said John 14:9 He who has seen Me has seen the Father

And everyone carries his image. So no matter the birth defect we are still able to recognize a person is a human and so then the image of God.

You are often unable to recognize His likeness in their/our spirit or our love for others but we can recognize His image, our bodies.

John

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

It's been 3 weeks since I started this thread and I think the discussion has pretty much run out, so I'd like to explain my reasons for presenting the question. I framed the question to be attention getting, vague, and very open ended. I thank each of you who made comments. Each of you contributed to the question in a way that expanded the discussion and introduced new questions.
Obviously I do recognize the desirability of clothes (need I say necessity?) in harsh and cold climates. The basic thought that caused me to raise the question of insulting God by wearing clothes was the realization of the very nature of our skin. I have long known of the scientific facts about our skin as being our largest organ, and even of its ability to sense warmth, cold, wind, water, snow, etc....... I had just never considered that understanding as a gift of God, as a way to honor God by utilizing the full sensory nature of our skin to enjoy His creation. I had experienced many times the joy and total contentment of being nude on a beach with the stimulation of the warmth, the sand, the breeze, the sounds. I have often walked nude and alone in my backyard on a summer's morning experiencing the early morning sun, the sounds of the birds, the breeze wafting through the trees, the cool dew on my bare feet. I have experienced all of that many times without ever thinking that it was the gift of God in our bodies that we were created to enjoy, and that by denying the full sensory expression by covering our bodies we were saying in effect, "No thank you, God. I know you don't want me to feel this good."
The sad thing is that most of us compulsively cover ourselves thinking that we are pleasing God; That in doing so we are honoring Him. It is the most deep seated moral principle that we have. In our churches we discuss every moral issue imaginable except the wearing of clothes.
Maybe I'm crazy for tying this sensory perception of pleasure through our skin as being designed by our creator for our pleasure. After all, many Christian ascetics have taught that denying pleasure in any form was the highest celebration of honoring God.
Anyway. Thanks to all who joined the discussion.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Philip

Maybe I'm crazy for tying this sensory perception of pleasure through our skin as being designed by our creator for our pleasure. After all, many Christian ascetics have taught that denying pleasure in any form was the highest celebration of honoring God.


I don't think it is so much Christian as a few other religions in the world teach denial, suffering and giving up pleasures to purify the soul. With all the evils, suffering and destruction in the world I'm sure that God's perception of our nudity or pleasure from it is a small matter if it matters at all. In fact the idea of clothing is a matter of environment, social status or forced morals. in harsh climates covering the skin is a necessity to prevent frostbite for one. The finer the clothing the higher a place in society a person belongs to mush like the caste system in India. What's the first thing missionaries do when the encounter a naked tribe? Teach them that nakedness is wrong. You may tempt someone (the missionaries) to have lustful thoughts. So much for self control!

But I have to thank you Philip for starting this discussion in the first place. If it had not caught my eye I wouldn't be here!

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I mentioned somewhere in another thread about the thinking of early nudists, going back to the 1890s in Germany. The basic idea was that man, by moving into the crowded, dirty cities, had become separated from nature and that to restore himself (and herself), they should return to the countryside and literally "recreate" themselves whenever possible. That was also the general thinking behind other "back to nature" movements that did not include or emphasize nudity. That is the origin of the term "naturist," which did not necessarily mean the same thing as nudist. It might even be questionable as to whether or not all nudists are naturists but we split hairs.

It was originally an urban movement, that is, of city dwellers, rather than country folk who did not suffer to live under the crowded and dirty conditions that people did in the city and besides, they were generally a lot more conservative, as is still true practically everywhere.

Just like today, nudist had to continually defend themselves from criticism of various kinds and partly in response, parts of the movement became more conservative, as it seems to have been in the United States in the 1950s. Also, new ideas were put forth by nudists to justify their activities, nearly all of which were related to health, beauty and, believe it or not, nationalism (this was in the 1930s into the 1940s). One such idea was that full nudity facilitated the pairing of the best individuals for reproducing. There was an element of eugenics present. That concept had considerable support around the world in the first half of the 20th century.

As far as I have been able to tell from the literature of the period, God did not have anything to say on the subject and he was left out of the discussion entirely.

It is worth emphasizing, however, I think, that the original object of nudist and anyone else who might be called a naturist, was simply recreation. Not simply fun and games, which were included, but just basic re-creation. That's still the basic object. The old "American Sunbathing Association" even changed its name to American Association for Nude Recreation.

While all of that was going on, cities were made better places to live, too.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

nudewalker
With all the evils, suffering and destruction in the world I'm sure that God's perception of our nudity or pleasure from it is a small matter if it matters at all.

God sees us complete for what we are no matter if we are naked or wrapped up in a parka or hazmat suit. Nothing we do will prevent that. As John Bishop points out, God is love but we don't show it. God asks for that and that is what He sees and looks for.

As Jesus tells us in Matt. 6:25;"Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" then 6:28;“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow." and 6:31-32;“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow."

P.S. John. Thanks for doing a much better job of saying what I attempted to say.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I think this is a fair question, but if we're talking about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Biblical God, I don't think it's insulting to him that we wear clothes. I mean, first off, he himself clothed Adam and Eve. Lots of things insult him - the Bible calls them "abominations" - but clothes never made any of those lists.

What IS important is that the REASON we have to wear clothes now (our sin, which brought danger into the world) IS insulting to God. And that, one day, that reason will be annihilated.

So I think the evidence does point towards God having a preference toward Man living nude, just not that he's insulted by clothes, per se. If he was insulted, I think it would have been important enough for him to write down in the Bible (but he didn't).

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Many perspectives make for a clearer picture.
I love posts like this one.

Duane

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Duane
Many perspectives make for a clearer picture.
I love posts like this one.

Duane

Thanks, Duane. I started this post with that very thought; to expand the discussion.
Philip

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Philip
Duane
Many perspectives make for a clearer picture.
I love posts like this one.

Duane

Thanks, Duane. I started this post with that very thought; to expand the discussion.
Philip


Thanks for starting this. It went in a different direction from what I expected.

My husband got interested. He started to write something several days ago but deleted it. I'm going to try to rewrite some of what he said.

Most of us in social nudity know we need to "play defense" or keep quiet entirely. Lots of people have WAY WAY WAY wrong ideas about nudism. Because just a few "bad apples" can get beaches shut down, the rest of us are extra careful, maybe more careful than we need to be. Many of us say nothing about our nudism. Those who do have to defend ourselves against false ideas of what we're going.

What if the shoe were on the other foot?

Try to imagine how much healthier dating relationships could be if, instead of having to defend nudity as an oddball choice, overly modest young dating couples got told this by friends:

"Oh come on, Robin, it's easy, just a quick pull of the string and your bikini will be on the blanket. How much does that bikini REALLY cover, anyway? Then you and Dave can enjoy seeing each other nude, you can go swimming together, and then walk up and down this beautiful beach holding hands. And Dave, don't worry, you're a healthy red-blooded male and we know you're looking forward to seeing Robin's body, so get those shorts off so she won't feel embarrassed taking off her own swimsuit."

That isn't as unrealistic as it may sound. BlueTrain said in pre-WW2 Germany and elsewhere, nudism not only had an athletic and a health focus, it helped people find partners. As he wrote:

BlueTrain
Also, new ideas were put forth by nudists to justify their activities, nearly all of which were related to health, beauty and, believe it or not, nationalism (this was in the 1930s into the 1940s). One such idea was that full nudity facilitated the pairing of the best individuals for reproducing.


I know people who lived in Europe and say some of that is still present in Germany and the Netherlands and Denmark and France. I'm told more teenagers and college students and young adults are topless or fully nude on their beaches than in the USA. People do look, and yes, "checking out" what friends look like without clothes is part of why they visit nude beaches. Also, already-dating couples sometimes visit a nude beach or a nude sauna or nude indoor swimming facility because they want to see each other nude but aren't yet ready for the bedroom.

I know it's only a dream, but I can't but help feeling that would be so much more of a healthy way for couples to meet, especially for guys to get the "what does she look like without her clothes" stage of dating out of the way early in a relationship, or even avoiding it entirely if two friends from school already know what they look like nude and a guy asks a girl out who have seen each other for years on nude beaches or nude swims or wherever.

Here's an example. A friend's parents moved to Germany for work, and she was shocked when female friends from school invited her to a FKK beach. Her mother, who had skinnydipped years earlier, encouraged her to try it, so after some bashfulness she went and stared in fascination as the boyfriends of her female friends undressed. It took several visits and lots of good-natured teasing about being an "American prude," but she finally took off her top underwater, sunbathed topless the rest of the day, and the next time went fully nude. She told me how strange it felt when a man she knew from school and the beach asked her out at school on Monday while fully clothed, after spending the weekend naked together at a FKK beach.

Their dating went different, too. Since both knew what they looked like naked, he was much less insistent than previous American boyfriends on "heavy petting" as they were making out. Even after they started making out without clothes, they postponed sex nearly a year into their relationship. By that time they were very comfortable with each others' bodies. After deciding to save costs by sharing an off-campus apartment, it was sort of, "Well, why not? We've been naked even before we started dating, and we already hug and kiss and make out naked?"

I'm not trying to minimize male fears about nudity, but I think it's a bigger issue for most women than for most men. For me, taking off my bra in front of my boyfriend (now husband) was one of the most difficult things I had ever done in my life. Even though I loved him, and he loved me, and we both trusted each other and were looking forward to seeing each other nude, I was scared and deeply embarrassed to undress, while he was excited to undress and to see me undress.

I feel that difference between men and women is common.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Philip
I had experienced many times the joy and total contentment of being nude on a beach with the stimulation of the warmth, the sand, the breeze, the sounds. I have often walked nude and alone in my backyard on a summer's morning experiencing the early morning sun, the sounds of the birds, the breeze wafting through the trees, the cool dew on my bare feet.


I wanted to write more responding specifically to this.

I feel men and women perceive nudity differently. Some of that is socialization -- maybe most. I'll write more about that later. But some is a basic biological difference between men's and women's bodies.

I asked my husband, "Can you relate to what Philip wrote here?" What Philip wrote about the sensuality of his nude experience sounds more like the way women experience nudity than like the way most men I know experience being nude. My husband said he agrees with Philip, but he feels this is an aspect of enjoying nudism that men's bodies "wake up to" much later than other things about nudism. Maybe as men spend more time nude, they get more "in touch" with their bodies? Not sure.

Basic biology, and even the books we give to "nice couples" prior to marriage, teach us that men are visual creatures, and their primary organ of pleasure is "down there," while women not only can be but NEED to be stimulated all over to enjoy the marital relationship. We all know that nudism is not sex, or at least it's not supposed to be, but there are similarities in the physical pleasures of how women's bodies respond when nude.

Why are first-time women often encouraged to swim shortly after undressing?

Yes, I know part of the reason is to give modest women an opportunity to cover themselves up by being underwater after the initial shock of being nude for what is often their first time ever nude in a mixed group of men and women. However, another reason for encouraging first-time nude women to swim is the pleasurable feeling of water gliding over our nude bodies. Even the smallest bikinis cover the nipple and most are padded to keep its outline from showing when it gets wet, so most women, even regular swimmers, never get to feel water moving freely against some parts of their bodies.

Many women experiencing nudity for their first time say their nipples being caressed in unexpected ways by the shifting currents of warm water in an ocean or a lake is incredibly enjoyable. Same for the feeling of warm sun and warm breezes on places which had never before felt the open air.

I don't mean that it's just the traditional erogenous zones of our bodies which enjoy stimulation. Walking barefoot on warm sand, even when the rest of my body is covered up by a T-shirt and sweatpants, is fun for me. Same for walking a few feet out in the water along the shoreline as waves lap at my feet and legs, and occasionally a bigger wave comes in and drenches most of my body. My husband (then boyfriend) loved walking knee-deep along the beach near our college when a wave would knock me off my feet and I'd be completely soaking wet with my T-shirt sticking closely to my body, nude underneath the shirt. At the same time he was admiring my body through the wet T-shirt, I was enjoying the feel of the fabric moving against my body as we continued to walk down the beach together. My boyfriend was always happy when we reached the nude part of the beach and I could pull off my T-shirt; sometimes I wished I could wait a bit longer since the fabric moving against my body could be quite enjoyable.

How many times have we met women who totally objected to social nudity, but after they tried it, they were hooked?

What I'm trying to say is there are both physical and socialization reasons why it's common for women who had resisted undressing at a nude beach or resort to love the experience of nudity once they finally undress. The feel of water on our bodies while swimming, and warm sun and warm breezes while sunbathing, are all part of that physical pleasure associated with nudity.

Overly modest women expect to be scared by social nudity, and yes, there is a lot of fear that goes into the act of undressing. But the physical pleasure of our bodies being caressed by warm water and warm breezes, and being exposed to warm sunshine, is something many women didn't expect and can completely change a woman's view of what it means to be socially nude.

I think Philip gets it that our bodies are sensual organs. By wearing clothes most of the time, we dull that sensuality. When non-nudists ask how I can enjoy being nude, and how I can relax and enjoy the feeling of being nude rather than constantly being nervous or "on guard" about who might see me, I sometimes ask if they like walking barefoot on warm sand on the beach. Some smile and understand where I am going with that question. When I say enjoying a nude beach is sort of like being barefoot all over, even if they don't agree, I think they can relate.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Thank you, beachbunny. I can't let your comments go without a response. When I read your comments I laughed out loud and called my wife into the room to share them with her. You've let my "secret" out of the bag. My feminine side is dominant. My wife, on the other hand, is dominant in her masculine side. We often tell friends that our marriage is the perfect balance of masculine and feminine qualities. She has the masculine. I have the feminine. A lot of people have a problem with this and sexual identity (especially right now with all the news about trans-gender). We are perfectly at ease with our bodies and our heterosexuality. This is no secret. It is a source of a lot of laughs for us to talk about our differences among friends. I'm way too old to try to be somebody I'm not. That same thing applies to my worrying about what people think of me. I've gotten to the age (75) where I don't give a ****. And that's a good thing.
God gave us such sensory perception for a reason. I don't think we should deny it.
Thank you for picking up on this. It really had not occurred to me when I first asked the question. I'm happy that this thread has generated so much response.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Philip
God gave us such sensory perception for a reason. I don't think we should deny it. Thank you for picking up on this. It really had not occurred to me when I first asked the question. I'm happy that this thread has generated so much response.


Thanks for your post as well. I remember our discussions last year, and hope your wife, who was once interested in nudism, is showing more interest.

nudewalker
In fact the idea of clothing is a matter of environment, social status or forced morals.... The finer the clothing the higher a place in society a person belongs to mush like the caste system in India... But I have to thank you Philip for starting this discussion in the first place. If it had not caught my eye I wouldn't be here!


Like Nudewalker, I also want to thank Philip, and to follow up on Nudewalker's comments about clothing being an indicator not only of environment (sometimes it's just too cold or dangerous for nudity) but also of "social status or forced morals."

First, on the "forced morals."

Let's be honest. Socialization is a HUGE factor deterring women from social nudity, and also for some men. In college, some friends slept with many men but would never come with me to the nude beach and couldn't understand why I regularly visited a nude beach but was committed to "saving it for later" with my boyfriend.

What's going on here? Is social nudity the "last taboo?" No, not really. I think the older moral code still causes many women, even those who aren't "waiting for marriage," to feel uncomfortable letting men see their bodies unless they trust that man and share a deep emotional connection with him.

For many women raised in more traditional homes, and by that I mean not only traditional American values but also many Hispanic and most Asian families, until we get over our guilt and false modesty, it's INCREDIBLY difficult to undress even with a boyfriend we love, and all but inconceivable to be nude in public.

Yes, marriage changes things. Most married nudists I know had been nudists long before we met and I have only limited experience with married women new to nudism. What I hear from married women considering social nudity, even though they're obviously comfortable being nude in private, is that social nudity seems much harder for them. Even though it's usually their husbands asking them to visit the nude beach, it's REALLY hard for wives to get over the taboo of "showing my body" to other men. On the other hand, some of my younger married friends, even though they were among the strictest people I knew prior to marriage, after they learned to enjoy a satisfying sexual relationship as a married couple, they started to loosen up. I'll say more on that in a separate post.

It's not just guilt and modesty, though. I want to comment on Nudewalker's point about clothes being an indicator of social status.

On a nude beach there's no way to know if a guy is a doctor or a mechanic, and no way to know if a woman is a nurse or a secretary. What we can know is whether they take care of their bodies and that carries its own social status, at least for young adults and college students who are in the "dating game."

Women have SO MANY hang-ups. Like this: "Will Jim REALLY still love me once he realizes I've put on the 'freshman five' eating too much food in the cafeteria?" Or again, "Dave told me he loves me and cares more about us being such close friends than about my looks, but his former girlfriend Sally looks so much better than me, and I've only got an A cup, so what will Dave think when I finally let him take off my bra?"

Normalizing nudity would help women in so many ways. Women worry way too much about their appearance, much more than most men, and we have many ways to use clothes and makeup to make ourselves look better.

Even swimsuits can call attention to some parts of a woman's body while compressing or accentuating others. That's why a few inches of thin fabric can cost so much.

Full nudity takes all of that away.

Maybe the older physical fitness emphasis in German nudism was good. If some women put as much time and effort into a daily morning workout as they put into their makeup and fixing their hair in the morning, they'd be making positive changes that would show up both in and out of clothes.

For me and many men and women I know, an unexpected benefit of full nudity was realizing that some women who I thought were more attractive than me looked about the same as me when fully nude, and some were using bras or "tummy control" panties to make themselves look better in clothes than they looked without clothes.

Full nudity removes the pretense and we see what people really look like. Social nudity seems so much more healthy than what happens so often in dating, with men trying to get women undressed, and women using men's desire as a way to manipulate them.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

In a previous post I wrote this to Philip: "I think Philip gets it that our bodies are sensual organs. By wearing clothes most of the time, we dull that sensuality... non-nudists ask how I can enjoy being nude, and how I can relax and enjoy the feeling of being nude rather than constantly being nervous or 'on guard' about who might see me."

Philip also said, and he's right:

Philip
"God gave us such sensory perception for a reason. I don't think we should deny it. Thank you for picking up on this.


Some, even if they don't understand how I can relax and enjoy the feeling of full nudity on a beach, still can understand a nude pool party with close friends, or a private nudist resort, or going far away to a nude beach on vacation, but they say a public nude beach anywhere nearby would make them too nervous to ever undress.

Picking up on what Nudewalker said about "the idea of clothing is a matter of environment, social status or forced morals," let's change the term from "forced morals" to the neutral word "socialization."

I feel much female reluctance about social nudity comes from early socialization, when as young girls, our mothers cautioned us when taking showers or baths to always make sure the door was closed and locked, to always make sure our towels were carefully tucked in as we walked from the bathroom to our bedrooms, to always make sure the blinds were closed in our bedrooms before undressing or getting dressed, and to always make sure to cover up, even if we thought we were alone in the house, in case brothers might come home unexpectedly or walk out of their bedrooms when we didn't think they were home and unexpectedly see us nude in that 30-second walk from our bathroom to the bedroom.

Young boys don't get the same warnings from dads that girls get from moms. If a young boy forgets his towel and dashes between the bathroom and the bedroom, it's funny and he'll be teased. A young girl will get warned "for her own good."

Some nudists tell me they began to lose their false modesty when, as often happens in families, kids ignore their parents' warnings. One especially modest woman I know said she was okay with her boyfriend taking her to a nude beach because the year before she went to college, her brother walked up the stairs as she was walking nude from the shower to her bedroom, and after a few moments of mutual embarrassment, he said something like "well, sis, I always knew you were cute, now I know you're REALLY cute." They never told their parents, but the brother, who went to the same college we did but never joined us on the nude beach, did join us on textile beaches and sometimes teased his sister about knowing why she could "rock a bikini so well."

Unfortunately what could be learning experiences from accidental nudity can go REALLY bad when parents punish kids for mistakes, and can make it much harder for women to undress.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Trying to pick quotes from BeachBunny's response but this is a hunt and peck day due to arthritic fingers! I guess the term "forced morals" because, at least in my household, simple nudity was not frowned upon. I would often walk from the bathroom to the kitchen for a drink then head to my bedroom to get dressed. Mostly in the morning and for coffee! My siblings often went from the shower to the basement to get clean laundry or put one of their favorite things in the wash. So when I got exposed to religious teaching it was like they were forcing their ideals on me.
I do understand what you mean by socialization however. Despite all the evidence that adult nudity has no ill effects on children there are still those who insist that children will be harmed forever if they see their parents naked. That's what happens to many as BeachBunny pointed out; instead of a learning experience it becomes a punishment. The body is seen as something bad so there is the temptation to see or touch the forbidden fruit.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

BeachBunny
Social nudity seems so much more healthy than what happens so often in dating, with men trying to get women undressed, and women using men's desire as a way to manipulate them.


"so much more healthy". That's the message in a nutshell. If only the world knew it. But we're preaching to the choir. We already know it. Still, it can't be said too often.

BTW, beachbunny. Thank you for the question about my wife. She's no more interested than before, perhaps less. I mentioned the other day that I wanted to take a trip to Cypress Cove this spring. She was very cool to the idea. She said she'd go but not get nude at all. I hope I'll have the determination to go even if she decides to stay home.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Philip
"so much more healthy". That's the message in a nutshell. If only the world knew it. But we're preaching to the choir. We already know it. Still, it can't be said too often.


Nudewalker
That's what happens to many as BeachBunny pointed out; instead of a learning experience it becomes a punishment. The body is seen as something bad so there is the temptation to see or touch the forbidden fruit.


We agree. So how do we deal with the unhealthy consequences of all this "body shaming" and false modesty and guilt and move toward a healthier and more positive attitude toward the human body?

To start, let's try not to beat each other up too badly in America. Several here, including Philip last summer, talked about "toxic" body image attitudes in America. Yeah, I know we're not in parts of Europe with a much more relaxed attitude toward the body, but America is WAY better than many other countries.

Last June, in a different conversation with Philip, I wrote about two cousins, both families originally from Hong Kong, the older one a graduate student who interned in the same company as a friend who goes to the place on a nearby lake where we go, and his younger cousin, an undergraduate music student at the same university. The older cousin's family had emigrated to Canada where he attended the University of British Columbia and started to like Wreck Beach as an undergraduate before coming here for graduate school. Lots of Chinese live in Vancouver and some visit Wreck Beach, but unlike many, the older cousin decided he liked nudism and didn't go just to gawk. The younger cousin's family had emigrated from Hong Kong to Taiwan instead of Canada, but she speaks good English and wanted to study in the United States. She loved beaches in Taiwan, which were of course all textile beaches. She begged her cousin to take her to the beaches here. She was scared to death about trying a nude beach but agreed.

I wrote this last summer to Philip:

BeachBunny
It's not that people new to nudism don't feel shame or guilt. Not at all! It's that those feelings subside with time as we enjoy the pleasures of social nudity. I'm writing with permission of two friends who come from some of the strictest backgrounds I know who are involved in nudism....

(I described our group sharing a meal with the two cousins while still clothed, and then undressing together.)

... No point on details except she was scared to death, covered her breasts and pubes with her hands, and stayed scared all evening. A young freshman girl who had been excited, almost bubbly, talking during dinner about how much she loved her school and loved studying in America, turned into a woman who was afraid every time a man looked at her nude body. She spent much of Friday evening swimming and wading to keep her body underwater, and it wasn't until partway through Saturday that she started to relax.

I'm not sure if she ever would have returned if she hadn't told her American boyfriend about her weekend, and to her surprise, her boyfriend said he'd always wanted to visit a nude beach and asked if he could come. Of course our hosts said yes, and they came out the next weekend.

Was it scary for them? You bet! Was it enjoyable to be nude together? Absolutely! The enjoyment part overrode the scary part.

Their dating relationship turned something really scary into something exciting. Yes, lots of guilt and shame, not only for her but also for her boyfriend who, unlike her, was not a virgin and feared he was "corrupting my sweet naïve girlfriend." But they pushed through their fear and told us later that the pleasure of seeing each other naked overcame everything else.


The key point I want to make was what helped this young woman overcome her fear was her relationship with her boyfriend and her trust in her cousin, that even though swimming and suntanning nude was utterly foreign to her experience, she trusted that her older cousin wasn't trying to hurt her and she was willing at least to give nudity a try.

I now have permission to say more about the relationship between the younger cousin and her boyfriend, which is going great. They're both working hard on their studies but try to spend time nude every chance they get, which during the spring and fall and summer means the nude beach on weekends but during winter mostly means hot tubbing and watching movies while spending weekends nude at our friends' lakeshore cottage. Sometimes they find ways to spend time nude together at school, which often means studying together in her room, but that depends on her roommate, who doesn't mind her being nude but doesn't want her boyfriend nude when she's around. Her dorms have a "suite" arrangement with two adjoining rooms sharing a single bathroom and shower, so if all three other students in both rooms are gone, this young couple can spend time showering together and then study together nude.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Beachbunny
Thanks for starting this. It went in a different direction from what I expected.
. . . . .
Most of us in social nudity know we need to "play defense" or keep quiet entirely. Lots of people have WAY WAY WAY wrong ideas about nudism. . . . Many of us say nothing about our nudism. Those who do have to defend ourselves against false ideas of what we're doing.
BlueTrain’s bringing up the nationalist ideals of the 30’s is a case in point. Nationalists back then were viewing people as breeding stock and that is certainly not what I would consider a Godly outlook. Idealizing our bodies and body features is focusing on the physical aspect of God’s design and ignoring the spiritual. And by spiritual, I don’t mean new age spiritualism, I am referring to the indwelling of God’s gift to us, the Holy Spirit.

Nationalism is a form of idolatry, and this can be one of the things I think Phillip was asking about in his initial post. Does what we do, with regard to nudity, “insult”, “offend” or “anger” God. When we alter God’s design, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually, do we anger Him.

That is the most important thing. When what we have decided to focus on replaces our devotion to God, becomes an idol, we risk idolatry. The practice of nudity is not idolatry as long as we do not become obsessed to the point of elevating it to worship status.

I began to experiment with outdoor nudity when I was in JHS. Because I was brought up in the church I had some worries about what I was doing. I would feel guilty about doing things I had been taught were wrong. To some degree I still wonder about that, but I haven’t stopped my nudity as yet.

For me it is no different than ensuring that I don’t become an alcoholic because I enjoy and occasional BEER or glass of wine. Also I must keep things in perspective and realize that not everyone is thinking like me. I do not believe that nudity is a panacea for the worlds ills. I do believe it would have benefits for almost anyone, but it’s not for everyone.

As yet, I don’t believe that nudity is against God, but it is possible I may discover that it is not His will for me. I have to be aware that I am here by His grace and must act accordingly. If I were to abuse any of His gifts, I most definitely would be “insulting”, “offending” or “angering” God.

As Rob stated way back at the beginning of this post, “Humans are and always have been the source of the problem!”, and I couldn’t agree with him more.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Beachbunny
What Philip wrote about the sensuality of his nude experience sounds more like the way women experience nudity than like the way most men I know experience being nude.

I had posted a hiking report on a site a few years ago about my responses to these very things. I tried to find it but I hadn’t kept a copy and the site has since disappeared.

When I am on a hike I am aware of how I react to the environment and the weather. Of all these sensations, the most significant is the sense of touch. The sun, the wind or the feel of the stone that I am resting on all contribute. God made us with this ability and I don’t see anything wrong with experiencing the sensations. It is a wonder to me how much I am aware when I am on a hike. For me that is a gift. The more I am aware of God’s creation the better I can appreciate, not only what it is He has done, but my ability to see and appreciate it.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Beachbunny
My husband said he agrees with Philip, but he feels this is an aspect of enjoying nudism that men's bodies "wake up to" much later than other things about nudism. Maybe as men spend more time nude, they get more "in touch" with their bodies? Not sure.
In reference to this and Phillip’s remarks, I’ve haven’t looked at as feminine or masculine in a long time. I finally decided that if I was enjoying something, it was because I appreciated it for my own reasons.

If what I liked didn’t fit into what the culture or society thought, “So what?” I decided to not worry about it. As I mentioned earlier, I was in my early teens when I became aware of these things. True, I don’t go around commenting about it. I have always been aware that most men don’t, but is that because they aren’t aware, or is it they are like me and don’t for the same reasons and this whole thing is one of mere perception. I don’t worry about that either.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Beachbunny
Women have SO MANY hang-ups. Like this: "Will Jim REALLY still love me once he realizes I've put on the 'freshman five' eating too much food in the cafeteria?"
Beachbunny, I had to go look this up. I had never heard of it, so thank you! And I had to chuckle. Apparently you aren’t as young as I had thought. It’s no longer “five”, apparently it’s up to “15” now.

So it’s been a couple years since your college experience. At any rate, I didn’t get the reference and had to look it up. But I get your point about being worried about how we are perceived by others.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

If you have decided that it doesn't matter whether or not you fit into society or culture, then it doesn't matter what difference it makes to God, either.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Duane
Beachbunny
Women have SO MANY hang-ups. Like this: "Will Jim REALLY still love me once he realizes I've put on the 'freshman five' eating too much food in the cafeteria?"
Beachbunny, I had to go look this up. I had never heard of it, so thank you! And I had to chuckle. Apparently you aren’t as young as I had thought. It’s no longer “five”, apparently it’s up to “15” now.
I had never heard of this either until just 2 months ago when my sister-in-law mentioned the 'freshman fifteen' in response to me commenting during my visit that my nephew and his girlfriend had both obviously gained weight since they started college back in August. Never even knew that was a thing.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

nudewalker
Trying to pick quotes from BeachBunny's response but this is a hunt and peck day due to arthritic fingers! ... The body is seen as something bad so there is the temptation to see or touch the forbidden fruit.


Thanks, Nudewalker -- by "picking quotes" you got to the core of what I was trying to say but maybe didn't say too well. We have turned the beauty of the human body into something which is both highly tempting and highly forbidden. More on that later.

We are too often "on the defensive" about nudism. Try to imagine a world in which it was the norm, not the exception, for young adults to experience social nudity together.

As Duane wrote:

Duane
I get your point about being worried about how we are perceived by others.


Peer pressure will always exist. It's powerful, and while some do "march to the beat of a different drummer," peer pressure succeeds in getting the broad majority, who typically don't have strong feelings one way or the other, to do certain things and avoid doing other things. Right now peer pressure and socialization deter people, especially women, from trying social nudity.

Imagine an alternative world in which it was perfectly normal for a young couple to walk down to a local beach, and instead of stripping down to their bathing suits the way many young people do today, they take off all their clothes and do the same things on a nude beach that tens of thousands of young couples do every day on beaches near college campuses -- swimming, sunbathing, playing games, chatting, "checking out" other friends, reading books, or whatever.

Imagine a world in which, when "Vickie" (a real woman, though the name is changed) objects to her boyfriend inviting her to a nude beach, most of Vickie's friends tell her she's being unnecessarily modest, that she's denying her boyfriend something most men want to see, and that she should really rethink her refusal. In the real world, I told Vickie it's silly for her to wear a form-fitting blouse, a tight skirt, and heels, fully intending to attract guys, and then tell the guy who she's been dating for several months that she will only go with him to a textile beach, not a nude beach. In the real world, I was one of the few women to give Vickie that advice, and she didn't like it.

In my alternative ideal world, Vickie would hear most of her friends saying what I said, and inviting her and her boyfriend to come with them to a nude beach, and telling her that all her clothes are doing is encouraging her boyfriend to imagine what she looks like without her clothes. Vickie dismissed what I said because most of her other friends were either scared of going to a nude beach, or felt others would "judge" them (and Vickie) if they went, or felt it was wrong to go.

But even Vickie has no answer to my point that her office clothing, which covers everything that's supposed to be covered in an office but clearly calls attention to her looks, is getting her boyfriend very interested in what's under her clothes. She likes her boyfriend taking her on dates to a textile beach where she wears a swimsuit that isn't especially revealing and doesn't have to be, because she is quite slim and doesn't need to call more attention to what is already attracting looks.

That's the silliness of swimsuits. They may be technically "modest" by covering up certain things, but actually attract more attention, not less.

Let's imagine a more typical case than Vickie. A college freshman invites his girlfriend to visit a nude beach. She's scared and worries what people will think, and whether she "looks good enough" to go. Several friends say she looks cute, and even if she didn't it would be okay. When she keeps making excuses, a friend finally says she needs to get over her false modesty and just enjoy herself. Finally she goes down to the beach, sees friends there, takes a deep breath, unties her bikini top, and blushes as her boyfriend smiles with obvious enjoyment and pulls down his own shorts. They stand there for a while admiring each others' bodies, walk down to the water for a swim, and love it. On the way out of the water, she takes off her bottoms, they walk back to their beach blanket, use the excuse of applying suntan lotion to enjoy touching each other, and spend the rest of the day wishing they'd tried the beach much earlier.

Is that realistic? Yes. It already happens, just not often enough.

At my college, most students didn't frequent the nude beach, but its nearby location made it sort of a "guilty pleasure" for guys to go there, and to try to get their girlfriends to go. WAY more students visited during non-busy times than would admit to going. Some were young dating couples who wanted a socially acceptable place to see each other without swimsuits.

College is a time for experimenting. If nude beaches were more common around campuses we might have more nudists.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

nudewalker
...at least in my household, simple nudity was not frowned upon. I would often walk from the bathroom to the kitchen for a drink then head to my bedroom to get dressed. Mostly in the morning and for coffee! My siblings often went from the shower to the basement to get clean laundry or put one of their favorite things in the wash... Despite all the evidence that adult nudity has no ill effects on children there are still those who insist that children will be harmed forever if they see their parents naked. That's what happens to many as BeachBunny pointed out; instead of a learning experience it becomes a punishment. The body is seen as something bad so there is the temptation to see or touch the forbidden fruit.


I'm avoiding some of the issue you mentioned because I do not want to get into a discussion of family nudism on the internet. While those discussions have a place, the place is in person when we know the people personally. Discussion of that online with people we don't know can attract people who are interested in really bad things. Not saying you said anything wrong, I just want to avoid attracting people with interests that have nothing to do with true nudism.

However, I do want to say I understand why parents want to protect their children. My mother wanted to help me, not hurt me, when she worked hard to make sure as a young girl I stopped what she called my "bad habit" of running without a towel between the bathroom and my bedroom. Imagine this: "Beachbunny! What are you doing! What would happen if your brother or father saw you that way!" Saying that over and over again plants a message in young minds that it is bad to let men see your body. Same for warning me to always close the blinds in my bedroom before changing clothes, and same for any one of a hundred other ways she instilled the message in me that I should be afraid of letting anyone see me without clothes, or in my underwear, or even in my pajamas.

Mom's motives were good, and certainly many other moms and dads have the same motives and do many of the same things. I'm not even saying she was wrong. Young people do need to learn there are places where clothes are needed, and (to cite just one example) mom was totally right that I needed to be sure the blinds in my bedroom were closed before changing clothes.

But again, let's try to imagine a "what might have been" scenario.

As recently as a couple of generations ago, it was not just normal but not even questioned or controversial for students and adult men to swim naked in high school and college swim classes, and at the YMCA. As recently as a generation ago, school showers were still commonly used after PE classes for both male and female students.

We've now gotten to the point that PE classes are disappearing and showers are rarely used. But imagine what could have happened if, instead of men starting to wear swimsuits in swim classes, the culture of the 1960s had led to change in the other direction, with men continuing to swim nude and women by the 1970s having the option of wearing swimsuits or swimming nude?

By now, if men had continued to have nude swim experiences in high school and if all high school women were seeing some of their friends swim nude, and if it had become a "status thing" for the prettier and more athletic girls to swim nude, we'd have a situation in which by college, everyone would be used to seeing same-sex nudity, and many more people would probably be willing to experiment with skinnydipping, nude beaches, nude sunbathing, co-ed nude showers, co-ed college nude swim nights, and any number of other options.

The German nudist ideals of the 1930s of helping people find partners weren't all wrong. College is a time for young adults to leave home and spread their wings and try new things.

Young adults are already finding lots of opportunities to undress together as boyfriends and girlfriends; helping provide socially acceptable opportunities for social nudity without sex could help and I can't see how it would hurt, since lots of nudity is already happening, just not in groups, and usually connected with things that a good experience of social nudity between boyfriends and girlfriends could prevent or at least postpone.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

NakedG
Duane
Beachbunny
Women have SO MANY hang-ups. Like this: "Will Jim REALLY still love me once he realizes I've put on the 'freshman five' eating too much food in the cafeteria?"
Beachbunny, I had to go look this up. I had never heard of it, so thank you! And I had to chuckle. Apparently you aren’t as young as I had thought. It’s no longer “five”, apparently it’s up to “15” now.
I had never heard of this either until just 2 months ago when my sister-in-law mentioned the 'freshman fifteen' in response to me commenting during my visit that my nephew and his girlfriend had both obviously gained weight since they started college back in August. Never even knew that was a thing.


I'm younger than you may think although it's true that I didn't graduate last year. In fact, almost all students I write about, even the youngest, have graduated. I do not write about current students there unless I know for certain they wouldn't mind if they got identified.

I don't want to be too specific about my age for a simple reason: I've said enough here about my school to narrow it down to one of a small number of schools. I try to change little details here and there about people I mention here to avoid identifying them, and I don't use names, but if I were to identify the years I attended it could seriously embarrass some people I've written about by identifying them. Most people I write about, with some exceptions, haven't been in college for several years or have moved far away.

But on the phrase itself: when I was in college, at least at the one we attended, the joke was "freshman five" would turn into "freshman fifteen" if we weren't careful, and that would become "senior sixty" if we put on 15 pounds every year.

I didn't think very deeply before I wrote but maybe I was saying "freshman five" trying to be polite and nice. However, since you asked, I did some Googling today and found that the average weight gain for freshmen students in college is significantly less than five pounds, so I guess "Freshman Five" is closer to the actual situation than "Freshman Fifteen."

Weight gain, at least significant gain, hasn't been one of my personal struggles. It is for many women and they have my sympathy. Metabolism makes a lot of difference and too many women are getting shamed (and deterred from going to ANY beaches, let alone nude beaches) because of weight levels that are well within the realm of good health.

That's too bad.

I have to ask myself -- if I were 20 or 30 pounds overweight, would I feel comfortable visiting beaches? If I had men pointing at me and making faces, rather than pointing at me and smiling, would my reaction be different?

Neither of those things should be happening. They happen less on nude beaches, at least the ones we've visited, than textile beaches. But they do happen, particularly on textile beaches with a lot of younger people.

They deter people from swimming, which is a great aerobic exercise which could help deal with weight gain, for the simple reason that many women who are heavier than they want to be are uncomfortable wearing swimsuits.

I don't think this is a problem with most nudists, but it is a problem keeping people from trying nudism. I've told several women who know I visit nude beaches and who say to me, "Oh, I could never wear a swimsuit anymore looking the way I do today," that they don't need to wear a swimsuit when they come to a clothing optional beach and they might enjoy a beach where they don't get judged as much based on their bodies.

Most don't take me up on that. A few do. Those few "plus size" women who have gone with me to nude beaches generally felt more at home there than textile beaches, though I can't say many became regulars.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Let me mention a couple of things here that probably won't improve thee discussion but they are worth pointing out.

First of all, swimming nude in school was hardly universal nor were school swimming pools especially common. I live in a county with a population of over a million people and no school has a pool. There are county rec centers, however, some of which have pools. Same with the YMCA. There is a grand total of one YMCA in the county. It is not likely the membership constitutes a high percentage of the population. Also, not all YMCAs had pools and some were quite small. It is usually assumed that the YMCAs ceased to have nude swimming for males because of membership problems. That may be true but even in the 1950s, twenty percent of the members were female, according to one source. It's just as likely that objections to nudity came from males as females. In schools, the 1960s and even more in the 1970s, parents became more involved in school activities and it is equally likely that some parents raised serious objections to the practice.

As far as I know, school around here still have gym, although I understand showers are no longer required. When I was in school, showers were a very rushed affair and it wasn't like you actually experienced much nudity then. In real time, it might have amounted to something like five minutes total in a week, maybe ten tops. Any conceivable gain in becoming accustomed to being nude would be more than offset by teasing and harassment because you were small, skinny, overweight, pale or any number of things. I was skinny and pale (being a redhead then) but wasn't bothered at all by nudity but I suspect others might have been. It wasn't something that anyone seemed interested in discussing, either in school or at home. It was just the way it was, like having to take algebra.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I've just now gone back and re-read all the comments, and my husband re-read all the comments and also my posts.

My husband feels these comments between me and Philip may be the most important of the whole thread:

Philip
BeachBunny
Social nudity seems so much more healthy than what happens so often in dating, with men trying to get women undressed, and women using men's desire as a way to manipulate them.


"so much more healthy". That's the message in a nutshell. If only the world knew it. But we're preaching to the choir. We already know it. Still, it can't be said too often.


This goes back to the original topic of this thread.

People wear clothes for lots of reasons, many of them good. But we feel wearing clothes ALL THE TIME, and teaching people to be ashamed when seen without them, causes real damage.

We both wish there were some way, somehow, that young people could not only see what average ordinary people look like without their clothes, but also have it become a normal and expected part of the transition to adulthood for people to experience nudity themselves.

We have no clear idea how to get to that goal.

But we do think we would have a much healthier society if young men and young women had realistic ideas about the human body. No need to say too much about this, but the airbrushed images in magazines and videos do not represent reality for all but a tiny fraction of people. Especially for women who often have more problems with modesty and bad body image than men, it would be great if it could somehow become not only tolerable and acceptable but actually encouraged and even expected for women to overcome false ideas of modesty, get undressed, and spend time socializing with other nude men and women.

Lots of nudists talk about health benefits of nudism, ranging from producing more Vitamin D to motivating better eating and exercise to helping develop a better body image. What we feel doesn't get said enough about social nudity is the emotional health benefit of breaking bad patterns of dating in which boyfriends try to get their girlfriends to show more and more of their bodies and eventually undress entirely.

We realize many nudists tend to be older and many are married or in long-term relationships. The "reluctant spouse" problem, which usually means a wife who doesn't want to go nude and often also means she opposes his nudity, is a big deal for already-married couples considering nudism.

It's different for younger couples and especially for dating couples.

Social nudity presents real advantages for boyfriends and girlfriends who are not yet firmly committed to each other, particularly if they are not sleeping together, and are still deciding if they have found their life partner.

While physical attraction is far from the most important thing in a relationship, it is important. We firmly believe way too many young people are having sex too early, partly because there are so few socially acceptable ways for a boyfriend to see what his girlfriend looks like other than skimpy swimsuits on a beach. It's all too easy for making out on the dorm room couch when your roommate is gone to turn into letting your boyfriend unbutton your blouse ("hey, it's no different from seeing your bikini at the beach") to letting him unzip your jeans to letting him take them off, and once most or all of the clothes are off, biological drives make it more and more likely that young couple will move from the couch to the bed.

Social nudity not only removes unhealthy curiosity about a girlfriends' or boyfriends' body, but also gives both a realistic idea what other people look like nude. When a young man sees his girlfriend undress for the first time, it's much better if he's comparing her to their friends on a beach than to an unrealistic ideal of what it means to be a "10." That makes relationships healthier because it makes expectations realistic.

How to do this?

We don't really know.

We do feel a good case can be made for the health benefits of nudity, and nude swimming in particular. Maybe re-starting mandatory nude swimming classes in high school PE, which would of course be all male or all female, might be a good first step, but even without nude swims, we lost something important when students stopped showering together after PE classes. People need a more realistic idea of what other nude people of the same gender look like.

In "let's dream" discussions with nudist friends, we've wondered if that would naturally bring about other changes at the college level with more and more students voluntarily visiting nude beaches, having co-ed swims, maybe even some showers in dorms becoming "gender neutral."

But we're so far away from that now, with many people even avoiding showers after exercise, that we have light years to go, not just miles, before social nudity could become an expected part of the transition to adulthood.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Beachbunny
But we do think we would have a much healthier society if young men and young women had realistic ideas about the human body. No need to say too much about this, but the airbrushed images in magazines and videos do not represent reality for all but a tiny fraction of people. Especially for women who often have more problems with modesty and bad body image than men . . .
I fully agree with this!

I don't have a problem with clothes. Sometimes they are needed. But aggressive fashion industry advertising that seeks to motivate people by creating those unrealistic ideals is at the root.

Yet, we are complicit. I would suggest that an effort to counter the effects of advertising is a good start. Products that are seen as part of we the customer's self image are, in general, portrayed as desirable by appealing to our vanity.

A more reasonable view by individuals about self-image is important to relaxing the anxiety about nudity. I am not in favor of more legislation with regard to advertising, but an ad campaign about the of effects these kinds of ads have on people, especially children, would force a discussion.

In order to counter the program, companies would have to engage in dialog. As a result, they would have to defend their position by countering the ads claims.

You fight propaganda with propaganda.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Bluetrain, since your comments about the YMCA, school-based swimming programs, and showers tell me more about how things really worked when you were growing up, I want to respond since I was talking about trying to promote the health benefits of nudity, at least in a same-gender shower and swimming context.

BlueTrain
First of all, swimming nude in school was hardly universal nor were school swimming pools especially common. I live in a county with a population of over a million people and no school has a pool. There are county rec centers, however, some of which have pools. Same with the YMCA. There is a grand total of one YMCA in the county. It is not likely the membership constitutes a high percentage of the population. Also, not all YMCAs had pools and some were quite small.


Your experience is different from mine, but this varies by region. Pools are expensive to build and to maintain, and probably it's mostly larger urban schools which can afford them.

Also, in places with lots of water and rivers and lakes, there's more parental interest in water recreation and in competitive swimming programs, and more parents who believe kids, for their own safety, need basic swimming skills so they don't drown if they fall into water unexpectedly. Swim teams will rarely be as popular as football or basketball, but when a swim team becomes an important second-tier sport, there's a built-in constituency to advocate for good swimming pools along with good football fields, basketball courts, and soccer, baseball and softball fields.

BlueTrain
As far as I know, school around here still have gym, although I understand showers are no longer required.


Same here -- and that needs to change. Maybe encouraging would work better than requiring post-PE showers.

BlueTrain
When I was in school, showers were a very rushed affair and it wasn't like you actually experienced much nudity then. In real time, it might have amounted to something like five minutes total in a week, maybe ten tops. Any conceivable gain in becoming accustomed to being nude would be more than offset by teasing and harassment because you were small, skinny, overweight, pale or any number of things.


I think we discussed this before, and I agree on the risks.

Here's what might help.

First, make sure there is enough time to shower, and shower well. In my swim class, because there were important hygiene issues, our coaches made sure we washed our entire bodies with soap before getting in the pool, and after swimming, encouraged us to be sure all the chlorine was washed off.

Second, if group showering is understood as providing an emotional health benefit, teachers and coaches need to step in to prevent teasing. Maybe showers could become part of the health class program and help teach basic anatomy? I dunno, just throwing out ideas.

Showering together in my swim classes was an important benefit for me growing up and it could be for others.

I know this suggestion would never work in high school, but on the college level, in older dorms that haven't been converted to apartment-style "suites" with two rooms sharing a shower room, people in some colleges are ALREADY doing things like late-night group showers. It was happening in my dorm, and yes, alcohol was often a factor, when every so often three or four couples, sometimes more than that, would come back late at night, ask someone to stand guard outside the shower room, and all undress and have a group shower.

Is that nudism? Definitely not.

But it did have the benefit of breaking down unnecessary inhibitions.

When showering that way, it's not a two or three minute shower and the whole point is to enjoy seeing your friends' bodies. I asked one of my friends who got talked into one of those late night group showers how she felt, and she said at first she was REALLY scared, but as she saw her friends undressing and especially once her boyfriend was naked, it wasn't too long before her blouse was off, and then her bra, and from that point the rest was easy.

She told me her biggest surprise was how she felt, and that it was different from men staring at her fully clothed. Somehow since they were all naked together, she felt less vulnerable when men smiled at her as she washed herself because she was also seeing them wash themselves. After the initial shock, it was fun as her friends were giggling and enjoying each other undress and shower together.

That isn't the kind of nudity most of us would support. I don't. I think alcohol enables bad choices. But these things are ALREADY happening in college dorms, and in a world where the "hookup culture" has become normal and young people are being pushed into things, wouldn't it be better to promote healthy body image through providing opportunities for healthier types of social nudity?

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Duane
Beachbunny
But we do think we would have a much healthier society if young men and young women had realistic ideas about the human body. No need to say too much about this, but the airbrushed images in magazines and videos do not represent reality for all but a tiny fraction of people. Especially for women who often have more problems with modesty and bad body image than men . . .
I fully agree with this!

I don't have a problem with clothes. Sometimes they are needed. But aggressive fashion industry advertising that seeks to motivate people by creating those unrealistic ideals is at the root.

Yet, we are complicit. I would suggest that an effort to counter the effects of advertising is a good start. Products that are seen as part of we the customer's self image are, in general, portrayed as desirable by appealing to our vanity.

A more reasonable view by individuals about self-image is important to relaxing the anxiety about nudity. I am not in favor of more legislation with regard to advertising, but an ad campaign about the of effects these kinds of ads have on people, especially children, would force a discussion.

In order to counter the program, companies would have to engage in dialog. As a result, they would have to defend their position by countering the ads claims.

You fight propaganda with propaganda.


We mostly agree, Duane, but since I work in the world you're criticizing (and yes, I agree your criticisms have a point) I'd like to provide an alternative view.

The dialogue is already happening. Advertisers, at least on the major account corporate level, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars testing ads to see what works and what reaches their target audiences. That's only reasonable since they're going to spend millions buying ad space and ad time, and they want to spend moderate amounts of money first to make sure their larger amounts of money spent later will work.

It's the focus groups and surveys showing what works that drives advertising, which means even if people complain about ads, they're complaining about what works in reaching them and getting them to buy.

Sex sells, whether it's a slim woman in a T-shirt, blue jeans, and a cowboy hat and boots sitting on the hood of s Ford pickup or an expensively dressed Hispanic lady applying her eyeliner in the ladies' room of a corporate office for a makeup ad with the sign for a prominent bank seen in the mirror in the background. The intended audience is completely different -- rural men in Texas and upscale women in Miami don't share much in common -- but they do share a desire to look good, to be successful, and to find a life partner.

Definitions of "looking good" and "being successful" differ. Success for the Texan may be achieving his dream of owning a ranch with several thousand head of cattle. Success for the Miami businesswoman may be making senior vice president in her bank. Having the right clothes and right vehicles play a role in achieving that success for each, or demonstrating that success once achieved.

As you correctly said, Duane, "A more reasonable view by individuals about self-image is important to relaxing the anxiety about nudity."

Advertising presents an image of what people would like to be, perhaps not what they are today, and says, "buy this and you can be what you want to be."

What we need is to be realistic about what we can do to change what we are today into what we'd like to be tomorrow. Exercise and diet can go a long way toward changing bodies, but some things just aren't going to change and we need to accept that.

I cited the hypothetical ads reaching a Texan rancher and Miami businesswoman for a reason -- I know a couple like that who met at college (not ours). With their clothes off, there's no way to know that they aren't both Florida business owners or that she isn't the Hispanic immigrant wife of a Texas rancher, but her world as a banker and his world as a rancher are very different.

He's handsome and she's cute, but they know they'll never be "10s" in anyone's book. They just dress appropriately for their jobs and when back home, the clothes come off most of the time, and all of the time when they vacation at places like Haulover.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Nice comments here. I'm going to have to give some thought to my next post before doing anything. Nothing worse than a post that makes no sense, not that any of mine are going to be very well written. Doing these post is more like a conversation than writing.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

I've written all kinds of things but I'm afraid because they're spread out over many posts responding to many different people, my main point could get lost.

So let's try again. My point is we need to find ways to normalize nudity.

Phillip is asking the right types of questions in this thread. He's turning the nude-textile question on its head. Instead of being on the defensive, explaining our "oddball" decision to go without clothes in private and in the few public places where it's allowed to do so, we should be saying (at least to ourselves) one simple question:

"Is there any good reason for me to be wearing clothes right now?"

Clearly the answer will often be "yes." Apart from nudist resorts and nude beaches and places like Cap d’Agde, nearly all workplaces require clothing. That's not just social custom. Many types of work could be physically risky if done without protective clothing, and that's also true for many things in the privacy of the home. Wearing an apron while cooking isn't done to make the cook look good -- it's done to protect what's under the apron. Temperature is a factor, too. Dashing outside after a snowfall to make a nude snow angel may be fun for a few minutes, and same for running outside and plunging into a snowbank following a sauna, but it's not fun for more than a few minutes.

When my husband and I married and moved into our first home, we wanted to be nude whenever possible and clothed only when necessary. Initially that was mostly a matter of saying, "FINALLY we have our own home and don't have to hide our nudity from other people," and like most newly married couples, yes, we did enjoy finally be able to freely enjoy nudity together without the slightest twinge of guilt. I have little doubt that what quickly became our common practice of coming home, getting out of our hot uncomfortable clothes, and (for me) enjoying the freedom of a body unconstrained by a bra and pantyhose and high heels, helped us a lot by associating nudity in my mind with freedom rather than with shame, and in my husband's mind, with the pleasure of seeing me undress and often spending time with me in bed before making dinner.

That's something nearly all newly married couples could be doing without guilt, no matter how strictly they've been raised. Just what is wrong with a newly married couple being nude at home as much as possible?

As Phillip has also said, the sensations of walking around nude feel great on the bare feet and the rest of the body. That's true not only outside, but also when walking on a carpet inside a home, and when the warm sunshine from the kitchen window lands on the back of a nude woman while she's cooking, or a nude man while he's reading a book in the sunroom or on the back deck.

Some of the strictest couples we know, once they married, started being nude as much as possible in their own homes. Normalizing nudity for them made a difference, and if it made a difference in their lives, how much more for lots of other people who never were so hung up with issues of false modesty, body image, or whatever?

If we can't be encouraging newly married couples to be nude at home as much as possible, where can we be encouraging a healthy attitude toward our bodies?

Things can move on from there.

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

So let's try again. My point is we need to find ways to normalize nudity.-BeachBunny

Yes BeachBunny, I've heard and seen this same comment on a number of forums. Much like the free breast movement it will take a few of us to get arrested, go to court and have a good enough legal team to get the case thrown out and statutes rewritten. When I was younger and had the money there was a carer to protect. With a family to support there was no way I could afford to lose my job. Now I'm retired I can't afford the lawyers.

"Is there any good reason for me to be wearing clothes right now?"-BeachBunny

There are a number of reasons, nudists may be different but we are not foolish. Thirty degrees outside with a windchill of twenty means yes I'll be dressed then. But I'll be naked in the house until then; Mrs. Walker on the other hand says she feels drafts so she's in flannels. Much like Phillip, I enjoy the sensations like a short blast of cool air if I'm near an outside door. It only lasts a second but can be refreshing if I feel overheated from working in the house.

Things can move on from there.-BeachBunny

It's hard to be supportive and encouraging when there is so much body shaming going on in media and social networking. On the red carpet it's alright to be critical of a dress or gown. It's quite another thing to be critical of someone's body for whatever reason! No wonder it's an uphill battle!

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

* An interesting thing about the clothes. Adam and Eve attempted to make clothes out leaves. :) Why? To hide sin? To hide their bodies? Was it a knee jerk reaction? The scripture only says “. . . they realized they were naked”. They had eaten of the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil and then knew about that, but not about how to make clothes. God had to show them how. The result of the 1st sin ** was bloodshed. An animal had to be sacrificed to make the clothes. Gen. 3:21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

The answer to how they knew they were naked might be found in Sunny's story
"Finding a kindred spirit". Adam ate the fruit that Eve gave him and this awakened his self conscience ( he knew he had done something wrong ). This may of exited him and he got a erection, that Eve noticed and Adam got embarrassed, then tried to cover himself up with fig leaves, so she just followed suite.

Same thing happened to Jeff the first time he tried going nude outdoors with Sunny. You have to read it for yourself.

So long for now
Telstar

Re: Is the Wearing of Clothes In and Of Itself an Insult to God?

Is wearing clothes an insult to God?

Well His son wore a robe, yet He was sinless.

I would also like to add to my other comment that most nudist resorts have a post on their web site about first time visitors concerns, male and female.
Under the male section one question asked is what do I do if I get an erection? And the answer is cover it up with your towel or wrap yourself up with your towel.

After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit a number of emotions came over them, quilt, shame, anger, fear, and worry. These emotions would cause their heart beat to increase, rapid breathing, adrenaline rush, and even cause them to be aroused sexually, something that they had not experienced before.
In this state it drew attention to these areas that made them feel uncomfortable and so they covered themselves with fig leaves.

It was God's choice not to cover Adam and Eve, but it was their disobedience that was their sin and only the shedding of blood would there be remission thereof. God clothed them with the animal skins because they were ashamed to be naked, thus creating a barrier between them and God.

Telstar