Editor: this is an excellent presentation by Kat of Cypress Cove Nudist Resort on the primary difficulty facing naturism today… the misconceptions and fears of non-naturists.
Greetings from Auntie Kat! 🙂
I was just reading about a nudist wave pool event that had to be canceled because of public outcry, centering of course, as these things tend to do, on “what about the children?”
Yes, let’s talk about that, please. Let’s talk about the children.
Let’s talk about children who experience safe, non-sexual nudity. Let’s talk about children who understand that their bodies are their own, that nobody is to touch them in any way without their consent, and that have strong body image because they grow up seeing and knowing that bodies come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and ages – and that all people, including themselves, are to be respected in the bodies that they are in.
Let’s talk about children who are not embarrassed, ashamed, or confused by the naked human body. Children who feel comfortable in their own skin. Children who aren’t doing inappropriate things trying to satisfy their natural curiosity about the naked human body and how it looks. Children who grow up knowing that nudity does NOT equal sexuality and who therefore do not grow into adults who sexualize people against their wills or mistake any level of nakedness as some form of invitation/consent.
Now let’s talk about adults a minute. Let’s talk about adults who cannot possibly conceive of seeing a naked person and not being sexually turned on by that. That’s a problem because that sort of mindset can give a foundation for rape culture. Nakedness is not inherently sexual. People should be able to be naked without being sexualized. When people are sexualized against their will, no matter how they are dressed or not dressed, that is a violation of consent. When children are sexualized by adults (pedophilia), that is an enormous problem. And the fact is, it IS an enormous problem in our country – and having children being fully dressed does nothing to slow it down.
We need a fundamental shift in how we see/experience nudity and sexuality. We need a profoundly better understanding of – and respect for – consent. Safe, non-sexual social nudism can play a healing role in our society. We need more people who understand and can articulate that nudity and sexuality are not the same thing. We need better communication about boundaries and expectations of behavior.
The reality is that the nude event at the wave pool would have likely been one of the most respectful, non-sexual, and safe events they ever have there. You know why? Because nudists get it and we are very protective of our women, children, and communities in general. Because male nudists know better than to leer, or make inappropriate comments, or to touch. And if adults in a nudist community see anyone behaving badly, they take steps to protect the community, including banning badly behaving people as necessary. Out in the textile world, there are lots of men who are constantly wildly inappropriate and predatory. Young girls cannot go anywhere without being sexually harassed, including church and school. If you don’t agree, you’ve never been or raised a pre-teenaged girl. And lots of boys are harassed/molested as well. We need to do better at protecting our children – but “protecting” them from nonsexual nudity is the opposite of helpful.
The rest of the world has a lot to learn from nudist communities. In the era of #metoo, don’t you think it’s way past time we started having more of these conversations? We can’t afford to allow the people who are ignorant about nudism to dominate the narrative. We need to educate!