Another one getting tons of hits on the other site

“I don’t want to see any guy’s (private parts) dangling in front of me,” my friend was saying the other day as she declined my request to join me at a nudist beach this spring/summer. “And I don’t want people looking at my private parts.”

“But you won’t even notice their private parts,” I explained. “And they won’t be checking out yours.”

She doesn’t buy it. How could they not notice, she said.

Sigh . . .

I’m betting the “private parts” issue is at the root of much misconception about, and fear of, nudism. After all, we live in a textile world where we are forced to cover up our private parts — one would be arrested for “indecent exposure” for not covering up genitals or breasts on Main St. in every town around the world. It is against the law to be in our natural state in most public settings. Grrr . . . that brings out the rebel in me.

I suppose we can trace this back to (among other stories) the Garden of Eden story in the Bible, when Adam and Eve “knew” they were naked. Of course I don’t take the story literally; man evolved to the point where he/she learned to cover up to protect themselves from the elements. But somewhere along the line, somebody decided that there are moral issues with being naked in public, and it is now ingrained in the human psyche. Nudity is synonymous with shame and embarassment for some people; for others, it’s synonymous with pornography.

But for some, nudity is simply about being in their natural state in the great outdoors. It is about “returning to innocence,” as Cheri Alexander wrote in the readers’ comments section of an article on the Bay of Plenty Times site. I love that phrase . . . “returning to innocence.” Much like man was before he “knew” he was naked.

Cheri sums it up rather nicely in her comment:

Nudism is NOT about seeing or being seen. It’s about de-stressing, relaxing, and returning to innocence. It’s about accepting yourself and others for who you are, how you act, and what you say, rather than what you look like, wear, or own. Nudists usually remove sunglasses when talking with someone new. It’s polite. It’s simply the feel-good feeling of the air, water on you without the constriction of clothing.” – Cheri Alexander, on Bay of Plenty Times site

I know that one quickly gets over the “private parts” issue, if it is an issue for them in the first place. Personally, nudity has never been an issue for me: I’ve had lots of houseguests in my country home who bared it all to enjoy the sun and the breeze, and I didn’t gawk at them. I barely noticed their private parts.

So, I am not concerned about the “private parts” issue at a nudist beach, but I do understand the fears of my friend and others. It’s not my place to try to change their minds, which is why I will be going to the nudist beach alone, I guess. I want the experience . . . I’m looking forward to it.