Why I no longer call myself a nudist.

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I lie. I tell people that I’m a nudist in the public mainstream on average one time a day. I say it with passion, I say it with shamelessness, and I say it with pride.

But I hate the title.

I feel exactly like composer Steve Reich in the 1960s, when the term ‘minimalist’ was applied to his music by everyone around him.

It didn’t represent how Reich saw his place in art, and to him was a ‘stigma’ that limited the scope and audience he wanted to reach.

Well, my musical hero, this is me and the word ‘nudist’.

I keep on telling myself – in that same, on average one time a day – that actually I’m a PERSON goddammit, who just loves to be nude!

The real reason I’m having this identity crisis is that I’m on a mission to change the world. I no longer want to retreat to an obscure tribe of people outside the mainstream society. I want to change it.

Nude Movement was created for exactly this purpose. Its aim?

Make nude cool again.

The already obscure terms ‘nudist’ and ‘naturist’ – if people even get it right it – elicit images of flabby fifty-somethings playing volleyball at a corny, run-down, struggling ‘nudist colony’.

In 2016, who wants to identify with that? Who would go anywhere near that word?

We have an *audience* to persuade – and it is time to play a different game.

Already the word ‘nudie’ has popped up as an alternative gaining steam among the mainstream-minded and social media-savvy, and that along with the universal nude are ones that don’t carry yesteryear’s baggage of stereotypes no one wants to identify with.

The future of social nudity is with a new crowd – the Instagram and Snapchat youth – the people who already watch porn and aren’t complaining that they’re saturated in sexualized media ranging from the ‘creamy’ voiceovers of TV chocolate ads to the soft pornographic levels of the most viewed music videos on YouTube. They know that the body is sexy and are not going to deny that part of its reality any time soon. They’re going to enjoy it. It’s how our bodies work.

So if porn is ‘cool’, if sex is cool – then why can’t nude be cool too?

Nude and Nudie are concepts that will appeal to the new generation. They’re fresh, they’re universal, and because of that they’re unable to be stigmatized.

It’s already increasing my appeal when inviting people to nude beaches – friends who are ‘non-nudists’ and friends who definitely have a problem with what that word can mean.

Now that I’m no longer a ‘nudist’, I’m just like, ‘C’mon, it’ll be fun, its 2016, do you really still have a problem with the nude human body?’, instead of sensing a tacit pressure to become a ‘nudist’ because that’s what it seems I’m inviting them to do.

We’re just friends, and we like go nude. Sometimes. Big deal.

See the difference?

Words are words, but words change the world. They define people. And those definitions can mean a lot.

So what should we be saying to this brave new generation of Snapchat and Instagram?

Go Nude.

Get Nude.

After all what do we want? We want more nudity in the world – not more ‘nudists’!

I don’t want to market myself as some different category of person anymore. I understand the joys and comforts of identifying with a tribe – it’s like being vegan, or paleo, or a bikie – you feel pride in your group, you feel relief from the criticizing, misunderstanding world outside. You feel validation.

But I am here to tell you that if you want to ensure the future of everything nudists love and stand for while the world becomes increasingly sexualized – it’s time to step out of your tribe.

Nudity needs a reinvention. It needs a 2.0.

And it is here. It has started.

It starts with you choosing a ‘normal’ beach close-by to swim and sunbathe nude at a tasteful distance instead of driving to an official ‘nudist’ beach far away where no one new will discover the idea of nudity as an awesome and harmless thing to do.

It starts with you promoting nudity as a normal part of normal mainstream culture with the attitude of a shoulder shrug (and letting people ‘deal with it’ at worst, or discover it and start a conversation at best) instead of waving a giant ‘nudist’ disclaimer instantly painting yourself into that corner of ‘weird people’ that nudism tends to mean.

It starts with breaking FREE.

I now simply say, ‘I love being nude!’, which is instantly more appealing, interesting, and open conversation-inviting than anything I ever said before.

I’ll still call myself a nudist sometimes. But it’s a phrase I’ll use less and less.

I’ve just removed it from the bio of my Facebook profile on my wall. It feels great. And I’m already sensing my appeal to non-nudists will improve as a result.

Nudists all yearn for society to change in ways that are utterly iconoclastic to it. It is a cultural seismic shift for all involved. Luckily we have already had victories of change like the newfound mass acceptance of LGBTQ culture now (and with Cannabis quickly following suit in losing taboo), and social nudity will require even more of people’s courage, listening, input, and above all … willingness.

They need to be willing to change.

Are you?

It’s time nudists got real about sex.

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I sometimes masturbate to pornography.

Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s soft.

And I have sex. And I get turned on at the sight of the naked human body.

Sometimes.

And yet here I am, a family-friendly, non-predatory, humanitarian naturist and ‘nudism activist’, fighting regularly for non-sexual freedom of the human body.

Am I wearing The Emperor’s New Clothes?

The first time I ever went dancing was at a Burning Man underground dance party fundraiser in Sydney.

I was already a nudist, and I was finally ready to allow myself to dance for the first time in my life after an upbringing of conservative, ultra-strict Christian values and rules-following.

Into the night I danced nude as Burning Man embraces all forms of peaceful self-expression, and for five hours I was nothing more than joy and music, movement and body, with no drugs and without a tingle of sexual arousal felt in my body the entire time.

And yet, if something had happened down there, once upon a time as a fledgling nudist it would have been a problem with me.

When I first became a ‘naturist’, there was nothing sexual about it at all. It was a health therapy and powerful relaxation technique for this stressful fast-paced world we live in, and it plays that role now as it ever has.

I was excited. I discovered something that could help other people. So I got involved in the nudity-loving community at large, drinking up the philosophy and etiquette of what made up ‘family-friendly’, ‘ideal’, socially-acceptable naturism.

I was still a Christian at the time, and because I saw in my heart not one speck of sexual desire or dalliance in these simple activities I was doing (whether nude hiking or beachgoing or social meetups), I passionately committed to the mantra of nudism that states, ‘Nudity does NOT equal sexuality.’

I spent weeks and months deconditioning myself from being aroused at the sight of bodies that I am attracted to, and successfully dampened that part of my sexual energy – all in the name of this newfound  ‘freedom’ I had discovered.

I made myself immune (you could throw anything at me): I achieved what seemed like the epitome of safe, non-sexual, social nudity, and I patted myself on the back. It was hard work.

But as I matured further in my journey of nudism and sex (exploring the latter, also for the first time, again because of my upbringing), I realised what I had become.

I became a monk-like, zen, Kumbaya asexual naturist, and I was living an utter denial of reality.

A few times during this period of ‘purity’, I ‘failed’ – caving in to pornography once again. And not this time because I was a Christian, but because I was a ‘true nudist’ – a ‘real’ naturist, who didn’t do that sort of thing.

So I grew up.

And I started accepting reality.

This is the truth I finally realised, and the truth the entire nudism world must embrace if it wants a place in today’s increasingly sexualised and porn-saturated world:

Nudity can be BOTH sexual and non-sexual.

Nudity is a sexual thing.

Nudity is a non-sexual thing.

Both statements are true. They are true for different contexts, and for what you want to choose (or the way your body works – asexuality is a thing).

We are sexual beings, we are sexual creatures, and the truth is that simple non-sexual nudity CAN operate within our wider context of being attracted to each other.

It happens in the change room at the local pool. It happens when you take a shower, or take a dump. It happens when you put on your clothes in front of your partner, after sex.

See?

Two extremes, two statements, at either end of the spectrum.

One extreme is decided aversion to non-sexual social nudity: a fear of desensitising oneself from what one is attracted to, and as a result losing what is a huge part of the compelling excitement, and experience of sex.

The other extreme is the decision that desensitisation is the only way to safely practice non-sexual social nudity – because only then will you gain the comfortable trust of others who want that freedom too.

Today I am calling for a radically different decision to be made.

We do not have to make a choice between these two freedoms. We do not have to make a trade-off, a sacrifice, a side-picking. It does not require painful negotiation or hard work in every moment!

What it takes is an emotional courage and intelligence, and we are damn ready as a society to take this conscious step.

What it takes is a little letting go of fear…

Are you ready to take this step of faith? Or do you think you will lose something?

Our civilisation is ripe overdue for a mature, honest conversation about our body and all its functions. It’s time to stop being ashamed of how it works, why we pursue what we pursue, and why we (diversely) enjoy what we enjoy. As a lover of non-sexual social nudity, I love the human body – it’s damn sexy – and I’m not ashamed of that! I’m proud of my balance.

We need to stop being afraid of each other, and instead be curious to understand each other.

True freedom is balance. True freedom is the middle ground. True freedom, is choice.

You have that choice and power! You have the power inside you to respond to the human body in whichever of these two legitimate, safe, and humane ways, that you want.

And you ought to have the freedom to choose.

It’s time to call out The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Because it’s time. That we got real.

Where our message is headed.

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This picture says it all.

Our target audience is mainstream society, in every way. Front and centre. We do not want anyone to not hear our sustained conversation about the human body and our relationship with it.

We as humans have evolved with our naked, unclothed body for hundreds of thousands of years.

And although we are increasingly discarding barbarisms from past cultures, which honor the violent side of our survival design, we have a long way to go.

World peace is not exactly here yet.

It is time to adopt what is positive, and helpful, for our species’ evolution. One of those aspects is the non-violent freedom to live as we are born and evolved – nude – in all its consciously respectful, and non-harmful ways.

In order to achieve this we need to cut deep. It gets emotional. It even gets barbaric.

It’s a long road. But thing can change fast. Our new generation is more open-minded, more equipped, more informed and thus more willing to experiment than any generation before, and we now have a platform – the internet – to achieve social change (with victories like LGBTQ+ tolerance) at a speed never achieved in human history.

Look beyond the culture you live in. Look beyond the country, the decade, the century that you currently live in.

Look behind – and look beyond. See your place in that wide perspective of time and space.

Do you want to shape the future of humanity? Will you help us create a ROAR to make the world change for the better? Will you come out and start a conversation with your friends and family, and be the change you want to see in the world?

Join us, and get involved with us on social media. Get nude.

Let’s get real…about our bodies.

Welcome to the Nude Movement Blog

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Welcome to the official blog for Nude Movement Media.

We will have posts from contributing editors around the globe covering politics of the body in the mainstream and news from our campaign as it happens.

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