Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sexuality and Naturism

...And why those words don't link together.

This seems to be an important topic of discussion for almost every naturist, so I figure I should finally put in my 2 cents worth. For the purpose of this post, here are my definitions:

Naturism - Being naked in a family-friendly setting with mixed company. Either you do this or you don't.
Sexuality - Using the first three definitions from the Wiktionary, anything that has to do with sexual activity, or an interest in sexual activity. I include thoughts and emotions which are of a sexual nature. The measure can be in degrees. People whose minds are often in the gutter have a high degree of sexuality.
Advanced sexual freedoms - Those who practice sex in a variety of ways. This is different from sexuality (in a high degree) in that it excludes people who only have desire.
Sexual undertones - Nobody is having sex, or being sexual in any physical way. But some make comments of a sexual nature, laugh at sexual jokes, and do other things to indicate their minds are in the gutter.

Sexuality is a part of naturism, right?

Wrong. Although I must admit that the world would be a much better place if it was. Just think, if only naturists were sexual, all the children would grow up to be naturists as well. We'd have a true clothing optional society in a couple of generations.

The truth is that sexuality exists in high degrees with a large number of people, therefore it is not a subset of naturism. Since textiles are having more babies than naturists, it's fair to conclude that a majority of sexuality exists outside of naturism.

Naturism must be a part of sexuality then, right?

Wrong. Children love to run around naked, far before they develop sexual desires. Many other naturists aren't there for the sexuality, either.

I admit that there may be a high correlation between people who have advanced sexual freedoms, and people who are willing to participate in naturism. One is a catalyst for the other. They are already comfortable being naked, and having sex, sometimes in mixed company, so slipping into naturism is an easy thing to do.

I should also note, from experience, that many who have advanced sexual freedoms DON'T easily slip into naturism. Unless they are having sex, they strongly desire clothing.

All adults have an element of sexuality, right?

Wrong. I had a friend who was truly asexual. He had no desire for anything beyond friendship, either guys or girls. Make a sexual joke, and he wouldn't get it right away. He taught me that not everyone is a sexual being. Admittedly, he wasn't a naturist either. Someday I hope to find an asexual adult naturist! There have to be some out there...

A lot of people seem to think that there are sexual undertones in naturism. I believe it is these very people who are bringing sexual undertones into naturism. It is likely that they bring these sexual undertones to other elements of their lives as well. On a related topic, I talked to a cruiser at Mazo Beach. He truly thought the beach was full of sex and cruising. I've been there enough times to know that it really isn't, since I've never seen a sex act or have been bothered by a cruiser. It's people like him who bring it to the beach. Although a minority, they inflate the numbers in their own minds. Those with sexual undertones are doing the same. (And maybe I am too?)

There are three reasons why people might think sexuality and naturism have a stronger connection than they really do:
  • Out of sight, out of mind. Seeing parts that are normally hidden make people think about them more.
  • Relaxation. People go to nude venues to relax. When people relax, their minds are free to wander. Also, they tend to look at other people more.
  • Majority rules. If a majority, or even a vocal minority, of the people bring sexual undertones with them, it will be evident to those who don't.
The first two are "curable". Going to nude venues more often will lessen the first one. The second one disappears as soon as people get busy with something. As for the last... I often feel that naturism and medical practice have a strong connection, because we meet so many doctors, nurses, and CNAs. We also meet a lot of geeks, therefore linking computing and naturism. If a lot of people laugh at a sexual joke, then yes, it's understandable to draw a link. However, it doesn't mean there is a true link. They'd all laugh if they were wearing clothes too.

The only logical way to combine sexuality and naturism is to say: A part of sexuality exists in a part of naturism. The same can be said for other random topics too: hiking and naturism, holistics and naturism, environmentalism and naturism, ornithology and naturism, geology and naturism, anthropology and naturism, antinomianism and naturism, apiology and naturism, entryism and naturism, socialism and naturism, nephology and naturism, gnosticism and naturism, naturalism and naturism. (Really, I could go on from a couple of lists.) Why don't we make a big deal about any of those? Why do we gravitate to "sexuality", when all these other combinations exist too?

So, my point to all of this is that there is none. There is no point in combining "sexuality" and "naturism" because they really are completely separate topics. Combining them, and drawing links between them, only adds confusion. Please stop.


Nudiarist said... want people to stop talking about naturism and sexuality, so you write a post entitled "Sexuality and Naturism". ;)

But you're absolutely right when you say that there is no sexuality, or sexual behavior, in nudism or naturism. The vast majority of people I've met at nudist venues are there primarily for the relaxation. Nudists spend a lot of time lying around in the sun, playing games like corn hole or volleyball, and eating. Nude people apparently really like to eat a lot, perhaps because there's no belt to loosen.

The problem is that 99.9% of all nudity in American society is sexual, or at the very least, sexy. Most males in our culture are conditioned to become sexually aroused by images of nude women. Government and law enforcement officials arrest people of all ages over public nudity and nude photos.

It's therefore not difficult to understand how anyone who does not understand nudism and naturism would conclude that a bunch of nude people mingling in mixed-gender company are up to some sort of sexual activity.

One more thing. At the two AANR clubs in Ohio that my wife and I have visited multiple times, Green Valley and Cedar Trails, we have not witnessed any overt sexual behavior of any kind. People even use more "family-friendly" language than you will find at any professional sports event. The ONLY place I've felt a little uncomfortable with a naturist group is with a non-landed club here in Columbus, Ohio, which is predominantly male. Whenever you have a boy's club in any facet of society, you are likely to get a lot more "guy talk" than you would normally find in mixed company.

I know you've had your own run-in with sexual behavior at a nudist party you once attended, didn't you?

The bottom line is that sexual behavior is not a part of nudism and naturism, but some people in some clubs are a little more "relaxed" than others. This is also true of places I've worked - at one business, just about everyone was sleeping with each other, and the boss made it a point to pursue all new female employees. He even had a separate office with a couch which got a lot of use.

It would be wrong to equate sexuality with that particular profession, which was in the dental field, but it's clear that there were a lot of people who were comfortable with sexual behavior.

Eventually anyone who experiences nude recreation on a regular basis will encounter some sexual behavior or conversation, but that's true for virtually any life situation.

thomas said...

My experience with Naturism and Sexuality has been that it is similar to Anti-Social behavior in that if you are dishonest you perceive others as being dishonest and expect that behavior. If you are violent, you expect others to react violently to situations. If you react sexually to nudity, you expect the same reaction from others and you interpret everyone's action from that viewpoint. In those cases, perception is reality to that person.

Brian Taylor - PRO for British Naturism said...

We often say that naturism is all about doing the sort of things that anyone and everyone does but with just one difference - the dress code. So at our events we have treasure hunts, discos, yoga, recorded & live music concerts, sports, and so on; all naked if the weather permits.

The logical extension of this is that sexuality is present in exactly the same measure as it is in 'textile' society and just as discreet. Anyone not obeying the normal discretion expected in any society will be tutted at just the same!

To echo my opening statement, the rules of good manners are just the same - only the dress code is different.

Anna said...

I admit that there may be a high correlation between people who have advanced sexual freedoms, and people who are willing to participate in naturism.

So you admit that naturism does attract more than its share of pervs. It is no fault of naturism but that reality still remains.

And if just a few come to a naturist venue projecting out sexual overtones these bad apples ruin the atmosphere for everyone else.

Anna said...

We often say that naturism is all about doing the sort of things that anyone and everyone does but with just one difference - the dress code.

In general that is correct but there are some exceptions. Like while it might be okay to give a full body hug to a old friend with your clothes on, you wouldn't want to do that while nude.

Anna said...

The logical extension of this is that sexuality is present in exactly the same measure as it is in 'textile' society...

Not if there is indeed a high correlation between people who have advanced sexual freedoms, and people who are willing to participate in naturism.

Brian Taylor - PRO for British Naturism said...

Hi Anna,

I was not the one admitting anything about naturism attracting more than its fair share of sexually liberated people, so associating that remark with a quote from my comment hardly seems fair. Speaking as someone who did not take that route into naturism I have to say I have seen very little evidence of it.

You are right that the atmosphere can be ruined by just one inappropriate bad apple, which is why such a person would be rapidly ejected from a naturist event or venue. I've heard it said that naturists go too far in their denial and rejection of sex, but this is not the case, it is simply that we are fed up with the assumption that sex plays a part in why we are naked - it doesn't.

Academic Naturist said...

Note about Anna from Nudiarist: 'Please note that "Anna" is a known Usenet troll with over 12000 posts in nearly 200 groups, and is not a nudist.'

I notice s/he's been leaving random comments here now too. I'm undecided about deleting them, but have certainly been ignoring them so far.

woody said...

When you describe people who have a high degree of sexuality as having "minds . . . often in the gutter" you are allowing as to how you yourself view sexuality. Like our bodies, our sexuality is not a negative or disgusting thing. That being said, I am not advocating nudism equates sexual activity, however, we are all sexual beings and I see our sexuality as a very positive thing. Yes, separate naturism from sexual activity, but please stop being sex negative while you do it.

Ewan said...

I realise this post is 7 years old - however, I am your asexual naturist.