Last day I began to talk about the reasons for being a naturist according to K. Bacher. I talked about the comfort value and the mental health value that naturism provides to humans who all are born nude – the human natural state of being. Bacher goes on to talk about the word modesty, a word often used as a reason to try and enforce non-nudity by the larger society which somehow fears nudity, even their personal nudity in private.
Of course one has to understand that we are born nude and that as children we don’t have a sense of shame with regards to our naked body until the adults in our lives teach us that being naked is somehow bad, that we should hide our nakedness, that we should be ashamed of being nude. We are carefully taught modesty as being defined as wearing clothing. That said, even nudity as in the exposure of one’s genitals is not universally regarded as something shameful. For some it is the back of the head, or the face, or the . . . the list goes on and it changes over time. For example, it was considered immodest to show one’s ankles in the western world just a century ago. Now, one can be wearing a bikini and still be considered modest. Rational? Not really.
“Shame comes from being outside mores, not from specific actions or conditions.”
That pretty well captures it all. Mores change as societies change. And, societies are always changing.
The next category supporting the rationale for being a naturist has to do with sexual health. As Bacher aptly puts it, “Sexuality is a matter of intent rather than state of dress.” And it is sexuality that is at the heart of sexual health. In our modern world, the art of seduction is all about how one dresses, applies makeup, and how one carries one’s body. Again, as Bacher puts it:
“Clothing focuses attention on sexuality, not away from it; and in fact often enhances immature forms of sexuality, rather than promoting healthy body acceptance.”
There are real reasons for fear of sexual exploitation. Sexual abuse of children (boys and girls), rape of girls and women, and molestation are just a few of the reasons to be concerned about. However, in all of these cases, nudity wasn’t a catalyst for sexual abuse and exploitation. Two of the biggest areas of sexual exploitation are pornography and advertising. If nudity was not repressed there would be no pornography industry. Naturism as a socially accepted way of being is the greatest threat to that industry.
These four categories comprise forty-nine of the 205 reasons for being a naturist as put forward by Bacher. I encourage you to read 205 Arguments for Naturism and see these forty-nine reasons. I will return here with part three in the near future.