I’ve done my fair share of reading, research and in-the-field investigations of the world of naturism and I have found few answers to so many questions. When I see some small clubs sit quietly in the background in order to survive and compare that to the nudist resorts such as Desires and Hedonism who seem to thrive as over-the-top exhibitionist locals, nothing seems to make sense. I reported last year how my wife and I were walking along a beach only to see a couple having sex on their beach facing balcony with her bent over so that he could pump to his heart’s content while both looked out onto the oncoming beach traffic to see if they were noticed. It definitely was about public performance and not about a man and a woman making love. The traffic passing by the quiet naturist sun club is almost non-existent with just a rare fly-over by a small plane intent on seeing what might be happening of “interest.” The traffic passing by the nudist beach resort is high with cameras held in hand with hopes of catching some action, or at least a generous display of genitals. The common mind set is the driving force that keeps the needle swaying to anything that proves nude is lewd.
But common nudity is anything but lewd. A group of people sitting on blankets reading while nude is boring as a spectator sport. Not only is it boring, but it might be illegal or immoral. However, if there is money to be made by the entertainment industry, the public is more than willing to set laws and morality off to the side. It seems to be a no-win situation. So what is a person to do?
Naked activists are sure that their exploits in fielding large events such as naked bike rides, naked skinny dipping record attempts, naked sporting games or naked protests will turn the tide and have nudity become more accepted at the basic community level. However, each of these attempts are simply more food for entertainment. Cameras outnumber participants. That the participants then paint up their bodies and find various strategies to say “see me, I’m naked” lets the watching public confirm their opinions that it is entertainment. The idea that somehow the viewing public will then turn around and get their various law agencies and churches and organisations to do a change in mindset and thus allow ordinary, non-entertaining nudity to be tolerated and legalized, is very wishful thinking. The events are what they are – good-natured exhibitionism where folks can have some fun without running afoul of the law – nude folk strutting their stuff.
Is there any hope at all for shifting the public mindset? If there is, it is at the micro level where individuals influence those in their immediate circle – family, neighbours, friends. One by one, tolerance and accommodation “may” be enlarged as these neighbours, friends and family members accept the fact of one’s proclivities toward nudity.
Change just a few minds, and perhaps then a few more will be changed as the ripple flows outwards further from one’s immediate circle. To limit one’s engagement with only those who are already nudist, naturists or nude-friendly only works against the eventual relaxing of the public attitude.