Sometimes going against the grain of a society has no paybacks that can be worth the cost. I can better understand why so many who think of themselves as naturists or nudists find so many ways to keep that sense of identity away from public view. I haven’t done any studies but I would hazard a guess that most who think they are nudists or naturists are solitary individuals, and male. I am not a solitary male, but when it comes to being a naturist, I then fall into that category.
Rightly or wrongly, being a male in the modern western world is not exactly the best place to be a nudist. Over centuries and perhaps millennia, society has arrived at a point where the nude human body is an affront on just about every level imaginable. That is not to say that there isn’t a lot of nudity and partial nudity in the modern western world, for that is not even remotely a truth. Nudity has its place in the world of advertising, media entertainments and in various clubs, resorts, and strip joints – all venues where money is being made.
The nudity acceptable is typically that of a bright and bouncy young woman who is used to sell, sell, sell – cars, exercise equipment, vacations, diet products, video games, sports entertainment, or simply to sell sex. The rare event for partial male nudity always features young, muscled with dashing good looks – again a sales gimmick.
A society has the right, in fact it has a duty to set its code of ethics, morality, policies and procedures. If a society is to survive, there is a need for the majority – and not a simple majority of 50% + 1 – to accept and live by the social, political, religious, and even economic mores of the society. None of these mores, rules, rights, policies, laws, etc., need to be based on some ultimate truth, some carved in stone set of commandments. Right or wrong – these two words are deceiving for in the end everything is right and everything is wrong – it all depends on who, when, what, where and why. Right or wrong is irrelevant in the big picture. What it all comes down to is the now, who, where, when and why in order determine rightness and wrongness.
In our modern world, the vast majority of its citizens has deemed nudity on a personal level to be something that is inherently wrong. It becomes pointless to argue with this value statement of the society. It is what it is. Nudity by older men is by far the greatest of sins an individual can commit. We forgive murder if one can be proven insane, or that murder was committed in self-defence or in defence of property, other people of a similar race and creed, and is certain societies, if murder is committed in the name of a god. But, there is no defence for which an individual can appeal when charged with being offensively nude, even if the law code has somehow allowed a loophole that states clearly that it isn’t a wrong action. Societies can and do ignore these individual liberties when they are offended.
Legally allowed nudity on certain beaches is always at risk. If a person of importance takes offence when at the beach then the beach can be closed for use by nude people. At the collective level, this is seen as a victory for the moral good, reinforcing the rights of the majority.
But at a more personal, individual level, there are risks and losses that need to be dealt with. How will being known as a nudist affect one’s employment? What of the life-time of accumulated friends, neighbours and family respond to the news? Without question, these friends, neighbours and family are part of the larger society and aware that their well-being within that society requires them to support and defend that society. Making the choice for being a nudist is a choice to burn a significant number of bridges with the hope that the individual can build new bridges within the outlying nudist community.
For most nudists, it becomes a careful dance trying to keep both identities afloat without having them bump into each other.