Coming Out – Bringing Naturism Into the Public Arena

Emerging from the depths of shadow

Emerging from the depths of shadow

I am not a happy camper as I am getting more and more conscious of just how little time remains for me in this life. There is so much that is wrong with the current state of the world and so many wrongs that need righting that I don’t know how to use my small voice to somehow help with the shift in consciousness that is needed to bring us out of darkness into light as a human species.

At the present moment, I am focused on simply trying to be as authentically myself as I can be. And that isn’t as easy as it might seem. There is this issue of being nude. No one is defining nudity as being an inherently criminal practice for good reason. We are all born naked and somehow find ourselves naked at various times such as when bathing. And we all, universally, see a newborn human as something perfect and beautiful, a sight that evokes the idea of cherubim – naked baby angels. Yet if we as modern, civilised humans decide to take a photo of the naked baby, we run the risk of being prosecuted for child pornography. I will admit that this is a bit extreme as a statement, but in spite of that, there remains a lot of suspicion with regards to those who would take such photos of their children.

I don’t want to go any further with that topic, but want to focus on the original idea of whether or not being naked/nude is inherently illegal. In Canada our law code states:

  •  (1) Every one who, without lawful excuse,

    • (a) is nude in a public place, or

    • (b) is nude and exposed to public view while on private property, whether or not the property is his own,

    is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

  • Marginal note:Nude

    (2) For the purposes of this section, a person is nude who is so clad as to offend against public decency or order.”

As I read this, it seems fairly clear. If anyone can see you, you have committed a criminal offence. And, that nudity can include being dressed in such a manner that offends because it doesn’t leave much to the viewer’s imagination. It seems fairly clear. Being nude is deemed sufficiently evil as to warrant criminal conviction.

Yet, it really isn’t that way at all in practice in Canada. We do have a few beaches where Canadian citizens can and do strip down to their bare skin and enjoy being in the company of others while nude without fear of having committed a criminal offence, even if others nearby can see them and are offended. I attend nudist events with others without fear of arrest because we meet at nudist campgrounds, acreages, and other approved sites. Somehow, almost as if it was magic, being nude ceases to be a criminal problem. If passersby go out of their way to spy on naked people in these kinds of situations and locations, their offense is waived as irrelevant.

Now to look at nudity from a collective level, we have very little problem as a society with showing people who are nude on our televisions or in our media. It seems as though as long as money is being made and taxes are being paid, nudity isn’t subject to criminal prosecution. Now, the concept of being nude as being an inherently illegal and criminal act, falls apart. There are too many exceptions, too many exceptions, and too many levels of what constitutes “offense” or “public decency” or “order.” So what then, is the real problem?

About A Naturist's Lens

I am a therapist that focuses on the use of active imagination, photograph, dreamwork and Jungian Psychology in order to uncover the whole person hidden beneath layers of personae, complexes and clothing.

Posted on July 9, 2015, in Jungian Psychology, Naturism. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. I believe a LOT of it has to do with MONEY. “Free” public beaches generate very little revenue, even if they charge a nominal fee to enter the area. Resorts generate a LOT of revenue. Resorts pay:
    1) Property taxes
    2) Business-license taxes
    3) Food-license taxes
    4) Alcohol-license taxes
    5) Utilities taxes
    6) Gross-receipts/sales taxes
    7) Motel/lodging taxes
    8) Resorts are a boost to the local economy
    9) Resorts generate advertising revenue

    Here in Florida, we have a LOT of resorts, but only one LEGAL nude beach. There are some other beaches where a person can get away with being nude, but that is subject to the whims of local law-enforcement. All of the “unofficial” nude beaches are in more remote areas with little or no commercial economic potential. Two, Playalinda and Apollo, are on Federal land.

    As with everything else, we have to pay-to-play, and that includes being nude.

    • So to @pipermac5! As a regular user to Miami’s Haulover Beach–“the” legal clothing optional beach in Florida–it is also about money. The Miami-Dade Parks Department operates the county beach and adjacent parking lot. It alone generates more money than all other MD Parks revenue streams *combined!* As neighboring communities attempt to close the “offensive” beach, the county fights to keep it largest funding operation.

      According to South Florida Free Beaches (www.sffb.com), the beach’s guardian, have the studies to back up the claim that the clothing optional section of Haulover Beach generates more county income than all of the local sports teams combined. (Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, Florida Panthers) The indirect income is due to the fact that it is a tourist destination. The sports franchises make money for their owners–but as most fans are local and don’t spend money at restaurants, hotels, shopping, etc. But the Naturist Tourist industry is definitely a money-maker!

      Hopefully other communities will take note and just “take the money and run”… while turning their head the other way!

    • You got THAT right! Money talks, and that’s why the majority of AANR’s efforts go towards those venues that pay them to do so. It only makes sense. No profit (nor much membership) from a nude beach.

  2. Laws are made by humans,whether they are right or wrong and they can be silly too. People at the same time are so quick to judge as well and this can be a result of what other people think. Nudity in a non sexual sense should never been seen as wrong,why should skinny dipping for example be seen as anything different to swimming ? The only real difference in my opinion is that skinny dipping is more pleasurable. Being naked outdoors has the same effect it makes you feel better about yourself,more at ease with yourselves so why should it be seen as wrong anywhere.

    • Nudity in a sexual sense should also, never been seen as wrong. We are all the consequence of two humans being naked to some degree and in a sexual sense, we should stop equating sex with evil/wrong/sin/whatever, it is as natural as any other aspect of our nature and life. We should stop being hypocrites, we all (at least most of all) enjoy sex, sadly and senselessly many have been taught to fear its power, and this fear makes us reject it and justify this rejection blaming on it a lot of human disgraces. Of course, we, members of modern western society (and civilization?) “have” agreed to keep our sexual activities mostly private (with some groups exceptions). But back to naturism/nudism, certainly and mostly in America, money making rules everything, so you are so right, I think that if naturism somehow becomes a profitable or it’s seen as such, it will receive a big push from corporate groups. Problem is (I think) most of these groups, being part of this double standard society regarding our sexuality (you know: sex is bad and evil, but sex sells millions), fear what this same society will think and say if they support nude activities because of that same society tendency to relate simply human nudity and nakedness with that “evil thing of sex”. So F**K waiting for a soon mainstream support to naturism, let’s keep enjoying it by ourselves. On resorts and the such? All right, no problem, but I think too that more and more nowadays enjoy nude recreation and nude activities on their own, without feeling the need to be on someone’s membership list, so for now, naturism will prevail the “guerrilla” style. Some day, in some future (when today’s non corporate nude enthusiast youth take the steer-wheel of today industries and companies), mainstream will grow up and realize they’ve been missing a lot of opportunities and that they got nothing to fear on our skin.

      • Beatnik and hippies both grew up to vote right-of-center and keep the nudity / sex = evil myth alive. I fear Gen-X and Millennials will do the same.

      • Sex should never be seen as wrong,quite right…however its the titillation , commercialisation and the degrading” I’ll do anything for money ” that is. Most naturists probably have good sex lives, but its not that interesting in a social naturist sense and is never in the equation to be honest

  3. Reblogged this on Naturalian's Blog and commented:
    What about the Freemont Solstice painted cyclists which are universally liked an enjoy exposure in the media?

  4. Reblogged this on clothes free life and commented:
    Thoughtful perspective on the criminality of nudity

  5. A truly magnificent post! Thank you for sharing your invaluable thoughts.
    Finn

  6. Reblogged this on Recked with Finn West and commented:
    A vital and very powerful post on the status of naturism in our modern society!
    Finn

  7. It’s easy for most folks to see and understand nudity in a sexual perspective. What they CAN’T handle is viewing it as non-sexual. They simply cannot accept that, deny it, and somehow blame US for being able to do so. Which they don’t believe for one minute!

    Much easier to think that we’re just creeps than to question their own concepts.

  1. Pingback: Coming Out – Bringing Naturism Into the Public Arena | Nomad, Geek, Nudie

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