Pushing the Boundaries of Acceptable Nudity

Suitably covered to avoid an issue

I don’t know my original intention when I took this photo. I have this “wrap” which I had redesigned and re-purposed for my use when I needed to quickly cover up my nudity because of some situation. Normally I wear shorts when not on the balcony; however, I keep this wrap nearby should I need to respond to anyone who hails me from the yard, or to make a trip downstairs for another cup of coffee or for some tea. In spite of the occasional “skirt” comment, this isn’t a problem for me.

Challenging the boundaries

In spite of that, I risk full exposure and whatever storm that might arise should I be caught with my proverbial “pants down.” Naturally, when I do take these risks, I do so only after having ascertained that the likelihood of being seen is extremely low. In a way, it is a challenge to myself, not a dare. There is always an “edge” to taking such risks. The one that I feel has most value is that occasional, partial glimpses by others leads to a normalising of seeing me nude by others. A second value is in the sharing here where others can relate to the issue of boundaries.

Which boundaries are more self-imposed than by others? If the past four years of my life are any indication, casual nudity is likely to be more tolerated by others than one would believe. I was first seen nude by a neighbour woman who had come to our house through our back yard. Seeing me sitting nude in the kitchen, she stopped and continued looking until I realised that she was there. I was in a panic as I was sure that she would report me, tell everyone in the community about the pervert two doors down, and worse still, tell my wife. None of that happened. I reached for a towel to cover up and then opened the glass patio door which had been locked for her. Since that time, she has frequently seen me nude, almost always arriving without notice when I am likely to be nude.

A similar situation occurred with my next-door neighbour three years ago. I was sitting on my back deck, tucked into a corner by the patio doors when she came into our back yard in search of some garden produce. When she finally realised that I was there, sitting without any clothing on as I wrote using my laptop, she hesitated, then approached to ask about getting something from our garden. Like the first neighbour, she has seen me nude on numerous occasions with one major difference. She only gets to see me nude outdoors, and never with the intention of doing so on purpose.

Other neighbours have seen me as well, and no one makes any comment about it. It happens and it isn’t about intentionally trying to disturb them and they know it. I wouldn’t have arrived at this point in my life if I hadn’t dared to extend my boundaries, if I had limited myself to only being nude in my home office.

Nude Outdoors on the Casa’s Balcony in Olon

Taking a moment, a stolen moment, for being nude outdoors on the balcony.

It’s always good to get home, and that is what we call our rented casa here in Ecuador, after a time spent away on one adventure or another. One of the first things I did was to steal a bit of naked time on the upper balcony after covering up the railings with blankets so that I could have some privacy. Over the next few days I hope to use my experiences for posts here. There is a lot to explore from a naturist’s perspective about the Amazon and the land between the coast and the Amazon.

Today was spent going over more than six hundred photos with the objective of somehow reducing the number to a more manageable two hundred which is still too many. I also had to send photos to three others, photos which featured them. Of course, with those photos now delivered, I can delete most of them, keeping just the best. Then, once lunch was finished, it was time for our ten kilometre walk along the beach before heading back to the casa. It has been a good day, and now I’m going to sit back with my wife and enjoy some wine on the upper balcony.

Body Painting and a Shifting Perception of the Nude Human

A group of Xingu women applying body paint in Brazil, South America

Body painting is not something new for Pride parades, or World Naked Bike Rides, or for some publicity, or for a modern art installation. It has roots that go back a long ways as these images from South America and Africa hints at.

Mursi men from Ethiopia, Africa

Celtic  warriors from the past were known to be painted in order to instil fear into their enemies. My first meeting with the idea of body art was through my father who got a tattoo as a soldier, a symbol of sorts of who he was as a soldier.

Saskatchewan Roughrider fan

In a way, we still do the same thing today at sporting events where it is the fans in the stands who get painted up for battle-by-proxy. Of course, it isn’t just painted faces for sporting events, there is hardly a children’s event without face-painting or temporary tattoos as part of the event.

World Naked Bike Ride- painted people.

A number of years ago, it became an art form that was looking to stretch the boundaries of the art world with living art. It didn’t take long for the nudist world to adapt the activity for their purposes such as the World Naked Bike Ride that rolls through many cities around the world. There is the aspect of theatre which allows people to disguise their normal self for the events, daring to be nude in public.

Sea of Blue in Hull, U.K.

With the introduction of large scale body-painting events such as the Hull, Sea of Blue, by Spencer Tunick, there becomes even more anonymity – perhaps even a hint of democracy – because of large numbers. And in the process, the human body is being seen clothing free by a larger public who are curious. The fear factor of the naked human body is wearing down, bit by bit because of these efforts, with body-painting being an integral part of that shift in consciousness about nudity.

Nude Modelling and Self Worth

Lanie

I have made quite a number of friends, both male and female, who have carved out a new role in their lives, that as a nude model for life-drawing classes. One of these new friends is Lanie who is seen here in a number of images from her modelling sessions.

Natural curves and folds when in a sitting pose.

I am not sure if the positive self-image comes first, or if it builds as one risks such intimate exposure to others, especially when those others are unknowns who look closely at all the folds, bends, blemishes, and whatever it is that we don’t value about ourselves.

I imagine that there must be a certain level of self-confidence for even the first modelling session to take place. As well, it is likely that the more one poses, the more self-aware and self-confident one becomes. After all, the more one is nude in front of others, the less that nudity becomes a worry. Nudity becomes the norm.

With a laying down pose changes the body’s lines.

There is little doubt in my mind that with time and increased modelling experiences, life outside the art studio begins to carve more space for nudity, increasing the time spent clothing free.

Through a gown of gossamer

However, I wouldn’t be so certain that one becomes a nudist or naturist as clothing often becomes part of the exploration of one’s exploration of self. One becomes more conscious of self-presentation.

I conclude today’s post with a fun photo of Lanie which radiated self-confidence. I wonder if I would ever dare be a nude model? I wonder if anyone is looking for an older male life model for art classes? It’s a rhetorical question for my life is rather too full to make time for this. Thanks, Lanie for being my model here.

Skyclad Meditation in May

My first outdoor meditation in Canada for 2017

It was sunny and calm this morning. The temperature was at 10 degrees Celsius as I returned to my corner in the garden that receives first morning light for meditation, the first time to meditate nude outdoors. I almost always meditate nude, but usually in the colder weather I find myself meditating nude in my office with a small electric heater to keep me warm. The office is the coolest room in the house for some reason and we typically keep the house at 18 Celsius. When I meditate clothed, it is because I am in a situation where privacy is sketchy, for example trying to meditate outdoors while at a textile campground with neighbours too close for comfort.

The corner garden in front of our house.

Even thought the temperature was significantly lower outdoors, the direct sunshine with no wind made it feel infinitely warmer.

Later this morning I will be spreading wood-chip mulch on our front garden. Since the front is wide open to passing foot and vehicle traffic, I will be required to wear clothing. Regardless, it will be worth it as the front garden is turning out to be something that I am proud to have designed.

A Blustery Day on the Prairies

A good excuse to sit in my office and write – It’s a blustery morning with rain, cold, and strong winds.

It is a rainy day, light rain that has arrived at the right time, since I finished mowing the lawns just yesterday afternoon. The downside is that at 4 C., and with strong winds continuing to blow with extra energy, it has become an indoor day. My time to be nude is going to be a lot less today as family arrives early in the afternoon for the beginning of our Easter gathering. Some of our family won’t be coming as there is a blizzard going on in northern and central Alberta where they live. Thankfully, there is no snow in the forecast for the southern half of Saskatchewan where we live.

Besides writing, the time has been spent with sous-chef preparations for this evening’s meal, the part where I cut up vegetables to be used in Taco salads and Taco wraps. There isn’t much time for philosophical musing, or delving into the wonders of the human psyche. When the spare moments arrive, we will promptly engage our guests in some sort of social activity or other, likely card games or board games. The traditional round of street hockey and game of cricket will be delayed until our next gathering at the end of June – weather delay.

Happy Easter! – Joyeuses Pâques! – Felices Pascuas!

Psychological Fear of Being Naked in the Light

The world goes colourless when there is not enough light.

Today’s photo was taken yesterday when the sky was overcast which allowed only a low level of light to reach these northern prairies in Canada. One of the things I noticed when going over my photos, including this one, was the fact of muted colours. The rich bronze colour I am used to seeing was not there. If anything, the world looked anaemic. Of course, this gave me the only excuse I needed to write up this blog, a follow-up to the last post, chasing away the light.

I took the photo while taking a break from doing my taxes for 2016. And yes, I did my taxes while clothing free. Doing taxes is a depressing activity regardless if one ends up paying more taxes or getting a refund, at least as far as I am concerned. It felt like I was digging in the shadows, searching for buried – well, I can’t really call it buried treasure – for buried numbers. Like most who do their own taxes, I had papers strewn all over the office in scattered piles that I hoped would provide the needed numbers. In the end, the taxes got done and I was worn out in spite of the fact that I managed to squeak out a small refund from the government. A depressive fog had settled in while I hid in my office from the tiny bit of light that was outside.

With the lack of sunshine, there is a significant change in our energy levels, in our libido. For some, it is more serious than for others. This is especially noticeable in northern climes where the number of daylight hours is at its lowest point. In Canada, we talk about the phenomena as “cabin fever.” In medical terms it is called “Seasonal Affective Disorder – S.A.D.” But of course, not everyone is affected the same. For some, the winter is a time when energy blossoms. These are the people who need to hide from the sun during the summer. But for the rest, and majority of the human population, light equals energy – energy equals libido.

So, why do most of us continue to hide from the sun? We use sunscreen lotions and sprays [yes, I know, there is the fear of skin cancer] for protection. The more worried we are about cancer, the higher the Sun Protection Factor [SPF] we use. We even resort to buying clothing based on the SPF of the fabric. We don’t critically evaluate our real needs for protection, needs that change based on our adaptations to being in the sunshine. We base our decisions on fear that has been induced by the manufacturers of sunscreen products. We ignore the basic truth that these manufacturers are in it for profit, not for our basic human welfare. We base our decisions on the illusions fed to us by the clothing industry that echoes the petrochemical industry with their sunscreen products. We make our choices to hide from the sun out of fear.

It’s as simple as that. We are afraid of stepping out of the shadows – psychologically afraid.