Are you still nude if…

I've noticed something in my random exploration of social nudism and all things internet: apparently one is nude if one's genitals are exposed.

I've seen pics of men (lots of those), but pics of nudist men camping, bicycling, jogging, etc. I've seen pics of men lounging about the house or doing domestic chores. I've been to exactly one event of a social nudifying nature. In all these I've noticed that clothes – or the lack of them – don't make a person nude.

I get it, sort of. Shoes and hiking go together. Socks and a cold kitchen floor go together. A backpack and camping go together. Are these not manufactured in the textile industry? Are these not clothes? Can I still be nude if I'm wearing clothes?

I'm not attempting a debate on puritan ethos, nor am I being nit-picky about the easiest solution to a cold floor. I do get it, comfort above morays. The proscriptions set down by church and state avoid many of the things that could upset the smooth order of society… and I say only could. However, I ponder the very definition of "naked" when I see these pics.

One of my summer plans is to find a secluded spot in these Great North Woods to spend a weekend naked in nature. My aversion to all things insectoid got me to wondering what people did before insecticides and repellents. I wondered if I would be remiss asking the local elders of the Oneida tribe to tell me what their grandfathers did.

This then got me to wondering if I could "rough it" in the most "primitive" fashion as the old Polish loggers of my own heritage did. Nicholet National Forest is largely unchanged since the times of my Great-great-great grandfathers and I've been told I can find areas that have never seen the footstep of man… certainly not one wearing Nikes.

18 thoughts on “Are you still nude if…”

  1. The interesting thing about language Troy is the agreements people have between them as to the meaning of any given word. This is entirely how hot debates come about. Not due to the symbol, but what a symbol actually represents.
    So far as nakedness goes, it sounds as though you've already slammed smack bang into motive and what a diverse world that is.
    There's those that state of you're not completely naked 24/7 you're not really a true nudist. At the other extreme are those who feel it doesn't matter what you wear our not, the concept is entirely in your mind. Realistically it's for each individual to decide for themselves and abide by their own understanding. If you can accomplish that while accepting the choices others have made you'll be doing well.

    • Been a member of the gay community for 25 yrs. Yeah, I know debates built on semantics. I also have learned that semantics usually have real-world consequences.

      I was one of those who didn't think marraige mattered, it's just a property contract, but then 2005 arrived in Wisconsin & I had fewer rights & privileges than my sister.

      • It's daft that people should be discriminated against on the basis of race, colour, gender, sexual preference, physical ability (or not), etc. We are all human, and should be treated equally. Period.

        The problem is that people are always "on the make", and putting other people down is often the only way they feel they can get ahead themselves. Sadly.

        • Some of the material that I've been reading most recently gives some interesting insights into the negative bias humans and all other species have.
          It basically boils down to the carrot and stick of evolution. IE: If you miss out on a positive experience it's really no biggy so far as passing on your genes goes. Thus positively in the survival stakes is secondary to not getting eaten or killed.
          For this reason the brain is wired to react and remember negative experiences ahead of positive ones. This on the whole gears us towards negatively.
          A good illustration of this is Christmas shopping. You get nine assistants who are really friendly and in the Christmas spirit. You get one who is really rude. Which one do you remember and tell all your friends about? It will of course be the rude one.

          Analyze your life and have a hard think about your perspective. You might be surprised to realise out of all the good and positive in your life, your focus is nearly always sharply adjusted to the negative.

          The challenge for modern humans is to recognize outmoded parts of their brain, and develop the more recent additions that are unique to humans. That huge prefrontal cortex that helps regulate your mood swings and prevent the ancient reptilian brain from submerging you in bouts of rage, lust and greed.

          By default it's not in our nature to feel safe, secure, grateful or accepted. Part of the reason we lash out against others is to have those needs fulfilled. What better way to feel great about yourself than by putting others down.

          It's all very counterintuitive, but once you start educating yourself about what's being discovered in brain science over the last 20 years, it starts really opening your eyes to what's possible.

          We should no longer ask of ourselves are we mice or men. We should ask ourselves are you an ancient species of reptile merely trying to survive or a highly evolved human being.

  2. And so we come back to the matter of semantics I found puzzling when I first started reading nudist literature. Nudist vs. naturist. I've come to a difference in my head that would probably be hotly debated should I ever venture to create an official definition, but the community does seem to agree that personal comfort is paramount. A backpack & boots while hiking then follows rather than sore feet & carrying essentials in one's arms.

    I'm a fan of language & find semantics fascinating. Saying what one means is especially important in writing & I often have mild debates about terms & phrases. If it annoys, tell me.

  3. I agree Troy with most of your comment, one needs to balance comfort and practicality and wearing clothes,or not, should be a matter of comfort rather than 'probity' for want of a better word). This would mean being able to wear a T shirt if it got cold and not worrying if it covered my genitals or not, either is fine if the shirt gives the correct degree of comfort. Sitting round the camp fire in the evening wearing a shirt to keep my back warm whilst the fire warms my balls seems very attractive.

    Would I be 'nude' then? Technically no but would I be a practical naturist? Yes definately.

  4. Good question, Troy. For myself I'd have to say that going into the mountains with just hut, boots and rucksack, (and otherwise naked), is more about safety than comfort, but comfort too.

    I'd like to walk completely naked, in a kind of perfect idyllic bliss, barefoot and with no textile or foot coverings anywhere near me, but I tried that and found thorns and sharp rocks a great deterrent to enjoyment. On long days out on the hill, I find that food and water, map and compass, camera, emergency kit for that unexpected storm, all essential items, to carry somehow (in a rucksack). And so on.

    Getting close to nature is a great feeling, but I like to enjoy myself as well, not just treat it as a survival exercise, so I take my kit with me, and carry it around rather than wear it. I find it a nice compromise with the best of both worlds, but each to their own, and it's important to find one's comfort level, wherever that is.

Leave a Comment

New Report