June 21, 2018 in Uncategorized
It’s been a while and I can see that the website has changed again!
Anyway.. I moved to another country I have to force myself to enjoy my least favourite season (because it is so hot) in a country where it is almost constantly warm (land climate), in a small city where people are a bit conservative or (even) religious.
Again, I have a balcony, looking down on a little square this time, where some cars are parked and were children play and where inhabitants of various buildings come to put their trash in the collective trash collection point.
I live on the highest floor and have a banner (?) that partly covers the bars of the balcony.
Again, I am too much aware of the fact that I can be seen by many “neighbours” if they look up… So again, I do not feel relaxed.
However, what has changed in a positive way, is that I have my own kitchen now, so I do not have to get dressed because I will go to a shared space!
Two steps forward, one step back? I don’t want to be perceived as .. as as how? How do religious or conservative people see a relatively young, at least bare-chested lady on a balcony looking down on people? I hope they understand that I do not mean anything by it, but I don’t know their associations here.
Yesterday, a man looked up and as soon as I noticed, it, I duck down (actually I had to be there anyway, to pick up a piece of clothing that was drying there, on the balcony), but decided to stay down a bit longer. When I raised to go back inside, I still saw the an looking up, in my direction. I really was too afraid to make eye contact, so I actually don’t know if he looked / stared (in awe and silence and head still in the same position) at me or at some bird or clouds maybe.
Yes, I am new here in this small city in a new country and I have no idea what people’s associations here are with casual nudity (or just bare-chestedness, female bare-chestedness)…
Who knows, maybe I already have a reputation here.
October 20, 2017 in Uncategorized
It could have been just something on Twitter or Facebook, but the last several days there was quite some online attention brought to sexual harassment (in general) and how subtle the signs can be for both parties involved (of which one of them might not even know that they is involved).
Even when the discussion would have been about rape only, the question would still be "according to whom"?
Communication is the key, but sometimes it is not possible to speak OR (like I mentioned in a previous blog post here) not possible to REACH the mind of the other who is involved in order to make them take you seriously and respect your words and/or body language.
During these days on Facebook (and possible also Twitter?) I have seen a few stories of men who have been harassed themselves, or who put out there that they "might have overstepped", because there are so many hashtags in their group of friends saying "MeToo" out of solidarity and to raise awareness of the magnitude of the problem. I want to say 3 thing about this:
1: Harassment can be subtle and many people can feel mentally violated just by being seen as a sexual being (by strangers or good friends) without feeling sexy or horny themselves at the moment. It is very uncomfortable to be seen like that (even with clothing, and even when nobody is physically touching you). Someone, with their body language, can put a disgusting idea in one's head, which makes one feel uncomfortable and unsafe, because one feels that there are different intentions flying around in the environment.
2: as said before, and as I read from some statements of (mainly the privileged) men in my friend-network, it could have been the case that they were guilty of this kind of harassment, but nobody really pointed it out to them. And really: how should they, when they have been taught that they are objects of desire and should always be "safe" and at home before dark and never be alone and, and, and… This way women might often feel that they are at fault. And they often have heard from the people who are not aware of the harassment, that they (what they feel) make things up about the intentions of the other.
I simply I have no answer to this type of unfortunate miscommunication, but I do believe, that for both sides it has something to do with the time of behaviour in society that is seen as "normal" and even "admired" or "praised" by repetition.
And no, nobody has to mansplain what is feels like to be observed in a particularly uncomfortable way, knowing that the we the other sees you is very different than the way you see yourself.
And no, compliments are not always good (surprise!) because the way I see it and experienced it, a compliment is speech act in order to get something done or to make a particular connection. Usually, it does the opposite of "comforting" someone or make someone's self-esteem higher. The latter will never work that way; it is a slow process that works form the inside. It is a matter of self-development and for self-development to work out, one needs time and safe social space.
3: So far, I enjoy the naturist community for providing space for vulnerability without unsafety, among like-minded human beings who re-think (because it is sort a societal minority) the implications of nudity and the language of the body.
Of course the people in the naturist community are "normal people" too, in the way that there are sexual beings in this community too. It is just that I think I could notice how people seem to be more respectful and polite than in the textile world…
I would describe myself as a sexual being, but only in the right moment in the right context (which, in my experience, does not happen very often, unless I am so "polite" to adjust to the wished of someone who does not understand my many ways of saying "no", until I get tired instead of angry, and reluctantly, but verbally and physically "agree" to continue the way the other desires to at that moment).
When I am among naturists, however, I can feel free and not judged. When someone looks at my breasts, it does not feel like harassment to me, but it is something compared to reading a text on someone's clothing. Especially, because nothing is said about it and there is still the same politeness and respect as before; nothing has changed, nothing is imposed, I don't feel objectified or unsafe.
—> How come that the difference in experience is so big?
Oh, I have an idea. Maybe it is because of expectations and the collective consciousness: I expect that I have nothing to fear in the naturist community, until proven otherwise.
Whereas in the textile community, I have been taught and am expected to feel unsafe and vulnerable target until proven otherwise..
Would it really be all about internalized expectations?
Also, I was wondering if there are people in the naturist community, who have the same or a different opinion on the "MeToo" stories on social media, when comparing it to the naturist community.
Nothing is "perfect" (regarding sex or communication?), I am aware of that. And also the naturist community is sometimes mixed with the (usually equally respectful and polite) libertine/swing community, but there is something different about these people…
Some different culture?
Some different mindset?
Some different expectations from human interactions?
—-> Please, why do I (so desperately want to) believe that the societal minorities who are more open and vulnerable (naturists, swingers, polyamorous/relationship anarchists) towards other people (strangers and friends) than random people who have experienced harassment?
I am aware that I just made huge assumption and generalisation here.
Please, if you have felt harassed in the naturist/swingers/polyamory/libertine community, I would say "MeToo" and openly and non-judgmentally listen to your story if you are willing to share. I will share mine too, in the hope that we can understand where our limits are and how to communicate them to other people from the same culture.
Of course it is easy to call some people "fake naturists", but name calling will not solve the problem we have internalised in our collective behaviour, in our collective consciousness of what is "normal", what is "innocent" and what remarks or looks are "harmless" in what context.
I am looking forward to read your thoughts on my thoughts.
(wow, that sounds rather intimate, doesn't it..?)
September 12, 2017 in Naktiv
Inspired by encounters during the NEWT, I wrote a poem in Dutch. So I will share it in Dutch. It is just a rough version – I just finished it – but when I re-read it, and with some feedback, it might change over the next years.
Actually I hoped to write something neutral (not taking sides), but I suppose I wrote more in favour of the naturists.. Maybe what I achieved in this version, is portraying the naturists as not evil or weird, and providing an explanation for the location of their wanderings, which are limited to the places where they are not bothering anyone who has different view on shame/nudity.
De Nobele Bloten
doen niet uit de hoogte
wanneer ze een Alpse berg beklimmen
en van het uitzicht genieten
De Nobele Bloten
doen niet uit de hoogte
maar zijn op de hoogte
– ook op een Alpse berg –
van textiele meningen
in de bezonde dorpen beneden
De Nobele Blote voelt zich goed daarboven
maar niet beter dan de Gekleden beneden
Nee, de reden dat beneden geen naakten zijn
is omdat Ongekleden beleefd wegblijven
van beschaamde tenenkrommende ogensluiters en mondopeners
De textiele meningen van aangeklede mensen
worden dik aangekleed met strikte normen
de textiele meningen van aangeklede mensen
worden heet aangekleed met zware waarden
De textiele meningen van aangeklede mensen
houden hun zelfbeeld schaamteloos warm
Om te voorkomen dat dik ingepakte zelfbeelden
wanneer ze rondlopen
in een laaggelegen blotenloosdorp
wandelen de Nobele Bloten in de hoogte
-ongezien en onbeschaamd
op respectvolle afstand
June 15, 2017 in Uncategorized
Again a post about couchsurfing (CS).
I know that I am a naturist for myself only and it really depends on the atmosphere whether it feels exhibitionistic or not. sometimes it really does and sometimes not at all.
When it does: when I am on my shared balcony (where hardly anyone else comes, but as soon as I hear a sound,I feel uncomfortable) and at a sauna complex, where people are working (clothed) for example in the garden or in a restaurant of the sauna complex, outside.
When it does not feel weird/exhbitionistic: if you feel comfortable around the people you're with.
It was not really naked, but almost, when I shared my room for 10 days with a couchsurfer. 10 days is a long time for CS, but he was there to teach me some Polish. In the beginning we were constantly clothed all the time, but at some point, when we knew how we felt around one another (it felt like we were siblings, there was no sexual attraction. We could be (but were not often) physically close without giving the other person the idea that there suddenly was sexual "tension".) So at some point I just did what I always did when alone: sleeping topless. My behaviour remained the same and there was still no sexual tension (because of my casual behavior?) and I felt really happy when he also felt comfortable in shorts only. The last three days we were dressed like that also in the evening.
But why did it make me happy? It's not because I "love" seeing (half) naked people everywhere. It's about the message behind it. Because often this kinds of clothing decisions make people of the opposite sex (and same age?) think about sex, as an invitation or question, somehow. And I really really liked how this was not the case this time!
No, I do not ever see it as a compliment if someone wants to have sex with me. I see it as something uncomfortable, usually (IF it happens) it is a one-sided wish) and because the other sees something in me that I do not see myself. I makes me feel that "hunted" or "targeted" or yeah… violated in the way that others see me the way I do NOT see myself, because MY nudity has nothing to do with sex (as opposed to what many films and commercials could make people think about "female communication).
That's why I like naturists so much: just peace… no further intentions, just people who see you as a person.
Same last weekend, when I was a guest at someone's place (a Dutch 35+ guy whom I met before, who shared his room with one woman of my age he's in a relationship with): just sitting there, doing my thing, nobody cared! That I liked very much: nobody cared. Nobody noticed.
Only the (bisexual) woman who came from a country outside of Europe (I don't feel like giving more specifications, but according to her her background is a huge deal in how she sees Europe) said in the beginning something about it: that she would not do that because she did not know me so well yet.
Something in her sentence / remark / opinion made me think that she associated nudity with sex (ever heard a naturist making such a remark? Serious question.)
She also made the remark to my host: "how come that people who visit you feel so easily comfortable with nudity?" My host hardly responded (did not care much or did not know the answer) and I said: "it's just about feeling comfortable, and if the atmosphere is good… why not?" I could not read her thoughts, but I think she was surprised and thought that the guy might be the one variable in the case of "who dares to be naked when you hardly know each other?" (?)
Still, after spending almost two days together and two nights (my host and she slept in one bed and I slept on an inflatable mattress in the same room), casually being nude before going to bed and after getting out of bed and walking through the room, she also began feeling comfortable with wearing "only" underwear.
Those moments (of that "underwear moment" the next morning) I like a lot: no warning, no conversation, nothing is said explicitly, you can just see how people feel comfortable and feel safe together, because I have shown our vulnerability and did not provide any sexual references or avances. I have shown that I act differently when dressed. This was clear in both situations.
Maybe also when other people do not call it naturism, I do: when no clothing equals no sex 😀
And both people understand and feel that you don't have to feel "threatened" because of incompatible thoughts of all people present.
Together you create an atmosphere. It is possible to create a sexual atmosphere when everyone wears clothing and it is possible NOT to create a sexual atmosphere when everyone does NOT wear clothing 🙂
April 18, 2017 in Uncategorized
Why do we say "practice naturism"? Is this the normal English expression?
To me is sounds to direct and a an activity "an sich", but isn't "practicing naturism" just "doing whatever you do, but then without clothing"?
This means that "practicing naturism" actually does not mean much. It implies "living, breathing…while nude".
Why don't we also say "I practice living"?
Any ideas on this? Why do people use this expression? Is it used by many people here, or do refer to naturism in a different way, less focused on it being an "activity" an sich?
April 11, 2017 in Uncategorized
Aren't you also fascinated by what is "obvious" in a textile situation and what is "obvious" in a naturist situation? Same counts for swinging environments, btw. I am writing this now, because after 3 experience of sexual assault thinking to myself "I should say "no" more directly, more clearly, I should say "no" more often" (putting the blame on myself) I recently experienced it for the 4rd time and now I decided to take a closer look at what is actually in my power and what is not. So after a lot of thinking and writing poetry, here is another realization I had and I would like to share with you and ask for your opinion.
In short: the textile culture suddenly seems to be as complicated to me as the English language appeared to be after getting to know the Finnish language. Read further if you want to know what this metaphor means.
-There is the swinging environment, which is heavily loaded with mutual sexual intentions. Fine. Whatever your cup of tea tastes like.
-There is the naturist environment, which is heavily loaded with personal enjoyment of nature. Fine. Whatever your cup of tea tastes like. Some people there might like small talk, but in the beginning one is a naturist for themselves, and not to please others.
-There is the textile environment (let's say a bar, for example), which is heavily loaded with… with what? Hidden agendas? Tacit rules of social interaction? When/how is someone hinting for sex and when/how can you stop second-guessing each and every movement and remark?
What is seen as "obvious" and "normal" is different in each cultural environment. And even though I do not have much experience in the swing culture and am relatively new to the naturist culture, I really feel that the textile culture is the most complicated one. Even though I am part of that culture for most of my daily life.
So now I wonder…
-since we're all part of more than one culture and we all have more than one identity
-since we are all more or less bi(or tri-)cultural people (regarding (semi-)textile social environments)
…are we more aware of these different sets of social rules than people who only and solely belong to the textile culture?
Personally, I can also compare this to my knowledge of English and how I looked at the language differently after learning Finnish and Hungarian. English is only "easy" for me because it is the first foreign language I learned and I was exposed to it very often (television, books, etc.). After learning Finnish and Hungarian, languages that do not have gender, articles or mesmerizing time-indicators in their verbs, but instead have a very straightforward way of pronouncing and building words and meanings, I realized how difficult English actually was. When I saw a new word, I had no idea how to pronounce or write it and it was frustrating.
Now I feel the same about the textile community, where I (have to?) over-think and over-analyze someone's intentions, because he_she is trying to hide their sexual_romantic interest, because it would be impolite or awkward. But since I do not recognize the signs, the person ends up thinking I am okay with their hidden agenda and then we end up in an awkward situation in which I do not know anymore how to be polite and direct and say that I do not like this (sudden?) sexualized atmosphere.
Should I have seen it coming?
Should I have been more culturally aware?
Suddenly I see that the culture I have belonged to for most of my life is more complicated than the ones I have recently discovered. Even in the swinging culture (in my highly limited experience) people ask directly if you agree and people actually know what "no" means (both verbally and physically). The communication is so much more open and direct in both naturism and swinging and no I am very confused about the textile communication culture.
I am looking forward to your hear your experiences and opinions on these cultural differences and normalcies.
March 28, 2017 in Uncategorized
The following story is not written in a chronological way. Enjoy.
Today I discovered (after closely following the route as described online – yes, we DO live in the 21st century, after all) a naturist "plage" in Luxembourg. No signs, no indications that it would be a naturist place, but luckily I way one person there, just to know that I really found the right place.
To get there, I took two trains and then missed my bus connection to a remote village, so I had to "wait" (I mean "study") for one hour more. Then I walked with my compass in western direction and followed a general, long hiking path.. up and down… I passed some art pieces, clothed people having a picnic, beautiful water/forest sceneries, another turn and then I found it.
After the picnic/swim area for textiles, I did not see any other person on my way, so of course I thought about taking something off, but of course I did not (because I am me, after all, and I am a visitor in Luxembourg and would feel more comfortable if I knew where I was going and if I would feel part of a bigger group). Just before arriving at the "plage", a man (relaxed, wearing a white cap and some textile "beach equipment") approached me and we shortly greeted each other. Too late I had the idea of looking at the text of his cap, just to see if it said "FKK" or something alike. Doesn't matter; found the right place anyway. And I learned that (even?) more experiences naturists in Luxembourg do not get undressed before arriving at the place where there is no (official) sign to be found that the place is marked/used/reserved for naturism.
Anyway, on a Tuesday afternoon there were not many people around, so I had a quiet study day. I like studying while traveling..
In total, (according to google maps and the signs next to the hiking path) I walked in total about 6km and used public transport for about 4 hours in order to enjoy the sunshine nakedly for 1,5 hours. I can feel my legs now, also because I ran with my backpack just to be sure that I would not miss the bus again.
Needless to say I am looking forward to NEWT 2017! In a group and no worries about time schedules. Just getting the priorities as straight ad they can be.
October 30, 2016 in Uncategorized
"I hate when people say that women should dress more modestly in order to "leave something to the imagination". Leave what to the imagination? What do people think is under my clothes? A mass of algae? Memes? Shinji ikari?"
What do you think about this quote?
When I thought about it, I thought about my couchsurfing experience and the stereotypes about male heterosexuals. Okay, Couchsurfing in general takes more effort for people (being hospitable, polite..writing references for the illusion of social control) than for example Tinder (which I do not use myself, but I heard from a close friend how it works and what kind of conversations and meetings she has with male heterosexuals).
Anyway, I am active on couchsurfing and I feel safe when I host male heterosexuals. So far I hosted about 7 (there were two couples).
On my profile (with a lot of info that not everyone reads) I say that I am "naturist friendly", but in practice I am not an indoor nudist. I don't know who reads it, but when it is time to sleep I just undress as usual.
So here is my next statement, based on my couchsurfing experience:
"Sometimes being naked is safer than being half naked."
The more my couchsurfers see of my skin, the more I might disappoint their (sexually charged?) imagination, and the more I can be free and calm to be myself…? I am not sure how true this is. It is just a thought that crossed my mind when looking at my naked body and looking at the text quotes above.
But seriously, I love it when I host heterosexual guys and I can just undress and they don't care or they at least don't see a sexual message when I take off my shirt and/or pants. And then I can just forget about my gender and all the stereotypes attached to being a female (…when alone in a bedroom with a heterosexual male…)
No, when I undress, my guest never made a big deal out of it. Maybe I am not attractive to them, which is great for my general feeling of safety. Because when I don't have to worry about my gender when naked, then I just feel… equal? Like there is no difference, you know? When bodies are just being one part of the material world, but the conversations with my guests and the eye contact are way more interesting.
And you know what: the more I undress, the more my male guest also feels at ease with undressing! And all the times this happened, there was no sexually charged atmosphere. I just love it when that is possible.
Or wait… should I maybe not be so surprised? Why does this surprise me? Am I the one who got negative stereotypes of heterosexual males? Did my mother gave them to me? Of my best male friend, who says that "all men want the same?" Pff… Wherever the stereotypes come from, I am glad that my experience so far with undressing in my bedroom with male heterosexual guests was naturally asexual.
Still: the reason for this can also be the general (illusion) of social control, because after two strangers meet via couchsurfing, one leaves a reference for the other, which can be negative or positive.
(Only once a heterosexual male couchsurfer approached me in a sexual way and that was when I was wearing all of my clothes. This guy somehow deleted his account after I hosted him and left him a reference.)
July 18, 2016 in Uncategorized
So I went on the NEWT holiday with people who are active on this website. I understand and agree on the general holiday aspect and even the protest-like aspect that our message is that nudity is normal.
What I am more concerned about now, is that I did not tell my parents about this website. So far I only mentioned "e-mails" from the "newt organisation" that has a website. I did not mention this social media website.
I told my parents about this hiking tour and how good the atmosphere was. They also told their friends what I was going on my holiday. Among them a general concern arised that nude pictures on the internet can be saved, re-named, photoshopped and without asking for permission be put on another website, ripped out of context. And what appears on the internet, stays on the internet and may or may not be used against you at some inconvenient time.
I wonder how many people on this website are aware of this. Of course, the same can happen on any social media website (stealing pictures and using it for a total different purpose) but we all know how stigmatized naturists still are and how sexism is still a thing when one non-naturist or non-asexual sees a naked body. To be honest, I am not worried about someone else using my pictures on different social media websites for blind dating – that is not problem – but I am more worried about identity theft, which can also happen through other social media websites, for course… Still I'm afraid that nudity seems to be more sensitive to abuse than regular pictures? Does anyone have any idea on this?
So far on this website I do not have any full body picture, which will make it less easier for people to abuse the visual material. And I hate to be so conscious about it, but it is also partly because I don't want to give my parents reasons to worry. The internet is actually quite new to everybody and it is evolving quickly. And we can never know who has bad intentions and who has not. Same in the offline world: who will kindly greet you and who will call the police? You just never know…
May 29, 2016 in Uncategorized
Something to think about:
Maybe you can "put yourself in the shoes" of textiles that hate naturists, when you compare naturists to smokers.:
– naturists show something to the world, what not everyone wants to see (for whatever reason) and there is something you can do to please these persons that don't want to see you naked: just put on clothes in public!
–> smokers let people smell things they do not want to smell. People think it stinks and it limits their freedom of breathing fresh air. There is something smokers can do to please the people who do like the smell: just don't smoke a cigarette in public!
– naturists like to be naked because it makes them feel free and relaxed (or many other reasons)
–> smokers like to smoke because it it their own choice and freedom to smoke whatever they want and it makes them relaxed and enjoy the sunny weather more (or many other reasons).
– naturists are seen as scary old dirty men, weird exhibitionists, etc. They are stereotyped as either oversexed swingers or ugly people in need of attention. In short: misunderstood and marginalized.
–> smokers used to be the majority and now they are belittled and marginalized. They are seen as addicts who don't care about their own health, nor about the health of the people who surround them. They still think they display the authority of years ago, where their freedom and right to smoke was not yet questioned. So these oversensitive complaints of non-smokers annoys them a lot.
– You can say to people who hate naturists (hate seeing naked people where they don't expect them): to look in another direction, but people need to look anyway in order not to hurt themselves or step into some dog poo: people need to watch where they walk!
–> You can say to people who hate smoke(rs when they smoke): just don't sit near me when I smoke, sit outside of the direction to the wind… but people need to breath anyway!
Just something to keep in mind the next time when you meet someone who is making a fuss about nakedness: see yourself as a smoker (if you are not one already) and see how this changes your radical opinion about freedom of space (and vision and air).
If you comment, I would like to read some more examples of comparisons between smokers and naturists, or why you disagree with this comparison. Looking forward to read your opinions!
May 2, 2016 in Uncategorized
Please teach me about naturist stereotypes. These are the ones I have heard so far:
1) a female naturist will be seen as a nymphomaniac
2) a beautiful female person on the beach will rather keep her textile on
3) an ugly (?) female person is more likely to be(come) a naturist (because she will feel safe, because no man will "hunt" for her?)
4) old male naturists are exhibitionists
5) there are way more gay/bi male naturists than there are lesbian/bi female naturists
I would like to be informed about stereotypes, because I am curious to know
– if you have heard the same ones
– if so, how do you respond when someone confronts you with one of them?
– and which one(s) is/are most likely to be true?
– and are there other ones I don't know of yet?
Especially when I heard the first one, I really did not feel at ease anymore and it might have explained uninvited conversations of male strangers (why male? why not female strangers?)
Because if many people believe in the same stereotypes.. it might become a self-fulfilling prophecy, which may lead to less surprises among the same community, but to enormous surprises for newbies who have no idea of the expectations of the community.
April 17, 2016 in Uncategorized
It says blog, but I'd rather post a draft (!) poem here. Free verse is usually my style, playing with double meanings and idiomatic phrases and some alliteration. I do not force myself to make end rhymes or a particular scheme. And usually I adjust my poems after a few weeks, months or years when I reread them. This is why I call this poem a draft.
Inspired by the double(?) perceived harassment story of Antonio Garcia.
This is my bare body that our common
mother Nature and father Time
gave me when they introduced me to life
This bare body needs to be warmed
in winter with clothing and
with love – during all seasons –
warmed by my own mind and emotions
warmed by other people’s perceptions
My body is making me live
the life that was given
without my permission
excuse me that I’m here
enjoying the atmosphere
free just like you
to contest the nudity taboo
Please, because I know there are several poets active on this site:
any feedback is welcome: regarding content and regarding style.