Richard Foley (richinud)

FUD in naked communities

Posted on May 1, 2014

You'd think that people with a common interest, such as naturism, naked cycle rides, naked hiking, naked protests, and the like, would be able to support one another's endeavours and projects. Instead, there seems to be a petty mindset reminiscent of town council meetings full of jobsworths. The prevailing attitude appears to be that if you see someone taking positive action, then the most appropriate response is to seek to undermine their credibility in some way. Spreading FUD, (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt), is of course the favourite. Ask a "loaded" question, (use your imagination), to spread a little dissention. There are many other ways, I won't list them here, as getting into details will just detract from the point.

The gay community has come on leaps and bounds since "coming out". Not only is the gay community a force to be reckoned with, it is now positively illegal to discriminate against them in any way, shape or form. Not so nudists. Nudists go round with their hands over their faces, pretending they are not nudists at all, never letting anyone "outside the secret circle" know what they do during their "private" time, for "fear of exposure". Just imagine for one moment how it might be if the naturist community all "came out naked" at once!

There would be hysteria of course at first, and then laws would be put into place to protect naturist rights.

This won't happen because so many jobsworths are out their sniping at each other, and the rest of us, to try to keep all of our heads below the parapets. Remember this is so-called "friendly fire", from people with a common interest. The puritans don't need to bother getting out the big guns, the nudists will destroy their own hopes all on their own. How can this be? Petty jealousies abound. If someone starts an interesting project, people seem to automatically creep out from the corners to try to pull it down, instead of actively working at building an exciting new resource. What is wrong with the naturist community, that it is seemingly incapable of working WITH one another, instead of against each other all the time?

I'll say it again. We, as people who have an interest in promoting a naked lifestyle, whether in private or in public, need to work together to achieve our aims. We need to be inclusive, not exclusive, we need to see our similarities instead of our differences. We need to grow up and put away the FUD. We need to share our information with one another, we need to support one another. Working together, and more openly with non-naked sectors, is the only way forward to a better, more naked-friendly, world. How are we going to do that unless we work WITH one another?

Comments welcome.

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38 thoughts on “FUD in naked communities”

  1. The gay community has come on leaps and bounds since “coming out”. Not only is the gay community a force to be reckoned with, it is now positively illegal to discriminate against them in any way, shape or form. Not so nudists. Nudists go round with their hands over their faces, pretending they are not nudists at all, never letting anyone “outside the secret circle” know what they do during their “private” time, for “fear of exposure”. Just imagine for one moment how it might be if the naturist community all “came out naked” at once!

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  2. In one state here in the US, if you show up in town naked, they may or may not do anything about it. But another state if they thought you were nude in your own bathtub they get all in your face. So it varies in extremes here in the US. But the people in general are not as upset about knowing that you are a nudist. They don't care as long as they don't have to see it. So far, I have not had any issues with people knowing about our naturism. Don't ask and I won't tell, but if you ask, I'll tell the truth. What happens after that depends on the other person.

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  3. We tend to forget that the LGBT community only had two jurisdictions to be concerned with, State and Federal. We have many more jurisdictions to be concerned with, from the smallest of Towns, Cities, Counties, and States. Arkansas has a total-ban on "public-nudity", relieving the Counties and below of any need to write their own laws.

    Florida's "anti-nudity" ordnance is fairly "lax", and some Counties are fairly "lax", but we have some Counties, such as Polk County, where I live, which has a very-strict "anti-nudity" ordnance. We saw this recently in Jacksonville, when the "city-fathers" rejected a petition to designate a section of their beach "clothing-optional".

    The battle in Florida is going to have to be won town-by-town, city-by-city, and county-by-county, and we don't have the legal-resources to even wage this kind of battle. If we expand it to all 50 States and their political-subdivisions, that will be a battle of mind-blowing proportions. This is NOT to say that we shouldn't do what we can, but to remind us of the size of the battle ahead of us.

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  4. As times goes by, some people are learning that I practice naturism in a positive manner. Oh they may not do it or don't want to, but they seem to support my going to nudist / naturist resorts. The guys at work all know, because I purchased a RV a few months ago and have been wondering where I have been camping. At first I did not say I was going to a nudist campground, but some figured it out because I would mention the town I was going camping at. Lo and behold the only campground that town has is a nudist resort, and some of the guys are familiar with the resort being there. Very few family members know. There are some who I know would object to my practice of naturism. You have to know your family members.

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  5. That's true Joe, but with a leader like Harvey Milk, he was able to get FAR MORE gays to come out of the closet than before. Then most all people realized they had a gay family member, friend, co-worker, church elder, etc, which made them realize they had misjudged gays. That's what needs to happen for our movement.

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    • Perhaps having a charismatic or dynamic leader would make a difference, but also the civil rights and LGBT movements brought in large numbers of protestors to cities to show strength. I don't see that happening in the nudist movement anytime soon.

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  6. Good points, but the gay rights movement was hardly monolithic. Plenty of government employees stayed in the closet out of fear of losing jobs, or worse, and some even still do, out of family/community considerations. The lobbying is likely the critical piece to changing laws, as law enforcement will arrest all the protestors they want until the laws change.

    AANR, subchapters & other groups who will pressure gov't need all the support they can get. Perhaps if nudist orgs can partner with GLBT groups to pursue the issue, more will get done. Eventually, like prohibition and discrimination, laws will follow society, but not without effort!

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  7. I totally agree and have been noticing this for awhile. We keep splintering into more and more tiny little groups, and that just weakens our cause as a whole and undermines our efforts. And like you said, it seems everyone is out to criticize all the groups out there trying to make a difference. So they aren't doing it perfect according to your (those who criticize) view of perfect, but if you really know what's perfect you would have us all living free without the nudity laws now wouldn't you? So if you truly want to see us get rid of the archaic idiotic nudity laws, it wouldn't hurt to support all causes out there, even if they aren't perfect. And even if you can't, at least quit undermining them with all your negativity in their groups, blogs, etc. We need to unite and support each other instead of fracturing even more. This only makes those against us even more powerful.

    And coming out of the closet is HUGELY important if this is ever to happen. Everyone needs to watch the movie 'Milk' about how the gay rights movement finally started, and hint, it didn't start by infighting and staying in the closet. They way they did it could be a model for how we can do it also.

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  8. Thanks Richard! I forwarded it to my friends in the North Coast Naturists group. Though I'm one of the only members that actively hikes in the nude on a regular basis, maybe it will get others motivated to get together.

    I've be seen many times now hiking by textiles, and none of them seemed offended or harmed. Maybe it's not as big a deal as our moronic government thinks…

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    • I've started hiking naked and hiked in a more secluded area twice, then on an actual trailhead location, but haven't been seen yet. I've decide I'll only cover up if asked to, or maybe if they have kids. Otherwise I'll act as if nothing is wrong, because there's not, other than the archaic legality of it.

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  9. OK. I /think/ I just shared it on the open FB group, "How Can We Promote Nudists Rights Faster". Which, I guess will show up on my timeline as well?

    As said, I *really* don't get FB. I like it here, though 🙂

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  10. Love this writing, Richard. I'm fairly new at this "social networking" thing and, while I did "come out" on facebook, I think I'll wait for (or write) something more targeted at my textile friends there.

    Sure, I will share it here, but . . . sing…choir, etc.

    Oh. Perhaps I can figure out how to share it among those naturist FB groups? /I really don't get FB/

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    • There are "private" groups on Facebook that does not allow anyone that is not on that group to see it. You will have to ask to get on the group by someone you know is on that group. If they are the administrator, then they will add you to that group. Of course, since you can't see that group unless you are a member, you will have to ask around for a group among your naturist friends.

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  11. I live in a "dry" county in Florida, and they can even arrest you if your bathing suit doesn't cover enough, let alone go nude in public. We have hundreds of miles of beach, but only one LEGALLY RECOGNIZED nude beach. The rest that are traditionally nude are "bare at your own risk". We also have bunch of nudist resorts which would lose revenue if we had more legal nude beaches.

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    • With all the nude resorts there in Florida, you would think that it would be the most relaxed about it. However, with AANR there, as great as that organization is, I think they are on the side of policing it to keep the resorts open (my opinion). As long as it's legal to have resorts, but not in your own backyard, then the resorts are going to be filled to capacity.

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        • I addressed this concern with Dan, the ED of AANR, a few months ago, however, he reports to the Board, which is mainly composed of resort owners and resort representatives, so he has little say about their priorities. All he can really do is report what he has heard to the Board. Considering that AANR gets most of its revenue from and through resorts, resorts will very likely remain their main focus.

          We will probably get better help and representation from TNS, which is NOT in bed with the resorts.

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  12. You may see more public nudity in Europe but in the states it varies wildly. Some place are very open, New York State allows women to be topless anywhere men are. Some places are trying to outlaw all nudity.

    There are very vocal conservative groups that fight for very strict controls on people's lives.

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  13. Naturists seem in general to play the persecution card, all whilst hiding away in clubs, nude swim meets and "secluded" beaches. The only people truly persecuted are those who are publicly promoting their naked rights (Steve Gough, Vincent Bethall, …), and being prosecuted for it.

    Interesting that the Naturist communities tend to shun these "activists" for somehow bringing their lifestyle choice into disrepute, hence their claim that they are then the persecuted ones. It's a bizarre notion.

    My feeling is that naturism and public nudity is becoming ever more widely tolerated and even accepted by the general community. This has even been proven in England and Europe by individuals who are prepared to push out the boundaries, such as Richard Collins (Cambridge Nude Cyclist, was one of those responsible for establishing London WNBR, and now successfully promotes public nudity where he now lives in Hastings and Fairlight); then Roger Coupe who has come to attention for his naked bike rides in Kent; and last but not least – Richard Foley for Naktiv (+ the Naktiv site) and NEWT 😉

    You won't probably see me strolling around nude in public in London (unless you're my neighbour ;-)) but I fully admire those who do on our behalf, and I want to see organisations like British Naturism getting behind and supporting and endorsing these individuals – especially Steve Gough, at this stage.

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    • I only get naked at home these days due to illness & mobility problems, but I do not keep my naked lifestyle secret by any means. I tell anyone who comes to our door that I am naked, all of our neighbours & friends know & accept, many people in our community know about naturism. The most common remarks we hear is " Not for me thanks, my body stays covered up, I'm not showing it publicly" & "That's disgusting, showing strangers to your home that you're naked!"
      To some I reply, "There must be something totally abnormal or peculiar with your body if you are scared of revealing it." and "My body isn't disgusting, but the thoughts in your mind could be!"

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  14. I can't help feeling that a new generation with a fresh mindset is what it will take for nakedness to lose it's stigma.
    To me there seems to be so much baggage around prior and existing generations, that getting any positive spin is such a difficult task.

    On so many fronts people are either ashamed of what they're doing and want to secret themselves away in safe little communities and close knit circles of friends. Alternatively they've carved out a nice little niche for themselves and have no interest in getting actively involved in anything. Obviously there's a growing group of people who don't fall into either of those camps.

    At times I can't help feeling there's too much creepy weirdness when it comes to nudists and some of their activities.
    In many cases it's very easy to see why different individuals and groups don't get along. If anything it seems to bring out the worse in them.
    Of the very broad array of people who see the merits of returning to nature, there are a great many more who simply prefer to be naked for its own sake. There is of course nothing wrong with that. Put in a somewhat blunter manner however, there are some who forego clothes for some higher aspiration like becoming a better human being. There are others who are obnoxious arseholes who aspire no further than being naked obnoxious arseholes.

    To some degree this is where a great disparity comes about. No doubt the gay community faced a similar challenge. There were those who portrayed gay rights in a very positive light, there were others the gay community, or parts of it, who wanted to completely disown certain elements. Growing up we had family friends who were gay that wanted nothing to do with the gay community, gay rights etc. They simply wanted to live their life without all the fuss and attention.

    On the whole I often get the sense that there's too much of a big deal made of being naked. It wouldn't at all surprise me to see a younger generation come in, not understand at all what the big deal is and be naked on their own terms completely turning the old regime on its head.

    One of the current problems in my view are the rules. What you can and can't do, should or shouldn't do.
    Over the summer socializing with those that simply hang out naked where they can, they don't give a toss about organizations, rules or anything like that. They come and go, do what they enjoy doing and that's that. No fanfare, no judgement even though from what I saw I doubt they'd be welcomed by any club or organization. At the end of the day it was just ordinary people being normal without clothes.
    It highlighted to me in some ways how abnormal certain people are in various nude networks.

    Having said all this I've come across maybe half a dozen very normal, highly passionate people who really put nakedness in a fantastic light. Maybe I simply resonated with them, but I think it's much more than that. They really walk the walk and engage in nakedness in a healthy wholesome way. Ironically it's not really about being naked for them. That is to say, it's not about being seen naked nor seeing others naked. It's solely about being in a comfortable relaxed state.

    For me personally that's the embodiment of nakedness. A comfortable relaxed state where you're at ease with yourself, the world around you and the people in it.
    When you're in that state, nothing is ever that big of a deal. It doesn't even matter if two seconds ago you were having a huge rant. All that really matters is being.

    If everyone could get that through their heads naked or not, the world would be an awesome place. I should really say more awesome place for everyone. Anybody capable of that state already knows the world is an awesome place.

    So that's it in a nutshell. Chill the hell out and be naked on your own terms 🙂

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