The police once contacted me with regard to 2 women who had encountered me walking naked through a wood near their homes. The police said the women were frightened and that I should always wear clothes, at least shorts, when walking in public places. Well, firstly, the wood in which I was walking was a private wood which did not belong to those women, so I was not certain they had the right to dictate what I wore on someone else's property. It so happens that the wood did not belong to me either, and that in Bavaria all forests and woodlands are explictly open to the public to walk through unhindered, so we both had an equal right to be there, apparently, and presumably both had an equivalent right (or not) to dictate to the other what to wear. However, I'm sure both women would have been mortified if I had rung the police to tell them what to wear when they go for a walk in this wood. Neither do the police have any remit to intervene on private ground (for example these woods) unless there has been some form of illegal or dangerous activity.
The fact that the women were frightened in the first place is an interesting point. Would they, for example, have felt the same way had they encountered a naked woman? I doubt it. Perhaps it was the fact that I was alone? I also doubt a lone woman would have led them to approach the police, or even a group of naked men for that matter. That leaves my singular masculinity as the only thing they had issues with, which means they wish to be able to walk in all woods and forests, and mountains and fields, the entire world over, without ever having to encounter a single man, ever, clothed or not. Otherwise they will be frightened and call the police who will dutifully come around to see you. What a curious web we weave, when you actually take the trouble to think about it.
I should add that the police were in this case, once we had discussed this a bit, quite happy to drop the matter and merely said that they had to follow up each report, however inane. In one way, I entirely understand their position, they have a difficult task, (to protect the public – often from itself), and they have to investigate reports of what might be considered edge cases, and in this case they felt the need to make their presence felt. On the other hand, I find it offensive that I should be contacted by the German police, (who don't exactly have an overly friendly reputation worldwide – then again what police force do?), with the attendant fear generated in my wife: "Why did the police call, What on earth have you done. Why on earth did you do that? What will you do next?", she asked me when they called, with wide and staring eyes. I suppose I shouldn't have been quite so surprised by her reaction, as I was, but somehow I felt I deserved a little more faith, a little more implicit loyalty perhaps, but evidently not.
When will the mass of people we call the public, and their so-called guardians of morals and justice, finally realise that prohibiting simple nudity , in public or in private, is disadvantageous to the mental and physical health of the population and is merely playing into the hands of seedy business people, politicians, dubious moralists and perverts alike. It's very tempting to stand on a soapbox about the whole affair.
If you need any advice from me, you will go for a naked walk, today, and demonstrate to yourself, and perhaps a few more people, how ordinary nudity can be, and how much simple fun it is too, especially when the sun shines 🙂