Photo compliments or offensive leching?

Many photos, on this site and others, especially of women, (usually) receive positive complimentary comments. On the face of it, this is a good thing. One posts a photo, the person/people in the photo are pleased to receive positive feedback and everyone’s happy. However, there is a school of thought which takes offense to even positive comments, especially when the comment can be interpreted in a sexual manner. Usually this manifests itself in a man commenting on an image of a pretty woman, and although obviously other permutations are seen, the common case is considered here.

ps. I trust Anita is happy for her, almost arbitrarily chosen and quite outstanding, photo to be used here for this site/blog example.

The question is really, whether positive comments with “innuendo”, are permitted, or whether all comments are required to be completely neutral at all times. Or perhaps a balance might be reached. We’re not talking here about clearly sexual comments like “nice tits”, which ARE clearly inappropriate, so let’s not bother with those for now. We’re talking about comments such as: “gorgeous scenery”, “enchanting smile”, “heaven in a teacup”, “beautiful figure”, “awesome picture”. What is said and what is read, may be different in each case. Because some people, are highly sensitive, or equally highly IN-sensitive, and because people may see lechery where it is not intended, or intend lechery and try to hide it well, this is clearly a complex issue.

I want to point up this image here, which has already had several comments, as an example only, and welcome feedback/comments here. Hopefully we can all learn from the conversation, and educate one another as to what might be appropriate or not, at the same time.

Responses welcome!

78 thoughts on “Photo compliments or offensive leching?”

  1. Is not the thrust of the original post duplicating the insane way that prudes label all nudity as sexual? The attitude that makes it so difficult for us nudists to be nude in the real world? Should we not assume the best of people before we assume the worst?
    Maybe I am just too innocent, but if someone posts 'lovely smile' I think they like the smile. That is in no way sexual, surely? (Unless you are a weird, Freud fixated prude who sees sex in everything.)

  2. A naked photo of a person makes a statement. It shouldn't but it does. We naked people still like to see other naked people and we also like to show ourselves naked. I think we should comment and compliment each other on celebrating our nakedness, men and women, all equally. Even us old fat guys should get admiration for being open and honest about who we are. Accepting and celebrating nakedness makes each one of us and everyone looking at us better people, more out in the open, not more hidden, more forthright, more accepting.

    • I completely agree that we should speak up & make comments in a positive way, the encouragement & approval that most folk need is better coming from peers & those who really understand what naked living is all about. It isn't just naturism, it is NAKED LIVING! Can you honestly understand and comment wisely?

  3. I think I can summarise my thoughts on this topic by saying, those who seek innuendo will see it. Those who are offended by any remark/comment or phrase will say so. Those who receive a rebuke for inappropriate remark/comment or phrase have a right of reply.
    In a sense of 'free speech' I think I have a 'middle-of-the-road' outlook on most topics.

  4. I read all the comments and found lot to think about. Id say that the occasional sexual content is not limited to text.

    We publish pictures that sometimes may also be read in a sexual key. I dont think we should be afraid of it. Nudists more than textiles can comprehend how complex we are and that sex is not an option, it is part of what we are and how we relate to the world. While I never saw a porn picture on this network (once it happened but it didnt last, thanks admin!), I never read any porn text either. What it happens from time to time is someone appreciating the subject of a picture because he/she feels the dominance of the sexual aspect of that picture. When this happens it is always done with a light sometimes ironic downtoearth mind.

    If it happens, It can happen because of a temporary personal disposition of the viewer as well as because the picture was meant to have broad and multiple meanings, which included the sexual aspect. Or it didnt mean to, but somewhere there is also some sex in it.

    To end this far too long opinion, I'd say like Jordan here above that we should not focus too much on a brief comment that is not patently offensive and noone should be offended if – showing herself or himself naked – some viewer comment in a way which discloses also their being sexual beings. Its here that we as nudists can also make the difference.
    Just my 3 cents and a half.

  5. Guess I am 9 months behind this shallow observation, but here are my thoughts. There is a growing trend of hyper-sensitive outrage over perceived bad conduct in the US and the EU. Here is a recent manifestation of it. If we enjoy a human body, allow us to comment. Micro-analysis of the text does not benefit the larger picture of an openminded community.

    • I agree with Jordan, Stuarts test is not appropriate. I would view very 'lightly' some comments that are added to female photo contributors, probably adding some comment such as 'Nice Scenery' that was referred to in the original article or blog. I would also add 'like' and occasional comments to some male photo contributors too, specially those who think that a 'penis' image is what we all want to see ? ?
      I like to think I can trust fellow contributors & those who just add comments to behave in a respectful and 'Adult' manner. There is (in my opinion) nothing untoward about making a compliment to a female (no matter how obscure) contributor who is obviously seeking a response, nor is there anything untoward in adding constructive opinion on any 'offensive' images posted by anyone.
      I would most certainly see it as offensive if anyone made comment about a ten year old child on a site such as this one.

        • Everyone who shares a photo image is seeking a response are they not?
          What would be the point otherwise? I only used the 'female' part of the remark because the entire thread by Richard seems to be about reactions to photo's & contributions by females.
          I do try and comment purely on what I see in a photo, regardless of it being about a female or a male. I think I am unbiased?

          • I don't necessarily seek a response when I post a photo, I'm just sharing something with like minded people. Are you suggesting women are posting photos to get complimentary comments from men?

        • I am not suggesting Stuart that women who post their photo's are seeking complimentary comments, I am saying that anyone who post a photo of a naked person is anticipating (if not prompting) a response. Sometimes it has been known for unfavourable comments to be made about a photograph, sometimes a 'difference of opinion' prompts a response, all in all this place is an interactive place. If anyone posts a photo to share it with 'like minded people' then surely a response is anticipated?

  6. If you can't tell if your comment on a photo is a simple compliment or offensive leching, then might I suggest this simple test:

    Would it be appropriate to post this comment about a photo of a ten year old child (naturist or otherwise)?

  7. I must admit that I am a frequent commenter on this and other sites, and here's why… I do it out of respect and appreciation for the poster and for the 'social media'. When some one posts a picture or a thought or observation on a site such as this they are, in effect, starting a conversation with me, the viewer. When someone starts a conversation with me, I know it is polite to reply. So I look at the photo or read the post and respond to it accordingly. If I like it, then I say so, and I say so positively in order to compliment the poster and encourage then to post again, and to make them feel happy that their picture/post is appreciated. If I'm ambiguous about the post, I'll like it just mostly to say 'I have read and understood this. Thank you'. If I don't like, I'll usually just ignore it. If we do not interact, the it's not much of a social media is it? it is about respect for everyone who is here.

    Here we post pictures of ourselves naked and tell stories about our naked experiences and share other things that may be of interest to the naked community. If a woman posts picture of herself naked in a naturist setting, then I will comment say something like 'Nice' or 'Good photo' or 'so relaxed' or whatever, it's like saying 'wonderful day', 'great to be naked' or just 'you look great'. I will do exactly the same thing for a guy. It merely tells them that I acknowledge and appreciate their efforts.

    I think that we can all celebrate our nakedness and I believe that we should make each other feel good about ourselves. Overtly sexual comments will make some people uncomfortable and should probably be avoided, so I won't go there necessarily, unless for humour.

    The thing that I find interesting is that as naked people we have a need to share our nakedness with others. (It's why we are on this site). I love to look at both men and women naked and I love to post pics of myself naked too.

    Let's just be kind to each other and respect and celebrate each other's nakedness.

  8. I intend my comments to be complimentary and non sexual in nature. I am very much aware how my comments could be mistaken with respect to a female or male nude. I agree that we should always try to be respectful but I must say I am appalled at the vile rude and offensive comments often seen on the web. It seems some folks get their jollies by trying to reach new depths of offensive behavior.

  9. the Naktiv site is a #socialmedia network site. Posts will attract comments, this interaction is partly "what it's all about", of course. The important things to keep in mind are to:

    1. make sure the comments are appropriate (whatever that means), and

    2. educate people as to what is appropriate (see 1).

    This blog is an ongoing attempt to get to that place.

    • I believe that the key word for both 1 and 2 issues is RESPECT! Because if we respect each other as civilized people we can find a way to "regulate" secondary issues such as how we can express compliments to male or female persons. I do believe that compliments can have two or more meanings even someone is clothed or naked.

  10. Troy said: "Skin crawl,Richard? That's disappointing."
    (replying here because the nesting only goes 5 deep).
    Richard replies: Well, you should realize that I have history of multiple gay sexual abuse when I was a child, so I don't really think that having skin crawl is that surprising, honestly.
    However, I'd like to point out that doesn't mean I am incapable of having gay friends, (I do have gay friends, some of whom I'd describe as a whole lot more reliable than several heterosexual people I could mention – clearly sexual inclination is irrelevant to friendship), and I'm perfectly happy for us to be friends. Please do not confuse my skin crawl with any inability to form lasting friendships with either gay or hetersexual males, or females for that matter. The 2 issues are in my mind clearly distinct.
    Also please do not confuse the fact that someone has a physical/mental reaction, and is able to recognize that as such, with the ability of that same person to interact sensibly with the rest of the world. Again, the 2 issues are distinct.
    I have no problem with you, or anyone else being gay, although I do have a problem with someone posting inappropriate material/comments on, for instance, this site. Sometimes that might include ME too, which charge was what actually motivated this blog post in the first place. In which case, we can all benefit from having this discussion and hopefully moving forward to a better place, together.
    This important answer carries the risk of going off-topic, but I hope that's all clear.

    • I appreciate the post. After thinking a bit, my disappointment is tied with my own bias. I assumed naturists to be beyond all bias, reactionary or conscious. I forgot for a moment that all you out there are still people and enter into all kinds of relationships with preconceived notions for all kinds of reasons. It's seems easy to forget that while I'm on these Internet.

      • Thanks, Troy. My comment was not made lightly, and just to clarify this a little more, I'd like to add that suppressing my feelings for the sake of (for example) political correctness is (imho) not the right way to go. I would much rather express that feeling, and have you respond to my remark. Perhaps I can learn from both expressing it, and from your (and other) reactions to it. Perhaps then I can instill a real change in my own outlook, and my own behaviour in future.
        I am indeed still a real person at the end of this keyboard, just as you (all) are. The entire point of posting this blog for discussion, is to discuss these issues, rather than to assume that MY comments are always correct.
        My intention might be "correct" (whatever that might mean), but what comes across might be something quite different. And this, as Stuart succinctly pointed out, is precisely the point regarding the many, many, complimentary comments the female posters get here, surely, and precisely why we need this discussion, and to question how our own, perhaps innocently intended but still thoughtless, comments come across to others.

  11. I have noticed a trend here that whenever a woman posts a photo there are almost always comments on how attractive the woman is. It's a trend that's pretty much never repeated when a man posts a photo.

    • Do you mean to say that this is a society issue, and that you can observe this behaviour on other online venues, eg; FB, forums etc. which would probably be akin to women having to fend of friend-requests constantly, (as observed on FB etc.) Or do you mean this as a the Naktiv site specific observation?

          • My immediate response, Stuart, to your suggestion that gays should comment equivalently, was to feel my skin creep. I think that's the point though, isn't it? And something, as men, many of us forget. Well put

          • I have commented on a man's pic as I've later seen women's receive. I'm gay, though how obvious or conscious anybody else is of that fact is debatable. I got a very polite reply which I chalked up to unfamiliarity. It was a comment and compliment from the aether. It seemed the man took it as such.

            Skin crawl,Richard? That's disappointing.

  12. Which is the difference between a naked face and a naked body? Why when you refer to a face as beautiful is not offencive while the same comment for a naked body could be lecherous? I think that finally we must accept the totaly naked body as is. A naked body is as physical as anything else in the world. The offensive leching is given by us. If I want to offend someone I can do it. If I want to admire his/her naked body I can do it also!

Leave a Comment

New Report