Respected, barely!

We were at a friends home last night and as usual the topic of naturism came up, (they are not naturists). The whole evening went fairly well although no converts were made, until we got talking about 'respect', but amazingly it seems respect only goes one way. The assembled group of 8 adults seemed to be talking about naturist being respectful to clothed people in society and in conversations generally. Apparently the clothed world thinks that naturists should not risk embarrassing people by either being naked or even talking about being naked. When we said that respect goes two ways the conversation almost became an argument. I said that when people come into my house they ought to respect our choice of lifestyle and accept our nudity, they would probably have been made aware of it before they arrived. Our host seemed agitated and she gasped "No, respect your guests and put some clothes on!"
To say we were stunned is an understatement, to say that our feelings, opinions and homes meant so little really annoyed me, the respect for us should be dominant in our homes at least if not in society. Naturists are people with thoughts, intelligence & with feelings, so why should we be disregarded and disrespected in this way? We strongly believe that as people and as naturists we should be listened to and respected equally with anyone else. The fact that most of society still can't accept naturists 'in their faces' is not our problem it is societies, but we should still have equality on an intelligence and social standing level.
We left the gathering all in great mood & best of friends, but the topic of 'respect' seemed to have become more important than naturism in society. So we will even more so now insist on being nude in our own home when guests come, they will know in advance, but those who come along unannounced will also meet nude people, the option to stay or leave will be theirs, but we will have respect!

70 thoughts on “Respected, barely!”

  1. The advantage of tolerance is that you can require tolerance even for something people dislike. In the WNBR – LA, do we really think that the citizenry supported the action? I suggest most people's opinions of it ranged from silly to insane to perverted. There was no legal tool to be used to punish the participants so it had to be tolerated. To my knowledge nobody was attacked, nobody tried to forcibly stop the event. That is tolerance and the best you can expect at this time.

  2. Society doesn't function without some level of tolerance. If enough people are intolerant of a social subset, that subset will be excluded from society at large. That is almost exactly the case in the US today.

    People are quick to become intolerant to that which they think threatens them. It doesn't matter what you think, it is what they think that matters. The only route to acceptance is to have the get the center of the bell curve to tolerate you long enough to realize you are no threat. Once that is done, the haters and the gymnophobes lose their power.

    The notion that everybody gets an equal seat at the table has never been a popular one.

    • I think the younger generation today has little problem with nudity, but they are not yet old enough to wield sufficient political influence to change the law, nor have the passion over the issue. But like marijuana laws, I believe the laws will start to shift within a generation. Maybe too late for many of us to fully enjoy, but hopefully sooner than that.

  3. I think respect is a very overused and overrated word and I agree with Vassilis that it is interpreted differently by different people.

    I think toleration is a much better word when it comes to other people's opinions and beliefs. I might not agree with them, but I tolerate them, and vice-versa, with the proviso that mutable toleration is fine as long as their beliefs don't negatively affect me personally, and vice-versa of course. Conflict always results when one group of people tries to enforce their beliefs or viewpoint on other people who don't agree with them, which is what often happens with the wider society's approach to naturism unfortunately.

    I respect others right to hold those beliefs, but this is not the same as respecting the beliefs themselves. I think this is what a lot of people mean by respect.

    To me, respect often implies some kind of agreement or at least validation of others beliefs. I think some beliefs and opinions are completely irrational and stupid, so respect is too strong a word here.

  4. In a way, everyone who expresses his own view here is correct. Patrick is right about his rights as a naturist and others are right too when they talk about how irrational textile folks can be and we don't want to turn their distaste for nudity into a ferocious animosity. Let's not forget that these textile folks have the backing of the law (in many countries) and they are with the majority.

    I deal with this matter differently from Patrick. I don't have the luxury to answer the door naked and invite my guests into my house naked unless I don't mind going to jail. In my community, conformity is important and they already think of me as the most non-conformist person alive. I have to balance my naturist rights (which are non-existent in my country) against my desire to gain greater acceptance of nudity by people around me. I have no choice but to use a more subtle approach. I am not saying Patrick is wrong at all. He may be right, given the community he lives in and the law of his land, all of which differ vastly from what I have in my country.

    I have a few successes with the people in my country. Yesterday, I was talking to an elderly lady in church and I was surprised that she was quite willing to accept that naturism is decent. Apparently, she has been reading what I've posted online possibly through her daughter. I was elated. I've always thought of her as extremely conservative and disapproving of any form of nudity. It justifies to some extent my quest some years ago to flood the internet with decent nudity so that the world will not equate nudity instantly with porn. I used to post a lot of decent nude selfies of me doing mundane things like feeding my fish or clearing fallen branches from the garden. It's natural to expect that after a while, people will equate nudity with the doing of normal everyday things and not with porn.

    I cannot deny that for me, there is a little of that missionary zeal when I try to get people around me to accept naturism. The onus is heavy on me not to be inconsistent. I cannot allow anyone to think I'm insincere about naturism or that I am ashamed of my nudity or that there is any impropriety on my part when I'm nude with others. I'm hoping to see a change in my part of the world and hopefully, I won't be the only Asian in every NEWT I attend. LOL.

    • Well said! I agree that each nudist is capable of judging a situation and those (including the nudist) involved as to whether the situation or those present allow for a teachable moment. If not, as noted above, forcing the conversation may make matters worse. On the other hand, sometimes our perception/anticipation of others' resistance is incorrect, so it is certainly worth the effort to 'test the waters' to see if the person/situation might lead to greater acceptance. After all, how many people find that they have friends/family who have enjoyed nude recreation for years before they became mutually aware of the others' interest?!

      • All of the above contributions are fully appreciated & very interesting. It is gratifying to see that there are such strong 'voices' out there that can take naturism forwards in ways that best suit their own neighbourhoods, area's & countries.
        Thank you everyone for your words & your time, all of which are very individual & important.

    • That is one of the most effective missionary methods – live the life you're preaching, so that others can see it and accept it. Although your society limits your actions, forcing you to use indirect methods, your consistency in action, thoughts, and speech will cause people to evaluate your message honestly. That will give them cause to re-evaluate their own position (like the conservative old lady) and see the truth in your message. Well done!

      • Thanks Roger for your comments. We just hope that every true naturist out there can have the courage & the opportunity to speak out truthfully & with integrity.
        I accept comment & criticism equally from those who have experience or well based information. The 'fly-by-night' posers & round eyed pervs can vanish up their own binoculars & flash imagery.

  5. I would mention it but only casually. If they didn't want to hear more that would be the last time I mentioned it. There is a common misconception that one has to evangelize. This might be true for a religious person but I'm not one of those. Nudism should not be treated like a religion. Either they are open to it or they aren't and nothing I can do will ever change it.

    • With few exceptions, I don't talk to non-nudists about nudism or go nude around them unless I think they might be open to it. The same with religion. It's usually the very religious who would not be open to nudity, but not always. It would just make them dig-in deeper and defend their beliefs.

      • Challenging people's core principles is a very quick road to hate. They aren't rationally determined, they are a part of the person as surely as their face. Some people can stand back and be objective about it, most cannot. Saying they are wrong about nudity is like telling them they are stupid and their God is false.

        This is not something that will be changed by gentle persuasion of the most extreme elements. Nudism will become accepted by a gradual change in perception by the social middle. The people who hate it will still hate it but will have to put up with it anyhow.

        Look at black and gay rights. The progress that has been made has taken decades. It didn't happen because they argued with the KKK or evangelical Protestants. (If anything, that "in your face" approach slowed things down.) It happened because the vast majority of the people in the middle eventually thought it should. Ultimately it was a multi-generational thing where the youth got out ahead of their parents and when those youth grew up, had less bigotry built in.

        Some areas have more accepting people than others. Worked at Verizon here in LA for years. Every one of my co-workers knew I was a nudist and took occasional nude hikes. None of them had any problems with it – or at least enough of a problem to let it affect the relationship. Most just laughed or were slightly amazed. "You get naked around strangers? Wow! You must be pretty confident. I could never do that."

        IMHO, when someone shows their intolerance, it is time to back off and let it slide. Make a mental note that these are people you don't want in your life and move on. Arguing is a waste of energy and accomplishes nothing.

  6. Respect for other people brings you peace. When you respect whatever people believe, whatever people want to do with their lives, you are not in conflict with anyone. By respecting other people, you are at peace.
    don Miguel Ruiz

  7. I think that respect means respect for othters rights. Textile poeple simply do not respect our rights, because they believe to be on the right side of the question, because of the law and the majority of society. They live "in the law", therefore they sometimes can behave as sheriffs, thinking they are right. It's not a question nudity, I think, that is just a cover, but to have a little more power than you.

  8. Patrick, I'd suggest you should be assertive that they respect you. As Roger points out, if you are to dress for your guests, they should undress for you, as their guests. You can assert fairness and dignity without being unfriendly. Of course the decision is yours, and I envy that you can even have the discussion. 🙂

  9. If your friends think that you should respect textile guests by being dressed, then they should respect naturist guests by being naked. Obviously they're not talking about respect, they're talking about you not making *them* uncomfortable. But they don't want to see themselves as controlling, prudish, or illiberal, so they phrase it as "respect" to salve their own consciences. Not much you can do but accept it if you want to remain friends with them.

  10. When I first looked at this blog on my phone, I could only read the first sentence and a portion of the second. I thought that was all and it was all about not making converts.

    This is an interesting viewpoint which I have never really considered. When guests come to my house, I am always dressed. The same thing with postmen, delivery boys and other sales people. At least I put on a pair of shorts.

    I myself look upon respect as one-way. I must respect the textile community which frowns on nudity. I've never thought of the need for the other side to respect my views about my own body being natural and not obscene.

    But there's little we can do. At least in my country, the law is against nudity. If the postman or delivery man is at the gate with a parcel and I go to my gate to receive it and I'm naked, the postman will probably call the police and under the law, I am guilty of an offence. I can talk about this being my own house and I expect the postman to respect me in MY own house until I'm blue in the face and no court in the land will fail to convict me.

    So, however much I may demand that respect must be two-way and just as much as I will be clothed when I'm out in public places, but in my own house and on my own property, others should accept my nudity, it all means nothing if the law is entirely on the side of no nudity.

    I don't know what the law is in other countries, whether you can be convicted for accepting a parcel in your own house without clothes, but in my country, it's GO straight to jail.

  11. I'm not surprised that people demand you should respect their perspective, but they are unwilling to respect yours. They want you to be clothed at their home, but they also want you to be clothed at your own home. Its the same in any public area. They demand that we cover our bodies because THEY want bodies covered. The concept that WE want bodies bare is irrelevant. I'm not sure how long they would be my friends.

  12. Respect is a word with many interpretations among people. That is why we have to define a notion prior we use it. For me respect means to allow someone behave freely as long as I have the same freedom for myself to behave respectively. Practically that means that, I respect your freedom to wear or not clothes and you respect accordingly my freedom, to wear or not clothes!

  13. It's very hard to have converts. That's what I've noticed. I've decided that as long as I can lead people to understand naturism and accept it, it's enough to rejoice. I was trying very hard to get a friend or two to go for NEWT 2017. They always seem keen and then after a week or so, they cook up an excuse.

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