Seperate but Equal—a doomed concept

I wrote the following in response to general discussion raised on the home page about the opening of a new CO hiking trail in Germany, however I feel that the matter may deserves further discussion as a blog so I brought it over here.

I'm not sure that the "separate but equal" model for nude recreation will work any better for us or for society then it has in the past for other aspects of human relations. A poor but perhaps interim compromise at best, I suppose. I realise that such trails are open to all, but in actual pratice, they are viewed by mainstream society as seperate, the place where "those" people go. And funny thing, like beaches, they may become more populated then their textile only counterparts because of their rarity.

I don't even want to touch upon how the concept worked for race relations other than to state that it was a miserable failure or worse in the US. It has not worked well for CO beaches in the US either. They have only become trampled in some noteable cases with all manner of socially irresponsible persons with their own agendas and then squashed by others with their own repressive agendas. And we all are beginning to realize that a century of caging nudists behind walls has only promoted fear and misunderstanding among nudist and textile alike. That's not to say that there are not good experiences to be had in such "segregated" facilities and they do seem to serve a valuable function for many including newbies to provide a relaxed environment in which to explore ones feelings about nudity in a social context. I have certainly enjoyed many a fine day at resorts and beaches. I would be on trails too, if there were any close by. But at the end of the day it is unacceptable to be forced by the law to put clothes on to go back home.

OK, how about setting aside some venues where clothing is required? Oh, I forgot. We already have those all around us, just past our front doors!

The LGBT community has got it close to right so far, and only after centuries of society trying to hide some of its brothers and sisters away from view, and only after much hard work put forth by many dedicated people. It is best for society as a whole if we clothes adverse people work patiently to bring this all out into the open. Nudity should be seemlessly integrated into our culture and accepted as a part of the reality of the human condition that it is. A dream perhaps, but one worth taking the first step towards achieving. And then the next…..and the next ….


14 thoughts on “Seperate but Equal—a doomed concept”

  1. Daniel C wrote, Once the lady at the deli started yelling "put a shirt on" when I asked "why should I", she said because it isn't fair. No matter how hot it gets I am not allowed to take my shirt off".

    I laughed as I read that. Then I thought more seriously, we will have made significant progress as a society when the day comes that I could have the following jovial exchange with a textile on the street:

    "put your pants on Mr." when I asked "why should I", he/she would say "because it isn't fair. No matter how hot it gets I am not allowed to take my clothes off". With that kind of public sentiment behind us, the law's days would be numbered. Maybe that goal should be the inspiration and guidance behind some of our patient ongoing conversations about nudity with the textiles in our lives. I could see myself instigating the scenario described above and enjoying it, yet my pragmatic side follows closer to the following and I find my approach to our dilemma of how to go about swaying public opinion switching back and forth between the two. My instinct says that we must remain agile and compassionate in our approaches.

    Daniel C, I don't know where you call home, but here in New England, I still feel compelled by social custom to wear at least a beater or muscle shirt when out and about on weekends shopping in the bigbox stores or casual dining out, etc. Topless for men or for women for that matter, is seldom seen in indoor public spaces around here anytime. Outdoors of course, it is quite common to see men shirtless on the street, in the park, in the garden, driving, etc. But never nude of course, YET! Were nudity to suddenly become legal here, I doubt that this picture would change much on the indoor side, nor even outside on Main Street. I suspect that I would be content with that state of affairs for a start as it would be so much better than what we have now. I guess that the New Englander in me is speaking out here and I wouldn't want to invite pushback after such a hardwon victory, but I suspect that in time, I would begin venturing onto Main Street, into the stores and at the food takeouts in the nude, as our local society's norms began to relax further. This is the "socially moderated CO" scenario which I have stated in other posts that I would be content with and feel comfortable pushing the envelope within. Just get the law off our backs and out of our faces, thank you.

    Incidently, I have not worn anything that places fabric between my legs for at least eight years. More recently the kilts and manskirts that I have worn exclusively everywhere for both day-job and play in that time, have been getting briefer for my weekend errand running tasks. I have discovered and own a couple of loincloths marketed as the Running Kilt on the web ( They are minimalist and mighty comfortable. Just long enough to barely cover my dangly bits if I don't bend over at the waist too blatantly, this garment has singularly and increasingly made it possible for the nudist in me to coexist with the prudes around me on my slack days. I am now sitting in one in my office at work on a slow day, as I write this post.

    I make the above side observation because, come to think of it, I don't believe that I could have gotten away with any of this casual display of skin outside of my garden gates a mere ten years ago. So I guess progress is being made, even in notoriously proper Boston. And I think that it is the diplomacy as Richard J suggests above that has been largely responsible for the change.

    • I live in southern California. It gets hot here and 20 years ago it was common to see men outside without shirts. Today it is very rare. While I have seen a few other men shirtless at the fast food places it is rare. I am usually the only one.

  2. I think it is largely getting people over their shame of the world food human body. Even we dress most of the time much more than the law requires. Custom needs to be pushed to break. Some places do allow women topless in public. How 9ften do you see women at the park taking advantage of it? I often go out on the weekend in only shorts and sandals. Near home I do my shopping and eat out this way. Very few seem to mind. Some men on hot days say "why didn't I dress like that. Women often smile. Once the lady at the deli started yelling "put a shirt on" when I asked "why should I", she said because it isn't fair. No matter how hot it gets I am not allowed to take my shirt off". Some people will be annoyed even tough it is legal, but gradually more people get use to seeing the human body. We have thousands of years of hiding to get over.

  3. Agreed: be open and honest and don't hide views. Be friendly, challenge but don't attack. If people object cover up but explain. It's called 'diplomacy' and it's a pain but more likely to be effective than any other strategy. The WNBR and similar events are a great example.

  4. The undeniable success of the gay movement is a pointer to how we, as people who enjoy our naked lifestyle whenever possible, need to mobilize and to keep pushing the boundaries. It is easy to see from the success of, and support for, the WNBR's that the general public is behind public nudity.

    Nothing was ever given, from the authorities to the people, which was not demanded; women's voting, race segregation, worker's rights, etc.. And freedoms are constantly being eroded; free speech, privacy, individual right to dress choice, etc. It is up to all of us to stand firm and push harder.

  5. Good comparison with LGBT. They suffer(ed) from the same stigmas as our CO world. I think that we have a good tool in the internet as long as it's used responsibly. Excessive behaviour is never good, and that's what gets the focus.

    As long as influential (large) groups dictate what's the norm, people like the LGBT crowd and ours will be in the defensive, but I'll dream with you and be there every step of the way.

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