Behind the scenes of the Naktiv site there has always been a team of moderators ensuring that the http://www.naktiv.net/mission-statement and http://www.naktiv.net/rules/ of the site are adhered to. This is accomplished by flagging and/or removing inappropriate material and directing users back to the mission statement and rules. It's always been done in the most respectful manner possible. Surprisingly so in some cases compared to some sites I've been a moderator or admin for.
Perhaps to the surprise of some, this is not a nudist or naturist site per sec. Neither is it a sex or pornography site.
I've been privileged enough to have been a moderator on the site from not long after its inception. Perhaps when there were only about 100 members.
It's never been an easy task because the mission statement sets out to accomplish something that by many standards, and prevailing views and values is damn near impossible. At least that's what I used to think at times.
Given the difficulties and controversies that have occurred behind the scenes within the moderator team, in its various forms over the time the site has existed, there's been times when I've felt the objectives of the site were too ambitious. I don't believe that to be the case anymore.
I have always recognised that one thing the Naktiv site has always successfully done is challenged rigid thinking and caused me in particular to really examine not only what I think about nakedness, but also how I feel about it.
There have been times when I've felt extremely discouraged by site content. It's sometimes easy to wonder why on earth anyone would want to take a cramped shot of themselves in the bathroom that prominently exhibits their penis. There are also other images that just leave you shaking your head, wondering why on earth someone would want to post them.
On the other hand there have been more than a few people here who have prompted me to question my values and examine my assumptions about things. As a result I've gained insights, understood other's points of view and changed my thinking and view of the world as a result.
What I've come to realise as an outcome of everything above are the following observations.
The membership has increased significantly and the site is drawing a broad range of people, including a younger crowd.
It's clear that this generation view nudity with far less sexual prejudice than older generations.
My outlook on the world has changed significantly over the last three years. I looked at the world the way I thought it should be. When you do this you see things that just aren't there. When you project your assumptions, prejudices, fears and values onto the world, you end up distorting your view of it.
If for example you're adamant that nudity is non-sexual you are going to be highly sensitised to anything that suggests that it isn't . If you look at a picture in a particular way you're only going to see what offends you or challenges your perceptions of what you deem appropriate or inappropriate.
If you look at a picture impartiality you will see it in its broader context and even understand why it was posted.
If in your mind you assume the worse you'll see the worse. You won't even be able to comprehend why others don't see what you do. You'll literally be blinded to it.
With the greatest respect to all I can't help feeling there is an abnormal sensitivity to genitals when there really shouldn't be. It's either okay to have them in view or not. If it's okay in one context it should be in most others otherwise we're effectively acknowledging that in reality the exposure of genitals is actually unacceptable and should be banned.
This discussion has come up time and again on the site. I even created a poll about it which still occasionally gets votes and comments ( http://www.naktiv.net/poll/232/would-a-quot-no-genitals-quot-picture-policy-diminish-your-experience-of-th/ )
We've had moderators leave the site because they felt the rules didn't suit them in this one regard.
Its important to acknowledge Kim & Thurston's point (in the moderators group) that if you go through past deletions there are clear discrepancies. It's a reflection of the differences of view various moderators have had and one of the reasons the poll system was brought about. Because there was so much controversy and difference of opinion about photos, moderators now vote whether or not certain photos breech the mission statement or rules.
I think the people that do put their time and energy into moderating the site shouldn't be discouraged by these discussions nor feel peeved off that others don't seem to share their views.
It's the fact that we do disagree, or do have differences of opinion that indicates the balance must be pretty good. To all agree or all disagree would be a bad thing.
By having these discussions and calm expressions of view I'm sure it helps us as a collective get to a middle ground that is suitably balanced between too liberal on the one hand where pictures really are too sexualised. And too conservative on the other hand where various people feel excluded.
I personally would deem a female pulling aside her outer lips to expose her vulva inappropriate. Likewise a guy with a close up of his penis only. It's extremely clear what the intent is there.
It seems guys have an insistence on shots that clearly exhibit their manhood to varying degrees. This seems to be inevitable. On that basis a certain allowance should be made for females who seem to spark more controversy than the guys.
I think where obvious yoga or exercise is concerned, the focus isn't intentionally on the genitals. If you've watched any kind of gymnastics or the like, the human anatomy makes camel toes and male bulges damn near impossible to avoid. Remove the leotard and you don't need much imagination to ascertain what will be seen to what extent.
I have no doubt I might well be contradicting past views and comments I've made. The primary reason for that is carefully thinking about nakedness for a long time and refining my perspective as a result.
On balance there's nothing inherently sexual about any body part. Not until we place it in that context. This is the very phobia the general public have about nudity in the first place.
Nudists insist there's nothing lewd or sexual about the naked body. The wider public exclaim, "but we can see your genitals!"
Nudists of course respond, there's nothing inherently sexual about them.
If that's truly the case we shouldn't have such a problem seeing them. You can't say "well it's okay if they're not in your face." Obviously you don't want an out of proportion zoomed up shot of genitals in your face. At the same time you don't want to be dictating what angle or perspective is okay or not if you're fundamentally ok with seeing people's genitals in the first place.
What doesn't particularly appeal to me personally is genital piercing and jewellery. I've been to nude venues and seen some pretty eye watering stuff. It's not the kind of thing I'd like my kids to see.
None the less, there are more than enough people who think nothing of it. Who am I to judge? All I'm really doing is passing my value system onto somebody else.
So I either think it's okay for people to be naked or not.
I'm going to see stuff I don't like. Fat people, buck ugly people and dudes with a steel rod through their knob.
I have to accept that others have different standards to me, and they should have the freedom to have different standards.
Nudists feel put out because society doesn't permit them the freedom to be naked. We can't on principle apply the same double standards. That would make us no better than Facebook or society at large.
I understand the need to keep a certain standard. In so doing, let's question that standard so we always have it as a sharp edge in our minds.
Again moderation is a thankless task people might not feel appreciated for. Everyone who has moderated has made a difference. Your efforts are worthwhile.
My apologies for the length of the post 🙂