Site Moderation

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 🙂

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18 thoughts on “Site Moderation”

  1. Thank you Shane and Joanne for such insightful thought and the very reason why this is truly the only site i visit on a regular of not daily basis. I really enjoy your blogs and though I may not comment much about them they really resonate with me. Keep up the great work and perhaps I will contribute more substantially one day. But in the interim I enjoy digesting these thought provoking ideas. I would savor the concept of one day meeting in person with like minded souls and having these discussions – in a warm clime of course.

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  2. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Change and challenge are topics that fascinate me because they feed directly into our psyche. It's so easy to throw up one's hands and exclaim, "these people are impossible!" because others not only don't see your view, but can't even begin to understand it.

    I realised probably some years ago now, if you lay aside your own perspective and view the world from somebody else's, you get an amazing insight. There is no right or wrong. There's just different. So long as you think right or wrong you can't get past that to take on a different view. This is really illustrated well by Steve's comments and reflection on the reconciliation he took between set ideas and what he sensed from within.

    I'm glad that the Naktiv site challenged my ideas about things, and that people continually come along here to shake us all up from time to time. Joanne's awesome blogs and Patrick's family are two recent examples I can think of. They are new perspectives and glimpses of further diversity.

    Its probably when something stabs at you like a thorn in your side that you should stick at it and see why. The stabbing irritation are your preconceptions being challenged. To grow as a person you need to push past them. Is that not the point and purpose of life after all? You arrive in this world naked, bare of anything other than those around you. Like it or not you're stuck with these infernal people who seem to be against you at every turn. The fact is, you're here to teach them just as surely as they're here for you to learn a bit more about yourself, about others and why it all exists in the first place.

    Funny how you set out to accomplish one thing and end up achieving something you never imagined. Apologies to those that just want to post a photo of their willy. You're a part of this deeper whirligig as well 🙂

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  3. My perceptions about the human body have also changed radically over the last couple of years. As a Christian, I had qualms about nudity, particularly about social-nudity, but if I was going to become a committed nudist, I had to lay those qualms to rest. As a result, I started studying the Bible and reading everything I could get my eyes on about how God views our bodies, because it was going to be "all or nothing" for me. I even started my own blog to "force" me to lay my thoughts out in the open. As a result, I have a new way of thinking about our bodies, and particularly our genitals.

    When God created our first parents, He looked at them with delight and pronounced them "Very good". Yes, He saw Adam's penis and Eve's vulva, because He had created those parts also. I can imagine that both God and Eve watched in awe and wonder when Adam achieved his first erection, because even though God had created that penis, He had never seen it work. God also watched in awe and wonder the first time Adam and Eve had sex, because, even He had designed and created those parts, He had never seen them used for the purpose that He had designed and created them for. God may have even waited with baited-breath as they built up to their first climax and orgasm, because those were also "firsts". God is unchangeable and unchanging, so His original pronouncement of "Very good" about our bodies still holds true today.

    I try to see our bodies, and particularly our intimate parts through God's eyes, so I am NOT offended by the sight of an erect penis, nor am I offended at the sight of an "exposed" vulva. If God has called those parts "Very good", what right to I have so say "Ugh". Yes, I have reconciled Christianity with nudism, and I believe that the highest honor I can give to what God created and proclaimed "Very good" is to NOT compulsively cover it up with "fig-leaves".

    We each have our own "lines in the sand" defining what we each believe is "porn" and what is "nudist", and having health discussion about these issues brings us together. I hope that we all grow as nudists and as people. Have your perceptions been challenged?

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    • Being a deeply spiritual person from a young age, I've always had the view that religion was an insidious poison that robs people of independent and analytical thought. It's probably the case that the opposite is true. People that would otherwise not give a second thought to any kind of enlightenment have a means by which they can consider that beyond what's immediately evident to them.

      I had this odd "wouldn't it be great," moment last night where I thought, "I'd really like a couple of JWs to come over on the weekend."
      Not so I could sit them down and change their ideas, but rather say to them, "do you realise what you've actually got dwelling within you right now?"

      Religious people walk around with this "good news" inside them, but they don't actually dwell on that news at all.
      There are so many people who are "born again," who have this singular experience in their life where they know within themselves they don't suck. Instead the heavens have opened up, the universe reached inside their minds and hearts and exclaimed, "This is enlightenment. You are all that you're meant to be at this very moment, and that being is all that you are expected to be."
      The very next day the experience is diminished. They turn to their bible, Koran Buddhist texts or what have you and ask, "what should I do, or be doing now?"
      They continue on their way, scourging the world around them for their purpose. "I must fulfil Gods will. Must do what Allah instructs. Must follow the eight fold path, never realising all that they need and seek dwells within."

      If you reflect on what you did Steve to reconcile the turmoil between experience, intuition and "knowing", versus fixed rigid ideas about yourself and the world. Do you understand the process you undertook?
      First you acquired information. Collected knowledge and perhaps spoke to others about it. Then you looked within and meditated on it.

      People say things like, "God told me this," or "God gave me this instruction." People roll their eyes and think, "give me a break" for not unfounded reason.

      How many times have you dismissed a thought, opinion or idea expressed or realised by yourself or others. After hours, days, months or even years you realise you shouldn't have dismissed it. You come to realise there was some merit in the thought or concept.

      The thought itself didn't change. Your perspective did. People kill each other over ideologies but here's the funny thing. It doesn't matter what you think about something or what I think about something. God may be unchanging as you think, or totally unable to exist without changing as I think.
      Your thoughts and my thoughts don't change Gods reality. Just as my thoughts about the universe doesn't change what it actually is anymore than your thoughts would.

      The power to change, accept and ultimately be enlightened dwells within each individual. Whether you believe in God or the presence of Gods spirit within or what have you, it is no other than you that holds the key to your own salvation from suffering.

      That was my wouldn't it be cool if moment. The story you've shared demonstrates it is possible for people no matter how rigid their views, to change. The power to change lies within, as does the will and power to not change and in so doing, resist the very nature of all existence.

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  4. This article reminds me that our opinions are just like relationships, always evolving, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I am proud to be part of such a diverse team with such strong and varying thoughts, opinions and general viewpoints on various topics. It has helped me to grow as a person and for that I thank you all.

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  5. Indeed, it is an interesting blog.

    In the past I've moderated sites, with different subject matter. I felt they worked far better when moderators worked collectively. Groups of people will invariably have different takes on various matters, balancing individual takes helped avoid instances when one person felt very strongly and acted on it while the majority felt differently.

    I appreciate the moderation here, there are sometimes strong and polarised opinions expressed but the balance overall seems to continue. It can be a tightrope walk at times but thethe Naktiv site appears to have weathered the differences and hasn't fallen off of the rope.

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  6. Interesting thoughts, Shane. And it's good to see the site contributing to people's changing opinions over time. I like that idea, and I've observed it in myself too. So kudos to the membership for the *variety* of contributions from the membership here. (most) every post helps.

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