We want to ride at the back of the bus!

Part of the problem with mainstream acceptability of nudity, is that (most) nudists want to remain segregated. It's like the blacks in the 60's saying: "we want to ride in the back of the bus!"

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Actually, I want to be able to ride anywhere in the bus, and why not? It's the same premise for nudist beaches, which are closed on a regular basis, and even the "permission to be naked in this one spot", (the back of the bus), is removed for the people by a single puritan hysteric. We should insist on the right to be naked on any bus, and anywhere in any bus. Or beach. Or anywhere.

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22 thoughts on “We want to ride at the back of the bus!”

  1. There's an aspect of the American Civil Rights movement that's important to understand.
    Many African-Americans prior to Rosa Parks refused to give up their seats on the bus. None of their arrests or treatment sparked a civil rights movement.
    The difference with Rosa Parks is that she was well respected within the African and Anglo communities. People on both sides of the divide were offended and outraged by her treatment and it was that which triggered the actions that occurred. Just to clarify, it was her influence within the community that made a difference.

    I can't help feeling that where nakedness is concerned, the prospect of legalizing nude loitering is probably not widely appealing to most people. There isn't sufficient understanding to the purpose of nakedness within that narrow context.
    When it is hot and clothes are a hindrance, it makes sense not to wear them. When you are engaged in a physical activity or swimming it makes sense not to wear clothes. Under many other circumstances you can understand why people have difficulty with the concept of nakedness. Devoid of any reasonable context, people are suspicious of motive.

    Were it normal and commonplace to see people swimming naked, hiking, running and playing sports naked, the leap to people wanting to be naked in a broader context would be understandable. It would make sense and people could understand it.
    As things presently stand it seems to me that what many people aspire to is legalized nude loitering.

    I can't help feeling that the aspect of nudity I find least appealing is the posturing that widely takes place. The focus is not so much on a purposeful activity but the fact the person is naked.
    Ironically when there are pictures of WNBR the focus is more often than not on static figures before and after the event vs the actual riding.

    In my view it's the fixation on nakedness that marginalizes it in the minds of broader society. They can't understand why people desire to be naked when all they perceive from the naked community is exhibitionism and voyeurism. Obviously that's not how people within the naked community see it, but that is how outsiders see it.

    People often cite the gay community as a group who obtained equality. Their success wasn't accomplished by focusing on what takes place privately. It was a fight about legal status and financial and legal rights. Things non gay people could relate to and understand.

    So long as the primary focus of nudity is nakedness, I don't think it will progress much further than it has.
    When the focus becomes activity, physical and mental health, vitality and spiritual wellbeing. Things "normal" people can relate to, I think it has half a chance.

    That may sound counter intuitive but let me explain. Presently when people ask me what I did on the weekend I may remark that I did work around the house, gardened or went for a stroll. Perhaps I might even say I vegged out and did nothing. These are all activities people can relate to.
    If I were to say I hung out nude all weekend that would be weird because people can't relate. Conversely were I to say I soaked up sunshine all weekend I'd get a more positive response.
    If there is no understanding of the underlying benefits you're just not going to get where you're going. If the only benefit you can summon is not wearing anything you're pretty much sunk.

    That's what the focus appears to be.

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  2. That's the trouble with metaphors, especially powerful ones, one cannot help but bring up a literal image. Perhaps the hygiene problem is also metaphorical and we need to carry a metaphorical towel.
    Seriously though the acceptance of public nudity everywhere would require other adjustments such as a requirement to place something on a bus seat. Then we need to know where to draw the line – a park seat? Or should it be the responsibility of people to protect themselves from anything that may be on a seat if they are naked?

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    • The literal image is still valid, as is the argument about seats on seats 🙂

      What I mean is that when the puritan Scott Wiener passed a law in San Francisco making it illegal for people to sit on public benches without a layer of cloth between their bum and the seat, I think he had a point. It is a point which all nudists know full well, and one of the first things a newbie to a club is informed of: "always place a towel on the seat."

      It's a simple rule, and a good one. It has essentially hygenic grounds and is uniquivocally the right thing to do, in both nudist clubs and in public buses alike. There is no conflict here. I recommend the ruling be made a world-wide law: "all naked people must place a cloth between their bottom and any seat they wish to use", or something like that. This is essentially what all textiles do, all day every day, they just don't think about it because they're usually wearing trousers to hold the piece of cloth in place on their bum.

      I see nothing puritanical about this, just a simple, hygenic, sensible rule. I would NOT want to sit my naked bum on a public bus seat, I can tell you! So, while Wiener may have had other ideas in mind by passing the law in San Francisco, like all puritans, he hasn't thought it through, but his initial ruling was a good one. IMHO.

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  3. Naked on the bus is an unfortunate parallel. I'm not sure that's desirable for hygiene reasons. It also counts, for me, as "indoors" = "inside someone's property" => the property owner has the right to choose the dress code (or undress code). Outdoors though, I think we should have the right to wear whatever we choose.

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  4. It is all about politics. So where can we start? We can lobby with key politicians who support our cause, we can arrange a "Nude Pride Festival" where we focus on our political rights. We can arrange a protest-march for our rights. And we can get "help" from the fashion-industry and porn-industry, which both have a negative view of natural nudity.
    We have to be taken seriously. I don´t want people to look at me like a clown, a dangerous criminal or belonging to a "strange" group of people who need to be separated in their own places, away from "normal" people. That time has to be over.
    Maybe I sound idealistic? Yes, I do. Here we have to be idealistic. I want to do something.
    By the way: Can we get some help from the European Court of Human Rights or other similar institutions?
    http://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home&c=
    It´s time for action 🙂

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  5. I agree, we should be able to sit anywhere on the bus but it is partly “our” fault, for keeping it all secret. Having adopted a far more assertive manner about nudity, I get responses like this from a long standing friend, she writes (her caps):- You see…while I totally support your naturist being…and while I’m happy to potter about without clothes after a shower etc, I wouldn’t feel comfortable to go ‘out in public’ naked…be too aware of what some people would be thinking/feeling…and it’s not important enough for me at this time to make this an issue…HOWEVER, I’m VERY happy that some people are because they are doing something very special – and might just break down unhealthy perceptions of our human being!!
    So the secrecy has been counterproductive, her response is quite typical of those from other friends.

    There is the other side of the issue, my wife will no longer go to nude swims, Le Cap d’Agde etc. owing to the behaviour of a single person who took an unwelcome interest in her. I can fully understand why they have shut Holkham to nude people, I would do the same in their position. Just like a few aggressive cyclists spoil it for others, some nude people spoil it for the rest of us.

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    • Good to hear your lady friend is supportive of the more active stance, while being fully aware that she would not wish to engage personally, at this time. That seems to me to be a reasonable position, and I think we can see that it is also a very common one, as the WNBR demonstrates.

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  6. A difficulty that those of us who'd like to be naked wherever we want to be face, is the grouping together of nudists and others who are attracted to places that nudists use.

    A beach in England, Holkham, well-used and for a long time by nudists, is facing a no nudity ban because of public sexual activities on the beach and in the surrounding area. Until nudists can separate ourselves from this type of activity, in the media and in the eyes of puritan hysterics, the right to be naked in public where we want to be is unlikely to be given 'permission'.

    Its in the interests of puritan hysterics to put all nudity in the same category, the simple desire to be naked together with sexual activity. It makes it harder for nudists to gain the right to be naked, the puritans don't want any nudity, they 'label' us all as 'perverts' and we have a harder battle.

    I don't want to place all puritans in the same bracket, but more 'sex scandals' featuring some of the loudest puritans, would undermine their cases through hypocrisy.

    I agree that the desire of many nudists to remain segregated in 'safer' environments, away from hassle and confrontation doesn't help the cause of nudists who want to be nude in the broader society. I can see that their wish to do so gives them a more relaxed atmosphere to enjoy nudity in, but not everyone has a nearby venue to do this in, some can't afford it, some find the organised nudity not to their liking.

    I'd like to be naked anywhere on the bus as well, and or anywhere off of it. To achieve this will be hard to do without some confrontation. I'd rather avoid that, but we'll be shouted down unless we stand up for the right to be naked.

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