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Offline chrisw91

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This is a fairly old article (2007) but there are some interesting points and opinions in there.

Quote
Patrick Barkham seemed unaware that the main reason younger people are not becoming naturists is the inability of modern naturism to engage with the issue of sexuality (A Stitch in Time, May 31). While it is true that "naturism became popular in Germany...as a healthy outdoor lifestyle", this lifestyle also included a recognition that, socially, nudity could sometimes be erotic. It was only when naturism arrived in a more sexually conservative Britain that sexual feelings were censored out to make naturism culturally acceptable. Locating naturist clubs in isolated locations, closing their doors to younger single males, condoning activities that limited views of genitals, and creating strict rules and regulations - all these indicated that sexual feelings had become feared and denied.

Ignoring this historical and cultural context can lead to a simplified view that fails to challenge the well-rehearsed comments which naturists often use in their defence, such as those quoted in Barkham's article: "naturism is not the least bit sexy"; "it's not an orgy"; "there is no sexual tension at all".

A highly selective body of research on nudity and sexual crimes, and increased public concern about paedophilia, led to changes to the Sexual Offences Act in 2003 regarding public nudity. In this emotive political context it is not difficult to see why the issue of sexuality and naturism remains such a taboo subject and one that naturists are wary of engaging with.

My own journey into enjoying social nudity and dealing with my sexual feelings got me interested in exploring how other naturists coped. During my research it became clear that the relationship between social nudity and sexual feelings was, for them, more complicated and subtle than either government legislation or modern naturism captures. Neither extreme view - being nude is asexual, or is a "ruse for randy men" - offers a helpful way forward.

We need to manage naturist environments differently, so that the experience of naturism as sometimes erotic is not stigmatised or criminalised, while those who are experiencing social nudity as asexual do not feel exploited, harassed or abused. How we address this dilemma should be the main focus of any discussion.

Barkham is right when he says that "we may be surrounded by nakedness on television and the internet", and "our society may be less prudish than ever"; but it's worth considering that nudity in modern society is mostly confined to the virtual realities of commercial pornography, which suggests nakedness is always sexual and tends to be experienced in social isolation, or commercial sexual environments such as lap dancing clubs, which play on sexual exploitation and sexism.

The idea that naturist environments potentially offer a unique space to explore the breadth of sexual feelings, and to experience these in a more balanced and real way, could make them very attractive to a younger generation. And breathe new life into naturism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/jun/06/comment.comment
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Offline Archaewok1

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 01:49:51 am »
"The idea that naturist environments potentially offer a unique space to explore the breadth of sexual feelings..."

Either that guy is horrible at explaining in the quote above, or he's open to people displaying sexuality in a nudist setting. I don't agree that the latter is appropriate. And honestly, I think people think that viewing someone as "sexy" is normal because most people that come into nudism aren't raised as nudists, and even the ones that are are exposed to a decent amount of porn. It's my opinion that we should be focusing on bodies as beautiful (if they are physically attractive), instead of thinking how they compare to 'that porn chick I saw the other night'. One view allows us to keep looking at the other person in a respectful manner, the other gets us thinking about what we would like to do in bed with the person, which can easily get us treating the other person different, including eventually trying to see if they would be sexually interested in us. While there are quite a few naturists that are fine with casual sex or short-lived relationships, I don't share this viewpoint, and so I don't share the notion (that some may carry) that focusing on the 'sexiness' of a body is okay outside of a relationship.

But at the same time, I do believe people need to be honest that nudists date and get married and have sex just like everyone else. I think we need to acknowledge that finding someone physically attractive is okay, but also acknowledging that sexual harassment, just like outside of a nudist setting, is not okay. On top of helping people realize the same general standards of decency apply inside and outside nudist settings, I think we need to do better building community in general when it comes to naturist clubs (landed). When I went to a nudist club, there wasn't much to do, and I didn't learn much about the people that visited there. If people are ever going to feel okay about asking questions at a club, they need to know that they can trust the people around them. Of course, having meetings where nudists are allowed to discuss issues of sexuality with each other would help too, but I don't think they should be highly publicized, especially not to non-nudist audiences. Non-nudists need to get the strong message that we are non-sexual first and foremost in a social setting. After they get the picture that social nudity is no more sexual than clothed life, that distinction can help them to put discussions on sexuality in their proper place.

Offline Infinity Biscuit

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2013, 02:39:51 am »
Who said anything about porn? That nudity can be erotic and sensual can come just from the beauty of the human form, the freedom, the increased sensation and naturalisation of it all. That your mind jumps straight to erotic = "that porn chick" when there was nothing in there at all implies to me you're jumping straight to defensive precast talking points rather than really looking at the issue. People don't see "sexy" as something related to normal because porn has corrupted people; people relate the two because a lot of people are naturally sexual. If you don't want to have sexual feelings be a thing, then just don't have it yourself; don't try to push it away from nudism.

Allowing for the natural eroticism to be acknowledged doesn't mean you allow public sex or anything. It just means you acknowledge the sexual energy that's there and you don't demonise it or force it to be hushed up.

Quote
Non-nudists need to get the strong message that we are non-sexual first and foremost in a social setting.
Why?

What does this do but make people think, "what are they so defensive about?" Except maybe lose interest because the biggest message you want to give is "being sterile is our highest priority".
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Offline Dan

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 03:02:18 am »
There's nothing inherently sexual about nudity. It just is. It's us who project sexuality on things.

There's nothing inherently sexual about a feather either but you can make it erotic if you want to.

It's not the things that are or aren't sexual. It's just us that are sexual beings.
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Offline mike345

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 03:08:33 am »
There's nothing inherently sexual about nudity. It just is. It's us who project sexuality on things.

There's nothing inherently sexual about a feather either but you can make it erotic if you want to.

It's not the things that are or aren't sexual. It's just us that are sexual beings.

I disagree but only to the extent that it's a philosophical discussion whther or not attraction and arousal are "sexual." I think the initial human reaction of being attracted to another is visual and appearance based. Nudity enhances that as it is a more pure version of that person. Humans as visual beings are aroused by others so I think there's a sexual component in that context. It isn't being projected consciously, it's who we are.

And there's nothign wrong with that. As nudists we fight the perception that we are perverted or there's something inherently wrong with recreational nudity. But it's no different than non-nude interactions. We are equally as likely to notice a member of the opposite sex and be attracted to them while clothed and in a bar or another public place as we are to notice a member of the opposite sex who happens to be nude and develop an attraction. There's nothign wrong with being attracted to another nudist. It's healthy. The thing is that no one is lusting after them or creating a lude or inappropriate environment which is what needs to be stressed. In fact, nudists tend to be more polite about any such situation to avoid the negative perception.

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 03:18:34 am »
Quote
It's my opinion that we should be focusing on bodies as beautiful (if they are physically attractive)

One would think that all bodies are beautiful regardless of being physically attractive, but I understand.

Offline Dan

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2013, 03:20:55 am »
And there's nothign wrong with that.

Did I ever imply it was?
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Offline AElf

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 11:12:28 am »
I agree with Dan's three theses.

The "nudity --> sexual attraction" statement is an old one and not universally applicable. 
The fact is that not all naked people are physically attractive.  But that doesn't matter because that isn't what naturism is all about. 

More applicable is "physically attractive person --> sexual attraction."
A person who is physically attractive will be attractive whether they are naked or clothed.  Some who are less attractive when naked might be more attractive when clothed. 

As Mike stated initial attraction is usually based on physical appearance.  It doesn't always last though, does it?  Some people who are physically attractive are intellectually repulsive;  the reverse may also prove true.

The question of sexuality within a naturist venue will forever be a problem.  Those who project sexuality onto naturism will continue to do so regardless of the facts.  Those whose argue most strongly that naturism is non-sexual will be either interpreted as trying to cover up the nightly orgy or misinterpreted as claiming that naturists are asexual.

Of course both images are erroneous; we are neither Dionysians nor Shakers.  The only way to combat false images is by openness and good behaviour in what we do.  That will forever be a problem because we are all human.
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Offline Gman707

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2013, 12:00:52 pm »
Certainly at my club its not a taboo subject per se. If you were to start having sex on the lawn youd end up thrown out but discussions of sexuality have come up. We are also not averse to the odd carry on style cheeky comment here and there.
what's to say?

Offline Archaewok1

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2013, 02:13:03 am »
Certainly at my club its not a taboo subject per se. If you were to start having sex on the lawn youd end up thrown out but discussions of sexuality have come up. We are also not averse to the odd carry on style cheeky comment here and there.

I was at a nudist park and I asked a woman my age what type of work she did. She said she hosted "Pure Romance" parties. I didn't fully know what that was, so I played it safe and asked something like "So that's like perfume and stuff?" She responded by letting me know it was about sex toys/stuff. It was definitely an awkward response to receive with me still being a fairly new nudist, and I was surprised I didn't get an erection or get significantly aroused by it in general (again, I still was fairly new). But at the same time, I was glad that she was nonchalant about it, because it helped me to adjust to the fact that it was no big deal. I was also glad that it appeared to be only girls coming over to her place for the parties, at least if they were in a social nude setting. Again, it could have set the wrong tone if a guy in my kind of situation was invited to a party like that and everyone was naked (I know sexual stuff doesn't happen there, but a lot of sexual joking around probably does, and it's probably not the best of atmospheres for a newb to nudism when it comes to properly getting adjusted to being comfortably nude around others).

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 02:33:36 am »
The whole worry about erections in nudism seems to be both a symptom and a cause of the anti-sexual fixation. If people weren't so uptight about separation of sexuality and nudism, then an erection would just be an erection; people get those in real life in a lot of situations and it's sometimes obvious there, too, and it's not the existence of an erection that's the problem, it's when someone uses it to sexually harass someone. And similiarly, if people are continuously worried about getting erections, they worry about the sexuality that could ever come up for fear it will prompt one.

And with the idea that one needs to be really clear about the separation between nudism and sexuality when they're introduced, let me bring you another example. The anime convention scene can sometimes have a few reputations, one of which is that, since you have thousands of often socially isolated young adults and teenagers without outside supervision of judgement jammed into hotels with people whom they'll most easily connect with, sex is going to happen. A lot. But the vast majority of people at the convention aren't going to have casual sex, let alone go there for it. And if when inviting a friend to a convention I started immediately and emphatically talking about how no it's not sexual it's just hanging out except everyone's in costume, and they hadn't prompted anything along this line, how is that going to look?
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Offline mike345

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2013, 03:05:55 am »
And there's nothign wrong with that.

Did I ever imply it was?

No, not at all.

Offline mike345

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2013, 03:07:00 am »
I agree with Dan's three theses.

The "nudity --> sexual attraction" statement is an old one and not universally applicable. 
The fact is that not all naked people are physically attractive.  But that doesn't matter because that isn't what naturism is all about. 

More applicable is "physically attractive person --> sexual attraction."
A person who is physically attractive will be attractive whether they are naked or clothed.  Some who are less attractive when naked might be more attractive when clothed. 

As Mike stated initial attraction is usually based on physical appearance.  It doesn't always last though, does it?  Some people who are physically attractive are intellectually repulsive;  the reverse may also prove true.

The question of sexuality within a naturist venue will forever be a problem.  Those who project sexuality onto naturism will continue to do so regardless of the facts.  Those whose argue most strongly that naturism is non-sexual will be either interpreted as trying to cover up the nightly orgy or misinterpreted as claiming that naturists are asexual.

Of course both images are erroneous; we are neither Dionysians nor Shakers.  The only way to combat false images is by openness and good behaviour in what we do.  That will forever be a problem because we are all human.

Well said.

Offline mike345

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2013, 03:09:12 am »
The whole worry about erections in nudism seems to be both a symptom and a cause of the anti-sexual fixation. If people weren't so uptight about separation of sexuality and nudism, then an erection would just be an erection; people get those in real life in a lot of situations and it's sometimes obvious there, too, and it's not the existence of an erection that's the problem, it's when someone uses it to sexually harass someone. And similiarly, if people are continuously worried about getting erections, they worry about the sexuality that could ever come up for fear it will prompt one.

And with the idea that one needs to be really clear about the separation between nudism and sexuality when they're introduced, let me bring you another example. The anime convention scene can sometimes have a few reputations, one of which is that, since you have thousands of often socially isolated young adults and teenagers without outside supervision of judgement jammed into hotels with people whom they'll most easily connect with, sex is going to happen. A lot. But the vast majority of people at the convention aren't going to have casual sex, let alone go there for it. And if when inviting a friend to a convention I started immediately and emphatically talking about how no it's not sexual it's just hanging out except everyone's in costume, and they hadn't prompted anything along this line, how is that going to look?

I'm equally embarrassed with an erection in a non-sexual setting while clothed as well. I think the only difference is that it's a bit more concealable but almost more embarrassing when clothed. I've found nudists to be more understanding (as with other body issues) of that occurrence and that's why it's a non-issue and almost an annoyance when brought up to nudists.

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Re: Nudity can be erotic and naturists should not have to deny it.
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2013, 04:06:53 am »
The whole worry about erections in nudism seems to be both a symptom and a cause of the anti-sexual fixation. If people weren't so uptight about separation of sexuality and nudism, then an erection would just be an erection; people get those in real life in a lot of situations and it's sometimes obvious there, too, and it's not the existence of an erection that's the problem, it's when someone uses it to sexually harass someone. And similiarly, if people are continuously worried about getting erections, they worry about the sexuality that could ever come up for fear it will prompt one.

And with the idea that one needs to be really clear about the separation between nudism and sexuality when they're introduced, let me bring you another example. The anime convention scene can sometimes have a few reputations, one of which is that, since you have thousands of often socially isolated young adults and teenagers without outside supervision of judgement jammed into hotels with people whom they'll most easily connect with, sex is going to happen. A lot. But the vast majority of people at the convention aren't going to have casual sex, let alone go there for it. And if when inviting a friend to a convention I started immediately and emphatically talking about how no it's not sexual it's just hanging out except everyone's in costume, and they hadn't prompted anything along this line, how is that going to look?

Co-signed so hard.