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Offline Danee

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De-sexualizing Nudity
« on: September 30, 2016, 08:14:11 pm »


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, and one person commented that breasts are for your partner, and to show them in public is disrespectful to women whose boyfriends or husbands will see your breasts. To this person, breasts are primarily for sexual turn-on. It is impossible to use them for their primary biological function, feeding babies, without sexual turn-on getting mixed in, as long as this person is in the room and a cover-up isn’t being used.

Just as breasts have a function of breast-feeding, my body functions to swim, to dance, to walk, to garden, to take me through life. Some of those activities are enhanced by being topless, or totally nude. I really appreciate being in a culture where I can dress or undress to optimize my own experience without sexual turn-on getting mixed in. In some cultures, wearing a tank top is a sign of sexual availability, so women can’t wear tank tops without being looked at or harassed in a certain way. Those cultures’ decision to sexualize shoulders and armpits affects women’s ability to be cool and comfortable in hot weather. In mainstream U.S., breasts are sexualized, which affects women’s abilities to breastfeed or garden topless. When sexual turn-on gets mixed in with nudity, so does turn-off — people who are deemed sexually unattractive are shamed for showing their bodies, as if society’s desire not to see my unclothed 90-year-old body is more important than my ability to swim naked in the ocean.

Sexualization of nudity seems to go hand in hand with modesty. Once something becomes taboo, a charge develops around it. I’ve read plenty of Elizabethan novels where men go ga-ga over the glimpse of an ankle. Modesty in clothing is supposedly designed to prevent people from being overwhelmed by their sexual urges, yet it seems to have the opposite effect of stoking those urges to the point where an ankle or a shoulder can send one into fits of passion. If we go the opposite direction, as they do at Burning Man, and allow people to dress or undress as they like according to their comfort, nudity quickly becomes de-sexualized, and titillation comes far more from artful concealment rather than from how much skin one is showing.
There are probably some people out there who don’t want nudity de-sexualized, because there is a certain power that comes with modesty. To be able to seduce with an ankle is heady stuff. I submit, however, that overall the price isn’t worth it. In addition to the power of seduction that comes with modesty also comes the potential for body shame. Seeing lots of naked bodies at the beach or at Burning Man has taught me we come in all shapes and sizes and ages, and helps me accept myself better than if most of the bodies I saw were in movies or magazines.
At the end of the day, I believe my body is primarily for myself, and only secondarily for others. Modesty taboos suppose that society also has a stake in my body, a right to dictate what I can and can’t wear, and that in some cases society’s right to interact with my body in a certain way takes precedence over my right to interact with myself in a certain way. I disagree with this notion when it comes to how I dress. I make concessions to the prevailing culture — I wouldn’t wear a bikini in downtown Nairobi, and I wear a shirt in most places in the U.S. — and yet I appreciate and seek out cultures in which a naked body is seen as natural and normal, because that is the culture I believe is the healthiest and most enjoyable to be in.
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Offline stiloff

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Re: De-sexualizing Nudity
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2016, 07:34:23 am »
Awesome!! I'm glad she also got to experience her first nude outing in Hawaii. Couldn't ask for more!
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steve tanner

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Re: De-sexualizing Nudity
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2016, 04:20:26 am »
Being naked is so awesome! :) of course there's a place for sex, too! That's just as natural! Just more private