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Subject: [rec.nude] REC.NUDE FAQS Part 2 of 5

This article was archived around: 19 Jan 2011 05:26:28 GMT

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Archive-name: nude-faq/part2 Posting-Frequency: monthly Version: 1-Jan-08 Copyright: (c) 1998-2008 Dennis Kirkpatrick Maintainer: D. Kirkpatrick <recnudefaq@sunclad.com>
REC.NUDE FAQ Part 2 of 5: The Newsgroup Itself - REV: 1-Jan-08 Maintainer - Dennis Kirkpatrick - recnudefaq@sunclad.com ========================================================== ** Rec.Nude is NOT Google Groups. Google Groups is an interface that can access Usenet Newsgroups (of which rec.nude is a part) as well as Google's own private groups. If you are reading this file from Google Groups, please take a moment to educate yourself. See this FAQ Part 1, Section 1. This part of the rec.nude FAQ introduces the concept of naturism and answers many questions about naturism. ______________________________________________________________________ Table of Contents: 1. But first, a semantic note 2. What is naturism? 2.1. Clothing optionality 2.2. Body acceptance 2.3. Separation of nudity and sex 2.4. Concern for the environment 2.5. Activism 3. Arguments for nudity 3.1. Comfort 3.2. Health 3.3. The equalizing aspect 3.4. Cleanliness 3.5. Convenience 3.6. It's fun! 4. Rebuttals To Arguments Against Nudity 4.1. Shame 4.2. Embarrassment 4.3. Gender-specific embarrassment 4.4. Feelings of inadequacy 4.5. Vulnerability 4.6. Fear of sexual consequences 4.7. Fear of gawkers 4.8. Religious teachings 4.9. Fear of legal consequences 4.10. Concern about sunburn and skin cancer 4.11. Cleanliness 4.12. Safety and comfort 4.13. Offending others 5. Nudity And The Law 5.1. Choose remote areas 5.2. Carry & post signs 5.3. Know the law 5.4. Support local & national groups 5.5. Vote 6. Nudity And The Sun 7. Endmatter 7.1. Revision History ______________________________________________________________________ 1. But first, a semantic note There are two terms that are commonly used to describe the way of life rec.nude deals with: "nudism" and "naturism". Some people prefer one or the other, some use either term, and some use neither. (This will be discussed later in the FAQ.) Feel free to substitute your own terminology in your mind as you read. 2. What is naturism? There are probably as many answers to this question as there are naturists. One common definition is the one suggested by the International Naturist Federation in 1974: "Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature characterized by the practice of communal nudity, with the intention of encouraging self- respect, respect for others and for the environment." (It should be pointed out that naturism does not necessarily have to be enjoyed in a "communal" fashion. Many naturists enjoy being nude by themselves, or just with their SO's, or in numbers that aren't really "communal". Of course, there is nothing at all wrong with this.) The main tenets of naturism are: 2.1. Clothing optionality Naturists believe that, while clothing does have some practical uses (such as for warmth or protection), many activities are better performed nude. In many cases nudity is more comfortable, healthy, or fun than wearing clothes. Naturists do not intend to force everyone to go nude; rather, they advocate the optionality of clothing when and where appropriate. 2.2. Body acceptance Too much emphasis is put on the perfect body by clothing-obsessed society. Naturists know that almost no one has a perfect body, and that beauty can be found in bodies of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Nudity is the means to the goal of body acceptance; when nude, the full beauty of the human body is exposed, creating pride in what you've got and reducing the desire for what you've not. 2.3. Separation of nudity and sex For hundreds of years, people have assumed a connection between nudity and sex - after all, the only time many people are nude, other than while bathing, is during sex. Naturists reject this assumption. Nudity does not automatically lead to sex - and, incidentally, you can have sex with your clothes on. The two are quite simply not related. 2.4. Concern for the environment Nudity is a natural state. Naturists often choose to go nude in the remote, undeveloped areas of our planet. The feeling of standing nude atop a mountain peak cannot be duplicated! But in order to preserve this opportunity for future naturists, we must take care of our planet. Too much damage has already been done; we might not be able to repair it, but we can avoid further damage. 2.5. Activism Naturism is not the majority opinion - not yet, anyway - so naturists must, out of necessity, be advocates for the practice of naturism. Naturists have lobbied for the designation of clothing-optional areas on public lands, the repeal of laws that ban simple, non-sexual nudity, and many other related causes. Recent years have seen a rise in activism and a decline in the closeted anonymity that typified naturism in the past. (It should be noted that there are naturists who prefer not to get involved in the politics of naturism, and some who support some of the politics but not others. As with non-naturist politics, there is a spectrum of opinions, and it's impossible to categorize all naturists with one brush stroke.) 3. Arguments for nudity Why did naturists decide that nudity is worth speaking up for? There are several appealing things about it: 3.1. Comfort Anyone who's spent any amount of time in ill-fitting, uncomfortable clothing knows how good it feels when it's not being worn. Clothing is, by nature, something foreign to the body, and its presence is always known to the wearer. When you're not constantly being reminded that you're dressed, it's easier to think about other things! There is a tremendous feeling of freedom when nude. Once you have been swimming nude, you'll never understand why anyone would ever want to wear clothes in the water. 3.2. Health Medical research has shown that clothing can be unhealthy in certain situations. For example, evidence supports a hypothesis that wet, clingy swimsuits can constrict the flow of bodily fluids. Eliminate the swimsuit, and you've eliminated that problem! Anecdotal evidence suggests that disease-carrying insects like to hide under clothing - another potential advantage for the naturist. 3.3. The equalizing aspect Thoreau wrote: "It is an interesting question how far men would retain their respective rank if they were divested of their clothes." All other things held equal, when nude, a king appears no different than a peasant, a doctor no different than a steelworker, a wealthy CEO no different than his lowest-paid employee. Thus, these classifications disappear and the playing field is leveled. 3.4. Cleanliness Dirt, sand, and salt accumulate in clothing. It is a lot easier to stain clothing than skin. It is a lot easier to rinse skin than to wash clothing. 3.5. Convenience Society says you must have clothing at all time when in public. Even the simplest tasks, such as stepping out your front door to pick up the newspaper, require you to get dressed. A naturist's outfit is always easily available. Sleep nude, and you are already "dressed" when you awake. 3.6. It's fun! This is the best reason for going nude, and requires no further explanation. 4. Rebuttals To Arguments Against Nudity Here are some rebuttals to common excuses for keeping the body covered: 4.1. Shame Centuries of oppressive thought have convinced many people that the body is a shameful, worthless object that should be hidden. Nonsense! The human body is one of the most elegant, masterful and valuable things on earth. There are few things in existence which compare to it on an artistic, technical, or philosophical level. Celebrate the human body! It's one of only a handful of truly unique creations. 4.2. Embarrassment Some people are afraid of running into someone they know while nude, or - worse - being seen by someone they know (or someone they don't) while nude. Remember that you will be around many other people who will also be nude. You may be momentarily embarrassed at first - this is normal - but as you spend more time nude, you will realize that if everyone is nude, no one has cause for nudity-related embarrassment. As for the possibility that you'll run into someone you know - well, if you like them, you've got something new in common to talk about? Besides, what is there to be embarrassed about? They are there, too, for the same reasons as you. 4.3. Gender-specific embarrassment Naturists know that both erections and menstruation are normal, so don't be afraid that your body's natural occurrences will offend other naturists. An erection is embarrassing, but rare, and easy to hide - just grab a towel, roll over, or jump in the water. Most naturists won't even comment about it. (Don't fear the erection your first time - most men will tell you they were too nervous for it to even be possible!) Women may feel uncomfortable being nude during menstruation. No one will be offended if women choose to wear shorts, tampons, etc. during these times. 4.4. Feelings of inadequacy Many people refuse to go nude because they feel that their height, weight, build, features, etc. are unacceptable. There is no need to feel that you must conform to a standard of beauty or acceptability, especially one you had no part in creating! Naturists come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, and beliefs. Naturists have even undergone surgeries, mastectomies, etc., and have the scars to prove it (many have said that naturism helped them further accept these scars.) In naturism, there is no ideal of the perfect body other than yourself. If you can accept yourself for what you are, you will have no problem overcoming your perceived imperfections. 4.5. Vulnerability By stripping away clothing, you strip away the armor that protects you from an unkind world. Some people fear this. Naturists believe vulnerability is a good thing. Think about this: in a naturist setting, everybody is vulnerable. The shared vulnerability creates respect and caring for your fellow naturists. Besides, most of your vulnerability probably comes from the awareness that you are nude - an awareness that becomes less important to you as you spend more time nude. 4.6. Fear of sexual consequences Many people are afraid that if they go nude, they invite unwanted attention, possibly even rape. Naturists decry sexual harassment and sexual assault, and are committed to creating an environment where women and men may both feel safe and non-threatened. Don't let this fear prevent you from trying naturism - harassment and assault are very rare, and are not tolerated by naturists. (And, by the way, naturists enjoy healthy sexual lives like most everyone else - but they enjoy them in private, like most everybody else.) 4.7. Fear of gawkers By "gawkers" we mean the people who hang around naturist areas solely for the thrill of seeing naked people. Gawkers are not a problem in most areas, but you may encounter them from time to time. Don't let them make you feel uncomfortable. Instead, you should make them feel uncomfortable and out of place. Either they'll leave, or come around to our way of thinking. 4.8. Religious teachings Some world religions are firm in a belief that the human body was created, and should forever be regarded, as a sinful object. It is worth remembering that all men and women are born nude. (A popular nudist slogan, meant only partially in jest, is "If we were meant to be nude, we would have been born that way.") In the Christian tradition, Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden only after they clothed themselves, in rebellion against God. And some people believe that the display of the nude body is a glorification of its Creator. Rejection of the body is the work of man, not of God. 4.9. Fear of legal consequences See "Nudity And The Law" below. 4.10. Concern about sunburn and skin cancer See "Nudity And The Sun" below. 4.11. Cleanliness Some will ask "What about bodily excretions that I am used to having caught by my underwear?" Naturists are mindful of this, and it is common naturist practice (and a rule at many naturist facilities) to carry a towel to sit on. 4.12. Safety and comfort Naturists do not claim that nudity is always appropriate. Clothing does have its practical uses. Clothing is a good idea in cold weather. Clothing is a good idea when frying bacon. No naturist will disagree. That doesn't mean that clothes should be required all the time. We should all be allowed to use common sense to decide when we should be clothed and when we should not. 4.13. Offending others Doesn't nudity offend some people? Well, yes. Walking nude down Main Street will offend others. It may also do harm to the naturism movement. But going to a private naturist resort or traditionally nude area should not offend others. If somebody passes a sign that says "nudity permitted ahead", it is their fault if they take offense. This is why naturists continue to press for management rather than banishment; naturists would get the same treatment as other taxpayers, and complainers need no longer complain. The arguments for nudity outweigh the arguments against. The opinions against may be more popular, but ours are more sensible. If you are hesitant to try naturism, try to decide why you feel this way, then find out if your hesitance is justified. More often than not, you'll find that it's not. Naturism's advantages are much greater than any perceived disadvantage. Give it a shot! 5. Nudity And The Law Nudity in private clubs, homes, and the like is legal in most areas. You generally need not concern yourself with the law if your nudity is confined to a private place. Laws prohibiting private nudity are uncommon and generally unenforceable. (Note, though, that there could be problems in private places that are easily viewable from public places, such as through an open window of your home. If the offended person has to go to some trouble to be offended, it is more likely that they could be in trouble for being "peeping Toms".) Public nudity is a different story. Depending on your locality, simple public nudity may or may not be legal. There are some jurisdictions which explicitly prohibit simple, non-sexual nudity, and some which do not prohibit public nudity, but in many areas public nudity is prosecuted under the codes for indecent exposure. Cases in various jurisdictions have begun to establish a precedent that simple public nudity, absent any malicious or sexual intent, cannot be construed as indecent. However, we are far from achieving the goal of total decriminalization of public nudity. Check with authorities and be careful. There is no prohibition against simple nudity on federal lands. However, depending on where you are, the federal authorities may enforce any local or state prohibitions. This is called "concurrent jurisdiction." See a composite by the Naturist Action Committee at <http://www.naturistaction.org> Some federal lands may also engage in specific operational regulations that restrict nudity. One should educate oneself to risk before venturing nude in untested areas. It is usually a good idea to consult local naturist orgznizations for such information. In many areas, the tide is turning in our favor. Government is realizing that there are more important things to worry about than harmless nudity. And as naturism grows worldwide, people are realizing that naturism is good business, too. However, many governments choose to ignore the current progressive trend and keep their heads buried in the sand. Naturists should not live in fear of the law; they should know the law and make it work for them. Naturists are being cited for simple nudity under ordinances that, in many cases, do not ban public nudity unless lewdness or malice is present. This must change. Believe it or not, the law is often on our side; it takes an informed naturist to know when it is. Here are some things you can do to avoid arrest: 5.1. Choose remote areas The further you get from civilization, the less likely it is that you will run into easily offended people. Even if you do run into somebody who claims they are offended and will complain, bear in mind that in most cases, complaints must be made in writing. Most people will not go to the trouble to make a written complaint, and most authorities won't act without one. Nonetheless, if there is a complaint, and you are far enough from civilization, you can be out of the area before the authorities arrive. 5.2. Carry & post signs This may increase your chances of being left alone by the easily offended. If people are informed that nude persons may lie ahead, a defense can be made that they were warned and chose to be offended, thus theoretically invalidating their legal basis for objection. A commonly-used sign, which has been used successfully for this purpose in many places, reads "Attention: Beyond this point you may encounter nude sunbathers." 5.3. Know the law Go to the library, or talk to an attorney. Find out what is prohibited and what is not in your area. You may be surprised! Laws in many areas do not appear to prohibit simple nudity in public, and court decisions have upheld this opinion in some cases. In most areas, law enforcement officials know when they can and cannot arrest you, but in some areas the officials are ignorant. An informed citizen is the mortal enemy of improper law enforcement, so know your rights. A composite of state laws regarding nudity can be found atthe web site for the Naturist Action Committee at <http://www.naturistaction.org> 5.4. Support local & national groups Naturist groups have made significant inroads recently towards the elimination of improper laws. Nude areas at New Jersey's Sandy Hook and Miami's Haulover Beach have been authorized thanks to the efforts of local naturist groups. National organizations such as the Naturist Action Committee <http://www.naturistaction.org> are constantly working to make the legal world friendlier to naturists. These groups deserve whatever time, money, and support you can give. 5.5. Vote Vote for mayors, supervisors, sheriffs, etc. that support naturism. Vote for people who will stand up against pressure from zealots to ban activities not normally considered illegal. The state should not be our adversary - the state should be on our side! Send a message to government that you expect both support for naturism, and an unyielding stance against anti-nudity extremists. Remember, the government is in your service - not the other way around. 6. Nudity And The Sun Naturism has often been associated with the all-over tan. (The word "sunbathing" has been used as a euphemism for years.) However, research has shown that the sun can be harmful when taken in excess, and that things aren't going to change for the better. Skin cancer, in particular, is a major concern for active naturists. This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with nudity - nudity exposes only slightly more skin than a swimsuit - but it has everything to do with the long hours in the sun favored by some naturists. This is not to say that you shouldn't sunbathe. Sunbathing is not deadly if done in moderation. Use a sunscreen. Avoid sunbathing during the middle of the day when the sun's rays are the most intense. Limit your time in the sun to avoid burning. Above all, be sensible. Know what you're doing and what the possible consequences are. Nude activity doesn't have to depend on the sun. For example, you could hike nude through a shady forest, or enjoy a nude jog in a warm spring shower. Indoor naturism is popular as well. And skinny-dipping by moonlight is a time-honored tradition. So, naturism can be enjoyed in and out of the sun. The best strategy is to do each when appropriate, and don't overdo your sun exposure. 7. Endmatter Copyright 1998-2008 - Dennis Kirkpatrick All rights reserved. <recnudefaq@sunclad.com> Contributions to this FAQ have been added by numerous persons since the rec.nude newsgroup was founded. This includes the various FAQ maintainers and newsgroups users as well. This body stands as a compilation of these efforts over time and serves as both newsgroup charter and FAQ. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this document, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. This document may be reproduced and distributed in any medium, physical or electronic, so long as the entire document, including this copyright notice and the modification date below, remains intact and unchanged on all copies. Commercial redistribution is permitted, but you may not redistribute it, in whole or in part, under terms more restrictive than those under which you received it. If you have questions regarding reproduction and/or distribution of this document, please contact Dennis Kirkpatrick at: recnudefaq@sunclad.com The latest version of the FAQ is always available at the following location(s): NEWSGROUPS: ---------- rec.nude - posted on or near the first of each month or within the first 7 days (+/-) of the month. rec.answers - same as above. news.answers - same as above. Your news reader program can be back-dated if you miss these postings. FTP: --- ftp://rtfm.mit.edu//pub/faqs/nude-faq/ ftp://rtfm.mit.edu//pub/faqs/nude-faq/part1 ftp://rtfm.mit.edu//pub/faqs/nude-faq/part2 ftp://rtfm.mit.edu//pub/faqs/nude-faq/part3 ftp://rtfm.mit.edu//pub/faqs/nude-faq/part4 ftp://rtfm.mit.edu//pub/faqs/nude-faq/part5 Using an FTP or "Anarchie" type program you can access the FAQ from this public archive. WEB: --- http://www.sunclad.com/nfaqs *(www.faqs.org is no longer a reliable reporitory for Newsgroup FAQ files. The site appears to be abandoned and has not updated in several years.) 7.1. Revision History This document will carry a revision history by date. Any time a change is made to any of the five sections of this FAQ the revision date will change on each section to reflect the revision date of the FAQ as a whole. The revision dates will be carried in last to first order with the most recent change at the top of the document. This will allow readers to know when the FAQ was last updated. Revision 1-Jan-08 -Updated various segments to current standards. Revision 31-Mar-07 -Updated various sections to current requirements. Removed www.faqs.org as safe repository for FAQ. Revision 10-Oct-05 -Updated various sections to current requirements. Revision 16-Aug-03 -Updated link to Prodigy Message Board & other updates Revision 1-Jul-02 -Issued various corrections & updates as noted within. Revision 1-Nov-01 -Various updates to links and addresses. Revision 5-Mar-00 -Updated various web links to current requirements. Revision 1-Sep-99 -Updated listings for AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy, and other reference material as necessary and submitted by newsgroup users. Parts 1, 4 and 5 effected. Revision 1-Aug-98 -Updated Posting Locations of FAQ and various URL updates. Revision 1-Jul-98 -Added FTP locations for FAQ. Revision 31-May 98 -Added HTML locations for FAQ and other link updates. Revision 15-May-98 -Changed information for the Nude Travel section on the AOL system in Part 5 of the FAQ. Revision 21-Mar-98 -Corrected URL for Fed de Quebecoise de Naturisme Revision 1-Mar-98 -Adjusted 4 part FAQ into 5 to conform with limits of web browser sizing. Revision 1-Feb-98 - Carried over from previous FAQ maintainer and updated FAQ maintainer contact info and some access info regarding the AOL Naturist/Nudist posting areas. Revisions Prior to January 1998 not documented. Please do not e-mail the FAQ maintainer with questions that may otherwise be answered in the newsgroup FAQ or the associated Beaches FAQ. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= D. M. Kirkpatrick FAQ & Charter Maintainer - Newsgroup: REC.NUDE recnudefaq@sunclad.com =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=