Re: The need for designated places?
while the risk of arrest or of being labelled for life as a "sex offender" (or both) is real, i think in practice it is very, very slight. one reads all the time of people caught either skinnydipping or streaking, and quite often the charges against them (if any) are dropped. the courts here seem to be pretty reasonable in distinguishing between behavior that is nonsexual versus predatory sexual behavior. likewise, folks in law enforcement seem to be fairly reasonable. i remember having a discussion with a guy who works as a ranger at oak mountain state park south of birmingham. (now remember, this is alabama ... baptist country) and he told me that the policy there was to issue a warning if they found people hiking or swimming nude. the only way someone there might be arrested is if they refused to comply with the ranger's warning.
as to when the cultural shift began, my own sense is after the 1980s. i remember skinnydipping in my early 20s (c. 1983) at night with a group of friends from my high school (male and female) off "the point" in chicago (lake michigan). now, at the high school and grade school i had attended there, showering together after gym class was the norm, so the boys were used to seeing other boys naked, and likewise the girls. (the showers and lockerrooms were obviously not co-ed.) what was unusual about this episode was that the guys and gals were comfortable being seen naked by the opposite sex. (well, most of us: there was one guy in the group who did not participate....) it wasn't a huge deal. today it might still not be a huge deal, but because kids that age today have been bombarded with lust-enducing images for most of their lives, they are naturally more shy about exposing their bodies; they understand, intuitively, that by exposing their bodies, they open themselves up to be used sexually (if only as mental fodder for another's lustful fantasies.) and no one wants to be used.
seems like common sense to me. but then, common sense has become somewhat uncommon of late, sad to say. i think it is up to us as naturists and would-be naturists to set the right example. so for example, when at the gym, we should insist on the normalcy and naturalness of showering naked. i mean, duh!!! there are certain things that were meant to be done naked. c'mon people!!!! it frosts me when i see guys at the gym (especially guys above the age of 30) wearing their swim trunks or boxers in the shower room. but i understand (i think) where the paranoia is coming from.
all this points to the need for places designated for social nudity, whether beaches, swimming holes, nature trails. my concern is that if grown men are afraid (for whatever reason) to avail themselves of the opportunity to be naked in a place as "safe" and traditionally nude-friendly as the lockerroom at the gym, it may be very difficult indeed to secure legal recognition of places set aside for naturist activities. nevertheless, i believe such recognition should be sought.
Last edited by nuovonudo; 08-21-2012 at 04:54 AM.
May God bless our original nakedness! (cf. Gen. 1:21 & 2:25)