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  • #16
    Let's not forget about works of fiction.
    Positive social nudity in fiction also enhances the lifestyle and oftentimes plants the seeds in many textiled minds.

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    • #17
      "Studies in the Psychology of Sex Vol. VI: Sex in Relation to Society" by Havelock Ellis, 1921. Chapter 3: Sexual Education and Nakedness. pg. 95-117.
      This is quite a long scholarly work on sexuality (six volumes!) It is well footnoted with many references to other studies and books. The chapter on nakedness starts with the Greeks & Romans, moves on to the ascension of Christianity and its mistrust of "the flesh" and continues with discussion of air & sun baths which were being used for medicinal purposes. Again, it has many references to papers, articles, and books by others; an interesting source if just to look up all the other works it references.

      "To those who have been bred under bad conditions, it may indeed seem
      hopeless to attempt to rise to the level of the Greeks and the other finer
      tempered peoples of antiquity in realizing the moral, as well as the
      pedagogic, hygienic, and æsthetic advantages of admitting into life
      the spectacle of the naked human body. But unless we do we hopelessly
      fetter ourselves in our march along the road of civilization, we deprive
      ourselves at once of a source of moral strength and of joyous inspiration.
      Just as Wesley once asked why the devil should have all the best tunes, so
      to-day men are beginning to ask why the human body, the most divine melody
      at its finest moments that creation has yielded, should be allowed to
      become the perquisite of those who lust for the obscene. And some are,
      further, convinced that by enlisting it on the side of purity and strength
      they are raising the most powerful of all bulwarks against the invasion of
      a vicious conception of life and the consequent degradation of sex. These
      are considerations which we cannot longer afford to neglect, however great
      the opposition they arouse among the unthinking."

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      • #18
        Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist's Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World

        People have been getting naked in public for reasons other than sex for centuries. But as novelist and narrative journalist Mark Haskell Smith shows in Naked at Lunch, being a nudist is more complicated than simply dropping trou. ”Nonsexual social nudism,” as it’s called, rose to prominence in the late nineteenth century. Intellectuals, outcasts, and health nuts from Victorian England and colonial India to Belle Époque France and Gilded Age Manhattan disrobed and wrote manifestos about the joys of going clothing-free. From stories of ancient Greek athletes slathered in olive oil to the millions of Germans who fled the cities for a naked frolic during the Weimar Republic to American soldiers given “naturist” magazines by the Pentagon in the interest of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, Haskell Smith uncovers nudism’s amusing and provocative past.

        Based on the reviews at Good Reads, this looks like a book worth reading and recommending.
        Last edited by jasenj; 06-03-2015, 09:02 AM.

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        • #19
          I bought & read "Naked at Lunch". Short version: I suggest you do too. Long version: Keep reading.

          "Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist's Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World"

          This book was released at the beginning of June 2015. I highly recommend it. In fact, I recommend that every nudist have a copy.

          The author, Mark Haskell Smith, has written several books exploring "fringe" cultures; most of them are fictional novels, his other nonfiction book covers cannabis botanists. He writes of himself in "Naked at Lunch": "I'm especially fascinated by subcultures that are deemed morally suspect or quasi-legal: the people who pursue their passion even if it means possible imprisonment or stigmatization by society." Nudism certainly qualifies.

          In writing the book, Mr. Smith takes an "embedded journalist" approach. He visits nude beaches and nudist resorts, hikes with a group of nudists, and culminates his research with a nude cruise. He also interviews several prominent nudists including Mark Storey of TNS and Richard Foley of Naktiv. The book is written as a mix of travelogue, interviews, and essays. In my opinion, he does a thorough job explaining nudism's roots in the 19th century, its rise in Germany and other parts of Europe, and its eventual migration to the USA. As a person who likes to think I've studied these things a bit, I feel he did a really good job investigating nudism's origins; there are a few gaps and some things I'd have liked to see more coverage of, but on the whole he gets it right.

          He does not present a candy-coated idyllic picture of nudism. He discusses its link with eugenics in Germany, Cap d'Agde's swinger culture, some of the internal schisms, and other not so nice and pure aspects of nudism. But he quickly "gets it". Throughout the book he is sympathetic and empathetic with nudists. He quickly realizes that running around without clothes on feels pretty good, and expresses criticism of the USA's gymnophobia. He is not particularly critical of sexuality mixed with nudity, e.g. swingers, but he does recognize the difference between nonsexual social nudism (he carefully uses the term "nonsexual social nudism" repeatedly in the book) and sexual libertines.

          This is a great book for any nudist to read to get a feel for the history of nudism, to know that this nudism thing is a movement with a past and weight. The travelogue sections let you vicariously experience some pleasant (and not so pleasant) trips to well-known nudist places.

          I also think this would be a great book to have on hand to give to any non-nudist friend or relative to whom you want to explain nudism. The author starts out as not a nudist, and claims to still not be one at the end even though he spent a lot of time acting like one. Several places in the book he asks the questions, "Why would anyone want to do this? Isn't it just a cover for public sex? Why do people get so offended by nudity?" All the classic questions. You could mark a chapter or two and say, "Here, read this."

          On the critical side, I will say it is not the most exciting read. There is little suspense, high emotion, plot twists or other things that make for a compelling read. In some places it seems the author mentions something he did just so he could claim it was "research" for the book. There are a few places where he seems to over state a point just to up the page count.

          It is great to see a mainstream book on nudism that is so positive and sympathetic. It appears to be marketed as a fun, edgy, summer read.

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          • #20
            I just finished reading Naked at Lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it.
            I would have encouraged the author to include a few additional chapters about other current naturist leaders/thinkers such as Jim C Cunningham (Vermont) and Fred Harding (Great Britain).

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            • #21
              Originally posted by jasenj View Post
              Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist's Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World

              People have been getting naked in public for reasons other than sex for centuries. But as novelist and narrative journalist Mark Haskell Smith shows in Naked at Lunch, being a nudist is more complicated than simply dropping trou. ”Nonsexual social nudism,” as it’s called, rose to prominence in the late nineteenth century. Intellectuals, outcasts, and health nuts from Victorian England and colonial India to Belle Époque France and Gilded Age Manhattan disrobed and wrote manifestos about the joys of going clothing-free. From stories of ancient Greek athletes slathered in olive oil to the millions of Germans who fled the cities for a naked frolic during the Weimar Republic to American soldiers given “naturist” magazines by the Pentagon in the interest of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, Haskell Smith uncovers nudism’s amusing and provocative past.

              Based on the reviews at Good Reads, this looks like a book worth reading and recommending.
              Have now read it and a very good read indeed. Mark covers the broad subject very well in a light and very readable way.

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              • #22
                'The Cool Cottontail" - by John C. Ball (1966)

                Most of you have seen the movie, and the TV show, "In the Heat of the Night". The movie starred Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier - two of the greatest actors of the 20th century - a great, tension filled "who dun it", almost in a Perry Mason fashion.

                Ball wrote a series of Virgil Tibbs detective novels after "Heat" - the Cool Cottontail involves a murder at a nudist park.

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                • #23
                  I read and did enjoy The Cool Cottontail. It presents a slice of life from the 60's very realistically.

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