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Is personal nudity becoming more shameful?

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  • Is personal nudity becoming more shameful?

    Yesterday I tood my family to the beach. Because some of my kids friends came along, we decided it best not to go to a c/o beach. Instead we went to Robert Moses State Park in Long Island, NY. There are separate rooms there for men or women to change and shower. While my own kids and myself had no problem showering nude, and some others as well, I was surprised to see how many grown men showered with their bathing suits on. I remember that when I was a child this certainly wasnt true. I wonder if nudity is becoming even more shameful today than it was in time past.

  • #2
    Yesterday I tood my family to the beach. Because some of my kids friends came along, we decided it best not to go to a c/o beach. Instead we went to Robert Moses State Park in Long Island, NY. There are separate rooms there for men or women to change and shower. While my own kids and myself had no problem showering nude, and some others as well, I was surprised to see how many grown men showered with their bathing suits on. I remember that when I was a child this certainly wasnt true. I wonder if nudity is becoming even more shameful today than it was in time past.

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    • #3
      Growing up, I avoided all situations being naked in front of other boys. I would always wait before the other boys were done showering before I would shower. Or, I would turn away when changing into a swimsuit. One day, myself, my best friend and my step brother spent a day at the "Y". They went skinny dipping in the whirlpool in the men's locker room while I went and did other things.

      I think my biggest hangup was that I am uncircumcised and seeing all the other boys without foreskins made me feel abnormal somehow. And I did not want to be ridiculed. Kids can be so rotton to other kids sometimes.

      Did anyone else have a similar experience?

      About 6-7 years ago, I visited my first nude beach. Now I am fully cured! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

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      • #4
        nude collar, what is the name of the nude beach you go to? my brother is in brooklyn.

        i think people are raised not used to nudity so they get freaky around others naked. my first experience at the ymca (about ten years ago, i was about 25) was with a good friend of mine. we went to play racquetball and than when we were done and after showering (we were naked together in a groupshower, which was no biggie though i had never seen him naked before)he went in the hot tub. since we always had good conversations, i joined him and it was no big deal. after that, other naked men came out of the steam room, and in the whirlpool or sauna. we took another good friend of ours there, and he was freaky abut getting naked. i don't think he did get naked at all as a matter of fact. oh well, his loss. about five years ago, they added partitions and curtains in the gang shower, how silly is that....

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        • #5
          It's weird -- our institutions (schools, kids groups, social agencies, religious groups) have gotten so uptight about nudity that they are poisoning the minds of the population.

          At the same time, there is a growing subgroup of the population who are opening up to nudism and body acceptance.

          Two segments of society moving in opposite directions.

          Sexual abuse continues, with possibly little change in frequency over many years. But because our institutions now focus so much attention on the possibility of abuse, when people experience something inappropriate they may end up being more traumatized than in the past.

          If people were more comfortable with their bodies and regarded their genitals as just normal body parts -- e.g. as nudists do, they might be better able to deal with inappropriate touching and the like without being traumatized for life. They would certainly be more able to report abuse rather than suffering in silence.

          Gary

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          • #6
            Here's my personal inventory of nude times (prior to becoming nudist):

            Taking a bath with my female cousins when we were kids.

            YMCA Day camp age 7 we changed into our bathing suits in the open air, as did our teenage couselor.

            Wearing "might as well be nude" speedos in mixed company for years. No one cared!

            Boy Scouts - Skinnydipping in the river, running around the campfire at night.

            Church camp age 11, nude in the shower and in the cabins as was our adult counselor.

            Church Youth retreat - Gang shower with all the other guys

            High School Gym class locker room and showers

            Playing nude game of tag in the woods with girlfriend.

            Skinnydipping with a female college classmate.

            Nude in the showers in college.

            All that was very ordinary nudity that everyone else I knew engaged in too. I was far from the most daring.

            This extreme body shame is sick! I can't believe how much worse it has gotten in 20 years. We need to do all we can to help as many people as possible escape this lunacy.

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            • #7
              I think the real issue is not shame on a moral level. I think that more people believe they need to have a "perfect body". In the past few years, the media has been effecting males as much as females. In the past few years fewer and fewer males in high school shower after gym class. They're feeling increased pressure to have flat abs and well defined pecs. And girls as young as 5 are beginning to diet. So many people feel they don't have the "right" to be nude infront of others. Of course thats one of the great things about nudism, the idea that what you look like really doesn't matter.

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              • #8
                quote:
                Originally posted by Steve Dallas:
                [qb] I think the real issue is not shame on a moral level. I think that more people believe they need to have a "perfect body". In the past few years, the media has been effecting males as much as females. In the past few years fewer and fewer males in high school shower after gym class. They're feeling increased pressure to have flat abs and well defined pecs. And girls as young as 5 are beginning to diet. So many people feel they don't have the "right" to be nude infront of others. Of course thats one of the great things about nudism, the idea that what you look like really doesn't matter. [/qb]
                Good point. The other day I was swimming in a textile friend's pool. There were about ten of us, male and female, mostly in our 20s. Nearly everyone except me was FULLY CLOTHED in the pool - shorts and t-shirts over their swimsuits. The factor that influenced this behavior the most, I think, is that most of them were overweight.

                On the one hand, the ideal body image keeps getting more extreme, while on the other, the population keeps getting more out of shape. Sounds like a recipe for low self-esteem. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

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                • #9
                  While I've gotten over my extreme shyness about being seen nude thanks to social nudism, society in general seems to be becoming more and more against nudity--their own and other people's. I have showered with a swimsuit on, when I used to own and actually wear one, but that was at a regular beach where a girl about 5-years-old had the police called on her because she changed her clothes on the beach.

                  I wasn't into social nudism then and was still shocked that anyone would call the cops on a little child!

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                  • #10
                    Something else, too: The populace as a whole is now more exposed to images of nudity or near-nudity. (I can just remember the days of the Hayes Code before movie ratings. THAT was repressive, although a lot of progressive filmmakers pushed the borders.) Because so many of these images are erotic, this tends to hardwire the idea in people's minds that nudity is sex. And since the more conservative faction (not just politically) reacts violently to aberrant sex, they also include nakedness in their "righteous" indignation.

                    You see? "Naked bodies equals sex; sex is bad; therefore naked bodies are bad." Two bad premises, hardwired from a young age, equals one disastrous recipe for shame. A lot of good people are damaged in the crossfire between libertines and prudes.

                    But I am greatly encouraged by the increasingly open and balanced discussion of nudism in the mass media. Maybe we can change the recipe yet, and by reducing or eliminating body shame encourage people to consider their really shameful actions and attitudes.

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                    • #11
                      I was interested to see lovebeingnude's comment about feeling abnormal because he wasn't circumcised. This could well start a debate on the basis that as we're born with foreskins, surely circumcision is 'abnormal', but that isn't my intenion.

                      What I found more interesting was the cultural difference this highlights. I've read that circumcision is the norm in the US (80% to 20%); here in Europe circumcision is only carried out for medical or religious reasons.

                      Anyone got any clues where the difference came from?

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                      • #12
                        I, too, like Poolside, have had experienced being nude around others in my younger days as well. We would skinny dip in the river, without any shame, it just felt good. Two years of junior high P.E., four years of high school P.E., three years of military and eight years national guard (open showers, open physicals, skinny dipping when time would let us), playing raquetball at the YMCA, then showering afterwards, shower after a good workout at the gym (if there were showers). All these times, being nude among others was no big deal, and at times, it was required (P.E., military). Why men now have to wear their swim trunks while taking a shower in the presence of others, is beyond me. I was not raised being a nudist, but it didn't bother me when I had to get clean, or for any other reason. Maybe, society is changing.

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                        • #13
                          Society is soo hung up on body image and appearance that being nude is removing all the clothes that people hide behind. I was terribly shy about being naked as a kid. Tall skinning and awkward. Now I'm over that and could care less what others think. It is kind of amusing to watch grown men try to hind themselves in the group locker room. As far as camps and kids activities, the molesters have ruined it for everyone. Possibly a victim of molestation as a child, can find comfort and peace being nude? Accepting themselves instead of being a victim.

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                          • #14
                            I could explain when, why and how circumcision was instituted, but I would have to mention God and the Bible since it was a religious command, but too many people here would get upset over that, so I won't.

                            Decades ago skinny dipping and nude showers with others of the same sex was all part of life, and it was taken for granted. There was no shame involved for most people. We showered after PE as early as grade school, and it continued through high school, and then in the military. In the military there was no such thing as privacy at any time. The showers were communal; the toilets had no doors, and there was nowhere to go to change your clothes in private. All this was taken for granted, or at least accepted as normal. Although I'm sure there were some who didn't like the lack of privacy, myself included, we had no choice in the matter, and we learned to go with the flow.

                            These days boys and men wear big, baggy shorts while swimming for fear that someone will see their "shape". If they shower at all, they do it with their shorts on. How on earth can someone wash something that's covered up with clothes? If males are too uncomfortable being nude around other males, they couldn't handle mixed company.

                            Because of TV and videos always portraying nudity as sexual, people in general look at nudity in just that way. Ads use sex to sell--a beautiful woman in a skimpy swimsuit. When I was young, and even now, I always looked at the woman, not at what they were selling.

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                            • #15
                              Circumcision or the lack of it is one more thing that can make self-conscious boys nervous with nudity.

                              Peter, the medical community in the US did routine circumcisions until recent years on the widely-held supposition that the smegma produced by the foreskin can decompose into a carcinogenic substance if the underside of the foreskin is not cleaned regularly. So newborn males were circumcised at birth as a routine medical procedure.

                              There is some anecdotal evidence that some doctors who disagreed with the perceived threat of cancer, performed the operation anyway so that the boy would not grow up to be ostracized for having a hooded penis. I remember one boy in my high school being taunted for having a foreskin.

                              I understand that there are far fewer circumcisions these days than a mere thirty years ago.

                              I don't believe that religion played any part in the prevalence of this medical procedure in recent history in America.

                              I am part of that circumcised generation. I regret that it was done. The procedure is a byproduct of the mentality that thought that science could improve on the body as God gave it.

                              I respect the right of an orthodox Jew to receive this covenant of initiation. It does diminish penis function somewhat, but it slanders the Orthodox if you insist on calling it mutilation. It is to them a small price to pay for cultural and spiritual identity.

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