Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Nudity

I've never had any problem with personal nudity. I've never been so embarrassed by my body that I'm desperate to conceal it.

It's not a particularly attractive body, just a common-or-garden male body with the usual bits and pieces. But when occasion has demanded, I've been quite willing to strip off and reveal all.

When I first joined the Boy Scouts, the other boys wanted to have a good look at me naked so I obliged. They were apparently satisfied enough with my accessories not to break into wild guffaws.

At boarding school the boys used to swim nude every morning and I always joined them without a qualm. Likewise after games I would happily undress to take a shower the same as the others. And no, despite all the stereotypes, there was no homosexuality whatever (I can't recall whether I was relieved or disappointed by that discovery).

I was never bothered about exposing my run-of-the-mill body to women. After all, how many women have a perfect body themselves? I always assumed that what we did was more important than whether I had the ideal physique.

Nor am I phased by nudists. What's the big deal about groups of people going naked? As long as it's discreet and within sensible limits, I don't see the problem. Though I've never been tempted to join in. The only two nudist beaches I've ever stumbled on, in Sydney and Vancouver, were both for gays, so I thought it advisable to keep my clothes on.

But really, why are people so hung-up about nudity? It's just the human body after all, just the packaging for what we are. Why be ashamed of it?

(Thinks: Perhaps I could interest a few other oldies in a male version of Calendar Girls??)

19 comments:

Hullaballoo said...

Nick, the thought of nudity on a nasty December day like today really lifted my spirits.

I have never been to a nudist beach. As far as I know there aren't any in Scotland.

A male version of Calendar Girls? Bring it on, I am sure there will be a market for it.

Nick said...

No, I must say I've never heard of a nudist beach in Scotland. Perhaps the Scots are all too shy?? I'd better not ask them to contribute to Calendar Boys....

Conortje said...

They're big into their nudist beaches here - I've even ventured along once or twice, throwing caution to the wind - I was always a little worried about getting certain parts sun burnt though so I think that took form the experience :-)

Nick said...

No shyness there then! Hadn't thought about the sunburn risk. I suppose nudists must be at greater risk of skin cancer than the fully clothed, though I've never seen any research that confirms that.

Hullaballoo said...

Oh Nick, Scots aren't that shy, there are just multiple Council By-Laws against lewd and libidinous conduct on beaches lol.

And I can think of a few hopeful contributors to Calendar Boys; Sean Connery, Gordon Brown and Billy Connolly to name but a few.

Any ideas of who you would choose as your co-conspiritors in the project?

With the right poses and some dignified props you and your Boys will look stunning. Looking back at your posts, I am guessing that the whole flying helmit paraphernalia might well be one of your guises.

Nick said...

Hmmm, not my choices. Especially Gordon Brown now he’s planning to push the jail population up to 100,000 – is he mad? How about Bill Nighy, John Hannah and Ian McKellen? Sultry or what? Yes, the flying helmets would be good. Or maybe a nurse’s uniform he he.

Conortje said...

Nick I am also reminded of a notice I saw here at a park entrance (!) which said in big black letters 'NO NAKED RECREATION' The mind boggles :-)

Nick said...

Well that’s just an invitation isn’t it? Like saying, whatever you do, don’t think of elephants. So it’s okay to have naked business meetings then, just as long as it’s not recreation….

Medbh said...

Too many people are gross enough fully clothed, Nick. I don't need to see it all. Ick.
Christianity has been saying that women's bodies are sinful for ages. Nudity leads to pleasure and they don't like that.

Nick said...

Well, hopefully no need for you to see it Medbh, except on those men and women who insist on wearing as little as possible, especially what in the UK is known as builder's bum - sagging jeans with yards of buttock cleavage spilling out of the waistband. And yes, Christians everywhere have a duty to stop all that joyous stripping off. A good whipping, that's what these licentious sinners deserve....

red said...

At the right time, in the right place and on the right person I can't say I have anything against a little nudity.

Nick said...

Fair enough. Tasteful, affectionate nudity is fine, gratuitous show-off nudity I can do without. Whatever happened to streakers, I wonder? They were amusing - and subversive.

TextualHealing said...

I don't know about nudie beaches in Scotland - but your blog does dreaw out an (after bar) confession- that I did once go nude munroe bagging- only when on the tops though. It was nice day on the hills- there was no one about- so why not take my clothes off and enjoy the (gentle) wind whistling everywhere? 'Cos I did keep a large scarf handy in case I stumbled across a group of guides / scouts /presbytarian ramblers. But it was a nice day and no untoward sunburn that I can recall

Nick said...

A wonderful confession! Yes, I've sometimes been tempted to do the same on top of one of the Mourne Mountains - a gentle breeze on bare flesh is very refreshing. But there are too many walkers on the Mournes to risk it.

Note for non-Scottish readers: the Munroes are the 280 Scottish peaks over 3000 feet. They're named after Sir Hector Munro, who tragically died when he had climbed all of them except one.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

In San Francisco, the nude beaches are for gay men, but growing up in New York, I often walked for miles along the shore at Fire Island, which had a nude area.

I would take off my bikini as I entered that beach and walk through it to the other side, where I put it on again. When in Rome...

There are so many mixed messages about nudity. On the one hand, there is the Puritanical shame in our bodies, but on the other, our bodies must be perfect in every detail, even if that means unnatural, or be ashamed.

Sometimes, I wonder if humans are evolved enough to have bodies.

Nick said...

Walking naked along the beach Roman-style - I love it! Yes, there is such a huge cultural deadweight of shame - in bodies themselves, bodies that aren't perfect enough, bodies that are too old. If only we could just accept our bodies for what they are, something natural and delightful.

rob said...

hi ther are nudist groups about edinburgh,loch lomand and ayr as far as i know .i haveexperienced the nude beach in france ,spain,tenerefe,and majorca all innocent and most refreshing ,my wife was with me and no nonsense as they say nin northern ireland
robert

Joanna Cake said...

I think it's great to be so unconcerned about the naked body. Sadly, in today's world where so many of us are convinced that we are abnormal because of the dripfeed of doctored images in the media, it is unusual to be so unselfconscious.

Nick said...

Rob - Only just noticed your comment, I wasn't getting my comment emails at that time. True, it should be just innocent and refreshing, but other people twist it into something peculiar.

Joanna - Unfortunately you're right, the drip-feed of perfect images and body-criticism is hard to resist.