Family Skinnydippers

Why Be Socially Nude?

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We are born naked. Everyone knows that.

But the moment we leave the womb, we are wrapped in a blanket, and our skin hardly ever sees the light of day again. For the next 70+ years of life, we wrap our skin in a cocoon of fabric.

Is this healthy for our bodies? Were our bodies designed to be forever clothed? If you believe in evolution, the answer has to be no. Of course evolution didn't create a body designed for clothing.

If you believe in the Judeo-Christian divine creation of the human body, the answer must still be no. Adam and Eve lived naked in the garden of Eden. That's what their bodies were designed to do.

Why have this magnificent organ of skin enveloping our entire bodies, every square inch of it covered with delicate sensory nerves and sophisticated temperature regulation pores, then wrap it up 24/7 in artificial coverings so it's all useless? Clothing can keep us warm in extreme conditions. But in other cases, it actually interferes with the body's natural temperature regulation processes. It's obvious that a hot day would be much easier to tolerate nude than clothed. But those with experience can also testify that the nude body is able to comfortably withstand cool temperatures much easier than most people think, because clothes aren't interfering with the body's attempt to regulate internal temperature.

Protection against cold, against the elements, against injury while performing risky activities--these are good reasons for covering the miraculous organ of skin with clothing. But how can it possibly be healthy to never let it "breathe"--at least for an hour or two every day?

Experts are now starting to tell us that children are not getting enough sun. Between the hysteria of always remaining clothed and the latest fear craze of developing skin cancer, children are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency, even to the point where that supposedly archaic disease of rickets is beginning to return.

(By the way, it's much easier to notice a malignant skin tumor early enough for successful treatment if you let other people see you naked now and then.)

Physical health is only one aspect of nudity. What about our emotional health?

Who are we? We are our bodies. Whatever attitude we have toward our bodies is the attitude we have toward ourselves.

And what is the attitude we have toward our bodies? Shame.

This shame may very well be the most pervasive emotional conditioning of our lives. It could reasonably be called brainwashing because it's forced upon us throughout our lives, warps our natural attitudes toward our and others' bodies, and is a deeply emotional, irrational process. Emotional abuse, in our opinion.

Is there a child on earth who is born with an aversion to nudity? Does any child care about nude bodies? Does seeing a nude body mean anything at all to a young child? Does being nude mean anything to a child, other than perhaps a more comfortable state of dress than having clothing pressed against one's body?

What child wouldn't love to rip his or her clothes off and run around naked, just for the simple pleasure of it?

So where does the negative reaction to nudity come from?

Do kids grow into it naturally? Nonsense! All the societies in the history of humankind that have accepted public nudity or near-nudity would never have existed were this true.

The negative reaction to nudity must be conditioned into children. And how is that done?

Through shame. Children won't leave clothes on unless we shame or threaten them into doing it.

Isn't that emotional abuse?

From the moment of birth, when they wrap that blanket around the newborn, we are emotionally conditioned to think of our bodies as shameful. Every minute of every day of our lives, with rare exceptions, the brainwashing is reinforced. Every moment we cover our bodies we are communicating the subliminal message to our subconscious that our bodies are shameful and must be hidden.

Every minute of every day. Is there any other type of emotional conditioning we are subjected to more than that?

Even our moments of nudity do not save us. When we bathe, we go into a private bathroom, close and often lock the door, pull the shower curtain, and shower nude--all alone out of sight of others. Bodily functions are done the same way.

Not even doctor's offices or locker rooms give us a break anymore. The hysterical fear of nudity in our society has become so great that nudity has almost disappeared entirely from these locales traditionally designed to accept nudity. In the doctor's office we remain covered up with our clothing or with hospital gowns, only revealing small patches of our skin when absolutely necessary. Locker rooms, saunas, etc., have lost the tradition of nudity within them. This isn't even mixed group nudity we're talking about. Even among our own sex we hide our bodies, either by not being nude at all, or by changing in a stall, or by keeping a towel carefully wrapped around ourselves.

Even when we are nude, we hide our bodies in shame. Every minute of every day.

We swim with clothes on, even though that's insane. We sleep with clothes on, even though we're tucked away under a blanket where no one will see us. We even stay dressed in front of our spouse--our sex partner--who has already seen us naked in the most intimate of circumstances and with whom more than anyone else we ought to feel comfortable being naked. Even in the privacy of our homes we stay dressed. Why?

We do it because body shame has been so deeply ingrained into our psyche that we can't imagine doing anything else. Nudity under virtually all circumstances seems so foreign to us that we can't see it as anything but a bizarre aberration, if not a downright perversion.

But we all have a body. There are billions and billions of human bodies spread throughout this world. Within the two sexes, every one of them is the same as every other. We all know what they look like--we all know what equipment they have. What on earth do we think we're hiding from each other?

Actually, we are not thinking at all when we have a negative reaction to nudity, whether we see others nude or others see us nude. It's purely an emotional, irrational reaction, based on a lifetime of deep, thorough emotional conditioning.

Isn't it emotional abuse to condition your children to have feelings of shame and horror simply because someone accidentally sees them naked?

Isn't it emotional abuse to condition your children to feel shock, fear, or disgust at the mere sight of a human body?

Our bodies are ourselves. When we feel shame, fear, horror over bodies, we are feeling those feelings about ourselves or about our fellow human beings.

No wonder people have such a hard time relating to each other. We fear each other at a very basic level. We are all forced by nature or God to carry naked bodies with us wherever we go! Those dreadful, shocking, shameful naked bodies! What was God thinking?

How can we possibly interact normally with each other, steeped in attitudes like that?

Exactly what negative consequences result from shaming children into wearing clothes, and continuing that brainwashing process until the day they die?

Children are left in ignorance. We think it's a wonderful, educational thing to take children to the zoo. But what do they do at the zoo? Stare at the naked bodies of animals. This is considered very educational. And it is.

Yet children are never allowed to stare at the naked bodies of the species that is most important for them to learn about. Their own--human beings. It's great for them to learn all about the bodies of lions and tigers and bears, oh my! But never the body of the species they belong to and will marry. Never the body they live within throughout their lives.

Children don't get to fully understand and accept the differences between the sexes. Boys have penises, girls have vaginas. This is an undisputed fact of life. But to a boy who is not allowed to learn about human bodies, a girl does not have a vagina--she has been castrated of her penis. To a girl, a boy doesn't have a penis--he has a strange growth where his vagina should be. And these are the boys and girls lucky enough to have caught a glimpse of the opposite sex naked.

Then we wonder why there is so much sexual dysfunction in marriages?

Children don't get to become comfortable with the process of puberty before it happens. When their bodies start changing, it's a traumatic thing. Why? Because it's natural for puberty to be traumatic?

Absolutely not! It's a completely natural part of the human life cycle.

It's traumatic because they are not prepared for it. They're not prepared for it because they don't get to witness it happening to others. It's not part of the visible life cycle. But shouldn't it be? It's certainly a vital part of life.

They start growing hair around their pubic area and within their armpits. What is that all about? For boys, the penis enlarges (is it diseased?) and hair begins to grow on the face. For girls, the vagina begins to bleed (am I injured?) and breasts being to enlarge on their chests.

How many horror stories have there been about children who were totally unprepared for these changes? Is that not child abuse, to allow children to enter this period of life unprepared simply because their parents are embarrassed to talk about it (thanks to their own emotional brainwashing from their parents)?

But even with children who have been educated with words about puberty, the education is lacking in a vital area. Words cannot communicate anywhere near as effectively as images can. You can talk all day to a boy about how penises or to a girl about how breasts come in all sizes and shapes, but it won't remove the fear that their penis or breasts are abnormal. But if they have opportunities to see penises and breasts in all their amazing variety, the point is driven home that their body is just as normal and acceptable as anyone else's.

Children are not allowed to satisfy their perfectly natural curiosity during a time in life when it's safe to do so. Adolescents and adults have sex hormones raging through their bodies. Prepubescent children do not. When would be the best time of life to learn about human bodies?

Before children have to start dealing with sexual urges. Yet, astoundingly, we think the most terrible thing of all is to allow a child to see an adult naked.

Instead, we make children wait until they enter puberty. Then they not only have to deal with the curiosity they've always had, driven by a natural and wholesome desire to learn about bodies, they also have to deal with these brand new, nearly overwhelming sexual urges as well. They get it all dumped on them at once and are left alone to deal with it.

Is it any wonder there is sexual dysfunction in our society? Is it any wonder teen sexual activity and pregnancy and venereal disease run rampant in our society?

Is this not true child abuse?

Make no mistake about it, once children reach puberty, they will start educating themselves, one way or another. If parents or some other adult authority figure doesn't help them do it, they will do it on their own.

And we all know how they will do it.

They will gather misinformation from friends as ignorant as themselves. They will develop addictions to pornography. They will experiment with nudity and sex among themselves, ignorant of the dangers involved. They will "sext" nude photos of themselves to each other and risk being branded a sexual criminal their whole lives, thanks to the distorted laws in our society that can't tell the difference between a true predator and a curious youth. And they will do it all with a ghastly emotional stew of sexual arousal, shame, guilt, and rebellion mixed into it.

Oh yes, this is much better than allowing children to experience nudity under careful adult supervision before their sexual hormones start to flow.

An adult allowing a child to see him or her nude is child abuse? No, the law that criminalizes letting a child see an adult nude is child abuse.

Nudity that is intended to be shocking or sexual or threatening or lewd through the individual's intent and behavior--now that's child abuse. But legally defining the mere existence of nudity as lewdness or obscenity is an evil, archaic notion that must be stamped out.

Children are never taught to accept the aging cycle of human beings. Everyone dreads getting old. We think old bodies are ugly. We fear them. For God's sake, cover them up!

And we find ourselves with a severe youth-worshiping culture. Coincidence?

Billions of dollars are spent on cosmetics, clothing, even surgery, to try and pretend we're not getting old. Why? Because we fear old age. Why? Because we never see bodies as they age.

Because we constantly hide our bodies from one another, we never get to see the natural aging life cycle of human bodies. That which is hidden from us is mysterious and frightening.

If we could simply see human bodies in all the different stages of aging on a regular basis, it would be a familiar sight to us, a comfortable sight. As comfortable as seeing Grandma's aged face. Aging would be a natural thing, not something to fight tooth and nail in dread.

Is it not emotional abuse to teach people to fear the natural life cycles of their own bodies?

Children, like all people, equate their bodies with themselves. They are their bodies. If we teach them to be afraid and ashamed of their bodies (and we do), they will be ashamed of themselves. And thus a rampant epidemic of self-loathing thrives in our culture.

Especially our girls. The most beautiful women in the world still think there's something wrong with their bodies.

Children are killing themselves over poor self-image. The girl that purges or starves herself to death because she can't accept her body is a victim of the self-loathing that anti-nude attitudes help to foster. The gang banger who carries a gun and kills someone for "dissing" him is literally killing children over self-esteem. "You disrespect me, you die."

And where does this rampant lack of self-esteem come from? The causes are complex, but how can the lifelong shame we feel over our own bodies not be a contributor?

The luxury of hiding nudity from each other contributes to the shame that can kill our children. Never mind emotional abuse. This is physical abuse. All because we don't want to see a nude human body.

That's where the true shame lies, not in our bodies!

Many children never get to feel totally comfortable with the opposite sex and never get an adequate education on human bodies to satisfy their curiosity. Most children will not tolerate this situation forever. If the adult community won't satisfy their need for knowledge in safe, appropriate, supervised environments, they will do it on their own. They will do it in any way they can. Since the adult community forbids them from experiencing nudity in safe, wholesome ways, they will resort to other means.

As they resort to other means, their normal, natural desire to satisfy curiosity gets mixed up with all sorts of negative feelings. Guilt, shame, embarrassment, self-loathing, fear of punishment. Because these negative emotions keep many children from doing too much experimenting before puberty, experimenting happens after puberty when the powerful sex drive overcomes the negative emotions.

So now we have guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear, and self-loathing associated with sexual arousal too. And we expect healthy adult relations to develop from this?

Because the adolescent feels all these negative emotions associated with normal and natural curiosity and sexual urges, and because the adolescent is still trying to develop effective skills at relating with the opposite sex, that adolescent will feel intimidated by the opposite sex.

So what will some adolescents do? Resort to less intimidating individuals to do their experimenting with. Resort to younger children.

And possibly a sexual predator is born.

Our society in the last few decades has become more and more antagonistic toward nudity. Where once skinnydipping was the norm among Boy Scouts and required at YMCA and many high school pools, where once locker rooms were a place to change clothes and to maintain good hygiene by showering the sweat of athletic activity away, where once doctor's offices were a place where doctors could easily access the human body they were supposed to give medical attention to, we now have a near absence of nudity anywhere in our lives.

Nowhere can we find wholesome, nonsexual images of the nude human body. Nowhere can we enjoy the affirming, even healing experience of being nude in front of someone else and be accepted for who we are. We have forfeited all images of the human body to those who would portray it in sexual and degrading ways. All because, from birth, we are brainwashed into believing nudity is harmful.

And why do we do that to our children? Because our parents did it to us. Because their parents did it to them. And so on and so on.

When will we break this destructive cycle?

No one ever tries, because no one ever thinks about it. You don't question something that has been brainwashed into you every minute of your life since birth.

But we need to question it. The emotional and physical health of our children are at stake. In some cases, even their very lives are at stake. Aren't these important enough reasons to question something you've simply assumed was true all your life?

Family Skinnydippers is very serious about these issues. Perhaps now you can understand why social nudity is so important to us. This is not merely a lifestyle choice. This is not merely the enjoyment of nude recreation. This is a vital cause to us. It's a cause we feel is worth fighting and sacrificing for.

Do we demand constant nudity?

Of course not. There are many times when nudity would be uncomfortable, even downright unhealthy.

Do we demand that everyone be nude, whether they like it or not?

Perish the thought. That would be as immoral as the current practice of using the law to force everyone to wear clothes all the time, even if they don't want to.

All we ask is that those who wish to be nude under reasonable circumstances be allowed to do so. Not for shock value, not for sexual titillation, not for confrontational purposes, not for exhibitionist urges. Simply because nudity is a natural, comfortable, pleasant, wholesome, healthy thing to be under the right circumstances. Those who enjoy it ought to be able to do so. Those who don't enjoy it don't have to.

But what if a person is offended at nudity?

Our blunt answer to that person: grow up. Why should people be forced by threat of law to do something they strongly disagree with, if the only harm to you is that you choose to be offended by it?

The amazing truth that our society has a hard time grasping because the brainwashing is so pervasive, is that human beings get used to nudity very quickly. It's amazing how quickly, in a group of nude people socializing like clothed people, the nudity becomes invisible to everyone.

How can a lifetime of brainwashing be overcome literally within hours, if not minutes? That's a testament to how unnatural and pointless the brainwashing was in the first place.

If you're afraid you'll be shocked at the nudity of others, that will wear off quickly. If you're afraid you'll be sexually aroused at the sight of nudity, perhaps you will be for a while. But even that loses its power in a short time. The overwhelming realization of the vast majority of people who are finally exposed to normal, nonsexual nudity after a lifetime of brainwashing is that it was never a big deal in the first place.

The only embarrassment we need to feel about nudity is how frightened over nothing we were all our lives.


Copyright 2014 Family Skinnydippers
fsd@familyskinnydippers.com