The sun has just come out and I have nipped to the garden to feel the warm rays all over my body. I love being nude especially in the sun and sea – it makes me feel free. It is such a shame that there are so few places where it is Ok to be nude. Having grown up in Germany, I was used to nude mixed gender saunas. It was a shock when I walked into an all female sauna in London for the first time in the nude and all the other women were dressed in bathing suits. I learnt that nudity was not optional but forbidden – even in an all female environment.
In my gym’s female changing room the women wrap behind their towels when they take their clothes off and kids run around covering their bits in shame. I have fond memories of playing naked on the beach as a kid, blissfully unaware that this could be taboo, bad, wrong. Nowadays there is no nudist beach near where I live and as an adult I would be committing an offence if I took my kit off in full view of other bathers. So I swim out in my bikini and take it off when I am far out, so I can feel the sea over my body. It is incredible what a difference a tiny bit of material makes when it covers some of the most sensitive parts of your body. When you remove it, it awakens you senses and sets you free.
Not many of us are happy in our own skin. Many women and men feel extremely uncomfortable when naked. Women tend to compare their bodies with the much publicised images of models’ bodies that have been airbrushed to perfection. And because our bodies do not look like theirs, many of us choose to cover up rather than strip off.
Male nudity is an even greater taboo: Unless you go to a museum to look at ancient paintings or statues, we hardly ever see a nude man. Men’s bodies are mostly hidden. Even in most porn we do not see many the male bodies but usually just dismembered hard (and never flaccid) cocks. Even though magazines could publish shots of naked men as long as the ‘angle of the dangle’ is no greater than 45 degrees, we just do not see men in the buff. We see steeled torsos and abs on the cover of fitness magazines and that is it.
This is why I love the JUNGSHEFT which features photos of real men (in all shapes and sizes) fully nude with flaccid, semi erect and erect cocks. Women have a lot of catching up to do in looking at nude men. We all have plenty of experiences in being looked at. It is enjoyable to turn the tables and be the observer for a change.
Nudity has been sexualised. Female nudity is used to sell products and male nudity usually appears only in porn. But nudity does not have to be sexual but can be a way to reclaim our bodies and be body-positive – lumps bumps and all. I love to hang out with other nude people who are also comfortable in their own skin. At the small hippy festivals I visit in the summer, there are large groups of naked people sitting in a field, enjoying music and the sun – all of us reclaiming our birthright.
I find it unbelievable that the naked rambler has been sent to prison simply for enjoying taking hikes in the buff. How come it is such a huge offence not to wear clothes in public? Why do we have to lock a naked hiker up as if he were a criminal? Some brave non-conformists pay a very high price for their ideals. In order to defend their freedom, they lose it and get locked up.
This is why groups like the “naked vegan cooking” and events like the world-wide “naked bike ride” are so important. We do not want to restrict our freedom to be nude to our own four walls but want to be free outdoors too. We do not want to hide our bodies or be sexualised the moment we appear naked in public. Who needs fig leaves when there is nothing to be ashamed of?