Edgar Oden, Wilsons Creek
I totally agree with Ewan R McLeod on the issue of body shame and a healing role the remaining naturist resorts play in our liberation. It’s sad when the vote of democracy becomes a conservative one. Clearly the opinion of the majority can be easily manipulated, usually through fear. Such is the case, in my humble opinion, with the latest push to police or close altogether the clothes optional beaches.
Those against claim to target the ‘indecent’ or ‘lewd’ behaviours, yet most of so called ‘civilised’ humans seem very disturbed by the very fact of uncovered bodies themselves. I can guess our collective discomfort of being present with such revelation has roots somewhere in religion and male-dominated politics where sexual appeal was interfering with their balance of power. Modern obsession with technology and disconnection from nature may also contribute to our fright of flesh. We are the only species on this planet with such self-denial.
It took awhile to free myself from the notion that our bodies are something shameful and to be kept hidden at all times, at all costs. Children would not have that hysterical response to what is simply a part of who we are, our natural heritage. But from the start we forced those taboos on them and now use them, kids, as reason to cover everyone up.
Even an aspect of human sexuality is just a biological imperative, not a deliberate mind-construct, yet is met with staunch opposition from the mob. I do recall some romantic encounters in nature from my youth and would never see them as ‘devious’. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is ugliness. I don’t find a woman sleeping naked in dunes offensive, rather the police disturbing her idyll are.
I am not condoning all kinds of sexual aberration here, but the very prohibition promotes such behaviour and serves proliferation of porn on private sites. Aside from child-abuse and molestation, which is more likely to happen behind the walls like church cloisters, and are real crimes, those desperate wankers are in need of a sexual healing and get off on showing their ‘unaccepted’ selves in public for that purpose. Curiously, they appear more often to those prudes who are likely to recoil in disgust. In all my years of nude sunbathing I have not even seen one. Maybe some just need to be faced with it as a lesson of acceptance! Fear or demonising of our bodies are the signs of psychological disease, common as they may be.
Meanwhile, it’s much harder to relax and soak in the sunshine now, expecting either uniformed police or law-abiding righteous passerby to ruin my innocent communion with nature. Let’s have 800m ghettos for those who want to cover up and let the rest of the coast free. That would be a sign of progress!