Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Let's talk about clothes! - part 1

I thought i'd blog about clothes!

Enjoying being clothes-free doesn't make this taboo, although I've found it remarkable how some militant or long-time nudies can't seem to bear mentioning them in any context other than the relief felt when they remove them! A hardy few appear to want to go to any length to stay bare.

Stephen Gough, the infamous UK 'naked rambler' I wouldn't include in this category, since he isn't nude for the sake of a chosen lifestyle but as a defender of civil liberty. In fact it has been noted that indoors he is dressed more often than you would suspect. However there are a small number of nudies who seem to want to remain undressed to the very limits of tolerance, both societal and environmental!

One example recently had me out in the garden looking for Geminid meteors. Frost was on the ground and a chill breeze was blowing. The temperature hovered around freezing. I was wrapped up to the nines in fleece, but even then could only stay out for 15 minutes at most. Back indoors I mentioned my tally on an online forum. Almost immediately a reply came back from a man preparing to go out to look, and he was absolutely not going to be dressed. It made me chuckle.

I don't mind clothes. Certain types irk me more than others. I don't like the feeling of waist-bands or belts, but woolly jumpers, loose sweats, t-shirts are just fine. I'm loving the trend toward all-in-one garments. The onesie is a fab idea. When the situation requires clothes, I get dressed. Keeping warm trumps nudity. Common sense trumps all. Sorry militants!

Advocating being clothes-free to me is about promoting freedom of choice. I would happily be unclothed in a room of clothed people if I knew I had the right and respect of all there. Respect is key. One of key benefits of the clothes-free lifestyle community is the respect shown towards each other. However, the respect towards Joe Public needs some work.

Clothing isn't a dirty word. Replacing 'clothed' with 'textile' in clothes-free circles is just daft. It just makes folks appear as though they are scared to say the word! It is self-defeating for those wanting to normalise simply nudity and gain the all-important respect. It exposes the them-and-us situation, the wedge, that keeps the stereotype alive of naturists being anti-clothing, and aloof of society behind their 'hedges'. That the director of the recent documentary at Spielplatz naturist club chose to focus on an individual enforcing a rigid 'no clothes' policy is testament to this.

If there was one bit of lateral thinking that I would offer to naturists wanting to educate others and connect with society in a way that would change Joe Public's stereotype of naturism, it would be to talk about clothes rather than eschew them. It's not going to make naturists 'less of a naturist' by doing so. Perhaps meeting in the middle is a better strategy than British Naturism shouting at people to take all their clothes off in a way that implies little flexibility.

Being a scientific nerdy kind of guy, and a naturist, I thought it would be interesting to look at the history of humans and clothes. The last two thousand years or so during the rise of monotheistic religion is pretty well known. Directed modesty has led to the social convention of being clothed in virtually all circumstances. I want to go back further than that though, to look at when and why clothing arose at all. I'm off to do some reading...and will be back to blog further...

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