Nudity and morality

When I first started to feel that I wanted to do more than be nude on my own, but rather wanted to do it in a social setting I wondered what was wrong with me. I had partially bought in to the societal view that nudity and sex were inextricably linked and that if I wanted to be nude around others it was a form of sexual exhibitionism and or sexual voyeurism. I really had to explore and question my own motivations. Did this desire make me some kind of pervert? Was I fooling myself to think it was unrelated to sex? At the same time I thought I knew my own mind and, after all, the pleasure I got from being nude on my own was non-sexual in nature. It was the freedom from restricting clothes, it was the feel of the elements on my skin, it was natural and comfortable and unrelated to sex in any way. I made certain in my own mind that I wasn’t looking to display myself to others in a sexual way, but was this about seeing naked women? Like the next man I like the way women look. It’s in our genetic programming, so was I rationalising away a hidden desire to look a naked women. I had to think long and hard about this one before reaching the conclusion that I wasn’t trying to sneak a peak at a nudist lady, I wasn’t trying to see others nude for sexual gratification. But if that was how I felt why did society say it was wrong? Why was I different from everyone else?

I did a lot of reading on forums and naturist organisation web sites such as British Naturism (http://www.bn.org.uk/index.php). I found a lot of information that said I wasn’t the only one, that my views were very much in keeping with the views of naturists across the country and indeed across the world. It was a minority view, but a deeply held one. I did unfortunately also find that lots of things pose as naturism that really have nothing to do with naturism at all, like swinging and pornography, but that’s probably a topic for another post. Fortunately it seems like with a little research I could avoid web sites and places that were not really naturist in nature. I discovered that as long as I was careful the people I would meet would most likely be of a like mind with me, not looking for a sexual connotation, just the freedom to enjoy being nude and to share the experience with others.

But was it a moral thing to do? Coming from a Christian perspective, surely it was sinful? I did some bible reading myself and I soon discovered a whole range of Christian naturist resources online (such as http://www.naturist-christians.org, https://cnfellowship.wordpress.com and http://www.figleafforum.com). They helped me understand that the bible really doesn’t have anything to say against nudity and that from a Christian perspective there’s no overriding moral obligation to keep covered up. Indeed God would never command someone to commit a sin and yet he commanded Isaiah to prophesy naked. I was interested too to see quotes from Pope John Paul II’s book Love and Responsibility:

“The human body can remain nude and uncovered and preserve intact its splendour and its beauty… Nakedness as such is not to be equated with physical shamelessness… Immodesty is present only when nakedness plays a negative role with regard to the value of the person… The human body is not in itself shameful… Shamelessness (just like shame and modesty) is a function of the interior of a person.”

So I arrived at the conclusion that my motives were appropriate, and there was no biblical prohibition. The only thing holding me back was inhibition and opportunity, and I was determined to overcome both and I’m glad I did.

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Nudity and morality

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