Friday, July 30, 2010

Target Boycott

This past Wednesday evening, I received several text messages and emails regarding the queer community boycotting Target stores. The amount of correspondence surrounding this topic increased yesterday. The controversy is about Target's $150,000 donation to MN Forward, a political group in Minnesota, supporting the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Tom Emmer, a known opponent to both marriage equality and the repeal of DADT. Of particular concern is Mr. Emmer and his $250 contribution to a Christian rockband, "You Can Run But You Cannot Hide," and the theme in their lyrics encouraging the execution of gays.

Band member Bradlee Dean has publicly stated that Muslim countries that support the death of gays are actually more moral than even the American Christians. Obviously, he and his fellow band members have conveniently forgotten the Ten Commandments. Tom Emmer has described the band as nice people and is quoted as being grateful for their passion and respecting their point of view. Has the Republican gubernatorial candidate also forgotten his Christian ethics? Please, while in Minnesota, don't drink the water or else you may develop amnesia.

I truly respect and understand the freedom of speech. However, publicly advocating and supporting genocide exceeds the standards of community decency. It also insults all people of faith. Where are the leaders of the Religious Right during all this hate-filled murderous rhetoric? Unusually quiet, that's for sure. Through their silence are they condoning this type of behavior? In my eyes, DEAFinitely!

Now, I rarely shop at Target but I actively support this boycott. I urge each and every one of you to do likewise. It has now been almost 24 hours and still no response to the email that I sent to Target. Why am I not surprised?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm Confused!

In 2010 alone, we have seen three new countries change there respective laws to allow marriage equality. Portugal, Iceland and now Argentina legally recognize same-sex marriages. These three join Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, South Africa and Canada in granting equal rights to all their citizens. The march towards democracy slowly continues across the globe.

Several weeks ago, Hawaii's Governor, Linda Lingle, vetoed a civil unions bill that would have given all Hawaiians access to domestic partnerships. She acted this way because she felt that HB444 (the civil unions act) was essentially "marriage by another name" and that it is threatening to the integrity and sanctity of that institution. The same bullshit that we've all become accustomed to receiving from bigots.

However, this stereotypical discriminatory rhetoric does have an unusual twist. It seems that the narrow-minded governor also has a narrow-memory. She herself has been married twice and both husbands are still alive. So, isn't she also a threat to the institution of marriage? Wasn't she instructed to uphold "what God has joined together let no man tear asunder?" Wasn't her divorce a mockery of the very institution she's feebly trying to defend?

This is the source of my confusion. How can someone who is the chief executive of a state be so utterly stupid? Does she really have such little faith in the intelligence of her constituents? Doesn't she understand that most of them can see beyond her prejudice? The Hawaii Constitution prohits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Isn't her veto a blatant violation of the state constitution?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Finally, Friday!

Professionally, summer is the busiest season of the year for me. My workload doubles from mid-June to mid-August. Typically, my workday expands from the normal eight hours to mostly ten to twelve hours. Honestly, I both enjoy and thrive in this hectic job atmosphere. Summer in my favorite time of the year and the increase in duties in the workplace is one of many reasons for this. Of course, at the top of my list is the fact that it's hot and humid with ample opportunities for outdoor nudity!

However much I love the summer, this past week professionally has been the standard week from hell. Two of my project team members have decided that since it's hot, they both need to act stupid. They both have rendered Oscar-worthy performances this past week. I refused to participate in their dramatics and am so ready to get on with my life once Friday afternoon arrives. I'm getting the hell out of the office and out of my clothes and have a great weekend! I wish the same to all of you!

I'm enclosing a piece of eye candy for your pleasure!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nude Novice Notes: Posture

To refresh every ones memory, the purpose of this series of brief articles is to share with nude novices a few comments intended to ease their way into our naturist/nudist culture. It is by no means a naked bible. Aside from the fact that I'm a veteran nudist and have mentored a fair share of those entering our fraternity, I have no claim to authority on this topic. All of us are individuals with varying comfort levels regarding our nudity. Feel free to accept, modify or reject any advice offered.

Body language, like a picture, is worth one-thousand words. Nothing communicates our bodies more than our posture. Look at the photo posted with this entry and think about the message conveyed. Obviously, the statement is not one of confidence, pride and self-assurance. Plain for all to see, it's quite the opposite. Covering the penis and testicles is a sign of discomfort and tension.

An overwhelming majority of us nudists have also felt apprehension, insecurity and nervousness at our first few social nudity functions. Like all new experiences, this is completely natural. Relax. Take a deep breath (or several). You are not alone and you are not the first to feel this way. All of us, at some point in our lives, have stood bare-assed and hanging loose in the same space as you. We all survived and thrived and you will, too!

Keep in mind that knowledge is power. Knowing in advance what to avoid and what to expect prepares you. Use this information to your advantage and remember that all of us are just as naked as you.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Can I Skinny Dip?

The old adage must be true: one thing leads to another. After publishing Wednesday, I began to think: Is it possible for me to skinny dip? Please, don't judge, I haven't lost my mind completely; at least, not just yet. Permit me to piggy-back on my last topic. It is summer and this activity is appropriate for the season. Simply walk with me for a minute and I'll share with you why this question isn't so far off base. There is a tiny bit of logic to this madness here.

By definition, skinny dipping is the act of swimming naked, usually in the company of others doing the same. Fine. No problem. It also implies that after one has finished swimming (or prior to swimming), one is wearing clothes. Now, this is the problem for me and precisely why I wonder if I'll ever be able to skinny dip. I may not even meet the criteria.

As a naturist/nudist, generally I enter the water without having worn clothing for a couple of hours or perhaps even a day. When visiting a nudist resort, that time period could even extend into multiple days. As a result, do I, as a nudist, have the ability to skinny dip? Then, there is the issue of when the clothes are put back on. Sometimes, for me, that may be several hours or days after leaving the water. Given my preference for nudity, getting dressed isn't a priority. Did I skinny dip or am I merely a naturist out for a swim?

I do have the alternative of playing nude on the shore or pool deck, then get dressed, immediately strip again and dive into the water. However, that seems like a little too much work simply to be able to celebrate the fact that I skinny dipped and possess bragging rights for this accomplishment. Then there's the risk that I might get so confused and jump into the water without removing my clothes. To be honest, the two swimsuits that I own are so old they would likely disintegrate upon contact with the water. That fact, at a minimum, solves one problem. At the very least, I'm aquanude!

Now, add to the mix the idea that since a textile person gets naked in order to skinny dip, doesn't a nudist have to wear clothes in order to skinny dip? Isn't there some sort of reversal theory that enters this picture? Understand my dilemma now? This is way too much processing for my peanut brain to absorb! I surrender all claims to this honor to my clothed competitors.

I think I'll chill, forget the clothes and be happy! I'll remain nude, content and allow another to wear the skinny dipping crown. This entire scenario involves too much stress for me!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is Skinny Dipping Nudecentric?

This past weekend, there was an attempt to break the Guinness Book of Records Skinny Dipping Title established in July, 2009. I participated in this event last year but was unable to do so this year due to scheduling conflicts. Thinking about this second effort did raise the question: Is skinny dipping nudecentric? Is this activity compatible with and a part of our culture of nudity?

Skinny dipping is, by all definitions, simply the act of swimming naked, regardless of location. It can occur in a pool, a river, a lake or a beach. It can be done alone or socially. For some it is a once in a lifetime experience and for others it is a regular practice. Many participate initially as a form of righteous rebellion against puritanical community standards. The thrill of violating an imposed taboo. More than a few incorporate this action into their sexual foreplay.

Whatever the reason, our mainstream society typically does not judge skinny dipping with the same degree of harshness or overall disdain that it applies to naturism/nudism. By and large, it is generally seen as either a rite of passage, a teenage prank or an innocent prelude to romantic intimacy. Often, the activity receives merely a chuckle and is considered a normal summer past-time. On a hot and humid summer afternoon, a road crew skinny dipping in a secluded local watering hole after hours is not thought of as being lewd and decadent. In our broader, textile-dominated society, it is viewed as acceptable behavior.

Does this flawed reasoning represent a double standard? Absolutely! The message here is that we can sample social nudity but not practice it. Are any of us surprised? Certainly not. After all, we live in a society that is full of double standards and for proof we need look no further than the issue of queer equality.

Within our own culture of nakedness, we have our purists (including a few acquaintances of mine) who offer that skinny dipping is incompatible with our naturist/nudist life. Their opinion is that this activity is no more than an infrequent indulgence. A chance and not a choice. Once again, the proverbial taste without the entire meal. In their eyes, it's just an opportunity to be different without the decision to live differently. This argument is valid and does have some merit.

Likewise, there are those in our nude community who embrace social nudity for exactly what it is, whether skinny dipping or attending a GNI or IMEN Gathering. It is the social nude experience and not the activity that makes a difference. The frequency of participation is not a determining factor. And there are some in our naturist brotherhood who are totally indifferent to this matter.

Each of us enjoys nudity at our own individual level of comfort. None of us are completely identical. For a few, skinny dipping may be the first step in coming out of the proverbial clothing closet. It may serve as Nudity 101. Skinny dipping can lead to body acceptance and this is important developmentally and psychologically for all of us. Bottom line: it is also fun!

For whatever reason, my advice is if the opportunity presents itself, go for it! And if it converts someone from the textile world into our nudist world, then we all benefit!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Deaf Attention!

Several have asked about the proper way to get the attention of a Deaf man who is not directly facing them nor in close proximity. To some, this may seem a ridiculous question; however, I appreciate their sensitivity. In response, allow me to share an example of how NOT to attempt this.

It was a hot summer afternoon, late August. Several friends (all of us Deaf) and I were at a queer nudist area along a river awaiting the arrival of two hearing friends. We were having fun, swimming and splashing in the water when all of a sudden, this rock comes skimming along the surface between us. We turned in the direction the rock traveled and saw our two friends waving to us. A creative gesture? Yes. Potentially harmful? Absolutely.

The thrower's aim could have been a little off-center and the object could have hit any of us, especially in the eye or temple. An innocent and oblivious stranger or passerby could have intercepted the projectile before it reached us. The rock could have ricocheted off something floating downstream and landed anywhere. The list of possibilities continues. Please, think safety first! Don't throw anything that can inflict injury.

If we're not facing you, approach us as you normally would, simply gesturing or waving a bright object such as a bandana or t-shirt. We'll probably catch this movement in our peripheral vision. After all, we are a vision-based culture.

If someone is standing close to us, you can ask that they get our attention. If you communicate to them that we're Deaf, it isn't offensive. After all, that's who and what we are. Remember, the overwhelming majority of us self-identify as Deaf and not hearing-impaired.

If you approach us from behind, simply tap us on our arms, between the shoulder and the elbow. This is our culturally-defined safe zone. We interact this way among ourselves. Keep in mind that if you touch us on the left arm, that is the direction that we'll respond. Simply stand on the correct side and don't crossover. Do not grab us on the arm and turn us around. That is an aggressive action in both deaf and hearing cultures.

Please do not walk up behind us and block our eyes with your hands covering them. Our eyes are how we receive and process communication. This creates a threatening and unsafe situation for us. This is not a joke or a silly game.

Finally, if you happen to walk into a room and our back is facing you, simply turn the light on and off. This will get our attention and force us to look around. You have accomplished your mission: we have noticed you!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chill Time: Clarification

First, permit me to offer my apology for any confusion resulting from yesterday's publication. The entry was intended to be a humorous response to the unusual heat situation happening on the Atlantic coast of the USA and partly to encourage and promote the practice of s'nudity. It was not written to discourage this activity. As a new s'nudist, I highly recommend that we all try this, at least once.

Yes, s'nudism does cause penile/testicular shrinkage. However, in my limited experience (remember, I've only done this three times) this occurs after perhaps twenty minutes of exposure. The photo with the article was taken when s'naked for more than a half hour and with my junk in direct contact with the snow. Usually, at temperatures just above the freezing point, there is no noticeable change in the size of the cock and balls. "Bare" (pun intended) in mind that I do have a pair of extremely low-hangers.

Thank you, Trickle Down BS, for bringing my attention to this issue in your comment. Mr. Raulito, as always, I'm grateful for your feedback! Once again, thanks!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chill Time: Back In The Day!

Given the recent excessive heat wave that's stagnated over the east coast of the USA, I thought that just maybe we'd all like to be reminded of yet a different extreme weather event that we survived just five short months ago. As same gender loving naturists, we somehow manage to persevere, irregardless of what nature tosses our way!

Here in the Washington, DC, area, our third major snowfall of the season began on Friday, February 5, 2010. That blizzard didn't end until the early morning hours of Sunday, February 8. This area was immobile save for emergency responders.

The second blizzard didn't arrive until several days later. I took advantage of this calm between the storms to have a second s'naked (snow + naked) photo op. I'm posting this picture in an attempt to cool you off! Back in February, didn't we all wish for warmer weather?

Well, my naked brothers, we finally got what we all wanted! Strip and take advantage!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Time, 2010

Trust, there is NO one, anywhere, who is as happy to enjoy this summer season, as me! Not only is this my favorite time of the calendar year; it is also so nice to be able to pack light for any travel destination. No hassles with the bulky and cumbersome coats, sweaters, boots, thermal underwear, etc. A day trip to a clothing-optional/nudist beach involves no more than a t-shirt, a pair of shorts and sandals plus a backpack with beach supplies.

The summer months offer countless opportunities for outdoor recreation. We have pool parties, barbecues/cook-outs, camping, hiking, bicycling, volleyball and week long gatherings, just to name a few options. We are temporarily free from the restriction of indoor-only experiences for social nudity. This freedom, even if it is short-lived, is a refreshing change. It enables us to celebrate and enjoy our nakedness in both controlled and natural environments.

As naturists/nudists, this time of year is important to all of us. It is our brief period for relaxation and renewal. Whether it's simply reading in the solitude of nature or frenzied dancing communally, it's our outlet for stress-release. We now have the ability and the choice to be both carefree and clothesfree in whatever setting we choose. After all the time spent dealing with conforming to community standards and suffering clothes, we can shed both the confining garments and the pressures to assimilate.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Voyeurs: Kiss My....!

Voyeurs. As naturists/nudists, we all know who they are. Those individuals who abuse our culture of nakedness to satisfy their own unfulfilled sexual yearnings. The people who mistake our nudity with sexual availability. I think by now we all know exactly who I'm referencing here. Allow me to clarify one point. I'm a human being, therefore, I am also a sexual being. I am not anti-sex. I respect both your nudism and your space and I don't make assumptions. I know the difference between being nude and promiscuity.

This past holiday weekend, I spent in Richmond, Virginia, with friends. The afternoons, we enjoyed time at a public park along the James River in the unofficial gay nudist area called "The Rocks." It is a public park, so we expected some voyeur activity. However, we weren't prepared for anything as blatant as what happened.

We noticed this guy walking along the river shore, wearing both shirt and shorts. He kept pacing back and forth, his zipper lowered and erect cock exposed. He continuously stroked himself with one hand and held a pair of binoculars to his eyes with the other. Several men were obviously annoyed/uncomfortable and left as soon as they saw him. After over 90 minutes of his obtrusiveness, I tired of his behavior and left. As is my habit, I walk nude the first several hundred yards along the shaded trail that leads to the parking lot so as to give my body the chance to cool down a bit.

I caught a movement in the corner of my peripheral vision. It was this man, chasing behind me struggling to remove shirt and shorts and trying to keep pace with me. I shook my head in disbelief. At about that time, he tripped and went flying face first into a large rock. My first instinct was to keep on walking. However, my compassion kicked in when I saw that both his nose and a knee were bleeding. He was trying to grab at an object that apparently fell into the river.

I walked over to him and helped him back on his feet. He gestured into the river and I saw what he was attempting to retreive. A digital camera was flowing downriver in the current. I shrugged my shoulders and left thinking: Justice is served. He was photographing us the entire time.

On second thought, voyeurs: you may NOT kiss my sweet ass! You'd probably enjoy it too much so why should I give you the pleasure?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Is Naked Patriotism Nudecentric?

That question is clearly one of personal interpretation. It has a totally different meaning for both the naturist/nudist and the textile populations. Each respective culture will perceive it in completely diverse ways.

Patriotism is one's love and loyalty to one's country of residence or nation of birth. Naked can mean uncovered, raw, exposed or undisguised. Therefore, to the textile folks, naked patriotism is understood to mean unfettered or uninhibited devotion to country or national pride. That definition is good for most of us.

However, for us naturists, the phrase naked patriotism is interpreted as unashamed loyalty to our nation while proudly nude. We may drape ourselves in our respective national flags or with portraits of our sovereigns yet we are also championing our nudity. We are honoring both our cultural and national pride. As nudists, our nakedness does not pollute our love of country. Rather, it is a manifestation of both our personal confidence and national allegiance.

One simple thought, naked patriotism, can and does have two entirely different meanings for the general population. Are these the only two interpretations possible? I think not. Most of us realize that other cultural biases and miscues exist. We all need to be aware and cognizant of these challenges and not allow them to become insurmountable obstacles. Communication unlocks intolerance and is the key to understanding.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!