Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Anticipating Pride Month.....

June Is Pride Month
Got Pride? About this same time every year, I ask myself this exact question. Why? June is GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender, etc.) Pride Month and as this observance approaches, I often wonder: What does this really mean to me? I can truthfully have a personal discussion (monologue)with me as each year I arrive at a completely different answer. I imagine these mixed feelings are the result of several factors that affect my mood of the moment. These generally include relationships, the status of our community at this time and the state of the world as it impacts on our same gender loving culture. Of course, other reasons sometimes are on the list, depending on what's happening in my own little universe.

For this year, I've decided to put all these contributing emotions into a box and keep them there. Why? They are personal and belong in a space where I can keep them to myself and sort through them in my own fashion. Instead, I've opted to focus on what I think pride means to us as a culture, a community, a tribe and a family. This decision affords the luxury of taking stock of what is good about us, as a whole, as we affirm and celebrate who we are and what we've collectively accomplished. And yes, we do have cause to have pride in where we are at this moment and in our progress. Over the past fortysome years, we've overcome numerous obstacles and roadblocks and now have, at the minimum, global recognition of our existance. We have arrived!

At the same time, we need to examine where we go from here. Do we have internal problems within our own ranks? Absolutely. I think that's why we need to have a time during the year when we have events that recall and remind us of what we've jointly achieved thus far. This enables us to identify what we need to do, communally, to stay the course (thank you, George The Second, for that catchy phrase) and build a better tomorrow. This renewal gives us the determination to go forth and change what is wrong about us because we've seen where we were and where our future needs to be. This rejuvenation empowers us to move ahead, correct our shortcomings and continue the struggle for full equality. Pride provides us the opportunity to feel proud about confronting the steps and challenges that remain.

June 1: Blogging For GLBT Families
Tomorrow, June 1, 2011, is the sixth annual Blogging For LGBT Families Day. Originally conceived as a day for gay parents to commemorate themselves and their parenthood, it has now evolved into an event highlighting our family of community as well as our biological family. Featured in this publication for this occasion is the introduction of the 2011 Pride Month Nudestory (nude+history) Man Of The Month. I'm paying homage to our naturist/nudist same gender loving family! There's no better way to honor our own than on the first day of our Pride Month!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day, 2011

This visual article commemorates the first Memorial Day that we are observing as an American same gender loving culture since the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which marked the official end of the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces. Although at this exact moment, gays may not serve freely and openly until a task force reviews implementation, the discharges for simply being a gay service person are over. I would like to take this time to remind everyone of the price that gay military personnel paid in the past, especially our queer brothers and sisters who offered the supreme sacrifice, their lives. This post is dedicated to all gay men and women who bravely and honorably performed their patriotic duty under oppressive regulations and bigotry. Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day Message

The final Monday in the month of May: Memorial Day in the USA (observed). A three-day holiday weekend that for the vast majority marks the unofficial beginning of the Summer season. A time to welcome days at the beach, barbecues, pool parties, volleyball, nakations, hikes, camping, nakations and more nakations. A time to celebrate the end of the winter and to bid farewell to the frigid temperatures and icy winds. A time to spend relaxing among friends and enjoying the longer days of sunlight, the warmer evenings and the extended weekend. A time to end the winter hibernation. A time to celebrate the sand, the surf and the sun (and please remember the sunscreen). In keeping with the festive ocassion, a number of us will share food and drink with neighbors and friends. Let the good times roll. After all, we've earned every minute of it! It's time to get naked and to have some fun!

Along with socialization and relaxation comes personal and social responsibility. Drugs and alcohol can impair judgement. None of us want the good times to end in disaster or worse. Alcohol and other mood altering substances don't mix well with water; if you must drink and/or drug, avoid pools, lakes, rivers and the ocean. Swim sober or not at all. Remember the Four Ds: Drinking, Drugging: Don't Drive. Please use a designated driver. Take care of yourself and others. Have a plan and stick with it.

Don't forget condoms and water-based lubricant. Buy whatever you may need now so you won't be caught short in the passion of the moment. Be safe! Play hard! Have a great holiday! Please be responsible! Keep Memorial Day memorable and NOT in remembrance of...

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Timeless Tradition: Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dipping: Background
The weather is warmer! The days sunnier! Before long, those long, lazy summer afternoons will be here complete with both heat and humidity. This is the time that many contemplate a seasonal escape from the daily routine and look for ways to beat the heat and to be bold and daring at the same time. For youth, a means to defy authority and be wild. For older men, a time to perhaps recapture some of the recklessness and carefree moments of youth. For whatever the reason, it all culminates in the uncontrollable desire to kick convention and social norms to the curb, enjoy life and experience freedom through the timeless and tried tradition of skinny dipping. The custom of stripping bare-assed naked and splashing around in nature, naturally. Even the prudish overcome their inhibitions and romp about nude without a second thought. One of the true joys of summer! Many of us, regardless of age, education, ethnicity, economic status, ability, race, size and religion fondly look back on our skinny dipping experiences and smile. Quite a few of us look forward to discovering the perfect opportunity to participate in this ritual at least one time this season. For more than a handful of us, this was our initiation into nudity. Whatever the circumstance, skinny dipping has a history of being the idyllic solution to refreshing and relaxing on a hot summer day.

Skinny Dipping: History
Although most of us probably consider skinny dipping, the past-time, as a fairly recent phenomenon, the opposite is actually the case. Throughout ancient history, in most cultures located in temperate to tropical climates, people have engaged in skinny dipping, even though the name itself is recent. Even in the Bible there are references to men swimming in rivers nude. It's safe to accept the fact that men have participated in public water activities for as long as humans have existed on this planet.

Europeans somehow concluded, during the Middle Ages, that bathing was unsanitary and unhealthy. This precipitated a decline in what is now known as skinny dipping among the Western world for a couple of centuries. However, during the North American colonial period, we do have written accounts and etchings and paintings of colonial settlers engaging in communal nude swimming. The illustration included here dates from the early 1700s.

Both Benjamin Franklin and President John Quincy Adams were avid skinny dippers. President Adams even required his accompanying aides and guards to get naked while with him as he would splash in the Potomac River. The poet, Walt Whitman, was an enthusiastic skinny dipper and frequently mentioned his naked exploits in his poetry. The writer, Samuel Clemmons (Mark Twain) described naked swims in his folklore characters, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

Theodore Roosevelt is perhaps the most famous of all skinny dipping U.S. presidents. In his memoir, Autobiography, he discusses his nude swims in the Potomac River. He refers to his accomplices in these naked adventures as his "Tennis Cabinet." In his book, he states: "If we swam in the Potomac, we usually took off our clothes." There is the unofficial tale surviving from his presidency that a female journalist, unsuccessful in her attempts to get a live interview with the president, followed them to the Potomac and sat on his clothes until he consented to meet with her.

Skinny Dipping: The Activity
Although not officially recognized as a bona fide sport, this is one activity/sport that definately requires less than any other. No colorful uniforms or protective gear. All that is necessary is a body of water: a beach, a creek, a lake, a pond, a pool or a river. That's it, plain and simple. Skinny dipping can be enjoyed alone/solo. However, it is much more fun when it involves a group of friends, of the same gender or mixed. Most of know that skinny dipping at midnight can provide a particularly romantic backdrop for any couple looking to spice up their intimate encounters.

The rules are simple and leave no room for misinterpretation. All that is required is the total removal of all clothing and running, skipping, strolling, hopping, etc., proudly and nakedly, into said body of water. Generally, fun and frolic immediately follows. Anyone can be creative and invent any type of variation for this event. For example, some may make it a race from point "A" to the body of water. Others may expand on this to make the race from starting point to the water, stripping and then first into the water. Another possibility is stripping totally at the starting point and running naked into the water, the winner being the first one in. The modifications are as endless as the imagination. Any derivitive is almost always hilarious and fun. And, of course, there are numerous competitions that can be created once everyone is in the water! The sky is the limit.

The Result
In most cases, a good time is had by all! As long as the rules of water safety are followed, skinny dipping remains an all-time favorite for many. This is probably why it is fondly remembered by so many. Remember, indulging in this simple pleasure isn't indicative of juvenile behavior. It's one of those activities that is truly fun for all ages. A suggestion to liven and lighten the festivities, bring along a camera and let the natural "artist" in all of us pose and preen for posterity! Have fun! Be safe! And be advised: alcohol and other substances aren't compatible with most water events.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Justice On The Court...

The NBA clearly is not about playing games when the players aren't following the rules. The National Basketball Association is about rendering justice when one of its own runs afoul of policy. In the aftermath of the recent public coming out of the association's Phoenix Suns franchise President and CEO Rick Welts, the profession is enforcing the very public policy of zero-tolerance for intolerance. Hopefully, the message will reach those who obviously missed it last week.

In Sunday nights' Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat playoff, Bulls center Joakim Noah got into a shouting match with a fan an uttered the slur, "Fuck you, faggot!" Unfortunately, this exchange was caught on camera and broadcast live. To Noah's credit, immediately after the game, he apologized for the incident saying: "The fan said something that I thought was disrespectful, I got caught up in the moment and I responded. I was frustrated and I didn't mean any disrespect to anyone." Joakim, in his fourth season with the Bulls, added that he regretted the remark and would accept any NBA consequences. Not the most sincere apology but in all fairness, it was delivered in an impromptu postgame interview and not a staged, preplanned and scripted press conference.

Monday morning, the NBA announced the verdict. Noah was fined $50,000 for the offense. One month ago, LA Lakers Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for uttering the exact same words. A league official said Bryant's punishment was higher "because it included a sanction for verbally abusing a game official." The same official continued: "Noah apologized again for the remark and says that he will accept the consequences."

In a postgame panel commentary, broadcast live, former NBA star Chris Webber shared his opinion of the entire scenario: "There is no place for those words in sports or in life." True that, Mr Webber! Ironically, Joakim is the son of Yannick Noah, the French-Cameroonian tennis star who was the subject of gay rumors in the Cameroon press in 2005 and 2006.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nude Novice Notes: Correct Sunscreen Application

This upcoming weekend is the Memorial Day holiday weekend here in the USA, the "unofficial" beginning of the summer season. Many of us naturists/nudists, long tired of hibernating over the dreary winter, will be spending time this three-day weekend at beaches, lakes and pools, enjoying the sun and water. Yours truly will be doing the same. All the more reason for us to remember the importance of sunscreen in our health regimen. The newbie nudes among us should carefully think about their options here and follow practices best suited for them. Veteran nudists, myself included, need to be reminded of proper guidelines to ensure a safe holiday and protect our bodies. Failure to take the precautions may result in a miserable vacation, inconvenience, physical discomfort and potential serious health problems later in life. The proverb: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is very true in this case.

According to dermatologists and oncologists, exposure to ultraviolet light, either UVA or UVB, from sunlight is the reason for 90% of symptoms of premature skin aging and skin cancers. The primary preventative measure to these issues is sunscreen and most people don't use sunscreen correctly. Often, the reason for the failure of sunscreen in effectively combating these problems is insufficient application and infrequent application. UVB radiation can be measured and that is why most reputable sunscreen products list this measurement. UVB affects the outer layer of the skin, epidermis, and is the agent that causes sunburn. There is no method of measuring UVA radiation which penetrates deeper into the skin, well below the epidermis. The SPF label on most sunscreens determines the amount of UVB absorption.

Select the proper sunscreen
Minimum SPF protection level should be 15. This is the basic level. At the start of the outdoor season, it is recommended that you begin at a higher number. It is important for those experiencing outdoor nudity for the first time to apply higher SPF levels to areas previously never having sun exposure, such as the genitals and buttocks. Body parts having prior sun experience, such as chest, forearms and face, can tolerate a lower SPF sunscreen.

Liberally (be generous) apply sunscreen at least twenty-to-thirty minutes before sun exposure. This allows time for the product to be absorbed into the skin. This enables optimal protection. Repeat this step again to make certain you didn't overlook any area of your skin.

Layer properly
If you're also using insect repellent, skin moisturizer (body lotion), cologne, etc., apply the sunscreen first. For it to be effective, it needs to be the bottom layer, directly on the skin.

Cover it all
Use protection for all body areas. Remember the tips and behind the ears, the armpits, the testicles, between the toes and fingers. Use lip balm with a safe SPF number on your lips. It's your entire body that's out in the sun.

Re-apply frequently
Repeat the entire application process every sixty-seventy minutes, regardless of the amount of activity. If perspiring excessively due to physical exertion or swimming, re-apply often. Remember, water and sweat dilute the effects of SPF protection. Products labeled "waterproof" and "water resistant" DO require replenishment.

Don't use old sunscreen
Check the expiration date on the container. Exposure to extreme temperatures (cold or heat) shorten the shelf-life. It's best to buy new sunscreen every season.

Post exposure care
As soon as possible following exposure, bathe/shower using a mild moisturizing soap. Immediately after, moisturize the entire body with a fast-absorbing body lotion/gel. It is important to minimize any possible skin damage from UVA and UVB radiation.

Forget the myths about sun exposure
African-Americans/Blacks and Hispanic/Latinos are subject to UVA and UVB radiation just as are Caucasians/Whites. A darker pigmentation doesn't protect any of us from skin cancers. All of us need protection.

If remaining in the shade (under a tree, umbrella, etc.,) UVA and UVB rays from the sun still affect you. We all need to use prevention strategies.

I'm from the Mediterranean area, I tan easily. False. Skin cancer doesn't discriminate based on national origin/ethnicity/race. Don't be fooled.

I'll put on my lotion once I'm in the sun. Wrong. You're denying the epidermis protection for the twenty-to-thirty minutes necessary for the sunscreen to be absorbed. Possibly even reducing the amount of effectiveness.

Author's Note:

My personal practice is to begin every summer season with two sunscreens: one at the SPF 15 level and one SPF 30 level. The lower level I use for areas of my body usually exposed (back, chest, face, forearms, legs). The higher level I apply elsewhere. I reapply every hour regardless of what the label recommends. And I always remember the bottoms of my feet; at some point in time, they suffer exposure also.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Everybody In The NBA Has Had Gay Teammates"

Leave it to Charles Barkley, nicknamed "Sir Charles" and "The Round Mound of Rebound," to tell it like it really is! The former NBA power forward and two-times Olympic gold medalist put it out there last week in an interview with The Washington Post. Responding to questions concerning gays in pro sports in the wake of last weeks coming-out of Phoenix Suns president and CEO, Rick Welts, Barkley, who played for the Philadelphis 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets during his pro career, had this to say: "Any professional athlete who gets on TV or radio and says he never played with a gay guy is a stone-freakin' idiot. I would even say the same thing in college. Every college player, every pro player in any sport has probably played with a gay person." Yes, Sir Charles does it once again as he has the balls to come forward with what most of us already know to be true. Queers have been participating in athletics since the ancient Greek Olympics and probably long before then.

Barkley then disclosed that he knew for a fact that he had gay teammates on at least two of the three NBA franchises that employed him throughout his career. It was never a big deal to him. The 1993 NBAs Most Valuable Player Award recipient added that it's time for people to quit believing the myth that gays face bigger obstacles in sports than elsewhere.

Since his retirement from professional basketball in 2000, Charles Barkley currently works as a TV commentator on pro games. During the interview, he stated that: "First of all, every player has played with gay guys. It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say: 'Oh, no guy can come out in a team sport. These guys would go crazy.' First of all, quit telling me what I think. I'd rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can't play." Now, that makes complete sense. In professional athletics, it's the individual talent and not the personality that really counts. The ultimate goal is to win games and keep the fans happy.

The 2006 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee concluded the interview with this comment: "First of all, society discriminates against gay people. They always try to make it like jocks discriminate against gay people. I've been a proponent of gay marriage for a long time, because as a Black person, I can't be in for any form of discrimination at all." Well done, Sir Charles! Give the homophobes their walking papers!

In addition to his NBA career records and honors, Mr. Barkley has two Olympic gold medals as a team member in mens basketball for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Both times, he was a player on the USA "Dream Team." He is also the author of the best-selling book, Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man? Now, he's posed nude several times and evidently isn't modest about his body. Can we next get him to come forth with his thoughts about naturism/nudism?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rhode Island House Passes Civil Unions Bill

On Thursday, May 19, 2011, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a bill allowing civil unions by a vote of 62-11. HB6103 provides same-sex couples with the same "rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities" that the state gives to married heterosexual couples. The measure still needs to be ratified by the Rhode Island State Senate. Democratic Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, who is opposed to marriage equality, does support civil unions. She has told The Providence Journal that she expects the civil union legislation to pass in her chamber.

Democratic State Representative Arthur Handy, early Thursday morning, intoduced a floor amendment that would have permitted gay couples to marry. Democratic House Speaker Gordon Fox ruled the marriage amendment out of order as it would essentially rewrite the civil unions bill. Fox, Rhode Island's first Black and first openly gay House speaker later added that the marriage equality amendment lacked the necessary votes for approval.

Rhode Island is the last New England state to act on legalizing same-sex partnerships, whether through marriage or civil unions. On the state coat-of-arms, the motto "Hope" appears on a ribbon at the bottom. How appropriate for the same gender loving population living there!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It Does Get Better...

Not even a full week since the NBAs Rick Welts, President and CEO of the Phoenix Suns, came out as gay in a New York Times article and the world of major league sports is slowly and belatedly responding to the issues of bullying and homophobia. Now that professional athletes have absorbed the idea that at least one of their bosses is queer (and proud), the players themselves have gotten the message and are taking their own steps to confront and address antigay sentiment in the sports fraternity. In only a few days since Welts' announcement and already personalities in pro baseball, basketball and football have come on board with messages condeming hatred based on sexual orientation.

The NFLs Donte` Stallworth, a wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens franchise, sent out a message from his Twitter account to his more than 67,000 followers explaining his support of inclusion and equality. In his tweet, Stallworth denounced both homophobia and the abuse of religion in denying marriage to same-sex partners. Donte` supported Rick Welts, Don Lemon and Will Sheridan (see Tuesday, May 17, 2011 entry here) in their coming out and, at the same time, was highly critical of politicians for their antigay stance. Donte` Stallworth, a lay person, exhibits a better understanding of the Divine Truth than many of our seminary-educated clerics. He concluded his message with: "God loves all." I salute you, Mr. Stallworth!

Phoenix Suns forward and NBA superstar Grant Hill recorded an anti-homophobia psa with teammate Jared Dudley. In it, Grant states: "It's wrong. We are in 2011. We need to understand that words have meaning. And, as parents, we need to teach our children this." Asked about the coming out of his boss (Welts) and the issue of gays in pro sports, Hill added: "Some guys who play sports think they have to be 'manly' and say these things. But, they don't have to." Thank you Mr. Hill and Mr. Dudley for your initiative!

In a first for any major sports franchise, the San Francisco Giants team (yes, the team, not an individual) will post a message for the anti-bullying "It Gets Better" campaign. Now, that's exactly what teamwork is all about!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nudists Anniversary In Thailand

Many of us take for granted where we live and the certain liberties that we enjoy. Probably, as we bemoan the distance to a clothing-optional beach or resort, we don't give a thought as to what it would be like to live in a country without a history of social nudity nor the facilities where it can safely be practiced. However, until recent times, that was entirely the reality in Thailand. Aside from the isolation of home nudism, such was the life confronting the Thai people. There was simply no structure to support or promote the naturist lifestyle nor provide social opportunities.

All that changed in 2007, a mere four years ago. With only a website and no other marketing efforts, the Thailand Naturist Association was begun. Word of mouth and internet "hits and misses" guided the first two years and the membership started to grow. Through local meetings and organized weekend excursions, The Thailand Naturist Association expanded and soon recognized the need for a full-time staffperson and limited internet promotional strategies. In just four short years, visits to the website have more than doubled and social events have increased, along with membership numbers.

The group has now convinced several resorts to offer clothing-optional packages and times and these ventures have yielded positive results for both the Association and the businesses. More facilities have expressed interest in participating as a means of expanding their operational audience. Economic benefits always open doors as the global effects of a downshift in the markets are being felt everywhere. Where before there were none, now several private beaches are clothing-optional and a few adventure companies offer guided clothing-free jungle hikes.

Several challenges remain facing the Thailand Naturist Association. The major one being that there is no tradition of nudism within the country, therefore, tolerance is low. Commercial interests are unable to freely promote nude options within a society that misunderstands and stygmatizes social nudity. These hurdles no longer appear insurmountable as the Association builds on its popularity, one success at a time.

Congratulations and best wishes to the Thailand Naturist Association on four years of growth! May you experience many more!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The More The Merrier!

Yesterdays news headlines on the "coming out" of Rick Welts and Don Lemon provided some interesting reading for the mainstream media and some welcome news for our same gender loving community. It heightened our visibility and served to remind the rest of the world that, yes, we are everywhere. At a time when bullying and gay teen suicides are in the national spotlight, their steps forward outside of the proverbial closet help to reinforce the message that it's perfectly okay to be gay and to be successful in your life. Of course, as queer men, we all knew all this. Yesterdays headlines were simply a refreshing reminder that all of us have stories to share and each one is important. Coming just shy of two weeks prior to Pride Month, 2011, these events represent a milestone in our history as queer culture.

Rick Welts, president of the Phoenix Suns professional basketball team, revealed that he is gay in a profile in the New York Times. Welts is the first NBA chief executive (and one of the few in any professional sport)to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality. He added that he did so because "living a secret life had been an immense and damaging burden for so many years." In a pro sport that has had relatively few players, let alone management, take such a bold move, Welts' voluntary announcement is, hopefully, a sign of changing attitudes towards gays. An interesting anecdote to Rick's story is that when he told Phoenix Sun point guard Steve Nash that he was gay, Nash reacted with the simple idea: "I thought everyone already knew."

CNN weekend news anchor, Don Lemon, shared his story during a National Public Radio (NPR) interview aired Monday morning. Lemon's revelation coincided with the release of his personal memoir, Transparent, that hit the booksellers yesterday. Included in the autobiography are Don's perspectives on growing up without a father in his life and the sexual abuse that he endured as a child. Mr. Lemon admitted to NPR that he's nervous concerning the repercussions his coming out may have on his career. "I'm scared but I abhor hypocrisy. I think if you're going to be in the business of news and telling the truth, of trying to shed light in dark places, then you've got to be honest." Don told NPR that he's been in a relationship now for the past four years. Only MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts are comparable newscasters who have openly discussed being gay. Don Lemon is the first African-American broadcast anchor for a national network to come out as gay.

Somewhat less sensational but equally important among Mondays news features was the article on ESPN that Will Sheridan, former starter for the Villanova University Wildcats basketball team, is same gender loving. The 6-foot-eight-inch tall Sheridan is among the small handful of collegiate athletes to go public with their sexuality after they have graduated university. What is unique in Will's case is that he never went to extremes to conceal his identity as a student. What makes his life special are his accomplishments since graduation and what projects he is currently pursuing. He is the Pride Month Queerstory Man of the Month at DQN In Northern Virginia and more on his achievements in early June here.

Congratulations on your newfound freedom to our brothers: Don Lemon, Will Sheridan and Rick Welts. Thank you for displaying courage in being yourself and for sharing your experiences with us all. Best wishes as you now embark on the rest of your lives!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bring It On!

I'm not trying to be difficult. Believe it or not, but I am honestly attempting to be patient. Good things come to those who wait, right? After all is said and done, it was actually me who wrote here a few short weeks ago how I welcomed the warming temperatures that accompanied the arrival of Spring. I praised the coming days that brought a gradual increase in the length of daylight and a slow incremental rise on the thermometer. Yes, every year I gratefully celebrate the onset of the Spring season and all the excitement and hopr that it brings. Anything is better than the harshness of winter (and yes, I always print winter in the lower case).

So what's happened? Reality has set in and my patience has worn thin. Yes, it's much warmer outside than it was just one month ago. Yes, the foliage is in full growth and there is a fresh shade of green on the landscape. yes, flowers are blooming everywhere with new blossoms appearing daily. Oh yes, I am indeed thankful that the transition from cold to warm is underway. I'm not a complete idiot, at least not all the time!

I want Summer here now! I'm ready for it and I know I've earned the right to demand it! I want to freely frolic outside while nude and not have to worry about the chill in the air. I want the full effect of the heat and humidity and the wonderful freedom to enjoy it all naked. I want the beach, the pool parties, the cookouts, the volleyball, the softball, the hikes and the hot weather. And, I want it all, now!

Now that I've expressed my frustration, I feel much better. I appreciate your indulgence here. Oh, I still want the Summer. However, I'm now able to enjoy each day as it comes knowing that with each passing moment, I'm a little closer to my desire becoming reality. My patience has returned and my ranting is finished!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Everybody Wants To Do It Nude

Is it suddenly cool to be nude? Have we, the culture of nakedness, overnight become the trendiest phenomenon to attract the attention of the broadcast media? Do we need to start watching our backs lest our junk is beamed into millions of homes on television? This may just be the case if the entertainment industry continues to think of us as an untapped hot topic that all America wants to see.

First, it was "The Nak'd Truth," a new reality TV show featuring eight inexperienced personalities living and working at the Caliente Nudist Resort and Spa in Florida. The series was filmed during the month of January, 2011, and is set to be aired on cable in the near future. Now, another cable network is set to return to Caliente, located near Tampa, FL, to film a different performance by an industry celebrity.

The resort, through its Marketing Director Deb Bowen, announces that on May 17, 2011, The History Channel is scheduled to start production of a segment for the series, "Only In America." This episode features the comedian, Larry the Cable Guy (real name: Dan Whitney). At this time, the length of the shooting is uncertain.

Ms. Bowen added that she didn't know it the celebrity host would get naked for the shoot. She then stated: "We're presenting him with the opportunity."

The official website for "Only In America" describes the show as "totally off the beaten path to find the people, places and things that define this nation's unique history." At this time, there is no definite air-date for this particular broadcast.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ireland To Host 2014 Naturists

The International Naturist Federation (INF) has announced that Ireland will host the World Naturist Conference in 2014. The precise location for the event will be determined later. The Irish gathering will be the 34th world conclave that is held every other year. The 2012 conference is scheduled to be hosted in the city of Koversada, Croatia.

The INF is a gay-friendly international association that is primarily centered on national organizations within the European Union. It describes itself through its mission statement: "The International Naturist Federation is an organization consisting of member federations in thirty countries. Together with other interested parties involved with naturist activities, the INF-FNI works to enhance and improve the naturist experience and the naturist business climate by promoting the benefits of naturism to the general public."

For additional information on the INF, click on the photo above.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

World Naked Gardening Day, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011, marks the seventh annual observance of World Naked Gardening Day. People throughout the world, regardless of whether naturist/nudist or not, are encouraged to attend to their horticultural tasks while nude. It's a fun and unique opportunity to be efficiently environmentally-friendly. Not only are we nurturing the natural, we're at the same time reducing the amount of phosphates polluting our soil. No clothes means less soiled laundry, right?

Originally started in 2005 by the Body Freedom Collective, the event is gaining in popularity globally. It makes no difference as to the type of garden a person has, floral or vegetable, or where it's located, indoors or outside, the important goal is to make it fun and healthy and do it naked. Of course, hats and shoes, for protective purposes, are allowed. One of the original co-founders of World Naked Gardening Day, Mark Storey, adds: "Naked gardening is one of the few activities that many people can appreciate, even id they have never given such a thing a try before. If you've done it once, it's like just seems the coolest thing in the world to do."

Yours truly will participate this year, along with many others around our planet. I'll attend to the needs of my plants inside my one bedroom condominium, nude. Actually, it's not a new experience for me. I've been naked gardening for almost my entire life. Please, Go Green and join in the celebration of World Naked Gardening Day! You'll be glad that you did!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Food For Thought: The Fruitful Nude

Just a fun thought here to start your weekend off with a smile. Have you ever thought about what it's like to be a naked banana? It can't be too difficult a life as once you shed your covering, you're nude for life, right? Free to be your natural banana-self for all eternity. Never having to dress-to-impress for those great social events. Never having to cover-up in order to travel from one naked social to another. Never having to worry what to say when caught in a not-cool-to-be-nude moment. Never, ever, having to dress and suppress your naturalness, your nakedness, your true identity. Never having to stress about what the neighbors (or others) may think.

Life as a naked banana just might offer some positive advantages. There's nothing illegal or prohibitive about it. Never having to think about where you dropped your clothes. Not a single care in the world. Unless, of course, someone says: "I think I'll bake some banana nut bread!"

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Is "Nudecentric?"

Over the past month or so, maybe longer, I've received almost a dozen email requests from readers here asking specifically: "What is nudentric? What does it mean?" It's a term that I've used while blogging here to describe an activity or event. I also use it as an article tag or label. At times, I've employed several derivitives such as "nudecentism" or "nudecentered." I apologize for any confusion and hope to clarify the question through this blog entry.

Nudecentric simply implies nude-focused. It explains how the subject relates to our culture of nakedness/nudity. Just as egocentric refers to the focus on self or afrocentric refers to focus on Africa or African heritage, the same holds true for nudecentric. It is the interest or importance of the item to naturists/nudists. It is the relationship between the topic and its intended audience. For example, the accompanying graphic is nudecentric. It directs men to where they may safely sunbathe nude. At the same time, it is nudecentric as it cautions others to the fact that men are experiencing the beach while naked if you proceed in that particular direction.

Another example is this publication. It is nudecentric as it features items of special interest for nudists or pertaining to nudism or nudity. This blog is likewise nudecentric because it may not appeal to the clothed/textile population. It warns the reader that the content contained here may offend them or make them uncomfortable. This publication is nudecentric as it helps educate those men genuinely curious about naturism as a possible lifestyle for themselves. Unfortunately, but realistically, it also attracts voyeurs.

Along the same lines, this blog isn't exclusively nudecentric. It is Deafcentric as well as gaycentric/homocentric/queercentric. I am, after all, composing from those spaces in my life as well as my nudist viewpoint.

Nudecentric is about naked, naturism, naturists, nude, nudism and nudity. How it pertains or relates to the individual man depends on his own background, experience and worldview. Nudecentric means many things to an equal number of people. Regardless of perspective, it is basically the same implied definition for all, simply nude-focused.

Even though I can't recall ever seeing the word printed anywhere, I can't take credit for "inventing" it. I'm sure someone else has used it before me. I like the word as it relates to me, my life and my writing. I'm not a renaisance man, I'm a nudecentric man.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Royals Promote Nudism

Last weeks Royal Wedding in London has ignited a flame of royal-related coverage throughout the media. Not surprising considering the state of the world today, especially in the financial circles. Everyone and everywhere, it seems, is eager to establish some sort of "royal connection," whether it is with the British Royal Family or the royals of another country. At the moment, it is a popular topic so why not create some type of bond? Yours truly is just as guilty here.

The island of Rab, Croatia, like myself, is doing exactly that among naturist/nudist tourists. However, what makes this destination unique is the fact they've used the royal connection since the mid-1950s. Thus far, it's proved extremely advantageous for the tourism industry on the island. The local residents enjoy the business and the notoriety.

Rab, located in the Adriatic Sea, is a part of the modern state of Croatia. During the better part of the last century, it was formerly a province of what was then Yugoslavia. Naturists have been surreptitiously expressing themselves on this locale since the early 1900s. This island tolerated but didn't officially recognize nude sunbathing until a foreign king received permission to be naked.

In the summer of 1936, just prior to the abdication crisis, Britain's King Edward VIII took his soon-to-be wife, Wallis Warfield Simpson, on a private cruise throughout the Adriatic Sea. Rab was one of their many destinations. While visiting there, aides to the King applied to the local authorities for permission for His Majesty and Ms. Simpson to sunbathe nude. Of course, this was allowed. Evidently, what's good for the king is also good for the commoner and soon thereafter, nude sunbathing was permitted throughout designated areas of the island.

Tourism increased exponentially to the delight of the residents and merchants. Unfortunately, fate wasn't so kind for King Edward VIII. By the end of the year, amid public outcry over his planned marriage to Ms. Simpson, he was forced to abdicate his throne in favor of his younger brother, who became King George VI, father of the current Queen.

Rab continues to promote it's royal connection in marketing itself as a tourist haven. And, to its credit, it welcomes and embraces naturists/nudists to frolic clothes-free on its shores. Thank you, King Edward VIII!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nakation Destinations: North America's Top Ten Nude Beaches, Part II

Here are the top five public nudist beaches in North America. All of these, although not exclusively gay, are very gay-friendly. I admit that I was somewhat surprised with this listing, Gunnison Park (Sandy Hook), didn't make the top ten. Maybe next time!

5. Fire Island, New York

This popular gay spot is accessible by ferry from Manhattan. The two areas that are predominantly queer are Cherry Grove and The Pines. Otherwise, it's primarily heterosexuals and voyeurs. Cherry Grove is the more commercial of the two sections while The Pines retains more of a natural setting. In practice, there's little nudity on the beaches of The Pines and Cherry Grove. Most of the naturists chose to locate themselves along the stretch of beach between the two. Caution: driving here can be a challenge.

4. Black's Beach, California

This is perhaps one of the most nude beaches throughout the world. Located in San Diego, it has been a mecca for naturists, both straight and gay, since the early 1970s. Long known for its scenic background, this waterfront destination usually attracts up to 5,000 visitors per day on the weekends. Wear comfortable walking shoes, to access the beach, you need to descend a 300 foot cliff.

3. Wreck Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia

This world-class beach was featured in an article in this blog last month. It also has an international reputation among nudists. The clothing-optional area is clearly marked by signs. The waterfront stretches more than six kilometers and is always packed on weekends. This property is a must-see for any true nudist, at least once in your lifetime. Additional information:

2. Hippie Hollow, Austin, Texas

Yes, even Bush-country features a nudist wonder! This gay hot-spot is located just outside Austin on the rocky slopes of man-made Lake Travis. Both Memorial Day and Labor Day are peak times for gays here. Hippie Hollow is the only legal public nudist location in all of Texas.

1. Haulover Beach, Miami, Florida

Not surprisingly, the numer one spot belongs in The Sunshine State. Located just north of Bal Harbour in Miami, this model urban clothing-optional beach offers more than a half-mile of sand and surf. As can be expected, it is very popular and expect crowds whenever you visit here. For additional information:

Of course, there are many other clothing-optional beaches, lakes, etc. throughout North America that are just as beautiful and probably less crowded than the sites mentioned here. The important thing to remember is to get out and enjoy as many as possible. Remember those frigid February mornings?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Nakation Destinations: North America's Top Ten Nude Beaches, Part I

The Summer season is rapidly approaching and, once again, time for fun in the sun for us all, especially naturists/nudists. By this time, most of us have already made reservations for those special nakations that make this time of year worthwhile and relaxing. Realistically, there are a number of procrastinators who have neglected those arrangements and are now scrambling about looking for places to visit. This post is designed for you, specifically, and for the future reference of all, in general. Here's a list of the Top Ten Gay-Friendly Nude Public Beaches in North America. Included in this article are beaches number 10 through 6, in descending order.

Sources used in research include Gay Outdoors and OutSports. The list is current through last season, Summer, 2010. There are some listed that I've never visited. Where possible, I've given contact information. Keep in mind these are all public, not private, shores. None are exclusively gay and all are clothing-optional.

10. Mazo Beach, Wisconsin
Mazo Beach is located on the Wisconsin River in the southern part of the state, between Mazomanie and Sauk City. It's in a natural setting and features dark, soft sand. The river is pristine and is safe for swimming as long as there hasn't been heavy rainfall. Volleyball is available as are canoes for rental. During the weekdays there may be as few as a couple of dozen visitors around. The space is prime time during the weekends and public holidays.

9. Oval Beach, Saugatuck, Michigan

Technically, Oval Beach isn't a beach at all. It's waterfront located on a stretch of rolling dunes on the eastern coast of Lake Michigan, nestled between the queer resort cities of Saugatuck and Douglas. Both these communities are home to a number of gay artists. Saugatuck is sometimes referred to as the "Provincetown of the Midwest." The gay section of this destination is located along the north shore. It is accessible by ferry from Saugatuck and there are both parking and ferry fees.

8. San Onofre State Park, San Clemente, California

San Onofre State Park is between Los Angeles and San Diego. It is adjacent to the Pacific Ocean so there is an abundance of surf, shore and guests, all week long. The clothing-optional area is on the south end of the shoreline, just north of Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base. As expected, there are some Marine voyeurs wandering through the clothing-optional area at times. Caution is advised should they approach you. This beach was the scene of some controversy last season for citations issued to gay naturists who ventured to close to the military facilities. The nude section of the beach reaches maximum attendance daily; early arrivals are encouraged.

7. Baker Beach, San Francisco, California

Baker Beach is well-known in the queer community because it's an urban beach in one of the gayest of locales, San Francisco. It is minutes from downtown SF and offers an excellent view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The northern part of the beach is the prime gay area, however, this is San Franciso: trust, queers are everywhere, as are the casual, curious tourists. For additional information, visit:

6. Hanlan's Point Beach, Toronto, Ontario

Popular with gay naturists throughout Canada, this destination is on the shores of Lake Ontario. It was officially recognized as clothing-optional by the City of Toronto in 2002, after a long history of nudist sunbathing. It has both naked and textile areas. The island can be reached by ferry from the base of Bay Street at Queens Quay. Aside from the ferry cost, there are no additional fees. There's both nude beach sections and gay beach sections. Like the rest of the Dominion of Canada, gays are accepted in both areas.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!