Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekend Chillin': Rewards

The summer is a great time of year to sit back and chill through the weekend. Whether it's at the pool, the beach, with friends, alone with a good book, playing volleyball or whatever. Simply having the opportunity to sit back, relax, savor the moment and just be in the moment without a care in the world. This special freedom of experiencing the days without pressing obligations and an outside force (jobs) determining how we spend our time. Chilling: the art of regeneration and renewal after a chaotic and frantic five days of competing and stressing. Our just rewards and the well-earned fruits of our labors.

An extra bonus to this euphoria is when we know, deep within ourselves, that we have accomplished something important with our efforts. The knowledge that somehow, we have made a difference in the lives of others. Our energies and headaches combined to make this huge and vast world a better place for someone. We were a significant contributing factor in creating yet another small step towards changing the future and improving the quality of life for another human being. The fact that we, in our own special way, enriched and aided the common good of us all. This is when we can honestly appreciate and celebrate the time we allow for us to be us. A "quick minute" of contentment knowing that we gave our best and it was all good. What we offered started a ripple in the center of the ocean that somehow, just might actually reach out towards the diverse shorelines. That our individual abilities, gifts, skills and talents enabled us to become agents of change and progress.

These periods of satisfaction and success don't happen often in our lives. That's the purpose of this article. Those "few-and-far-between" ocassions when they truly do occur should be enough justification for us to bask in the moment and briefly feel happy and complete with our lives. We all need to do this for ourselves in order to empower ourselves to continue. After all, if we don't permit us to re-energize us, where is the next necessary energy originating? How else will we ever maintain the momentum and move forward if we all suffer "burn-out" with every undertaking? Each of us needs the "I did good" sensation before we recognize and act on the "I can do better" reality. Don't we all have to fail, at least once, before we succeed? This, above all, is human nature; regardless if we're queer or straight, nude or clothed, young or old, Deaf or hearing, etc.

All of us, in the routine of our daily lives, encounter defeat, negativity and rejection. In many ways, most of us deal with some form of discrimination for whatever perceived reason and through no fault of our own. Therefore, why should we deny ourselves the chance to be pleased with our accomplishments? There's nothing wrong with being proud about what we have done. We've all earned the priviledge of self-satisfaction simply for being ourselves and being compassionate towards our brothers and sisters. At the end of the day, that's what matters most. How we treat and regard our own.

That is precisely how I am spending my weekend, all my brothers and sisters. I am resting on my own laurel wreaths (and not ashamed to admit it). I know that I have provided and offered my all this past week, to persons unknown to me previously. I am comforted in the fact that I have made an impact both in and on their lives. I was the "proverbial" peeble that sparked a ripple in their presence and the lives of those that they may influence.

I know that I went the "extra kilometer/mile" above and beyond the expected. I've shared as much with all of you here. I took annual/personal leave from my professional obligations in order to enable them to meet specific criteria, both individual and educational. I gave of my own finances and expertise so that they, respectively, are able to go forth into our world and create a new world order based upon respect and sensitivity as opposed to brute force and sensationalism. Both their enthusiasm and passion are their defense and protection. They are the guardians of our collective survival. I am humbled by their dedication and their drive.

I am grateful for the patience, tolerance and understanding of all of you who visit here. There were often unforseen circumstances that distracted me from publishing for several days. I'm sorry for the disruption here and at the same time, thankful for the unique challenge that afforded me to meet and share with new and vibrant persons who want to influence and mold our future.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Naked Life

My Naked Life

I am naked and I am me.
I am the man I want to be.

When I am naked, I am nude,
Living life with a positive attitude.

I am naked and I am me.
I am the man I want to be.

When I am nude, I am also proud,
Whether alone or among a crowd.

I am naked and I am me.
I am the man I want to be.

When I am nude, I am living free,
I know that clothes are not for me.

I am naked and I am me.
I am the man I want to be.

When I am nude, I clear my mind,
Gone are the clothes that tie and bind.

I am naked and I am me.
I am the man I want to be.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger Poladopoulos, July 5, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Continuing HIV/AIDS Education Duties

Sorry, I am still facing numerous challenges in my HIV/AIDS prevention education responsibilities. None of these issues were anticipated nor forseen. They are beyond any control that I have over the curriculum. I apologize and will absolutely make every effort to resume posting here later today.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Late Publishing Today

This is the week that I'm facilitating an HIV/AIDS prevention education class. The class is nine hours daily. I arrived on site early this morning, intending to post here before the participants arrived. Once I entered the classroom, I discovered that all the materials from yesterday had been packed away overnight. I'm facing the task of repeating the two hours of set-up again this morning. For this reason, I'm publishing early this evening rather than my usual morning time.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A July Weekend At The Beach With A Song

The late Nat King Cole crooned about those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer" and how we'd wish that "summer would always be here." Well, folks, those days are now with us! Many of us same gender loving naturists/nudists are taking full advantage of the opportunities presented and spending as much of our free time as possible along the shore. The sunshine is plentiful and the surf is welcoming. One of the multitude of extra benefits is the beautiful scenery as our brothers join us in absorbing the delights of all the natural wonders surrounding us. We're out in full force to experience the days that Mr. Cole extolled with his popular song. Yes, it is truly summertime and most of indeed wish that it would be here all year long!

I've often marvelled over the fact when the beach season is with us, attitudes seem to dissipate in the warmth. As you stroll through the sand, people actually notice and acknowledge your presence. You encounter smiles and nods, completely unlike the cold stares that greet you during other times of the year. Despite the miles of congested traffic that we negotiate just to simply reach our destination, once we feel the sand and water beneath our feet, everyone assumes a totally different demeanor. We actually appear happy and carefree. We behave in a civil manner to strangers; hell, many of us become friendly. True, we're away from the daily stress and most of those we see are just as naked as we are. That may be a partial explanation for the sudden change in temperment.

Some of this openess and relaxation may be atrributed to the fact that we're away from familiar surroundings. We all know that when we're in an unfamiliar environment, especially on personal leisure time, our inhibitions disappear. Another consideration is the reality of our nudity. While most of us are nude, we no longer have the status of fashion to conceal our true personalities. Our nakedness makes us all equal. The dress-to-impress option isn't viable here. These issues are all important contributing factors to group cohesiveness. And every one of these reasons are all good.

But, there's something else present. It seems as though, collectively, all our nude brothers around us now are graced with sincerity. It's as though all are genuinely happy to interact with each other. It isn't a false pretense. We act like we're all honestly glad to be sharing the same space and rubbing elbows together. It's apparent that we've really become a true fraternity, a brotherhood of queer nudists, a community. The walls that too often artificially separate us are removed along with our clothes and we are united as one culture celebrating and proud of our nudity.

Those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer" are indeed with us physically and mentally. Our worldview is receptive and cordial. We are alive and thriving. We are relaxed and rejuvenated. Now, the challenge that we face is how to preserve this summer outlook throughout the remainder of the calendar year. How to retain this communal spirit for the rest of the seasons. In doing so, we are indeed permitting ourselves to experience the joy of summer all year, if not with the temperatures, at least in the sense of cameraderie and unity!

For me, I embrace the idea of a summer concept for the entire year. This mindset enables me to rely on my nude gay community for support during the frigid period of winter. It provides me with the strength to survive this bleak time of the year. This empowers me to join with Mr. Nat King Cole in singing the refrain "wishing summer would always be here." My wish is granted, at least in spirit!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

No Nude York City

New York State may be geared up to officially begin sanctioning same gender loving marriage this weekend; however, New York City won't be welcoming nude visitors to Coney Island Beach anytime soon. Municipal authorities have respectfully declined to act on a proposal endorsed by the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) that would allow public nudity at the popular Brooklyn beach. Apparently, general reaction and sentiment among city residents was against the initiative. For the forseeable future, it looks as though while vacationing in The Big Apple, fig leaves remain mandatory.

Nude sunbathing was permitted in certain sections of Coney Island as late as the early 1970s. Even then, the sections where it was permissable were segregated by gender. If you plan to play at Coney Island, you still need to have a swimsuit to conceal your genitalia. Both men and women are allowed to be topless at the seaside playground.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Conscientious Objections

Allow me to begin here with the fact that I thought long and hard over the selection of the title for this post. It wasn't an easy decision. The one that I chose isn't my preference. It does reflect my respect for the rights of others to follow their beliefs as long as it does no harm to anyone else. With that published, here's my beef!

Recently, in all the media, there's been a number of articles/broadcasts concerning the plight of all these innocent victims of the legalization of full marriage equality in New York State. Who are these poor, unfortunate souls? Why are they suffering at the expense of civil rights and justice? What wrong have we done to them?

Apparently, the enactment of total access to the right of matrimony law has discriminated against a few of the loyal Empire State employees. These local civic officials must now issue marriage licenses to same gender loving couples. As if that isn't bad enough, some of these public servants must now perform the civil ceremonies legalizing this union between these citizens. So, what's the problem? These duties are part of their job description and this enables them to collect their paycheck and receive their benefits. They've successfully performed these tasks in the past so, what's up now?

In the past, it wasn't legal for queers to marry. Therefore, these dedicated public employees had no problems discriminating against GLBT people. That, my friends, is the plain and simple truth. Now, with the impending marriage equality, suddenly, they are now the victims and the gay community are the oppressors. These outstanding workers are finding themselves in a dilemma as the professional requirements of their jobs mandate they provide marriage opportunities to same gender loving persons. This, it seems, is in direct conflict with their personal moral/religious convictions. These helpless innocents must now choose between their paychecks and their faith. Isn't this one of the many reasons that we have the constitutional separation of church and state?

The popular journalists are having a playday with this issue. The downtrodden must now choose between their selected profession and their faith of preference. Now, the media are all over them and their personal stories of grief and torment. The headlines of the day read of the crisis of conviction. As if marriage rights for gays happened overnight and without any previous warning!

Spare me the drama, the hype and all the tears. If there's a conflict, make your choice and go or stay. It's an individual and a private decision. If the media feel compelled to create a fuss, what about all the GLBT people who were denied the right of matrimony for all these many years? How about we celebrate that we are now one step closer to true freedom and justice after all these years of injustice? Or better, why don't we just sit back and allow equality to evolve?

Congratulations to all in New York who are finally getting married this upcoming weekend! Best wishes to you all! May your new life together bring you happiness and joy!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hump Day

For those who trudge daily in the workforce, one of the typical comments or greetings on Wednesday mornings is: "Happy Hump Day!" or "At least, it's Hump Day." Hump Day, of course, being Wednesday, the middle day of the traditional workweek. The day when the countdown begins towards the arrival of yet another weekend; chill-time, party-time and/or play-time. Basically, time for us to do what we want, when we want and most importantly, if we want.

Personally, I've always wondered about this Hump Day ritual. Why is it significant? Is it absolutely necessary that we have to remind ourselves of the obvious? After all, Wednesdays have forever been Wednesdays, the middle day of the week and therefore, the middle day of the customary workweek. So, why the need for the additional reminder?

Is it because we are so miserable in our respective jobs that compels us to show our collective support and encouragement? If this is indeed the case, then why aren't we changing jobs? If we're tired of being in the workforce, then why not find a task that is less demanding? If we have so little individual satisfaction in our current place of employment, why not seek one that is more rewarding or offers a better sense of purpose and fulfillment? And the questions raised by this phenomenon known as Hump Day are endless.

Please, don't misunderstand me, I anticipate the weekend just as much as the next man. I'm happy to spend the day with family and friends and the freedom of coming and going as I choose. I like to relax and to decide what it is that I want. I simply don't need the notice that it's once again Wednesday. I was secure in that knowledge when I woke up long before anyone saw fit to remind me.

In the meantime, have a great Wednesday! If you need the reinforcement, happy Hump Day! Allow me to be one of the first to add: "I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!"

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Early Morning Commute

I have an early departure today relating to an HIV/AIDS prevention education class that I'm facilitating all next week. No morning post today.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Michael Irvin On OUT

Former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver, Michael Irvin, joins the growing list of professional athletes, past and present, to step forward in support of justice for all. Mr. Irvin, who frequently held notoriety as a "bad boy" in the NFL, appears as one of the two alternate covers on OUT magazines current Sports issue. The cover of the issue is pictured above.

In the accompanying article, Irvin discusses his unequivocal endorsement of total equality in all areas, especially on the issue of same gender marriage. In a very honest and personal interview, the NFL Hall of Fame honoree reveals that his older brother, Vaughn, was gay and also a cross-dresser. This discovery led him to explore his own sexuality through professional counseling and opened his eyes to the plight of gay people everywhere. He shares that he was with his father when he first saw his brother in public dressed in drag. When he commented on this, his father merely responded: "He's your brother and you love him."

Simple words that clearly demonstrate the essence of unconditional love. That basic sentence is the cornerstone, the foundation, of true family values. Love triumphs hate, everytime. Congratulations and thank you, Michael Irvin!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Joys Of July!

People are so fickle and just too funny! Most are so thrilled with the prospect of snow, the cold weather and the warmth of a fireplace during the month of December. They are content with wrapping themselves in heavy overcoats and trudging about in anticipation of the winter holidays and dreaming of the mythical and delusional "white Christmas." It's all so wonderful then reality sets in. Suddenly the unpleasantness of freezing ASSets hit and somewhere in early January, usually around the Dr. Martin L. King weekend, many complain about the cold, the ice, cabin fever and stalled engines. What was wonderful a few weeks before is no longer bearable nor fun. The winter doldrums are the pits!

Winter fades, ever so slowly, and is replaced with the Spring. Hearts and minds become a little lighter as the temperatures gradually rise and the earth is renewed. Thoughts turn towards the summer and many become more animated as plans for nakations and outdoor activities are plotted and discussed. Moods generally blossom as do the flowers as thoughts, in turn, begin to focus on warmer days ahead. All of a sudden, life doesn't seem quite so bleak and dreary anymore and most seem to return to a state of being happy once again. Somehow, the memories of freezing and sneezing are forgotten and the joy of living in the present moment resurfaces.

Before we know it, June is here and everyone is excited and on-the-go. Weekend calendars are full of social engagements. Upcoming trips and outings are shared in street cafes, along pool decks and over meals prepared on the grille. It's as though the entire world is as reborn as the vegetation and foliage surrounding us. Life is once again good and the entire universe appears perfect and open for exploration. There just doesn't seem enough time in the day to accomplish all we want, despite the fact that the daylight is indeed longer.

June passes ever so fast and is followed by the July 4th festivities. Fireworks, food and fun in the sun! Summer is grand and all seem to be having the proverbial times of their lives. There doesn't seem to be a care in the world as one event evolves into another in a cycle that looks to be endless. Let the good times roll on forever!

Then, shortly after the July 4th sparklers sizzle out, the drudgery and complaints return. All of a sudden, it's too hot or too humid or both. The outdoors is abandoned in favor of air conditioning and the collective mindset becomes that it is simply unbearable to be outside. July, like January, is now a month to be suffered. For many, one minute is succeeded by another of equal misery. In the eyes of most, the temperature is seen as a burden.

Yes, people are fickle and funny! Yet, I, on the other hand, must be absurd! I actually, honestly and truly appreciate the joys of July! I savor the afternoons of heat and humidity. Personally, I'd rather be hot than cold anytime. I can always find a means to cool off, whereas during the winter, I am rarely, if ever, warm. Give me the pleasures of hot and nude over the discomfort of layers upon layers of cumbersome clothing. I'll take the simple joy of skinny-dipping as opposed to the challenge of being s'naked at the drop of the hat (and scarf and gloves)! Oh yes, I bask in the glory of the joys of July! Bring it on!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy World Nude Day!

World Nude Day is July 14, annually. The holiday originated in New Zealand and is now celebrated and recognized by naturist/nudist communities around the world. Be yourself, get natural and have some fun on World Nude Day!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

World Nude Day Lottery: UK

Stereotypically, the British are known the world over for their "proverbial stiff-upper-lip," firm resolve and prim-and-proper attitude. Remember, this is the island kingdom that bestowed upon the entire world a set of values supposedly espoused by the venerable Queen Victoria. Well, evidently the times have drastically changed and money talks as this nation prepares to be an innovator in celebrating World Nude Day, July 14, 2011. This particular celebration is unique and may perhaps be the first of its kind anywhere.

WinTrillions, the operator of the world's biggest lottery website, are launching a new online lottery game to coincide with World Nude Day on July 14 (known in the United Kingdom as National Nude Day). If you can't play publicly naked on this date, you now have the ability to play nude at home online. Shed your clothes and cover yourself in millions of legal tender bills! That's a creative approach to a global naturist/nudist event! This website allows lottery fans to indulge in the richest government-licensed lotteries internationally, regardless of residence.

This naked game features Jacqueline, an online persona, being chased by foxhounds (typically British foxhunt) while wearing only a pair of riding boots and a string of sausages. I'm not sure of what sort of message this is intended to depict. The game is accessible at: Sorry, Blogger issues won't allow me to create the link here.

Lucy Gold, a spokesperson for WinTrillions, shared: "We know that National Nude Day is a great event supported by nudist groups around the world and we're just trying to have a bit of fun. Hopefully, Jacqueline will bring a smile to people's faces."

Regardless of whether you play the lottery or not (I don't), have a great World Nude Day! If you do play the naked lottery and win, remember, you read about it here. My fee is ten percent! LOL!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Signs Of The Season...

'Tis the season to be...nude! Some reminders that summertime is here and it's our time to get out and to experience the best that this particular time of year has to offer. These days were made for relaxation and fun. Unfortunately, they won't last forever. Before it's too late, plan now and make the most of it!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

FYI: Thursday, July 14, is World Nude Day. Whenever possible, plan to observe! Problems with posting my scheduled entry here on Blogger today. Hopefully, they can resolve the issue soon!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Early Demise: R.I.P. DADT

Last December, the U. S. Congress, in a lame duck session, passed the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), the ban on GLBT persons openly serving in the U. S. Armed Forces. President Obama promtly signed the bill into law, thus bringing a nominal end to the decades of practice of denying gays the right to serve their country Oddly enough, The Pentagon, throughout this time, would selectively decide to not enforce this policy, most recently, during the Iraqi conflicts.

This legislative and executive action did mark the beginning of the end of DADT. However, it didn't halt the discharges. In order to pass the House Of Representatives, a series of prerequisites were written into the law to slowly ensure a minimum of problems as the military transitioned into a gay-friendly force. The result of the legislative action is that DADT is in effect until probably late autumn, 2011.

One can appreciate the need for an orderly and smooth evolution from an exclusive to an inclusive defense service. These guidelines guarantee a uniform and consistent policy in all the five branches of the military. However, once President Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, signed the repeal, the discharges under the old policy (DADT) should have ceased immediately. After all, within a year, the entire issue would become a moot point anyway.

A moratorium should have been declared on the intitiation of or the processing of all severance from service cases from the moment of signature. That should have been good news to all the fiscal conservatives considering the cost of each individual discharge, not to mention the price of training someone to replace them. Common sense tells us that it is absurd to discharge someone under a law that for all intents and purposes is already dead. That can't be conducive to troop morale. Concern for the women and men who are risking their lives daily in the service of their country dictates that we spare them the additional burden of performing their patriotic duty while living with this undue stress of possibly being discharged. Obviously, rational thinking did not prevail in the hallowed halls of the Congress.

Last week, a three-judge panel of the Ninth District U. S. Court of Appeals lifted the stay of enforcement, implemented last November, after a judge of that same court declared DADT unconstitutional. The stay was issued to permit the Department of Defense and the Congress the chance to resolve this matter. The judiciary weighed in when the legislative and executive both failed to demonstrate sound and logical judgment. At least one of the branches of the federal government is able to exhibit a degree of retional thought.

Now, people are arguing that the courts overstepped their authority by pre-empting the decisions of the legislative and executive arms of government. Actually, the judicial belatedly reacted to redress the oversight of the other two federal branches. The stay against enforcement should have been lifted several months ago. The hypocrisy of discharging active servicemembers when the instrument authorizing such action is being repealed is costly, wasteful, impractical, unfair and unjust.

It's about damn time that someone stepped in to clear up this mess. Isn't that what responsible government is about? Being responsible for owning mistakes and correcting previous wrongs. Isn't that what justice for all is about?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, July 8, 2011

TGIF: Pool Party

It's summertime! It's another weekend! It's playtime! The season for pool parties, among other endless outdoor options. If pools aren't your thing, there's numerous other outdoor activities to keep you busy playing hard and playing for fun! The water's fine, come in in! To the right here, yours truly is about to take the plunge into the pool. Join me?

FYI: July 14, annually is National Nude Day. A day set aside to be nude all day, whether in public or in private. Although I can't understand the private nudity aspect, it's all good. Once again, I imagine this is a means of encouraging those who wouldn't ordinarily experience nudity to try it at least once. For naturists/nudists, as if we really needed an excuse to be naked, it's official: party away! LOL!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Naked Banana

A little summer beach humor to brighten your day and hopefully bring a grin to your chin. I magine, if you will, a hot summer afternoon and two bananas find themselves at the beach with nothing to do. Bored, and somewhat warm, they look around trying to find something interesting to help pass the time and, most importantly, to help them cool off. The sand is dry and gritty and therefore not appealing. The boardwalk is a little too far away. Besides, it's too crowded with people and that fact eliminates it as an option. These particular bananas are in their prime and the thought of ending up in a banana pudding doesn't feel right at this moment. Besides, how often do they get a day at the beach?

Looking around, they spot the ocean. The breeze blowing across it towards the land is cool. The waves rolling in are gentle and a curious sight. The water has a bluish hue that resembles the cloudless sky. Most importantly, the ocean itself appears cool, refreshing and wet. This might not be such a bad choice after all.

What the hell? They decide to give it a try and strip off their peelings and make a mad dash towards the welcoming body of water. Eureka! Instant skinny-dipping bananas!

Intrigued, the humans strolling along the boardwalk notice this curious behavior and stare in amazement. What is happening here? Is this for real? Wait, it looks as though these naked bananas are actually enjoying being naked in the ocean! Overcome with curiosity, men and women approach the waters edge and continue to observe the bananas at play.

First one, then another, followed by several remove their clothes and venture into the waves. Soon, it's a stampede as people shed their garments and dive nude into the water. Skinny-dipping as a summer pastime is born!

Moral: All it takes is for one man to strip off his clothes first. Others will soon follow his lead.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

See also The Fruitful Nude entry posted here on May 6, 2011.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mid-Week Reminder

We're midway through National Nude Recreation Week. A friendly reminder to go out and try a new activity during your leisure time. Most importantly, experience it in the nude. It's a great opportunity to meet new people and, who knows, you may discover that it's something you might want to pursue further. Seasoned naturists/nudists are likewise encouraged to expand horizons and attempt a new challenge. It's one of those simple things that helps to keep life interesting.

A new leisure pursuit doesn't necessarily need to be an active one. Quiet, "chill-time" moments relieve stress and allow for us all to regroup and refocus both mentally and emotionally. A good book, a personal development article or a crossword puzzle are excelent tools for relaxation. These suggestions and similar ones provide a welcome distraction from the cares and problems we all encounter in our daily lives. They give us a chance to balance our perspectives on life and our worldview.

Whatever your pleasure, take a moment for yourself. It's healthy and wise and good for the soul. The benefits are endless and immeasurable. Equally important is the fact that the benefactor is us, individually, and not some corporate or impersonal "bottom line."

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sandy Hook/Gunnison Beach Invasion

Before anyone panics or suffers a coronary, let me explain. Aliens from outer space (or inner earth) have not landed. Sandy Hook, Gunnison Beach, is a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, located in northeast New Jersey, convenient to New York City. It is also, unfortunately, the only clothing-optional public beach in the entire northeast USA. This unique distinction translates into elbow-to-elbow (and other body parts) crowds on summer weekends as naturists/nudists converge to enjoy a day in the sun. Now, it appears, they aren't the only ones visiting the sandy shores. Identity thieves, or rather digital image thieves, have invaded the hallowed naked shores.

What's being violated is the privacy of beachgoers electing the nudist category of the clothing-optional policy. They are being captured on camera without their knowledge nor permission. Later, to their regret, their images are being published illegally on the internet and from there widely re-distributed time and time again. It's not just happening on social networking sites; often, pornographic webpages are posting these pictures as well. For some, an innocent excursion to a local beach for a day of frolicking legally nude becomes a nightmare of anger, frustration and headaches long after the joy of the moment has passed.

Modern technology is enabling these image poachers in their illicit craft. Almost every mobile communication device known to humans now has a camera feature and voyeurs are taking full advantage of this availability. In the past, a camera was easy to spot on a congested beach and anyone making indiscriminate pictures of those relaxing nearby was immediately identifiable and the situation could be handled by the victims, the appropriate authorities or both. This is no longer true. The virtual universal use of mobile devices makes identification and apprehension almost impossible.

It's not only the best and beautiful naturists with their near-perfect physiques who are the victims here, although they remain primary subjects. The regular, average run-of-the-mill nudists are targets as well, often with a cruel and insensitive twist. Recently, three women who frequent Sandy Hook, discovered their naked photos online with the label: "Manatees." This form of public humiliation and disrespect equals bullying and is just as offensive and insulting. No one, regardless of their physical appearance, should endure this indecency, whether nude or clothed.

Another example, not bullying but equally as serious involved a family of German tourists. After their visit to Gateway, they discovered photographs of their minor children, nude, on the internet and recognized the surroundings as Gunnison Beach. Childhood pornography is illegal internationally and the legal authorities became involved. A prolonged investigation resulted in an arrest in this case. This action is abusive and indicates irresponsible disregard for the wellbeing of a child. As mentioned before, this activity is also criminal.

Of course, this repugnant behavior isn't restricted to the Sandy Hook/Gunnison Beach location at Gateway National Recreation Area. It's occuring everywhere there are public clothing-optional beaches. Given the proximity to the New York City area and the high volume of weekend traffic, Sandy Hook has a high rate of reported incidence and an understandably irate audience. A public facility is as the name implies: open to the public. Anyone who pays the admission fee is able to gain access. There are no membership qualifications. Equally unenforceable and futile is denying cell phone usage. Instant and mobile communication is a presumed inalienable right in our modern society.

We, as naturists/nudists, already know that voyeurs and their kind have been around as long as we've been naked. They are the parasites that accompany the turf, if you will. As long as their conduct isn't too invasive nor obtrusive, we've reluctantly tolerated their presence. However, these latest acts of shameless disregard of ourselves and increasing aggressiveness and ill-will towards us have pushed the proverbial envelope too far. These malicious infringements against us have got to stop. Now!

If we find ourselves in this type of predicament, what are our options? There are a few basic ones to consider. First and foremost is the obvious: be alert. Notice what is happening around us. If we observe something unusual or suspicious, don't approach the offender alone. Do make it apparent that you are watching, such as pointing out the individual to friends and neighbors. Often, that's enough to cause the person to either stop or to relocate to another spot on the beach.

Second, if the initial step fails to work, then enlist the support of a friend or a fellow beach lounger. Together, approach the voyeur and politely yet firmly request that they desist. Don't become engaged in a lengthy discussion; merely make your case, thank the person and then leave. Keeping the interaction direct and simple leaves no room for misunderstanding. Most importantly, there is a live witness to the encounter.

As a last resort, alert the authorities. Most lifeguards are reluctant to intervene directly; however, by openly contacting them, the culprit may be deterred. If there are park police on site, they can be asked to become involved. This may result in having to file a formal complaint; but, this is necessary in order to end this disgusting practice and keeping ourselves safe.

We all want our beach trips to be exactly what we intended them to be: fun and carefree. Unfortunately, these insulting incidents and those perpetrators make this increasingly difficult. Hopefully, awareness and understanding will enable us to protect ourselves and, collectively, eliminate this infringement on our recreation and relaxation. It's time we are once again able to experience what is rightfully ours.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, July 4, 2011

National Nude Recreation Week: July 4-10, 2011

National Nude Recreation Week, the designated period to get out and be active and experience life while naked, is July 4 through 10, this year. Sponsored annually by the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), this year it starts of with the metaphorical bang of the fireworks displays on July 4. The AANR invites all of America (and the rest of the world), to shed their clothes and join them in having fun, playing and frolicking while nude. There's no better way to relax during this high-volume summer holiday week than in your birthday suit on the national birthday. There's no better time than the warm season of sun and surf to encourage the traditionally clothed to forget their inhibitions and "do it" in the buff at least once during their lifetime.

The association uses this promotion as a means of extolling the values and virtues of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, the incorporation of exercise and fitness into the daily routine and the benefits of social nudity. Naturally, (no pun intended), by inviting the textile population to participate, the organization hopes to expand individual and family membership as well as the numbers of the general public involved in the joys of being naked. It is not known as to how many are actually converted to nudism during this annual observance.

"We'd like everyone to know how much better off we'd be if everyone knew the physical, spiritual and emotional benefits of nudism," says Dr. Gerry Goodenough of Corona, CA, a reitred physician. "The constricting emotional doors all drop away and pretty soon we're all playing like little kids again."

Of course, for those of us already practicing the naturist/nudist life, none of this is news. We're familiar with all the benefits of living the life and most of us are spending a significant amount of our leisure time engaged in naked activities and exercises. Most importantly, we're comfortable and content within our social nude circles and we're celebrating our nakedness because we want to, it is our respective decision. Take any recreational opportunity and you'll find that we're already involved and participating. Running, swimming, volleyball, basketball, softball, sewing, painting, reading, board games, card games, creative crafts or whatever and you'll find queer nudists are pursuing their interests and skills. We gain from National Recreation Week the chance to demonstrate our abilities during the numerous competitions, contests and tournaments held by hundreds of nudist resorts and travel destinations at this time. For us, this is literally "Christmas in July!"

It's clearly obvious that our culture of nakedness recognizes and values the ideals of fitness and health to us all. We've recently hosted nudecentric events such as World Naked Gardening Day (May), World Nude Hiking Day (June) and the World Naked Bike Ride, Northern Hemisphere edition, also in June. These and other challenges, such as the upcoming Nudestock and Nude-A-Palooza, to name a few, demonstrate the commitment of our community to emotional and physical development through recreation and leisure skills. Social nudism is more about incorporating the active life concept and much less about fostering the sedentary lifestyle. It involves the whole same gender loving person as opposed to one lone aspect of that individual. It's inclusive of us being us, celebrating us, doing us and living us rather than simply being us as a one dimensional part of our core.

During National Nude Recreation Week and beyond, as a community and as a man, let's get out and experience life. Let's do our own thing and test the limits of our respective hobbies, interests, skills and talents. What's important is that in doing so, we benefit both emotionally and physically as well as mentally. Equally paramount is the fact that we're having fun in the process.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy July Fourth!

Happy July Fourth! It's the end of a three-day holiday weekend here in the USA, so those who are travelling, please take extra precautions and remain alert. So many are tired and distracted at this time so a little extra attention may help you arrive at your destination safely. Nothing is worse than having a relaxing and restful holiday marred by a disaster at the very end. Many are taking the entire week off from work; have fun but likewise remember to be vigilant. Have fun and be safe!

This holiday traditionally concludes with massive firework displays in the evening. Plan for exceptionally large crowds with a significant number of folks attending who really have no business out in public: they are either naturally rude and inconsiderate or they are among the blessed and born without a clue as to the world around them. Whatever the case may be, remember to bring with you some extra patience as it will truly be needed.

This year, this holiday also marks the beginning of National Nude Recreation Week, July 4 through 10, 2011. This date is determined and promoted by the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). A little more on that later.
Happy July Fourth!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

TGIF: Three-Day Weekend!

Throughout most of North America, this first weekend in July is a three-day holiday weekend. Today, Canadians are celebrating the founding of the Dominion of Canada. Monday, Americans are observing the July Fourth holiday. To all of you in both countries, have a great three-day weekend! If you plans include travel, please be safe and cautious. Take extra time to ensure that you haven't forgotten anything and to allow for traffic congestion.

If your destination is a sunny resort, remember to properly apply the correct level of sunscreen. This is particularly important if including nude outdoor activities. Generously apply protection to all areas of the body that have previously been concealed under clothing. None of us need any painful health problems now or in the future. After sun exposure, moisturize your body generously and thoroughly to avoid dry skin.

Prior to departure, purchase latex or polyurethane condoms and water-based lubricant. Keep these convenient as one never knows what may happen or who you may meet. Better to have on hand rather than interrupt the mood and run out to buy them. Travel safe, play safe and be safe!

Whether mobile or staying at home, it's Friday and a three-day weekend! Strip off those cumbersome clothes and enjoy the extended play-time nude! Have fun and celebrate your nakedness!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Happy Canada Day!

July 1 is Dominion of Canada Day! Happy Canada Day and best wishes to all subjects living either there or abroad! You're enjoying a three-day national holiday weekend as are we, your southern neighbors. Thank you for showing to all of us exactly how inclusive and tolerant a true democracy can be. Canada is well ahead of the USA in embracing and enshrining equality for its GLBT people and we salute you! May the Maple Leaf flag fly proudly forever!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!