Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Bottoms Out With A Chill

Today is the final day of November and although it's been a mild one weather-wise, it's going away with a distinct chill in the air. All I have to do is to step outside and it's obvious that the moderate temperatures have migrated. Winter is less than a month from now and the thermometer reflects that reality. I really can't complain, though. I can remember many Novembers when the nights were freezing and the days weren't all that much warmer. All things considered, the month could have been a miserable one. I'm grateful that it wasn't.

In keeping with my practice over the past years, I'm trying to keep a positive outlook about the approaching winter. Experience has taught me that remaining upbeat is far better than allowing myself to slump into a state of depression. It also somehow manages to make the dreary days pass a little bit faster than they would otherwise. Anything to ward off those dreadful winter blahs.

Recently, I published here a technique that I use to help maintain a positive attitude during the wintertime. I research, plan and implement nakations for the upcoming year. That process is already underway; albeit slightly behind schedule due to my taking advantage of the unseasonably comfortable weather. I'm not a complete fool and whenever possible I'm outside and engaging in any nude activity available. I know colder days lie ahead and I can postpone travel plans for at least one more day! I maybe Deaf but I'm not stupid!

Another strategy that I employ during the coldest days of the year is to download all the photographs that I took the previous spring, summer and autumn seasons. Memories of naked moments with friends and outdoor fun. Once I store them onto my computer, I create slideshows for a frame in order to remind myself of better days ahead. These frames I place strategically throughout my home so that no matter what room I'm in, there's always a visual image of sunshine, blue skies and loved ones. A pleasant project to undertake that provides therapeutic and effective results. To alleviate monotony, I periodically exchange content and location throughout the frigid months.  

I know that many may think me silly for despising winter. That maybe true. However, I am who I am. This task to relieve my misery over this idiosyncrisy probably seems simplistic to others. Again, that, too, undoubtedly is an accurate observation. But this works for me and that's what counts. Whatever floats your boat, right?   

I'm posting this entry here in the chance that some of you reading this share my aversion to cold, dreary days. Hopefully, you can use this suggestion to ease your suffering or to modify it  and develope one on your own. Regardless, it's offered as a tool and offered out of compassion. Incidentally, while composing this article, I took a minute to glance at my diary. I have a total of twelve different days in November that I was able to be nude and outdoors either on a picnic, hiking or playing a sport. Not too bad for a month that I usually write-off as a lost cause!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Please remember: Tomorrow, December 1, is World AIDS Day. Please wear a red ribbon to show everyone that you are both aware of this disease and that you care about efforts to ease the suffering of others and your concern for research to find a cure.   

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Living In A Glass House: Newt And DOMA

The 2012 contest for our next president is now upon us. With slightly over a month left before the January 3, 2012, Iowa caucus, the Republican Party is still scrambling to find a suitable candidate to challenge the re-election of President Barack Obama. The most current hopeful in that bid is none other than Newton Leroy Gingrich (Newt). He's back on the fast-track to leading the pack of wannabes after a campaign that almost disappeared from view this past summer. Proof positive that the GOP is either desperately out of touch or losing it's mind or, in my view, a combination of both.

No one can argue that the core base of this particular political organization is the Christian extremist machine. Those who hold dear to the belief that it is their way or the proverbial highway. In other words, it's not about dialogue and compromise but about their philosophy of exclusion and damnation only. There is no middle ground. No diversity. No exception. You either talk the talk and walk the walk or else you're inferior and of no concern. Forget the Constitution and basic human rights. It's their narrow and bigoted interpretation of The Bible that counts and that's that.

Most of us are familiar the popular wisdom: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. This old adage has been passed down through generations reminding us all to defer judgment against others until we're absolutely certain that we, ourselves, are above reproach. In a nutshell, simply practice what you preach. That ancient moral is understandable and compatible with the values of the Christian extremists. After all, it was Jesus who admonished us that only those among us free from sin to cast the first stone. Hell, that even makes sense to me. What's even scarier, I actually subscribe to that practice in my own life.  

Consider this thought for a moment. If elected as our next president, Newt will have to reverse the directive of President Barack Obama and force the Justice Department to defend the archaic and discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Federal legislation that defines marriage as strictly between one man and one woman. DOMA also expressly forbids Federal recognition of marriage equality legally binding in six states and the District of Columbia. Newt and his band of quasi-religious fanatics have no choice in this matter. It's a part of their rhetoric of exclusion and inequality. If he wins, there's no other option for him and the haters.

My question is: Can Newt actually do this? My next question is: How credible a defender of marriage is he? Newt has been married a total of three times to three different women. His first vows were exchanged with Jackie Battley in 1962. That union ended in divorce in 1980. During that time, he engaged in an extramarital affair with Marianne Ginther. He wed Marianne barely six months following his divorce. During the 1990s, while harshly condemning then-President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, he began another affair with Callista Bisck (twenty-three years younger than himself). He then divorced Marianne and married Callista in 2000. Creature of habit? Isn't he due for yet another fling outside his marriage about now?

Obviously, Newt takes his marriage vows seriously. He loves them so much that he keeps coming back to do it all over again. Christian fundamentalists and any other Republicans are entirely right in supporting Newt as their champion of family values and the sanctity of traditional marriage. He takes his promise to love, honor and cherish to a whole different level. There's no doubt about it: He's the one with the most experience. Practice does equal perfection.  Most definately, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. 

By the way, in case you didn't know: President Barack Obama has only been married once.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!   

Congressman Frank To Retire

Yesterday, November 28, 2011, U. S. Congressman Barney Frank, Democrat,  quite possibly the senior queer politician in the United States, announced that he will not seek re-election in 2012. He will continue to serve out his current term which expires in January, 2013. A former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Frank, aged 71, was first elected to the Congress in 1980. He represented the Massachusetts 4th District. In 1987, over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Barney Frank  became the first member of either of the Congressional chambers to voluntarily and publicly acknowledge being gay. The Congressman has long been an advocate in government on GLBT issues and concerns. He is credited with masterminding the legislative passage of repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Thank you, Barney Frank!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Anticipating December 1: World AIDS Day

Thursday of this week, December 1, 2011, is World AIDS Day. This is the date on which we remember that as a global community, we are all, each and every one of us, both affected and effected by this international pandemic. AIDS, which is a result of HIV infection, has touched the lives of all and in every nation of our world. AIDS has changed how we humans live and how we humans love. AIDS has also brought the wrath of many upon and against a community of so few in a blame game that has benefitted no one.

What we have come to know as AIDS was first identified in 1981 among homosexuals, hemophiliacs, IV drug users and Haitians in this country. This stigma remains to this day in the eyes of many, not only here but also on foreign shores. This marginalization hindered early efforts to curb transmission and even now, all these years later, continues to divide societies and provide a stumbling block in treatment programs and research for a cure. In some ways, as a global community, we remain as ignorant now as we initially were back in 1981, when we didn't even have a proper name for this disease.

Thirty years later, despite medical advances and scientific discoveries, HIV/AIDS continues to cause controversy and discrimination throughout our world. Prevention strategies and educational programs have been ignored and rendered ineffective due to opposition from the uninformed who waste more energy on fighting people with AIDS than on fighting the disease itself. Many persons have to combat not only the infection with HIV but likewise discrimination, isolation and judgment. Thirty years later and we still take two steps backward for every step forward in trying to overcome the tragedy of HIV/AIDS.

The Red Ribbon Campaign

The idea for World AIDS Day was first conceived by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in August, 1987. The concept was approved and developed by the WHO. World AIDS Day was first officially observed on December 1, 1988. Every year features a specific theme. The 2011 theme (planned to be used annually through 2015) is "Getting To Zero." The message being lowering international infection rates to zero.

Since it's inception, the global symbol for World AIDS Day has been the red awareness ribbon. The Red Ribbon is worn all day as an emblem of solidarity with persons living with HIV/AIDS, of support for those providing care and research in the field of HIV/AIDS, and of those providing prevention education concerning HIV/AIDS. It also symbolizes remembrance of all those lives lost to HIV/AIDS. It also demonstrates compassion to those who have survived the loss of a loved one as a result of AIDS.

Although available for purchase commercially, often as a fundraiser for AIDS service organizations, the red awareness ribbon is easy and simple to make. Cut a strip of red ribbon into a length of approximately one-and-a-quarter to one-and-a-half inches. Loop into the design shown above and attach with a safety pin. Wear on the left side of the torso or on coat lapel.

Individual Involvement

Wear a Red Ribbon all day on Thursday, December 1, 2011, to show to all that you are both aware and care about the many social issues surrounding HIV/AIDS (briefly enumerated above). If you are creative and industrious, make several extra to take to class or to the jobsite and distribute to classmates or coworkers. Familiarize yourself with the information contained herein in order to respond to any questions. An additional resource is: Visit this site for ideas, suggestions and facts relating to HIV/AIDS.

Be prepared to interact should you receive queries about your Red Ribbon and HIV/AIDS. Viewing the above listed website will help prepare yourself. Keep in mind the following brief key points about preventing transmission of HIV/AIDS:

1.  HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
2.  AIDS is a result of HIV infection.
3.  HIV can not be transmitted through everyday casual contact.
4.  HIV transmission can be prevented. The most effective tool in prevention is factual education.
5.  Prevention is an individual responsibility. Respect and protect both yourself and your partner(s).

Bear in mind the following fact: It's not who we are, but what we do, that puts us at risk for HIV  infection.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Shopping Day!

The Day After Thanksgiving Is The Traditional Beginning Of The Winter Holidays Gift Shopping Season.

Happy Shopping While Nude!

I will resume publishing on Monday, November 28, 2011.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Day, 2011!

A Naked Turkey


Publishing will resume here on Monday, November 28.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful For Nudity

This is the day before the Thanksgiving holiday here in the USA. A time when we pause and ponder the things that we are grateful for having in our lives. Personally, there are many people and aspects in my life that I appreciate, among those being each and every one of you, the readers here at DQN In Northern Virginia. A special thanks to all of you for your love and support throughout the past two years of my publishing this blog!

At this time, I also have reasons to be happy in the fact that I am a naturist/nudist. I'm taking this opportunity to share the most important of these with all of you here. Remember, this list includes those reasons that mean something to me. Many, if not most, of you will have others. Of course the list is in no way inclusive; it's simply a brief look at the top five in my own life.

Freedom: My nudity affords me freedom from the restriction of clothing. I am no longer restrained by those artificial items that conceal our natural bodies and contain and limit our freedom of movement. I am unencumbered as I go about my everyday business or as I participate in a social environment with others. I am free from the imposed condition of body shame.

Honesty: I am finally able to be the true me whenever I am nude. I am no longer hiding the man that I am under layers of deceit and disguise. I am able to be open and truthful about my physical appearance and my physical being. The real man that is me is exposed for all to see. I am concealing nothing from my fellow man. My body, with all imperfections, is visible to all.

Equality: While nude, I am the same as all my my naked brothers. I am no different from you nor you from me. In our nakedness, we are all equal. True, there may be variations in our sizes and skin tones, our height and our weight; but basically, our bodies are all the same. The body that I have is essentially identical to the bodies of all my nude brothers. Race, religion and ethnicity are unimportant when I am naked. The socio-economic division created by the artificial trappings of clothing is absent and of no consequence.

Fraternity: Nude, I am merely one among many. When I am naked with all my nudist comrades, I celebrate and embrace a bond of unity and brotherhood that is rarely experienced by those who separate themselves from others by their garments. Our camaraderie is enhanced by our nudity and in the fact that we are sharing with each other a special gift: our true physical selves. Our collective nakedness combines us all, individually, into a body of one.

Liberation: I have ended the enslavement of my body and spirit in my nudity. The bondage of consumerism and commercialism is broken while I am naked. As a nudist, I have severed the chains that constrain me physically when circumstances demand that I be clothed and covered. My total liberation is expressed and experienced with my complete nakedness.

During this season when it is customary for us to count all the blessings in our lives, I invite each of you to pause for a moment to consider the ones in yours. Especially, reflect briefly on the benefits of nudity and the pleasure that it brings into your own existance. As I offered in the opening to this article, some of your reasons may be the same as mine. Many of you probably will come to a different conclusion. Regardless, all of these contribute towards our combined rewards of our membership in our unique and shared culture of nakedness.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photoessay: Quote Of The Day


Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

DADT: 60 Days After

On September 20, 2011, the official U.S. Military policy known as Don't Ask Don't Tell, prohibiting GLBT people from openly serving in the Armed Forces, USA, ended. Sixty days later, barely two months, and I'm still shocked at the absurd injustice of the whole charade. Since the implementation of the policy under then-President Clinton, our nation struggled through a failed military intervention in Somalia and active wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. A total of three overseas campaigns that resulted in American fatalities. The death toll in Afghanistan and Iraq escalated to the point that then-President Bush (George the Second) actually forbade the media from filming/photographing the coffins being returned from the foreign battlefields.

Yet there is an issue that no one, either pro or con to the now defunct policy of DADT, has addressed nor apparently is interested in doing so. In all the discussion and debate leading up to President Obama signing the repeal on December 22, 2010 and its ending sixty days ago, there seems to be a collective silence on the topic of our GLBT community's heroes who sacrificed their lives in service of a country that blatantly didn't want them.

These brave men and women willingly paid the ultimate price for a nation that was so unconcerned about their plight that it permitted DADT to survive for seventeen years before reluctantly recognizing its inequality. These GLBT not only surrendered their lives, they also served under inhuman conditions. They were forced to hide. They had to constantly wonder if they were ever going to be the subject of an administrative investigation the following day. They could never be truly honest with themselves nor their comrades-in-arms. They spent their days and nights, not only under enemy weapons-fire, but under the stress of concealing their identity in order to perform their patriotic duty: protect and defend a country that they loved but didn't love them.

Detractors of ending this discriminatory practice argue that: They knew what they were getting into and they chose to be deceptive. That's absolutely correct. These men and women answered the call to serve, responded to their sense of patriotism and willingly laid down their lives in order that their very bigoted opponents could exercise their right of free speech. They elected to deceive so they could perform their higher duty: the defense of freedom for us all to enjoy. In my mind, there's no greater proof of their dedication and loyalty.

Yet no one appears interested in recalling their heroism and patriotism. No one wants to acknowledge their courage and the ultimate price they paid. Some aspiring politicians even desecrate their sacrifices by publicly stating that they want to reinstate this exclusive and unfair regulation if they are elected to office. That's their right under the Constitution that these same men and women defended with their lives. These politicians indeed have a strange way of showing their gratitude.

No one else may want to state it; that's why I will here. This citizen appreciates your efforts and the hardships you suffered. Thank you for your sacrifice before the altar of freedom and democracy.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Shopping And Schedule

Get the supplies for your Thanksgiving meal done early in order to avoid the last minute crowds!
It's probably a great idea to get what you need for your Thanksgiving feast now. Accomplishing this task in advance significantly reduces the stress level and permits us the opportunity to prepare those time-consuming dishes beforehand. It also allows us time to double check our ingredients and make sure that we have all that we need. We're able to avoid the extra-long lines at the supermarket checkout and still have a chance to pickup anything that we may have forgotten. Planning ahead affords us the luxury of having a few moments to sit down, relax and breathe.  

Next week, I'll publish here on the beginning days of the week, up to and including Wednesday. Then I'm enjoying the remainder of the weekend (and a long one) and a break from blogging. I'll resume posting here the following Monday. Every turkey deserves a turkey-holiday, right?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fall Foliage

A few images of the colorful foliage change taking place in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Surviving The Coming Winter

This is the time of the year that is generally depressing for me. Daylight Saving Time has ended, so all the hours of daylight are now less and will continue to decline. Summer is long over and the days for an Autumn frolic outdoors are scarce. The thermometer isn't moving very high; as a matter of fact, it's hardly moving at all. The winter season is just a little over a month away and that means one-hundred cold, dreary days accompanied by snow and ice. Not a promising picture, right? Who wouldn't sink into a state of depression?

With more than three months of frigid temperatures looming on the horizon, it  isn't a particularly inspirational prospect and in the past, I would always end up being a perpetual unhappy camper throughout the entire winter season. This also meant that most of those close to me had hell to pay as my attitude went from bad to worse. I wasn't a very pleasant man to be around; my family and friends weren't too pleased to be anywhere near me as well.

All of changed a little over ten years ago when I decided that even I was sick and tired of my own foul mood during this time. Searching for whatever tools possible to improve my outlook at this season, I began by using this time to plan and finalize my nakations for the upcoming year. I generally start the week of Thanksgiving (next week) collecting information of different destinations and using the month of December to investigate, research so that by the beginning of January, I'm ready to start making reservations.

By the middle of the month, all is set as to destinations and I use the remainder of January and into February checking flights, comparing prices and finalizing details. Usually, everything is done by the President's Day weekend. By that time, there is less than a month of winter left. Bearable as opposed to the former three months timeframe.

The nakation planning solution isn't the only winter survival strategy that I employ. There are others equally effective and the combination works fine for me. I'm able to maintain a positive outlook and to endure the harsh winter weather. Needless to add, my family and friends are relieved that my attitude has adjusted and I'm no longer a winter bear!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!


Tough Decisions

Recent events with a few of the front-running presidential hopefuls from the GOP have me wondering what the future holds if any of them are elected. Personally, just the thought of another GOP president sends shivers up and down my spine.

However, some of the current ones are absolutely frightful. If elected, I shudder to think of what's in store for us all. Rick Perry can't name the three Federal departments that he'll dismantle. What if he wakes up the day after he's inaugurated and has a complete memory loss and eliminates the wrong ones? And then, there's Herman Cain's pregnant pause when questioned about President Obama's Libya policy. Actually, he wasn't even certain as to where Libya is located. If elected and we need to intervene on some foreign shore, what happens if he again suffers from "those things twirling inside his head" and gives the order as Commander-in-Chief to bomb the wrong country?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cartoon Day

A few cartoons to brighten up your day and, hopefully, put a slight grin on your chin. Something a little irreverent concerning our contemporary events:

And then of course, a dose of sarcasm concerning the current state of the politically absurd:

And lastly, the regular lapse of thought and intelligence from the latest idiot exported from Texas... by the way, did we ever get any clear indication of what the third department he plans to eliminate?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nude Novice Notes: Smoking


The majority of us need no reminder of this basic rule of etiquette. However, several incidents recently brought to mind that perhaps assumming that it's understood is perhaps not in the best interests of our culture. This past summer, at a couple of different outdoor social situations, I witnessed times when a guest was inadvertently burned by someone puffing away on their cigar, cigarette or whatever. Fortunately, no serious injury was sustained; but, the next time the same may not be the case. Then, this past weekend, the same happened to me (and I, too, am a smoker).

True, all of the above instances were held primarily outside, in the open air. I guess that's why individual party-goers thought that smoking their item of choice was acceptable. Perhaps this was indeed the case. But those of us who do smoke need to be cognizant of the presence of others and be respectful of their space. Outdoors and open air does not necessarily equate with wide open spaces. Most of the time, a number of guests are confined to a finite area that doesn't allow for easy maneuvering. Those of us who smoke should remember this and limit smoking to a certain corner. Trying to navigate our way through a crowd of others, carrying a lit cigarette, is not considerate nor safe.

Unless the social gathering is clothing-optional or mixed, all of us attending are nude. Bare skin offers no protection from any burning object. Let's keep in mind that a burn is a burn, no matter how severe. It's unpleasant physically and socially insensitive. Most of us don't want to cause injury to others. Nor do we want to be thought of as rude.

Now that the temperatures are becoming cooler, social events are relocating inside. Whether public or private, in a confined and enclosed space, it is important that we remember our fellow guests. If smoking is even permitted in an assigned area inside the facility/residence, adhere to the rules and respect the rights of all. After all, we want them to reciprocate and show the same for smokers. Bear in mind that it is even more hazardous to work through a group of naked people inside with a lit cigarette than it is outside. Whenever possible, stay in one place and limit movement and gestures.

Of course, if smoking indoors isn't allowed, regardless if it's the decision of the host or mandated by law, then don't. No exceptions. Remember, we're all naked here. There's no justifying indulgence based on the lame excuse: I'm wearing blue boxers/briefs (etc.), therefore that rule/law doesn't apply to me!

The above situations deal primarily with nude social settings held in private homes or in public facilities. Yet, the same considerations are applicable in open spaces such as nudist and/or clothing-optional beaches, campgrounds and resorts. Again, we are all, smokers and non-smokers alike, sharing a designated area. Most of us are nude, so those of us who smoke still need to think of others around us. When we feel the urge to smoke, we should move as far away from others and not walk among people with a lit cigarette. Manners are the same, regardless of our environment or location.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Honor Of ALL Who Serve

This year, 2011, is a first in the history of the United States of America. In all the years of honoring our national veterans, this is the first time where we, as a country and as a people, truly are able to officially pay tribute to ALL those who presently serve and who have served us in the past while wearing the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces. The sexual orientation of our troops is no longer an issue. Thank you, Mr. President Barack H. Obama! We appreciate your efforts to bring our nation one step closer to total equality.


Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Happy Veteran's Day, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011


The U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a debate regarding the proposed Respect For Marriage legislation today. This draft, if accepted unaltered, will repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), now the law of the land. DOMA prohibits the Federal Government from recognizing any form of GLBT marriage. When DOMA was enacted during the 1990s, marriage equality was nonexistant anywhere within the United States.

Since DOMA went into effect, six states (Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticutt, Iowa) and the District of Columbia (Washington, DC) have recognized same-gender marriages. Thus, DOMA denies Federal marriage benefits to all those same gender loving couples legally married in those jurisdictions. Bottom line: DOMA discriminates against gay married people who are otherwise eligible for those benefits by law.

While reading the transcripts of the debate, I was once again confronted with the lies and hypocrisy of the republican (intentional lower case) senators as they argued against passing the proposal from committee. Their tired old reasons for dismissing this equality legislation are almost as tired and old as the senators, themselves. First, they sought to discredit the committee for even considering the change as there were "more important issues facing the country as a whole." Since when, in the U.S.A., has equality not been a pressing issue?  Gender equality, racial equality, age equality, the differently enabled equality have all taken precedence in the past, as well they should. That set aside, it is the same republican (intentional) party that is currently conducting public debates for its presidential hopefuls who are using anything vaguely resembling GLBT equality as a battle standard for their campaigns. If the topic is important enough for the presidential wannabes, why not for the senators?  

Next, the self-righteous used the religious excuse to enhance their opposition to Respect For Marriage. Abstinence from sexual intercourse until marriage; marriage is solely between one man and one woman; the purpose of marriage is for procreation; we all know that lame litany by heart. Rarely in human history have the majority of the population remained abstinant until marriage, even during Biblical times. The ancient Hebrews and Christians were never a majority save in their geographic region. One man and one woman? Please! Both men and women have been cheating on each other since the beginning of humanity. What about the sacred marriage vows? How conveniently they can be broken in one word: d-i-v-o-r-c-e. Perhaps we should amend DOMA to outlaw divorce, period. No exceptions. Now that would certainly d-e-f-e-n-d marriage!

All I'll visit on the procreation topic is this: how can those senators even think that when I'm certain more than just a few of them have paid for sex at one time or another. That little tryst was absolutely not intended for procreation! 

Fortunately, enough Democratic senators voted in favor of Respect For Marriage that it passed out of the Judiciary Committee.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Legend Of The Woodsman

The Woodsman is the forest guardian of all nude hikers. He lives wherever there is a trail through nature that is used by any nude hiker. He accompanies any naturist/nudist hiker as they traverse through his domain. He wanders barefoot and invisible along the trail in advance of any hike and maintains the path in passable condition. He keeps hikers safe from any natural or unsuspected interference and is the protective spirit for any nudist who ventures into his domain. The Woodsman tirelessly labors day after day so that all may enjoy his kingdom and have a pleasant commune with Nature, naturally.  The Woodsman is the angel and friend of all nudist hikers, everywhere.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Streaking Revival?

It isn't often that anyone manages to upstage Lady Gaga. The mega-star and human rights activist is absolutely a headliner and attention-getter in her own right. However, that changed somewhat this past Saturday night at the MTVs European Awards show. As actress Hayden Panettiere was preparing to introduce Lady Gaga and the best song award, Irish actor David Monahan bounded onstage, nude, and ran -streaked- to Ms. Panettiere before covering his family jewels (at this point, why bother?) and chatting with her. No question, this was a surprise to everyone and much more than anything MTV had bargained for when planning this production. Obviously, MTV was pleased with this free benefit as it continued to be broadcast live, unlike the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake "wardrobe malfunction" during the NFL Superbowl halftime show from almost a decade ago.

Hayden Panettiere demonstrated her ad-libbing skills throughout this dialogue. She remained composed and in control as Monahan professed his love for both her and her now cancelled TV show, Heroes. She even publicly invited him to join her for a beer after the awards presentation was over. Evidently, she has a strong comfort level with nakedness as many in both the live audience in Northern Ireland and the international viewers assumed that the entire episode was planned and a part of the ceremony production.

Although the fine art of streaking, running naked in a very public setting, has been around for as long as humans have inhabited this planet, the term wasn't applied to this activity until 1973. The popular fad peaked during the mid-1970s and then faded from the international media spotlight. It has emerged sporadically since that time as a collegiate prank, a form of protest or as a means of gaining attention, the proverbial "fifteen minutes" of fame.  For some, streakers (people who participate in streaking), are considered temporary or part-time exhibitionists. Others think of them as full-fledged exhibitionists. Either way, streakers don't appear to be bothered with sharing their nakedness in front of an audience for whatever reason.

This incident started my thought process about the relationship between naturism/nudism and the streaking past-time. Of course, we all know that not all streakers are nudists; just as all nudists aren't necessarily streakers. But, since they both involve being naked, I was curious as to any additional common ground the two may have. Does one cause the other or vice versa? Can a naturist be a streaker or is that a mute issue? All sorts of questions popped into my weary brain and while performing a limited research on the topic, I really wasn't able to completely locate a definative answer to many of my queries. I did, however, gain some insight into this clothing-free activity and learned some interesting facts as well.

First and foremost, streaking never truly disappeared from popular culture. It has continued, primarily, but not limited to, large sporting events, as evidenced by this international rugby match played in Hong Kong in 1994 (photo, right). What really strikes me as funny is that in most instances, the streaker is usually met by some game official or stadium employee carrying some type of wrap for the streaker to use to cover-up. At this point in time, why even go through the motions? The act of being "undercover" doesn't erase what we all just saw, right?

Secondly, just as I thought and wrote above, contrary to widespread popular myth, streaking isn't a new nor recent phenomenon. On July 5, 1799, a naked man was arrested in London, UK, and sent to jail for public nudity. Our early trend-setter had accepted a ten-guinea bet to stroll nude along the City's streets. Was he the first? More than likely not. Whether Lady Godiva was real or myth, the fact that she was naked and protesting an injustice let's us know that nudity was used to make a political statement long before the ten guineas were ever waged.

In the USA, the earliest documented instance of a college student engaged in streaking, (remember, it wasn't called that until more than a century later) was in 1804 at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia. George William Crump (1786-1848) was arrested for public nudity and suspended from the college for a semester. He later became a US Congressman. After the Civil War, while president of the institution, Robert E. Lee condoned this activity as an accepted rite of passage for students at this then all-male college. He's a different man from the stern-faced Confederate general pictured in history books!

The website identifies the activity as "the non-sexual act of taking off one's clothes and running naked through a public place." Streaking differs from nudism as social or private nudism generally occurs within an accepted environment or a clearly defined area. Naturism/nudism is also considered a lifestyle choice of an individual whereas streaking is usually a one-time or infrequent indulgence. Streaking isn't flashing because the flasher is sexually aroused and is searching for a sexual respondent.  

Pictured left is a 2006 streaker at the Harvard-Yale football game doing his thing and getting everyone's attention. Thrill-seeker or attention grabber? Probably a little bit of both with a touch of boldness mixed in. Does he have anything in common with queer social nudists? Aside from the fact that we're nude, there's one possible connection. After strutting his stuff in front of all the fans packed into the bleachers, he may realize that he actually likes hanging loose and free and just might show up at one of our next nude socials! Streaking, no different from skinny-dipping and/or being s'naked, might serve as an introductory course into the wonderful world of social nudity. Therein, my nude brothers, lies the major benefit to streaking. That, and any career advancement made by Irish actor David Monahan when he streaked across the MTV awards stage. If you'd like any additional information on streaking, click on any of the two separate streakercentric websites listed below.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Chuckle

It's becoming increasingly apparent that the fledgling 2012 presidential campaign for Herman Cain is quickly fading into the sunset. First the allegations of sexual improprieties were strongly denied, then there was the possibility of perhaps one with no substantiation, then maybe two with mutual non-disclosure agreements and hush money, now, there are as many as three with the strong possibility of an anonymous public disclosure. Too many people already suspect where there's smoke, there's fire.

When will our political aspirants ever learn that the truth, upfront, is your best and only possible response? Once the half-thruths and lies begin, any credibility rapidly departs. Most people can forgive a transgression. Few, if any, can excuse a deliberate cover-up. The end result is: if you tell one lie, how many others will follow?

An acquaintance emailed this cartoon to me yesterday. I thought it appropriate for sharing here. Too many of Mr. Cain's political party want to portray all GLBT people as sexually irresponsible. Before they open their collective mouths to malign others, they should make certain their own house is clean and in order. Hold our community to whatever standard you deem necessary; however, make sure that you meet that same standard as well.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!   

Monday, November 7, 2011

Nudecentric Briefs



San Franciso, California

The City of San Francisco, California, Board of Supervisors in a vote last Wednesday, November 2, 2011, approved two proposed changes to the city ordinances regarding public nudity. The amendments to the City Code were introduced this past September, 2011, by Supervisor Scott Wiener of the City's 8th District, which includes the predominantly gay Castro neighborhood. The official vote this past week was unanimous, 11-0.

The changes do not outlaw nor prohibit public nudity as erroneously reported in some media outlets. The amendments simply require nudists to use a towel or some appropriate barrier before sitting on public seating. This measure received minimal opposition from naturists as the practice is a traditional element of nudists etiquette. The second item prohibits nudity in all city restaurants. This particular aspect of the initiative was widely supported by restaurant owners. Both measures were introduced by Supervisor Weiner in the interests of public health.  The proposals must pass a second vote by the City's Board again this week before they can be signed into law by the Mayor, Ed Lee. The second vote comes without public comment as it is merely a formality and the changes are expected to again pass without any opposition. Once the Mayor signs the legislation, an enforcement date is assigned.

Under the pending law, there will be fines for infringements. For the first offense, the mandatory penalty is $100. The second one, the penalty doubles to $200. Three or more offenses and the fine is $1,000 and a possible jail sentence of up to one year.
Source: United Press International

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Congratulations to the Sunboys! The first gay male social nudist group in Australia celebrates their 20th Anniversary this month, November, 2011. Best wishes to all of our naked queer brothers Down Under! The group observed its founding with a gathering in a private residence this past Saturday, November 5.

The group was organized by member Rod Spark in 1991. He describes the beginning of the Sunboys as this: "After travelling extensively in both Europe and North America in the 1980s, I discovered gay nudism. When I returned to Australia in 1990, I asked myself  why there are none here. I collected a group of friends together to host the first event and it has been a lifelong experience since then." Great job, well done to our brother nudist Rod and to all the naked Sunboys!

The Sunboys describe themselves as a group of men who want to explore being naked with other men in a nonsexual environment. On their site is a brief history of the organization, membership information and an events listing. Sunboys has been the prototype for other queer nudist organizations throughout the South Pacific, specifically Melbourne Sunboys, Auckland Sunboys and Brisbane Sunboys. In the Sydney area, several naturist/nudist groups are offshoots of the Sunboys, including Gay Sydney Nudists (currently active), Gay Naked Buddies (inactive) and NudeDudes (inactive).  To visit the Sunboys blog, click on the link above or go to:
Source: Sydney Star Observer,

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sydney Sunboys Anniversary Invitation

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photoessay: Autumn Weekend Afternoon

Autumn is most definitely here in full force. Evidence of the presence of this season is visible all around us. A glimpse outside of our windows and the fall foliage can be seen on all but the evergreen trees. Yet, we all know that all to soon these same trees will all be barren.

A look out the exact same window in the early morning gives us another sign that summer is now long gone. The view that we behold then is one of frost layered across the ground and on our vehicles. And if there remains a lingering doubt about this being true, a brief step outside will offer proof positive that this is indeed the case. The temperatures have dropped and we now face cooler mornings and chilly evenings. Change is not only in the air but is also all around us.

There is a small consolation that is available for us to relish. On sunny days, usually by the early afternoon, the thermometer does reach a point where a few hours of outdoor nudity, especially if accompanied by some type of movement or exercise, is tolerable and pleasurable. These days are numbered, so it's best to take advantage while it's available. It's too cold for a swim at the beach, but jogging along the shore is a possibility.

A picnic with friends is another option. As the leaves fall off the branches of the trees, shaded areas begin to diminish and we're able to appreciate the warmth of the sun longer than before. Hiking both to and from our favorite picnic location provides both exercise and a colorful panorama.

On these brief autumn afternoon excursions, the opportunity for moments of quiet solitude and exploration are always present. These times can be used as we like for whatever need we have; from reading a book, writing, painting or reflection. 

 Activities for the afternoon may include cycling for those of us who prefer something slightly strenuous in nature. In the couple of hours open to us, you'd be surprised at the distance you can travel in this short span of time. Bicycle trip with friends, nude or clothed, are fun and a great form of exercise.  

Another premature snowstorm like the one many experienced this past weekend opens up the chance for the bold among us to engage in s'naked (snow+naked) play long before the winter season even begins. Just beware of the melting snow! Believe it or not, I honestly have fun during s'naked games!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Invisible Life

As I look into the mirror, what is it that I see? Is it truly my own reflection? Or, could it only be my imagination that makes me think it's really a likeness of me?

As 2011 slowly comes to a close, the 2012 presidential elections loom on the horizon. The once-every-four-years event when we, as a country, go to the polls to decide who will lead our nation for the next executive term. Do we opt to return the incumbent for another period in office or do we want to decide to bestow that burden on someone else? Go with what we know or take a chance on a new candidate? As voters, these are our choices.

For many of us, this decision is a no-brainer. Rather than cast our ballot for an individual, we instead cast it in favor of the political party that traditionally is receptive and favorable to our culture and our community. There's nothing wrong with this option and it does make sense. Why support the mouth that inevitably will turn against us and then bite us on the hand? After all, self-preservation is a very strong instinct.

Others thoroughly weigh all the issues, research the various political platforms and seriously contemplate their individual situations. Then they decide which candidate they feel will offer the best leadership for themselves, respectively, and the nation in general. This is their constitutional right and their civic duty. Once again, there's nothing wrong with this option and it does make sense.

Some remain undecided until the moment-of-truth arrives. They tend to follow their gut-feeling the actual minute that they vote. They make a spur-of the-moment decision and that's it; life goes on. It's their priviledge to do so and they exercise that choice. As discussed above, there's nothing wrong about this method of voting. Still, there are also those who vascillate somewhere in between all of the three previously addressed circumstances and, again, this is a legitimate decision and a basic right.

However we choose to make our selection on which candidate to support, there is one consideration that escapes my understanding. This thought has baffled me over the past several elections and is becoming increasingly disturbing as this electoral cycle gets underway. Is it just me or does anyone else notice that one particular political party seems to talk about same gender loving people as though we're totally invisible? As though we're really not there but, rather, just merely out there, all of us  someplace else besides the here and now?

The candidates of this political structure rant and rave against us like we're all a mythical being. While they're doing this, both you and I know that to them, we must be real. Otherwise, why are they so obsessed with us? Obviously, we, the queers of this nation, present a real and viable threat to them. As a matter of fact, it's plain to me that we pose enough of a threat that these politicians honestly are overcome with insecurity which leads to their devoting an inordinate amount of energy in attempting to demonize us. Regardless, they continue to avoid addressing our gay community directly and instead choose to refer to us in the abstract. To me, it's apparent that they foolishly believe that all their hot-air and empty rhetoric will literally blow us all away.

Now, I know that this political party is dependent on radical Christian extremists as the base of support. Naturally, they have to play to that audience and give to them the performance that they have come to expect. After all, where else would they be without that fringe element? I know that much is reality and understand all that is a part of the nature of the beast we commonly refer to as politics. That's the name of the game, right?

What continues to elude me is the reason for our collective invisibility. Are these political aspirants and their followers so afraid of us that they're forced to keep us all as a concept and not challenge us individually? Leadership inspires courage; where's the leadership skill in keeping our community anonymous and impersonal? Where's the courage in attacking us in the abrtract as opposed to standing up against us one-on-one?  Surely, as a minority segment of the entire population, we don't wield all that amount of power. Or, do we?

Both you, the reader, and I know that the meaning of homophobia is the unnatural fear of homosexuality. In keeping our same gender loving culture invisible and obscure, the rank and file of this political party and its presidential hopefuls try to hide our good works and achievements. In keeping us nameless, they're hoping to deny our humanity. In keeping us subhuman, it's easier to deny us equality. Simple fact and honest truth. We're unworthy of the basic freedoms; we don't matter.

Well, this proud queer isn't playing their game any longer. I've no need to hide anything from anyone and certainly not the little bit of good that I've accomplished in my life. I'm creating a new game and writing my own rules. Go ahead and lump me into the category of those homosexuals. Rest assured, this proud homosexual will bring you to task when I need to and will flaunt his individual goodness whenever possible. I will not be invisible. I may be Deaf, but, I will not be silent.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blue October Sky

Blue October Sky

Blue October skies, on an usually warm day,
Beckon me outside, make me want to play.

I answer the call, and I begin to roam,
I'm drawn to the river, my home away from home.

I sit on a rock, the sun warm on my skin,
I've heeded the call, and I'm naked once again.

The foliage and water, a paradise of tranquility,
My soul is at peace, content with nature and my nudity.

Sitting in the sunshine, the sky without a cloud,
Beside the flowing river, I'm naked and proud.

My nakedness is my armor, it helps define me,
For when I am nude, all can see the true me.

I savor this moment, my quiet interlude,
Limited are the days to be outside and nude.

I strive to to be myself, to live life with honesty,
To be a complete man, no shame with my nudity.

For each minute is a gift, each day is a treasure,
I try to make them count, to give them all full measure.
Roger Poladopoulos, October 26, 2011

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Naked Follies

So, it's the morning after Halloween and most of us expect all the silly foolishness that accompanies this particular holiday to be over and finished. Well, almost, but not quite. I couldn't resist the temptation to share with all of you a few nudist foibles here. Why? Because most of us need a little "uplifting," especially on the morning after!

As a part of the registration process, most amateur races and/or walkathons provide a complimentary T-shirt for competitors. Some, especially charity fundraisers, do so contingent upon a certain amount of funds collected. I understand all this. It's fun and for a good cause, so why not give an incentive.

I've been a participant in more than a few nude races. Nude races for nude runners, right? So, can someone please explain this to me? Why does a naked run/walk event offer a T-shirt to its naked runners/walkers? After all, we're all naturists/nudists! Theoretically, what do we need with a T-shirt?  Part-time nudists, anyone? Or maybe just another piece of useless fabric to toss into the pile of other useless fabrics that can be used for cleaning rags? Reuse, recycle. As for me, I simply cut off the sleeves and make them an exercise shirt to wear at my gym.  I'm unable to think of any other viable way to make use of them. I suppose that I could wear them in the supermarket to promote nude racing. Does anyone really read the messages on the T-shirts of others?

Trust me, that's not the only reason for my confusion here. There's yet another source of bafflement for me. As nudists, we all subscribe to the belief or philosophy that there is no shame with the naked human body. Nude isn't lewd, right?

Have you ever noticed that no matter where we are, whether it's a naturist/nudist social function, a special event, at a clothing-optional beach or a nudist-only resort, there's always a few people present who literally stand out in the crowd. What makes them noticeable from all the others gathered? They're the ones who intentionally or subconsciously are making the effort to conceal their genitalia. their junk, their privates. How does this make them distinguishable from all the rest? Well, we're all just as naked as they are. So, what's the purpose with even attempting to hide anything at all? By their actions, they are bringing more attention to themselves. They fail to seem to recognize this.  Solution? Stand in front of a mirror and practice where to place those arms and hands.

Personally, I've never been a Halloween enthusiast. This particular festivity has held no appeal for me. It's usually too cold, I don't like concealment nor clothing, so what;s the point? Not even a ton of free treats (candy) was able to entice my fancy. So, what better way to appreciate the date than to add some frivolty once it's all over?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Questionable Family Values...Again

I completely understand the position of those who both practice, respect and firmly subscribe to the belief in family values. If that's their moral position and it's what they indeed follow, then I accept it as their right under our Constitution. At the same time, however, I do not support their right to live one way and deny the same rights to others because others may believe in a system of family values that doesn't mirror their own. And evidently, another aspirant to the 2012 presidency, is practicing something that he doesn't preach. Herman Cain, while currently enjoying the status of frontrunner potential candidate for his party's nomination, is clearly exhibiting a double-standard. He endorses family values and opposes the same for same gender loving people. In his eyes, "till death do us part" represents a sacred vow divinely instituted between only one man and one woman.

Yet, this holy promise is only a family value until someone else catches his eye. Candidate Cain is against marriage equality for ALL couples but is free to make inappropriate and suggestive comments to women outside of his matrimonial promise. While serving as CEO of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, Mr. Cain did just this to two female contractual employees. They filed complaints, were offered and accepted five-figure settlements and signed the requisite silence agreeements.

After spending almost two weeks denying these incidents, last night Cain acknowledged the existance of the settlements but insisted on his innocence. If he was truly free from blame, then why the gag-payoffs? Is it necessary to pay for something to go away when it never really happened? If this took place during his forty-year plus marriage to his wife, how many other times has it occured? If he is really blameless, then why try to conceal the facts when the issue first surfaced? Why deny marriage to an entire minority when the institution essentially doesn't have your full respect?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!