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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Presidential Nakations


Before you read any further, please understand that Mr. President Barack Obama isn't planning on undertaking a nakation anytime soon; at least, as far as I know. However, several clothing optional/nudist destinations in southern Florida are offering a couple of  special events over the President's Day holiday weekend. It's the dead of the cold season; perhaps a little fun-in-the-sun is appealing at this time. If you're in need of a winter get-away, pack your towel and sunscreen; book your transportation to the Sunshine State in order to maximize your pleasure over the next three-day public holiday.

Both of the celebrations listed below are sponsored by private resorts. Check their websites for updates and specific details. I've visited one of the properties in the past; however, I've not attended either of the activities. As always, during February, it's a safe bet that most of us are at least dreaming of a day at the beach with the sand and surf.


Mid-Winter Naturist Festival: Thursday February 16 - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort in Loxahatchee Groves, Florida, about fourteen miles west of West Palm Beach. This is a mainstream (primarily heterosexual) event at which all are welcome. Come for any or all of the days, it's up to you. This festival features more than 200 scheduled events, including a broad array of seminars, workshops, sports, music and dance and social activities (including a gay naturist meet-and-greet). There are a couple of off-site events, including canuding on the Loxahatchee River and an excursion to Haulover Beach in Miami. This festival is one of a series of nude events each year sanctioned by The Naturist Society. For additional information, visit: http://www.sunsportgardens.com or: http://www.naturistsociety.com.


Men's Naked T-Dance: Saturday, February 18, 2012, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM, at the Windamar Beach Resort, 543 Breakers Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This particular Naked Tea Dance is celebrating Mardi Gras for gay men. Clothing is always optional at this resort, which has the motto: Be as naked as you want to be!" As it is the Mardi Gras, wear a mask and see how many beads you can win. For additional information: http://www.windamarbeachresort.com.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Source: Gay Naturists International


Monday, January 30, 2012

Swan Song: Naked Boys Singing

Off-Broadway ended it's celebration of gay male nudity this past Saturday night with the closing of the internationally acclaimed show, Naked Boys Singing! The all-male, all-nude musical revue ended just short of thirteen years in New York City.

The show originally opened in 1998 in Hollywood under the direction of creator Robert Schrock. In 1999, it opened at the Actors Playhouse in West Village with Schrock again directing. What made this revue unique was the all-nude cast singing and celebrating as gay men enjoying what gay men really enjoy: the male body. Initially, the production targeted the queer male audience; soon, it became popular with the mainstream theater crowd, mushroomed into success and moved into larger venues Off-Broadway. The remainder of the story is typical theatrical legend: success followed by success with some interesting anecdotes worthy of gay nudist history books.

Shortly after relocating to larger theater facilities in New York City, another production of Naked Boys Singing!  premiered in London's West End theater district where it is currently engaged. The show was made into a movie in 2007. One showing at the Big Apple's New World Stages complex was completely sold out to a same gender loving nudist audience who viewed it, nude, of course. Several licensed regional productions were similarly performed for exclusively gay nudist audiences.

The decision to end the New York run of Naked Boys Singing! wasn't due to declining ticket sales but rather to scheduling conflicts between the production company and New World Stages. Both regional and international productions are continuing.

Off-Broadway statistics for the show include: 291,000 tickets sold for 3,069 performances over a 151 month period in New York City alone. The show was performed in eight different theaters, three of which were at the New World Stages complex. The production included 235 company members and a total of 71 actors. Two gay porn stars, Spencer Quest and Dean Markham, were cast in roles. The shows run featured 141 testicles (one performer had one surgically removed). Audience photography resulted in 562 performances being temporarily stopped. Costumes included 355 towels and jock straps. A cumulative total of $256,963 was raised for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Regionally, the show was licensed in 24 U.S. cities; four of which were shut-down by municipal jurisdictions: Atlanta, Milwaukee, Provincetown and San Juan. Internationally, Naked Boys Singing! was licensed in 12 cities and translated into five languages: Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese and Spanish. Three cast recordings were produced, from Italy, Norway and the U.S.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Source: Actors Equity, New York Times


Friday, January 27, 2012

TGIF: A Laugh And A Smile

Today is Friday! January the twenty-seventh! Go ahead and put a grin on your chin! It's okay; the traditional work-week is over and, for at least a few days, we can all unwind and relax. "Chillax" as the current term refers to our leisure time. Ideally, the opportunity to slow down a little and devote some quality amounts of our day for family, friends, lovers/partners and last, but not least, ourselves. Hopefully, the upcoming weekend allows us all to experience as much of it as possible while nude, free from the restraints of clothes, especially the burdensome necessity of having to wear multiple layers during this colder season of the year. Free, once again, to experience the luxury of being our true, natural selves. While this situation alone is enough to uplift our spirits, there's an additional cause to bring a smile to our face: this is the final weekend in January, 2012! That's right, the dreary, frigid and confining days of winter are managing to pass. Each new day brings us closer to the arrival of Spring, the return of warmer weather and longer periods of natural daylight. Soon, the majority of us will be able to savor the pleasures of frolicking naked outdoors without the expense and hassle of travelling far from our homes. A chance to renew our celebration of the beauty of our natural surroundings while in the company of beautiful, naked men. So let's put on the proverbial "happy face" and appreciate the cartoon below!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thoughts While Others Decide For Me

Over the past several years, the media has often featured the stories of the bashing and bullying of same gender loving youth and the upsurge of suicides as a result. This is truly an alarming and tragic occurrence and needs to be addressed nationally, not merely on a case by case basis. The media attention is appreciated and laudable and there have been baby-steps undertaken to try to stem this trend.

Our own gay culture has initiated two efforts to combat this crisis. The It Gets Better Campaign on YouTube and the National No Bullying Day (The Purple Day) on October 20, are succeeding in promoting both awareness and encouraging administrative and legislative action. These programs are commendable and proof of the impact that grass-roots initiatives have on public opinion.

Another concern that hasn't been addressed within our own queer culture or in the mainstream is the stress that we, as members of this culture, experience as we sit back and watch the largely conservative, homophobic and unconcerned majority make decisions that directly affect us all. We already know that we are the minority. Time and time again, we are forced to stand by while others, many who hate us and some who could care less, decide our fate.

In all fairness, yes, we do have some friends and allies who voice their concern and support our cause when we go to cast ballots on these restrictive measures. Some of us have families who likewise stand with us and vote accordingly. Then, there are those brave few who simply follow their conscience and to the right thing because it is the right thing. I am extremely grateful to and proud of all these individuals for their commitment and dedication to equality and justice. I am also indebted to our current President Obama for his courage in implementing the changes against inequality during his administration, specifically in the ending of the ban against HIV+ travel to this country, guaranteeing partner hospital visitation privileges and the repeal of the ban of GLBT persons serving openly in the military.

Yet, there remains an enormous amount of anger, disappointment and frustration as we repeatedly witness these constant attacks on our constitutional and human rights. It is tiresome to always be mindful of the frequent assaults on our liberties and to have to consistently battle against them. It is only natural that at some point a "war fatigue" syndrome becomes apparent from this endless need to stay vigilant.  The human body, after all, can absorb only a certain amount of stress.

I remember all too well my own feelings as the results of the 2008 were being announced. As someone who campaigned for the then Senator Barack Obama, I vividly recall the euphoria and hope that I experienced as it was posted that Obama had carried the Commonwealth of Virginia, the first Democrat to do so since President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. Immediately after that came the news that Obama had enough electoral votes and was our new President. This emotional victory was dampened with the returns from the popular referendum on the constitutional amendment in Virginia that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. This restrictive and hateful clause was passed by a 60% to 40% vote. I felt abused and violated. 

For days after the election, I was depressed. All too aware of the socially conservative nature of many of my fellow Virginians, still the news of this affront to me as a gay man hurt. For some time thereafter, I often found myself looking at passersby on sidewalks and streets with both disgust and distrust. How the hell can they all be so insensitive, selfish and spiteful? I admit to some residual feelings of animosity over this insult even today.

Despite this setback and my despair, I somehow continued to struggle forward. Recalling my post-election emotions, I knew that it was important and necessary to be steadfast and keep on fighting. Not that I offer leadership in the quest for equality; but, I do try to contribute time and energy when I am able. I needed to remain faithful to our community and do my fair share.

And so must we all. It does matter that our rights and freedoms are being poised before the entire electorate, whether on a referendum ballot or as a particular candidate's political platform. As tired as we all may be, we've travelled too far to surrender to intimidation now. Our strength is in the justice of  our cause. No matter how difficult the road or how much fatigue we feel, we all need to commit ourselves and our efforts to do what we can. After all, the face that we have to view in the mirror is our own. We have to look at that reflection for the rest of our lives.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reaching Beyond Our Limits


Stretching ourselves past conventional boundaries creates individual growth. Reaching for greater horizons develops our self-confidence and self-reliance. Striving to meet new challenges allows us to confront internal fears and inhibitions, to understand that which restrains us and to overcome those obstacles through examination, identification, action and evaluation. This process empowers us to become not only a better person, it also enables us to evolve and to reinvent ourselves as we journey through life. It helps to keep us interesting and unique personalities both to ourselves and to those who know us. It opens new doors to unlimited opportunities.

Rather than stagnate and become stale, many of us honestly try to improve ourselves in different ways. A significant number of us use the New Year's resolution strategy as the tool for renovation. I know that I follow this traditional route towards self-improvement. There have been a few years when I did delay creating my list of changes to undergo and completely missed the usual January 1, start date. In those instances, I had no problem with instituting my resolutions in mid-January, the beginning of February, or even later. After all, the January first date is just a popular custom and not mandatory.

This year, I had my usual dual to-do lists for the new year. About a week ago, I realized that one of my goals needed to be amended as the direction that I was taking wasn't feasible. My planned method of obtaining the desired result was uncomfortable and too confining. Instead of giving up and putting the objective off until next year, I modified the steps that I needed to follow and continued the journey towards self-improvement.

The fact that we're now moving along through the first month of 2012 shouldn't deter any of us from efforts in our quest for personal development. The tradition of initiating changes on the first day of the new calendar is merely a custom of convenience; it isn't obligatory. We are free to inaugurate and reinvent ourselves at any time. This can be done on the first day of February, the middle of April or the end of July. It can happen on our birthday or an anniversary. The date is arbitrary and unimportant.

What is important is that we make the attempt to stretch ourselves as men and strive towards becoming a better person. Reaching out to meet our full potential leads all of us on new journeys of discovery and experiences. Facing new challenges and striving to overcome them provides benefits not only to our mental health but to our physical health, regardless of whether the process involves exercise. It enables us to feel good about ourselves and encourages us to seek new obstacles to conquer.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Think Positive!

This past summer, while poolside at a local nudist resort for the weekend, I made the acquaintance of a man nakationing there with his fiancee. As often happens when being friendly with strangers, the conversation eventually centered on the weather. A casual comment from this gentleman led to a question from me and I learned that he's a meteorologist for his local TV station in New Jersey.


I thought it somewhat odd that a fellow nudist from New Jersey would travel for the weekend all the way to Virginia. I mean, New Jersey has the nude beach, Sandy Hook at Gunnison Park. It's a hell of a lot closer and it is a beach, not an inland resort. I asked about this (okay, I'm anything but shy) and learned that his fiancee is the nudist in their relationship, he's new to the life. Not being too comfortable, he didn't want to risk being seen and recognized, nude, too close to home. On this one, I kept my thoughts about a closeted naturist to myself; after all, he is a newbie. No sense in being rude.

It wasn't too much longer after this than the three of us were commiserating on the drudgery and misery of the winter weather. Evidently, there are some people who live up north who detest it almost as much as me. Somewhere, I commented on the fact that between December 21, and March 21, it seemed as though I could never get my toes warm. At this point, my meteorologist buddy schooled me on a point that I was totally unaware. Apparently, the meteorological winter, as far as weather professionals are concerned, is from December 1, until March 1.   

Now, don't ask me why but for some unknown reason, this revelation made perfect sense to me. It was also comforting in some way. As a queer nudist who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), I honestly welcomed this tidbit of insider information. In my mind, this news seemed to shorten the winter season. The calendar method of determining winter (December, January, February and March) versus the meteorological method of determination (December, January and February) is a no-brainer contest: give me the meteorological choice anytime!  Psychologically, at least, it's pleasing. Give me the abbreviated version anyday of the week!

So, my brother naturists, think positive. Look on the bright side. January is almost over. According to the meteorlogical calculation, winter is two-thirds past. Yes, February can be cruel and frigid. But armed with all my new information and the fact that February, even in a leap year, is the shortest month, makes the waning days of winter a little more bearable! Be mindful that those dreary days of coats, gloves, hats, hoodies and scarves are practically a thing of the past!  

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Gingrich Grimace


During the GOP debate last week, leading up to the South Carolina primary, Newt was questioned regarding his second wife's allegation that he wanted an open marriage. Once the question was posed, he became indignant that the reporter would drag his personal life into a presidential debate. Really? Why? Once you step onto the national political stage, your own personal life becomes product of national public scrutiny. Newt isn't new to the game; he knows this. Unless, of course, he considers himself immune to all the rules of the game.

Apparently, he actually does. As House Speaker, Newt had no qualms about attacking President Clinton over his affair with Monica Lewinsky and Clinton's fitness for office. However, to interrogate Newt, a mere possible candidate and his repeated extramarital infildelities is the equivalent to treason. So, Newt, what's good for the goose is also good for the gander. This question from CNNs John King clearly should not be any surprise for you, whatsoever. Grow up and get over it.

I, for one, don't buy Newt's wounded puppy act. Nor am I for one moment deceived by this righteous indignation routine. It's a fair question for Mr. King to ask and Newt damn well knows this. It's not as though he was blindsided. His ex-wife had publicly revealed his open marriage desire the day before, so he had ample time to practice his response. In fact, he had just a little too much time for rehersals. His retort and mock temper tantrum were simply too quick and too prepared to be believable. He sure as hell knew this one was coming. Newt is arrogant but he's no fool; foolish, but no fool.

He knows that he can pull this moral outrage stunt once and that's it. He also knows that the question concerning his multiple affairs and marriages won't go away. Regardless of how much he tries, his hypocritical posing as a family values candidate opposing marriage equality isn't escaping the attention of the fourth estate nor the voting public. Denying marriage rights to an entire class of people just because it isn't the Christian tradition isn't believable when you've already demonstrated personal disregard for that same institution. He's a fool to think the electorate is unable to connect the dots.

As expected, Gingrich carried the South Carolina primary this past Saturday. The state is heavily evangelical Christian and extremely conservative in both politics and on both racial and social issues. The state is a direct neighbor to Gingrich's home of Georgia. Most of their views are identical to those of the candidate so his victory there is no surprise. His smile of triumph there is tentative at best as he knows the road is going to become bumpier in the future. His marital track record isn't disappearing overnight.

Due to the close results of the Iowa caucus, a recount was conducted and the final results were announced last week. Instead of Romney winning by eight votes, Santorum carried the state by a total of thirty-two votes. This now means that of the three GOP caucus/primaries to date, Santorum has Iowa, Romney has New Hampshire and Newt has South Carolina. The next primary is January 31, in Florida. The circus sideshow is underway! The exclusionists are all onstage!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Touched By The Angel Of Nudity


Throughout our lives, both Twin and I have often tried to identify what it is that instilled into our lives our preference for nudity. Unlike others that we've met, individually or together, our nakedness wasn't a conscious decision. Neither one of us awoke one morning and realized that we'd rather be nude than clothed. To be honest, we can't even recall the exact moment in time when we initially discarded our clothes. It's simply been a part of our nature that preceeds memory.

True, our parents, like many others, often photographed us as infants and toddlers nude. Whether taking a bath, crawling on the living room floor or sitting on the backyard porch, the family album contains images of us as chubby nude cherubs with the innocence of youth all over our faces. We were content and happy to be doing whatever free from the confines of any type of garment, regardless of how fashionable or cute. Carefree, clothes-free and enjoying life.

Then, somewhere along the line, naked was no longer thought of as appropriate and clothes were considered mandatory and neccessary. Of course, accompanying this requirement was the task of teaching us how to dress ourselves in these restrictive and uncomfortable items of fashion. By this time, we'd become accustomed to our body freedom, our nakedness, and somehow managed to communicate this with each other. As a team of twins, we knew that we weren't going to be a party to that. No way.  

At first, our parents thought we were extremely attentive when showing us how to dress ourselves. They were correct; we were indeed paying close attention. We had every intention of removing these cumbersome articles as soon as possible and what better way to get them off than to strip the same way they were put on? Even at a tender young age, Twin and I were no fools. Foolish, maybe, but no fools! Just as fast as our clothes were donned, they were discarded in record time.

Seriously, Twin and I both were disrobing just as quick as the folks could dress us. Our parents and older brothers attest to this, even today. However, we never, even now, really understand the reason for this. Too young to really grasp the concept of social nudism and no examples of this practice within our immediate family. We actually didn't begin to question this until our teenage years and then only looking for the answer: why? What compelled us to this lifestyle at such an early age?

Could it be genetics? We are of Greek heritage and the ancient Greeks did believe in the value of communal nudity, especially among male athletes and warriors. But, that doesn't explain as to the reason this particular gene waited all these centuries to suddenly resurface in our family. No, there had to be some other plausible explanation.

It wasn't until several years later, after we'd both discovered the wonderful world of queer social nudity, that we learned the true response to this nagging question. Over a few drinks together with friends, nude of course, an acquaintance jokingly commented that he got his start in nudity when he was touched by a naked angel. This made perfect sense to the both of us and is definitely better than the genetic theory which isn't supported by sceince. Since that time, if anyone asks what initially attracted us to the nude life, we always reply: we were touched by the Angel of Nudity.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Second Anniversary!

I started publishing DQN In Northern Virginia on this date, January 19, 2010. This wasn't my first experience in blogging; I'd published previously in a gay community blog devoted to naturism/nudism (now defunct) and on a nudist social networking site. This was my first attempt to maintain and to write an independent blog. It was a new year resolution for me that was supposed to last only for the calendar year, 2010. It was originally intended to be a leisure-time activity with three entries per week, tops. That was the initial game plan, which lasted all of about six months. Within those first six months, it became apparent to me that I had more to share than just two or three articles a week and this project was so much more than just a casual effort. Determined to keep my commitment to my new year resolution, I devoted the time and before I knew it, the calendar year ended, it was 2011 and the blog's first anniversary. I also recognized that I was enjoying the experience and decided to continue. And here I am now, two years later and entering the third calendar year of DQN In Northern Virginia. It still gives me satisfaction to share thoughts and ideas and to offer some of the present stories of interest to our queer naturist/nudist culture from throughout the world. I look forward to publishing here for another year and invite all of you to contribute any and all feedback by using the comment section under each post or to contact me: dqn.nova@gmail.com.   

  
This Second Anniversary observance isn't possible without the most important element, you: the readers, supporters and visitors here. This celebration is all about you. I appreciate all of you, individually and collectively, and your patience, your understanding and your love. As a symbolic token of my gratitude, I offer to you a slice of anniversary cake.

   
Above is pictured the very first photograph of myself that accompanied the initial DQN In Northern Virginia posting. Over the past two years, many have contacted me asking if I was embarrassed or concerned posting pictures of my personal nudity on this blog. As a proud member of our same gender loving culture of nakedness, I honestly have no reason not to publish them here. I use illustrative images from the internet. There's no shame in nudity, so it would be a little hypocritical of me not to share on my own blog.

Below is a photograph made earlier this month for this anniversary. I am making the international sign for "I Love You." I remember thinking as a friend took this picture why in the hell did I choose one of the coldest months of the year to begin blogging!


Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

About Me: Why DQN? (Repost)

Today is the eve of my second anniversary of blogging here at DQN In Northern Virginia. As I promised in my Looking Ahead: 2012, post published on January 3, 2012, I'm marking this event as special. Just as I did last year, I go back and reread my original post in order to gauge if I'm still focused/on track. I'm sharing this initial blog entry with you, once again, at this time. As for me, since I more or less have the day off from blogging, I'm using my day wisely by putting the finishing touches on the anniversary cake I've baked just for tomorrow's celebration. In the meantime, read what I wrote almost two years ago.



ABOUT ME: WHY DQN?

A new year and a new beginning. So why not another new adventure? Creating my own independent blog. I'm not new to blogging, I've blogged and co-authored on several other sites. However, this experience is new, exciting and a little intimidating. A creative and a growth challenge. Also, another reason to exercise that organ that is stored inside my cranium! So, here goes!

For starters, Why DQN? Well, it's a small matter of self-identification. It's simply how I see myself in this huge complex world in which we live. First, D = Deaf. I am a Deaf man struggling to exist in a primarily hearing universe. Believe it or not, my Deafness does affect my worldview and how my world views me. I am culturally Deaf, so that is why the "d" in Deaf is capitalized.

Secondly, Q = Queer. I am a Queer/Same Gender Loving/Gay man struggling to survive in a primarily heterosexual society. My sexual orientation does impact my perspective on some issues and trust, it absolutely has a tremendous influence on how most of society, as a whole, perceives me! Personally, I prefer the identity of same gender loving (SGL). However, I use queer because initially. it was a pejorative term used to degrade that, through ownership, I can use to empower me and to disempower those who wish to harm.

Thirdly, N = Naturist/Nudist. I am a man who prefers, enjoys and thrives living textile-free (without clothes/clothing) in a predominantly textile environment. My nudity does sway how I interpret certain situations and it is very influential in how the broader culture judges me. As a naked man, however, these judgments don't prevent me from living naturally and honestly.

Finally, Northern Virginia is where this naked, queer, Deaf man resides with his three marginalized communities. Specifically: Arlington, Virginia. Home of The Pentagon and of Arlington Cemetary, where the victims of decisions made inside The Pentagon are finally laid to rest.

This concludes my initial introduction of myself through explaining the title of this blog. Wow! The first step wasn't that difficult! I'll probably return for more! Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nudecentric Briefs

FOR A NATURIST/NUDIST, THE ONLY REASON FOR OWNING A PAIR OF BRIEFS IS TO TAKE THEM OFF!



NUDE NEWS

International

The phenomenon is already upon us: the global revival of nudity as a forum or means of public protest. Perhaps not since Lady Godiva mounted her horse and rode nude to discredit government indifference has this much attention been given to naked demonstrations of public outrage over unequal and unfair policies by irresponsible and repressive regimes. Throughout the world, people are beginning to use nudity to accentuate and highlight their collective displeasure.

The most recent example of this renaissance of nude activism is from China. Almost 100 supporters of dissident artist Ai Weiwei stripped off their clothes and posed bare-assed on the Internet in solidarity with the well-known artist whom the government is harassing due to his criticizing the Beijing administration's oppressive practices. Weiwei was photographed with several women, all nude, and is under investigation by the Chinese government for distributing pornography.

Last month, international focus was on the female Egyptian blogger, Aliaa Magda al-Mahdi, who posted several naked pictures of herself on her blog in support of the Egyptian revolutionary movement. Her action attracted the wrath of Egyptian and Arab Islamic moralists as well as secular members of her own political party. Shortly thereafter, three dozen Israeli women holding a sign that proclaimed "Love Without Limits" bared their breasts publicly in her honor.

For the past several years, the Ukrainian feminist group, FEMEN, has used a topless strategy to emphasize international abuses of women's rights. Although not exclusively total nudity, it does follow the trend of baring the human body (or at least a part) as a political statement. The actions of FEMEN contrast the decades old mantra of feminists against the debasement of the female body as an object of lust. They capitalize on their bodies as a tool of highlighting their message.

Employing nakedness as a rebellion against unpopular and repressive social norms or government policies is nothing new. It's been around for almost as long as clothing. However, not since the massive campus protest rallies of the 1960s and the sensational body exhibitions of the late John Lennon and Yoko Ono has it enjoyed such widespread popularity. Proof that despite the prevalence of nudity in our culture, the strategy continues to be viable and relevant.

Paris, France

An anonymous nude man waded into the waters of notoriety during a photo-shoot for the fashion label, "La Redoute," in France. The fifteen minutes of fame is derived in the fact that the pictures were promoting the fashion line's children's clothing offerings for this upcoming Spring. The amazing part of this incident lies with the actual publishing of the photographs by the fashion house. Evidently, none of the marketing personnel or executives noticed the volunteer model. He is pictured in the far right corner of the photo here.

The French-based company apologized publicly and immediately pulled the image from its' marketing campaign. Unfortunately, not before internet users uploaded and posted them online. When the original ad was published, it created a flurry of activity internationall both on Facebook and Twitter.

As expected in a situation such as this, comments ranged from outrage to amusement. Despite remarks expressing disappointment, many also wrote hailing the pictures as a public relations gold mine. The fashion house assured the public and customers that it is conducting an internal investigation into how this occurred.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


A nude artist and nude tourists will grace the galleries of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) this month in Tasmania, Australia. The tours are private, after-hours affairs being offered on January 17 and 18, 2012, by Melbourne-artist Stuart Ringholt at MONA through galleries displaying his works. Not only is the artist naked, those purchasing tickets are also clothes-free. Both scheduled tours are sold-out, after skeptics initially believed the project doomed for failure.


Ringholt, himself a nudist, has conducted similar programs at museums in both Melbourne and Brisbane. He presents the nude tours as an artwork in itself designed to explore the themes of fear and embarrassment. Historically, the participants range from practicing naturists to those attending strictly for art's sake, although nude. Reinholt stated: "Cold feet is common but people feel more relaxed once they're completely naked." 
Sources: London Metro, The Mercury, Reuters  

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. King: Equality And Justice For All



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Civil Rights Leader, Humanitarian, Peace Activist
Recipient: Nobel Prize For Peace, 1964

"A right delayed is a right denied."


Dr. King is internationally recognized for his crusade that resulted in full civil rights for all African-Americans and for freedom, justice and peace for everyone worldwide. His impact on all humanity is still being felt today and his memory lives on in the hearts and minds of countless millions. No one since has equalled his accomplishment.

Although his life was tragically cut short before the emergence of the struggle for GLBT equality, his support and loyalty to his trusted aide, Bayard Rustin, an open homosexual, is notable as many urged him to turn his back on Rustin in case it damaged the credibility of the African-American civil rights movement. To his credit, Dr. King refused to do so.

After his assassination, his widow, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, lent her endorsement to the GLBT fight for equality. She often stated that it was her belief that had her husband lived, he would have done likewise.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, August, 1963


In gratitude and memory,
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968




"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."


Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Memorial, Washington, DC



Friday, January 13, 2012

New Nude Year Rush

It's now January, still the beginning of a new nude year with a significant majority of us all remaining committed to the long list of resolutions that we made slightly under two weeks ago. True, a few may have already fallen by the wayside and already abandoned their goals for 2012. However, most of us are hanging in there and steadfast in our resolve to actually do better this year. At least, for the moment.


Nowhere is this more evident than in my local gym. All the new faces that miraculously appear the first workday after the New Year's holiday. All those new workout clothes (unfortunately, my gym isn't clothes-free) that adorn all those bodies that accompany all those new faces. Every January I always think to myself: Where did all these new people come from?


You see, between the Thanksgiving holiday until now, I practically had the gym to myself during my usual workout time. I didn't have to wait to use the equipment. I had my choice of whatever locker I wanted to use. Plenty of hot water for my shower and no wait to shave my face and head in front of a mirror. As a matter of fact, I'd grown rather fond of having it all my way! So comfortable that I began to think of it as my own personal gym. Then, the first Tuesday in January arrived and my workout world changed drastically! Apparently, all the best things in life don't always last forever. Damn!


I'm well aware that this line of thinking is nothing short of selfish presumption on my part. I know that I shouldn't be surprised at all. It's the same pattern every January, regardless of the year. All the multitudes who packed the shopping malls between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays pack the gym right after the festive season fades into history. Some things in life simply never change.


Honestly, I should quit my bitching and enjoy the humor here. I regularly workout, essentially for tone; not for bulging bulk. But, to watch these new folks, you'd think they were all pros on the bodybuilding circuit (no disrespect) they way they all attack the machines and pump the weights. By the time they've completed their rotation, most of them look as though they barely survived the blasts of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki! I feel as though I should deliver notices that read: Relax! You're not going to get pumped in one day! However, I selfishly ignore that impulse, mind my own business and patiently wait in line for the free weights.


I've learned from past years that this yearning for the perfect body in the new year won't really last all that long. Many of the new crowd will fade out of the picture by the end of January. Gone, as if they fell off the planet. Another gaggle will evaporate in time for the President's Holiday weekend. Slowly but surely, the masses will disappear and by early Spring, it will basically be the usual gym gang plus a few extra bodies. Nothing like the frantic but well-dressed maniacs who are abusing my personal gym at the present! Soon, normalcy will return and this chaos will done with until the next new nude year!


Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

FBI: Rape Definition Redifined

In a step forward in the long march toward equality, men can now be victims of rape in the eyes of the law. The historic decision was announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this past weekend. The move, hailed by victims' advocates as too long overdue, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has changed its definition of rape to now include males. Vice-President Joseph Biden released a statement marking the new definition: "This long-awaited change to the definition of rape is a victory for women and men across the country whose suffering has gone unaccounted for over 80 years."


The amended description of the crime of rape, as it now appears of the FBI website, is: "The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." Another modification of the definition is the removal of the word "forcibly." The FBI's definition of rape had remained unchanged since it was initially adopted in 1927. Under the old standard, rape was simply "carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will."

Activists on behalf of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence have long campaigned in favor of a redifinition arguing the old guideline as being vague, exclusionary and too narrow in scope. Attorney General Holder commented that the updated version will allow for accurate statistics and a better understanding of the state of sexual assault within the nation. Advocates have contended that rape incidents were seriously under-reported.


The revisions to the FBI's definition empower prosecutors with extra muscle in seeking justice against those who commit anal and/or oral sex upon another individual or rape with a foreign object. Also, the issue of consent is finally addressed within the guideline. Often, evidence of alcohol or other substances are present at reported crime scenes.


The circumstance of rape and male victims recently received national headlines surrounding the under-age scandals of alleged sexual abuse at both Penn State and Syracuse Universities. National statistics indicate that roughly one-third of incidents of male rape are committed on persons aged 10 years or younger. Under the former standard, none of the collegiate scandal accusers would be considered rape victims.

The new guidleine also covers numerous victims of gay-bashings. Often, these persons are assaulted anally with foreign objects in addition to physical beatings. This is an important tool for law enforcement in states where no hate crime statutes exist to include sexual orientation.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Homophobe Club for 2012


The Homophobe Club of 2012 boasts a membership of GOP contenders for their party's presidential nominee. Up to the Iowa caucus on January 3, 2012, the above faces represented the leading candidates for this specific honor. What strikes me as strange is that it appears that the sole qualification for this position is an endless litany of gay-bashing and antigay slogans. At times, I am beginning to wonder that if we, the queer community, all of a sudden packed our bags and emigrated abroad, exactly what would any of these candidates have left to discuss? Would they be left speechless and simply shut up? Would the GOP platform collapse for lack of support?

The message of exclusion and hatred towards the same gender loving people of this country has been the mainstay of the Christian extremists and the GOP since 1996, possibly beyond. I'm beginning to think that the script is the same with just a different wannabe reading the lines. Isn't it about time that the GOP invested the funds to hire a few new writers to update their divisive speeches and agenda? I don't believe that I am the only person who's becoming bored with the stale message. Oh, sorry! I forgot! These are the GOP candidates. Progress and change simply isn't compatible with their philosophy.  Their collective mindset and campaign strategy seems to be feed the homophobic silo and generate the support of the xenophobes.

After the Iowa caucus, Michele Bachmann dropped out of the 2012 Homophobe Club. One hater down, how many more to go? She finished last in the contest with only 5% of  voters supporting her candidacy. Her brilliant moment came during the weeks prior to the caucus when she publicly announced that gays already had the right to marry whomever they wanted: a man could wed a woman and a woman could wed a man. They had this option just as everyone else. Basically, she just couldn't envision any other union and if people didn't fit that pattern, well, tough.

Rick Santorum, who for all intents and purposes tied (a difference of a mere eight votes) Mitt Romney in Iowa, went into New Hampshire with high expectations for the January 10, primary vote there. While campaigning in front of a collegiate audience there, he totally ignored a question concerning marriage equality and instead delivered a tirade comparing queer marriage to polygamy. Like monogamy and marital fidelity are solely the domain of heterosexual couples. I suggest that he turn his head and look at Newt Gingrich, his fellow Homophobe Club member. He's been married three times and hasn't managed to neither practice marital fidelity nor monogamy. Rick needs to seriously rethink that particular avoid-the-issue tactic. Evidently, the voters in New Hampshire agreed. He tied Gingrich for fourth place in that state.

In yesterday's New Hampshire GOP primanry, the voting was much lighter than expected. Is this because the voters themselves are becoming bored with the same tired message? The GOP stance on social issues is well-known with the electorate. Perhaps it's time the GOP moved on to something a little more substantive and relevant. Who cares if someone's gay if we're all broke?

It was interesting to note that John Huntsman last night, when addressing supporters after the polls had closed, stated that what Americans wanted more than anything else was to come together and put aside differences and work for the benefit of the country. I agree. However, once the GOP achieves power, forget togetherness. It's partisanship and exclusivity all the way. Oh, and by the way, we don't count the gays.

Newt Gingrich, after most of the New Hampshire votes had been reported, stated: "I think a Republican controlled House, a Republican controlled Senate and a Gingrich presidency will give America the leadership it needs." Well, Newt, the same can be said of any candidate, including our current President. Another example of the "I want it all" philosophy of the GOP.

Here's the results for the GOP race so far:

Iowa:  (final)
Romney               24.5%
Santorum             24.5%
Ron Paul              21.4%
Gingrich               13.3%
Perry                     10.3%
Huntsman               0.6%

New Hampshire:  (final)
Romney                39%
Ron Paul               23%
Huntsman             17%
Gingrich                  9%
Santorum                 9%
Perry                       1%

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nude Novice Notes: Getting S'Naked

COME ON OUT  OF YOUR CLOSET OF CLOTHES AND WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SOCIAL NUDITY!


S'Naked. One clothes-free activity that means literally not only stepping out of your clothes closet but also outside of your home as well! S'naked, whether lower case or upper case lettering, comes with both the season and the weather. It's been an attraction for naturists/nudists throughout the world for as long as we've been removing our clothes and seeking new adventures to enjoy while nude. That alone makes it a timeless nudist tradition undertaken by many of our culture of nakedness. Unfortunately, because it's occurs during winter and is undertaken outdoors, it is often overlooked by the majority of nude enthusiasts.

Exactly what is s'naked? For starters, the activity name itself is nothing more than a combination of two words, snow + naked = s'naked. Just as the name implies, it's getting naked outside in the snow and frolicking, playing or merely hanging loose and throwing a few (or more) snowballs. It has no ground rules and is whatever you want it to be.  To break it down even further, it's nothing more than a skinny-dip only instead of water, it takes place in the snow. As with skinny-dipping in summer, it has no step-by-step playbook or established guidelines.

By this time, some, if not all of the following questions perhaps are entering many minds. First, why get s'naked? My answer is that the snow is out there, get outside and take advantage of what nature has provided. Fortunately, the snow won't last forever so make the best of this seasonal opportunity. Second, why even bother to do it? I'll respond to that one with a question of my own, why not? It's a different nude experience that doesn't happen everyday. If you haven't tried it, there's no time like the present to broaden horizons and add to your list of accomplishments. Finally, what's the purpose? The purpose is the same as for skinny-dipping. It's out there, it's available, it's fun (or, at the very least, a novelty).

All the long-term or regular readers here will attest to the fact that I am a dedicated queer man-of summer. Give me the heat and humidity all year and I am the proverbial happy camper. All my life, I've had an aversion to anything and everything cold. As a matter of fact, I don't care for ice cream and I drink liquids without ice and for the most part, at room temperature, even during the height of the summer season. I've never been snow skiing and have been known to go into hibernation during periods of extremely frigid temperatures. I imagine that if there was a medical condition known as a cold or winter allergy, I'd be the prime candidate for the first person to be diagnosed as such. Given all this background, it's obvious that I'm no lifelong fan of  any fun in the snow. It just isn't a part of my persona.  Yet the one exception to this personal idiosyncrasy is when I'm s'naked. That's the time when all that is predictable and normal in my life is completely abandoned, cast to the proverbial wind.

Even though I've been a committed naturist/nudist for almost my entire life, my first experience with s'nudity wasn't until fairly recently, once I'd reached my early forties. The only reason I have for this procrastination is my above mentioned propensity for frigidphobia. This life-changing event took place all because of an "I dare you..." delivered by a close friend, himself a s'naked devotee.

That moment took place back in December, 2009, while I was spending a weekend in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I accepted his dare and accompanied my buddy outside, and we both promptly stripped and took turns being photographed by other friends in the gentle falling snow. We tossed a football, threw a few snowballs and then put on our clothes and returned inside. After this initial exposure (pun intended) to s'nudity, I knew that I was hooked forever! I collected my dare debt and about an hour later, returned outdoors to a repeat of my earlier foray into the snowfall. This was turning into quite an addiction. I participated several additional times that first weekend, each s'naked excursion lasting a few minutes longer than the previous one and involving a new activity, such as frisbee, badminton and a snow race.

To the nude novices, and to the s'naked virgins, there are a few tips that I can offer for your s'naked safety and your pleasure. These are by no means exclusive and are based on personal experience; they are not based on medical advice. As with everything else in life, use common sense and follow usual safety precautions.

1. Do not attempt while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance. Alcohol and drugs impair both judgment and mobility. They can also affect body function and response.
  
2. Before going outside, thoroughly and generously moisturize the entire body. Then wait at least twenty minutes to allow the skin to absorb the lotion. This application prevents dryness and helps retain body heat.  

3. Cover your body extremities: head, hands and feet. I know we're nudists and nudity is our thing; but, so is prudence. It's okay to wear a hat, gloves and by all means, your feet. The body extremities are very susceptible to frostbite or worse. Protect them. Especially as the vast majority of us are unaccustomed to exposure to extreme temperatures.

4. Dress in layers of clothing. This permits you to remove layer by layer, so the body doesn't receive a major shock at a sudden temperature change. It also allows the body to gradually warm itself as clothes are restored.

5. Time yourself and don't overdo it. Regardless of your level of machismo, be safe and sensible. Follow the messages your body sends to you. Until you are an experienced, frequent and seasoned s'nudist, limit yourself to four-to-five minutes (maximum) if you're inactive and no more than eight minutes if physically active. Anything longer is very risky and may cause complications.  

6. Avoid high winds and/or heavy, falling snow. Wind chills are colder than actual temperatures; this reality increases body shock. Falling snow melts when it comes in contact with bare skin; melting snow can freeze on the skin and cause damage. Better safe than sorry.  

Finally, a brotherly reminder that cold temperatures cause a shrinkage of genitalia. So, don't become concerned or surprised if your penis and testicles actually become smaller-than-life. Relax, it's merely a natural reaction to the situation and weather and not a permanent condition. Once your manhood returns to normal body temperature, so will the size of your prize!  

Peace! Get s'naked. Enjoy!   

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm On Board!

The new year also brings to us two distinctions all its own: a leap year and a presidential election year. Now, I'm not thrilled about the former. I'm not exactly jumping for joy and leaping tall buildings in a single bound over the fact that we have an extra full day of winter this year. Why the hell can't the leap year bonus be during the summer? What idiot decided to stick it in the dead of winter? Someone introduce me so I can stick it to him/her!


The second distinction that accompanies 2012 is personally more palpable than the first: the chance to once again determine who's going to provide the leadership and set the tone for the next four years of this country. My choice is no surprise to any of the regular visitors here: I endorse and support the re-election of our current incumbent. I am voting for MY president, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama. I actively campaigned for him in 2008 and plan to do the same this year. There is nothing that has happened during his first four years in office that's given me cause to even entertain the thought of doing otherwise.


Have I experienced disappointments over the past three years of his presidency? Of course, who hasn't? No politician, Democrat or whatever, is going to please everyone all the time. In fact, no person, lover/partner, friend or acquaintance, is capable of making us happy 24/7. I do believe that given the nature of divisive partisan politics and our ever-changing national and international list of priorities, that Mr. President Obama has honestly performed his duties under the Constitution better than anyone else who was a candidate in 2008.

Presented with the current field of presidential hopefuls being offered by the opposition, I see no reason to reconsider my choice. Just as in 2008 and earlier, their message and theme remains one of division and exclusion: the haves versus the have-nots. If you have power and wealth, to hell with the rest of the population. If you aren't exactly like them, in their mirror image, then you aren't worthy of consideration or notice. America is for the Americans only, providing the Americans are financially secure, of a certain race, religion and social class and think as they do. Equality, equal opportunity and social responsibility simply do not exist in their mindset of what makes a true American.  Not surprisingly, as publicly demonstrated by their presidential wannabes, intelligence doesn't appear to be a factor into their definition of an American, either.

As both an optimist and as a progressive, as one who believes in inclusion and justice, fairness and tolerance, I embrace the candidacy of President Barack Obama. I believe in his vision of positive change in order to move this country forward towards an enlightened and enriched future. All of us Americans, regardless of who we are, working together for the common good and benefit of all, not merely a select and predetermined few. An America evolving forward and not pedalling backward. Personally, I'm tired of all the negative rhetoric with no alternative save the status quo and more of the same. I prefer a message of rebuilding and rethinking with a clear goal of improving the quality of life not only for all Americans but for all humanity.

At this time, I'm not going to list the specific reasons as to why I am backing our current President here. The election is, after all, still ten months from now. Once the opposition has selected their candidate, there'll be ample opportunity for that particular discussion. Now just isn't the time to evaluate and compare details.

I admire President Obama because of his willingness to compromise in order to initiate progress. His recognition that bipartisanship is better than stubborness. Yet, at the same time, he's not afraid of challenging and re-educating as opposed to bullying and denigration to achieve his objectives. Barack Obama has the abilities, qualities and skills to lead us, both the nation and the world, to a better and productive future. I am confident that under his direction and guidance, we all will experience a brighter and positive future.

To work to make this real, visit: http://www.barackobama.com.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunday: DC Metro "No Pants Ride"


It's not social nudity but in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region, it's as close as you will get to public social nudity: the annual Capitol Improv's No Pants Metro Ride this Sunday, January 8, 2012. Participants are encouraged to ride on the area's subway system in modest underwear (decency laws vary by locality). Of course, if you're in your underwear, you still must pay the standard weekend subway fare. The ride is part of Improv Everywhere No Pants Subway Ride which began in New York City in 2002 and has spread to cities across the USA and Europe.

In the DC area, underwear passengers are meeting at Hancock Park, near L'Enfant Plaza Metro at 2:30 p.m. and from there dispersing throughout the subway system. There is an after-party, pants-free, at Nellie's Sports Bar at 9th and U Street, NW, from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m. Temperatures for Sunday's undie-fest are expected to be unseasonably warm.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Saturday Cocktails: A Washington DC Tradition

In the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, there's been a custom for approximately the past ten years of Saturday Nude Cocktails or Naked Happy Hour. This regular event began around 2002 (perhaps earlier) and initially was held at a traditional leather fetish bar in downtown DC. On the first and third Saturday of every month, area queer nudists would gather for an afternoon of fellowship in a relaxed social environment, clothes-free and stress-free. It soon became a tradition that attracted out-of-area naturists as well as locals.

Sponsored by one of the several gay naturist groups based in DC, it became a central meeting place for members of all the nude enthusiasts, regardless of which organizational affiliation. Quite a number of us, myself included, held memberships in several of the organizations. All were welcome as long as your name was on the attendance list or you were a guest of a member. The host establishment was closed for walk-in trade and the naked cocktails were always considered a private function.

I welcomed this novelty and for maybe a year or so participated as often as possible, sometimes re-arranging my own social calendar so as not to miss the happy hour (as I referred to it). Frequently, I housed out-of-town nudist friends who wanted to experience this unique occasion. Long after I'd stopped attending on a regular basis, fellow gay naturists would invite themselves to use my condo as a weekend guest-house so they could enjoy the festivities, as often the social would continue at different private homes once the bar re-opened for its usual Saturday night business.

About the middle of the decade, my involvement at this gathering became infrequent as other obligations increased. However, I and many others would always manage to drop-in whenever our schedules permitted in order to renew old acquaintances and to make new ones. It was a comfort to know that this tradition continued even as our private lives evolved.

Around 2008, I once again was able to participate in these socials on a somewhat regular basis. At this time, a few men in my close friendship circle were having to relocate away from this metropolitan region (we were about to undergo a major change in government administration) and nude cocktails provided an ideal opportunity to meet new faces and strengthen established relationships.  Yes, naked happy hour offered many extra social benefits aside from simple fraternization. The networking opportunities were endless! 

All this came to an end after the first Saturday of January, 2009. Just as the new president was about to take his oath, the bar came under new management who were clearly uncomfortable with a crowd of naked men spending money in their establishment. A local and popular social tradition ended: at least temporarily.

After a hiatus of approximately six months, a new group emerged that negotiated an arrangement with a different DC bar to continue the nude Happy Hour tradition. This time, it is only the second Saturday of the month but once a month is better than nothing whatsoever. This Washington, DC, gay nudist gathering continues to be popular within our community and to attract queer naturists from outside the metropolitan region.

The new site and new sponsorship injected some much needed change into the Naked Cocktail scene. It prevented stagnation and sparked new interest among the gay social nudist clientele. In stepping in and providing continuity of a local institution, their creativity and diligence guarantee metro gay naturists a place to gather regardless of the local group affiliation. Although I haven't attended as often as I would have liked, it's comforting to know that the Saturday option remains available.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!   





Thursday, January 5, 2012

Getting It Off My Chest


The new year, 2012, is still fresh, young and untainted by unpleasantness. What better time than to address a pet peeve of mine, get it off my chest and move on into the year baggage-free? Or, at the very least, without this particular piece of luggage. Please be patient with me as I lay this out in order to explain myself and continue.

On more than just a few occasions, actually, fairly frequently, acquaintances and others have asked me about my personal appearance. Over time, I've learned to read exactly where this is leading: as a man who shaves both his facial and head hair, why not remove the rest of my body hair. After all, that's been a habit among gay men for some time now and even the hetero men are beginning to follow this trend in increasing numbers. On your next trip to a clothing-free beach or resort, look around. Many men are sporting completely hairless bodies. Several times this past summer, at a local resort, there were more males present with shaved bodies than there were with natural body hair. 

Nowadays, there are commercials on various broadcast and print media advertising products that enable men to "remove unsightly and unwanted" body hair at home. This marketing campaign isn't just targeting the queer audience anymore. The ads are as mainstream as beer and automobile racing.Then add the growing number of establishments that offer said services for the discerning male. If there wasn't a viable market for these products and services, the increase in availability and promotion obviously wouldn't confront us.

I'm certain that the men offering to me grooming advice are sincere. No doubt about it. I'm sure their intentions are good. I don't think any of them mean me any harm. Accepting their recommendation as a subtle hint to "get with the program" or "get with the times," I simply thank them for their interest and comment and move on.

The basic truth of the matter is this: I honestly like being the man that I am. Unsightly and unseemly body hair and all. It's completely natural and it's exactly me. That's the primary reason for me being a naturist/nudist: pride in being myself; just the essential, simple me. No concealment, no deceit, no illusions; a real man. In doing so, I'm more than pleased to retain my moderate amount of body hair. No razors, creams, waxes or whatever for me, thank you very much.

At this juncture, I'm positive that more than a few of you are already asking yourselves the question: But he shaves his head hair? True; that I do. Back in the day when I began shaving my head, I was merely taking control of what nature was slowly in the process of doing: going bald. Rather than wait for this natural progression to occur, I seized the initiative and accelerated the inevitable. Get it over with now instead of later.

Now, I mean no disrespect to those men who elect to shave, wax or otherwise eliminate their own body hair. It's their right to make that decision for themselves. I accept and understand their choice. To each his own. No judgment is being passed. Shaving body hair is just not for me.

A brief comment about the title of this entry today. It's not concerning getting the hair off my chest. Instead, it's about my pet peeve in allowing it to grow on my chest!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Penny For Your Thoughts...

The New Year celebration is over, 2012 is underway and slowly, but surely, life returns to its familiar pattern. The winter holidays were a great distraction from the daily routine, a novelty, but I, for one, welcome a predictable schedule. At least, as predictable as it can be in these changing and chaotic times.


A few random thoughts and observations to offer for your consideration at this time. I'm aware that one penny, a solo cent, isn't going to take anyone far in today's economy. Most of us avoid pennies like the plague. Yet, like every unpleasantness in modern life, they do have a habit of always coming back to haunt us. Please, accept the poor gift that I'm offering you in the spirit that it's given and as a token of appreciation for your patience in absorbing the following opinions.

First, a nudecentric item that was published here on December 21, 2011, concerning taxpayer funding for promoting nude tourism. As expected, the Pasco County, Florida, Board of Commissioners approved the designating almost $4,000 USD of county revenues to market itself as a travel destination for European naturists/nudists. The grant, administered by Pasco Area Nudist Development Association (PANDA), is the first time public monies are being used to encourage nakationers to travel to a specific locale. Pasco County, already popular with domestic naturists, hopes to attract Euronudes during its traditional slow tourist season, the months of July and August. Hopefully, other local governments will recognize the value of nakations and act accordingly.

The second piece of interest to nudists is the revitalization and relaunching of Skinbook, the social networking site that proudly bills itself as the "Facebook of Naturists." The "new" network opened for memberships on December 25, 2011. Unlike its short-lived predecessor of the same name, membership is open to all and it isn't marketed towards any specific age demographic. All are welcome. The current Skinbook does have a share of flaws and glitches in the system that hopefully, will soon be resolved. One of the most obvious is the fact that a nudist social network isn't permitting images of nudity. To peruse the site and to register, visit: http://www.skinbook1.ning.com/

Finally is the controversy surrounding entertainer Cee Lo Green's perfomance at Times Square in New York City on New Year's Eve. It seems that his rendition of John Lennon's song, Imagine, has upset quite a number of music purists and fans of the late Lennon. Cee Lo took the original lines: "nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too" and changed them to: "nothing to kill or die for, and all religions true." Evidently, not everyone was pleased with the artists' more inclusive and accepting version.

Mr. Green tweeted: "Yo, I meant no disrespect by changing lyric guys! I was trying to say a world where u could believe what u wanted, that's all." As the controversy escalated, the tweet was subsequently deleted from the feed. Personally, Mr. Green invoked a time honored tradition known as artistic license. I like his words much better than those of Mr. Lennon. Live and let live, right?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!



   

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Looking Ahead: 2012

Few, if any, of us are able to predict exactly what the future has in store for us. Most men that I know don't have a crystal ball; I'm positive that I don't own one and I'd truly be surprised to learn that I was acquainted with anyone who does. Therefore, all that's left for us is to plan ahead of what we want to happen. That's precisely what I'm doing here: planning as opposed to predicting.

These are some ideas that I'm working towards publishing in the upcoming year. My plans ahead for DQN In Northern Virginia. Of course, this is all based on being of sound mind (that's already debatable) and in reasonable good health. Aside from these assumptions, I have made some preliminary drafts for some new features here on the DQN blog.

I've never avoided political topics and as 2012 is an election year, there will be commentaries as the primary and then election campaigns progress. These, of course, will be offered from the perspective of  yours truly, a queer nudist man. At this time, I encourage as many of you as possible to participate by using the comments function on every post to share your thoughts and opinions. Reader sharing is always encouraged and welcome; never more so than in this politically charged election process.

Two regular monthly (minimum) titles will continue to be featured here on DQN. These are the once-a-month Nude Novice Notes  and the Nudecentric Briefs series. The Nude Novice Notes began when I first started blogging here in January, 2010. This year will probably be the last year that column is published on a monthly basis. The number of topics are almost exhausted. The Nudecentric Briefs subject matter is practically endless as the news from the culture of nakedness is as ever-changing as is our modern world. That publication alone presents an interesting and pleasant challenge every month as I sort through the various headlines of items of interest to our community.

Later this month will bring the second anniversary of this blog. It is a milestone that has completely surprised me. When I started on January 19, 2010, my original plan was to publish for the calendar year only and then move on. I never imagined that this undertaking would last for two years. The positive and growing response to this online journal as a voice and vehicle for queer nudity energizes me to continue the effort as long as there is a genuine interest.  

Currently, I'm working on a somewhat time-consuming project that I hope to be able to publish on this site later in the year. It's a brief history of the queer naturist/nudist community. There's not a plentiful amount of information available and this endeavor is requiring more effort that I originally anticipated. Personally, this is a rewarding task that holds my interest. I trust others feel the same. My proposed title for this work (at the moment) is: A Thumbnail View of Queer Nudism.

I am also working on an outline for another long-range article dealing with belief systems and our gay naturist culture. This task is still in the preliminary stages and may or may not happen within the present calendar year. I don't have any self-imposed deadline for this posting. Like the project mentioned above, this too is an effort that intrigues me.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!