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The myth of sexual nudity

Instinctive and natural or social conditioning

One of my greatest fears about being nude socially was the fear of  getting sexually aroused around a bunch of nude people. That would have brought my venture into social nudism to a screeching halt in my mind. The reality is so very different in the several months know that I have been going to a nudist resort and being nude around people never once have I erection, or been aroused or even been close.

Now I am sure there are some  who will say erections and other sexual arousal are natural things and shouldn’t have be a worry. Others will give the simple advice like the instruction I received  on my first visit to a resort  “If it  happens just cover.”  The former is true and the latter is good advice but my inquiring mind got thinking, what’s behind this association with sexual arousal and nude bodies. Is the connection between the nude body and sex a natural thing?I don’t believe it is. I think it is a myth, the myth of sexual nudity. I believe have been conditioned to make this connection. This conditioning comes from a variety of sources and by and large we don’t even realize we are being conditioned.

Before I go any further let me explore some of the popular responses the sex and nudity situation. Humans are sexual animals therefore, this is to be expected. While I agree that humans have certain biological (read animal) instincts, it is also true to say that our higher psychological functional have evolved to supersede those instincts in modern life.Let me offer an example, it is a biological instinct for animals to relieve themselves when the bladder is full. Most animals unless otherwise trained just do that wherever they are, whenever the need arises. The human animal does not, we exert control over that biological instinct and would only do that in public if absolutely unavoidable. I believe the same kind of thing is a occurring with regard to sexual arousal and nudity. For human being there is nothing innately instinctual and sexual about the human body that precipitates and sexual connection with nudity.

Arms_reach.JPGSo back  to question of why this happens, my opinion it is social conditioning. Social conditioning, that is so ubiquitious so constant we we don’t realize it happening until we get in a situation where it don’t exist. It’s like a fish in water it doen’t think about the fact that it is surrounded by water until it isn’t there. Where does the social conditioning come from? From religious groups, the media, folks who want to sell us stuff, and people already enmeshed in the conditioning who we love admire, or respect. In a word it everyone where.Each of these sources are sending us messages all the time  that creates a connection in our minds between sex and nudity. Each of these sources have a vested interest in promoting that connection to further an agenda. Religious groups want nudity to be associated with sex so that their value of procreation to swell or maintain the ranks of the faithful is exclusively the focus of sex. The media sends us messages about sex and a nudity to further their aim of selling more advertising. The advertisers play on these existing messages to sell us stuff they are making by having us associate buying their products with acquiring something forbidden.  Those already enmeshed in this societally conditioned world view have motivational interest in getting the rest us to keep following in their path so they don’t have to think much about changing the perspective they are comfortable with

The result of all this is folks will focus on the sexual organs when nude rather than seeing the whole body and whole person. This leads to folks who says I am a new to nudism  posting pics of genitalia to prove it; it leads to other folks who say thing like only attractive slim and fit people should be nudists or show their face at a nudist beach or resort; Many young people keep anyone nude at arms reach for fear that touching another nude body may sexually stimulate them for good or ba;. Top free advocates get tools that they are the objects male fantasies.  Nudity is seen only necessary as a precursor to sexual activity rather than a natural state of being.  The reality is the association is a socially conditioned one  it doesn’t have to exist. There is another way to look at it from this naturist tweethttps://twitter.com/rodos1950/status/280097118453104641

@rodos1950: @AtNaked You don’t need to be naked to have sex and you don’t need to have sex because you are naked

Humans are sexual beings and nudity is natural but the two do not necessarily have to be associated. If things are going to change we need to change the way that we deal with the subject of nudity. Here are a couple of my thoughts you may have others to add. First we need to work on our own body image. We need to get the focus away from valuing our bodies only if they fit a particular type otothe social norm of what is good. Take a look at yourself nude in a mirror notice all parts of you body and notice how natural and non sexual the body is. We should be mindful of the messages we are taking in from the media, our spiritual leaders, families and friends. Question for yourself whether those messages are true and accurate or just a reflection of social conditioning. Finally alllow yourself to experience non sexual nudity don’t stress about your response but relearn to relax in your own skin knowing that you have to capacity to discern the difference between sexual situations and non sexual ones. Share your thoughts and comments below.

20 Comments

  1. Shavetalebidoux says

    This does a good job of explaining the apprehension many men face coming out of the home nudist closet and into the world of social nudism. And yes, my first time, after a few minutes I found myself thinking of the lyrics to the old Peggy Lee hit “Is that all there is? Then let’s break out the booze and have a ball — if that’s all there is.”

    Although I do think that people, whether nudists/naturists or textiles would do well to read Belgian Hatha Yoga expert André Van Lysebeth’s Tantra: The cult of the Feminine wherein he explains at some length the mechanics or rather the hydraulics of sexual stimulation. Which brings me to a story about a visit with friends in the USA not long after Janet Jackson’s great booby caper. We were watching a baseball game with them, when we noticed, much to our amusement, all the publicity for Viagra. And though we tried to explain our hilarity by pointing out the obvious hypocrisy between America’s hysteria over poor Janet’s bosom and the nation’s apparent acceptance of billboards in a ballpark selling penis erection pills, I’m afraid they just thought we had a rather odd sense of humour.

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  2. The reason for society’s perceptions that nudity=sex is because the ONLY time most people are nude, other than for bathing and changing clothes, IS when they are having sex. They know nothing of nudity in everyday situations, what we call “simple-nudity”.

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  3. J Will says

    Great article…and as a practicing naturist, in large part I agree. However, I do think that sexuality is tied to physical attraction, which can be enhanced by seeing someone au naturel, so I’m not sure that it’s good to disconnect sexuality completely from nudity. I think the conversation is much more about context and being comfortable in all of our varied physical/emotional stimuli and responses. Your Twitter quote was great!

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    • Thanks for the comment. I agree it is about context in the same way that it is not appropriate to totally detach sexuality from nudity I am making the case that it isn’t appropriate to always associate sex with nudity. So we are basically in agreement.

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  4. sassycoupleok says

    A good article and the comments are very well thought out too. As far as the erection thing we sometimes think too much is made of that situation and that’s the key, the situation. If it occurs with a newbie it’s understandable, if it occurs when a gentleman is conversing with a lady that might be understandable. My wife is of the mind set she’s not offended by guys getting them or having them which has occured on several occasions at out nudist resort, in most cases it was a nubie. A couple of times it has happened when the gentleman was talking to my wife, we accepted it as a compliment and moved on. What’s not acceptable is a guy grabbing and/or stroking himself to get or maintain an erection and he is either warned severly or asked to leave. Also the thought of various groups trying to criminalize nudity is just insane. All the nudist we know are the most peaceful people one would ever meet !!

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  5. Pingback: All-Nudist » Family Nudity: Breeding Ground For Perversion?

  6. An excellent article exposing the myths and erroneous perceptions about sex and nudity that inflict our modern society. Thank you for publishing my comment on Twitter.

    Most naturists indulge in sexual activities in appropriate situations but most most people who partake in sex are not naturists so they need to be taught the difference between sexual nudity and social nudity.

    I have written a similar blog about social nudity which can be viewed at: http://rdsnatnat.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=4ad347c64a3beeef

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  7. In my view, nudity is not only body acceptance but being comfortable and confident being nude, in my experiences of social nudity i have never encountered an erection because of the mind set as described in the article. Very good article by the way

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  8. Really good article I agree in your post.

    You say “Religious groups want nudity to be associated with sex” I do agree, but I am not sure if it’s the religion or the cultural inheritance which is the biggest problem.

    Regarding the body image, I really think that many people who has a body image problem who could learn a lot from naturism. Maybe that would be a great way to open up for more acceptance of the nude body.

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  9. Very good article, only one other comment. When you say, “we need to change the way that we deal with the subject of nudity.”, you’re preaching to the choir! WE already understand that!

    It’s the Textile world that needs to get the message, that’s the problem.

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