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In the Deep End: Skinny Dipping in Glasgow

Picture the scene: you’re in what feels like a staffroom with around fifteen people. A reassuringly scratchy carpet underfoot, the familiar crackle of polystyrene cups buckling in idle hands. Conversation is easy, everything is normal. Run-of-the-mill, even. Oh – except everyone’s absolutely bollock and nipple naked. Including you.

For many, the scenario above is the stuff of brie-before-bed nightmares, a screengrab from an archived 4oD documentary, or a stage-fright coping technique. For me, it was Sunday night, and I’d been invited to join Glasgow Continental’s weekly naturist swimming event – an opportunity for a wee dip, Lycra-free at Arlington Baths. We were sharing a cup of tea (naked) and I was working up the nerve to go swimming (also naked). After all, when in Arlington, do as the Romans did. Or something like that.

Attending a naturist event was a terrifying prospect. I’m a total prude when it comes to my own body, and have been since childhood. My grandmother learned this in Beamish when I fell into a puddle and she made the mistake of trying to publicly remove my wet t-shirt. My four year old self wrestled her to the floor, incensed that i’d been subjected to such exposure in full view of the Great Beamish Public. Outside the Pockerley Railway too, of all places.

read more – Source: The Skinny

curator’s note This online publication like many other secular and religious ones categorizes simple nudity an organized clothes free swim (skinny dipping) under sexuality. Illustrating how difficult  it is for broader society to separate simple nudity for sexuality. But this publication goes one more damning step further and adds the deviance category. While naturism may reasonably be categorized as deviant social behavior the pairing with sexuality implies that simple nudity is a sexually deviant act. The stigma attached is the biggest challenge to overcome if simple nudity is to be normalized. This doesn’t help despite the positive conclusion of the author at the end. 

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