The Conundrum: Social Nudity & Sexuality

“I suppose it’s not a social norm, and not a manly thing to do — to feel, discuss feelings. So that’s what I’m giving the finger to. Social norms and stuff…what good are social norms, really? I think all they do is project a limited and harmful image of people. It thus impedes a broader social acceptance of what someone, or a group of people, might actually be like.” ― Jess C Scott, New Order

Those of you who have been on the Get Naked path with me have likely been wondering what’s up lately. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably observed the multiple shifts in my profile name. I can’t seem to ‘nail myself down’ so to speak. I’ve been meditating on this for weeks. No matter what ‘brand’ or profile name I choose for myself, within a certain period of time, I begin to feel restricted and limited.

What I realized after a ridiculously long, drawn out process of contemplation is this. It does not matter what I call myself or how I brand myself as long as I don’t let the perception of others drag me down. Throughout this Get Naked journey there have been the following reactions (yes, I’m generalizing).

  1. Those who express their gratitude for the inspiration I provide
  2. Those who express their gratitude for my physical nakedness
  3. Those who are confused by me and what it is that I represent
  4. Those who objectify me by commenting on a particular body part rather than me as a whole person

When people share their enthusiasm for the path the I’m on and my willingness to publicly share my journey with them, I feel appreciated and understood. When people focus on my physical nakedness, it resonates with me on some levels, and on other levels, I still feel slightly misunderstood. The people who are confused by me are normally supportive, just lack understanding. However, it is the people who choose to comment on my “tits, ass, pussy” or my pubic hair, when I am posting a completely non sexual photo of myself, that truly trigger me.

On the flip side, I put out a poll asking my Twitter followers if they thought that my naturist posts could coexist with my sexual expression (in retrospect, I wish I had chosen the word sensual rather than sexual). The first option was the option I hoped the majority of my followers would choose. I hoped they would tell me that what I do with my body, how I express myself on Twitter or in person is of course 100% my choice. I was honestly quite surprised by the responses I received. I’ve barley posted since. It felt interesting to me that someone who says they are a nudist, yet has commented on my body parts, would then go on to tell me that my sexuality has no place on an account that I choose to share naturist focused photos.

One of my favorite female followers ended up blocking me because I defended my right to freedom of choice. When I recently changed my Twitter profile name to @tantrachick one of my followers who regularly comments on my body parts and my beauty in general (rather than my bravery to be a public nudist) left me a shocking comment. He had read a post on my personal blog, Tantrachick, where I have been writing about sexuality and intimacy, sometimes from a personal perspective, and told me that I was “not the woman I thought you were.” I can only guess that his comment was either an attempt to shame me for being a sexual person, or an attempt to distance himself from his own sexual expression.

Either way, once again, I felt judged and somehow controlled. So again I shut down. It is not easy presenting your naked self (mind, body, spirit and heart) to the online world. After I responded, this particular individual apologized, but I still felt judged and wholeheartedly misunderstood. Many of my Twitter followers admit to using my naturist photos when they masturbate. One dude who also claims to be a nudist had the ‘balls’ to tag me in a photo of him ejaculating onto a photo of me that he had printed. After an extensive direct message conversation he finally deleted the photo, but the image is unfortunately still in my mind.

The aspect of this on going dilemma I find most interesting is this. Numerous nudists/naturists do not accept when a public figure who is connected to the Naturist movement expresses themselves in a sensually empowered manner (to be clear, I am not speaking of pornographic content, or explicit photos). At the same time, many of those nudists/naturists feel comfortable commenting on my body. Does that not seem hypocritical to you? It sure af does to me!

As I’m typing this, I realize it may seem confusing. On the one hand I’m saying I want to sensually express myself as the empowered sexual woman I am. On the other hand, I don’t want people commenting on my body. Please let me expand…

If I post this photo of me standing #topfree on the beach, commenting “beautiful tits” is objectification and defeats the purpose of the post/photo/intention. Even saying the same statement but replacing the word tits with breasts (which is the descriptive word I prefer), makes me feel like the viewer is missing the point entirely:

Top Free
Top Freedom

If I post a photo like this, where I am naked, but there is a more sensuous feel to the photo, and my tags are #sensuouswoman #empoweredgoddess #tantricwoman, I am opening up to a more sensuous response. At the same time, saying “nice ass” is still a form of objectification. Comments like, “You are a beautiful woman inside and out” would feel far more empowering to me. But I also get that humans need an outlet for sexual expression, so I try to be open and understanding with regards to the comments on my more #sensuous photos.IMG_7376

An interesting side note about nudism in general is that, according to Glenn Smith, a nudism activist and writer, the main reason younger people are not becoming naturists is the inability of modern naturism to engage with the issue of sexuality ( A Stitch in Time, May 31). After reading a variety of articles and studies on the topic, I think what I expressed above may be at the core of the issue. Millennials are known to be skeptical of hypocrisy. So, if an aspiring nudist millennial happens upon my Twitter feed and sees people who claim to be nudists commenting on my body parts in response to a naturist photo, they may be leery of participating.

On the flip side, human beings are sexual by nature and we all have the right to freedom of expression. With this in mind, if that same millennial (or a newbie nudist of any age for that matter) observes Naturist/Nudist purists adamantly stating that a woman who shares naturist photos may not, under any circumstances, express her sensuality on the same profile, they may not be so eager to participate in Nudism on or offline. I realize this is a complex topic. One that Naked Wanderings has address in a number of blog posts.

When I sat down at my laptop today I had no intention of blogging. I’ve been totally blocked. I honestly don’t really know how to respond to all of this. But once I opened up my blog, words began spilling onto the keyboard. I’ll go ahead and add a few photos, choose a title and hit publish before I change my mind.

My one request from you is this:

Please think before you comment. 

I absolutely adore the majority of my naturist/Twitter/blogging community. You know who you are. But I am in a vulnerable state and I need support rather than judgment. If you have it in you, please share something inspirational. I could use some inspiration myself. I appreciate you taking the time to listen to me ramble, lol. I hope you are having a deeply divine Sunday!

From my naked heart to yours,

Joy

17 Comments Add yours

  1. robbiepennington1 says:

    There’s lots to talk about in this thoughtful post, but life isn’t giving me much head-space at the moment to gather my thoughts. There is one point though that I’d like to address and that’s the thing about supposed ‘naturists’ offering unsolicited comments about your (or anybody else’s) body – I believe that a ‘fundamental’ of naturism is to accept one’s own and other people’s physical appearance, indeed that shedding of concerns about appearance is one of the great liberations of social nudity. It’s kind for you to see unsolicited commenting on appearance, especially sexual characteristics, as freedom of expression but, to me, it jars immediately against the principle of acceptance by imposing somebody else’s value-judgements, I think it’s objectifying and disrespectful and that you don’t deserve it.

    It’s not that I believe that stuff about naturists not seeing each other’s bodies, or that somehow naturism is sensuality- and sexuality-free, but respect is essential.

  2. I suppose it boils down to intent placed on a photo rather than the intent contained in the photo. Probably there is no easy solution.

  3. rhpayne says:

    Firstly. Thank you Joy for being “You”. I feel that the Human Body is beautiful in an artistic viewpoint and sensual on an emotional level. Seeing the two photos you included my first impressions: for the first photo – what a beautiful beach area. Second – beautiful lighting and tone. Do I see the naked you? Absolutely. Do I understand what you are about? Maybe. I would have to sit down and have an in-depth conversation with you. What I do know is that you are a beautiful person and I want to hear/read more of what you have to offer. Thanks again for the beauty of your mind and body.

    Bob.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and compliments, Bob. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and appreciate you sharing!

    2. It’s so true. The eye of the beholder may not see the message I speak. At times I don’t have a message at all, I’m just being me. Thank you so much for your kind words Bob! 😘

  4. Karl says:

    No matter who you are, there will always be those who misunderstand and even malign you whenever you raise your head above the crowd. We can’t be all things to all people, so I choose to be who I am, and if someone has a problem with it, then someone has a problem. You are pioneering an area in which few have traveled, and a pioneer is easily recognized by the arrows in his/her back. If your goal is to attract a large number of followers, then you must walk a fine line to appeal to the broadest section of people possible and avoid anything that might be offensive. That means hiding some things that might be part of who you really are. You must create a persona that appeals to the masses, but is not the real, authentic you. If, on the other hand, you wish to share the real, authentic person that you are, you should be prepared for mixed reactions, from the appreciative to the hostile, and even to the mentally ill. The latter two groups seem to be the most vocal, though they may well be the minority. That leaves you (and all of us, really) with choices to make. I’ve made mine, and I do so without apology.

    1. Beautifully expressed Karl. I have noticed that, as my follower count increases, I am experiencing more intense reactions. I know that I need to stop shutting down when I feel attacked or overwhelmed. Actually, after writing that sentence, I realize that I need to stop allowing the attacks or misunderstandings to affect me so deeply. That is a challenge I’m not sure I will conquer. I am a deeply sensitive and open person, so unfortunately I tend to take things personally. I guess like most people, I am a work in progress. One thing I know for sure is that I will only be my authentic self. From my heart to yours, Joy

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  6. ctnbnc says:

    I understand you and I never see you as a sex object You’re on the right track I support you with all my heart ❤️

    1. Awe, thank you from my heart to yours!

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  8. Thel says:

    Joy, thank you so much for writing this, unfortunately, as a fellow and ethically driven naked human that enjoys quiet and social naked times – IT’S the reason why I sought you out to begin with and its the reason that I cheer you on. It is because you are real, honest, courageous. I am forever an ally – sometimes close and sometimes from afar. You will always have a spot in my movement! Love you so much, Brian Leonard Director of Sentient Fest http://www.sentientfest.com (formerly the Northeast Naturist Festival).

    1. Awe, thank you so much! You are too kind. I am so glad we’ve connected!

  9. Ah yes… we did write a couple of blog posts about this. Both on the sexual side of naturists and on the harassment of women online. Unfortunately it often seems like the internet is full of narrow minded bigmouths and creeps. We’ve tried to educate them… most often a waste of time.

    It’s like there’s an endless war going on between those who try to make naturism a purely sexual thing and those who act like naturists are asexual beings. Leaving very little space in between for people who enjoy naturism and like to explore their sex lives. Without both interfering one another.

    Although we’re constantly promoting non-sexual nudity, this doesn’t mean that naturists are non-sexual. Showering is also a non-sexual thing. But not everyone who showers either finds it secretly sexual or is completely asexual. The difficulty is the grey zone. If you post both naturist content and sexual content, some will say “see, naturism is all about sex!”. Others will say “see, she’s not a naturist!”. But then there are those who will understand you. Those who will gain power from what you say and do. In the end, those are the ones you want to reach anyway.

    1. Yes, I’ve appreciated your perspective. I find the education aspect to be a bit draining as well. I’ve had some success, but overall, I feel we all need to keep leading by example. My adopted dad who raised me was a swinger and a nudist. The two worlds definitely collided, but mostly they were two separate functions that only had one commonality (nakedness).

      When I promote Naturism, I am absolutely an advocate for non-sexual nudity. And yes, I agree. Of course, all humans are sexual beings. Sex is at the core of creation, and it is an important aspect of my life. Totally ignoring my sensuous nature in my own personal expression feels limiting. I appreciate your comment, the work you do, and your continued support.

      From my heart to yours,

      Joy

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