So quickly, it has come to my attention that I’m a disappointment to some of my fellow nudists. By defending those who choose anonymity, I’ve been told that makes me suspect. By not posting photos of myself, I have dug just one more hole.
But, what end does a butt serve? Sure, I might never gain the popularity or notoriety of other nudist bloggers, but that wasn’t my intention for this website anyway. Indeed, the blog was (and is) to be occasional, while the information for those who might pass through Vermont is the reason this site exists.
I get it. As a younger nudist with no nudist role models, I certainly enjoyed seeing the “photos of freedom” on Clothesfree dot com, because it showed me I wasn’t alone and that there was normalcy in the practice of social nudity. But many of those photos were tucked behind anonymity on a website that gathered content, some of it from the other side of the planet, rather than merely posting photos of people from their California hub. Those photographed chose to have their picture taken and presumably were cool with those photos being shared. More power to them.
I’ve been photographed, too, but choose not to share them online. Not now, anyway. I do this, not to arouse suspicion in fellow nudists, but to protect myself in a country that is suspicious of us to the point of making us societal pariahs. It’s easy for some to tell me to throw caution to the wind, always easy for others to tell someone what to do. But what is nudism if it requires a lockstep approach rather than capturing the ethos of bodily autonomy? If we are to be the welcoming community we claim to be, do we not owe it to people to live within nudism on their own terms, within their comfort zone?
Resorts and their photo policies get it. People on the beach who request permission get it. And not publishing photos of myself is my choice at this time. It makes me no less a nudist, no less thoughful about our place in this world.
So, let’s keep this movement going forward rather than placing litmus tests on what makes one an authentic nudist. Out and open nudists are nudists. Closeted nudists are nudists. Anonymous nudists are nudists. We are one and the same, choosing our limits, and embracing our bodily autonomy.
Let’s celebrate that rather than tearing down our own.