A Modern Dad’s Role

It’s Father’s Day.

The traditional American role of father is to teach their boys to “man up,” and to protect their girls from anyone who shows interest in them. Hence, we live in a society that is rife with toxic masculinity and gender roles that have far outlived their value. In fact, the articles are legion that demonstrate that these “traditional” roles have brought much suffering generation after generation, when all that was really needed was a father to show love to their kids. To allow for vulnerability.

In addition to loving our kids as they are, it is just as important to teach kids to love themselves as they are – inside and out. In this way, having a clothing-optionalist house or going to clothing-optional venues teaches the normalcy of the human body. Rather than having unrealistic expectations about themselves or others, kids will see what is real and hopefully carry that into a world that will pepper them with imagery and messages that tell them they are less than, lack value, and are hideous.

Our house models self-acceptance. We are not a “nudist” family, per se, because we don’t prescribe a way of being. If one doesn’t want to wear clothes, so be it. If one does, that’s fine, too. We accept each other for who we are. And we demonstrate that being “as is” is good enough. There are many pressures in this world, and promoting the value of self-acceptance and love can be an important shield for the upcoming generations from the well-funded purveyors of body shame.

And in turn, the next generation could possibly create a more accepting and compassionate world.

WNBR, Montpelier, 6/8

Today’s the day. For those of you going – have fun! This is the tweet yesterday (original tweet 8:06 p.m., June 7, though it’s showing today’s date in the embed) from @WNBR_Montpelier for where to go today.

 

Why Aren’t You?

IMG_6340.JPGInevitably, whether someone accepts my reality or not, the questions come up: Why are you a naturist/nudist? Why would you want to see other people naked? How can you be naked around other people? And many variations on the theme.

These questions come from our Puritanical roots, of course, and are the product of a society built on fear of the body and body shaming. So, I don’t blame the people who ask. How could I? The cultural messaging is clear: Unless used to sell things, human skin is evil, shameful, disgusting. A body must look a certain way to be acceptable nude. Nakedness is gross.

We’ve come a long way backward from my grandfather skinnydipping in the river near his house with friends in the 1930s and his sister once saying in the 80s about a topless woman sunbathing, “It’s just skin.” School showers are a thing of the past. Even people who properly using adult gym locker rooms are mocked in various media. While at the same time, we use skin and the false equation that nudity = sex as a marketing tool to a) sell things and b) make the buyer feel inadequate. So, the message compounds and no wonder everyone is afraid of their own shadow, and worse, their own bodies.

The questions from the curious mentioned at the top serve to put anyone receiving them on the defensive. What they’re saying is: Justify your way of being to me. Make your excuse because you don’t conform to societal, cultural, and my expectations.

Again, these questions and the demands behind them are fear-based, conditioned responses from people who can’t imagine an alternative way of being. In an open and understanding way, we could answer their questions with a question of our own: Why aren’t you? It will give them something to ponder and hopefully they can come up with a mature response. We don’t need to put them on the defensive, of course, but we can remove the aggression of trying to make us lose our footing in the conversation.

Maybe we then invite them to try it, with us or on their own. My recent revelation to one friend (who had questions, but never put me on the defensive) has led to him finding himself as part of our community. In fact, he’s said it’s one of the best things he’s ever done for himself.

As for me, when I’ve accepted the defensive posture, I’ve been clear that I have always been this way, though I suppressed it for many years to the detriment of my own health. That I don’t necessarily want to see other people naked (as in, I don’t go through life picturing everyone with their clothes off) but that I do want to be around members of my community and that comes with the territory. And because I am who I am, being nude among my community is perfectly normal, as in context as wearing a tux as part of the wedding party, we just happen to be nude among each other as a clothing optional community.

For those of you who have dealt with aggression or lack of understanding, maybe this will help.

 

Updates to the Site

A little overhaul this long weekend on the website:

  • Updates to some of the static pages
  • A few new images to make it more personal
  • And the blog is now the landing page when you come here

Thanks for reading, all!