At the new year, I chose to shut down my naturist-specific Twitter account. Day-to-day, I was blocking about a dozen or so accounts that were pornographic or exhibitionist in nature. Quite simply, I did not need a part-time job of eliminating content on social media. It was sad, because I had built a bit of community on Twitter, but a really good move for me overall.
When I’d get tired of it, sometimes I would post something along the lines of “Nudism is not porn.” I don’t know if spelling out p-o-r-n was setting off an algorithm, but coincidentally there would be an influx of savory accounts. There is also an attempt, it seems, to redefine what it means to be nudist/naturist that relies on creating backlash for those of us who emphasize the nonsexual aspects of the movement.
The logic seems to go that sex is normal and natural so nudists who emphasize nonsexual nakedness are denying part of humanity. In fact, we are not, or I don’t think we are. You see, in the 80 years that nudism has part of an organized effort here in the United States, our unclothed bodies have been attached to the anti-nudity hysteria that assumes all nakedness is sexual. Those who claim to be nudists on their pages and then when you click on them to see if they’re worth following and a scroll past the first usually innocuous post is of his erection or her showering (or their likes are smattering with sexual videos), they are doing harm by contributing to the conflation of nudity and sex, which is forever the main reason we remain discriminated against as a community.
Nudity can involve sex, but not always. Nudism and naturism are not about sex or exhibitionism. If you’re an exhibitionist, go for it! But don’t use the language and naming of our movement to hide your situation or trick people into viewing what you choose for sexual enjoyment. When you conflate the two, you are setting our efforts toward equal treatment under the law back. It’s not that nudists don’t enjoy sex; it’s that the movement is not about sex.
So, I chose to leave my naturist Twitter account behind. I hemmed and hawed a bit, but an influx of accounts I had to vet for way too long finally set me free.