Friday, April 28, 2006

Sydney Mayor "Outed" as Naturist

Our new favourite Sydney mayor is … drum roll, please … Ted Seng, nudist. It's true. It was in his local paper and everything, tucked away on this week's letters page: "Randwick City Mayor Ted Seng himself is a naturist."

We asked the signatory, Gerald Ganglbauer, a pusher of nudie nights at swimming pools and general promoter of nude beaches, for evidence. Had he seen Seng on the beach, naked? "We've seen him, he admits it," he said, "and there's nothing wrong with that."

Except that the Local Government Act says anyone "in public view in the nude" risks a penalty of $1100 at all but five NSW beaches. Little Congwong Beach at La Perouse is not one of them but it's where Ganglbauer spotted the mayor.

The council didn't get back to us to confirm, but if you want more evidence, try this email sent by Cr Seng himself to Ganglbauer about the campaign to denude Little Congwong:

"Hi Gerard, You'd be surprised to know that I'm a naturist myself. The last time my girfriend [sic] and I were there we had a nice relaxing time. We didn't encounter any problem whatsoever. I suffer from rhumatism [sic] and sunlight is good for the bones, apparently so. I'd like to speak to you on the phone before I take up this matter further as its [sic] a pretty controversial issue. There are some members of the public who strongly oppose it being a nudist beach."

Nudists remember fallen Diggers

24apr06 DESCENDANTS of Australian and New Zealand diggers will mark Anzac Day with a playful game of beach cricket near Byron Bay tomorrow – in the nude.

More than 400 bare bods are expected to attend the annual nudist day at North Belongil Beach in New South Wales, hosted by naturalist group Free Beaches Australia.
Pastor Bob Wright, a church minister and a naturalist for more than 17 years, said the event would be held with due dignity.

He said the Anzac diggers had often played games of beach cricket in-between fighting on the battlefield during World War I.

Many contestants in tomorrow's game would be descendants of the original Anzacs, he said. "The majority of the (players) turning up, believe it or not, actually had grandparents and great-grandparents in Gallipoli," Mr Wright said.

"You never know, you might be meeting one of the descendants of your granddad's best mates. They are there defending their granddad's name."

Mr Wright said although the event was lighthearted, the seriousness of war would not be forgotten.

Up to 500 nudists and their families are expected to attend the event, which also includes a beach carnival, body painting, sausage sizzle and a fun run.

Police will be on call to prevent those taking unsolicited photos of the nudists.

Money raised by the event will go towards sun cancer research.

Carpenter Charged With Working in the Buff

Sat Apr 22, 5:36 AM ET

OAKLAND, Calif. - A carpenter who keeps his clothes clean by working in the nude was arrested after a client returned home early and found him building bookcases in the buff.

Percy Honniball, 50, was charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure this week for the October incident.

He told officers he stripped before crawling under the client's house to do electrical work because he didn't want to soil his clothes, police said.

Honniball said Thursday that working in the nude gave him a better range of motion and that a skilled craftsman can work clothing — and injury — free.

"In certain situations such as demolitions where you are smashing rock you want to be clothed and protected because this rock can harm you," he said.

Honniball was caught working naked in Berkeley three times in the last six years and put on probation for violating a city ordinance. Honniball said he doesn't plan to do work in his birthday suit again.

Police said he apologized to the startled homeowner, but was fired. The homeowner paid Honniball for the finished work, but deducted $200.

"He kept out that amount to change his locks," Oakland Police Officer Jesse Grant said.

Pink Wants To Perform Nude!

I wouldn't know a song by Pink if it bit me. All I know is that she is another Bush-bashing leftist (and this naturist is a conservative Republican). But if Ms. Pink wants to perform nude, AANR and TNS could contact her and the band and set up a tour where she performs au natural at naturist/nudist clubs across the country!


Pink Champions Nudity.

Pop star PINK hates wearing clothes and wishes the music industry would let her perform naked.

The singer, 26, wishes it were acceptable to demand potential dancers remove their clothes before they audition to be in her music videos.

She says, "Why can't everyone just be naked. That's what I love about being the artist, if I had a casting couch for my videos.

"I'd be like, 'Take your stuff off and shake it.'" Meanwhile the pop star Pink is disgusted and angry that teenage girls are so obsessed with Paris Hilton that they think it is cool to have a sex tape.

Pink caused controversy when she slammed female celebrities including Hilton and Jessica Simpson in her song "Stupid Girls". But she says there is nothing wrong with being sexy.

She is disgusted by the popularity of Hilton's raunchy homemade film made with her ex-boyfriend Rick Saloman and is concerned that girls are turning to unsuitable role models.

Says Pink: "I feel scared, really scared. I personally need more examples of how to be better and how to be stronger and how to go a different way.

"I need more examples, so I can't even imagine being in school and looking around. And now it's cool to have a sex tape. Are you kidding me?".

Botswana: The Miner Turned Nudist-Publisher

April 27, 2006
Posted to the web April 27, 2006

Tomeletso Sereetsi

What do you make of a man who relieves stress by running stark naked by the side of the road at two in the morning? That is only when there are thunderstorms. When he does not venture outside, he does, still in the nude, climb onto the roof of his house in Block 5 and let the rain pelt down his body.

Sounds weird but that is how Sunday Standard editor and publisher, Lekgomethe Montsamaisabosigo (shortened for Outsa) Mokone describes his rather unusual way of dealing with life's stresses and strains.

'I think I am a nudist at heart,' Mokone says with a straight face.

Perhaps 'different' is the word to go by because his life story is replete with that theme. While his peers awaited Form Five examinations results, he left for the (in)famous Western Deep Level mines in South Africa. The extravagant fashion sense and the big houses of the miners from his native Molepolole had convinced that a stint at the mine would enable him to afford those. All he wanted was to make money. However, for all his labour, scouring for glory underneath the earth, it was not to be. He fled the place after two months without a coin to rub between his fingers.

'As a miner you were a minor then. They would bring us clothes catalogues. We would look over them, place orders and the mine would pay for us. We would just receive the clothes. We were treated like small children. I got into trouble for refusing to address my senior as baas,' he recalls.

Mokone realized, just in time, that it was time to go back home for national service because he saw no future in mining. It was once again the pursuit of money that landed him in a newsroom while still a student at the University of Botswana. Descended from a long lineage of prolific writers who plied their trade in the then apartheid South Africa, he also happened to have the talent to express himself well with the pen. Thus begun a long marriage with journalism, shaping it as much as it influenced his view of the world and of himself. It became this place where his name became synonymous with a knack for getting himself entangled in controversy. But to his own admission, he is just being himself and doing things that seem very normal to him. They only happen to blow into controversy when they reach the public sphere, he has observed.

'I believe in different things. I don't believe in gender equality. I am a male supremacist. Men are men. Women are women. You cannot judge women with the same standard as men. I may be branded radical for such a stance but it only makes me conservative. I will never apologize for being who I am,' Mokone says.

Whether he follows controversy or it finds him is another issue. But it is almost certain that where he is, controversy is never that far off. It is the stuff of legend in the media industry here.

The former president, Ketumile Masire once confronted Mokone at the national assembly, accusing him of making the country ungovernable through his writings. Mokone had written a story on the corrupt practices at the National Development Bank that incriminated several big guns in the Government Enclave. Mokone opines that Masire must have been under a lot of stress as that was the day the University of Botswana students forced their way into the parliament's chamber at the height of the Segametsi Mogomotsi saga.

'I respect him because he is an elder. I understood that he talked to me as an elder. I guess it haunts him that people thought that he was victimizing this helpless journalist. As a man I would have done the same thing as well. I felt bad when he later acted apologetically. I would never have done that. You don't have to apologise for instinct,' he says.

His journalism has won him a fair share of the industry's accolades, the most notable being second prize in the CNN Africa Journalist of the Year award for a story on cattle tax legislation. After winning it he sat back and took stock of the situation. He threw away the award because it nagged at his conscience. He felt used.

'It is like the West is now using awards to colonise us. They give us their own standards of what good journalism is. They will rather award an African to write about corruption in Africa than a westerner in the west. All the money in corruption in Africa is less than that in America alone. We should assess ourselves here. We would not grow our journalism if we chase awards. The biggest award is looking at your finished story and feeling great about it,' he asserts.

Today Mokone sees himself as a part-time journalist and a fulltime businessman.

'I am now a publisher. I would just be a publisher if I had to choose,' he says.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Caribbean Breezes Blow Cold in Missouri

Nudist resort proposed, opposed

ST. LOUIS: The developer of a planned nudist colony near St. Louis may feel its members would barely be seen from outside but opponents don't seem keen on such exposure.

"After we're done developing, it will look the same from the road and surrounding properties as it does now," Larry Schulz, developer of the clothing-optional Caribbean Breezes resort, told county officials. The facility, if approved, would be built southwest of Lonedell, Mo., reports The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Those against the project say they oppose it on moral grounds and feel the colony will damage property values. "We don't want our kids exposed to it," said a pastor who lives nearby.

Plans for the 52-acre Caribbean Breezes call for year-round facilities with a large clubhouse, an outdoor pool and an indoor pool and a hot tub. Schulz says the resort would have its own sewer system and well. A decision by the county planning and zoning board is pending.

Bare Brittania!

Perfect sand and solitude mark out Britain's best beach
y Steve Bloomfield
Published: 23 April 2006

At last, summer is on its way. As temperatures yesterday nudged 20C and Britons cast their minds forward - in hopeful spirits - to a long, hot summer, a guide to England was launched naming the country's 10 best beaches.

The majority of those singled out by the new Rough Guide to England are in the South. Par Beach in St Martin's on the Isles of Scilly took the top spot. As well as being scenic and having "perfect sand", the lack of visitors that keeps this beach quiet and pristine was highlighted by the guide. But Rough Guide's plaudits may change all that.

Cornwall claimed second and third spot with Porthcurno and Polzeath. The former's attractions include an open-air theatre, while Polzeath is popular with surfers.

Another surfer's delight, Woolacombe in north Devon, came fourth, and south Devon's Blackpool Sands was fifth, although the guide warned of overcrowding in summer.

Sixth position went to Studland Bay in Dorset, where three miles of sandy beach are a haven for rare birds and home to two nature reserves. The National Trust's only designated naturist area, Shell Bay, is also here.

England's largest resort, Blackpool, also made it on to the list. Over the past decade, local authorities have cleaned up the seven-mile beaches which, along with donkey rides and amusements, were praised by the guide.

Whitby in North Yorkshire, with its rockpools, lighthouse, piers and prom, was commended as a top spot for families, coming 10th on the list.

At last, summer is on its way. As temperatures yesterday nudged 20C and Britons cast their minds forward - in hopeful spirits - to a long, hot summer, a guide to England was launched naming the country's 10 best beaches.

The majority of those singled out by the new Rough Guide to England are in the South. Par Beach in St Martin's on the Isles of Scilly took the top spot. As well as being scenic and having "perfect sand", the lack of visitors that keeps this beach quiet and pristine was highlighted by the guide. But Rough Guide's plaudits may change all that.

Cornwall claimed second and third spot with Porthcurno and Polzeath. The former's attractions include an open-air theatre, while Polzeath is popular with surfers.

Another surfer's delight, Woolacombe in north Devon, came fourth, and south Devon's Blackpool Sands was fifth, although the guide warned of overcrowding in summer.
Sixth position went to Studland Bay in Dorset, where three miles of sandy beach are a haven for rare birds and home to two nature reserves. The National Trust's only designated naturist area, Shell Bay, is also here.

England's largest resort, Blackpool, also made it on to the list. Over the past decade, local authorities have cleaned up the seven-mile beaches which, along with donkey rides and amusements, were praised by the guide.

Whitby in North Yorkshire, with its rockpools, lighthouse, piers and prom, was commended as a top spot for families, coming 10th on the list.


Friday, April 14, 2006

The Most Famous Naturist of the 20th Century

San Francisco marks quake centenary confused on scale

Charles Richter and the Richter Scale

Apr 14, 2006 — By Adam Tanner

MENLO PARK, California (Reuters) - At every corner, the San Francisco area is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the April 18, 1906, earthquake that marked one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

A small band of aged survivors are making public appearances, including at the start of a recent baseball game. Museums and public halls are holding retrospectives, and construction and insurance companies are promoting their services against future earthquakes.

The city has staged a new ballet titled "Earthquake" which includes sounds of seismic movements amid a sculpture producers say represents the Richter scale.

Phones are ringing at the offices of the U.S. Geological Survey as the media prepare a hearty diet of earthquake related items. Yet for all the publicity, scientists lament that few in the public understand that the Richter scale so often cited in reports on earthquake sizes, is long gone, replaced by "moment magnitude" scale.

And yes, there is a difference.

For decades, historians recorded the 1906 San Francisco earthquake as an 8.3 on the Richter scale. On the newer scale the disaster was reassessed as a 7.8 or 7.9, knocking it a notch down to a "major" rather than "great" earthquake.

"Fundamentally what I think most people don't understand is this concept of what moment magnitude is," said Thomas Hanks, who devised what is now the accepted standard scale with Hiroo Kanamori in 1979.


California seismologist Charles Richter pioneered earthquake magnitude measurement in the 1930s. A man who lived a colorful personal life as a nudist, Richter achieved wide fame, but even decades later he said the public was still confused.

"Lately there have been complaints that the use of the magnitude scale is confusing, or at least the reporting of magnitudes in the newspapers 'confuses the public,"' Richter wrote in 1958.

Today, the media regularly misreport earthquakes in Richter magnitudes — a scale that fails to give accurate measurements on bigger earthquakes of 6 or greater.

"It's only when you get to these larger earthquakes that there is a difference, and it's only because the instrument on which (Richter's) local magnitude is based did not receive enough of the frequency band to get the true size of the earthquake," said Hanks, who works at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco.

In essence what the numbers mean — such as a "4" being a light quake, a "6" a strong quake — has stayed the same, but the way the numbers are calculated has changed.

James Dolan, an assistant professor of earth sciences at the University of Southern California, compares the old Richter system to a violin that does not play bass notes — but still uses the same musical scale.

The U.S. Geological Survey adopted moment magnitude as its official standard in 2000, although it had already been in use for years before that.

As for public confusion, Tom Hanks — whose name sometimes confuses people because of the actor of the same name — blames poor U.S. scientific literacy, but acknowledges that he may not have spent enough time spreading his insights in public.

In a nutshell, the new scale measures the "moment" of an earthquake — the rigidity of rock along the face of a fault, the area of the fault and how much one side of the fault moves relative to the other. The "moment magnitude" then uses that data to calculate the earthquake's magnitude in an easy-to-digest, one-digit number.

Hanks said he was taken aback in 1989 by the lack of earthquake awareness in San Francisco's upscale Marina district, which was hit the hardest by the Loma Prieta earthquake that year.

"Here are people, half of whom know how to work out the nuts and bolts of a $10 million IPO in the next month or two but can't work out the nuts and bolts of a dangerous situation their houses are in," he said. "In the Bay Area here are people who really are well-educated and are not paying enough attention."

Next week, many will be paying attention as top earthquake experts meet in San Francisco to discuss developments in their field. Hanks, who studied under Richter, will take a characteristically low profile that week by rafting down the Colorado River.


Famous Nudists?

This list has been bounced around the net a bit, and some shouldn't really be regarded at nudist/naturist at all, but anyway...

After posting the factoid about Charles Richter, a member reminded me that Edward Craven Walker, inventor of the Lava Lamp, was also a nudist. He also owned a nudist resort on England’s southern coast. I thought it would be fun to dig up other famous nudists (well, not literally…I think there’s a law against that), so here’s a partial list I found on the “Buffalo Skin” website:

Benjamin Franklin took daily naked "air baths."
So did Henry David Thoreau, who was also a frequent skinnydipper.
Alexander Graham Bell was a skinnydipper and nude sunbather.
George Bernard Shaw, Walt Whitman, Eugene O'Neill, and painter Thomas Eakins argued in favor of social nudity.
President John Quincy Adams was a regular skinnydipper. According to reports, "each morning he got up before dawn, walked across the White House lawn to the Potomac River, took off his clothes and swam in the nude. Then he returned to the White House to have breakfast, read the Bible and run the country."
President Theodore Roosevelt frequently swam nude in Rock Creek Park in Washington, once skinny-dipping with the French diplomat, Jules Jusserand.
President Lyndon Johnson occasionally swam nude with guests in the white house pool, including evangelist Billy Graham.
Senator Edward Kennedy has been photographed skinnydipping at public beaches in Florida.
At the White House of his brother, John F. Kennedy, nudity had been common around the White House pool.
Many U.S. congressmen enjoy nude recreation, albeit segregated: U.S. Senate members may use the Russell Senate Office Building Pool in the nude (the few female Senators make appointments to assure there won't be males on hand),
Congressmen also sunbathed nude on the Speaker's Porch until one day in 1973 when Rep. Patricia Schroeder wandered into the gathering inadvertently.
Billionaire insurance man John D. MacArthur frequently went skinnydipping, and left a beach to the state of Florida, intending that a portion be designated clothing-optional (a wish that has been spurned); word has it that MacArthur went skinnydipping with Walt Disney at this beach in the late 1960s.
Robert McNamara, World Bank president and former U.S. Defense Secretary skinnydips regularly.
American Civil Liberties Union founder Roger Baldwin, is also a skinnydipper.
Charles F. Richter, the co-inventor of the earthquake measuring system, was a life-long nudist and Naturist.
Actress Lynn Redgrave and her family practice social nudism.
Actresses Bridget Fonda and Brigitte Bardot enjoy social nudity.
The late actor Gary Merrill advocated nudism.
Christy Brinkley openly admits to frequenting nude beaches.
Christian singer Amy Grant goes topfree on foreign beaches while on tour overseas.
Even the late Dr. Seuss published approval of a nudist philosophy, in one of his first books.

I would add Bruce Willis(see photo above) as well as Helen Mirren and Uma Thurman. Even the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis was photographed enjoying naturist recreation. The real question is--how many famous people are or were naturists without the general public becoming aware?

More on Charles Richter to come...

More on Naked Telecommuting

Barely Working
Warning: 10 Percent of Telecommuters Are Naked
By Gene Weingarten – The Washington Post
April 9, 2006

You probably want to know why I am writing this column naked. So do my co-workers, who seem a little upset.

Ha-ha. Nope, no co-workers. I am home, "tele-commuting," a practice that has become popular in recent years, particularly among federal workers. According to a recent government survey, almost half the federal workforce telecommutes at least occasionally. According to another survey, by industry groups, about 10 percent of American telecommuters acknowledge that they work naked. To extrapolate, right now as many as 150,000 federal workers might be naked, including, statistically speaking, Condoleezza Rice.

So, ah . . .

Sorry, lost my train of thought.

Because telecommuting involves working without direct supervision, it relies on one's innate sense of integrity and industriousness. In terms of federal government productivity and competence, this might explain, say, the Medicare prescription drug benefits, which, in a mysterious oversight, appear to be available only upon death.

The nakedness factor seems to add yet another wrinkle. As it were.

So I've been researching this subject for an entire day from an empirical scientific standpoint, and am now ready to issue my report.

Federal Study on the Policy of Working Naked
By Gene Weingarten

1. According to the surveys, naked men in the workforce outnumber naked women by almost 2 to 1. This is a shame, since, in the opinion of this researcher, the female body is better equipped for this demanding enterprise. Researcher learned this when peeling himself up from a leather chair. This sentence is replacing a sentence that this researcher's editor deleted, for reasons of taste and propriety, which explains why this sentence is not funny. The other sentence definitely was funny, inasmuch as it contained the word "thwuck."

2. There is a physical phenomenon called "thermal conductivity," which explains why some substances feel colder than other substances even if both are the same temperature. Wooden floors and carpeting, for example, have low thermal conductivity, meaning they don't pull all the heat from your skin, so they feel pretty warm to the touch. Other substances have much higher thermal conductivity. Among these is stone, which is the material on the floor of researcher's basement office, which explains why, before sitting down to work, researcher did an awkward little naked dance that could have brought a laugh to the lips of a corpse. Naked means naked, however, so in the interests of science, no socks were procured.

3. When working naked, one tends to close all blinds and shutters, and generally transform oneself into a working wombat. However, during such stressful, high-stakes times one discovers that some areas of one's home cannot be adequately shielded from outside view. In the instant case, this involved a front door with a glass panel that permits an unobstructed view of an area roughly two feet square at the top of the stairs to the basement. So if one is in the kitchen, naked, and the mailman rings the bell, and one's bathrobe is downstairs, there is some peril in retrieving it, no matter how quickly one scampers. Researcher intuited this when he arrived at the door and observed the polite but oddly complacent _expression on the mailman's face, which resembled the sort of look Monica Lewinsky must get, all the time.

4. Telecommuting naked can be an important weight-loss aid. Noshing is nearly impossible. This is because all reflective surfaces prove dispiriting, in particular the stainless steel refrigerator door.

5. The state of working naked is so foreign that one is constantly aware of it, and of its silliness and inappropriateness. This can be a crippling awareness, particularly when someone telephones. It is no problem with a call from one's wife, but it does become a problem with a call from one's daughter, who will want to know why one is giggling. It is bad to lie to one's daughter, but sometimes it is imperative. Also, giggling produces jiggling, which is not good.

6. Smoking a cigar is a bad idea.

Gene Weingarten's e-mail address is

I Can Relate to This...Can You?

When I got a single in college, I did the same thing...and that was years before I became a naturist per se.

U of Conn Needs More Skin
April 11, 2006

Right now, as I am writing this, I am completely naked. Of course, I am afforded the luxury of this experience by way of being a single. If I stepped outside the confines of this room, I am positive I would be told to put on some clothes and attract some bug-eyed stares. But why? Let's take a closer look at ourselves.

"Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons." This is all too a familiar passage from the book of Genesis is an eternal reminder for our self consciousness as a society. Our bodies are the epicenter of our existence. It is the only means we have to communicate and function within the grand scheme of this messy and confused world. If we are born naked, it is arguably the most "natural" state that one can be in - free from all physical constraints and knowledge. Though education can serve practical purposes and is necessary in order to function as a human being, clothing, aside from necessity due to weather conditions, has no real function.

Though this viewpoint is embraced by naturists (or nudists, as they are commonly known), it is not one held by the majority of people living in this country, nor is it supported by our judicial system. In every state, there is some law prohibiting public indecency with a variable fine of no less than $200 usually coupled with a prison stay of up to five years with no parole or probation. Though the specifics of what actually entails "indecency" differs from state to state, here in Connecticut it is defined as, "a lewd exposure of the body with intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of a person; or a lewd fondling or caress of the body of another person" done with a "willful and wicked purpose." However, without being lewd or wicked intentions, why is it so terribly wrong to walk around naked, or to a lesser degree, show some skin when the weather permits?

This past week, the campus was bustling with life. It happens every spring - students awaken from a dorm/apartment confined hibernation and eagerly don clothing that was either packed away from the warmer days of the fall or recently purchased for the onset of spring. The females of this campus, particularly, are criticized most severely for their exposure of skin. I have heard it all: "that girl's skirt is really short," "the tank top is too revealing" and "save it for the bar, honey!" are just a few that stick out in my mind. Though, with temperatures gradually rising and more females (and males, too) showing off their pasty white or recently melanomatized (yes, I made up that word) skin, why is it that we criticize those that have taken the initiative to remove more conservative clothing?

When I remove articles of extra clothing, I am overwhelmed with a sense of freedom. I gleefully shed the heavy layers that were necessary during the cold months and move about with less restrictions on my body. However, one of the most common critiques of removing one's clothing is that that a person is trying to elicit some sexually deviant action upon themselves or others, which is the logic behind this state's public indecency law. Yet, how can you really tell what the intentions are of people that are simply wearing a short skirt because it is 72 degrees? Or wearing a particularly revealing tank top because they enjoy the aesthetic quality that it provides for their body? When I slip on a short or sleeveless dress, I am not doing it to offend anyone or entice people sexually. I do it because I like the dress and how it compliments my body, not because I am trying to impress other females (which a lot of heterosexual females do) or males. To a complete stranger, however, my intentions are entirely unknown.

That is why we as a society should be more careful about judging those people who choose to show a bit more skin when the weather permits. It is an act of freedom to express one's individuality and appreciation for one's body. If you do not like what you see, you are free to look away. Furthermore, when the weather is excruciatingly hot in the midst of summer, I do not believe that public indecency should be a criminal act. How could a police officer tell the difference between someone with a willful and wicked intention to offend people by displaying their unclothed body, or someone who is simply hot and wishes not to clothe their body for comfort purposes? If the law is afraid that public nudity will offend and/or induce in certain people a sexual desire, then what if one exposes too much skin that is close to your private part? For example, males wearing jeans that hang halfway down their rear ends to expose their boxers or females wearing low-cut tank tops or "booty" shorts. Where do you draw the line for what is and isn't appropriate bodily exposure?

I suppose the one regret that I have during my four years at this university was my failure to initiate a club. A club on campus where people do not have to wear clothing and can congregate not with the intention to entice sexually deviant acts, but to enjoy one another's company in our most comfortable, and natural, state - clothes free.

Monday, April 03, 2006

This "Textile" is Right About This: Respect Boundaries!

Nudists creeping too close to the clothed

Members of clothing-and-modesty-optional set wander off course into dog-walkers' haven

Kerry Gold - Vancouver Sun

April 1, 2006

VANCOUVER, BC -- As he picked his way along the rocky shore he drank from a beer bottle. He wore a dirty T-shirt and socks, and nothing else.

It was only as he got closer I noticed the absence of clothing from the waist down. Not a good look. A stylist might say the outfit lacked balance. The eye was drawn away from the face and to the crotch, not anyone's best asset in the harsh light of day.

I feigned a sudden fascination with the ground. As he passed, I turned to give my companion trailing behind a shake of the head. It was the third time we'd encountered a nudist who'd gone seriously off-course along this stretch of dog-walking beach, the westernmost part of Spanish Banks. This is the stretch before it becomes Acadia Beach, where clothing -- and modesty -- become optional.

Considering the number of fully clothed people walking by, you'd think naked guy might have noticed his pants-free lifestyle was out of bounds. But I get the feeling he knew, alright. He just didn't care.

Another time on the same stretch of beach we encountered mom and dad nudists. Mom had her beach chair on the narrow walking path, which made the sight of her splayed nakedness impossible to avoid. Dad was a couple of feet away, hairy legs spread wide on a beach blanket, closed eyes to the sun. I felt a pang of sympathy for their two fully clothed pre-teen kids, who looked like they wanted to dig a hole in the sand and crawl in.

In this world, there are the people who are most comfortable gearing down in public, and then there are the people who'd really rather not. Naked yoga classes have been offered in places like San Francisco since the '60s, and they've arrived in Vancouver.

According to a New York Times story a couple of months back, bare-naked bodies are a trend again in modern dance, and unlike the '70s or '80s, it's less about liberation or political statement than simple metaphor. Writer Gia Kourlas observed that even sophisticated Manhattanites squirm at the near proximity of naked bodies.

New York visual arts writer and organizer RoseLee Goldberg is quoted in the same story: "Your skin is disturbed by being that close to naked people."

No kidding. It's an obvious observation, but in the realm of the arts, there is no more immediate statement than nudity, which is probably why artists will forever come back to it. In the mundane real world however, nudity is a state of being that requires the When In Rome principal. Either we all gear down, or we all keep the clothes on.

If you're the only person baring it all, or even part of a minority, you're either terribly brave or feeling terribly vulnerable. For onlookers, you're often either an amusement or an irritation. And as the bicycle activists know, public nudity is always political. It implies true liberation, a benign refusal of one of society's most universal codes of behaviour, that is, to cover up.

But it can be an angry statement too. In the case of Naked Guy inappropriately roaming Spanish Banks, his nudity was like a big diss to the rest of society. Perhaps it brought him a modicum of power to make others squirm. Or perhaps he is truly inured to other people's "hang ups."

That's the thing about public nudity: it's only a neutral act when placed in context. Otherwise, where is the line between liberated nudie and weirdo flasher?

Even an innocently subversive act like nudity for political statement requires a power-in-numbers approach.

A documentary on naked bike riding activists compared the public's relative indifference to the ride in Vancouver compared to a city in a place like North Carolina, where public outrage was strong enough to intimidate riders into keeping their clothes on. One guy who bravely rode naked was shown being disciplined by a good-old-boy style cop.

"Put your pants back on," the cop told him, in a voice usually reserved for a child. The guy sheepishly pulled over and struggled into his pants, his political statement immediately diminished by the comedy of it. On his own, he was too easily targeted.

Mostly, here on the coast, we are an accepting bunch when it comes to public nudity. Aside from the sad bunch of guys who turn out to look at boobies at the occasional nude protest, nobody really cares much.

Some hard-line public nudists are way too defiant about it, mind you. They might try to accept that not being comfortable with public nudity doesn't mean a person has body issues or is horribly repressed, or is any way trying to quell their naked fun.

I brought up the subject the other day with a bicycle activist guy who frequents Wreck Beach, and boy, he got his back up: "What's your problem? The naked body is a beautiful thing!" he said, shrilly.

Really? And all this time I thought the body was shameful and dirty.

In the women's locker room, there are those ladies who feel compelled to luxuriate in their naked splendour as they gab, rub on the moisturizer, make telephone calls. Just the other night in the locker room, a naked lady stood with one leg propped up on a bench while she yakked loudly for many minutes to her pal across the room. She could have been at home with her foot on the edge of the tub.

I think one's comfort level about public nudity has less to do with how secure you are about your body and more to do with how your parents raised you. As a teenager, I had a friend whose geriatric hippie stepfather liked to watch TV naked, even when she had friends over. Let's just say we mostly avoided the living room when the old man was around.

Then there are those of us who've never witnessed any members of our family naked, and at this point, would probably go involuntarily blind if it were to happen. Those types either rebel and go naked at the drop of a hat, or opt to keep the clothes on.

Everybody's got to march to a different drummer, as Henry David Thoreau said.

I just don't want to see their naked rear when I'm walking the dog.

Contact Kerry Gold at

The Only Way to Cruise...if You Can

Finally, the naked truth about nude cruises
Spud Hilton

Sunday, April 2, 2006

There are words that, when combined, have the power to create far more questions that answers, and not many are more intriguing than the phrase "nude cruise."

Having heard for years about voyages large and small populated entirely by folks wearing nothing more than SPF-4,000 sunscreen, I wanted to find out more -- purely in the interest of thorough journalism, of course.

Imagine the benefits: no calculating outfits based on formal nights; no using the expensive laundry service on board; packing everything for a weeklong vacation in a fanny pack (so to speak).

Instead of booking a trip (nixed by both boss and wife), I called Nancy Tiemann. Fifteen years ago, she and her husband, Tom, started Bare Necessities, the only travel company that charters entire ships for "the nudist populous." Their Austin, Texas, company just finished its 38th cruise -- a 2,200-passenger trip on a Costa Cruise Line ship -- with a total of more than 40,000 passengers carried, all of them happily buck naked.

The Tiemanns -- she was a banker, he was an attorney -- stumbled one day onto a nude beach by accident and, as Nancy puts it, "by the end of the day, I didn't have a bathing suit on." They looked for upscale nudist opportunities and, finding none, started Bare Necessities, although getting the cruise lines to return their calls was a struggle.

"It took about two years to float our first ship," said Nancy. "Now we've got three cruise lines looking for our business next year."

They have since quit their day jobs.

What follows, based on a recent conversation with Nancy Tiemann, is a brief primer titled "Ten Things You Probably Wondered About Nude Cruises."

-- Who goes?

Bare Necessities says it has customers who are actors, bus drivers, Fortune 500 CEOs, soccer moms, doctors, teachers, priests and at least one Canadian Supreme Court justice. The fact that everyone is naked, however, is "a real equalizer." The average age hovers between 45 and 55, and 98 percent of them are married or otherwise attached.

-- Are they naked all the time?

Passengers can choose to be nude anywhere -- in the pool, at the blackjack table, while singing karaoke -- with the exception of the formal dining room, where clothes are required, but that can be as little as a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. (Ship officials raise the temperature on board for nude groups.) Passengers also have to be covered when the ship pulls into ports, mostly because local authorities have to board to clear the ship.

-- Is the furniture covered?

Basic nudist etiquette is that you always sit on something, typically a towel. The cruise line happily provides the towels.

-- Is the crew naked?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions, Tiemann said. In almost all cases, the answer is no. Bare Necessities meets with ship crews in advance to address questions and concerns.

"Initially they are shocked," said Tiemann. "Their biggest concern is where they're not supposed to look. We tell them that it's a wonderful exercise in making eye contact."

-- Is there a cruise video?

No. Because of privacy concerns, the company is very particular about photos and video.

-- What are the biggest concerns of first-time passengers?

Woman ask about safety and want to know that it isn't a sex cruise. Said Tiemann: "Woman usually have more questions. Men are raring to go."

While passengers are naked, it isn't about sex. Another rule of nudist etiquette: Don't do anything outside your cabin that you would do outside your home. Men do ask, however, what happens if they get, er, ahem, aroused. Tiemann said in 15 years she's never seen it happen, but that if it does, simply use the handy towel.

-- Without pockets, where to people keep their key cards?

Maybe it's better if we leave some things to the imagination.

For more information on Bare Necessities cruises, call (800) 743-0405 or go to

Spud Hilton is deputy editor of Travel. To comment, e-mail

Once Upon a Time off South Carolina

Cat Island once a nudist retreat
BY GREG HAMBRICK, The Beaufort Gazette
April 3, 2006

BEAUFORT, SC -- News had traveled ahead of the bus carrying about 20 New Englanders to downtown Beaufort in the early 1930s. Fellows and ladies, but mostly fellows, had come out to catch a peek at the newcomers, disappointed to see they had all of their clothes on.

They were the first residents of the Sea Island Sanctuary on Cat Island, what's thought by historians to be the first nudist colony in the country. The bare Lowcountry residents caused a big stir in South Carolina in the '30s, with locals both leery and curious, and state officials in fits.

Gilbert and Gertrude Parks bought the island in 1932, hoping to mimic successful nudist retreats in Europe by providing shelter and hundreds of acres of open land to their naturalist brothers and sisters.

A 1935 advertisement for the sanctuary talks of "Lazy hours under a balmy sky. Jungle trails, festooned lagoons, palm-fringed vistas where wild game and wild fowl in their habitat greet you unafraid."

Many curious fishermen dropped anchor near the island's shores when the nudists first arrived, Beaufort native Arthur Levin told The Beaufort Gazette in 2001.

"Fishing was never better in the creeks around Cat Island then it was that summer," he said.

In his memoir, "High Sheriff of the Low Country," former Sheriff J.E. McTeer wrote that mothers and wives weren't so curious.

"I could imagine the pictures that were racing through their minds of a mass immigration of their husbands and sweethearts to Cat Island," he wrote.

The island served as a retreat for nudists and a home for others, providing a little land to those interested in growing their own food to eat or barter.

With McTeer taking a live-and-let-live approach with the islanders, the colony lived a mostly quiet life until a story in The State newspaper in August 1934 alerted Gov. I.C. Blackwood to the alternative lifestyle on the state's shores. Claiming he was prompted by "ministers of the gospel and other prominent citizens," Blackwood sent two constables down to investigate the colony.

The meddling upset island residents, with one man who did not want to be identified angrily declaring to the Savannah Morning News that the remote island was private property and none of the governor's business.

"Visitors to the island have always been welcome, but we have not gone out of our way to invite visitors," he told the paper. "Snoopers have never been welcome."

McTeer led the governor's men to the island, along with their wives, even though the sheriff had advised against it.

As islanders greeted the boat with an "aloha" and nothing on, the prudish constables called for a retreat back to Beaufort, McTeer wrote.

"Well, I never," exclaimed one wife.

"Neither have I, Madam," the sheriff said.

By 1936, the nudist colony closed because of financial strains, though McTeer jokingly blamed it on the sand gnats.

"Ferocious Beaufort County mosquitoes, red bugs and sand gnats took their toll on the nudists' tender and exposed skins, and accomplished what the strong arm of the law had failed to do," he wrote.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Not an April's Fool's Column

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Outtake: Naked recreation? Let it all hang out!

Published: Friday, March 31, 2006
By Matt Crawford

If Mary Jane Kolassa's number pops up on my called ID, I'm answering in a hurry. Mary Jane's calling about getting naked.

M.J. is a senior vice president for Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell. Judging by the Web site, it's a large, high-powered public relations firm in Orlando, Fla. She'd like us all to "spring into outdoor recreation at a nudist resort." At least that's what she wrote in an e-mail she sent earlier this week.

M.J. Kolassa is handling the public relations for the American Association for Nude Recreation. The organization is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. I must admit the idea of nude recreation was at first intriguing, but when I did the math and came to the realization that the founders of the AANR -- if they're even still alive -- would probably be pushing 100, I felt kind of oogie. Naked old people playing shuffleboard? Pretty much ruins lunch right there, doesn't it?

But if you need them, Kolassa brings up a couple of good reasons for getting naked.

In her e-mail, M.J. said you, my winter-weary readers, have had it with being bundled up. She said you're all looking for an attitude adjustment right about now because winter has dragged on too long. She said the best way to beat those winter blues would be a visit to a nudist resort! (She added the exclamation point!)

"Nudist resorts across the country offer lots of outdoor as well as indoor activities," M.J. wrote. "In the Sunbelt, nude Frisbee golf, pentanque, tennis, cycling, 'dare to go bare' 5K runs and kayaking are just a few of the recreational amenities that can be enjoyed right now. There's nude bowling, jazzercize, swimming, table tennis and more in the clubs up north until the temperatures begin to rise."

Generally speaking, of all the recreational activities enjoyed by humankind, I'd have figured bowling at the bottom of the list of "Sports To Do To Naked." OK, maybe it ranks slightly above fencing and paintball, but every time I visit a bowling alley there are several hundred good reasons why bowlers are considerably more spiffy in a black and teal polyester shirt touting "Rick & Ray's Septic" than in the buff.

And talk about getting your mind out of the gutter! Just think of all the highly inappropriate (but uproariously funny) jokes that'll be launched when nudity and bowling are combined. ("Oooh, that's a tough split you left there, Louie!")

Come to think of it, naked tennis, cycling, running and pentanque don't seem all that appealing, either. And just the idea of a bunch of us "sweating to the oldies" during a nude jazzercise class in an stuffy old gym threatens to implode my head. I can promise you, my winter-weary readers, I'd never recommend you exercise behind me as I attempt toe-touches, sans clothing, to the beat of "Rock Around the Clock."

To be sure, there a number of recreational activities that seem well-suited (or is that un-suited?) for naked participation. Nude swimming and kayaking, for instance, seem like a couple of sports I could seriously get behind. Maybe I should rephrase that -- but I could certainly see myself (or at least some European supermodel) paddling along wearing nothing but a birthday suit.

In her e-mail, M.J. wrote that she'd help arrange and interview with an AANR spokesperson on the benefits of outdoor recreation. If I had questions about nude etiquette or wanted to receive a press kit, I should give her a call. I gave her a call, and we talked briefly about nudity, but we didn't talk about nudist etiquette. That's because I'm pretty sure writing a column mocking nude recreation breaks the code of etiquette. I didn't ask her, but I bet "ridicule" is right behind "staring," "pointing" and "comparing" on the list of prohibited activities at a nudist resort.

M.J. ended her e-mail with this: "It is widely accepted that sunlight counteracts the winter blues, in fact, studies indicate your body needs at least 20 minutes a day of sunshine over at least 75 percent of your body to help prevent a vitamin D deficiency -- of which one notable side effect is depression."

If the P.R. lady from Orlando is right, it appears, for the sake of our sanity, we all should get naked this spring. Just promise me we won't go bowling.

Matt Crawford's Outtake column appears every other Friday. Contact him at 651-4852 or