Monday, May 29, 2006

The Sacred and the Profane

Is nudity profanity? The fine art of perception
By Faye Flam – The Philadelphia Inquirer
May 29, 2006

Dennis McNally was carrying some of his paintings to his office at St. Joseph's University when a top administrator stopped him and asked to see them.

McNally, a Jesuit priest who chairs the department of fine and performing arts, demurred, knowing the man had objected before to his use of nude models. The administrator, no longer on staff, insisted.

"That looks like Jesus," McNally recalled the man telling him. "And he's naked... . That's a terrible sin, painting Jesus naked."

McNally didn't think so. But he concedes that when it comes to nudity, the line between the sacred and profane, the pornographic and the artistic, is not at all obvious.

After passing through corridors packed with student paintings and sculptures, I met McNally in his small office in the Tudor-style building that houses the art department at the university.

He told me people relate to nude figures in paintings because we connect to their humanity. And it takes skill for an artist to learn to paint the whole human body. He likes to start his art students drawing from live nude models right away, leaving the fruits and flowers for later. "It's a way of getting in touch with yourself," he said.

McNally eventually drove me to his studio a few blocks away, where he keeps dozens of huge, colorful paintings, some incorporating glitter to enhance dripping blood and other details. He paints a mix of abstract images he sees in dreams, religious images, and illustrations of the world's wrongs - the disappearance of young people in Argentina, the shooting of a man and child outside a soccer match in Israel.

It is a little surprising to see nudity in religious art - Jesus with no loincloth at his crucifixion. And yet, it was clear from seeing these paintings that we do connect to nude bodies in a timeless, universal and human way.

People have long associated nudity with sex and associated sex with evil, McNally said. In fact, the human body has caused consternation for ages. St. Augustine struggled with the idea of duality - that the body and spirit are separate, the body vile and the spirit pure. And this idea goes back much further - to the Greek Stoics.

It wasn't mindless prudery. Those who get too caught up in the physical, bodily, sexual aspect of life shortchange their humanity, he says. There's more to life than orgies.

Beautiful nude images can have the power to simultaneously repel and fascinate us, McNally said, citing religious scholars such as Rudolf Otto and Mercea Eliade. Nudes that incite sexual feelings can frighten with their power, he said. "Sexual impulses are not as controllable as the impulse of appreciating beauty."

Other artists say displaying art with nude figures is only controversial here in the United States. In Europe it's no big deal.

Nudiphobia may also have something to do with our patriarchal, ownership-based culture, said Christopher Kovats-Bernat, an anthropologist at Muhlenberg College in Allentown. Spouses are led to feel they own each other and have exclusive rights to see each other nude. That may explain why some women feel cheated on when their husbands go to strip clubs.

"The concept of private parts comes along with private property," he said.

Perhaps art is the best medium to spell the difference between Michelangelo and Playboy. It is a difference in poses, in lighting, and most of all, in intent.

When Titian painted his Renaissance masterpiece The Sacred and the Profane Love, the artist depicted two female figures - one nude and angelic, and one glamorously dressed and coiffed. "Both are beautiful," McNally said, "but the one who is profane is the one with the clothes on."


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Nude, Rude and a Bit Unglued: More on the Sunbathing Nurse in the UK

For the record, this is not Lynette Burgess...

Naked truth about the naturist nurse
By TANYA GOLD, Daily Mail

10:03am 27th May 2006

This is a tale of one naked woman, two gardens and three cats gambolling in the valleys of West Wales.

It begins like this — last week, a naked blonde hit the headlines. Her name is Lynette Burgess, she is a district nurse and her hobby is walking naked through the gardens of her cottage in Llandyfriog, near Cardigan.

Her neighbours, Morien and Nia Jones, took exception to this and videotaped her wandering down the (shared) drive and this week she ended up in court on a charge of indecent exposure but got off.

The Joneses were cast as prudish, bitter neighbours taking a high-minded potshot against a lonely, single woman. Lynette played the charmingly eccentric Christian with the pretty figure masterfully. But is there more to the story than that? Is it Twin Peaks with a field full of sheep? As we shall see, it is indeed.

I visit Lynette's pretty cottage. It is called Blaendyffryn. Outside is a picture-book paradise of rolling hills and silver streams; inside there are piles of newspapers, coffee cups and dust.

If I expected to meet a free spirit, full of smiles and joie de vivre — after all, Lynette has posed naked for the newspapers with a fig leaf, laughing towards the camera — she isn't here.

This woman looks exhausted. She says she is 'fed up' with all the attention. She makes me a cup of tea and we settle down to discuss the dispute with a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper watching us from the wall. So what exactly happened? Why is there no Love Thy Neighbour here?

Lynette Burgess sits glumly on her crimson sofa as the three cats, Whitey, Holly and Mishey, wander around our legs. She regales me with her symphony of pain.

'This has ruined my life and now I am leaving this village. My home and my garden were my refuge and I wanted to sunbathe without fear and anxiety. I didn't think people were watching.' She strokes Whitey and excuses herself briefly — 'I've got to get his dinner.'

When she returns, she says crossly: 'I am not a naturist. I am a normal woman. I feel very threatened since I knew they took the video. Mr Jones, who taped it, said he could see my genitals.

He said I was lying on all fours.' Her eyes widen and her nose wrinkles. 'I don't go on all fours for anyone. My knees aren't up to it. They took that video for their pleasure. They thought it was funny.'

Whatever their motives, the Joneses sent the tape to the police last May and in October the local bobbies opened their post and decided to act immediately.

When they swooped, Lynette was in her dressing gown. 'Two constables came down and stood at the window,' says Lynette, eyes moistening.

'They said: "Sorry, you won't like this, but we will have to arrest you." I asked why and they said: "It's a video." I remember worrying about who would feed my cats and was so upset I was literally vomiting.

'I was fingerprinted. I was photographed,' she says. She leaves the sentence trembling in the air, but recovers. 'The only person I've had in my life is Jesus Christ.

And I only have one judge — God. He has given me a great strength to forgive, but in my mind I was going to prison. I had made arrangements for the cats to be looked after. They were going to a friend. I was utterly devastated, bewildered, destroyed. Why would they do this to me?'

So how did this small, blonde woman end up in the dock?

It began last summer when the Joneses, a professional couple in their mid-30s, and their three sons moved into the house next door and began to renovate it. 'At first it was fine,' says Lynette. 'I thought "what nice people". They came in for tea. I liked them. But they didn't like me. They began to harass and complain and now,' she shrugs, 'this . . .'

SO WHAT happened that day? How did she find herself naked in the drive directly in front of the neighbours' camcorder? 'It was basically a one-off,' she says. 'It was bad luck. I think they planned it.

I think they waited. I am very rarely nude in public areas.' When I ask her how many times she has been naked in the driveway she shares with the Joneses, she says: 'I don't remember. I don't know.'

I peer at Lynette. Giving your own gnomes an eyeful is one thing, but an actual ramble down the lane in full sight of fellow voters? Isn't that a bit too friendly?

'It only happened once or twice,' Lynette says. 'I was very unwell at the time. I have the menopause and get night sweats and tiredness. I need to go outside. I did nothing wrong.' She stops at that.

I move on. The Joneses, it seems, aren't the only neighbours Lynette has distressed. She is also bickering with someone on the other side — Mr Lee — and offers a rather disjointed record of his crimes. 'Mr Lee beat up a neighbour's chickens with a rake,' she says calmly. 'And he hurts one of my cats.'

She also claims he broke her drain, made the sewage lorry wait for hours outside her door (they all have septic tanks up here) and bought a goat pen and abused his goats.

'On one side they accuse me of poisoning their goat,' she says staring up at a tableau of pink porcelain pigs and laughing skittishly.

So what are we to make of this woman, Cardigan's answer to Lady Godiva? The daughter of a miner, Lynette grew up one of five children in the tiny village of Trethomas, South Wales.

At the age of 16 she moved to Kent to become a nurse. There, she says, she met and lost 'the love of my life' and became pregnant by a casual relationship. After her daughter — now 20 — was born, Lynette decided to move back to Wales.

Five years ago she moved into Blaendyffryn. 'It was wonderful,' she says. 'The views, the peace, the quiet. I just wanted to be happy and safe and to enjoy my job. Work is all I've ever known,' she adds. 'I put on the nurse's cap and play the part. But now I am too stressed to do my job.'

As she shows me out of Blaendyffryn, she says pitifully: 'I don't know what they want to achieve or what they thought they would achieve.' Her head seems to collapse on her small shoulders as she wraps her dressing gown around her. 'I don't know why they did this to me.'

I tell her I am off to visit the Joneses and she asks me to deliver them a letter, misdirected to her cottage. I cross her front garden, strewn with flowerpots and broom handles. A plastic pig marks the perimeter of her property and I imagine an invisible battle trench in this tiny war.

Mr Jones, 37, a graphic designer, answers his front door. He declines to be photographed — unlike Lynette, who wiggled for the photographer — but he invites me in and introduces me to his wife Nia, 35, a maths teacher.

Mr and Mrs Jones look exhausted. The room seems to glow with tension. One of their three sons is asleep on the sofa, breathing softly.

Mr Jones speaks cautiously about the mysterious harassment they have received. 'It began on day one. We found dead animals on our property, our coal shed was knocked down, our garden gates were ripped off.'

The Joneses claim that rat poison has been left on their front steps, tyres are repeatedly let down and someone wanders around their garden at midnight with a torch, shining it into their rooms.

Although the Joneses cannot prove who is the author of these disturbances, Lynette's public nudity was the final straw.

'I have no problem with her sunbathing naked in her own garden,' adds Mrs Jones. 'But when she parades naked in the drive in front of our house, it is unacceptable. That is where my children play.' Mrs Jones's sons are 13, 10 and three.

Why, I asked Mrs Jones, does Lynette do it? (If, indeed, she does do it; in this little Peyton Place, the baddie could be anyone.)

'She told us right at the start that she wanted this house for herself,' says Mrs Jones. 'She wanted to open an old people's home here. She is rather loopy,' she trails off.

Mr and Mrs Jones seem to wilt in front of my eyes. 'It is really wearing,' says Mrs Jones. 'I come home from work and think: "What will she do tonight?" I get out of my car and she is watching.

The children play in the garden and I have to follow.

'It is,' she says, sipping her tea, 'one thing after another. I don't know what is wrong with her, but I have never seen this sweet, kind woman other people appear to think she is.'

The Joneses proceeded with the indecent exposure charge after the police refused to charge her with harassment. Mr Jones agrees to play me the famous video — the tape the magistrates decided was not indecent exposure.

He extracts it from a pile of children's cartoons, the screen flickers and Lynette is wandering, very deliberately and consciously, down the shared drive, naked as reported, in the same white shoes I saw her wearing earlier.

The road is paved with sunlight. Whitey the cat follows her.

When it is over, Mr Jones plays another tape — Lynette The Sequel. 'She called an electrician and he parked his van outside our house,' he says. 'But she decided he was a friend of ours posing as an electrician and that he was going to bug her house or cut off her electricity.'

Again Lynette appears on the screen, videoed from inside the Joneses' living room. She is wearing a woollen cardigan covered with roses. She tries to take some papers from the van; the electrician stops her and takes refuge in the Joneses' house. So she stands against the van upon her face.

I watch the tape — she stays in this position for 45 minutes until the police arrive. Their words are muffled and I cannot hear them. Mr Jones switches off the tape. 'She has been arrested many times,' he tells me. 'The police know her very well.'

I give them the letter that Lynette put into my hands. 'Look, she has opened it,' Mr Jones tells his wife. I tell them Lynette says she is moving on, that she is devastated that her life is ruined. 'She has put her house on the market, yes,' says Mrs Jones. 'But we think it is just a ploy. She took the For Sale sign down two days ago.

'Of course we hope she will sell her house and move on. We searched for this house for ever. We were coming home — I was born round here. But that is ruined now.'

Mrs Jones uses the same words as Lynette to describe the dispute. 'I am devastated,' she says.

As I leave, Lynette's cottage is in darkness; it is nearly midnight. But she calls out of her window and I see her face peering out. 'Hello,' she calls. 'Are you all right?'

What would Joseph Conrad say to this house of darkness? And which house is darker? I'd rather shop with Mrs Jones than with Lynette, but I'm not a forensic psychologist.

'Father, forgive them,' Lynette had recited at me, describing the pallid Joneses. 'I forgive them. Father forgive me.'

"When the Going Get's Tough, the Tough Get Naked"

In the effort toward full disclosure: I don't drink. But I do think that beer commercials are some of the most interesting television. Follow this link to an unlikely combination: the fusion of Budweiser ad and a tongue-in-cheek homage to the actvitity director at a "nudist colony" (there's that term again--I thought Jamestown was a colony...)


And Don't Confuse Us with Exhibitionists!

Indecent exposure is crime to be reported; nudism is different
Cay Crow - San Antonio Express-News
May 27, 2006

Years ago, I was visiting a friend in Colorado for Spring Break. As we drove along the highway, a man pulled up beside us and exposed himself. We sped away, shocked and laughing nervously. What would possess someone to do such a thing?! Had I understood at the time, I would have recorded his license plate and turned him in for coercive exhibitionism, legally known as indecent exposure. When a coercive exhibitionist exposes him or herself to an adult in the state of Texas, that is a misdemeanor. If the exposure involves a child, that is a felony. Once convicted, these individuals could remain on the sexual offender registry for the rest of their life.

There are people in this world who feel compelled to expose themselves for sexual gratification. Most, but not all, of them are male. Usually, the behavior has a furtive quality. The exposure happens quickly, sometimes in a seemingly accidental manner. Other exhibitionists (also called "flashers") are more provocative or threatening in their behavior. Some will step in front of another person in public and expose themselves, waiting for a reaction. In many cases, it is the reaction that the exhibitionist seeks. It is important to report indecent exposure when it occurs as this criminal behavior can lead to more violent crimes. Breast-feeding in public is not considered indecent exposure.

Not all exhibitionists are criminals; there is a non-coercive aspect to this behavior. Context and consent are the key differences between coercive and non-coercive exhibitionism. Around the country, there are lifestyle clubs and erotic gatherings where revealing the body is not only acceptable but expected. In the right social context, exhibitionism is not a crime but a form of consensual sexual gratification. While plunging necklines, short skirts, and g-strings will never be acceptable at the office, in the right social setting, to see and be seen is just part of the fun.

But what about nudists? Are they the same as exhibitionists? While the behavior may appear similar, exhibitionists and nudists are worlds apart. A nudist or naturist is an individual who enjoys living as much as possible in the nude. It is the sensuality, not the sexuality, of being nude that nudists celebrate; the feel of the sun on the skin or skinny dipping.

Naturism Web sites tout the health or financial benefits of nudism such as treating psoriasis (a skin condition) and reducing laundry costs. Nudists do not gain sexual gratification from being nude; it is simply their most comfortable state. At nudist resorts, there is no cruising and no sexual tension; in fact, they will throw you out for inappropriate behavior. Each resort screens people carefully before allowing them in.
Nudism or naturism is so popular that this lifestyle has its own vacation packages to beaches or resorts around the world. Nudists do not impose their bareness on others. Most naturist resorts or nude beaches are either private facilities or well-marked in public spaces.

As David Letterman once said, "One man you don't catch with his pants down is a nudist."


Going to Pasco County, Florida? Pack Light

Nude resorts taking off the gloves in fight for customers
PHIL DAVIS - Associated Press
May 27, 2006

LAND O' LAKES, Fla. - The photo of the attractive brunette is strategically cropped, but the ad makes it clear she's wearing nothing but a smile. The pitch: she swims nude at Paradise Lakes Resort and so can you.

Lake Como, Paradise's across-the-lake neighbor, promises a more rustic family style retreat, including naked camping and karaoke on its 210-acre grounds.

Just up the road, brash newcomer Caliente Resort and Spa entices nudists with conspicuous consumerism - flashy facilities, lavish homes and a medical spa featuring laser hair removal.

Three of Pasco County's six nudist resorts are taking off the gloves and everything else as they attempt to attract more of the worldwide clothing-optional market, which has tripled in size since 1992.

"Pasco is becoming the Mecca of North American nudism," said Richard Mason, an activist who helped open a stretch of Miami-Dade County's Haulover Beach to nudists in 1991. "A lot of people think nudists live in a colony like hippies. Then you see a place like Caliente. It's like a country club."

Pasco's nudist tussle began in the late 1990s when Paradise manager Chuck Foster broke away and began planning the 120-acre Caliente facility. Over the years, he's brought over several Paradise employees, most recently Deb Bowen, who is now Caliente's marketing director.

"They took the best of our ideas," said Joe Lettelleir, president of the 72-acre Paradise Lakes resort. "They didn't create their own identity. The bottom line is there were some growing pains. We certainly wish them well."

Modesty is not a nudist's strong point. That's certainly true at Caliente.

The resort's $300-a-night Mediterranean-themed waterfront villas and expansive pools featuring waterfall grottoes have knocked Paradise Lakes from the pinnacle of the nudist resort pyramid.

Now Caliente is circulating plans to add an RV section that could threaten some of the smaller resorts that cater to motoring nudists.

"There is nothing like this in the nudist world," Bowen said of the resort.

"I felt we could do it better, which, obviously, we have," Foster said. "Como is rustic. Paradise is Motel 6. This is the Ritz Carlton."

Doug and Adele Butler, a Virginia couple looking to settle into early retirement, chose Caliente over a nudist resort in Palm Springs, Calif.

"We love the freedom of being nude. And look at our view," said Adele Butler, pointing to the lily covered lakes behind her $500,000 Caliente home. "We come home to a resort."

But Caliente left Illinois retirees Denny and Arlene Reed a little cold.

"We had considered it, but Lake Como seemed more friendly to us," said 63-year-old Denny Reed, sitting pool side wearing only a baseball cap and a deep tan. "Competition is a good thing. They all look at each other and learn. Each one offers a different experience."

Cheri Alexander, founder of the Travelites nudist club in South Carolina, said the larger resorts such as Paradise and Caliente tend to capture most of the attention of the American Association of Nude Recreation.

"I don't think the mom-and-pop operations are being pushed out, but I think marketing is being focused on the larger clubs instead of the smaller ones like Lake Como," Alexander said. "I sometimes have to remind the powers-that-be in our organization to remember the mom and pops."

The American Association of Nude Recreation estimates nudists pump about $400 million into the global tourism economy, up from $120 million in 1992. The association says its ranks have grown 75 percent to 50,000 members in that time. Nudists can chose from 270 clubs, resorts and campgrounds in the United States. And a lot of that business comes to Pasco County, where most of the six resorts are concentrated along a six-mile stretch of U.S. 41 in Land O' Lakes, about 20 miles north of Tampa.

County officials say it impossible to put a tax value on the dozens of condos, homes and hundreds of acres of land owned by nudists.

"They're good neighbors," Pasco County Commissioner Pat Mulieri said. "They provide a wide tax base. It's great. We get people from all over the world."

Nudist resorts brought in a sizable chunk of the $807,000 in tourist tax revenue collected in the county last year, good money in an area with no major tourist attractions. Pasco has reserved a spot on its tourism board for a nudist.

Florida's collection of nudist resorts are barely acknowledged by state and local tourism officials who stick to safer terrain such as Disney, the mermaids of Weeki Wachee springs or Busch Gardens, major attractions that flank Pasco's nudist resorts in all directions.

Still, Lettelleir likes to think Pasco's "It's only natural" ad campaign is a cheeky nod to the nudist economy.

"We thought that was great," Lettelleir said. "We call it our joint slogan. They don't see it that way. They're not willing to carry that as their theme, but the county and city governments aren't ashamed of us."

All three major resorts aim to keep the money train rolling, with additional condos and RV space. Paradise and Caliente are opening new locations in other states and the Dominican Republic.

They are also marketing to college-age kids.

Caliente wants to capture part of the young party crowd in Tampa's Ybor City. Paradise joined forces with a 21-year-old University of South Florida public relations student to market free admission, cheap beer and reverse strip poker - you lose, you put clothes on.

Lettelleir acknowledges it's a hard sell. Contrary to Paradise's alluring ad, most of the bare bodies poolside are decidedly middle-aged.

"I think the industry will continue to grow, but it will not grow through the college ranks," Lettelleir said. "The younger generation doesn't have a problem with the nudity; they just don't particularly go and belong to things."


Friday, May 26, 2006

Creator of the World Most Famous Little "Nudist" Dies

Samples of her work

Artist who created famous Coppertone Girl dies at 88

Ocala, Florida (AP) — The artist who created the bare-bottomed Coppertone Girl of the famed suntan lotion ads has died in Ocala. She was 88.

Her family says Joyce Ballantyne Brand suffered a heart attack last week, but had returned home under hospice care. Brand died in her sleep on Monday.

In 1959, she painted her daughter as the now infamous Coppertone Girl. The painting shows a mischievous black puppy pulling down a little blond girl's swim trunk bottoms.

Brand was paid $2,500 for the painting.

Brand's illustrations ranged from wholesome Ovaltine ads to risque pinup girls.

She won a scholarship to Disney's School for Animation in California, but it was withdrawn when the faculty found out she was a woman. She studied art at the University of Nebraska and the American Academy of Art in Chicano.

She was unapologetic about her love of cigarettes and a good, stiff martini in the evening.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Naked Kids at Play Sparks Online Debate

Published: May 08, 2006 02:03 pm

STEVE AND LYNELLE: Naked kids at play

Dear Steve and Lynelle,

There is a family that moved into our middle-class neighborhood several years ago. They have two young children and are very good parents. We like them a lot and get along well with them.

Last summer we were amused and slightly shocked to see the children playing outside in the nude. Although there is always one of the parents supervising the children, their house sits on a corner lot and can be viewed by approximately seven other neighbors and everyone traveling down our busy street.

Since that time, this incident has escalated to several, almost daily, occurrences of the completely nude children. One time the mother even commented that her children are like little nudists and if it were up to them, would be in the nude all the time.

This year, even with only a few warm days, I’ve seen the children naked again. With so many predators and pedophiles, I am deeply concerned for their safety, especially because they are so visible to persons outside the neighborhood from the street. I have cautiously mentioned this to the parents, but it hasn’t helped. Although the parents are with them all the time, I’m still concerned. I find it embarrassing and somewhat exploitative seeing these innocent children naked outdoor for anyone’s eye. What should be done, if anything?

Steve: Ah, there’s nothing like running around au naturel in nature to free the mind and cleanse the spirit. So they say. Since this curiously free feeling is not available to older children and adults, unless they find a nature camp, kids are the last bastion of tossing off the suits of civility.

I actually don’t see anything wrong with this. You don’t give the age of the kids but I’m guessing they’re small. Kids enjoy running naked in the hot summer months. They play in sandboxes then jump in the backyard pool to get washed off. It’s part of being a kid, and it’s always been that way. Nowadays, however, parents don’t seem to want their kids to be kids, but miniature adults.

I do understand your point about pedophiles, but it seems as if the parents are watching them constantly. Caution should be taken at all times about this. From the tone of your letter, however, this seems to be more of a problem for you than anyone else. I notice your use of the term “middle-class neighborhood,” which suggests that you rue the day these bohemians moved in.

Parents raise their kids differently, and, who knows, maybe this will prevent some uptight Puritanism from creeping into their lives and teach them to be more accepting of others.

What should be done? Don’t look if you’re disturbed. You’ve talked to the parents and they’re content to let their children be “little nudists.” They’ll soon enough grow into their own self-awareness and the days of nudity will be over.

Lynelle: I think it’s OK to be concerned for their safety, but, like Steve, I just believe they’re being kids. With the parents constantly watching them, it sounds as though they are well-protected. If you are truly concerned, I would try to talk to the parents again, even though you said that hasn’t worked. Maybe you can ask them to keep the kids in the back yard, but if the parents are all right with letting their kids run around in the buff, then it shouldn’t be a problem for you. Again, as Steve said, just look away.

This seems like the sort of thing you’ll be able to look back on with your neighbors and say, “Remember when it was safe enough to let our kids run free in the front yard?” Soon, it won’t even be an issue because children grow fast.

Steve and Lynelle want to give you advice! They are always looking for good questions to answer, so pass on your drama, dating disasters, relationship woes and any problems that come your way. Write to them at or send a letter to them at 1133 Jackson St., Anderson, IN 46016. Too frustrated to write? Call Steve at (765) 640-4863 or Lynelle at (765) 640-4847. Advice columnists Steve Dick and Lynelle Miller bring unique perspectives to your problems each Tuesday. Steve, 53, is married with a son and lives in Muncie. Lynelle, 24, is living the single life in Anderson.

Story Comments

I have no problem with this, in fact, when my daughter, who is now 31, was age 2 and 3, we let her do the same thing. However, puritanism aside, and even though the parents are watching the children at all times, has anyone (Steve or Lynelle) (the parents of these children) taken into consideration that, in this technologically advanced age, perhaps a pedophile could be taking pictures of these children and putting them on the internet without the parents' knowledge, or using the pictures for his/her own private use (yuk!)? Hello, these are different times we now live in, and I think the write may be correct.
Sue Ann


After reading that story I am disgusted. Who are you to decide how your neighbor raises there children? You are a prude and a pervert because you continue to stare and obsess. My mother and father always let us run around naked when we where children, and having children of my own now, I realise that not only do children want to be nude, but keeping cloths on them is near imposable. I could understand if they where in a public building with there nude little children or if there children had reached the age of puberty, but my gosh... I bet you know every ones business on your block. Modisty is only one more thing to be insecure about.
Mom in Elwood


There is nothing more innocent and touching as the view of naked children at play. I am sorry for those overconcerned adults who are insecure and are disturbed by those who have confidence in their neighbors. IMHO it is exactly this attitude of hiding from everybody's eyes, instilled in our children, which puts the first brick of the obsession with human body. Some of these poor kids who have never saw how the human body looks like, will ultimately become pedophiles. I think that if you were able to see naked kids playing safely on every corner of our streets, the problem with sexual crimes would disappear altogether. Rouslan in France


Put clothes on the kids if they're outside. Period. In this day and age as the other commentor mentioned, it's the wise thing to do. Mom in Elwood, it isn't hard to keep clothing on children. Be the parent and not a wuss.


Ah the innocence of youth. Hey, even at 50-plus, I can't stand to have clothing on during the hot balmy summers here in Texas. Young children seem to have the right idea about dressing or undressing for comfort. Additionally, studies on families that are more "carefree" about clothing show that children raised in such situations are generally more honest, well adjusted and less likely to get involved in deeds of misconduct. Besides, our bodies are created in God's image. If you don't like the way they look, take it up with Him. Sincerely, Nathan Powers
Nathan Powers


When my husband and I were stationed in Germany it was a common practice to see young children nude, at the beach, in the yard, at the inside pools, etc. It was and is completely innocent and I think kids should be allowed to enjoy their freedom before they get all the hang-ups. I would agree however with the comment of someone from afar taking pictures, our technology has come along way. If the parents are keeping a close watchful eye I think it's fine.


as a resident of a country where every bad thing that happens is not blamed on pedophiles, & where the existence of human bodies is not automatically associated with sin, i find the american negativity about & preoccupation with sex & nudity to be deeply disturbing. america has many great cultural traits --rock & roll for example-- but the tight lipped curtain twitching exemplified in this post makes me feel extremely suspicious of america & its influence. i don't want any of these puritan attitudes near my kids. keep well away please.


To the individual who lives outside the United States. Not everyone in the USA shares the belief that the human body is sinful, and something to be covered up at all times. As a person who grew up in the Anderson area, and who would routinely play naked inside and outside, swim naked with his friends, I can say that we all grew up well adjusted, and none of us turned into perverts or pedophiles. Somes others that I know who grew up in highly regulated enviroments, where their nudity was frowned on did grow up to have a healthy addiction to porn. For those reading who are religous, I am a devout Christian myself. In the Christian Bible, God created man and woman naked. They lived naked until the introduction of sin into the world, and it still was not God who told them that being naked was wrong. marc


I am not living in USA. Naked kids on the beach it was a norm during my childhood. I myself was naked on the beach until I was 10-11 y.o. I fully agree with the innocence of the childrem. Moreover, even if I am biased, I think human beings are not to be ashamed by their bodies. I think in places like beaches, own yards and gardens etc. clothing should be optional.
bare romanian


I'll go you one better. Look at civilizations throughout time, from ancient Greece to Medieval Europe and Britian to modern day countries in all regions of the world. What the objective can witness, given sufficient courage, is that children are, in fact, sexual creatures, and that there is nothing wrong with that. It seems clear that there exist, objectively, exactly two sexual crimes, and two only; coercion and deception. So, as long as there is no instance of bodily coercion (i.e. forceable rape, as opposed to the unsupported standard of "statutory rape," which is age-based arbitrarially) or deliberate deception (e.g., lies or tricks such as drugs or alcahol being administered to yield an exploited advantage), there can be no legitimate accusation of indecency. Personal choices can be made of this type at any age, in theory, so long as the chooser can utter the words "yes" and "no" in the relevant native language, and understand when they say them that yes means affirmative and no means negative. That is the only standard for "consent" that objective history and psychology can justify. And anyone of us who was ever "underage" and had so much as a crush on an similarly "underage" classmate or neighbor kid would have to be technically considered a "perverted" pedophile as well. I, for one, find that to be absurd. But why then does it matter more when one person is younger but the other is older? Does the younger person, now, suddenly not know what they're cmfortable with? I can't see how this would be the case. They can still say "yes" and "no" meaning that, unless the young person is mentally handicapped, they are proving they've the language comprehension threshold to "give consent." It is in line with the saying "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." Noone should have to be a PhD Biologist to be able to say they "know what they're doing." All we're assessing is whether the straightforward physical sensations themselves (i.e. pleasurable tingles) and / or the emotional properties (i.e. love or affection, such as is routinely felt by "healthy" people at all ages towards family and friends) are inherantly harmfull or not. Personally, I'd say the historical and psychological evidence says we ought to be far more concerned with violence than intimacy. Thank you.
History's Witness


My wife and I are both nudists, and as nudists I was to make it perfectly understood here in a TEXTILE forum (TEXTILE meaning those who prefer clothing) that Nudism has absolutely nothing to do with sex! In fact it is not about sex at all. It is about personal freedom and BODY ACCEPTANCE! Learning to accept one's own flaws and then being able to open that vulnerability to others and say, "This is me this is all that I am and I accept, and share it with you." is the beginning of personal mind freedom!! So, if we take on all these hang-ups and become so obsessed with how we look and our own imperfects, why then do we what to prematurely force this upon innocent children? Get a grip and psychologically grow up... If you are soooooooooo concerned about the safety of the children, then help the parents keep an eye on them the more eyes watching them the safer they are!!! And as far as some perv stealing pics of my kids, big deal so they get a simple nude pic.. Just as long as they don't physically come into contact with my child or touch them inappropriately I am happy... Think about this before you use it as an excuse to force someone else to be more like what you see as right... PEDOPHILES and OTHER associated PERVERTS are going to look at children and do what they do, see what they see, and think what they think, no matter if that child is clothed or naked and that is the absolute truth and hiding them under tons of clothes isn't going to change that !!!! I further submit that it will only lead to Curiosity (As to what is under those clothes) they may in fact push some to TRY and find out what is there any way they can... remove the curiosity and remove the need to try and find out... Don't that sound logical?
David C.


I don't think that there is anything wrong with the kids being nude at all. Why would there be? They are just playing withought clothes. Clothes are just pieces of cloth or leather or some other material that hides the body. As it has been mentioned before, God created us (withought clothes) in his image. If, infact (as all Christians acknowledge) God doesn't sin, or lead others to sin, then would it not be reasonable to assume that if he created humans withough clothes, then it is not a sin, and also, if the parents are supervising the kids, I don't see why it is a problem. I also don't see how taking pictures of a nude child could possibly hurt them. It's not like they are having sex or being raped. If pedophiles wanted to take a child, or molest them, etc. they would do it. It doesn't really matter that the clothes are there, they won't be for long if that is what the predator wants. If you want a bannana, the peel doesn't stop you. To take it off, and then you get what is inside. If you want what is inside a present, the wrapping doesn't prevent you from getting what is inside. Same with a child. The clothes are the "peel". The "Wrapping". I have had first hand experience with growing up in a nude-is-bad home. What do you know, I got addicted to porn. Weee. How fun. Not. It tortured me and twisted me untill I didn't care anymore. Well, thanks to the grace of God, I was able to quit. After that, I was introduced to Naturism (Nudism to all you folks) by a friend. I have not yet been publicly, but I have seen a lot of nude people that were not in porn or anything sexual at all. Guess what. It did not at all make me want to have sex. And that is something, because most clothes I see are more suggestive than a nude body. Using your imagination is so much more arousing. (And for me not to be aroused is something, because it doesn't really stop very much when you are only 14). The shame and 'no-no' I felt toward a nude body gave me a strange inclination to look at it. Again, and again, and again. How many people do you think actually don't look behind the metaphorical door that says 'don't open' or press the metaphorical button labelled 'do not press'. If God wanted us to be nude, we would be born that way.


What Part of "Private Property" Don't You Understand?

The Times May 25, 2006

Nude sunbather wins right to roam her own garden
By Simon de Bruxelles

A 55-year-old woman's nakedness upset her neighbours but a court has
given her its blessing

A DISTRICT nurse who was arrested for sunbathing naked in her back
garden was cleared yesterday of indecent exposure.

Lynett Burgess, 55, was videotaped by her next-door neighbours, who
complained to police that the garden of her cottage was not private
enough for that kind of conduct.

Miss Burgess, a nurse and occupational therapist who lives in the
village of Llandyfriog, near Cardigan, West Wales, was arrested and
charged with indecent exposure.

The videotape made by Morien Jones, 34, who has three young
children, was shown to magistrates in Cardigan, who were asked to
decide whether Miss Burgess had caused offence by baring all last

Mr Jones told the court: "I was renovating the back of my home with
a local builder when Miss Burgess appeared in her garden. She walked
back and forth completely naked and I went to get my video camera to
record the incident. I have been extremely shaken by this. It has
been very upsetting and worrying. I don't want to bring up my
children in such an environment."

Mr Jones and his wife, Nia, a teacher, whose children are aged 12,
10 and 4, said that they could clearly see into their neighbour's
back garden from their cottage.

Maggie Hughes, for the prosecution, said that sunbathing nude, even
in the privacy of one's own garden, was not normal behaviour,
adding: "A woman exposing her lower region could be grossly
offensive to normal decent persons in society."

She asked Miss Burgess: "What kind of kick do you get from this
behaviour?" Miss Burgess replied: "How dare you. I take exception to
the word kick and find you prudish."

Miss Hughes: "I may be prudish but it's not normal for people to
sunbathe in the nude."

Miss Burgess: "You are prudish."

Trevor Emberton, chairman of Cardigan magistrates, told Miss
Burgess: "You have admitted sunbathing naked from time to time and
that this has become a normal pattern. We do not accept that you
intended to cause harm or distress and, therefore, find you not

After the hearing, Miss Burgess, who has a 20-year-old daughter,
said: "I'm glad to get this over and done with. I intend moving away
from the area and getting on with my life and occupation.

"I've lived more or less as a hermit since this blew up and I now
want to put it behind me."

Miss Burgess, who has lived in the village for six years, said that
she regularly sunbathed in a secluded area of her garden.

"Sometimes I would wear a top and pants, sometimes I would go
topless, sometimes nude. It depended on how hot it was.

"Lots of people do it in places like Greece and Kos. I don't find
that there's anything wrong with it.

"How they were able to see me, I just don't know. In court they said
they could see me on all fours. It is not a position I would take
for sunbathing."

Miss Burgess said that the court case had been an ordeal. "I have
been very distressed about it. I thought I was going to prison. I am
a Christian and go to church. It has been a horrific experience."

Mr Jones said: "We're absolutely heartbroken by the result. This
woman has been making our lives a misery."

It Just isn't Right, Not Having a Pool...

Nudists plan to make a splash with swim pool

NUDISTS are looking forward to skinny-dipping at their Elland club.

Planning permission is being sought for a swimming pool at the Ashdene Naturist Club, Elland Road.

Retired bank manager Alan Wallace said the club was healthy but a swimming pool would attract more naturists.

"It will complement the sauna and showers and we will then be well placed to attract more naturists in the area,'' said Mr Wallace, who is a director of Ashday 1986 Ltd which runs the club.

More than 100 people are members at Ashdene which is open every day, but 90 per cent of visitors are tourists.

They tend to stop on site in mobile homes, caravans or tents.

Sixty-two-year-old Mr Wallace, of Greetland, said they all enjoyed taking off their clothes and getting away from the rat race.

"They switch off their mobile phones and feel the peace and quiet of the place,'' he said.

"Until you take your clothes off you will not notice a difference, but there is a difference which is I can't explain.

"I did it in France 20 years ago and I've never looked back since.''
Ashdene has a licensed bar, catering facilities and a large concert room and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend.

If planners agree the covered pool, approximately 15 metres x 4 metres, could be built this year and would be paid for from club funds.

Another director, Stirling Buckley, of Manchester, said club visitors spent around £100,000 annually in the local economy.

"That contribution will grow stronger if we can provide facilities such as a pool to increase the attractiveness when compared to other naturist clubs in the UK,'' he said.

It would be the only naturist pool in West Yorkshire.

"There is a clear need for Ashdene to plug the gap in provision, and it is the intention of Ashdene to enter swimming teams in national and international naturist swimming competitions,'' said Mr Buckley.

"We already enter teams for national and international boules tournaments as we have recreational facilities for this sport, and in 2005 Ashdene members gained our first podium finish at the international naturist boules tournament.''

24 May 2006

It Just isn't Right, Not Having a Pool...

Nudists plan to make a splash with swim pool

NUDISTS are looking forward to skinny-dipping at their Elland club.

Planning permission is being sought for a swimming pool at the Ashdene Naturist Club, Elland Road.

Retired bank manager Alan Wallace said the club was healthy but a swimming pool would attract more naturists.

"It will complement the sauna and showers and we will then be well placed to attract more naturists in the area,'' said Mr Wallace, who is a director of Ashday 1986 Ltd which runs the club.

More than 100 people are members at Ashdene which is open every day, but 90 per cent of visitors are tourists.

They tend to stop on site in mobile homes, caravans or tents.

Sixty-two-year-old Mr Wallace, of Greetland, said they all enjoyed taking off their clothes and getting away from the rat race.

"They switch off their mobile phones and feel the peace and quiet of the place,'' he said.

"Until you take your clothes off you will not notice a difference, but there is a difference which is I can't explain.

"I did it in France 20 years ago and I've never looked back since.''
Ashdene has a licensed bar, catering facilities and a large concert room and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend.

If planners agree the covered pool, approximately 15 metres x 4 metres, could be built this year and would be paid for from club funds.

Another director, Stirling Buckley, of Manchester, said club visitors spent around £100,000 annually in the local economy.

"That contribution will grow stronger if we can provide facilities such as a pool to increase the attractiveness when compared to other naturist clubs in the UK,'' he said.

It would be the only naturist pool in West Yorkshire.

"There is a clear need for Ashdene to plug the gap in provision, and it is the intention of Ashdene to enter swimming teams in national and international naturist swimming competitions,'' said Mr Buckley.

"We already enter teams for national and international boules tournaments as we have recreational facilities for this sport, and in 2005 Ashdene members gained our first podium finish at the international naturist boules tournament.''

24 May 2006

Summer Moore is Sane---Not Like Gough, Martinez and Hatch

The naked truth
Josh Indar – Chico News-Review
October 16, 2003

What is the big deal about being naked? Summer Moore, a Butte College student, retail worker and mother, said the time she spends naked with her husband and two daughters in Upper Bidwell Park has made her more confident and introduced her to a better class of people. We caught up with Moore a few days after she lobbied the City Council to vote down a suggested ban on nudity.

What do you like about [being nude]?

Being free. It's hard to express.

You're not embarrassed about it at all?

No, no. My family knows, Most of my friends know. It's not something that I go tell everybody at my work, just because a lot of people who don't know what it's about, they judge. They think that it's about sex and orgies, and that's not what it's about at all.

What is it about?

It's about body acceptance. Gosh, we have young girls growing up in society thinking there's a certain way they should look. You go to a [nudist] resort, and it's not that way. Most people have bulges here and there, and scars.

When did you start doing this?

In '98. [I went] up to Upper Bidwell, very nervous. I saw a couple girls down the way who were going without their tops on. My husband encouraged me, and I said "OK." When he approached me wanting to go to a resort, I said, 'No, I'm not into that,' [but] we ended going. The nicest people were there--very accepting.

Do you feel better about yourself?

Oh, absolutely. I'm comfortable in my own skin. I'm not so worried about what people think about me anymore.

What would you think about a ban on being nude?

I think there are other things they should be wasting their time on. The police especially need to be able to have time to make sure people are wearing their helmets, maybe control the young college guys that are going up to Upper Bidwell Park [and] throwing glass bottles at the nudists.

You wouldn't go to a Disney movie naked?

No, because then I'd be offending someone else. That's why we have resorts. We have places that we go to. We also hike pretty far up into Upper Bidwell Park so we don't offend people. We go out of our way not to offend people. The people that have had bad experiences with naked people, such as the sexual overtness, I'm really sorry for them because that's not what we're about. That person that's displaying that lewd behavior when they're naked, they're not representing what we stand for.


Maryland Nudists Get Good Write Up

Nudist groups revel in the right to bare arms ... and everything else

There are three basic rules of nudism:

Wear plenty of sunscreen.

Always have a towel on hand for when you sit, both for hygiene and to avoid a potentially unpleasant union with hot metal, plastic or wood.

And never, ever, fry bacon.

Richard Eriksen, a retired attorney from Virginia, tried that and speaks from grease-spattered experience. (By the way, he also warns against tarring your roof naked, which he also attempted.)

"I don't recommend cooking bacon or barbecuing," he said, chuckling. "Tarring the roof wasn't a good idea, either."

Mr. Eriksen is a longtime member of Pine Tree Associates, one of two nudist clubs in the county. The other is the Maryland Health Society, located in Davidsonville. Both were founded, separately, in the early 1930s, and are the only such clubs in the state.

Nationally, the nudism movement is much larger and growing, according to the Florida-based American Association for Nude Recreation. AANR has more than 50,000 members and close to 270 affiliated clubs, resorts, RV campgrounds and bed and breakfasts, according to its Web site.

"There's not a lot of (perfect) 10 bodies," said Carolyn Hawkins, AANR spokesman. "You don't have to be afraid of it."

Members of the two local clubs hail from the county, the rest of Maryland and many other states. Some live at the clubs during the summer months, others stay longer, and still more just visit on the weekends.

"It's like having a vacation every single weekend in the summertime," said Sandy Desautels of Washington, D.C., Pine Tree spokesman. "You come here Friday night, you take your clothes off, and you don't put them on again until Sunday night. It (can be) very depressing going home."

Pine Tree has more than 500 members, while MAHESO has 90. They operate on parcels that each span close to 100 acres. People can pay a daily fee or become members by paying yearly dues.

Whatever the case, people at both clubs have similar reasons for going nude. There may very well be a million stories in the naked city, but many local nudists had the same tale to tell: They first experienced nudism in the Caribbean on a clothing-optional beach, liked it, and then sought out places nearer to home to go naked. They say shedding their clothing isfreeing and lets their true selves shine through.

As is common for them to repeat, it's hard to put on airs when you don't put on clothes.

"When you shed your clothes, you shed your inhibitions, your stress, everything else," said Rosie Crowe, who lives with her husband, Bill, at MAHESO pretty much year-round. "You can just relax. You don't have to put up a front. It's great. I'd like to see more young people be nudists."

Although both clubs have members in a wide age range, the majority are between 40 and 60. More than 90 percent of the AANR membership consists of people age 35 and up.

"I don't know if it's part of the hippie thing, but younger kids keep their clothes on," Ms. Desautels joked.

Naked truths

The grounds of the two clubs look similar - lots of woods and grassy areas. But Pine Tree, the larger club, has more amenities, like tennis courts and a restaurant (Cafe Derriere). Both have pools.

Members reside in everything from tidy mobile homes to full-blown houses, and everyone seems to always be smiling and relaxed. (And yes, lots choose to play sports naked, ignoring the jiggle factor).

Most carry personal items, like a cell phone or spare change, in a tote bag, and everyone wears some form of shoes. Flip-flops, sandals and sneakers are the most common footwear.

Interestingly, jewelry was also common among both the men and the women, who shed their clothes but not their watches, rings, necklaces and earrings. A few of the women wore makeup too, like Nancy, who first came to Pine Tree about four years ago with her then-boyfriend. She preferred not to give her last name, as did several other club members.

"It's an insecurity about the condition of my skin," she said. "Without makeup, I look flat."

But she loves the club and is a lot more confident about her body, although she admits it took her a little while to loosen up. "It doesn't matter what your shape is," she said. "People (here) are fun. It's really hard to be a (jerk) when you're standing in front of someone naked."

Club members say women are typically more reluctant than men to go nude in the first place because of concerns about how their bodies look. But Pine Tree members said that after the first few minutes, they realize that no one cares what they look like and they relax. At MAHESO, newbies don't have to go nude immediately, and are allowed to take a gradual approach.

"You love it right away, or it's never going to grow on you," opined Pine Tree member Rich Fogg of Gambrills. "I wish I'd had the nerve to do it (earlier in life)."

Mr. Fogg, a database administrator, has been a nudist for about 10 years, becoming fond of the lifestyle after a trip to St. Maarten. And although he's open about it, he hasn't told the people he works with and was a little worried about their reaction.

"If they find out, I don't care," he said. "But I wasn't going to bring it up, either."

To ensure privacy, both communities are gated and haven't had any problems with gawkers.

Mike Transparenti, president of MAHESO, said he's often asked what a nudist club is like. He tries his best to answer questions, but his advice is:

"You can try to describe it, but the only way to get a feel for it is to try it for yourself."


For more information on Pine Tree Associates, go to, or call 410-841-6033 or 301-261-8787. For more information on MAHESO, go to or call 410-798-0269.

This Senior Citizen Must Be Stopped!

Sun lover fights charges

Richard Finnila - Courier-Mail

May 08, 2006

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA -- Police will attempt to prosecute a 75-year-old Sunshine Coast man today for the fifth time for sun baking nude on a secluded Coolum beach nearly a year ago.

Retiree Ken Wenzel is determined to beat the wilful exposure charge and has an army of supporters behind him.

The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties has described the charge as an abuse of police powers and have called on authorities to drop the case.

"Haven't they got anything else to do than chase a harmless man in his 70s for bathing in the nude?" QCCL president Michael Cope said.

Mr Wenzel was caught bathing at Third Bay Beach at Coolum, south of Noosa, which has been a well-known nudist beach for more than 30 years.

Of the 100 nudists Sunshine Coast police nabbed during the mid-winter raid last July, Mr Wenzel was the only person to fight the charge.

Mr Cope said: "If necessary, the State Government or relevant councils should take steps to designate nude beaches and to mark and publicise them."


15% Regard Resort Nudity "Extremely Desireable"

A new travel survey by the Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown &
Russell/Yankelovich research firm reveals that 15 percent consider a
resort with nudity "extremely desireable."

Men are more interested in going buck naked than women, with 19
percent of guys considering clothing optional vacations a viable
option compared to 11 percent of women; 30 percent of blacks and 28
percent of non-whites; 23 percent born after 1979 want to get naked on
vacation as do 18 percent of Gen Xers; and 15 percent of boomers are
dying to let it all hang out; and only 12 percent of oldsters born
before 1946 want to bare all.

More on "The Nake Guy": His Brief Life and Death

Nudist activist, Andrew Martinez aka Berkeley's "Naked Guy", died
Friday night.

Following is a brief bio from Wikipedia:

Andrew Martinez (c. 1973 – May 18, 2006), nicknamed The Naked Guy,
grew up in Cupertino, California. After graduating from high school,
and before moving to Berkeley, he walked down Highway 9 in the nude
for about a mile and a half before police responded. This was his
first time walking nude in public. A star defensive lineman and
straight-A student at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Martinez
was a popular -- if nonconformist -- figure on campus.

Martinez's was first arrested in the fall of 1992 for indecent
exposure while jogging naked near southside dormitories at 11 on a
Saturday night. The charges were dropped, but he was arrested again
when he showed up at his court date naked. Three months later, he was
expelled from UC Berkeley for violating a campus code of conduct.

While attending classes at University of California, Berkeley he
gradually began to take more and more clothes off while he attended
classes until eventually he started to go naked. He staged a nude-in
with the X-plicit Players, a performance art/activist group in
Berkeley that has done many public nude events.

At 6-foot-4, with an athletic physique and handsome face, he gained
instant fame on campus and beyond. He appeared in Playgirl magazine,
on national TV talk shows,in dozens of newspapers, and was parodied in
the feature film PCU.

UC Berkeley eventually kicked him out, after issuing its "Policy
Statement Concerning Public Nudity and Sexually Offensive Conduct" on
December 7, 1992. Martinez continued living in Berkeley, and was
arrested for public nudity by the city of Berkeley. He fought the
charges, and won. For many months, it was legal to walk around nude in
Berkeley, until the city later passed a law against it. His actions
were widely covered in the media.

Later life

Martinez continued with his academic and athletic activities, however,
for about two more years. He competed in judo and was writing a book
until his mental illness threw his life into disarray.

Doctors were never able to give Martinez an exact diagnosis, and he
struggled for years with his medication. After his days as the Naked
Guy, Martinez spent the next decade bouncing among halfway houses,
psychiatric institutions, occasional homelessness and jail, but never
getting comprehensive treatment.

On Jan. 10, 2006 he was arrested after a fight at a halfway house
where he was living and charged with two counts of battery and one
count of assault with a deadly weapon. He was in maximum-security
custody in Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose.

On the evening of his death a guard checked on him at 11 p.m. and he
was fine, but a few minutes later other inmates reported hearing
sounds coming from his cell. An officer returned at 11:19 and found
Martinez unconscious. The 33-year-old Martinez was found with a
plastic bag cinched around his head. He was taken to Valley Medical
Center, where he was pronounced dead on May 18, 2006.

"He was a person with tremendous gifts and charisma who could have
been a great asset to our society, but instead I feel like society --
me included -- failed him," said Martinez's best friend, Bryan
Schwartz, a civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C. "He wanted us to
question the things we take for granted about Western values, he
wanted to us challenge the norm."

Missouri Nudists Defend Their Lifestyle

Nudist Campers Defend Lifestyle, Say They Make Good Neighbors

By Mike Bush

(KSDK) - The sign at the entrance to the Forty Acre Club says it's a family camp. Here you'll find the things you'd find at any camp. A pool, a basketball hoop and tennis courts.

"We have all the outdoor activities and we can get out, take our clothes off and be ourselves," says Forty Acre member Pete Edge.

The camp which welcomes all ages, is not far from Lonedell and has been around since 1950. "We've always had a super relationship with our neighbors. We've never had any problems," says Edge.

When the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Board approved a permit for another nudist resort earlier this week, there was outrage. "He's not welcome there, and he's not going to be welcome there, and there will be no peace as long as he's there," said resident Juanita Perkins.

But neighbors of the Forty Acre club tell us they don't know what all the fuss is about. "They have their ways and we have our ways, and we keep within the law and we both get along great," said Sonny Ramsey.

"They're keeping to themselves on their property," added Brian Lindke. "They purchased the land and they should be able to do what they want on it."

"If you think being nude means something bad, then it's your job, your responsibility, to find out what it's about before you put people down," says Forty Acre member Denita Edge.

The Forty Acre Club has some permanent residents and regular guests, according to the membership director. There are people from all walks of life. "We are different," says Denita Edge. "We aren't bad different, we're just different so we're a big family out here."

Bare it All and Let the Sun Do the Rest

The wise sunbather above is actress Elizabeth Hurley.


MOST of us start smiling when the summer comes and it's no surprise - a little sunshine every day can boost your mood and also help to prevent a host of seious illnesses.
FOR years we have been told to cover up in the sun to cut the risk of getting skin cancer. But now it seems that a little bit of sunshine on your body is actually good for you.

Studies have shown that a sensible amount of sun reduces your risk of several cancers and other serious health conditions.

And it's all thanks to vitamin D, which is made by our bodies through the action of the sun's UVB rays on our skin.

Professor Michael Holick, of Boston University School of Medicine and author of The UV Advantage (I-Books, £6.99), says: "We get about 90 to 95 per cent of our vitamin D from the sun.

"It is essential for absorbing calcium, keeping our bones healthy, and for protecting against serious chronic diseases later in life such as osteoporosis, Type II diabetes, multiple sclerosis and many common cancers."

He advises that we should go out in the sun without sunblock for between five and 15 minutes a day, at least three times a week in spring and summer, to boost our vitamin D levels.

You can also get vitamin D from your diet - oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, is a good source - as is margarine, milk, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals. But most of us simply don't eat healthily enough to get adequate amounts, leaving the sun as the primary source of this important vitamin.

Here are the top 15 ways in which the sun can improve your health...

1 It cheers 1 you up

SUNSHINE boosts levels of serotonin - the body's natural happy hormone. That's why we tend to feel happier and more energetic when the sun shines. Regular sun can stave off moderate depression, particularly if combined with exercise, such as a walk in the park. It's also been shown that exercising outdoors creates more endorphins in the body than exercising indoors.

2 Reduces heart disease

A STUDY in the British Medical Journal showed that people in the UK are more likely to die of heart disease in winter than in summer, which is believed to be because of low levels of vitamin D. Where you live in the UK also matters. Blackpool has 27 per cent more hours of sunshine a year than Burnley - and 9 per cent fewer deaths from coronary heart disease.

Cholesterol levels also rise in winter, according to reports in medical magazine The Lancet, and this is because our vitamin D levels fall.

And Dr Holick found that exposing people with high blood pressure to UVB rays in a tanning salon lowers blood pressure by similar amounts as prescribed drugs.

3 Prevents diabetes

VITAMIN D may help to prevent the onset of diabetes. "A study in Finland found children given a vitamin D supplement for several years had an 80 per cent reduced risk of developing Type I diabetes as young adults," says Dr Holick.

A deficiency in vitamin D is also thought to contribute to Type II diabetes, according to a recent study by Dr Barbara Boucher at St Bartholomew's and the Royal London Hospitals.

4 Beats SAD

SEASONAL Affective Disorder (SAD) - or the winter blues - is a depression specifically caused by lack of sunlight. Lightboxes can be used to treat it, although increased exposure to natural sunlight is more beneficial. Get out for an hour's walk in the morning during autumn and winter months, and sit outside for 15 minutes a day in summer.

5 Helps prevent MS

MULTIPLE sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system, leading to tremors and even paralysis. The cause is not known but scientists have noted that exposure to sunlight in childhood appears to dramatically reduce the risk of developing this disease in later life. Scientists have also noted that the incidence of MS is lower in sunnier countries.

6 Prevents cavities

THE sun could even help to keep your teeth strong. A dental study found the prevalence of cavities was greater in children from Scotland, the North-West, Wales and Merseyside - areas with less than average sunshine. The proportion of 12-year-olds with untreated cavities was three times greater in Scotland than in the South West Thames region.

7 Relieves aches and pains

Being out in the sun helps to warm the body's muscles and eases stiffness, reducing the pain caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

8 Reduces risk of cancers

ALTHOUGH over exposure to the sun increases your risk of skin cancer, vitamin D provided by sunlight can actually help to significantly reduce your risk of other types of cancer.

A study carried out by the US National Cancer Institute found that people exposed to high levels of sunlight were significantly less likely to die from breast and colon cancer. A similar effect was seen in bladder, womb, oesophagus and stomach cancer.

9 Boosts fertility

THE sun reduces levels of the hormone melatonin which suppresses fertility, so it is more likely you'll conceive in summer.

And sunlight not only makes you more fertile, it increases the length of your fertility. A study in Turkey discovered that women who get less than an hour of sunlight a week reach menopause seven to nine years earlier.

Sunlight also boosts testosterone levels in men, which makes summer the perfect time for baby-making.

10 Gives you more energy

MELATONIN also regulates sleep, so having lower levels of this hormone in your body gives you more get up and go. This is why you need less sleep in summer but still feel livelier. Plus, being woken by natural light rather than an alarm clock helps you feel more positive.

11 Eases IBD

PEOPLE with Crohn's disease or other inflammatory bowel disorders (IBD) generally have low levels of vitamin D in their bodies, according to several studies. Sunlight is the best way to boost vitamin D in these cases.

Although it is available in some foods (including meat, eggs, oily fish and some breakfast cereals), levels are low and poor absorption of fat - a common complication of inflammatory bowel disease - may make it difficult for sufferers to absorb vitamin D from their diet.

12 Beats period problems

ABOUT one in five women of childbearing age suffer from polycystic ovary disease which causes abnormal periods, unwanted body hair and infertility.

Half of 14 women treated with vitamin D and calcium by Dr Susan Thys-Jacobs at St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University in New York, recovered normal periods and two became pregnant. Dr Thys-Jacobs also found that women with premenstrual syndrome are likely to be deficient in vitamin D.

13 Helps skin conditions

EXPOSURE to the sun can help to heal such skin conditions as psoriasis, acne and eczema. Regular controlled sun exposure is often prescribed for sufferers. For serious cases, contact your GP. For minor cases, try exposing affected areas of skin to the sun for up to 30 minutes before covering up or slapping on the sunscreen - but make sure you never burn.

14 Boosts your immune system

SUNLIGHT encourages the production of white blood cells, which help to boost your immune system and fight infection.

15 Helps you lose weight

HIGHER levels of serotonin in our bodies not only makes you feel happy but it also suppresses the appetite, so you'll eat less in warmer weather.

Go out in the sun at least three times a week to boost levels of vitamin D


YOUR skin starts to turn pink when you've been exposed to enough sun. It takes around half this time to produce vitamin D without risking your skin (usually between 10-15 minutes between 10am-3pm in the UK). It takes black and Asian skin up to six times longer to produce vitamin D.

NEVER overdo the sun - burning and excessive exposure will increase your risk of skin cancer. Cover up or apply sunscreen (minimum SPF15) after your initial vitamin D-boosting burst.

Wacko #3: "The Naked Guy" Commits Suicide in Jail

Our third "not a naturist, but crazy" proved so in a tragic way...

Berkeley's notorious 'Naked Guy' dies

By Linda Goldston - Mercury News

May 19, 2006

CALIFORNIA -- Andrew Martinez, the South Bay man who gained national notoriety as the “Naked Guy'' when he insisted on walking around nude in Berkeley in the early 1990s, has died, the apparent victim of suicide.

Martinez, 33, died early Thursday after he was discovered unconscious in his cell at the Santa Clara County main jail.

He was found lying under the covers on his cell bunk, with a plastic bag tied around his head, said jail spokesman Mark Cursi. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at Valley Medical Center.

Martinez, who had been in custody since Jan. 10, was last seen alive at 11 p.m. Wednesday by an officer making regular checks on inmates, Cursi said. The officer was called back to Martinez's cell at 11:19 p.m. when other prisoners reported hearing unusual sounds.

“He was in a maximum security area, where checks are made hourly,'' Cursi said. “He was a high level security inmate because he had a history of assaultive behavior.''

Martinez, who was in the cell by himself, had been charged with two counts of battery and one count of assault with a deadly weapon, all felonies.

When he garnered headlines in 1992 and 1993, he was known as a gentle 6-foot-4 man who liked to attend class at the University of California at Berkeley in the buff.

Martinez grew up in Cupertino, where as a junior high school student, he refused to wear Nikes, Reeboks or designer clothes like other classmates, according to a relative in a 1992 interview.

He took his first nude walk about two years earlier along Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road. In the fall of 1992, he organized a “Nude-In'' on UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza against repressive clothing. It landed him appearances on a number of television talk and news shows. He was nude on most of the shows; on the “Montel Williams,'' he wore a bikini brief.

It was when Martinez lengthened his strolls in the nude to the streets of Berkeley that the city famous as a haven for free _expression adopted its first anti public nudity ordinance. And Martinez was the first to test it, being arrested on campus on Aug. 28, 1993.

Earlier that year, he was expelled from UC after school officials rewrote the campus dress code to ban nudity.

Martinez was identified by the Santa Clara County coroner's office on Friday afternoon. A family member who asked to remain anonymous confirmed that he was the man once known as the ``Naked Guy.''

The sheriff's office is investigating to confirm that Martinez's death was a suicide. It would be the first in the county jails this year. Two inmates killed themselves while in custody last year.

The bag Martinez apparently tied around his head was a see-through plastic bag used by inmates to carry their possessions when they are moved around at the jail, Cursi said.

"I'm sure they'll look at that,'' Cursi said, “although I don't know what kind of alternative there would be.''

Cursi said Martinez “had contact a couple of weeks ago with mental health'' but declined to provide any details. Martinez had not been under a suicide watch.

“It's unfortunate,'' Cursi said. “It's unfortunate anytime there is a death.''


Wacko # 2: Put Stephen Gough in Jail

Rambler held over mid-air strip

Stephen Gough has been arrested numerous times
Naked rambler Stephen Gough has been arrested at Edinburgh Airport after staging a strip during a flight.
The former marine had been travelling to an appeal court appearance to challenge a contempt of court ruling.

However, the 47-year-old failed to make it into the dock after he was stopped by police at 0900 BST on Thursday.

Airline Flybe said Gough boarded the 0645 BST flight fully clothed but he later emerged naked from the toilets and refused to get dressed again.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police said officers were alerted to the strip on the flight from Southampton shortly before 0800 BST.

She said: "He refused to get dressed when he was on the plane, so he was arrested when he came off the flight."

Breach of the peace

A Flybe spokesman said cabin crew asked him to get dressed in the interests of fellow passengers but the naturist refused.

Gough, from Eastleigh, Hants, is likely to be charged by officers with breach of the peace.

He is being held in police custody ahead of his expected court appearance at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Friday.

Gough completed his second nude walk from one end of Britain to another in February.

Sheriffs in Edinburgh have found him in contempt on four separate occasions for refusing to cover up for court.

His appeal against those decisions was due to be heard by a panel of three High Court judges on Thursday.

Australian Family Counciler Takes on Bare Beaches in Queensland

Naked truth

Spencer Gear – Brisbane Courier-Mail

May 19, 2006

What nudists don't seem to accept is that the majority of Queenslanders don't share their views, writes Spencer Gear

SURELY there are enough beaches in Australia for nudists to do their thing – 25,760km to be exact.

One nudist told ABC radio: "The facts as put by the opponents of nude beaches are nearly always erroneous or based on religious teachings and leanings." Really? Here are facts with zero religious flavour.

"Nudists just want to do their own thing." (C-M, May 16).

So do pedophiles. Nudists are a special interest group and should be treated as such.

If they want to do it the nudist way, let them buy land to meet their needs, develop infrastructure that meets local government conditions, and enforce their own code of ethics. Please leave Australia's public beaches free for all clothed Australians.

Nudist beaches may not be good for a tourist reputation. Does any Queensland council want this type of headline as in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, UK: "Sex in open air scandal"? Its nudist beach made it to a pornographic website where it was promoted as "a hot spot where people go to have sex in the open".

Such beaches create problems we do not need. In Oslo, Norway, nudists at an open beach at Huk increasingly are being harassed by photographers, flashers and vulgar requests.

Local councils have a duty of care for all their people. Are councils prepared for class action suits from people whose lives have been damaged by what happens at nudist beaches?

The councillors of Burnett Shire Council unanimously accepted the view to proceed no further with the proposal for a nudist beach in the shire on November 30 last year. Deputy Mayor Cr Maurice Chapman said that the percentage of submissions against a clothing-optional beach seemed to influence councillors to reject the proposal. He considers the continuing push by some local media outlets for such beaches is "shallow, spineless, and by a minority". In 2004, a male pedophile abducted three boys, aged 8-10, at an Adelaide park and took them for a naked swim at Maslin Beach, Australia's first nudist beach. He pleaded guilty to abducting the boys and was jailed for three years for causing them to expose their bodies for his prurient interest.

Governments are trying to reduce health hazards, not sponsor them. Queensland has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. Every seven minutes a Queenslander is diagnosed with skin cancer. This was the theme for an advertising campaign. We don't need more exposure for skin cancer. And our police don't need the extra work of pursuing crimes associated with nudist groups.

Nudists have negative effects on local residents. A Burnett Shire woman who does not want to be named visits Coonarr Beach, which was listed as an "unofficial" nudist beach on the Free Beaches of Australia website (but not now). A nude man walked out of the water towards her. He was seen loitering in the nude around the public toilets. Police were called but did not arrive for 1½ hours. Nudists in Queensland seem not to be ashamed to break the law.

Premier Peter Beattie does not support legal nudist beaches.

In a letter sent by the Premier's chief of staff to a person concerned about our illegal nudist beaches, it was stated that the Premier was aware that there are some members of the community who want the practice legalised. But he does not believe that the majority of Queenslanders support clothing-optional beaches.

The letter stated that "the Premier is not satisfied that the benefits for those Queenslanders who want clothing-optional beaches are sufficient to justify the potential negatives of such a proposal".

Congratulations, Mr Beattie.

Evidence shows there are problems associated with some nudist beaches. We don't need them in Queensland. The smart idea in the Smart State is never to legalise nudist beaches.

Spencer Gear is a marriage and family counsellor based in Bundaberg.


Who You Gonna Call? Bare Trimmers!

Got a garden problem - call the naked gardeners!

Petersfield Post (U.K.)

May 17, 2006

Two Petersfield Post Office workers are hoping to rake it in this summer - thanks to naked gardening.

Married couple Glen and Cyndi Fryer are starting an 'All Nude Gardening Service' in East Hampshire.

The naturist couple, who live in Bordon, will be available for mowing, planting and stripping your garden of weeds while completely in the buff.

Glen said it was a chance for he and his wife to combine their hobby with a possible money-spinning venture.


Wacko #1: Richard Hatch

How Hatch, Gough and Martinez (see other stories) ever got to "naturist heroes" is quite beyond me.

Survivor, Nudist, Liar, Cheat: Now Richard Hatch Is Gay Inmate
by Tashi Singh
May 17, 2006

This is one test the opportunitistic Richard Hatch, the original 'Survivor' series winner, won't be able to charm, or cheat, his way out of.
Hatch earned his notoriety when he decided to shun clothing for the series, true ape man style, and happily enjoyed the aroused interest of his growing fan base of fellow gays.

After Hatch was crowned the number one Survivor, he took his million dollars in winnings and made the round of talk shows, continuing his gleeful style of shocking listeners and viewers with his outrageous comments.

Now Hatch, 45, has been sentenced to 4 years in jail for evading tax payments on his winnings, and has been ordered to pay approximately half a million dollars in back taxes as well as interest and penalties, reports the NY Daily News.

It was considered a rather stiff sentence by normal standards, but Federal Judge Ernest Torres said Hatch repeatedly lied, compounding his crimes, in saying that he "forgot" to tell his accountants about some other income he had, and that he "thought the Survivor producers would pay" his taxes.

Continue reading this article below

Hatch had reportedly originally agreed to plead guilty, but instead decided to open his big mouth and talk about his supposed innocence on the "Today" talk show. So the judge decided to hit Hatch where he lives.. which is now a jail cell.

Judge Torres was straightforward in his comments: "There's no nice way to say it: Mr. Hatch lied."

Hatch called out "See you later, Mom" as he was escorted from the courtroom in shackles. The judge lamented that Hatch appeared to be "in denial", but Eileen O'Connor, an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's tax division, issued this tongue-in-cheek statement: "Our nation's federal tax system is not a reality show to be outwitted; it is a reality. Period."

Hatch, found guilty of tax evasion in January, was ordered into custody because he was deemed a flight risk. He is also reportedly requesting protective custody.. because as you can imagine.. a gay rich nudist walking around jail... need we say more?

-- Compiled from wire reports

Show Me State Prepares for a Little More Show Me

Planned nudist resort crosses first hurdle
By Greg Jonsson


A little bit of the Caribbean could be coming to Franklin County after a decision by officials Tuesday night, but visitors wouldn't need bathing suits - just their birthday suits.

A developer who wants to build Caribbean Breezes, a 52-acre clothing-optional resort, won a conditional-use permit from the county planning and zoning commission in a 6-4 vote. But opponents of the proposed resort, about 45 miles southwest of St. Louis near Lonedell, say they haven't given up the fight and hope that conditions placed on the permit will keep nudists out of their neighborhood.

"I'm pleased about (the vote)," said Lawrence Schulz, the developer. "There are still hurdles. There are still things that need to be accomplished ... But I'm still confident we can do it."

The hurdles include a six-month time frame to meet the commission's requirements for the permit, including getting a right-of-way for an access road. Opponents believe Schulz will never get that right-of-way from St. Louis restaurant owner Charlie Gitto, who owns neighboring property and opposes the proposed nude resort.

The commission also required that minors not be allowed at the resort and that Schulz build an 8-foot privacy fence around the property, among other conditions.

Schulz's plan for the resort includes year-round facilities with a clubhouse, outdoor and indoor pools and a hot tub. RV sites, campsites, rental cabins, lease lots and several permanent sites would be available for visitors and residents of the resort. The resort would have its own sewer and water system.

Opponents have cited moral grounds and said they feared the development would damage property values. They circulated a petition among neighbors and at churches.

The county already hosts a nude resort. The nearby Forty Acre Club has been hosting nudists for more than 50 years. That club, where Schulz has been a member, is not for profit.

Caribbean Breezes would be for-profit, bringing tax revenue to the county and visitors who will spend money in the area, Schulz said.


German Chancellor's Buns Get Inordinate Attention


Germans love to be naked. They'll strip off just about anywhere and any time. For most, though, it's not exhibitionism.
Spiegel Online
May 10, 2006

So we all agree that the photos of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's naked backside published in the Sun last month were out of line, right? The poor woman, after all, deserves her privacy.

Had that happened in the States, though -- George W. stripping down in the Rose Garden after a particularly strenuous mountain bike ride, for example -- the outrage would have been two-fold. Disrespect for the country's leader on the one hand. But on the other, folks would be asking themselves what the hell a president was doing disrobing in public. The Merkel photos, though, triggered no such questions. After all, stripping off is something of a German pastime.

You'll see naked Germans everywhere. Lying on the banks of the Isar River smack in the center of Munich. On the shores of the Havel on the outskirts of Berlin. In public parks. There's one perennially naked guy who wanders around Munich's English Garden like an ambulatory grandfather clock shocking foreign guests. His nickname is "The Hammer."

And then there's the sauna. Forget about trying to wear a swimsuit in a sauna. First of all, you'll be the only one with any sort of clothing at all. Secondly, you'll be immediately pegged as a prudish Anglo-American. No one stares, no one tries to make you feel awkward, but everyone in the room somehow knows to address you in English. Though there is also a decent chance that the sauna authorities will come around, pour water on the broiling sauna rocks, and demand in a brisk impersonal voice, "Take off your clothes, please, no clothes allowed!" Jawohl!

None of this should be surprising. Everyone knows that an average continental European will whip off his kit at the drop of a hat. But Germans are a breed apart. They were on the cutting edge of organized nudity already in the early 20th century. German sociologist Heinrich Pudor -- the so-called "Father of Nudism" -- wrote a tract called "The Cult of the Nude" in the 1890s, and a certain Paul Zimmerman opened the first known nudist camp near Hamburg in 1903. The idea was to resist the straitjacket of 19th-century social expectations by flinging away your armor of restrictive clothes. Along with vegetarianism, tee-totalling, "clothing reform," and calisthenics, nudism belonged to a new, avant-garde cult of the body. So-called Freikörperkultur (free body culture) -- still known as FKK today -- got a further boost in the 1960s, with German students taking the bus to class completely in the buff.

The country is no longer quite the stitchless paradise it was then -- and some parks have reined in nudity and confined it to well-defined, and often secluded, sections. But whole families still go skinny dipping together in the country's numerous lakes and at the seaside.

Not that all Germans approve of exposed tackle. While Americans may think all Germans are exhibitionists, Germans from the former East think westerners are kind of uptight. Communism had nothing against nudity, and after the Wall fell, there were bitter clashes between easterners and westerners who disagreed about where it was okay to be naked on beaches along the Baltic Sea. The problem was solved with special FKK beaches; but some naked easterners still resent the new restrictions and make a point of wandering as close as they can to the clothed section to antagonize their clothed, western cousins. "West Germans," wrote the Ostsee Zeitung -- based on the German Baltic Sea coast -- in 1999, "are prudes."

We doubt you'll agree.