Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stark naked!!

I have just returned home after having attended a most unusual event and one which my Facebook friends seem to blush when mention is made of it and they would quickly talk about something else. You see, I spent my holiday with the Taiwan Naturist Association and throughout my stay with them, I wore precisely what Godiva wore when she rode her snow-white horse through the town one fine day or so the story goes. 

It is natural to have some reservation about going to a resort with a naturist association.  Most reasonable people agree that there is no shame in nudity but when it comes to actually going starkers in full view of other people, most of us baulk at the idea.  Why we hesitate to go naked publicly (I mean in a situation where it is not unlawful to do so, such as in a naturist resort) is something that is not rational but we hesitate anyway.

I would like very much to believe that I am rational and driven by pure logic alone.  Now, logically, there should be no shame in nudity.  What harm can there be if nude photos of me circulate online?  In the first place, no sane person would want to circulate MY nude photos.    But supposing the photos are circulated, what harm can there be?  Absolutely none.  The only disadvantage I can think of arising from the circulation of one's nude photos is if one is applying for the post of Chief Eunuch in the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City in the 19th century.  Photographic evidence that the candidate was not castrated before puberty will dash any hope he may have of being shortlisted for that post.  Those of us who do not have such lofty aspirations need have no fear.

From the very beginning of my time spent with the Taiwanese naturists, I found myself perfectly at home with nudity.  I did not feel the smallest embarrassment and I really felt no different than if I had been fully clothed.  The President of the Naturist Association was told that I loved having my photos taken (the rude expression currently in vogue which I find coarse and distasteful for such a person is "camwhore") and he very kindly obliged me by taking hundreds of photos of me both with my camera and his more sophisticated DSLR camera.  You would have thought that even the most diehard camwhore would be uneasy if he were in a state of deshabille and far worse if he were stark naked but I took to nudity as if I had been brought up a naturist and I felt perfectly comfortable.  The experience left me wondering if all of us are in fact natural naturists.  Who was it that first told us to hide our bodies with clothes and what made us listen to him dutifully and for so long a time?

I now have hundreds of photos of me alone and with others and if you look at the photos, you can see that I posed for them the same way any clothed tourist would pose for a photograph.  At no point was I conscious of my nakedness.  That's how natural nudity is even for someone like me who experienced naturism for the first time.

We Asians are generally camwhores and if you don't believe me, just observe a group of Chinese or Japanese tourists.  They will snap a pic with every two steps they take.  Unlike Western nudist resorts which strictly forbid photography, the Taiwan Naturist Association is more balanced - it allows the use of the camera but of course you should use your camera to take only your own photos or if you have the consent of other people, you may take a group photograph.  It's not every day that you get to go to a nudist resort and naturally for us newbies, we would probably want to take many photos and while I find it impossible to openly post the photos on Facebook or Twitter, they come in handy when I want to convince my unbelieving friends that yes, I did go to a nudist event.  Years ago, I was in a hot spring in Taiwan with my son and I wanted to take a photograph of us in the bath but I didn't want to offend the other bathers.  This time, I have more photos than I will ever need of me not just in a hot spring bath but on virtually every square inch of the two resorts I stayed in.

Like I have said, it's not easy to post photos from a nudist event online.  If the photo contains the faces of other naturists, I would not want to post them without their consent.  Most websites do not allow nude photos and so a bit of censoring is necessary.  However, it's easy for me to post the photograph below.  It was posted on the Taiwan Naturist Association's blog and I have their written consent to use it in this blog.

Now, let me explain the circumstances behind this photo.  Our group wanted to watch the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean and we went early one morning to the Eastern tip of Taiwan.  Just as we were lazing about on the beach, a beach ranger or patrolman came by on his buggy.  I expected some trouble but not only was there no trouble, the ranger lent us his buggy for us to pose on for pics.  I have countless photos of me riding the buggy with and without others on it.  The patrolman even helped us take a group photograph which is what you see below.  Will we one day be as liberal and tolerant as the Taiwanese?

One huge mistake many people make when they think of naturism or nudism is they link nudity with sex.  It's the non-naturist's obsession with sex that makes him draw such a link where none exists.  Having now attended a naturist event, I can say quite categorically that naturism is purely non-sexual.  I'm not saying naturists don't have sex.  That would be ridiculous.  Quite a few of the naturists I met went there with their spouses and they have kids of their own.  But it would be outrageously wrong to associate a nudist camp with sex and orgy.  Anyone who thinks that way needs a sex psychologist to help him deal with his own sex addiction.

Naturists are healthy people who are perfectly comfortable in their own skin.  Literally.   Naturism is all about self-acceptance.  Naturists accept their bodies and are not filled with shame, quite unlike the rest of us who desperately make it a point to hide our bodies and blemishes with cleverly designed clothes.

Photo: courtesy of Ms Chew of the Taiwan Naturist Association