Brav(ad)o!

by Pookes and Ella

 

Here’s a question.

Many of us go on holiday, with friends, away from the steel glare of family, and we let our hair down and notch up our sense of bravado, daring and silliness. I think it’s maybe part of the rite of teenage passage, and many 17-18 year olds get their first taste of real freedom on junkets abroad (if living in Europe), heading south to Spain (often), for sun, sea, sand, sangria and sex.

I know Australia has a bit of an end-of-term, end-of-examinations equivalent with thousands of teen descending on….Melbourne? to party hard to the point of lunacy and where it’s getting to be problematic.

We Brits have an unenviable reputation abroad, with locations like Ayia Napa in Cyprus hosting thousands of teenage Brits who simply don’t know how to behave. The Spanish island of Ibiza has the same rowdy reputation, caused almost exclusively by young Brits, and Magaluf in Spain is now colloquially known as ‘Shagaluf’.

Last year, a story emerged of the hedonistic lifestyle reaching such a frenzy that a girl was filmed performing oral sex with 24 men in exchange for drinks. Look, I know we all like to get drunk once in a while…but just how drunk would you need to be to get into that state? As a result of that lunacy, Magaluf has clamped down this year in a bid to stop these sort of sordid and exploitative actions.

Typically you will read accounts of people going on holiday with a bucket list. 14 nights away? That should mean a minimum of 14 different sexual partners. And that will be on the bucket list of both young men and women.

So you get the picture…

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 Young Brits abroad ‘having a great time’

There’s something almost horribly Rabelaisian about it, a descent into hell on earth.

I think we’ve all, to more or less degrees, indulged.

knickers

Does the presence of a peer group encourage us to be more daring than we normally would be?

Pookes has previously written about a girly holiday abroad being her introduction to topless sunbathing and swimming, encouraged by her peer group. My own naturism began with the gentle encouragement of my cousin. Her literally Dutch courage instilled in my mind that I wasn’t going to be seen as the prudish Brit, leading to my own disrobing in public for the first time.

And here’s the question we promised at the top of the page.

Does the presence of a peer group encourage us to be less inhibited and more daring than we would be in a smaller group than on our own? Even if it’s only something as mild and silly as collectively flashing our knickers?

Of course, we think we already know the answer: of course it does!

Few of us would sit with just one friend in a bar and particularly feel the need to get into the sort of state displayed by those in some of the photos above. It’s when a group of people get together that a simple glass of white wine turns into a table full of them, all followed by something probably flammable, if we cared to try, in a shot glass.

And from there the evening descends. I despair of the young women in the photographs above, in danger of the state they’re in possibly leading them to circumstances where they could wake up in someone’s bed the following morning, possibly having been subjected to multiple partner sex, unprotected at that, without ever being aware of it.

Slightly different for the young man in the yellow shorts. It’s unlikely he’s going to be bothering any females that night, and the only danger he poses is to himself, in danger of falling off a balcony, drowning in the sea, being hit by a car while trying to cross the road…

It isn’t a good look, for any of those photographed. Obviously we’ve no idea of the back story to the ‘knicker flashing’ photo, whether at the beginning of the night or the end, but at least we know that the quartet (three photographed and another taking the photo) are together and just being a bit silly on holiday.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this all.

Clearly I’m well beyond the demographic for Club 18-30 type holidays, and never did those types of holidays when I was within the demographic anyway, so I’m writing from a point of relative ignorance in that regard. However, Pookes has gone on that type of holiday in the past and says…

‘It was just an ever-increasing spiral of madness. More and more alcohol, lost days as hangovers were nursed and for some -not me, thankfully- blackout days where you have no recollection of the previous 24 hours. That’s scary. While we all have the right to be foolish when we’re young, that’s a different level of foolish. The ever-present boorish, testosterone filled lads on their own first freedom abroad with absolutely no respect for females who were treated as something to be used and discarded. I’m not a prude, and there were times in my life where I’ve been no angel, but I like to think I always had a little more respect for myself than that.’

So what’s the naturist angle? What’s the SL angle?

There are times when group bravado could be a good thing, drawing the quieter members of a group out of their shell and creating a fundamental sea-change in their attitudes, such as my embracing of naturism, and situations wherein the normalisation of nudity or semi-nudity occurs. I can only see the more outgoing members of a group encouraging the more timid to, for example, indulge in topless sunbathing as a positive thing. The more nudity, or semi-nudity, that exists in the world, the more healthy the world’s approach to it will be.

And there are times when quite obviously (see the photos above), it’s definitely a bad thing. What’s your take on it all, particularly with regard to incidents where nudity occurs? Was it group pressure that led to your own full or semi-nude public debut?

As for the SL angle…follow the link to our supplemental post on the issue. Am I preaching? Am I sermonising? Yes, I am. In the right circumstances public nudity is fine, wholesome, nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. The trick is to recognise those right circumstances.

Ella & Pookes

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