And they that are far off shall come and build the temple of the LORD, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.
(Zachariah 6 : 15)
I’m not a God-botherer, but I know enough about the Bible stories to be able to know where some aphorisms and sayings in modern life originate. I think the same story is also to be found in the Book of Jeremiah, at least, interest research suggests this is the case.
It’s a theme also explored in the film Field of Dreams, where the Kevin Costner character hears a voice telling him to build a baseball stadium in the middle of nowhere. I’m guessing that the film is some kind of allegory for the Bible story, but as I’ve not seen the film, or know the Bible story particularly well, I’m not certain.
…whatever the reality behind it all, I was thinking how it applies equally well to naturism in and out of Second Life.
There’s a thriving naturist community in Second Life, as evidenced by the massive sims at Eden Naturopolis and Blue Lagoon Naturist Estate. Both are excellent builds too, as well as being popular. And that doesn’t take into account smaller, equally popular and photogenic sims, some of which have lasted for years, which is quite an achievement in the context of Second Life. Take a bow, Lupe’s, Su Casa and others.
7 Hills, another naturist location, only closed after its owner/builder, died. Otherwise it would still have been going too. The appeal of naturism, in Second Life, is obvious. ‘Skinny dipping’ is on most people’s bucket lists, and if it’s not achievable in real life, then social nudity in a virtual world could be considered to be some sort of alternative.
Granted, the idea of nudity and SLex (Second Life sex, for those who don’t know), and using text or voice as some sort of masturbatory aid is also part of SL. I won’t criticise, because there’s a world full of lonely people out there, with few friends and no life companion, so ‘SL as masturbatory aid’ is possibly therapeutic.
Many, many people I know trot out the same excuses about real life naturism. ‘My body’s not good enough’. ‘I’m overweight’. ‘I’d be too excited’. All trotted out without making the slightest effort to experience naturism for real and see/experience the reality.
It’s estimated that there are 4m naturists in the UK. That’s 6% of the population. And we’re the ‘prudish’, ‘uptight’ nation of Europe!
There’s 740m people in Europe. Extrapolated across the continent, disregarding that our European neighbours can and do embrace social nudity better than we Brits, that’s an astonishing number. 43m.
Now…consider this in comparison to skiing. Estimates are that there’s 390m skiers across the world, accounting for 65m ski holidays. I know we’re comparing apples with pears, but it’s clear that there’s a hell of a lot more dedicated ski resorts around the world than there are dedicated naturist resorts. Because ‘naked people!!!!!’.
We remain scared of naked people, despite them being out there. What would happen if we provided facilities?
If we built it, would they come? I’d argue ‘yes’, for the following reason.
In Spain or France, where there’s a naturist culture in some locations, people grow up with the idea of nude sun or sea bathing. It’s how you ‘dress’ for the beach. So it becomes an entirely natural thing to do as a child, an adult, a parent or grandparent. Why spend money on silly costumes?
In Germany, or Finland, there’s a culture of nude sauna. Wearing costumes in there is considered unhygienic.
And even those of us in dear old, uptight Britain are promoting the idea of communal, nude bathing through the Great British Skinny Dip weekend, which is trying to promote the fun and health benefits of swimming freely. No infrastructure is needed -just a tolerant mindset- and yes indeed, GBSD are ‘building’ it as an event and people, many of whom wouldn’t label themselves as ‘naturist’, are coming.
And yet, as naturists, we’re corralled into small areas. Thousands upon thousands of kilometres of European shoreline and perhaps only dozens of kilometres of naturist designated beach? There’s something wrong there.
My argument is that a good naturist hotel, with a good beach nearby, will readily fill with customers.
It’s simply a case of allowing people to immerse themselves in the naturist lifestyle, through the provision of more facilities, and they will adapt their mindset accordingly.
Before trying it, my mindset would have been ‘no, not me, never!’ Having tried it…well, I’ve been a naturist now for 22 years. 🙂
It’s not arousing or erotic. It’s natural. And, even amongst first-time males, often concerned with ‘a reaction’, I have to say I’ve never seen an erection on a naturist beach.
Once again, we’re comparing apples with pears, but the authorities, town councils and such like, have it in their gift to provide naturist facilities, everywhere, around the globe, within a month, passing legislation to make it all happen by the time of their next council meeting. It’s that easy.
‘I’m disgusted’, scream the prudes, faced with something new and alien to them. The same way they screamed ‘I’m disgusted’ when homosexuality was made legal, when gay marriage was made legal, when Pride marches emerged, when -the issue of the moment- transgender issues emerged. Councils and state/county/national legislatures moved quickly, in most jurisdictions, to legalise and formalise the rights of the LGBT folk. Quite rightly too. But why does something that seems to have become ‘a thing’ this year, at least in the eyes of the media and public, transgendered folk, suddenly find itself at the forefront of a race to put legislation in place to accommodate it while naturism, over a century old and with more numbers than transgendered folk around the globe, remain hidden and regarded very poorly in its social position. Legislators capacity to accommodate transgendered people in such a short space of time merely underscores their capacity to provide naturist facilities, beaches or municipal swimming pool sessions, in place, almost immediately. I’m loathe to draw direct parallels between any expression of sexuality and naturism, as it’s unlikely any naturist was ever beaten up or killed for being a naturist, but it’s the only way I can frame the point I’m making in the context of current western society.
So…build it and they will come. As sensible, intelligent people have come to regard LGBT rights as acceptable, normal and desired nowadays, perhaps the time is now to make naturism acceptable and normal in a grown up society.