Still struggling...

Are there any other issues that bother you about nudism / naturism not covered above? How can it be Christian? Other? Any question is acceptable, just keep the conversation courteous and respectful.<P>Only Residents and higher may post here.

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Still struggling...

Postby KalosSoma » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:36 am

Kind of pathetic that I went to the "struggling" forum to post this and found that I was the last one who posted a topic. Maybe I'm the only one who's struggling...

I've been thinking about all this again as it's finally gotten warm enough again to be unclothed in the house (can't afford to keep the heat high enough for year-round home naturism) and have once again been able to feel -- physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually -- the things that I've found wonderful and life-giving about this lifestyle. I've even been working on getting the outdoor "naked space" ready for the season, and have already sat outside in it for a while on one of these unusually warm March afternoons.

But along with those good things, the questions come up again, too: Why can't naturism seem to shake its destructive connection with sex? Why can't naturism, especially Christian naturism, distance itself from being just a cover for the misuse of sexuality? Is this really (as someone suggested) just a bunch of creepy middle-aged men who've found an excuse for looking at naked people, with "severely conservative" theology as a cover? Am I that creepy middle-aged man? Or at least is that the basket I'm putting my eggs in by pursuing this way of life? Are Christian naturists too accommodating of "marginal" naturist situations just because they're so desperate for a way to express their lifestyle choice? What would it take to really make this OK?

I don't mean to offend anyone -- I've been around here enough to know there are some wonderfully decent, thoughtful and helpful people in this community -- but that line of questioning is just where my mind goes when trying to sort this all out.

It's just frustrating (probably to many of you, too) how naturism seems to run smack into sex at every turn. Just when you think something might actually be "wholesome," whatever that means, it gets twisted or corrupted. (I noticed, for example, that the photo gallery that someone cited here as a "non-porn" venue for naturist photography -- whether it ever really was or not, or whether that's even possible -- has now been overrun with ads for porn.)

I don't know what would help -- either me personally or "the situation" as a whole -- but I still would like to find a way forward.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby natman » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:18 pm

KalosSoma wrote:I've been thinking about all this again as it's finally gotten warm enough again to be unclothed in the house (can't afford to keep the heat high enough for year-round home naturism)...


You probably wouldn't be a very good "naturist" if you cranked up the heat just to be nude during the cold of winter. Part of the "naturist" philosophy is living in harmony with the natural world. From a Christian naturist perspective, that means living within the limits that God has created, even in our fallen world.

KalosSoma wrote:But along with those good things, the questions come up again, too: Why can't naturism seem to shake its destructive connection with sex? Why can't naturism, especially Christian naturism, distance itself from being just a cover for the misuse of sexuality?


I think that naturism and especially "Christian naturists" do not have a problem distancing themselves from the destructive connection to sex. It is the REST of the world that sometimes has problems associating naturism with sex.

KalosSoma wrote:Is this really (as someone suggested) just a bunch of creepy middle-aged men who've found an excuse for looking at naked people, with "severely conservative" theology as a cover?


Absolutely NOT!

KalosSoma wrote:Am I that creepy middle-aged man? Or at least is that the basket I'm putting my eggs in by pursuing this way of life?


I certaily hope not, but only you and the Lord know the REAL answer to that.

KalosSoma wrote:Are Christian naturists too accommodating of "marginal" naturist situations just because they're so desperate for a way to express their lifestyle choice? What would it take to really make this OK?


I do not think so, at least with those whom I have talked to. I have found Christian naturists to be some of the strongest and most dedicated and well-read Christians out there, willing to speak the Truth of Scripture and very unwilling to accept lifestyles that are not acceptable or pleasing to God.

KalosSoma wrote:I don't mean to offend anyone -- I've been around here enough to know there are some wonderfully decent, thoughtful and helpful people in this community -- but that line of questioning is just where my mind goes when trying to sort this all out.


There is NOTHING wrong with your questions. I am sure most of us have asked ourselves the same questions as we discovered and explored this concept which is so different from what others think and believe.

KalosSoma wrote:It's just frustrating (probably to many of you, too) how naturism seems to run smack into sex at every turn.


I have not ever found that to be the case for true "naturism". Unfortunately, there are those who use the word "naturism" to mean "sex" or "swinging" etc.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby KalosSoma » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:00 am

I appreciate the guidance. No, I'm not the "CMAM" and don't see myself that way - I guess I was thinking more of others' potential perception. But that's exactly what we're not supposed to focus on. Right? "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."

(Actually, I wish my hair wasn't so curly and I could grow a ponytail and go the "old hippie" route.... But, speaking semi-seriously, that's the perception I feel most comfortable with for myself, internally as well as externally -- that is, people seem to be more accepting of nudity/naturism in that context [look at events like Burning Man, World Naked Bike Ride, Bay to Breakers run, etc.] than in others. Interesting.)

It's probably just a time-of-year thing, too. The more days I'm able to be unclothed, the less I struggle, the less I think about all this stuff, and the more comfortable I am in my own skin. I guess especially for a newbie like myself, you do "unlearn" a little bit during the off-season and have to "relearn" in the spring. Thanks again for the support.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby natman » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:55 am

KalosSoma wrote:(Actually, I wish my hair wasn't so curly and I could grow a ponytail and go the "old hippie" route.... But, speaking semi-seriously, that's the perception I feel most comfortable with for myself, internally as well as externally -- that is, people seem to be more accepting of nudity/naturism in that context [look at events like Burning Man, World Naked Bike Ride, Bay to Breakers run, etc.] than in others. Interesting.)


I wish there were a greater contingent of true "Christians" attending such events as Burning Man, World Naked Bike Ride and Bay to Breakers. Just about every other world religion is represented at those events. It would be a GREAT opportunity to be salt and light, to show the true response to nudity rather than the world's response.

KalosSoma wrote:It's probably just a time-of-year thing, too. The more days I'm able to be unclothed, the less I struggle, the less I think about all this stuff, and the more comfortable I am in my own skin. I guess especially for a newbie like myself, you do "unlearn" a little bit during the off-season and have to "relearn" in the spring.


There is an actually medical condition for what you are going through known (ironically) as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. The lack of exposure to natural sunlight reduces a body's Vitamin-D level which, in affects a host of other functions within the body including the ability to produce endorphines, melatonin and other necessary hormones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_a ... e_disorder
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby KalosSoma » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:17 am

I've had mild to moderate clinical depression for more than 20 years and SAD is certainly a significant component of my particular case. I can almost feel the depression turn "on" and "off" as my exposure to sunlight changes. I think that's one underlying reason I've been attracted to naturism, and that I've experienced such great benefits from it so far.
natman wrote:I wish there were a greater contingent of true "Christians" attending such events as Burning Man, World Naked Bike Ride and Bay to Breakers. Just about every other world religion is represented at those events. It would be a GREAT opportunity to be salt and light, to show the true response to nudity rather than the world's response.

Wouldn't that be wonderful? Maybe CNV members who live in those parts of the country could spread the word, get together and form a real presence and testimony for "good naturism" at those events. Regardless of what we think about the other philosophies or lifestyles represented, those kinds of events are intended and perceived as fun and life-celebrating, and that's exactly where Christians need to be.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby prairieboy » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:22 pm

KalosSoma wrote:But along with those good things, the questions come up again, too: Why can't naturism seem to shake its destructive connection with sex? Why can't naturism, especially Christian naturism, distance itself from being just a cover for the misuse of sexuality? Is this really (as someone suggested) just a bunch of creepy middle-aged men who've found an excuse for looking at naked people, with "severely conservative" theology as a cover? Am I that creepy middle-aged man? Or at least is that the basket I'm putting my eggs in by pursuing this way of life? Are Christian naturists too accommodating of "marginal" naturist situations just because they're so desperate for a way to express their lifestyle choice? What would it take to really make this OK?

"Christians" can be addicted to sports, spending countless hours at events, or in front of the TV and satan will never attack that. There are many things that keep us from fellowshipping with our God and with our Spiritual family, but these are seldom attacked by satan. Why his attack on naturism? For the same reason that he had Adam and Eve put on coverings as their first recorded action after placing themselves under his authority. Man is God's crowning creation, made in the image of God, and anything satan can do to pervert that, he will. Overweight, underweight, out of shape, over muscled to the point of absurdity, he tries all the tricks and then he sexualizes everything to foul it more. Then covers it up with some really ridiculous fashions. I believe that he hates God, and anything that reminds him of God, and so does his best to hide man who is made in His Image.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby KalosSoma » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:46 pm

prairieboy wrote:I believe that [Satan] hates God, and anything that reminds him of God, and so does his best to hide man who is made in His Image.

Not that you're saying, or meaning, that clothing is necessarily evil, but there's a way in which this statement makes a lot of sense. Naturism may give Satan a glimpse of the perfect world he did his best to mess up, and I'll bet he does hate that, and makes every effort to corrupt it or keep it from being expressed altogether. I'll keep that thought with me - thanks.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby natman » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:18 am

KalosSoma wrote:
prairieboy wrote:I believe that [Satan] hates God, and anything that reminds him of God, and so does his best to hide man who is made in His Image.

Not that you're saying, or meaning, that clothing is necessarily evil, but there's a way in which this statement makes a lot of sense. Naturism may give Satan a glimpse of the perfect world he did his best to mess up, and I'll bet he does hate that, and makes every effort to corrupt it or keep it from being expressed altogether. I'll keep that thought with me - thanks.


Like many other things, clothing, in and of itself, is not "evil". However, like over-eating, over-drinking, excessive smoking, drug, substance and sexual addictions, it CAN become over utilized and definitely physically, psychologically and spiritually unhealthy.

I agree with Prarieboy. Satan HATES the visage of our naked bodies because they remind him that we are made in the image of God, and he isn't.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby jochanaan » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:15 pm

KalosSoma, have you experienced true social nudity yet? That is, have you gone to a naturist venue and interacted with others in the nude, whether Christians or not? If so, I think your doubts and struggles would be greatly reduced if not banished. :) It was certainly that way for me: After my first socially-nude experience, all the doubts and wondering I had done were simply gone. I had seen with my own eyes, and no longer believed simply because others had recommended it and it "sounded good" to me. 8)
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby KalosSoma » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:23 pm

No, I haven't, unfortunately, and not sure if I'll ever be able to. But I'm sure you're right about the doubts and struggles vanishing. That seems to be a strong common thread in what everyone says about the experience.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby jochanaan » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:25 pm

Yeah, I get how doubts can recur. But until your first experience, there are things you can do to learn the truth and keep your faith strong.


1. Keep studying the Bible. You've already found that there is no general condemnation of public nudity, and that there are several instances where God ordained or commanded it, such as in I Samuel 19 and Isaiah 20. If you haven't already done so, it's a good thing to examine the other passages that mention "naked" or "nakedness." Use a full concordance, not the one in the back of your regular Bible. (There are online Bible sites that have full concordances, such as Blue Letter Bible .)



2. There are a number of excellent blogs and forums that discuss Biblical nudity. Our own "Matthew Neal" has a blog, "The Biblical Naturist"; recently he posted a series on "squeamish Bible translation" detailing strong bias against "good" nudity in modern Bible translations. I am also a member of Fig Leaf Forum , which has an extensive, verse-by-verse discussion of Bible passages that relate to nudity.



3. Keep seeking out images of nudity. There are nudist magazines, art magazines that feature nudes, and other sources both in print and online, as well as your local art museum.



In short, keep the faith and keep searching for the Truth. He will show you, as He has shown most of us, that our beliefs are closer to His way and love than the textiled believers realize, understand or admit.



BTW: Threads are for textiles! Here we call them "strips." :)
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby KalosSoma » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:18 am

I appreciate the resources, and have explored them a little bit. I find The Biblical Naturist more helpful than the Fig Leaf Forum; the latter sometimes seems to focus more on personal debate than information. The "squeamish translation" series is interesting (on BN). The NIV was designed for the "conservative evangelical" market from the get-go, so it's not surprising that it would play down things that didn't fit that framework (even though we know there's nothing inconsistent between true evangelicalism and naturism).
jochanaan wrote:Keep seeking out images of nudity. There are nudist magazines, art magazines that feature nudes, and other sources both in print and online, as well as your local art museum.

I still fail to see how this is helpful - help me out with this one. To be really honest, I can see a non-naturist spouse looking over her husband's shoulder, reading that and saying, "I thought you said these people weren't pervs, and here they are trying to get you to look at naked pictures." (Even though that's clearly not the case with you, or anyone else I've encountered here.)

In my exploration of naturism, I have encountered both non-sexual and (unfortunately) sexual images. But that exposure (so to speak) doesn't seem to have made a difference in my struggles. I know what naked people look like, and know when the imagery is "right" (natural, non-sexual, Godly) and "wrong" (sexual, exhibitionistic, exploitative).

As I think I said here before somewhere, the only instance in which I think it would be helpful for me to see photos of people nude would be if they were people I were actually planning to meet and know personally. I think seeing them unclothed before an initial in-person meeting (and having them see me unclothed) would help break the ice.

In general, I'd like to see more (any?) naturist women involved in these discussions -- in fact, I think a good female perspective might ease my mind more than anything at this point -- but in particular I would love to hear a naturist woman's take on the imagery issue.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby natman » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:01 pm

KalosSoma wrote:
jochanaan wrote:Keep seeking out images of nudity. There are nudist magazines, art magazines that feature nudes, and other sources both in print and online, as well as your local art museum.

I still fail to see how this is helpful - help me out with this one.


This is most helpful to purge our minds of the images presented by marketing through media such as TV, movies and magazines as well as internet pornography. You have said that you have seen plenty of images of simple nudity as well as images of sexual nudity (porn) and easily know the difference. That is good. However, with all of the advertising and imagery that is constantly pushed in our faces day after day, that difference sometimes can get buried in the flotsum. We (especially men) need to constantly remind ourselves that simple nudity does not equal sex and that no person, regardless of their state of dress should be seen as merely an object.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby KalosSoma » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:56 pm

I still can't see the average intelligent, savvy non-naturist wife buying that argument for her husband looking at nudity, but OK... I'd still love to hear a real, live naturist (or even better, non-naturist) woman pop up here in support of this position.

It's still hard to weed out the good from the bad; I've seen very few even self-professed "naturist" sites on the Web that did not include sexual or at least exhibitionistic images. I know I've been around the barn on that issue before here, but it goes back to my original point -- the entanglement between sexual and non-sexual nudity seems hopeless to untangle. The "bad" seems to encroach everywhere (like the world at large, I guess...). If the bad stuff isn't in front of your face, it's certainly within a very few "clicks." Even the major "legitimate" naturist organizations seem to retain connections/links with dubious venues, groups and websites.

So, Jochanaan, "seeking" this stuff out, to me, ends up being so discouraging that I find it's better to just pass it by.

One more observation: It's interesting that most of the images I've seen that "objectify" women the most -- in media, advertising, etc. -- are clothed, not unclothed. (Hardee's commercials, anyone?) That sounds suspiciously like a fact that actually supports the naturist position, but not sure how to put it into words, at this point.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby natman » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:20 pm

KalosSoma wrote:I know I've been around the barn on that issue before here, but it goes back to my original point -- the entanglement between sexual and non-sexual nudity seems hopeless to untangle.


It may be problematic, but I do not think it is "hopeless". I think that the pendulum is slowly swinging the other direction as people are being exposed to such things as World Naked Bike Rides, Burning Man etc. With all of the ads that try to take advantage of nudity or near-nudity, the general attitude about human nudity is becoming ho-hum. Most people merely giggle at the sight of a simply nude person, unless they are doing something sexual.

I encountered far more out and out "porn" fifteen years ago, before internet filters and pop-up blockers became more effective. (At the same time, I must acknowlege that the worlds attitude toward immoral, extra-marrital sex has also become more ho-hum. :( ).

KalosSoma wrote:So, Jochanaan, "seeking" this stuff out, to me, ends up being so discouraging that I find it's better to just pass it by.


I can empathize with you. "Seeking it out" can be somewhat treacherous. However, there are a few sites that provide images of simple, non-sexual nudity, such as this one and naturist-christians.org among a few others. I would recommend just sticking to those.

KalosSoma wrote:One more observation: It's interesting that most of the images I've seen that "objectify" women the most -- in media, advertising, etc. -- are clothed, not unclothed. (Hardee's commercials, anyone?) That sounds suspiciously like a fact that actually supports the naturist position, but not sure how to put it into words, at this point.


The women presented in most of those advertisements are usually scantilly clad or "ALMOST" naked. This appeals to men's inate desire to know "what lies behind the curtain". It is the same technique that makes lingere and strip clubs so successful. Strip clubs are NOT about women dancing nude. They are about the process of getting nude. Once the women are nude, the attitude of the patrons is to move on. Bring on the next girl.
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