Into the sunlight

We came out into the sunlight at the top of the woods, and a large open swathe of bright grass led us up towards the gasthof on the ridge. We dressed, shortly before arriving there and, having brought our own lunch, continued along the mid-tegernsee-0018trail to get a little peace and quiet. 100 metres past the gasthof, we stripped off again, just as Tania began to demolish yet another raspberry bush.

A number of people joined the trail here from ahead and to the left of us, and a few cyclists came hurtling past, one trailing a camera and asking if it was ok if he took a photo. We didn’t mind of course, although we thought that if he’d stopped perhaps the photo would not be so blurred.

We continued along the easy ridge path, surrounded by trees again, until we reached an open spot, where we could stop for a bit of lunch.

Salami and sunshine

A little salami and cheese, some fruit and vegetables, a cool drink, a good view and companionable company. Naked in the high mountain sunshine, amidst the trees and foothills of southern Bavaria, we soaked up the atmosphere quietly.

Extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Richard Foley

My first naked hike

The hike started. We left the car park and after a couple of hundred metres we turned off down a path into the wood ahead. After the first corner, the organizer stopped the group and we had the opportunity to undress. Now this was exciting. All the hikers removed and stuffed their clothing into their rucksacks, followed promptly by putting sun-cream on. Some people even removed their shoes. So, now was about to begin my first naked hike.

Nearly overwhelming

The feeling, standing naked in the woods with 50 other naked people, was nearly overwhelming. I had been somewhat nervous about what would happen. But it began as every other hiking tour had: with the first step! mid-img_3788Then followed a second, and a third, and after a few hundred metres any nervousness vanished altogether and was replaced by an intense feeling of awareness of my surroundings. An absolutely amazing experience!

I opened up to the weather and began to soak in the surroundings with all my senses. It was a beautiful summers’ day. The sky could not have been more blue and the sun lifted any tiredness away. The air temperature was circa 25°C. The sun’s rays felt very pleasant on the exposed skin and a gentle breeze gave such a wonderful feeling. I looked at the trees around us, at the path which stretched ahead, and was impressed with both myself and the situation, that I was even able to walk along with such a large group of naked people. What a marvelous feeling!

With the first kilometres behind us I thought about what I had discovered. I love the bodily awareness of moving so freely amongst nature. Even the smallest of differences began to push in on my sense of reality. A small cloud pushed in front of the other clouds and created a magical shadow across my body. I did not freeze, but I could feel goosebumps appear over my skin. As the cloud moved away from blocking the direct sunshine, I felt even more comfortable than previously. The goosebumps disappeared as the sun’s warm rays once more caressed my naked body.

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Nicole Wunram.

Extreme prudery in the USA

As an extreme example of the prudery in the USA, there is the Janet Jackson incident. At the Super Bowl halftime show on 1st February 2004, her right breast was briefly seen on TV. The US public and press went to town and gave an excellent demonstration of their dreadful prudery.

Jackson had an invitation to perform at the 2004 Grammy Awards cancelled and a lawsuit was filed by one Terri Carlin “on behalf of all American citizens who watched the outrageous conduct.”. The lawsuit wopx-cover-front-facebook-safeas dropped but the incident also triggered other legal action.

This action resulted in fines for companies involved with the broadcast. Even the law was changed, the Federal Communications Commission is now able to fine up to $500,000 per violation instead of the original maximum of $27,500. Europeans reported this and took the opportunity to laugh at America’s expense.

A typical report said “How reassuring to the rest of the world that the U.S. has its priorities straight. We, the poorly informed old Europeans, wouldn’t have realised that Jackson’s breast was a more important issue than Iraq’s missing weapons of mass destruction. But the U.S. media is covering the breast-baring incident like the story of the century.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

An extract from Why Nude? Thoughts and reflections on social nudity by Howard Anderson

Available from Amazon and all good book distributors

"Time for me to die…"

“Time for me to die,” Angela responded with a smile. Nathalie kissed her forehead and placed the mask over her face. Nathalie and Ian both took one of Angela’s hands in theirs as Nathalie began a short countdown.
9780957243293

“I’m dropping you in five…four…three…two…one…” Nathalie hit the button to release the board and as it slid into the vat she felt a sickening twist in her stomach at Angela’s scream of pain as the freezing water consumed her. She looked at Ian who had himself turned pale, shaking and sweating with the same fear as she was. She grabbed his hand and held it tightly, fighting to control her stomach and even her bladder as the screams of pain from Angela slowly began to subside.

Angela’s eyes snapped open the moment she felt awake again. Immediately she felt a sensation resembling bliss, of floating freely in utter peace, but it quickly turned to a pang of elation when she realised she was enshrouded by a familiar haze, and that they had been successful. But the elation quickly gave way to a sense of urgency about her planned experiments and she leapt to her feet and looked around her. It was just like the last time, with people emerging from the haze to be greeted by pairs of angels in white robes. Her two angels approached her, smiling the same bland smile worn by all the angels.

“Hello Angela,” the first one said. Angela ignored him, she was already focusing on the experiments they had discussed. She reached down to her arm to pinch it, but before she could do that she realised something unexpected.
“Oh, I’m naked,” she said. The angels thought she was talking to them.

Excerpt from Promoted Beyond Glory: Afterlife by Stuart Pitsligo

We exchanged pleasantries

Continuing up the now more sparsely vegetated valley, sweating under the clear blue sky, we could feel the mountain air glide gently over our skins, keeping us refreshingly dry as it did so.  On our right, etched across the skyline, we could see the summit ridge and our target summit for the day.

As we gained height steadily, we began to overtaken by faster hikers, all clothed, and all friendly. mid-p1100178First one couple, then another, then a family coming down the hill, several stragglers and finally we passed a group having a rest just beyond the Austrian/German border, at the col itself. We exchanged pleasantries, and took in the glorious view of the alps stretching away into Austria, before Emma and I settled down nearby to have a light picnic. Polly nibbled on bits of cheese and salami.

At this point the clouds were building and it looked wise to keep moving, so we ambled behind the closed Klausenberg hut, waving back to the friendly group of picknickers there, and followed the narrow and gentle ridge, along to the summit. The views from this deceptively small ridge are quite magnificent, down to the Chiemsee lake to the north, across to the Kampenwand to the west, and south into Austria and the higher snow covered alps.

A short stop on top, and then we followed the trail north along the ridge through more forest, coming to several memorials to people lost in the mountains. A particularly poignant wooden cross impaled in a rocky vantage point, had been erected by the local mountain rescue team to their fallen comrades.

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Richard Foley.

Staying dressed is a meme complex

Always staying dressed is a meme complex; it is learned behaviour as is naturism. Naturists would argue their behaviour provides significant benefit and is therefore good but its success as a meme complex is less clear. Although millions have tried and enjoyed some aspect of a naturist lifestyle, counter memes are very strong in their effect.

Counter meme

The counter meme is that which causes people always to be dressed, even under extreme circumstances, reinforced by religious memes that cause a feeling of guilt about bodies, enjoyment or sensual experience. Why is the dressed meme complex more powerful than the naturist meme? Because it is reinforced from childhood and fuelled by inappropriate sanctions like such as eternal damnation of sinners etc. It has developed into a very successful meme complex, one that replicates with amazing vigour. When asked, most adults will say they have no argument against nudity from an intellectual point of view but they would not participate for emotional reasons, their memes are more powerful than rationality.

To reinforce this and to make their memes even more successful, those who say “I don’t mind if other people are naked” will almost invariably say “but I realise that most other people will object”. This dual nature of their meme complex is probably the central reason it is so successful at replicating. When naturists challenge this view, the results are surprising; MORI polls in the UK indicate that over 90% of the population think naturists are harmless but the second part of the meme will still cause very effective replication, “stay dressed not for me but for others”.

An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Howard Anderson.

Garden of Eden

Western religions do not generally have direct prohibition of social nudity as a core belief, such prohibition as there is has come about from custom and practice and from misunderstood interpretations of early teachings.

Protestations against nudity have been made by a few of the religious hierarchy and sadly followed by the many. There is opx-cover-front-facebook-safeoften a huge difference in the core beliefs of a religion and what is taught by those who feel they should teach it. It is quite easy to find a given religious text and then to find a range of mutually opposing interpretations of that same text. A good example is the use of the word “shame” in the Christian story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Some Christian teachers will take it to mean that nakedness is shameful, others will take it to mean that nakedness is good; the position taken by the Christian naturist movement. How could a God have made something shameful? Would you dare suggest that the handiwork of your God is so flawed it must be covered all the time? Did He make such a serious mistake?

Who are you to tell your God that He made mistakes in His creation? To me, the good or bad about nudity is what is in your heart, your intentions, the reasons you go naked, not the nudity itself.

Extract from Why Nude available from Amazon and all good book retailers.

Oh, I'm naked…

Angela responded with a smile. Nathalie kissed her forehead and placed the mask over her face. Nathalie and Ian both took one of Angela’s hands in theirs as Nathalie began a short countdown.

“I’m dropping you in five…four…three…two…one…” Nathalie hit the button to release the board and as it slid into the vat 9780957243293she felt a sickening twist in her stomach at Angela’s scream of pain as the freezing water consumed her. She looked at Ian who had himself turned pale, shaking and sweating with the same fear as she was. She grabbed his hand and held it tightly, fighting to control her stomach and even her bladder as the screams of pain from Angela slowly began to subside.

Angela’s eyes snapped open the moment she felt awake again. Immediately she felt a sensation resembling bliss, of floating freely in utter peace, but it quickly turned to a pang of elation when she realised she was enshrouded by a familiar haze, and that they had been successful. But the elation quickly gave way to a sense of urgency about her planned experiments and she leapt to her feet and looked around her. It was just like the last time, with people emerging from the haze to be greeted by pairs of angels in white robes. Her two angels approached her, smiling the same bland smile worn by all the angels.

“Hello Angela,” the first one said. Angela ignored him, she was already focusing on the experiments they had discussed. She reached down to her arm to pinch it, but before she could do that she realised something unexpected.
“Oh, I’m naked,” she said.

Extract from Afterlife available from Amazon and all good book retailers.

Appearances may be deceiving

It’s not the appearance of someone which dictates their character, or their motivations, it’s what they actually do that is the issue. The relevance of this discussion for the WNBR is that it’s not the clothing, or the differently clothed or coloured state of another that is the problem: it’s the demonstrative but entirely peaceful behavior that is at stake here. std-101_5004a-bcIt’s important to separate the outward appearance of someone, how they look at any given time, from ones opinion of their inner motivation.

Having the freedom to clothe your own body in the way you see fit, and not from the dictates of prudish, guilty and shameful thoughts, is a step towards personal freedom for everybody. We actually can use our own bodies and minds in the way we each choose, but we need to believe in this as individuals, and to know this as an inalienable civil right. This is what Vincent Bethell’s Freedom to be Yourself campaign , started in 1998 in London, was concerned with, and after spending five months in solitary confinement awaiting his court appearance for being a ‘public nuisance’, he insisted on attending court naked.

This was a jury trial, and he was judged by a panel of his peers, who unanimously found him not guilty of the charge. While the presiding Judge George Bathurst-Norman warned him darkly: “I would not go away too much with that idea”, he also appended the crucial: “It is simply not a public nuisance in these circumstances.” Notwithstanding the judge’s hesitating support for the defense, essentially this was a great victory for the cause for freedom of choice where individualism, and public nakedness, is concerned.

As Terri Sue Webb wrote, and as Vincent Bethell and many others also state: “To be offended by the visual appearance of another person is prejudice, akin to racism.”

Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book, available on Amazon and all good book retailers.