The terms nudism, even naturism, have been stretched too far. They have been watered down. There was a time when these terms meant respect for the body and positive interactions with others within specific codes of conduct: Nude is not lewd. Cover an erection. No gawking. Nude does not equal sex. Nude is healthy – exercise; no over-eating, drinking, or smoking.
But over time, in some venues at least, nudism and naturism have come to mean total freedom of expression, while not judging a person’s particular lifestyle. Doing otherwise is seen as old fashioned and unsophisticated. As a result, it’s more and more difficult to separate nudism and naturism from perversions such as swinging, opening the door for including these more diverse lifestyles. No wonder textiles confuse nudism and naturism with less desirable lifestyles.
I think it’s time to retrench, to encourage nudists and naturists to return to the positive, historic values - but how? Because we have stretched the terms, we now need a different way to encourage people to not just “avoid” bad behavior, but to “embrace” good conduct. I suggest we begin by referring to nudism and naturism as “Honoring the Body”.
· Through nudity, a person who “Honors the Body” controls sexual urges, especially when interacting with others. Rather than imposing sexual desires and preferences on others, sex is kept private.
· Through nudity, a person who “Honors the Body” is motivated to choose an active lifestyle that includes healthy exercise.
· Through nudity, a person who “Honors the Body” is motivated to live a healthy lifestyle, eating the proper amounts of good food and drink, avoiding what abuses the body.
· Through nudity, a person who “Honors the Body” accepts and respects others without judgment, while at the same time caringly and lovingly encouraging others to honor their bodies.
· Through nudity, a person who “Honors the Body” feels spiritually connected to God, humanity, and nature.
A person who “Honors the Body” is a nudist or a naturist.
Do you “Honor the Body”?
The list above is surely incomplete; in what other ways do “real” nudists and naturists “Honor the Body”?