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Why Nudism? by zharth Why Nudism? by zharth
I'm excited to announce the release of my first book designed for (more or less) general audiences. Over the past year, I've shot a series of self-portraits illustrating the various reasons a person might practice nudism. It's an informational and artistic showcase of both my photography and writing. Support me as an artist by picking up your copy today! (Now also available as an ebook).

Not convinced yet? Read more about it here.
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:iconsecondperfection:
SecondPerfection Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2018  New Deviant Student Traditional Artist
Once you get used to it, nudism is freeing. And it gets you away from the artificial constructs of society.
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:iconzharth:
zharth Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2018  Professional Photographer
I know it's not good to generalize large swaths of people, and that nudists come in all types, and come to the lifestyle for different reasons. But when I'm surrounded by nudists, I feel satisfied thinking that, each and every one of these people, at some point (because even those born into the lifestyle eventually reach a point where they see the difference in the way textile society behaves, and must make a conscious decision whether or not to persist in the lifestyle), has taken what society considers to be a foregone conclusion - that we must wear clothes - considered it, and rejected it, because they don't like it and/or they don't see the reason behind it. These people are more likely to be nonconformists - social rebels - those who have lifted the veil of delusion, and considered the truth behind what the masses unthinkingly accept. Those are my kind of people.
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:iconsecondperfection:
SecondPerfection Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2018  New Deviant Student Traditional Artist
I've learned you can't really judge someone on the lifestyle that they chose. You would think that people in the nudism lifestyle would be rebels and non-conformist but that doesn't always ring true. I've encountered nudists who were pretty prudish and closed-minded in their thinking and attitudes.

It's interesting that nudity and nudist have becomes symbols for non-conformity especially when we're born that way. Clothes and textiles do have their purposes but I think we base too much of our identities on covering ourselves up. Also, I find it interesting that Americans (USA), are very prudish when it comes to nudity and the nudist lifestyle, yet Americans (USA) value their freedom and expression above most other things.

On an unrelated note: is it okay if I use your photographs for drawing reference? I'm in the process of studying human anatomy and learning to draw the figure. Thanks!
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:iconzharth:
zharth Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2018  Professional Photographer
Yes, I don't mind.

Of course that's true - humans are a social species and conformity is part of our nature. Still, I think the odds are a little bit better among nudists than a textile population. I agree that there are some nudists that are frustratingly prudish, but I think this is a result of their desperation in getting society to accept their lifestyle. So, I don't agree with their methods, but I sympathize with their motivations.

As an American myself, let me say that Americans are fundamentally hypocrites. Sure, we live in an ostensibly "free" country, but as the country with the highest prison population per capita, we are far from some bastion of liberty in the world. Mostly it's just talk. I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the 1960's counterculture film, Easy Rider:

"They're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em."

I try my best to do my part to be a good counterexample to all of that.
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:iconsecondperfection:
SecondPerfection Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2018  New Deviant Student Traditional Artist
Yep, we Americans are hypocrites. Remember the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake debacle? People were so outraged by that. Come on, it was just a woman's nipple.

It's unfortunate we live in a country where nudity is illegal. There are more places where being nude will get you into trouble then there are places that accept and tolerate it. Depending where you are, you can get labeled as a sex offender for life just by showing off your nude body.

You remember what happened to PeeWee Herman and how he got into trouble? It's an example of a double standard: it's okay to watch porn, but it's not okay to enjoy it or yourself while watching it.

It will be interesting to see if we become more nudist friendly is this country, or will we allow the clothing/textile/fashion industries to completely cover us up and totally dictate our lifestyle choices.

I don't think nudity hurts anyone or anything. It can be awkward at first but that goes away. And after a while you don't pay attention to it. At least that's what my rational mind says but because I have social anxiety (and autism) I'm left feeling awkward. I've come to realize I miss the social cues I need in order to interact with others, and because of it I've lost potential friends and friendships. That and that I tend to have unconventional views towards sex and sexuality.

I wish I lived in a society that didn't demonize sex and nudity, and that I could express myself sexually without being criticized and judged for it.
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:iconzharth:
zharth Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2018  Professional Photographer
Yes, I recall both those "scandals", and I agree with your assessments. I also struggle with social anxiety, but rather than missing social cues, I'm hyper self-conscious and worry about external judgment. I've been practicing nudism for at least eight years now. At first, there was an adjustment period where I wasn't sure sometimes if I was pushing the boundaries of how much I liked to be nude. But after all this time, and especially given all the time I've spent with other nudists, I've acquired the confidence to know that nudity is harmless - healthy, even. Of course, it's still a taboo in greater society, and unfortunately you can get into trouble if you're not careful about when and where you go naked, but that's society's neurosis, not mine.

I also sympathize with your troubles having unconventional views towards sex and sexuality. While I'm perfectly capable of drawing the line between what's appropriate and what's not in this or that situation, as a philosopher and as an activist, I'm invested in confronting the unhealthy (often hypocritical) attitudes we hold toward human sexuality. Sometimes I worry that makes me an enemy to the nudist cause, which tries so hard to separate the worlds of nudism and sexuality. But I agree that those two worlds should remain separate. I just don't stop at wanting to make nudism more acceptable in the culture, because as long we have these toxic views about sexuality, we've got bigger problems, and like it or not, nudism is always going to be dragged into it (if unfairly), because it's just not reasonable to expect normal people to completely 100% separate nudity from sexuality in their minds. We need only remind them that they are separate subjects, and while they can be combined, there are also times (like when you take a bath) when they are not. That's all nudism wants to be.
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:iconsecondperfection:
SecondPerfection Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2018  New Deviant Student Traditional Artist
I'm also hyper self-conscious and constantly in a state of feeling that I'm doing something wrong. It's like walking on eggshells and when I'm in a social situation I have an incredible urge to escape. It might sound funny or seem like I should be able to handle the situation to another person but it's all I can do not to crawl out of me own skin. Also, not being able to read and interpret social cues does not help. Last month I was at a get together an I was feeling really awkward and kept thinking about how I was going to make my exit without being noticed or being rude about it. It was getting to the point I couldn't really concentrate and was going to have to leave, so when someone stood up to speak, I waited for a bit, gathered my stuff and made my way to the bathroom. Then left the building. I just kept on thinking how I was going to make my exit and was worried someone would stop me or wonder what was going on. I don't know whether to laugh or cry about it. I feel embarrassed about the whole thing. Even with participating in social situations it doesn't always get better, it's still awkward and somewhat embarrassing. How do you explain not being able to interact with others or interact with them in the ways you want and need?

I know it sounds crazy.  I don't understand it.
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:iconzharth:
zharth Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2018  Professional Photographer
That all sounds familiar to me. Unfortunately, I don't know what to tell you except that you're not alone.
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