Naturists Campaigning for Naturism

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News from NAG – June 2017

Growing Up in a Naked House

© Pinterest

There are times when I wish that I grew up as part of a naturist family, who knows how my life would have turned out. Caroline O’Donoghue did and wrote an article for The Pool, listing being comfortable in her own skin as an advantage, but then going on to tell how other family members would do a gentle ‘courtesy’ knock before entering a room, assuming they bothered in the first place. Overall though, the impression given is that O’Donoghue is pleased that she grew up in a nude-friendly household. So much so, O’Donoghue wrote: “…if I’m in a bikini, or in a tiny dress, I feel self-conscious; if I’m nude, I’m delighted with life. Who cares if the people in the opposite apartment can see? I don’t know them! Sure, it’s only a nipple!” While her friend Jen, another frequent visitor to naturist beaches, said: “When a woman is naked, she’s just a woman. When she puts on a bikini, she becomes a product.” I hope I’m not being presumptuous, but surely that can be true of men too, when they put on their Speedo swimming trunks?

Changing Room Lessons
If I had lived in a nude-friendly house then maybe I wouldn’t have gone crashing down to the floor. Let me explain. The changing room for the school gym was communal, just benches with clothes hooks above; a changing room for each gender (we only had two genders in the 1970s). Suddenly the changing room door swung open and the noise the two girls who opened it made was a mixture of laughter and screams. You see, I was in the middle of pulling up my underpants. With the garment in its proper place, I moved quickly the door to slam it shut, only to have my foot slide from under me on the wet floor. Somehow I managed to close the door and got up just as Mr Davis, the PE teacher, walked in through that same door, asking what was all the noise for. We explained and he rolled his eyes. All this could have only taken a minute or so, but it seemed like ages at the time. Later, I learned that a friend had not long left the shower and still been naked when the door was swung open by the girls, and he chose to continue towel drying himself. What else could he do? After a bit of thinking, I wished I could have been that cool.

© Sarah Kim Bonner

That is my version of the attitude changing events that Canadian professional tri-althlete, Sarah Kim Bonner went through when she competed in Europe. Bonner described how people would do a strange ‘dance’ in North American changing rooms as they changed clothes under towels, or found somewhere a bit more private. In Europe however, she saw plenty of bare bums as competitors changed in the street after a bike race, or were less coy in changing rooms. What she learned while in Europe hasn’t totally cured her of body insecurities, but Bonner learned that she can control them and whatever her body might look like, its normal.

If only…
Defining what is normal is the subject of a well written post for Clothing Optional Trips by an unnamed US blogger and posited that it might be better if all beaches had a clothing optional section. It is based on the unreal versus the real, between the likes of The Kardashians and the likes of you me. Naturally we agree, there should be more clothes optional places, where people can choose to be either adorned or unadorned, or where the two can mix if they want to. Yet, despite the logic of his arguments that such beaches could improve how people perceive their body’s image, is this an argument that would persuade public authorities, either in the UK or the US, to allocate beaches or parts of beaches to nudists? It’s doubtful as the argument put forward is a bit… well fluffy for a politician of any hue to take in, and will… quite frankly ignore.

True, even naturists vote but how often do people link their clothes free lifestyle to politics? We need to talk a different language, one politicians and business people understand, and one they cannot ignore.

Club Call
Organised naturism began with clubs but for some reason they don’t seem to have to be favoured anymore, at least not in the UK for a

Review: The Great British Skinny Dip

Media: UK Television, Channel 4
Broadcast: 14 Feb 2017
Running Time: 60 minutes.

Screen Grab: The Great British Skinny Dip (c) Channel 4

I should come ‘clean’ straight away and tell you that, as I don’t own a TV I have not seen this programme personally but republish an extract of a post by Andy Crawford, which went up soon after transmission.

This documentary follows Andrew Welch the Commercial Manager for British Naturism creating a number of ‘skinny dip’ events across the country in order [to get] people to try naturism for the first time.

This hour long programme portrays UK club naturism as it is. Most naturist club members are older people who like camping and socialising together, but [clubs] want to boost their numbers and get more people and particularly younger people, involved.

Andrew has the unenviable task of selling ‘Naturism’ to the public. Sadly, the overall result of The Great British Skinny Dip events and how many newcomers they eventually attract is disappointingly low. [To] be fair, the British weather was particularly bad that day, but Andrew remains upbeat and positive about it all and of the future of British naturism.

The programme also follows his relationship with new partner Sheryn, who is not a naturist but [is eventually persuaded] to try it, both by Andrew’s enthusiasm and not wishing to disappoint him. [She joins] a naturist club… and participates at one of the naturist events.

Also interviewed in the programme was a neighbour of a naturist who didn’t like the idea of naturism but accepted that this is what her neighbours did. The neighbour had some serious self-image and body issues over her weight and looks, and claimed that there was no way that she could participate in naturism because of this. She was also a bit envious of her naturist neighbours who could. The great irony is that if she participated in naturism, then she would almost certainly lose her phobias, boost her own self-esteem and feel a lot better about herself. That irony was lost on her, perhaps lost on the non-naturist audience too. Especially when you consider that she was a younger woman and that her naturist neighbours were somewhat older.

The programme left me with a feeling that:
– Naturism is for older people.
– That British naturist clubs are dying out.
– That selling Naturism as a product itself is not viable.

You can read the entire post about the show at Andy’s Personal Blog but read the rest of this one before you go there.

I would like to pick up on the last of Andy’s bullet points; that selling naturism as a product itself is not viable. While accepting the premise, my question is: what is it that British Naturism and Andrew Welch trying to sell? Is it ‘just having a good time’ or is it a concept, an idea, much like a belief system. If they are trying to sell a good time then Welch and everyone else attempting to do so are up against competition with serious amounts of money and are, quite frankly, more likely to loose. On the other hand if it’s an idea then while it is the more difficult sell, other things could hang from it. As a good example of this, take a look at the website for The Vegetarian Society. There they tell you why you should be a vegetarian and even help you to take that first step by providing a booklet with recipes for meals for you to make. But that is not all the society does, they then tell the entrepreneurs among us what the society can do for them and their business. Whether you agree or not with the concept, you have to admire their ability to ‘sell’ vegetarianism to the curious and encourage business-minded people to set up vegetarian businesses to serve a niche clientele: Restaurant, B&B, whatever. Maybe television shows like The Great British Skinny Dip, however well meaning, is not really helping. On the contrary, it may be re-enforcing the views of the woman featured in the show and referred to by Andy in his blog, not dispelling them.

In his resignation letter to the INF, Stéphane Déschenes of The Naturist Living Show fame suggested that the organisation should become more like a United Nations, somewhere to formulate the idea of naturism worldwide. Maybe, organisations like British Naturism need to think along similar lines and perhaps take a few hints from The Vegetarian Society. I think NAG should too.

Naked carpenter Not Guilty verdict

An Important (to naturism) victory happened in a Kent magistrates court yesterday. A newspaper report can be found at: https://www.kentonline.co.uk/malling/news/naked-carpenter-cleared-120208/    and is reproduced below. Though we await fuller details, there are some interesting features of this case, apart from the overall common sense approach of the magistrates:

  • The ‘Article 10’ Human Rights defence was accepted by the court (saying that being naked is a legitimate form of expression). This defence has been rejected in other high profile cases involving public nudity.
  • Mr Jenner was only naked on his own property, and though he was visible from the street, this was important to the magistrates. Had he strayed on to the street it may have been a different matter.
  • The magistrates did not consider the witnesses had been truly ‘harassed, alarmed or distressed’ (as is required by s.5 Public Order Act 1986 under which this was prosecuted). They were simply annoyed, or angry, or curious – which was not enough.
  • The Not Guilty verdict raises a serious question of the use of the Banning Order which had been placed on Mr Janner. This is an ‘Antisocial Behaviour’ move which police and Local Authorities can use without requiring a trial. It seems that in this case the magistrates found that the order was unnecessary ‘overkill’ used simply to pacify some outraged prudes.
  • This case was decided in a magistrates court, so it does not have the power of Legal Precedent. It should however make the Crown Prosecution Service take note and think twice before taking action in the future. It seems that on this occasion they ignored their own guidelines [ https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/nudity_in_public/ ].
  • The comments from the public on the Kentonline website (see link above) are nearly all supportive to Mr Janner, and critical of the complainants, police and CPS. It seems that general public opinion is not at all anti-naturist, and that objectors, though noisy, are a minority only. We need to show the Authorities that the public don’t mind naturism at all, so please – everyone make your views known when the subject comes up. Silence just gives way to the noisy prudes.

Kentonline report:

Naked carpenter Robert Jenner, of Snodland, cleared of public order offences

07 February 2017
by Ed McConnell
A naked carpenter has been cleared of 11 public order charges after a two-day trial.Iraq War veteran Rob Jenner was arrested four times in September and October after police were repeatedly called to his Eccles property.The 42-year-old was carrying out DIY and gardening at the Stevens Road terraced house wearing nothing but his work boots.

This evening at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court after almost two hours of deliberation magistrates returned not guilty verdicts, concluding his freedom of expression outweighed any alarm caused.

The bench had heard from four witnesses whose reactions to Mr Jenner’s actions ranged from awkwardness to anger.

Frederick Black said he was so disgusted when he saw him bent over mixing cement he dialled 999 while Lisa Jarrett saw him on several occasions and said it made her feel “not very nice.”

Michael Smith was so angry when he spotted Mr Jenner leaning on a rake he marched up to his door and demanded he get out of the house.

Paul Edwards, prosecuting, said Mr Jenner was an exhibitionist and not a naturist and he must have known the consequences of his actions as he had erected a sign asking people not to be offended.

But Alex Davey, defending, said he had never intended to cause harassment, alarm or distress and was simply exercising his right to be naked.

Giving evidence this afternoon Mr Jenner was resolute in his belief he had done nothing wrong, telling magistrates he was fighting for tolerance.

He said naturism gave him “a sense of freedom and liberty,” adding: “There’s no

And a cherry on top?

A new document from INF has come our way, suggesting Sieglinde Ivo and Jean Peters are desperately trying to hold onto power.

Twelve national federations, including British Naturism, have produced a joint letter of complaint concerning the shenanigans following the World Congress in New Zealand, last November. In concise terms, it states that the Law Council’s decision to rule the results of the presidential election as invalid was outside its scope, and that the General Assembly is the ultimate decision making body for the International Naturist Federation and not the Executive Council. They then called for the Extraordinary General Assembly to be held later this year in Austria be cancelled as un

News from NAG – Feb 2017

Correction: Police College
It is strange how memory can be so fickle.

Last November I referred to our success in getting the Police College to include training in the CPS guidance on nudity in public. Shortly afterwards I was hauled up onto the naughty step by the project leader, Duncan Heenan, to explain what did happen.

Reference to the CPS guidance on nudity in public is now made on the police’s national decision-making computer system, therefore making it available to any front line police officer. It is not known if there is a training solution on offer by the College of Policing at this time.

My apologise for unintentionally misleading readers, but still say that such training should be made available and officers encouraged to take it, and perhaps incidents like that encountered by Anne Robinson, also related last month, will be a thing of the past.

Home Naturism for non-naturists
One of the best – and worst – aspects of the Internet is the reappearance of old articles, so nothing is ever forgotten. In 2013, Young Naturists America got a rather knotty problem, which I put to you now, roughly four years later. A non-naturist woman wrote to them explaining that for reasons that she didn’t need to go into, she was living with friends while her youngest son (then aged 12) was living with her sister (she didn’t say where her other, older children were living). The friends lived in a small apartment and are (were) comfortable with casual home nudity, which the writer explained didn’t bother her, even though she preferred wearing clothes herself. Her male friend had children by a previous relationship and when they (and her son) were in the apartment, the policy was that the minimum of clothing at least would be worn. So far, so good.

The friends then decided to buy a large house and invited the writer and her son to move in with them for as long as they needed or wanted. This, the writer said was a very generous offer and one she obviously needed to consider seriously. The problem was that now they were to be a ‘part of the household’ the female friend expected casual nudity would be the norm and the writer to explain ‘things’ to her son. The male friend and the writer thought – as a child would be permanently present – clothes would be the norm. This difference of opinion was put down to a lack of communication and in the end the female friend said she would ‘try to remember’ to put some clothes on when she left the bedroom or bathroom but would not promise in case she ‘forgot’. Now the writer was trying to understand the casual home nudist and the etiquette they applied when non-naturists were in the house.

So here are my questions to you:

Are you a home nudist, if so, what is your household policy if non-naturists come for a visit, however long?

What would be your advice be to this non-naturist considering living as part of a clothes optional household with her son?

Please use the comments section below for your answers.

Save Energy, Go Naked
It’s summer. it’s hot but instead of cranking up the aircon, one-in-ten of us strip off, according to research conducted by British Gas (Sunday Express, 01/08/2016) [2].

The survey asked 2,000 people how they kept cool in summer and rather than the traditional methods of opening windows or closing curtains, some of the respondents said they ran about naked instead. Other solutions offered were turning off the hot water and taking cold showers instead, or having a BBQ in the garden rather than turn on the oven needlessly. Another was to hose down the kids in a paddling pool in the garden before bedtime instead of giving them the traditional bath.

OK, there aren’t many UK residential properties with air conditioning, but by using different methods to keep cool during a summer heatwave, we Brits can save up to an even cooler £780 per year. It isn’t just about saving money, of course. By generating and using less energy means we are pumping less CO2 into the atmosphere, one of the main contributors towards climate change.

Sushil Umrao, one of BG’s Smart Energy Experts told the Sunday Express that: ‘Summer is the perfect time of year for people to ‘power down’ and save on energy bills’ and ‘let nature do some of the work like drying the washing.’

Or like saving on having to wash your clothes in the first place by not wearing them.

Beyond Naked 

When nude cyclists started to invade Seattle’s Solstice Parade in 1991, the city had a choice to make: to accept them as an extreme form of self expression or to get the police to crack down hard.

Beyond Naked is a documentary following four first-timers on the ride, exploring our fears and awkward fascination for the naked body. This winner of Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival in 2013 is available for rent (US$4.99) or to buy (US$7.99) as a downstream through Vimeo.

The Art in Protest
When professional photographer Trina Cary posted a nude picture of herself to Facebook, the last thing she thought would happen was being banned from the social media site for five days.

The portrait showed Cary covering her breasts with her hands and a thorn bush hiding her genitals got the photographer banned for posting ‘inappropriate content’. Yet, Cosmopolitan quoted Cary as saying that far more explicit content went unreported and not sure why she was being targeted.

Inspired, Cary sent out a call for models on Facebook and invited three to join her for a project where they would be photographed nude but for censor tape covering their breasts and pubic areas. 32 women turned up.

The women’s magazine quoted one participant as saying, ‘This weekend I got to be part of a pretty incredible project. We as women are so frequently told our bodies are dirty, or need to be hidden, or that there is something wrong if we don’t meet certain standards. This is about owning and loving ourselves. And about not being complacent when people want to censor us.’

The entire photoshoot can be seen on Trina Cary’s website.

Nude and Famous?
Blogger Jillian Page pondered on being a famous naturist by imagining the US President and First Lady as practicing naturists. As the president and his wife strolled naked along the shoreline, they would be followed by his Secret Service bodyguard of course, but they would be outnumbered by a gaggle of paparazzi snapping away like mad.

Page’s thoughts were generated by an article picked up by Esquire about Heidi Klum, who explained that her parents took her to public nudist beaches as a child. She would like to take her children to such places but the paparazzi would make such visits impossible.

Shame. Shame that Klum (pictured above) cannot still enjoy as an adult something she enjoyed as a child. Shame that her own children cannot find that same joy. Just to feed somebody’s pathetic need for gossip.

Legalisation not needed

In the Voices section of The Independent in 2014, an article by Andrew Welch was published, which passed us by at the time, but has popped up more recently on social media. Any opportunity to explain naturism to a wider audience should be welcomed, and as it has been shared 520 times according to the website at the time of writing, the article obviously caught the public’s mood. However, I think we should make sure what is published is at least accurate.

Let’s start with the article’s headline – The UK is too prudish: We should follow Munich’s example and legalise public nudity – this is actually misleading, misrepresenting UK law. Admittedly, Andrew was not responsible for that but looking deeper into the article it shows where that misunderstanding may have come from. The opening paragraphs refer to laws that let naturist zones in places like Munich’s Englischer Garten exist. As it was explained to me, these laws were first past by the Weimar Government between the wars, and when they expired, Munich’s municipal government decided to pass new laws explicitly allowing public nudity in certain places. This explains the difference between UK and German law. In Germany, everything is banned unless there is a law giving permission to do it. In the UK, everything is permitted unless there is a law preventing it. So here, public nudity is legal, but causing ‘harassment, alarm or distress’ in another person, possibly through your nudity is not (s5, POA: 1986).

The article is correct in two things. The provisions of the Public Order Act 1986 are not well understood, even by front line police officers, and that our (British) society is to blame. Too many people still automatically link nudity with sex, hence the calls for naked riders in WNBR to be arrested by members of the public. Break that link in peoples’ minds, and naturism well on the road towards a more general acceptance. It is the breaking of these bonds to Victorian attitudes that NAG is seeking. Surveys like the Ipsos-MORI mentioned would help, if it was published but the only people who have seen its details are the lucky few at the head of British Naturism, who commissioned it in the first place. Unpublished, the survey is useless but Andrew still thought it worthy of a mention. Even so, assuming the survey is accurate, four million (possible) naturists in the UK is a start to understanding the problem but not the entire answer.

For Londoners though, they should be comforted that the swimming session in Bloomsbury isn’t the only place in London to enjoy naturism and NAG is working to gain acceptance for those who enjoy the lifestyle in the capital’s larger open spaces. As ever, your support is essential to our efforts and is greatly appreciated

News From NAG – Dec 2016

Park Authority says No.
Last month I mentioned a council in Tasmania that was prepared to hear a proposal by the Tasmanian Nudist Group to create a clothes optional beach because of the advantages to the local economy.

And yet, 12,000 miles away – according to Southern Daily Echo (23/09/2016) – the New Forest Park Authority has dismissed an application from Avondale Sun Club to expand their offer to non-members. They asked to be allowed overnight stays for up to three caravans and 15 tents at weekends and special events. The reason they gave was that it would ‘require a full change of planning permission’.

I wonder what Avondale’s argument was, when they went to the New Forest Park Authority? Was it “Please let us have overnight says for 26 weekends a year.” (Tugging forelocks.) Or was it, “We want to be allowed to have overnight stays at weekends because it will attract (enter number here) tourists to the New Forest per year and we know naturists will put £(enter figure here) into the local economy.” What do you think would be more persuasive?

Anthony Horowitz Interview
cover-image-magpie-murdersIn an interview published in the Radio Times (09/10/2016), essentially about his new BBC TV series New Blood, writer Anthony Horowitz was asked by an audience member at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, if he was a naturist and he replied: ‘Yes I am.’

The reason why he was asked that question was because naturism is a theme featured in Horowitz’s new novel, Magpie Murders. I feel an itch to buy a book.

 

 

Berlin, Paris, London?
According to MailOnline (23/09/2016) the Green Party in Paris is proposing an Englischer Garten-style area for Parisian naturists.

In France, open space naturism is illegal and anyone caught could be fined €15,000 or given a 12 month prison sentence. So taking a naked stroll along a footpath in open country, or stripping off on an undesignated beach could land you in some seriously hot water. Paris nudists groups, however, have complained about overcrowding at the facilities they do have in the city, so this proposal by the Green Party is most certainly welcomed.

The designated space has not been announced, but speculation has suggested Daumesnil Lake in Bois de Vincennes, on the eastern side of Paris. The French government also plans to turn this lakeside area into a public swimming zone by 2019.

paris-bois-vincennes-copyright-catherine-ousselin-org

Paris – Bois Vincennes © catherine-ousselin-org

In the summer just gone, London hosted a pop-up restaurant – Bunyadi – that boasted a waiting list of 46,000 potential customers. Does that not suggest to City of London Managers that a similar Englischer Garten-style zone could be an asset to Londoners in the city’s extremely large open spaces?

Making a Break Through with Nude Yoga
An interesting article by JoAnne Viviano for The Columbus Dispatch (13/09/2016) about naked (nude) yoga has come my way and seems to have relevance for naturism.

The article quotes Amy Paterson, who attends Dharma House, a Yoga studio in Columbus, Ohio: ‘Prior to this practice I, like most women, really struggled with a lot of body image issues and

Campsite Grande Cosse, France

The International Naturist Federation (INF) has published an open letter to all member organisations and naturists about the naturist campsite, La Grande Cosse. The English translation is sadly, not the best. Anyway, you can read it for yourself. I also attach copies in French, German and Dutch.

The naturist campsite, formerly owned by Franceloc – according to the INF – could be turned into a textile one by the new owners without offering any evidence for this statement. However, NAG has been independently contacted from French naturists in the last few days asking for advice.

Located in Saint Pierre la Mer in the Languedoc-Roussillon, it is an isolated family camping site near the Mediterranean Sea, with a vast sandy beach that is 100% naturist. If you have stayed at the campsite, or just visited, and appreciate this unique resource, please sign the petition on the mesopinions website or click the hyperlink in the INF letter. At the time of writing there were 898 signatures. Many more may make the owners of La Grande Cosse think again if they do have plans to remove its naturist status.

grande_cosse_1   grande_cosse_4

Thank you for signing, and please, feel free to share this post.

PS: NAG is not a member of the INF.

News from NAG – July 2016

Attenborough at 9 or 90
On the 8th May, Sir David Attenborough, one of Briton’s icons celebrated his 90th birthday with an hour special on BBC1. Naturally, one of the many memorable clips they showed was the moment a Gorilla family accepted the young Attenborough like any other member of the family.

To help the celebrations along, the BBC commissioned Aardman Animations to imagine what the Gorillas thought of the encounter and it ended with one of them wondering how to describe him: Archaeologist? Naturist? Presenter Kirsty Young asked the television veteran if he was a naturist and he played along, enjoying the moment and the humour like a nine-year old, without actually answering the question.

So, belated I know, but in case he is a naturist and subscribes to H&E Naturist: Happy Birthday sir.

Scotland the Brave
For some, Scotland and midges go together like peaches and cream, but not if we’re to believe the Daily Record (02/05/2016) who told us of Scottish naturists who gathered at Morag’s Fairy’s Glen, a beauty spot in the Firth of Clyde. A graduate of Stirling University, I can vouch for the stunningly beautiful landscape but this has been the first time that naturists could walk through the valley naked.

Apart from the walk, those attending the Scottish weekend celebrated the national poet for Scotland, Robbie Burns and had a cellidh, where the gentlemen attending were expected to wear a bow tie, while the ladies wore a sash with their clan tartan.

Ivan Gill, the organizer for the weekend told the Daily Record: ‘I do this first and foremost for people to have fun, but it’s also about making naturism more socially acceptable.’

The sad thing is that the newspaper’s editor chose to cover peoples’ backsides with large Daisies in one photograph but not in others. How daft is that?

Black IS beautiful
This is an old article from Ebony magazine (15/10/2015) when ‘sexpert’ Glamazon Tyomi asked if nude beaches were for black people? She was visiting a nudist beach near San Diego with a male friend and it quickly became obvious that they were the only black skinned people on Black’s Beach. Leaving aside the bit where she discusses the effect of a warm sun on her male friend’s penis, Tyomi asks a valid question, why do so few black people visit nudist clubs or beaches?

Tyomi’s article doesn’t really answer the question, it doesn’t even try, and as I’m white, male and aging, I cannot expect to have the answer either, but there are naturists of BAME origin who can. Perhaps part of the answer comes in a comment made by Tyomi, when she said she felt the eyes of the other beach users were on her. Naturism might be a European concept but it isn’t just for us white folks. So, for me a question has been raised, is naturism really as welcoming as we say it is?

William Shakespeare 1564-1616

William Shakespeare 1564-1616

“Performance Features Nudity”
The whole world, it seems, is commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Now I know that he is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but what has emerged is just how translatable his plays are with adaptations replacing the setting to ancient Japan or to modern South Africa.

The Tempest, William Shakespeare

The Tempest, William Shakespeare

Mahita Gajanan wrote a review for The Guardian (20/05/2015) for an all-woman, fully nude abridged version of The Tempest played in New York’s Central Park in May, performed by members of The Outdoor Co-Ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society (aka Topless Book Club). While it is legal for women to be topfree in New York, full nudity in the park is only allowed if it is for entertainment purposes and licensed.

Alice Mottula, co-director for the play told Gajanan the reason why they chose Shakespeare was because ‘you can’t ague the script sucked’ adding that many of the characters in The Tempest wrestled with ‘confinement versus freedom, being yourself and becoming who you are’.

They also wanted something that they could adapt, working nude performances into the story, ‘otherwise, it defeats the purpose of normalising nudity’, which was one of the group’s aims. Most of the cast is nude throughout, and those who begin in costume, discard it before the play’s end.

The most significant part of the play for the group comes at the end. The actor playing the main protagonist, Prospero, delivers the epilogue, as she gets dressed. Pitr Strait, co-director, explained that once the play ended, ‘nudity becomes illegal again, which is strange, and arbitrary and tragic.’

My challenge to you, if you choose to accept it, is what other plays – by Shakespeare or not – do you think could be adapted for nude performances?

sigfirstwill1

Learning to be Body Positive
To be honest, this is something I’ve never done but a guest blogger for Young Naturists America (YNA) described her first experience of skinny-dipping as an introduction to ‘a wealth of body positivity to [her] life,’ and that she ‘realize that [her] body was not much different from theirs’.

Initially, wrote the blogger, she was worried that it would introduce an element of sexual tension between her and her friends that hadn’t existed before? It didn’t and she added that, if the opportunity arose, she would go again.

That got me thinking. At the mere mention of skinny-dipping, you think of isolated places in the American West, but does it ever happen here, in the UK?

Breasts are Healthy
Another piece originally published by YNA, this time an interview of top free activist, Chelsea Covington (aka Gingerbread), conducted by Felicity Jones.

Covington explained that even as a child she preferred to go around the house either top free or nude but it wasn’t until 2014 that she went top free in public. Since then, she has became an activist, walking bare-chested wherever it is legal to do so, talking to the police and getting better training for officers on the ground. Permission for her bare-chested walks are never sought, as she says women do not need permission, but she does confirm ‘what already exist in law.’

Her blog Breasts are Healthy was set up to help other women to take the same steps she has and explained in September 2015 why she prefers the term bare-chested to Toplessness.

Here in the UK, women have the legal right to breast feed their babies and young children in public places but they still get abuse, no matter how discreet they try to be. It is therefore surprising that there isn’t a more vocal campaign seeking equality with men to be bare-chested and breast-feed their children without harassment in this country.

Fall Out of San Francisco
Those who have been following events in San Francisco and the campaign for urban naturism there would have been surprised by the sudden falling out between Gypsy Taub and George Davis.

Taub has alleged that Davis has sexually harassed her daughter, who is a minor, and expelled him from the Body Freedom Network. Taub added that she would not be attending any events organized by Davis in the future.

Taub and Davis in happier times

Taub and Davis in happier times

Taub explained in an email to her Body Freedom supporters that the final break between the two occurred during or immediately after the Nude Women’s Day Parade. She claimed to have email and other evidence, adding that it would not be difficult to get a restraining order if he chose to attend her events.

In an email exchange with George Davis, he wrote: ‘I have never ever inappropriately touched her daughter, telephoned her, emailed her, stalked her, etc.’ At the time of contact, Davis said neither the police nor a legal restraining order are involved, and put the whole episode down to a lot of ‘he said, she said’.

‘I only wish that Gypsy had money so that it would be worthwhile to sue her for libel,’ added Davis.

It has also been suggested that the relationship between the two campaigners began to deteriorate about a year ago. Davis admitted to have disagreed ‘sometimes,’ but has ‘no serious problem with [Taub’s] tactics.’ These included linking body freedom with another cause. For example Taub combined a Body Freedom protest with anti-vaccination, and on another occasion to a 9/11 conspiracy, both protests were lightly attended, according to Davis.

In Davis’ opinion by piggybacking one protest on another, ‘diffuses them both’.

Whatever the truth of the matter might be, now the two main drivers for urban naturism in San Francisco have taken different paths, there must be concern for the campaign to allow social nudity on the streets of San Francisco.

Davis says his own plans are to produce a Body Freedom event and parade himself on 24th September 2016 and is helping Andy Golub to create a body-painting day on 23rd October 2016, both in San Francisco.

We tried to contact Gypsy Taub via her Gmail account, but as of the time of writing there has been no reply.

NB: After the publication deadline for H&E Naturist, Gypsy Taub contacted us but objected to the use of ‘alleged’ and suggested that we were already siding with George Davis. NAG is not in a position to judge the strength or otherwise of Ms Taub’s allegations and under both UK and US Law, George Davis is innocent until proven guilty.

And Finally,
It is a staple of comedy sketches everywhere, the man (or woman) to walk out into the street while sleepwalking, naked. Well, it has really happened.

According to the BBC, a naked man was spotted outside his Manchester hotel at 04:30am in his birthday suit. Greater Manchester Police tweeted: “We checked with officers; was proper [sleepwalker], not a dare. Person grateful for our help + saw the funny side themselves.”

Question: how did he get out of the hotel at that time of the morning?

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