Chapter 3 of The Nude Adventures of Doff de Chonez

CHAPTER III
OF THE FORTHRIGHT NEGOTIATIONS UNDERTAKEN BY DOFF DE CHONEZ 
AS TO THE MATTER OF HIS ROOM AND BOARD

Given that Doff de Chonez was unaccustomed to strenuous exercise of the kind that includes the vigorous pedaling of a bicycle, and given that said exercise was doubled by the fact that Bare Glider’s tires were only about half inflated, our hero was exhausted by the time he had traveled the three miles to the old brick home, a quaint bed-and-breakfast on the outskirts of town, which he reached just as the sun was setting. Leaving his helmet hanging from the handlebars, he parked Bare Glider in front of the house. There did not seem to be anyone around. “Why,” Doff de Chonez asked himself, “is there no smiling nudist at the door to meet me, and to assure me that I have found the correct location?”

He strode slowly but deliberately up the front steps to the porch. With a light touch, the front door opened easily, and it rang a small bell as it swung. Doff de Chonez stepped into the vestibule, and soon heard a woman’s voice calling from another room.

“Good evening! I’ll be with you in just a moment!”

“Ah, a fellow nudist!” thought Doff de Chonez, taking heart. But as he moved into the sitting room, assessing its appearance, he began to ask himself, “Why are there no courtesy towels for sitting upon this delicate furniture? Where is the information about the Clothing Optional Home Network, and where are the AANR and TNS brochures? Why do the paintings on the wall depict such heavily dressed subjects?”

At the sound of footsteps, Doff de Chonez turned toward the hall, just in time to see a woman coming around the corner of the sitting room. As to the matter of who shrieked first, or who shrieked louder, there is intense debate among historians, although all sources agree that it was a most awkward encounter.

“Why art thou dressed?” asked Doff de Chonez, after he recovered from his shock.

“I… what… who…,” stammered the woman, shielding her eyes, “what are you doing here?”

“Why, I am seeking lodging, of course. Thy hostel was recommended to me, by a most helpful fellow citizen, as being appropriate for a nudist such as I, although I must say that I am surprised by the lack of nudist literature here in thy reception area.”

“But…” interjected the woman, “you’re nuts! This is not a nudist establishment. There must have been some misunderstanding. Please leave the premises or I’ll call…”

“Beth,” interrupted another woman, who had appeared on the other side of a counter at the far end of the sitting room, “may I speak with you here in the kitchen for just a moment?”

The woman who had been thus summoned harrumphed loudly and returned back down the hall, and from the counter her partner excused them both, begging the patience of our nudist-errant. As he waited, patiently meditating upon the virtue of naked honesty, he could not help but overhear fragments of the conversation between the two women in the kitchen, including the words “underbooked,” “open-minded” and the phrase, “she won’t notice.”

Presently the two women appeared together behind the counter, enthusiastically extolling the comforts of their establishment, and inquiring if the gentleman would be staying more than one evening, and most pressingly, given that he did not appear to have much about his person, how would he be wishing to pay.

“Kind women,” Doff de Chonez began, “I am pleased to consider thy generous offer to stay more than one evening, and truly I regard such unfettered kindness as one of the most exemplary of human qualities, although I must insist, because it behooves me to inquire, once again, as to why, if this be a nudist place of lodging, as ye are now leading me to believe, are ye not then nude yourselves?”

The women looked at each other for a long moment. The woman named Beth coughed and muttered something about hygiene. The second woman, somewhat more knowledgeable regarding trends in the hospitality industry, addressed Doff de Chonez, saying, “Surely a nudist such as yourself has heard of clothing-optional? It’s very much in fashion these days.”

“I know very little of… fashion,” replied Doff de Chonez, “but yes, I have indeed heard of clothing-optional. After all, it is the name ye have given your network of hostels, is it not? But surely, if ye work here, or if ye are, perhaps, the owners, then ye must be more comfortable without your heavy vestments?”

The women, both wearing light cotton sundresses, since it was, as we have established prior, July in central California, were unable to keep several chuckles from escaping their mouths.

One of the fine homes featured at Clothing Optional Home Network

“Furthermore,” added our hero, “what I know is that clothing-optional is not at all as preferable, especially for an establishment such as this lovely home of yours, as requiring nudity outright. But, surely ye know this, because nudists, ah…. such as yourselves… are aware that the eminent naturist and resort-owner Stéphane Deschênes has explicated this misconception on numerous occasions.”

Our hero’s intense focus was met with blank stares.

Doff de Chonez cleared his throat. “I hope,” he continued, “that I am not mistaken about the category of your fine hostel, but if I have indeed arrived here in error, then I will beg your forgiveness, and take my leave, and proceed along my way, for I am in search of a fine nudist establishment of the highest quality, where I can arrange to have myself dubbed a card-carrying nudist.”

Once again, the second woman solicited Doff de Chonez’s patience while she and Beth excused themselves and disappeared around the corner of the kitchen. As our hero patiently meditated upon the virtue of nude tolerance, he could not avoid overhearing the following words and phrases from their exchange: “low season,” “high bills,” and “just do it.” These were followed by the sound of ruffling cloth.

Presently, Beth walked out to the counter, naked, with her arms folded across her chest, and stood as close as possible to the desk ledge on her side of the counter, presumably with the intent of hiding all of herself below the waist. Looking straight into our hero’s eyes, she said, “Here at Santa B’s B&B, we are happy to honor your request.”

Doff de Chonez raised an eyebrow. “Thou meanest that thou canst dub me a nudist?”

Beth sighed, pounded the ledge, and spoke from the corner of her mouth, “Cheryl, get over here!”

There followed the sound of more ruffling cloth, and then Cheryl, for this was the name of the second woman, appeared, nude as well, and quickly matched her partner’s stance at the counter. She replied to our hero as follows, “My partner was referring to the fact that we are happy to honor your request for nude lodging. As to the matter of your drubbing, Mr…?”

“Dubbing.”

“…Mr. Dubbing, we… uh… would be honored to provide that service for you for a small additional fee.”

“It is a fine surname, but it is not mine. I must inform ye that I am Doff de Chonez, nudist-errant, on a mission to correct misconceptions about nudity.”

Cheryl blinked and wrote something down, saying “Sure thing, Mr. Chonez.” There ensued a discussion of the nightly rate, the taxes to be assessed, and the options that would be available for breakfast, after which our hero returned to his bicycle, only to realize that in his haste to begin his adventure, which, though it seemed ages ago had only occurred that very morning, he had neglected to include his wallet in his appurtenances. When he returned to relay this information to his hosts, Beth stalked away from the counter, but Cheryl assured him they would work it all out in the morning and, in the meantime, they would make do with references such as he could provide. After relaying his address and that of his friend Dr. Nicholson, Doff de Chonez parked Bare Glider behind the house as indicated, and carried his few items to his room for the night where, no doubt due to his extreme fatigue, he immediately fell asleep.

No sooner had a sonorous snore escaped the flared nostrils of our hero, however, than Beth and Cheryl had procured the phone number of Dr. Nicholson, called him, and narrated to him the odd doings of Doff de Chonez. Dr. Nicholson was shocked to hear their account, and intrigued by the business about requesting to be dubbed a card-carrying nudist. He first apologized on behalf of his friend, and then inquired of the B&B owners if they had been hurt or accosted in any way by their outrageously naked guest. The owners admitted they had suffered neither wound nor abuse, only great astonishment at his out-of-place nudity and highfalutin discourse, and deep concern for his well-being… and for the payment of his room and board. Upon learning that our hero was sleeping soundly, Dr. Nicholson assured the owners that he would come collect him first thing in the morning, and pay his bill.

The owners thanked him, hung up, and sighed deeply. Only then did they perceive their continued state of undress.

next episode

Chapter 2 of The Nude Adventures of Doff de Chonez

Chapter II
WHICH TREATS OF THE FIRST SALLY OF THE INGENIOUS DOFF DE CHONEZ

Once these preliminaries had been settled, Doff de Chonez decided to wait no longer before putting his project into effect, for he was afflicted by the thought of how much the world would suffer from his tardiness. Many were the misconceptions about nudity that needed to be corrected! So, without informing anyone of his intentions, and without anybody seeing him, on that warm July morning before dawn he stashed his clothes in his trusty bicycle’s basket, with a towel, some water, snacks, and a large bottle of sunscreen. Wearing only a patched-up helmet and sneakers, he mounted Bare Glider and took off down the dirt road behind his house. The ease with which he had inaugurated his great objective made blossom within him an immense satisfaction and boundless pleasure.

He had advanced only some hundred yards down the road, however, when a terrible thought overtook him, one almost strong enough to make him abandon the entire endeavor at the very outset. It occurred to him that he had not been dubbed a card-carrying nudist by any nudist authority, such as The Naturist Society or the American Association for Nude Recreation. This reflection caused him to waver in his purpose, but, his craziness being stronger than any reasoning, he made up his mind to have himself dubbed a nudist at the first nudist park, campground, or resort that he happened upon.

As our incipient adventurer pedaled along, he thought to himself as follows. “Who knows whether in the future, when the history of my famous deeds shall be brought to light, the sage who writes it–surely one of the more celebrated naturist chroniclers, such as Mark Storey, or Florencia Brenner, or perhaps Paulo Pereira–when deciding how to set forth my first sally in the early morning, may it not be set forth in this fashion? ‘Barely had The Bear Republic sun touched the newly bared shoulders of our bare adventurer, burnishing them to a bare-bodied buff, when Doff de Chonez pa su Mecha mounted his trusty Bare Glider and barreled along the bare backroads of Santa Bernarda,’” which was in fact the name of the small municipality where he was riding.

And he continued in this vein, now addressing his muse: “O Lady Mecha… Mechinelda,” adding syllables to make her name sound more mellifluous to his ear, “lady of my captive heart, dueña de mi corazón cautivo, an abiding motive hast thou visited upon me, for when I saw thee denuded, in the act of offering up thy clean, wet garments to the sky, like a sacrifice to the sun, I conceived the desire to uncover my person as thou hadst done. Venturing forth on thine example, I strive to prove myself worthy of thine honor. O Lady Mechinelda, deign to hold in remembrance this my heart, that thus in agitation pines for thy favor.”

He proceeded down the road, stringing together these and other absurdities, and although it was unkind to the precarious frame of Bare Glider, he did not stray from the rough dirt road which, once he had traversed it further than ever before, led him through vast fields of tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, and other produce for harvest. From time to time a farm worker would lift his head and yell, “Mira ahí, un pelado en bicicleta,” which Doff de Chonez knew enough Spanish to understand as meaning “Look there, a naked man on a bike.” But to the mounting frustration of our nudist-errant, the farm workers seemed to be a tolerant if overly dressed lot, providing none of the yearned-for opportunities to prove his mettle in the defense of nudity.

When, after suffering the heat of the day followed by the onslaught of the mosquitoes, and having stopped only once to reapply sunscreen and avail himself of food and drink from his own meager supply, Doff de Chonez happened upon a large vehicle around which were congregated a score or more of the farm workers, he became eager to meet the circumstances before him in order to defend his choice to remain unclothed. He saw that these workers, who at that moment were enjoying a very brief break from their labors and refreshing themselves, had removed some of their gloves and head coverings and placed them in a pile off to one side.

Straightening Bare Glider’s handlebars, the nudist-errant made a beeline for the pile of gloves and caps. Pulling up alongside, and sweating profusely, for, though he held firm to his guiding conviction, he had never done anything remotely like this before, he began grabbing the garb and stuffing it into his basket. The workers immediately noticed what he was about, and several of them began shouting at our hero, running toward him with most aggressive attitude. Doff de Chonez quickly rode away some distance, having filched an odd number of mismatched gloves, two baseball caps, and a surgical mask.

The workers who had been chasing him were struck by the folly of the situation. They stopped and yelled at him, “Are you crazy?” “¿Qué te pasa?” and further less decorous phrases. In this turmoil our hero, clutching one of the caps and raising it high, shouted “¡Atención! It is I, Doff de Chonez pa su Mecha, who doth beseech ye, sayeth unto mine ears the name of whosoever it is who doth oppress ye so!”

The alarmed farm workers, some laughing but most with blank stares, looked at each other in confusion, many averting their eyes from the uncovered countenance of our nudist-errant. The driver of the bus, for indeed the large vehicle around which they were congregated was the bus that would eventually take the workers back into town, came down the stairs and addressed Doff de Chonez, raising his voice.

Mire, caballero, most of us understand English, but not yours. Your English sounds very complicated. On the other hand, what is easy for us to understand is that you’re a crazy naked man! On a bike. Out here in the middle of the cauliflower fields. And you’re stealing our gloves and caps!”

To which Doff de Chonez replied, “Listen, ruffian, and mark my words! While it is correct to say, nay, even to insist, that I am naked, and moreover, it may well be true that the declaration that I am crazy is not all that far off the mark, one of these assertions does not necessarily imply the other, and I beg of thy sensibilities to disavow such an automatic association!” Of course, very little of this was understood, since, in addition to the general incomprehensibility of Doff de Chonez’s convoluted reasonings and archaic diction, it all had to be shouted from a distance of some thirty yards.

But at this point our intrepid hero began to gesticulate at the workers as he continued. “What I want to know is, why do ye wear such excessive coverings? Several layers of clothing ye don, long-sleeved and long-panted. Many head coverings. Gloves, as if we were not in sunny California but rather the frigid arctic. Why do ye not open yourselves to the sun and breeze, as I, who will defend ye should ye choose to join me, have so done?”

His words were met with nervous giggles. Once again, it was the driver of the bus who spoke up. “You seem to be quite comfortable running around without clothes on, but we are not. And besides, these coverings, as you call them, protect the workers out in the fields.”

One of the workers nodded, saying, “Perhaps, caballero, if you would care to come join us in the field, you would see the need for these… coverings.” At this point, since Doff de Chonez understood that the workers had finished their respite and that it was time for them to return to the field, and as he was feeling conflicted about the matter of his thievery, he agreed to accompany them to their labor. He rode back to the workers, returned the items he had taken, and asked their forgiveness. Once this was accomplished to everyone’s satisfaction, the driver of the bus found an extra blade for Doff de Chonez to use in the harvest.

From “How Cauliflower is Harvested”

Leaving his helmet over the handlebars of Bare Glider, our hero followed some of the workers along a thin aisle between the rows of cauliflower. Mimicking their movements if not their protective wear, he bent over and pulled and sliced and threw. He found great difficulty in matching their pace, although he knew that in part this was simply because, for him, it was a new undertaking. But soon he felt calluses welling up on the palms of his uncovered hands, and he felt his thighs and shins itching from a bright red rash, and he struggled to breathe deeply the heavy air that seemed to him unduly pungent. He fell over backwards.

The same worker who had spoken to him earlier, addressed him again, saying, “Por favor, caballero, now that you’ve seen what we do, you should go on and leave us alone. We don’t want any trouble.”

A second worker joined him, scolding the first worker for lecturing the poor man lying there on the ground naked. She helped our hero to his feet, and then she opened her canteen and splashed water over him. Doff de Chonez thanked her.

Escuche, caballero,” she addressed him, “listen. Es verdad, it’s true you can stay cooler out here without clothes on, sin ropa. Your sweat evaporates and cools your skin quickly, just like the water I threw on you. But when you are out here in the fields, you need to protect your skin from the bugs, from the chemicals, from the sharp knife, even from the hot sun. Yes, we get very sweaty and stinky, but we go home and nos bañamos, and the next day we do it all over again. We are just trying to earn money for our families, ¿entiende?

Our nudist hero, heaving and panting and resting his hands on his knees, nodded his head. “Pero… But I will add that the whole operation here seems far from natural, and yet what could we imagine to be more natural than tending a garden, wearing nothing? Surely this is what our ancestors did.”

Sí, señor,” responded the male worker, “but our ancestors, nuestros antepasados, did not have harsh chemicals, nor did they have to harvest huge quantities, cantidades imensas. These things, these needs, add up, and then clothing becomes our need as well.”

Doff de Chonez dropped his shoulders in resignation as he watched head after head of cauliflower travel up a conveyor belt to be rinsed, wrapped, and boxed.

Señor,” spoke the female worker, “it is almost our quitting time. Today we have worked very hard to be paid very little, just like every other day. I have no food or shelter to offer you. Do you know your way home?”

“My lady,” spoke Doff de Chonez, “I most certainly know the way to my own home, about which, I must say, in gratitude, not platitude, that mi casa es su casa, and I pray thee not doubt my hospitality for even a second. Nevertheless, I would not be worth my salt as a nudist-errant if I did not press on to find a naturist resort, of the highest quality, where I can be dubbed a card-carrying nudist.”

No entiendo,” she replied. “I’m sure I don’t understand, but look, just a little ahead off the main road you’ll find a bed-and-breakfast. Maybe you can stay there. When you get to the road, turn left, you’ll see the sign por ese lado.”

Perhaps the worker spoke in haste, and certainly her words were muffled by her surgical mask, but in any case, Doff de Chonez, whose actual abilities in Spanish were far outpaced by his faith in said abilities, deduced that what she had uttered after the word “sign” was not por ese lado, meaning “on that side,” but rather pelado, meaning–as you, dear reader, will no doubt remember–“naked.” He nodded with enthusiasm, took his leave graciously, and set out upon Bare Glider to find shelter at a hostel that, in his mind, must surely have pertained to an organization about which he had read with great interest: the Clothing Optional Home Network, a “Network of Nudist-Friendly B&B Style Homes.”

next episode:

The Nude Adventures of Doff de Chonez pa su Mecha

Picasso’s famous sketch, Don Quixote
The following is the first episode in a naturist adaptation of the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote. The original, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, was published in two parts in Madrid in 1605 and 1615. With acknowledgement to Cervantes, whose style is imitated faithfully here, and to the English translations, especially Ormsby’s, I invite you to enjoy

THE NUDE ADVENTURES 
OF 
DOFF DE CHONEZ PA SU MECHA

Chapter I
WHICH TREATS OF THE CHARACTER AND PROCLIVITIES OF THE FAMOUS NUDIST-ERRANT, 
DOFF DE CHONEZ PA SU MECHA

In a village of California, which I prefer to leave unnamed, there lived not long ago one of those guys that still has a videocassette in his VCR, an old trumpet, and an ancient bicycle for occasional excursions. His food, mostly frozen, and more microwaved than cooked on a stove, consumed a large part of his income. The rest went for his cable subscription and a few snappy outfits–he was a fussy dresser. The age of this subject of ours was bordering on fifty. He was of a hardy constitution, spare, gaunt-featured, very much a night-owl, and fond of marathon sessions of old videogames. Some say that he was known as Donald or Donny or maybe even Donaldo Adolfo (for there is no unanimity among those who write on the subject), and from further reasonable conjecture it can be derived that his surname was Lopez, or Lopes.

What is essential to understand is that at some point this gentleman began to devote his leisure time (which was mostly all the year round) to reading books about naturism. This was all the more remarkable given that he seldom ventured out of doors and preferred, due to what he thought to be a strong sense of modesty, to leave his house, on the few occasions that he did so, completely and impeccably dressed. But to such a pitch rose his eagerness and infatuation with naturism that he sold many of his furnishings, videocassettes and videogames in order to buy naturist books and magazines to read, ordering all that he could find online.

But there were none he liked as much as those written by the famous Brooke Lee Brookleigh, since their logical lucidity and complicated conceits were as pearls in his estimation, particularly when in his reading he came upon outpourings of adulation for the natural life such as “the natural nature of naturism is to appreciate nature naturally”; or again, “social nudity is a nude society of nudists living socially in the nude.”

Over this sort of balderdash the poor guy lost his bearings, and he would lie awake at night striving to understand it and tease out its hidden meaning, though Maurice Parmelee himself could not have extracted any further meaning from it, not even had he come back to life for that express purpose. A rather solitary fellow, our gentleman did manage, nonetheless, to engage his few acquaintances in discussion of the topic of his incipient passion. Many an argument did he have with the priest of his village (a learned man, and a graduate of UC Santa Cruz) as to who had become the better nude activist, Gypsy Taub of California or Stephen Gough of Great Britain. His friend Dr. Nicholson, however, used to say that although both activists have done outstanding work, neither of them could hold a candle to Lee Baxandall, free beach activist and founder of The Naturist Society.

In short, this Mr. Lopes or Sr. Lopez became so absorbed in his naturist readings that he spent his nights from sunset to sunrise, and his days from dawn to dark, poring over them, abandoning the upkeep of his property with its large backyard, and what with little sleep and much reading his brain shriveled up and he lost his wits. His imagination was stuffed with all he read in his books and magazines about naked biking and naked hiking, naked gardening, world record skinny dips, nude orchestras, nakations, nude weddings, canuding, and all sorts of plausible whimsy. It became so firmly planted in his mind, that to him no history in the world was better substantiated than the history of naked recreation. He even commissioned extravagant prints of Lady Godiva, depicted nude on her steed in the streets of her town, and of the Golden King, El Dorado, bodypainted on his raft in the mountain lake, to hang above his mantel, venerating them as the legendary pioneers of naturism.

In a word, his sense having quite escaped him, he hit upon the strangest notion that any madman could possibly imagine: he fancied that it was right and requisite and overdue, no less for his own great renown than for the service of his fellow citizens, that he should make of himself a nudist-errant, roaming the whole wide world in his birthday suit, on his bike, in a grand quest for adventure. He would put into practice all that he had read about the objectives of upstanding nudists: to set right every sort of misconception about nudity, and to expose himself to peril and danger from which he would emerge to reap eternal fame and glory in the nudist pantheon. In his flight of fancy, already the poor man imagined himself crowned Emperor, at the very least, of a Nude Cruise Line. And so, carried away by the intense enjoyment he found in these pleasant musings, he began at once to put his plan into execution.

As it was a lovely evening in July, the first thing he did was go outside into his own backyard and take off his shoes and socks. Unaccustomed as he was to being outdoors, it required no small force of will for him to remove, additionally, his shirt. Even though his backyard was secluded and there was nary a soul in the vicinity, he could not muster the courage to relieve himself of his pants and undergarments until after the sun had set and it was quite dark outside. But, once over this hurdle and open to the breeze, he felt extremely invigorated, and passed the night in his yard in a state of vigil, dedicating himself, from the very depths of his soul, to a life of nude philosophy in action. At about three in the morning, in an inspired bout of unusual agitation, he retrieved some paint from his woodshed and christened his old bicycle with the name BARE GLIDER spelled out in block letters along the frame. Using pliers and a hammer, he fortified the old basket over the front wheel, and lined it with strips from a discarded tarp.

Having repaired and renamed his bicycle to his liking, he was anxious to find an original name for himself as well, a name that would befit his newfound dedication to nudity. From among the paternal and maternal surnames of his extended family, he chose Chónez, and decided on a combination that he found highly sonorous and evocative of quixotic quests: Don de Chonez.

Chónez as a surname is rare, but chones is a common term in Mexico for underwear.

But, remembering that this short form of his name, “Don,” also meant ‘to wear,’ he quickly decided on its opposite, “Doff,” which, moreover, reminded him of his uncle Adolfo, often known as “Dolph,” or perhaps it was his own middle name, and in any case it was thus that he became the self-proclaimed nudist-errant, Doff de Chonez. It occurred to him, however, that he should not be content without adding “of California,” but since said state is one of the largest in the union, he thus resolved to invent an alternative addition. In a fit of creative inspiration, he fused a popular expression of emphasis and surprise that he had heard his grandparents utter repeatedly (“pa’ su mecha”), with the name of an organization honoring his Mexican-American heritage (MEChA), all while further alluding to the neighbor woman, a widow he thought he loved but whom he had never met, Doña Mercedes de Avelar, known as Mecha, whom he had once spied hanging her clothes on the line in her backyard, bereft of any clothing herself while so doing. From all of these nods and allusions jumbled together, he culled, as his new and complete name, a moniker that, to his liking, was musical, unique, and significant to his purposes, like all such names that he admired, and especially like that of Don Quixote de La Mancha: Doff de Chonez pa su Mecha!

next episode:

Gratuitous

There’s a new series on Netflix called Altered Carbon. Since I’ve seen several articles posted to Twitter or Facebook analyzing the program’s focus on nudity, I decided to watch at least the first episode.

I did not last ten minutes.

Why? GRATUITOUS not nudity, but VIOLENCE.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, so maybe I’m not the best source here. I haven’t even watched a single episode of Game of Thrones, another series much praised/maligned for nudity and violence. But then again, maybe I don’t watch much TV because there is SO MUCH VIOLENCE. Holy guacamole, why would I want these egregious depictions of carnage in my living room, with my family? As a naturist, I have no problem with nudity in my home, on the TV (rarely) or in real life (daily). My family is comfortable with being naked, which is wholesome and natural and to be celebrated. Where I draw the line is not at nudity but at senseless violence.

It further irks me that the kinds of scenes such as the extended one you see at the beginning of Altered Carbon, where walls are blown away and people are thrown around, are so expensive to film. Why do we spend so much money on that? Who are the people who are compelled to create and to view that? Is it really a majority of the population? Must we always cater to the buying power of men ages 18-30?

I won’t be watching any more of the program. At this point I don’t care about how they use or focus on nudity, because IMO the context is all wrong from the get-go: apparently bodies are just “sleeves,” with their disposability representing some sort of future technology. SMH. I prefer to focus on how wonderful and unique our bodies are, and how we express ourselves through them and with them, especially when nude. What kind of message is sent by showing nude bodies, or any bodies, as merely disposable “sleeves” in a context of overt violence? I don’t see this as any sort of groundbreaking advance in depictions of nudity in popular entertainment.

At best, Altered Carbon‘s production crew could hope to promote respect for our bodies. The writer and executive producer Laeta Kalogridis has said she wants viewers to question our relationship to our bodies. I think that’s great, but again, why the extreme violence? Kalogridis states that she “will be thrilled to remove the violence from noir [genre of the program] when we remove the violence from our lives.” I want to agree with her when she says, in the same interview,

“It’s necessary to point out a thing in order to make progress on changing the thing. And if there’s something that I think we maybe have all noticed in the last couple of years–maybe–when you just pretend that something’s not happening, that will not affect change. Acting as if it’s not happening because you are uncomfortable in looking at it has very little value if what you want is to make things better. If what you want is to stay comfortable and feel good, I suppose it’s fine.”

But I’m just not convinced that this is the way to do it – at least if we define “thing” in her first sentence above as “acceptance of nudity.” If the thing we want “to make progress on” is acceptance of nudity, then I continue to think that wholesome depictions of nudity (not violent, sexualized, or disposable) are much better for body acceptance and respect for ourselves as part of nature. These are of course the goals of naturism.

Coda: I will say that the very first shot of the opening episode of Altered Carbon, of a nude body floating in a liquid, reminds me of the opening of science fiction pioneer Philip José Farmer’s classic Hugo Award-winning novel, To Your Scattered Bodies Go. It became the first novel of a series he called Riverworld, which I highly recommend.

In Riverworld, all of earth’s souls have been reincarnated back into their own bodies, naked and hairless, and they try to figure out why and how. Some of the main characters are historical figures, such as the British explorer Richard Burton and the American writer Mark Twain. The half-dozen or so Riverworld novels certainly include some violence, but it is nothing like in-your-face explosions and injuries in your living room, nor was there any exorbitant expense involved in conceiving such scenes.

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Looking back on 2017 from a naturist point of view, it was a terrific year for me personally.

Looking back at Hidden Beach

(1) Accompanied by loved ones, I was able to make first-time visits to well-known nudist resorts in Quintana Roo and to a classic naturist park in Colorado. My review of our trip to nude-friendly places in Quintana Roo was published in N magazine, a first for me.

(2) Accompanied by loved ones at my home naturist park, Oaklake Trails, I ran in the 5K and participated in the Fall Arts Festival, where I sold a record number of books.

(3) Both Aglow and Co-ed Naked Philosophy continue to receive good reviews, and slowly but surely I’m making progress on a third naturist novel.

(4) Fellow naturist writers Paul Walker, Robert Longpré, and I opened a new site with blog and information about our books, naturistfiction.org.

(5) I donated to a great naturist cause: the new clubhouse for Naturaleza y Nudismo Guadalajara. This is a group of young pioneers sponsoring urban naturist activities with terrific attendance in Mexico’s second-largest city. [Donate here!]

But the loss of a close friend and naturist ally, shortly after the 5K race, was awful. The year was not as free of grief and strife and tension as it might have been of clothes.

And of course, in the grander scheme of things, as long as people such as the current presidents of the United States and Brazil continue to rule from fear and greed, supported by huge populations unwilling to consider the broader impacts of their own actions, then the climate for growth and diversity in naturism and body acceptance will continue to be unfavorable even as the planet’s actual climate keeps heating up.

Looking forward at Intima Resort

Looking ahead to 2018, I want to be optimistic politically. And in naturism, I aim to continue to be active locally, to keep writing my next novel as well as posting both here and on naturistfiction.org, and I also look forward to the possibility of visiting new naturist locales!

Updates! Naturist Fiction and Naturism in Mexico

I haven’t posted here in a while, and in part this is because I’ve been helping launch a new site, naturistfiction.org. With my fellow naturist writers (and bloggers) Paul Walker and Robert Longpré, we’ve set up the site to showcase our books and naturist fiction in general, and also to provide original content. As of today, Robert has posted on The Compulsion and Passion for Laying it All Bare in Words, Paul has posted on Naked People in Fiction, and yours truly has posted on Why Naturist Fiction Matters. Great posts – check them out!

Also, I want to make sure everyone knows about the ongoing fundraising campaign for NNG that I mentioned in my last post. As of today, they’re at 15% of their goal. They have an anonymous donor who is matching funds up to a total of $2000 – a hefty boost! Make a contribution and have it matched! NNG is a terrific group of tech-savvy young naturists making strides toward the future of naturism, and not just in Mexico. Contributions go toward helping fund a headquarters for the kind of urban naturism programming they’ve already been running successfully for over a year now.

Urban Naturism in Guadalajara, Mexico

At long last, naturism in Mexico is finally coming into its own. Even though the country has centuries-old traditions related to social nudity, only recently have nude temazcal (sweat bath) experiences become more popular. Even though AANR continues to debate, as recently as earlier this month at their national conference, which areas of Mexico belong in which of its US regions, Mexico has finally debuted its own national naturist organization, the Federación Nudista de México. And even though Zipolite beach in Oaxaca had been unofficially nudist for decades, the town leaders only recently designated their beach as the first official nude beach in Mexico. The laid-back vibe of Zipolite contrasts with Mexico’s luxury naturist resorts along the Riviera Maya, the oldest of which has been around only a little more than a decade.

Into the momentum of this newly invigorated Mexican naturist environment come Héctor, Andrea, and their friends who are the founders of NNG, or Naturaleza y Nudismo Guadalajara. Located in Mexico’s second-largest city, they are getting ready to celebrate their organization’s one-year anniversary in September 2017.

Young, energetic, and media-savvy, NNG’s leaders have been able to market and host many events ranging from camping excursions outside the city, to nude dinners and pool parties at locations in the city. Among their many activities is a photo project called Cuerpos Reales (Real Bodies), for which they’ve posed to promote body acceptance against media portrayals of idealized bodies.

Cuerpos Reales project sample
Poster for nude yoga gathering
The group’s urban headquarters, in a central area of Guadalajara, are located in a building they’ve named Casa Club NNG. This is where English conversation hours and yoga classes are currently offered. Participants in these events pay modest fees toward the cost of rent, furniture, appliances, and upkeep of the Casa Club.

A few photos of the Casa Club NNG
The word naturista in Mexico is used to designate health food stores, homeopathic healing, and the like. This is why what is often called naturism in English gets put under the concept nudismo. That term, with its focus on nudity, can be a bit daunting in terms of trying to open people to naturism, so the NNG leaders cleverly decided to pair it with the word naturaleza (nature) in the name of their organization. Similarly, their logo features one of the native plants most associated with their region – the agave, from which tequila is produced – and a mother with her baby, a natural association for nudity.

Another successful way in which Andrea, Héctor and company have framed nudismo is by linking it to body acceptance in a specifically Mexican context, el acoso (harassment). Because of Mexican culture’s machista heritage, harassment as an everyday occurrence–catcalls, unwanted attention, unwanted physical contact–has been tolerated too long. NNG started a campaign to encourage women to reclaim their personal bodily integrity by documenting and reporting acts of harassment. In this proactive way, the organization forges a strong, locally focused relationship to social correctives like body acceptance, corporal autonomy, and gender equality, as a way of creating interest in the group and its activities.

The NNG founders have filmed a number of videos available on their site, helping make available more Spanish-language information on naturism. Additionally, Héctor wrote a two-part piece for Young Naturists America (available in both English and Spanish), and was interviewed on the Naturist Living Show, in which he talks about his first experience with social nudity at Guadalajara’s World Naked Bike Ride. Héctor, Andrea and friends also produce a very professional podcast, in Spanish, called Desnudólogos (Nudologists).

Héctor

Stay tuned for a new online fundraising campaign with the goal of helping these urban naturist pioneers continue to fund their programming at Casa Club NNG!

Orient Land Trust

Orient Land Trust is one of the most storied naturist locations in the United States. This Colorado territory is the perfect conjunction of The Naturist Society + The Nature Conservancy (and a half dozen other organizations as well). The huge acreage includes numerous hiking trails, a ranch, a mine, and so much more. Their comprehensive programming lists a bat cave tour, astronomy hikes, and many other options. The best known part of the park is the area called Valley View Hot Springs, so named for the view of San Luis Valley from these natural thermal baths.

My family and I were enjoying a week of vacation travel through Colorado, and we planned to visit Orient Land Trust. (It’s necessary to call ahead and reserve your visit, even for a day visit like ours, since the number of visitors per day is limited.) From Pueblo, it’s about a three-hour drive to Valley View Hot Springs. Most of the journey takes you along curvy mountain roads with gorgeous views of the Arkansas River headwaters, until you reach the San Luis Valley for the last long stretch, and make the turn onto the prairie land fronting the property. The dirt entrance road is visible in the photo below, in the view from the iconic “infinity-edge” pond that is the lowest of the three Top Ponds cascading one into the other.

After registering at the office and paying the entrance fee, we drove into the campsite area and got naked. First we walked around a bit, to see the common area and pool, and then we enjoyed a picnic lunch at a table with a valley view. In just the few hours that we were there last Thursday, we sampled the main Soaking Pond, the Top Ponds, and the Waterfall Pond, and hiked past the Meadow Pond as well. The hike to the Top Ponds is a bit of a challenge, especially if you are still getting used to the Rocky Mountain altitude, but it is well worth it!

Along the drive into the property, almost at the gate, we were thrilled when a pronghorn antelope leaped across the road a little ways ahead. On the way out, we saw two antelope.

Pronghorn antelope

The staff was friendly, the visitors too (and represented a great range of age and ethnic diversity), and the natural experience was overall quite dramatic as the heat of the afternoon dissipated into storm clouds. We left just ahead of the downpour.

Storm approach

Orient Land Trust is a beautiful, sacred place, with a host of programming and much more acreage that we simply didn’t have time to experience. Definitely for the next visit it would be worth planning far ahead in order to stay in one of the cabins or tent sites on the property, and have more time to enjoy and socialize and learn.

Upcoming Review on Clothesfree Riviera Maya

My two partners and I recently traveled along the Riviera Maya, staying in and visiting clothing-optional locales. I wrote a review that I was going to publish here, but I decided to see if N, quarterly magazine of The Naturist Society, would be interested in publishing it… and they are! Hopefully it will appear in the next issue, due out in August.

At the clothing-optional beach called El Ultimo Maya

In the meanwhile, I’m posting here links to the places we stayed or visited, and a couple photos not submitted to the magazine.

A walkway at Azulik
Rooftop pool at Intima suite
Palapa on Hidden Beach
Mahekal (not clothing-optional)
A hazy morning at Mahekal
It was a terrific trip! I hope you can access the upcoming review in N if you would like more details.

Training Pants-less

This past weekend (June 9-11, 2017) there were several World Naked Bike Rides held in cities in various countries. I’ve never participated in a WNBR, although I hope to have the chance someday. But meanwhile, in the city where I live, there was a 3-day biking event over the weekend, involving several different races, lots of competitors from out-of-town… and all of it was completely clothed. And by completely clothed, I mean the bikers were wearing that fluorescent, synthetic bikewear that’s so ubiquitous these days.

If you’re into biking, or if you’ve ever been to a bike shop, you know that bike apparel is a BIG DEAL. As in, you can’t just wear regular clothes on your bike. Oh, no! You have to wear water-wicking, skin-squeezing, synthetic stuff that looks about as eco-friendly as, well, gasoline. Which is one of the reasons I like the WNBR. I suspect many of the participants are regular bikers who buy and wear that stuff, but, at least on WNBR day, they can feel the air rushing over them as they roll along – a wonderful sensation and also: air = best water-wicker ever.

This is also why I love naked yoga. The yoga clothing industry thrives on the idea that you can’t just do yoga in gym shorts and a t-shirt (although of course many people do). For companies like LuluLemon, the widespread acceptance of naked yoga would shut them down. Or at least radically alter their business plan.

The same applies for all kinds of activities as well, including such basics as running and swimming. You can spend a lot of time and money on apparel, OR, you can just, like, do it naked already. So much better for you, for your wallet, for the environment. So much healthier!

But so, how do you get there? How do you move from clothing-dependency to clothing independence? Well, training isn’t only about the gym.

The textile industry markets TRAINING pants for toddlers learning bladder control.
Toddlers are effectively trained to wear pants.

The textile industry markets TRAINING bras for adolescent girls anxious about their appearance.
Young women are effectively trained to wear bras.

The textile industry markets TRAINING shoes and exercise clothing of all kinds, to all sectors.
Everyone is effectively trained to wear clothes to exercise.

What we need is not training pants, but training pants-less!

For some people, it takes a bit-by-bit approach. Walking up the stairs, or down the hall, or even across the room barefoot, then shirtless, then in just your underwear, then naked… etc. – this is an act that for many nudists and naturists seems basic, but can detonate an extraordinary revolution for those unaccustomed to daily, ’round-the-house nudity, for those not yet accustomed to cleaning, cooking, sleeping and other regular activities in the nude.

Those first few steps beyond the door of your home, or beyond the cabin, tent, or even the clothing-optional resort hotel room, who knows – these are the precious prologue to a pilgrimage of naturism, the path toward body acceptance and awareness of human embodiment in nature.

And just as it can be a gradual process – this untraining from pants, or training pantsless – it can also take time to train yourself to be nonchalantly nude around others doing the same. There is a natural range of abilities in this training process, as in any other. Some people take to the clothesfree life like ducks to water. Others, for whatever reasons (and there are many), need more time, more practice training.

But like any training worth the effort, the results are fantastic. When you can accept your unadorned body for what it is, and as one among many such bodies, and as a part of the natural environment, then you have truly gained in health and wisdom, with spillover benefits in spirituality, environmental consciousness, even economics.

images from Tumblr
Off with the pants!