Wild Child of the Forest

“How naked, and–how bold!” These are Mother Wolf’s words to describe the man-cub discovered in the jungle, who has come to drink her milk with the other cubs. The wolves are astounded by the child’s lack of fur, so Mother Wolf names him for his smooth skin: Mowgli, meaning “frog” in Hindi. That man-cub is,Continue reading “Wild Child of the Forest”

The Naked Knight

A Nugget of Nudist Nonsense There once was a knight who, to small stature born,went out in the world wearing all could be worn.He dressed endless layers of cotton and woolto fit ‘neath the armor he always wore full. How a man schall be armyd at his ese He sweat, and he stank, from suchContinue reading “The Naked Knight”

Anything Goes?

“In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking. Now, heaven knows, Anything Goes!” -Cole Porter American composer Cole Porter’s marvelous musical Anything Goes debuted on Broadway in 1934, in the middle of the Great Depression. The American Sunbathing Association, precursor to today’s AANR, was just three years old at theContinue reading “Anything Goes?”

From Forest to Garden

Tenho saudades dos escritos de Ed Garden. Ed Garden was (maybe still is?) a young naturist based in Brazil who set up a terrific naturist blog called Nus Pela Terra (Nudes Around the / For the World) at nuspelaterra.com.br. He compiled a terrific variety of posts on everything from public nudity to the philosophy ofContinue reading “From Forest to Garden”

Pixelization = Titillation

Far from supposedly protecting the innocent or the easily offended, pixelization on TV or in the movies actually increases prurient and overtly sexual interest in the body. Can there be any doubt that the TV networks and the government don’t realize this? Of course they do: sex sells. Bars or spots covering the breasts, buttocksContinue reading “Pixelization = Titillation”

Stripping and Teasing

One Monday morning in the fall semester of 1997 or 1998, when I was an assistant professor at a university in Alabama, the phone rang in my office.  “Are you married?” the female voice asked.  “Yes, why?”  “My friend, So-and-so, used to be your student. She’s getting married this weekend and we’d like to knowContinue reading “Stripping and Teasing”

In the Spotlight: Nudity and Performance

Performance theorist Richard Schechner on the contradictions of “nakedness”: “Nakedness reverberates in apparently contradictory directions. A naked baby, a naked corpse, a naked person asleep. A naked prisoner running a gauntlet of truncheon-wielding concentration-camp guards. Dreams of being naked alone among a crowd of the dressed. Naked and seductive; hundreds of naked people sunning onContinue reading “In the Spotlight: Nudity and Performance”

On Reserve

Unwrapping the Sensory Mechanics of Nudity There are certain body parts that the twin social strictures of religion and politics most want to cover—or, more accurately, to bind. These parts are put on reserve, so to speak: under wraps. According to the rules of repression, they can’t be checked out, or unwrapped, except by special,Continue reading “On Reserve”