Many naturists feel a significant urge to be naked whenever practical. It’s almost as though being naked is an emotional “need” that they have. We’re going to consider whether this can be a genuine need for some people.
Let’s begin by discussing “needs” in general. There are different types of needs. Two of the most obvious types are physical needs and emotional needs. Physical needs include, for instance, water, food, and sleep. If a person is fully deprived of this type of need, that person will die before too long. Even in the case of sleep, prolonged deprivation will result in going crazy, before eventually dying.
Emotional needs can have a similar urgency, though deprivation of them is usually not fatal. Such needs include affection, love, self-esteem, and a sense of worth and competence. Sex is mostly an emotional need, albeit a very urgent one for some people. Yet there are many other people who seem to be quite content without sexual gratification from another person. (Everyone else may find that astonishing.)
There are still other types of needs – health needs, for instance. This category includes various things usually essential for optimal health, such as exercise, a few critical vitamins and minerals, and a balanced diet. Everything mentioned so far suggests that there are quite a few different things that may be considered “needs”, and there’s no simple way to characterize the general concept of “need”.
Various detailed taxonomies of needs exist – Abraham Maslow’s, for instance. Maslow originally classified needs into five separate types: “physiological”, “safety”, “love/belonging”, “esteem”, and “self-actualization”. Examples of each type are probably fairly obvious, except perhaps for “self-actualization”. There’s plenty of discussion of this classification on the Web, so we’ll go into it just a little, later on.
One aspect of this scheme is that the different types are ranked in a hierarchy from “lowest” upward. The idea is that for most people to be able to satisfy the needs on a particular level, it is necessary to first have lower levels of need adequately satisfied. For instance, the “physiological” needs (which we referred to as “physical”) obviously have to be met to some extent (not necessarily as fully as desirable) before working on the other needs. So in some sense, the “lower” needs are at least as important as the “higher ones”. But it’s quite controversial whether this hierarchy is very strict, especially at the upper levels. In any case, that’s a complex question, somewhat independent of the classification itself.
It’s not even clear that some needs fit well in just one of Maslow’s types. If being naked actually is a human need (for some people), where would it fit? Would it be a matter of self-esteem? Or connectedness with others (“love/belonging”)? Or perhaps “self-actualization” even?
Source: Naturist Philosopher
Original publication 7 June, 2016
Posted on NatCorn 2nd March 2021
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