Should certain parts of the body be considered “private”?
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Should certain parts of the body be considered “private”?

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It would be surprising if most naturists’ answer to that wouldn’t be a firm “no!” Or probably “hell, no!” After all, naturists enjoy being naked, and may reasonably choose to be naked in the presence of others – as long as it’s practical and their nudity shouldn’t cause offense.

Genuine naturists aren’t exhibitionists who get an illicit thrill by not covering parts of the body that most societies tend to regard as “private”. So that’s not why they answer “no” to the question in the title. Rather, it’s because naturists – at least those who’ve considered the issue – think the idea is mistaken that certain parts of the body should be considered “private”.

There’s more at stake here than some abstract dispute about what body parts should or should not be considered “private”. That’s because the ability of naturists to practice and promote their beliefs in the wholesomeness of the naked human body hinges on opinions about this issue.

Before proceeding, let’s be clear about some things. To begin with, we’re talking about “privacy” in terms of whether or not certain body parts are visible to others. So only external body parts are involved, and not parts internal to the body that would almost never be seen by others. In particular, the parts in question are really just what’s found in the pubic area, and female breasts (especially the areolas).

In contemporary Western societies, at least, that’s about it. In recent times bare buttocks have to a considerable extent emerged from the “must be private” category. (Especially considering some women’s bikinis.) Even Facebook tolerates bare butts. (But don’t dare turn around.) 100 years ago, even bare male chests were in the shouldn’t-be-seen-on-the-beach category. And not long before that, female ankles and calves. So opinions about what should or not be seen “in public” changes with the times.

Another important point is that what body parts should be considered “private” will be very different when the question is about others touching the parts, not merely being able to see them. This is an entirely different issue. Even naturists are very careful when physical contact is the issue, not merely visibility. In fact, there’s probably general agreement among both naturists and others that nearly all of a person’s body should be considered private as far as touching is concerned. Except in various special circumstances, contact with others’ bodies should occur only with clear consent.

Now, with all that out of the way, let’s get to the basic issue. The central problem is that almost all contemporary societies have a fairly firm concept of “public” vs. “private” parts. The former are “OK for others to see”. The latter are “should always be covered”. Obviously, that way of thinking means naturism has to be confined to private homes (and maybe most of the time not even then), or else places like naturist resorts, officially permitted clothing-optional beaches, and (perhaps) out-of-the-way hiking and camping areas.

Naturists, if they wish to stay out of trouble, accept as a practical matter the need to go along with this. But they shouldn’t have to, and should advocate for changing this whole way of thinking.

Continued…Read full original article…

Source: Naturistplace Blog

Original publication 23 October, 2020

Posted on NatCorn 28th October 2020

Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.

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