The other day I was chatting to my boyfriend and I made a joke about wanting to be naked constantly and he laughed. Then I asked him if he would spend a weekend naked and his answer was a Big Fat NO.
He’s just not that comfortable with being naked and this made me start thinking about all the other people I know who hate being naked too.
I have friends who prefer sex with the lights off so that they don’t have to see their own fleshy bits or who are just so uncomfortable with their bodies that they cringe at the thought of spending more time than necessary being starkers.
Which, personally, I think is unfortunate.
Being naked is awesome and so freeing. It’s also fun just to play video games while you’re sitting completely naked on a chair and no one else knows. It’s like a secret with yourself.
Also, nudity shouldn’t only be seen as sexual. Yes, we get naked when we’re about to do something intimate with our partners, but our bodies are more than just for procreation or bathing and we should be able to enjoy them for what they are.
I spoke to Dr Jaclyn Lotter, Head of Programmes at the South African College of Applied Psychology, about why people are so afraid to be naked and while she says she doesn’t think people from all cultures are afraid to be naked, social convention has played a large role how comfortable people feel.
“It is important to remember that clothing is a social convention that has largely been shaped by cultural and religious practices around the world. We are taught by our families and community how much of our body we are permitted or expected to show and these expectations will differ from place to place, and from culture to culture,” says Dr Lotter.
Dr Lotter then points to one of the oldest stories out there about being shamed of nakedness – the story of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit and realising they were naked and seeking to hide it.
Original publication 13 July, 2018
Posted on NatCorn 15th February 2021
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