Even as I am sitting here, tapping away at my keyboard, I am not wearing any clothes. Naked is my normal, my default state. I feel most true to myself when I’ve got nothing on, and if I could move to Ilmarinen, to never have to see another pair of underwear, you can be certain I’d be packing (my rather light baggage) to board the next plane out. Now, if you’re not one of my regular readers, you may be thinking, WTF? This guy’s pervy. Normal people wear clothes!
I have spent a lot of time discussing the social benefits of nudism, why body taboos are unethical, why censoring nudity is harmful, and why this would be a better world without shame. But throughout these legal and moral arguments, I feel the true message of nudism has gotten lost. Sure, we should have the freedom to live without clothes, but what sick person would want to? The reasons I choose to be a nudist is something I feel I have failed to adequately express, but the simple answer is: naked feels good and naked feels natural.
Coming to this realization is like discovering some great truth, tantamount to a religious experience, a form of Buddhist-like enlightenment. Through the practice of nudism, I feel that I have been made privy to a secret about the human species that most people are not aware of, or cannot understand.
Your Amazing Skin
Most people will never fully experience the sensations their bodies are designed to feel. Your epidermis is much more than an outer layer holding in your blood and muscles and bones, but the largest organ in the body, and it has remarkable properties. Pores perforate us from head to toe, allowing us to absorb oxygen in ways other animals can’t. Oil glands underneath those pores produce sebum, which lubricates the skin, so that it doesn’t dry out under the sun. A protein called elastin gives the body its flexibility. You have only to look at an athlete, or a contortionist, or a woman’s pregnant belly to see evidence of the skin’s remarkable rubber-band like quality. Melanin, a brown pigment that gives humans their color, also acts as a protective shield against high energy particles from our closest star, helping shield our DNA from damage, and ultimately skin cancer—and the more time we spend under those harmful gamma rays, the more melanin our skin produces, which we call “getting a tan.” Our skin also helps to maintain internal temperature, bristling with tiny hairs when we are cold, and producing sweat when we are hot. Shedding heat through sweat glands enables a marathon runner to outlast a horse in a long distance race. As if that wasn’t remarkable enough, we synthesize vitamin D using sunlight, without which we could become very ill, in a process that starts in the skin. Most importantly, I feel, nerve endings under every micrometer of our epidermis (a thousand per square inch) allows us to experience pain, pleasure, and the infinite variety of textures that makes up our world.
All of this suggests to me that our skin evolved to be exposed to the elements. Anyone can feel the effects of the sun on their bare body, how their small hairs change with the direction of the wind, or know whether the surrounding air is wet or dry. Nudists love to be outdoors for this very reason. It has nothing to do with letting others gawk at us, or becoming sexually aroused. We also love the water because of how it feels. And yes, I know a dermatologist will insist that a parasol, hat and burqa be worn at all times under the sun, which is why I was so surprised to meet a nudist dermatologist at a resort in Cancun.
In our everyday lives, we put great emphasis on sight and hearing, and to a lesser extent, taste, but how often do we really think about touch? The largest organ in your body is devoted to it, more nerve endings working to deliver information about your surroundings than exist in your eyeballs, and yet we make every effort to stifle this sensation. Aside from smell, touch is our most neglected sense, which is tragic, when you consider that the only way we can know anything—truly experience being alive—is through our five senses.
Source: Being and Nakedness
Original publication 29 October, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 19th April 2021
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