General Question

justus2's avatar

Is it ok to take your children on a nudist beach?

Asked by justus2 (851 points ) May 5th, 2009

My fiance and I both fully intend on taking out children to nudist beaches from the time they are born and up so have the slightest chance of being self conscious

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

194 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Sure, why not? It’s just the human body. Nudity has never been an issue in my house. I’ve always felt that openness with regards to nudity is healthy for a family. It’s the way I was raised and it’s the way I’ve raised my children.

Ivan's avatar

Liberal: Sure!
Conservative: No!

Thread over.

casheroo's avatar

Well, my husband and I never sat down and talked about how strongly we feel about taking our son to a nudist beach. I didn’t know about that parental conversation, it’s not in any of the books.

SeventhSense's avatar

I don’t see why not as long as it’s a family friendly beach and not mainly single men or something. I don’t go to nude beaches but I wish I was raised more open. Not that anyone in my family including my parents were prudes.
Good for you or should I say JUSTU2 + kids.

Likeradar's avatar

I think it’s ok as long as the kids are comfortable with it. You say you want to take them there from birth on up… there will come a time they don’t want to get nekkid in front of strangers or see nekkid strangers, and that needs to be respected.

Blondesjon's avatar

Didn’t you just ask a question about being a registered sex offender?

PupnTaco's avatar

(Liberal): No!

Too many pervs out there.

wundayatta's avatar

Yes, as long as they are wearing virtual reality goggles that can “massage” reality so that Newt Gingrich would approve. Oh. Wait. Didn’t he have several affairs while in office?

SeventhSense's avatar

@Blondesjon
You might be on to something there. Hate to stereotype but as an intro to Fluther those two questions back to back?...ehhh… wording a typo?- fully intend on taking out children not our children

Blondesjon's avatar

@daloonGingrich. Are you doing this on purpose?

wundayatta's avatar

Thanks, @Blondesjon. I went back and forth, and finally went with the wrong one. But it’s fixed now. You must admit, he has a weird name, and it must be hard for even him to remember how to spell it.

ccbatx's avatar

It depends on how they would feel when they get on the beach. Also what the kids are like. I mean if you were a kid, wouldn’t you have the smallest urge to shout ‘why is everyone naked?!’ Think of all the sides before making the final decision for them. Also remember that when kids are in high school, they remember those things, and they end up telling their friends about stories of when they were little and their parents took them to a nude beach. Think of the future a bit, you know?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

i dont think its a problem
my kids see me nude all the time
half the time my breastsare hanging out cause im breastfeeding while trying to control a toddler..other times we all showertogther

Ivan's avatar

@ccbatx

I think the idea is to make it so the kid doesn’t think “Why is everyone naked?!” If they are comfortable with nudity, they won’t find it awkward. Also, I don’t think what your child is going to tell their friends in high school should ever really be a factor in your parenting.

kate1746's avatar

Eww.. no. Wait until they get old enough to make that decision on their own.

kate1746's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Umm.. it’s one thing for your kids to see you naked but to force them to see random strangers naked & vice versa is a little off.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@kate1746 we make lots of decisions, as parents, for our children
implying that this is somehow controversial just means that you aren’t comfortable with it but doesn’t mean it actually IS controversial and yes I understand seeing their mother naked is different from seeing others naked but it wouldn’t be forcing…no more than going to a ‘regular’ beach is forcing them to hang out with stupid people of which there are plenty of everywhere, clothes or not

ccbatx's avatar

@Ivan

It shouldn’t be a factor in parenting unless the school contacts the parents and asks them why they’re taking theirchildren to nude beaches. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing what makes your kid comfortable, but there are other ways of them being perfectly happy with themselves than to let all the naked people see them. Plus, with all the diseases going around these days, how well could an exposed area be to kids who are barely developing an immune system?

YARNLADY's avatar

While our own house is clothing optional, I would never consider encouraging children to engage in public nudity.

casheroo's avatar

@kate1746 It’s not “forcing” a child to do anything.

kate1746's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I wonder how social services would feel? Are there any social workers on this thing? Whatever, to each his own, but not really. To each & his family his own. Just wondering, did your parents take you to nudist beaches as a child? Are those some of your fondest early childhood memories? I also find it interesting that you think all the people at normal beaches (which i’m assuming are the beaches requiring swimsuits) are stupid.

Ivan's avatar

@ccbatx

“unless the school contacts the parents and asks them why they’re taking theirchildren to nude beaches.”

That is none of the school’s business.

“how well could an exposed area be to kids who are barely developing an immune system?”

What? What do you mean by “diseases?” Are you suggesting that these kids are going to get STD’s simply by being in the presence of naked people? If you are referring to your average diseases, how are nude beaches any different than regular beaches?

cak's avatar

I would lean more on the side of not taking them, as children, without the ability to say yes or no to the choice. I think I do believe that there is a different between home clothing optional and public nudity. That’s just my opinion, though. I don’t think it’s inherently wrong to take children, but you might experience some issues (possibly teachers, possibly other parents – children talk, it happens.) and you need to be prepared for those issues.
!
Wear good SPF!! (more than 15 and reapply, often.)

ccbatx's avatar

@Ivan
Public and private education get further and further into people’s lives as time goes on, and they get stricter and stricter about their policies. I don’t make the rules. I wouldnt call home if I heard that, but I’m not a superintendent of a school district.

“Diseases” was perhaps the wrong word. “Infections” is more what I meant. Imagine how many nude bodies sit on the floor of that beach every single day, and how many of those people could have infections. Then those kids sit on the floor of that beach where those same people have sat. It’s the same anywhere, whether it be in a public bathroom or a nude beach. Anywhere you have to be careful, especially somewhere where there aren’t clothes involved.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I’d hold off myself. Sometimes kids get weird ideas about nudity.
You don’t want to be the parent of the kid who wants to get naked at school.
That’s a whole bunch of uncomfortable meetings with the teacher right there.

Ivan's avatar

@ccbatx

I’m sorry, but that’s just paranoia. You don’t catch STD’s from sitting on sand that an infected person has sat on.

SeventhSense's avatar

It’s as normal as the parents make it. True nudism has nothing to do with sex or eroticism.

kate1746's avatar

@Ivan actually you can catch chlamydia and crabs from a pool bench but it’s very rare & i don’t think it matters if you are wearing a bathing suit or not.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Ivan “none of the school’s business” The business of the school is to provide for the welfare of the students, among other things. It definitely IS the school’s business.

Likeradar's avatar

@YARNLADY Do you think seeing naked people on a beach isn’t good for kids?

Ivan's avatar

@YARNLADY

The business of the school is to provide the child with an education. Besides, what does a child’s attendance at nude beaches have to do with their welfare?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

As most people know who frequent nude parks and clubs, there is a certain etiquette involved when it comes to sitting on public surfaces. Nudists carry towels to keep from leaving ‘calling cards’ on public benches, etc. There is no greater chance of catching anything as there is at a regular clothed beach.

I love how paranoid Americans are about nudity in general. The Europeans and Russians see it as perfectly normal, and the majority of ‘regular’ Americans are so hung up on sex (equating nudity with sexual activity) that going to a nude beach is seen as perverted or undesirable.

I especially enjoy how the Religious Reich like to equate family nudity at social naturist parks as an ellicit place for child molesters to get their rocks off.

God, I so do not belong in this country.

YARNLADY's avatar

Bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections may be acquired by contact at the beach. This can include e-coli, hepatitis and HIV which can be deposited on the sand. These substances can be present at any beach, but especially nude beaches, where bodily fluids are more prevalent.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@YARNLADY bacterial infections can be acquired in one’s home. Just last month, a relative brought a small child over to my house, and while my wife tried to keep the little ‘Petri dish with legs’ hands off of stuff, she picked empitago, which then entered a small sore on my wife’s face and damn near killed her. I don’t think your argument has much merit, as ALL kids are breeding grounds for germs, whether they are at a beach or in the front room.

Ivan's avatar

@YARNLADY

I imagine the school should prevent children from using public restrooms or the city bus, too.

SeventhSense's avatar

@YARNLADY
These substances can be present at any beach, but especially nude beaches, where bodily fluids are more prevalent
Come on I doubt that highly. And like a tiny wet hot bathing suit is a protection against bactertia or pathogens as sand goes everywhere regardless?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@SeventhSense well, don’t you know, bathing suits are water proof and naked people are constantly leaking fluids everywhere. No little kid in a swimsuit would dare piss in the public pool.

kate1746's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Sex is not everything to do with it. You said it though, were not in Europe or Russia. In America the general thinking is that nudist beaches colonies are weird- not the norm. I don’t think it would be fair to subject my kids to something that would make them feel uncomfortable in the future about among there peers.

kate1746's avatar

.. and you can not get HIV from the sand. The virus is dead once it is airborn.

cak's avatar

@YARNLADY – Unless I’m terribly mistaken the survival for the HIV virus, outside of the body and existing in the sand would be very rare. (very rare._) It needs a host. A little research should quickly dispel that rumor.

SeventhSense's avatar

@kate1746
It’s not weird if you are a nudist and raised to not have shame.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@kate1746 there are plenty of American families that belong to nudist (or naturist) groups, and they take everyone, the kids, the parents, the grandparents, and it has nothing to do with sex. I’m not saying force your kids to go, but if they are raised without shame, then there is no problem. Nudity in public isn’t about sex, its about the freedom to be who you are without hiding it behind clothing.

First timers to a nude beach are understandably nervous, thinking everyone is focusing on naughty bits, but the fact is, most naked people don’t care that you are naked. Should you sprout an erection at a nude beach, you are asked to leave until you can control yourself.

Equating nudity with sex is so 19th Century.

kate1746's avatar

@SeventhSense I was not raised a nudist & i have absoluetly no shame of my body, at all. Still, if i went to a nudist beach, most people would think i was odd. I wouldn’t care. I just think I would wait until my children could make the decision on their own.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@kate1746
you’re not reading carefully
i said there are plenty of stupid people that’d take advantage of kids everywhere, clothes or not

and I don’t need to ask social services about my parenting as I’ve never been under the impression that an understaffed, underfunded, frustrated field such as social work knows anything better than an educated person like myself

my parents never took me to nude beaches – something I don’t think is relevant but thanks for asking…here’s what if you have children and you dont like this idea, dont’ take ‘em

kate1746's avatar

@SeventhSense It’s the way I was raised i guess. My parents didn’t baptize me, because they didn’t want to make that choice for me.. just an example. Sorry it’s off topic.

Ivan's avatar

@kate1746

Are you suggesting that we should never subject our children to anything that society arbitrarily deems “odd?”

SeventhSense's avatar

@kate1746
because…..you weren’t raised as a nudist…neither was i but even though i might not do it it’s actually more normal and healthy in my estimation.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Ivan, then I vote for not subjecting children to religion, as that is as freaking odd as it gets, you know, a zombie saviour and all those talking animals.

cak's avatar

There was a nudist beach in Florida, close to the beach I used to go to on weekends, with my friends. They were so relaxed, compared to us. A few guys got kicked off the beach for sneaking on to take photos. Nudist colonies, beaches or the natural lifestyle, is just as normal at breathing, to those that follow that lifestyle. I admire that ability to relax, so completely.

I guess, thought, I do consider some of the ramifications of that kind of a decision. My ex, for example, would fight (and probably win) custody of my daughter. It’s just not worth that risk. Also, I have a son that is obsessed with body parts. (women) He “gets” that it’s just part of being a woman, but isn’t – at his young age, mature enough to handle it yet. He is not punished for asking questions – not at all. I have never turned a question down. I still think he’s just not ready for anything this broad. I don’t think he would totally “get” it.

Every parent makes their own decisions. If you can stand behind it and really understand why you can make the decision, then great. It’s just in the cards for my family.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I also wanted to add that exposing kids to different life styles is important because it teaches them to fight the status quo better which is, at the very least, one of my goals as a parent – to make my children into critics of ‘the norm’

kate1746's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I won’t. And if you want to take yours, I’m certainly not telling you not too.. really just wondering what would happen if your 1st grader told his public school teacher he was going to a nudist colony? Would they call social services & would social services take any action?

Likeradar's avatar

@kate1746 I know you asked Simone, but… No. If the child showed no signs of abuse, the teacher absolutely should not do anything. At all.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@kate1746
I don’t know, I guess we’ll wait and see
The paternalistic attitude sometimes taken by the state against individual parents is a problem (not in all cases but in most) – where neglect is truly happening, there are not enough resources to help (how terrible are our foster systems) and where it’s none of their business like this particular example, all of a sudden, paranoid prudes are calling ACS…

fundevogel's avatar

My mom used to walk around the house naked, well she probably still does, but I don’t see it any more. She wanted to teach us not to be ashamed of our bodies, but really it just kind of undermined everyones privacy. my sister and I never felt the need to walk around naked in front of any of our family. We actively avoided it, which is what most people do.

Having mum swinging her junk in front of us wasn’t cool. I respect what she thought she was doing but, ultimately it felt more like she lacked a basic understanding bodily privacy and any concept of whether or not seeing her naked was something we were comfortable with.

So I don’t think nudism is wrong, but I don’t think it should come at the expense of the level of physical privacy one needs. And I don’t think it should be something a child has to go along with despite possible discomfort. Babies and toddlers should be fine but I would talk to an older child about how they felt about it before taking them.

kate1746's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Paranoid Prude. Cute, thanks.

Ivan's avatar

@kate1746

Now you are suggesting that we should base our parenting styles on what some ignorant teacher might say about it?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

See here, the odd thing most people don’t realize is that at a clothing optional beach (or club or park) is that the people who are not comfortable with being nude are allowed to wear clothing, as are people with certain temporary biological functions, i.e. menses, and such. It’s clothing optional, not no clothing allowed.

The fear of the human form is so hilarious when brought out into the light, and nudists really don’t care if you are nude or not; they are focusing on having fun with the whole family, not with what ‘junk’ you are sporting at the beach.

It’s a personal choice, and it’s something one would discuss with their kids before taking them. I would think parents could be able to talk to their kids about it first. As for social services, well, those people should just mind their own fucking business, or at least focus on the parents that abuse their kids physically or by giving them drugs and booze. A family going to the nude beach isn’t a crime, nor is it abuse.

Facade's avatar

I think you can teach a child that their body is beautiful and not to be ashamed of it without taking them to a nudist beach or something of the sort.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Facade, sure you can, and that is by far the most important thing. My parents taught me that the naked human body was sinful and that sex was filthy and nasty and that I could go to Hell for masturbation. Only as an adult have I discovered how fucking ignorant they were, filling my head with all that religion-based claptrap.

The point is, the human body is nothing to be ashamed of. We all have one, and we should take pride in our appearance, and take care of ourselves. Love who you are, whether it’s at home, or at a naturist park.

Facade's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra That’s what happens when people misinterpret things or believe everything they hear (referring to your parents)

kate1746's avatar

@Ivan NO. I was wondering what social services would actually do, if anything at all. As far as my parenting goes (which is really all that concerns me,) i feel that being nude, at a nude beach, is one of many decisions that i will let my children make when they are old enough to make them on their own. When they are old enough, whatever they decide, I will support.

Ivan's avatar

@kate1746

Well that’s fine, but that still won’t help them feel comfortable with nudity.

kate1746's avatar

@Ivan Again, I never went to a nudist beach & I am comfortable with my nudity. If I can somehow manage it, so can anyone else.

YARNLADY's avatar

@kate1746 Like you, I am comfortable with my nudity, and I actively avoid nude beaches at all cost.

AstroChuck's avatar

Goddamn. Has Judeo-Christian teaching fucked us up or what? Men and boys have penises. Women and girls have vaginas. They don’t make scary faces and bite people. My cats don’t seem to have a problem with their nudity because they’ve never been taught that some invisible man in the sky says that showing your junk is shameful. It’s just your body. BFD.

Jack79's avatar

Nudity and how you deal with it is a choice. You have to keep in mind what the social norms are where you are, and also that any decisions you make are going to affect how your children will grow up in the long run, so be consistent. Whatever choice you make will be the right one if you really believe in it.

For example, I let my daughter go around completely naked on any beach now, but I do want to make her self-conscious as she grows older and make sure she stays dressed when she’s in the city for example. I want her to undress whenever a doctor asks her to, and to trust her teacher to go with her to the loo if there is a need to do so (though she doesn’t let anyone except me touch her anyway). But I don’t want her to grow up and be a stripper for example, and I’m not even sure how I’d feel if she went topless on a beach as an adult.

As parents we are responsible for our children, and as long as we keep that in mind, even our mistakes will only be for the better. You seem to have thought this over properly, so it is probably the right choice as far as your own children are concerned, whatever others may say.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Wow. Just wow.

mamabeverley's avatar

When my son was little, he would shower with me all the time, otherwise I would never get one. The first time, my hubby freaked out. He is very private almost to the point of shame. Of course, by the time kids are aware of differences (really aware) I think you need to take cues from the kid. When they decide they want privacy or if as a parent you become uncomfortable. Being a mom with a boy, as soon as he started asking questions (like what happened to my penis, did it fall off?) and wanted to bathe alone, I knew it was time.

As for a nude beach, he is 12 now! I would never get him off the beach. He loves the women, all kinds of women. Thin or fat, white, black or asian. If they have boobs, it is all over! But, I have tried really hard to make him not ashamed of his body. If he chose to go when he was older, I’d tell him to go for it.

wundayatta's avatar

I try to teach my kids that there are different rules in different situations. I’m positive that if we ever did go to a nudist situation, they would not suddenly start shedding their clothes at school. They understand that there are different cultures with different rules, and that you can change to accommodate a different situation, but that does not change your home situation.

The last thing I wanted to do was to have my children feel ashamed of their bodies. Unfortunately, my son is. He refuses to change clothes in front of anyone. As I’ve been reading this question, it occurred to me that I might know where that came from. When he was in kindergarten, he was caught in the after school program, playing “doctor” with another boy. We tried not to shame him about this, and told him it is a normal thing to do, but you don’t do it at school. Maybe he didn’t get it.

Shame is a horrible thing, and it is a terrible way to teach other people or children lessons. It’s worse because we don’t need it in order to teach lessons. However, now that I’ve thought of this connection, I feel ashamed, because I failed as a parent in helping my son navigate the dangerous shoals of growing up in a puritanical society.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@daloon don’t be too hard on yourself, shame has a powerful influence on people, and in the puritanical mindset of America, its hard to remain above the levels of ignorance that are so prevalent in this country. A great book about nudity is this one. Another one is here but it is out of print and rather expensive to find. The fact that you are aware of it is quite telling as to what sort of parent you are. Much lurve to you.

mamabeverley's avatar

@daloon I agree with @evelyns_pet_zebra . My hubby will hardly change clothes in front of me. We have been together for nearly 20 years. Of course, his mother weighs herself in HER bathroom, with the door locked and with her robe on. HMMM I wonder where his issue came from! I am sure that you did not shame him, but maybe someone else did, like whoever ran the after school program. I find boys have an especially hard time. We are in 6th grade and my son told me they were already talking about “equipment size”. ( I really hate older brothers) Just be sure he knows that you have an “open door policy” In my house NOTHING is off the table of discussion, and it really helps. Just remember YOU DID NOT FAIL

asmonet's avatar

Lols @ccbatx, beaches having floors. fantastic.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@kate1746 i wasn’t implying you were a paranoid prude…as you’ve said you have no issue with your nudity or sexuality…which is great but also not an indication that kids shouldn’t be taken to nude beaches

nayeight's avatar

I think I would take my kids to a clothing optional beach. It’s a great idea to get them comfortable and familiar with the human body. I think I might have to start when they are young though and then I’m sure there will come a time when they hit 9 or 10 when they want their own privacy and then they might wear a bathing suit. But at least they will have the experience and not be freaked out about it.

@Jack79 What do you have against strippers?

Ria777's avatar

perfectly okay. I think the real tough dilemmas come with things like violent media and whether to allow them exposure to it.

SeventhSense's avatar

@AstroChuck
@evelyns_pet_zebra
It has nothing to do with true religion but is more a mindset of shame.
There are Christian Nudist resorts as well as secular. Furthermore I would actually think that resorts like Hedonism, which get such titillating press, do little for people feeling comfortable as per the non sexual nature of it. Our society is also innundated with an abundance of plastic surgery, body dismorphia, idealized bodies, hyper sexualized imagery and it all creates a myriad of mixed messages as to what’s public and what’s private.

Although true Naturism is non sexual/erotic, I don’t think we are mature enough as a society to have a society this open just yet. There are too many elements of shame and as daloon pointed out it can be more damaging to a child to have a message of “all natural” at home ony to confront a culture of shame in society at large. But the issue can not simply be a polarized issue between religion or secular. Opinions run the gamut of the spectrum and are more about a general trust and vulnerability people are willing to share with each other.
The human body is beautiful in its natural state regardless. Perhaps the causes of diseases which we have no cure for at current will someday be linked to psychosomatic origins. What does it really say about our respect for our own species if we reject its very form as something to be hidden and covered? The body is in conflict with the mind by such an attitude. Eventually it must emerge as an abberation-just a hypothesis.

SeventhSense's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra
Religious Reich is a bad descriptor as the Natural Body movement had its origins in Germany. Laws were just passed in Switzerland to keep naked Germans from hiking in the Alps :)

elijah's avatar

I don’t understand how not wanting to run around naked in public means I am ashamed of nudity. My children know all about their bodies, and I didn’t need to run around my home naked to prove it. I want my children to understand a body is not just skin and bones, it is you. I see no need for people to be completely nude on a beach besides they just have a need to prove how “forward thinking” they are. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be nude beaches because adults have a right to do it. But there’s no reason to expose kids to it. I taught my kids about death without exposing them to the morgue.
Whatever you chose to do, remember to cover the kid in sunscreen.

Jack79's avatar

@nayeight I have nothing against strippers (or anyone else for that matter). I just wouldn’t like my daughter to be one. Just like I wouldn’t like her to be a doctor or a journalist. But it’s her own choice, and when the time comes, I’ll support her in whatever it is she chooses.

My daughter can’t become a stripper anyway, because she has a scar that would show if she took all her clothes off. I want her to accept it as something normal, and I’ve told her all about how she got it. But I’m not sure people would find it sexy 20 years from now. (incidentally, I’m so used to it that I find it weird when I have to change my niece and her own body is scarless)

justus2's avatar

@elijah The reason to expose them to it is to see if they like it, if they are comfortable and enjoy it as we do then I see no reason not to, if they don’t like of course we wouldn’t force them to go, we won’t force them to ever do anything they don’t want to do.

elijah's avatar

Why is it necessary for them to like seeing strangers nude? What purpose do you think it would serve? You can teach them about their bodies at home in private, and not make it into something uneccessary. If you’re trying to tell a kid how special and wonderful their body is, why contradict yourself by saying a body is just a body and everyone should see it? When you have the birds and the bees talk, will you have him watch two people have sex because it’s just two natural bodies doing natural things?

YARNLADY's avatar

@elijah I wondered about that also. I have often believed our approach to sex doesn’t make much sense. I once imagined a school lesson like the one where they show us how to brush our teeth with a big plastic tooth and brush, only using a big plastic replica of male and female parts.

wundayatta's avatar

@elijah—I think the real question is why does anyone have a problem with people (adults or kids) being nude in public? What purpose, besides keeping us warm, does clothing serve?

When I was in a group of nude people, I found that it enhanced my ability to see each person’s uniqueness—and beauty, no matter what their bodies looked like! There is no way they blended into a mass of sameness. It has nothing to do with sex. It has to do with being honest about who you are. When you’re nude, you can’t hide anything, and that has an enormous effect on how people relate, as well—a good effect, in my opinion.

This takes us back to my second question about the purpose of clothing. Clothing is a status indicator. These days, that function is more important the warming function, imo. Without clothes, people are people, and not bankers, lawyers, teachers, maintenance men, or cucumber pickers. If you have never tried that, I doubt if you can imagine the impact it has.

elijah's avatar

I’m sorry, @daloon , but I think that doesn’t make sense. You can see people’s uniqueness and beauty without having to see people naked. If clothing is such a huge barrier then that barrier exists in your own mind. I know it has nothing to do with sex. Just because someone is nude doesn’t mean they can’t hide anything. Well besides physical objects. To assume people can’t hide emotion and true intent just because they are nude is silly. I don’t know, maybe I just don’t have a hard time dealing with people so I don’t see the benefits of being naked in front of everyone. To each his own, whatever floats your boat.
Every documentary I’ve seen regarding nudist colonies ends up being a bunch of slightly off their rocker older fat people. They act like a creepy commune.
Maybe I haven’t seen the positive side of what it can be. I just don’t think clothing makes people unrelateable.
I’m just saying I won’t do it, my kids don’t need it. I believe everyone has a right to be free so you do what you want and I’ll do what I want. Just don’t come to my BBQ naked! ;)

jonsblond's avatar

I wouldn’t take an older child to a nude beach if it was their first time but I see nothing wrong with taking younger children and having them exposed to this lifestyle. When I was going to college in central California, there was a nude beach that my friends and I visited all the time. Many families had their young children there. The atmosphere was very friendly. The only “weird” people at the beach were the lurkers walking around fully clothed trying to take pictures of the younger girls. The regulars were very nice, intelligent, “normal” people. I think a child will only have a problem with this type of lifestyle if their parents have a problem with it.

wundayatta's avatar

@elijah—Maybe I didn’t explain myself clearly. I’m asking you why we should be clothed? Your default assumption is that clothing is the norm, and nudity is abnormal. This wasn’t always the case. At some point, before mankind knew how to make clothes, nudity was the norm. Hell, in some places, it still is. Or maybe just a loincloth.

Clothing is a choice. I’m asking you (or anyone else) why you think clothing is the default (natural) state? You clearly have some strong reason to believe this, because you are quite strong on the point.

I wear clothes because it is abnormal not to. I have lived in this culture long enough that the thought of going naked is very weird. I wear clothes to keep me warm. I wear clothes to express my individuality, or the seriousness I wish to project. However, I’m not attached to the idea that clothing is normal. I can easily imagine a culture where nudity is normal, and I wouldn’t have a problem with it, if everyone else was doing it.

I have, in fact, experienced such a place. Clothing was optional in the hot springs, the swimming pool and on the beach. I found a surprising (to me) thing. I found that I judged how people looked while wearing clothes, but I didn’t do it when they were nude. Everyone was beautiful when nude. Other people I talked to said similar things. I thought that was very interesting. I like the idea of a world where no one judges you based on how you look.

elijah's avatar

@daloon I’m glad you found happiness there. That’s why I said it’s up to the individual. I’m not going to disect the reason why people wear clothes now. I don’t really care why. In the begining no one brushed their teeth or bathed more than twice a year, so your point of people used to do it isn’t a good reason. Just because people used to do something doesn’t make it the right way. I don’t want to argue about it, because you doing it doesn’t affect by life one way or the other. If it makes you happy, cool. I too like the idea of the world being less judgemental, but not wearing clothing isn’t going to make people not judge you. It’s natural for humans to classify things in order to understand. It only makes sense that the people you talked to there agreed, they too were nudists! That’s like asking penguins if fish is the best food in the world.

wundayatta's avatar

@elijah—that’s cool if you don’t want to answer my question. I’m guess I should let it go.

elijah's avatar

@daloon You never gave me a good reason why people shouldn’t wear clothes.
By saying I don’t care what other people do, that is an indirect answer to your question. I obviously can’t answer for all people.
Let me do this the right way.
Q- why should people wear clothes?
A- they shouldn’t if they don’t want to. My personal reasons for not being nude or taking my kids to nude beaches is because 1— I have no problem relating to people who wear clothes, I do not need them to strip in order for me to treat them without judgement.
I can’t say people should or shouldn’t, because there’s no right answer.

SeventhSense's avatar

I love fluther but this is what I hate about this site. Give a black and white answer and everyone is all over it. Give a fair and balanced response and ask people to think? Oh no we can’t have that. Who really gives a shit if anyone has an opinion one way or another. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink. But if we’re trying to understand an issue and be reflective, then one has to acknowledge that all points are equally valid. Otherwise what’s the fucking point? To live and die with one’s opinion carved in granite? Wow maybe I can be like Bill O’ Reilly or Jon Stewart and be a complete automaton for my side. Life is not black and white

AstroChuck's avatar

Mine doesn’t stick. I wash it vigorously.

shilolo's avatar

[mod says] This seems to have been a very well handled discussion. Let’s keep it that way.

[mod mode off] As for the Q, I don’t think I would take my kids, mainly because a nude beach isn’t my thing. Otherwise, I think, why not? My son loves to run around naked. He would go everywhere naked if we let him. I think he would enjoy a nude beach.

As for the above assertions regarding STDs at a beach, there is absolutely NO data supporting the transmission of STDs via sand. None, zero, zip. So, that should not be a concern.

YARNLADY's avatar

@shilolo I agree, there is no evidence of STD’s contracted at the beach, but my @YARNLADY comments are based on actual evidence, with the exception of HIV “Bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections may be acquired by contact at the beach. This can include e-coli, hepatitis…”

shilolo's avatar

@Yarnlady Yes, you can catch various things at the beach (though, I would love to see the evidence for many of your assertions), but wearing a bathing suit will not protect you from them. Are we then not to take our kids to the beach, period?

SeventhSense's avatar

@AstroChuck
while sniffing maybe you could acknowledge there’s other a*%*&%es in the room

YARNLADY's avatar

@shilolo The illnesses contracted at the beach are well documented, especially in surf and beach cities, such as San Diego, where my family lives. I personally will not go on the beach without being fully clothed, and I make sure my Grandson wears clothes and beach shoes as well, which he does get wet and sandy. However, the older children generally only wear bathing suits, shirts and by preference and they are required to shower frequently in the showers provided.

The older teens (especially my very immunodeficient nephew) wear wet suits or clothing at all times.

I remember as a child, myself, that getting sand in my hard to reach areas was the worst part of going to the beach, and that happened even with a bathing suit on.

YARNLADY's avatar

@SeventhSense Yup, I’m the one with the granny dress and hat : – )

SeventhSense's avatar

I’m just being silly. :o)

shilolo's avatar

@YARNLADY Since you said you live near San Diego, I took the liberty of looking up several years worth of beach/surf reports from the Department of Public Health in San Diego. You are correct that the water sometimes is contaminated with sewage from Tijuana (mainly). The thing is, the organisms they describe are run-of-the mill pathogens (E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Rotavirus, Norwalk Virus). I want to make a couple of points:
1. These mainly cause diarrhea that is self-limiting (with rare exceptions)
2. These bugs are much more likely to be caught by someone at day care, school or a restaurant than by the ocean
3. They are all primarily transmitted via a fecal-oral route. That means that all the clothing in the world won’t protect you if you go into the water and inadvertently drink-ingest some of these organisms.

The bottom line is that the beaches might be unsafe when there is an advisory, but in general, there is little to fear from the beach and the ocean.

YARNLADY's avatar

@shilolo I appreciate that you took the time to look this up. There is also a lot of information under the heading “surfers disease”. The County of San Diego has issued a notice that they no longer fund water sampling and all use of the beaches is at your own risk.

The worst case I read of was a child died of e-coli that he contracted at the beach in Santa Barbara, while I was living there.

The beaches in the Los Angeles Area are even worse, but the only ‘nude’ beach I know of is in the San Diego area – Black’s beach.

SeventhSense's avatar

@shilolo
And isn’t normal salt water actually good for some skin conditions?
Of course not the stuff that’s full of those other microbes..

DrBill's avatar

I am conservitive, I say take them.

I am Christian, I say do not be ashamed of how God made you. If God wanted us clothed, he would have clothed us.

If you raise your children without shame, they will not be ashamed.

God created man, man created shame.

jonsblond's avatar

@YARNLADY There is a nude beach called Pirate’s Cove 7 miles south of San Luis Obispo. It’s the one I used to go to. It’s beautiful but unfortunately it has many gawkers.

SeventhSense's avatar

@DrBill
If God wanted us clothed, he would have clothed us.

Well I agree except with the logic.
Ever try to give birth to a kid in a parka?

nayeight's avatar

@SeventhSense HAHAHA I am on the floor laughing! I just visualized a woman giving birth to a baby with a parka…LOL!

SeventhSense's avatar

Saves money on the swaddling clothes. :)

justus2's avatar

@SeventhSense I would except here is some more logic for it, if God wanted us in clothes he would have clothed us, and as far as how hard it would be giving birth, im sure he would have made it bigger and more possible to give birth to a pre clothed child, but thats not how we were made, we come into this world nude because that is our natural state

YARNLADY's avatar

@justus2 So is Wah-Wah and poo-poo and pee-pee our natural state, but I do not look forward to reverting to that in my last few years, do you?

SeventhSense's avatar

@justus2
Yes but we also created clothing because ice is tough on the bare hiney. Not that it makes any sense when it’s warm of course :)

PupnTaco's avatar

I heard you can catch Frisbees at the beach.

bright_eyes00's avatar

there is nothing wrong with the human body. it is a beautiful thing that God gave us. however, there are certain things that i feel children should not be exposed to until they are older. thats just me though. i’m not even close to self conscious either (trust me, after going through basic training in the military you lose any issues you have about your physical appearance) At least thats what happened to me…

i just feel that children shouldnt be exposed to certain things until later in life.

wundayatta's avatar

I think that what @bright_eyes00 just said hints at the underlying reason of why people are nervous about nudity. There are only certain things that we try to protect our children from, and one of the major ones is sexuality, and knowledge of sex. Since nudity, if done properly (;-), exposes sex organs, it is associated with sex, and we don’t want our kids exposed to sex. It’s embarrassing. “What’s that, Mommy? Why does that guy have such a hairy peepee?” Or, god forbid, “Why is that man’s peepee sticking up?”

Or, perhaps men and women are afraid they will see nude bodies, and they will get so aroused, they won’t know what to do. Everyone will be secretly masturbating under their beach blankets. Men won’t know how to keep from getting an erection.

I haven’t been at all that many nude beaches or places where nudity is common (maybe 3 or 4), but I’ve never seen a problem like this. It’s just bodies and no one makes a big deal of it. Most people are just sunning themselves, or swimming. Or they are in the baths together. Japan, for ages, had common public baths and the custom was to be unclothed in them. This may have changed in the last few decades, but perhaps it is still the custom.

The taboos about nudity are purely cultural. There is no objective reason for them. Americans are hungup about sex, so they think nudity is a big deal. Nudity = sex. Other cultures don’t make the same connection. So it’s no big deal, and parents don’t feel a need to protect children from it.

This question asks a normative question. There is no objective answer. It all depends on your personal taste, which is based on the culture you grew up in, or on your philosophical or political or religious ideas. If you think nudity is inextricably linked with sex, and if you think children shouldn’t know about sex, then it isn’t ok to take your children to a nudist beach. If you think nudity is just bodies, and isn’t related to sexual thoughts, or if you have no problem with your kids understanding what sex is, then you won’t have a problem taking your kids to a nudist beach.

bright_eyes00's avatar

@daloon I wasnt trying to associate nudity with sex. Just that I feel there are other ways of showing to your children you shouldnt be self conscious. I just dont feel it is appropriate for children to go to a nude beach. OF COURSE, keep in mind that i have never personally gone to one and if given the opportunity i would go and judge for myself and my perception would prolly change or it might not.

jonsblond's avatar

@bright_eyes00 You are right. If you have never been to a nude beach, you really have no idea how harmless it is.

wundayatta's avatar

The question @bright_eyes00, is why, having no experience with it, you feel it is inappropriate. I’m just guessing that the underlying factor is sex. I could be wrong, of course. I think there is a lot of knee-jerk response to this. It seems like a visceral response. It’s just wrong. You know that without thinking. I’m just trying to figure out where that response comes from. It’s a theory, if you will.

It’s kind of like the knee-jerk reaction to homosexuality. Some people just know it’s wrong before they think about it. These things have to come from somewhere. If it’s not this idea about sexuality, I have no clue. I have yet to hear any objective reason for this that stands up to scrutiny.

justus2's avatar

@YARNLADY no because I know more words than that but there is nothing wrong with that state but people make such a big deal out of nudity and it is so ridicilous.

@Seventh Sense. Yes that is a good reason to create clothes, not to protect children or anyone from seeing something that is completely natural, if clothes were only to protect us from being cold that would be great, but now people consider nudity something bad or something, clothing should be optional, not a requirement

bright_eyes00's avatar

@daloon I have no problem with homosexuals. I am comfortable in my skin. I just dont think its appropriate to show the world your body. dont get me wrong, i think the human body is beautiful. i’ve been to art museums where they displayed nude paintings and what not and i look at them as if they were art and i move on. i dont buy them and hang them in my home. i see them as what they are i give the artist credit and i go to the next painting. yes, i feel that the human body is a gift and what not and its one i want to share with ONE person. i dont want what is so special to me to be displayed to the world. i feel that God gave me this body and yes even if i think its a beautiful thing to be free in your skin i dont think its right to leave it out there in the open for the world. i’m not talking about sex when i say sharing it with one person, i’m just talking about a desire to reserve this beautiful gift from God for the eyes of one individual. thats one of the only things i can give someone which is all of me for him and him alone. i just dont feel think it would mean so much to someone if the world has seen what i think is special. No sexual implications there. just giving yourself fully to the mind and eyes of one person. thats how i feel. i’m not close minded to the idea of a nudist beach its just not for me and i really dont think i would raise my children in that environment either. thats all.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have taken my children to clothing optional pool parties at private homes, but I still see no positive reason to go to a public beach to help your children be comfortable with their body. You won’t expect/allow them to walk nude through the mall, so what are you teaching them there, to be ashamed of their bodies? Of course not. It’s an attitude that is in the home that will count the most, not public exhibitionism.

El_Cadejo's avatar

sweeetness i just found out theres a nude beach in NJ.Those of you that have been to one seem to think pretty highly of them, I think I may check it out this summer

casheroo's avatar

@uberbatman a nude beach in jersey? no thank you haha

nayeight's avatar

@daloon Im so glad you mentioned the public baths in Japan! I used to live there and when I was little I went a few times. I loved going & yes it was all nude and seperated by sex. I was about 8 or 9 and there were Japanese & some American women of all ages, shapes, & sizes. I actually didn’t focus on them being naked and just wanted to enjoy the baths. They had an awesome pool & I think my friend even had a birthday party there (we did wear our suits for that). But I really wasn’t bothered at all by naked old ladies, I just wanted to have fun.

wundayatta's avatar

@nayeight, I think you missed a bet on that birthday party. To me, it seems entirely appropriate to be naked for someone’s birthday. After all, you are in your birthday suit!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Nudity comes in many forms. I have no problem being nude in front of my daughters, but my husband does not parade his junk in front of them. My oldest daughter is 8, and she is not permitted to go topless except around family women. It’s not that we teach our kids that nudity is bad, it’s simply a matter of privacy. My oldest knows the general differences between girls and boys, even without a sex talk yet, and she actually prefers to keep her privates covered.

I would not take my children to a nude beach. Our culture has so over-sexualized everything to the point of absurdity, and kids these days are bombarded with it at every turn. Because of that fact, I choose to keep my precious ones shielded from vulgarities that are ever present. If it were just nude people having a good time, and there were no playboy magazines that men beat off to, if there were no dick mags for women, if there were no highly controversial arguments about women breastfeeding in public, THEN I would have no problem taking my kids to a nude beach.

Since we are surrounded by all these things that tend to pervert nudity, I do not think children should be exposed to it until they are much older and capable of distinguishing between appropriate and inappropriate nudity.

Nude art is a beautiful thing. People cavorting naked in public are sure to be drooled over by someone nearby, and therein lies the problem.

SeventhSense's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate
People cavorting naked in public are sure to be drooled over by someone nearby, and therein lies the problemPeople cavorting naked in public are sure to be drooled over by someone nearby, and therein lies the problem

Some people are turned on by fire engines and arson. Should we shield our children from the Fire Department lest a firebug be masturbating nearby? That’s absurd. The titillatting aspects of sexuality are the taboo, the hidden and the covered. The prostitute adorns herself in garters, satin and bows to heighten her sexuality. The nude is actually innocence.
It’s not the body that is perverse but the mind which makes distinctions.

And as per breastfeeding, that should be screamed from the rooftops. We shouldn’t expose our children to nudity because breastfeeding is controversial? It’s the perfect food for infants and the fact that every mother doesn’t do it is a failure of “civilization”. We pay money for formulas which are a poor substitute for the most perfect food for a developing infant. People REALLY have to get over that. We deny our own species its highest potential due to shame. WTF?

And finally, life itself is an act of procreation. The biological universe is created through sexual reproduction. A penis goes into a vagina ejaculates sperm to fertilize an egg. We come out of vaginas covered in mucus and amniotic fluid. We nurse at a breast which essentially ejaculates milk into an infant’s mouth. The same hormones are present during sex, birth and breastfeeding. Society is screwed up because we actually think our own bodies, sexuality and feelings are perverse. That is the greatest perversion.

elijah's avatar

@SeventhSense Some women can’t breast feed. Some infants can not tolerate “the perfect food” breast milk. Unfortunately there is no little switch to flip to get my breast to produce soy. I’m not a failure of civilization.

casheroo's avatar

@SeventhSense You need to back the hell up on that breastfeeding comment. How dare you call women a failure. How dare you even assume that anyone that can’t do it is a failure, or even if they damn well don’t want to, it’s their body and their choice.

wundayatta's avatar

@casheroo—Did I miss something in @SeventhSense‘s comment? Your comment made me go back and look at it again, and I just don’t see where he calls women a failure, or even says anything negative about women who can’t do it.

I don’t think that’s his point at all. He’s saying that breastfeeding is a good thing, not that people who can’t do it are bad. He’s saying it’s so good, that we should get over our taboos about nudity in order to encourage women to do it. The odd looks can make some women stop, and that’s not a good thing. He’s not saying that women who don’t should be herded into a concentration camp and forced to breast feed.

casheroo's avatar

@daloon Maybe I took this part “It’s the perfect food for infants and the fact that every mother doesn’t do it is a failure of “civilization”.” The wrong way. Is he saying civilization is a failure for making women feel badly about nursing in public? Or women are failures for not breastfeeding?

SeventhSense's avatar

Easy ladies-retract the claws. I never called any woman a failure who couldn’t breastfeed and yes there are exceptions. But exceptions do not make the rule. There are people who can’t stand sunlight because of a melanin deficiency but it doesn’t mean that for the vast majority, fresh air and sunshine is a good thing.
@casheroo
Is he saying civilization is a failure for making women feel badly about nursing in public?
Yes. This is what I’m saying.

SeventhSense's avatar

@daloon
women who don’t should be herded into a concentration camp and forced to breast feed.
LOL. “You vill breastfeed NOW!”

casheroo's avatar

@SeventhSense Then I apologize for misinterpreting you. But, your response still gives me the vibe that you look badly upon women who don’t breastfeed.
And trust me, I’m a very vocal breastfeed in public advocate.

SeventhSense's avatar

No I don’t look badly on anyone. My sister in law nursed a little but then stopped. But there are far too many reasons that have been established which encourage women not to nurse. Painful nipples, difficulty with establishing a routine, societal taboos etc. But I do think that all women who can nurse and whose children can tolerate it should be encouraged. Not to do it for any other societal reason I feel is unnatural. The benefits are well established. Every mammal and we are no exception has within it the perfect food and we are no exception

elijah's avatar

@SeventhSense I interpreted the same sentence the same way @casheroo did, so I’m sorry for taking it that way.

DrBill's avatar

How did we get from nudist camp to breast feeding?

I’m in favor of both, both are natural.

SeventhSense's avatar

@casheroo
@elijah
Lurve is on me tonight…It’s Ladie’s Night.

sakura's avatar

No way, take some donuts instead much more fun ;)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@SeventhSense I don’t think you got my point about the whole “breastfeeding” thing….. What I was saying is that our society has so over-sexualized everything that people view public nursing as a “bad naked” thing. I’m all for breastfeeding in public, I think it’s great! I just hear a lot of arguments over the whole “boob in public” crap and it makes me sick. Since when did taking care of a child the natural way become “evil nudity”? I hate it.

My point was really that our society has ruined nudity. In many other cultures, nudity is innocent and perfectly acceptable. In ours, it’s a bad bad thing to be kept behind closed doors. That’s why I won’t take my kids to a nude beach. They live in this society, they will grow up in this society, and they will eventually be informed that you’re not supposed to be naked around other people. I don’t want them thinking back to a childhood and wondering about the “naked people”...

Val123's avatar

My first thought was, totally a parental choice, as long as the child hasn’t already been raised to believe the body is a totally private thing. But then I read something about sex offenders, and that gave me pause. IDK. Do you suppose some folks at a nude beach are there only for that reason? I never thought about it before….

justus2's avatar

@Val123 There are going to be sex offenders in most places, I would think people would go to a nudist beach to relax naked and get away from closed minded society

Val123's avatar

@justus2 Of course there are going to be sex offenders in most places but….the thought of one at a beach where everyone was naked? It was just something I hadn’t thought of before. I also have never thought of children at a nudist beach…..I wouldn’t risk it, personally. Anyway, no chance of that because I sure couldn’t relax nekid in front of a hundred people! But that’s just me.

Zen_Again's avatar

It’s okay by me!

Pete the Pedophile

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

I would have no problem with it at all. Swimming is one thing I love and do well, and every summer I take my family to a small lake way out in the forest away from the city, and we all “skinny dip” and swim naked in the lake. We own a small cottage out there, so it’s on our property and very secluded. My children have seen me and their mother naked many times. They know what’s “there” and what’s “not there”. Being familiar with our naked bodies has no sexual implications. Same thing at a nude beach.

SeventhSense's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES
Bravo to you Mr Birthday Suit ShinyShoes. :)
Maybe in another few generations there will be a shame free society. Meanwhile in the US it seems like we’re moving in the opposite direction.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@SeventhSense Thanks. I think when society makes sex and nudity into something shameful, children grow up immaturely humoring about it or abusing it. You see this all the time in American movies and television with all the boob jokes, hit-in-the-groin jokes——demeaning to both women and men. In Europe and Asia, nudity and sex are not treated with the same prudishness or immaturity as they are in North America.

Val123's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Hi there! I didn’t know you had an account here! YAY.
I couldn’t agree with you more. The only problem is…what is the actually motivation for going to a nude beach for some of the people that frequent them? Is it strictly for sexual gratification? I wouldn’t want my kids to be around adults looking for sexual gratification in that way. Know what I mean?

SeventhSense's avatar

@Val123
Most of what I’ve read of nudism is the exact opposite. It’s actually more of an innocence than sexual and a healthy acceptance of human beings without the trappings of class divisions. When we’re naked we’re all just like we were when we came into the world-only some older, some fatter and some skinnier. The common misconception is that it’s sexual but this is only heightened by the taboo.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@Val123 Hi, were you someone else on the old AB? Lol. If so, who were you?
Yes, I am wary of sexual perverts too, but I am not too concerned about them. Maybe it’s cultural, but in North America, there “might” be more inclination for untoward behavior, but most nudist beaches are pretty innocuous——people there are more apt to have a good time feeling “free” from the restrictions of clothing. Besides, I think most people would concur that the partially clothed body is “sexier” than a totally naked one. Most people do not have “perfect” bodies or stunning physiques——on the contrary (lol), so I’m sure naked bodies at the beach do not elicit much excitement. In Japan, men, women, and children all soak together in public hot baths totally naked——after washing themselves first. There’s nothing sexual there. Privacy is such a rarity in crowded Japan and other Asian countries, that seeing people naked is a fact of life. Lol.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@SeventhSense That’s true. Taboos only make little ones more curious, make the repressed more apt to be a threat. Btw, I love your new avatar pic. The Phantom Dog! :)

SeventhSense's avatar

He’s a cutie.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@SeventhSense Indeed he is! I can see why you like them. :)

Val123's avatar

@SeventhSense See…I don’t know. I just….don’t know. In our culture (‘Merican)...I don’t know! I agree and totally understand what you and @MRSHINYSHOES are saying about the “stigma” this culture puts on parts of the natural human body, and I totally agree, but…if it came to my kids I’d be concerned that it’s a bit idealistic and not exactly so realistic for some who frequent nudest beaches. All those who frequent such beaches in American have been raised in the same culture with the same warping…..see? Um, which I am not one of those who go to nakky beaches so I don’t know. It’s all I can do to get nakky in my own bathroom before I take a bath because it’s so freakin’ COLD!

@MRSHINYSHOES Aye! Dutchess. Can ya hear me now! :)

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@Val123 My family and I visit a lake by our cottage every summer. We go swimming there naked in the cool crystal clear waters, fed by the mountain ice. It is chilly, but on a hot summer day it’s not too bad, and your body gets used to it. I actually feel invigorated by the naked dip, and my little daughters love it too. At first they were scared, but they have their floatation gear (they still do not know how to swim). I used to swim competitvely, and I’m an excellent swimmer, but I still keep my children close to the shore in the shallow water. The lake is far away from the city, but if there were prying eyes in the nearby forest, I don’t care——I wouldn’t let it ruin our fun. Lol.

Good to see ya Dutchess.

YARNLADY's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Now, that makes sense. Going with friends and family is a lot different than going among strangers in a public place.

Val123's avatar

@YARNLADY Exactly….not the same thing as a public nudist beach….where you really don’t know the mindset of all the people there. If you’re swimming naked in private and somebody’s watching your kids that’s one thing. But for your kids to be running around naked and you know many people are watching, for unknown reasons (some, maybe most, innocent, but some not,) that’s different.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Val123
So the assumption you have is that you can control the thoughts of people around you in other contexts? People are going to think or imagine whatever they want whether they are clothed or dressed.

YARNLADY's avatar

@SeventhSense mindcontrol – the only way to be sure

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@YARNLADY Oh no, I’d go to a nudist beach with my family too if there was one near where we live, but there are none. You should give it a try Yarnlady. You might discover a side to you you never knew existed——and I don’t mean the side of you where the sun doesn’t shine! Lol!! (wink).

YARNLADY's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Ha, ha. Clothing is optional in my house. I lived in a commune for several years, and I currently own a house with a “clothing optional” pool as well. No neighbors can see into my back yard.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@YARNLADY—-or your backside either! (wink)

Val123's avatar

@SeventhSense I understand that you could take your kids to the mall, fully clothed, and pass a pedophile who may be thinking dastardly thoughts about your kids. But having them strip naked and then passing a pedophile unknown, is a different issue, IMO.
People, I’m all in agreement that there is nothing wrong or evil about the body. Don’t confuse that with the concern I’d have about different people having different, not-so-innocent reasons for going to a nudist beach.

wundayatta's avatar

This summer we’ll be staying at a cottage quite near to a nude beach. The revival of this thread reminded me of that. So I’ll actually have a chance to test whatever my ideas are. Except I know what will happen. The rest of my family will refuse to go anywhere near the beach—except possibly my sister.

My son is very body shy. He won’t be naked in front of anyone. My daughter thinks it is highly inappropriate to see anyone nude, especially her father. My wife thinks the same thing. I’m the only one who thinks that there shouldn’t be such a big deal made about bodies, clothed or nude.

My parents—well I can’t imagine they’d want to be nude in front of anyone else in the family. My brother burns easily, so he won’t be out on the beach without a lot of covering—and my wife is in a similar position…. and my daughter.

Oh well. I think I’d rather be nude in front of strangers than in front of my family, anyway. Family is pretty damn awkward.

Likeradar's avatar

@wundayatta I think I’d rather be nude in front of strangers than in front of my family, anyway. Family is pretty damn awkward.

That is a really really good point. Strangers seeing me nekkid isn’t the best idea in the world, but no where near as bad as my family- especially my brother, especially my DAD! I have to believe there’s some good biological reason for that, too.

YARNLADY's avatar

@wundayatta My sons and grandsons have gone the full circle, from being au natural by choice, to being very shy about their bodies, back to au natural again. I think the awareness of “other people” and their changing bodies can be a factor.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Pedophiles, like measles and the flu, will always exist, but it doesn’t mean we should restrict our freedom and life’s wonderful experiences because of they are always lurking about. We should be cautious and protect our kids yes, but to limit them by denying them the joys of not having to wear clothes on a hot sunny day at the lake would be living under fear. And I refuse to let pedophiles, cancer, the flu, the measles control and limit me with fear.

Val123's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES But we all do let those dangers control our behavior, to a certain extent, whether we want to or not!

SeventhSense's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES
Good for you my shiny friend. We should all be so brave.

avkms55's avatar

While I don’t consider myself a nudist, I have been to clothing optional/ resorts several times, and you cannot have an informed opinion until you have been to one. MRSHINYSHOES is right. There is no reason to believe there are more “perverts” now than before, and even if there were, so what? No child clothed or nude has ever been harmed by “dirty thoughts” or someone looking at your child. As long as kids are happy being nude or OK with seeing nudity, I don’t see the problem. Please give your kids some credit. They know when nudity is OK and when it’s not. Are you actually going to let an imaginary pedophile determine how you raise your children? To say you are OK with nudity but it is wrong for YOUR kids to be nude because “society has perverted nudity” is hypocritical; we are all society, and society needs to grow up.

Val123's avatar

@avkms55 I’ll say it again. Those “imaginary pedophiles” DO determine, to a certain extent, how we raise our kids and what precautions we take.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Val123
But the imagination generates the fear and perpetuates the cycle and stops us from being completely free. It’s no longer just the action but the imagination of the action, the fear of the action which consumes us. Like a terrorist that makes us afraid to fly. We’ve come so far in this country that people don’t even shower in a public gym anymore never mind in school.

My father told me once that boys used to swim nude in gym class in the school pool! It was actually considered normal and healthy. And guess what? IT IS! It’s the human body and we have elevated it to a position where it is so shameful or idealized to such a degree that we are frightened of its imagined shame and lack of perfection! The taboo of nudity only adds to the confusion. The repression actually makes it more insidious and dangerous not better.

Val123's avatar

@SeventhSense I totally agree with every thing you’re saying, but the dangers can be real. I know the media sensationalizes everything it gets it’s hands on, and that’s part of the problem, but still, I take precautions. I’m not over-paranoid about it, but…..you know, when I lived in Wichita my son was almost kidnapped twice before he was 5. Once at a park by some druggy-lookin’ guy, and once right out of my front yard. It’s one of the BIG reasons I took the “precaution” of moving my entire household to a smaller town.

I agree…American’s have a really screwed up sense of normal and healthy!

SeventhSense's avatar

@Val123
I’m sorry for your trauma but at either time was your son naked?

Val123's avatar

@SeventhSense No. But my point is that the potential dangers are out there, and whether we like it or not, we do have to live our lives accordingly. It does affect what we do.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Val123
The ideal can only become the norm through a process of behavioral modification not repression. The latter only heightens tension and anxiety.

Val123's avatar

@SeventhSense I guess I don’t quite understand your point. My last response was that the dangers to us or or children DO affect what we do, to a certain degree. I moved out of the city to a small town for those very reasons. Less danger here. (Notice I said, ”less” danger. I didn’t say there was ”NO danger here.” So I can’t quite understand how to put what you said into common practice.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Val123
I guess that I don’t understand yours. Your appropriate concerns not withstanding, nudists can not be equated to kidnappers anymore than any other segment of the population and I would argue probably less so.

Val123's avatar

No! I’m not equating ALL nudists with kidnappers or pedophiles! I’m just saying that our country, especially, has this thang about the naked body. Our country can’t separate certain parts of the body from sex. Boobs, for example. You never see female breasts hinted at or exposed without some sexual, suggestive overtone, except in nursing magazines. Same thing with butts. If our country wasn’t so…hung up on “nudity equals sex,” I think it would be different. But the fact is, our country IS hung up on that. Point being that the vast majority of people at a nudist beach are equaling nudity with sex. Fine for adults. Not fine for kids, and not fine, IMO for the people looking at my kids with that screwed up American mentality in the back of their minds.
As to your point “The ideal can only become the norm through a process of behavioral modification not repression. The latter only heightens tension and anxiety…” my thoughts, if I understand it now are, “Most excellent. But what lengths are you willing to go to to change the behavior pattern?” And will it ever really make any difference when the media is so totally focused on nudity = sex? (To wit: The most recent photo ops of the 2010 Miss American contestants.)

SeventhSense's avatar

@Val123
Again but the covering of the offending member or members does not make a thing less offensive anymore than the removal of a hand makes a mind less prone to sexual thoughts because of a lack of masturbatory appendages. You are reversing the cause as being of the body and not of the mind. Yes we are also sexual beings as well. So why should that be an issue? That’s perfectly natural and people can discern appropriate behavior. The voyeurs are ironically the clothed ones.

Anything covered or repressed actually has more power to harm, being that it is given such power by means of trying to suppress it as taboo. I mean the idea of social nudity was certainly more accepted in more prudish times than present. Nudity is the great equalizer. Furthermore, the prevalence of pedophilia, rape and such is far greater than our European counterparts who enjoy greater freedoms with public nudity. So, to make the correlation that social nudity is somehow the cause of titillation, hang ups and an excess of perversion is not accurate. In fact the case that we do not have these simple freedoms as the norm in this country actually makes a more solid case that the opposite is the case. It’s more likely the fig leaves of our Puritanical history that exasperated our culture of violence.

P.S.- Re: Miss America. As a young man growing up I had access to nudity via Playboy and ironically it was the underwear models in Mom’s catalogs that held fascination. The taboo is powerfully erotic. For those old enough to remember, Julie Andrews baring her breasts in “The Bitch” was scandalous, for the very reason of her conservative past as My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins. No doubt I’ve piqued the curiosity of a search by that very statement
I’m actually more leery of that, because it can make some nudity about power. Not unlike the soldiers at Abu Ghraib. That’s just wrong. It wasn’t the nakedness of the prisoners as much as the blatant shame of their captors.

Val123's avatar

@SeventhSense I can agree intellectually with what you’re saying. Playboy wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the idiotic, puritan taboos this country has regarding sex.

However, in reality, I could put myself out there to change the taboos and the concepts, but I would not use my kids to further the cause to change the rest of the country’s mentality. In my house there has never been any big deal made about body parts or nudity, so they’re relaxed enough about it. That’s as far as I’m willing to go with my kids.

Aster's avatar

Oh, great. Now I read that men can “sprout an erection” but it’s Not About Sex!! What, pray tell, IS it about then? Thanks but no thanks.
Sounds like a activity that some Man dreamed up.
Am I gullible? But you enjoy. God forbid the little ones would have to don a swimsuit.

Val123's avatar

@Aster Whoa! Jomp back! What are you talking about? From your post I can’t tell who you’re talking to or what stance you take on the question…

Aster's avatar

@AstroChuck yes , but which is more visible to the public? Vaginas? Or penises? I dont see how you can compare the two when speaking of nudist camp attendees.

Val123's avatar

It’s baaaaaaack!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Ooooo….the blood is in the water one this one and the ranks are set Fact from fiction, truth from diction, as I see it there are several trains of thought and some are logical while other purely emotional. Being that us Yankees have such a hang up over sex, and most sex is done with some form of nakedness if not total nakedness, nudist communities get grafted into the ”sexual mode” by default.

Should a child be at a nude beach? I guess a lot would be if it were a school trip or a private event. If it were a school event I would say the parents should opt to have their child not participate; that would go with anything else as well. If no one will make a big fuss, or shouldn’t, because a parent opt out of having their 9yr old go to a nude beach they should also have the option of not making them go to the Castro if they are uncomfortable with that.

Less safe at a nude beach than not? Logically there is not much difference, to believe so is more emotional self-inflicted bamboozlement. I hear talk about molester, sex offenders, and pedophiles, as one would like to think them all the same they are not. A pedophile like certain addicts can have the urges but not act. A sex offender can get the rap because he took a whiz 30 yards from a ball diamond with children playing where they could have seen him –even if no one seen him actually—, and most molesters are people the kid knows, not some random nudist on a beach. I remember reading a story in the news paper about a decade ago, maybe longer, where a mother waited outside the men’s room at a road side rest stop for her son 9ish or so to use it, while she waited outside maybe 20 actual feet from the kid he was stabbed to death and the attacker walked right by her and she not even know it. Think of how many times you went to a restroom at a store and you were the only one in there until some kid comes in alone? Danger can be anywhere, to try to say it is only certain places or if certain people are around you are living a folie à deux.

Taking a child there with the intent they participate can go any way. If they are not sure of their own body image with clothes on they surely would not want to be naked on a nude beach. I think we can all remember the kid who didn’t want to take gym because they had to shower at the end and that was with the same sex their own age, not people much older or younger. Maybe over time a kid can find comfort or normality in it because everyone will be doing it and they can see themselves blending in.

Unless absolutely necessary if I were to ever go to a nudist beach myself I would wait until my kid was old enough to put serious input on their choice to go or not.

Lapin's avatar

I would not like if my 12 year old daughter saw a grown man with erect penis in a nudist beach.

kara97's avatar

Well, I consider myself a progressive person on most issues but I guess I’m pretty conservative on this one. So I wouldn’t take the kids to such a place and would rather wait for them to grow up and decide on their own if a nudist beach is something they want to experience. I just don’t see what good would taking them there do to their development…I feel a bit guilty writing this though since I’m definitely not a tea party fan and am a big supporter of stem cell research, cloning, abortion and universal health care :) But on this one I have to err on the conservative side :)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@kara97 I just don’t see what good would taking them there do to their development… If there is no benefit, is there harm, and if so what? If it is harm would it be more harm if the child was raised in a family where one or both of the parents were high most of the time but fully clothes? If a couple decided they wanted to embrace a nudist or naturalist lifestyle but had young children what should they do?

trailsillustrated's avatar

Here in Australia you can be clothed or not on the local beach. When my kids were small they got alot of giggles out of all the flappy pancakes, because that’‘s the only people that took it all off for some reason. I went to a nude beach in America and noticed the same thing. My children were not permanently damaged.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@trailsillustrated When my kids were small they got alot of giggles out of all the flappy pancakes, because that’‘s the only people that took it all off for some reason.
Maybe they were in the sun too long and actually thought they were an 8 to a 10 when they were really a 2 to an OH NO!

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