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An Honest Question About Exhibitionism

Are naturists exhibitionist?

I wonder if the people on the outside imagine that about our culture? That we’re a bunch of people who love to flaunt it. That we’re so proud of our bodies that we want to be nude all the time, to show them off. That we’re all a bit kinky.

I wonder if that’s why so many people who are opposed to trying the lifestyle say they’d need to lose 15 pounds first. As if that would make them proud enough to be nude socially.

Then there’s the other way of thinking: that we’re probably all a bunch of slobs who gave up on caring for our bodies, and therefore social norms, so we banded together nude as a middle finger to the establishment.

As a person who’s met a lot of people within the naturist community, I’d say both are true. There’s a good mix of exhibitionists and F U people and plenty in between. There’s no right or wrong way to be a naturist… is my Canadian, politically correct answer. My heart says that the truer naturist, or the naturist who “gets it” leans away from exhibitionism. It is a fun place to start though!

When I first got into naturism in my early twenties, it was fun to be nude in unexpected moments. I recall when we went on a bus from Bare Oaks down to Toronto Island, it felt fun to turn myself to the window to show I was nude. And I’ve been top-free with a naturist group for a movie opening. It was a safe, “everyone’s doing it” thing. It was fun, but I find the moment has passed. Nowadays, as you may have read in previous blogs, I prefer if those around me don’t mention my body at all. I’m just going about my business when I’m visiting a naturist venue, not trying to attract attention. Like, really trying not to attract any attention. It’s just my body. It’s a marvelous instrument that carries me through life. I don’t feel titillated by showing my nakedness off. I also don’t mind if someone happens to see me nude. I put a little care into staying away from the windows, etc. when I’m at home, but it isn’t thrilling.  

Maybe it’s just a personality thing, to be an exhibitionist, or maybe it’s maturity. It makes sense that at first blush, naturism is thrilling. You’re breaking the rules of society! Naked in front of others and it’s not for a sexual purpose, or at the doctor’s, or in a changeroom. So different from your everyday so far, hurrah! And maybe on those first few instances you see and compare and giggle and feel so many things. And then, it fades for most of us, and it becomes the comfortable way to be.

A friend recently suggested that people who attend an actual park regularly likely become desensitized to being nude around others and seeing nude people. He’s an exhibitionist himself and has only ever been to beaches on occasion.

I can see this in my yoga and meditation students. Whenever I work with people that are comfortable naturists, I have no concern that our session will be derailed with sexuality. They understand that I’m offering a yoga class and that’s all it is. Sometimes I’m joined by folks who are game for a thrill and seem confused about why I’m just teaching a yoga class (or meditation).

This is a reply to my Unexpected Ask blog. He intended it to be just a reply, but if Taylor Swift is allowed to use her life events to create songs, I can take ridiculous replies and insert them into my blog.

“Honestly, as someone who has attended your virtual yoga session, I will be dishonest if I said I didn’t wish you exposed your vulva in certain poses. I registered for the nude yoga, and when the class began I couldnt but notice how nice your boobs were. Thus, I wished I saw a glimpse, but I totally respect your comfort zone.

In hindsight, I think its good that you choose to conceal that part than expose. The combination of that your boobs can be too much for tyro naturists, lol.”

The bright side of this is that I learned a new word. Tyro means beginner or novice. Heavy into feminist reading I was when this reply found my eyes. Hot anger at the audacity and stupidness of this reply. I can’t imagine a woman ever saying something like it. Imagine a woman taking a martial art class and commenting that she just couldn’t help noticing the instructor’s abs and wished he’d show his dick more often, but wait, maybe it’s better for us ladies that the whole body isn’t exposed lest we self-implode with desire.

Also, he says he wishes that I’d show my vulva in poses but then acts like a nice guy with the “I totally respect your comfort zone”. Do you? I think if you really had some respect then you’d not bring it up. It’s not like I keep it hidden by accident, like it never occurred to me. I wonder if you’re hoping that I’m a malleable people pleaser, or hungry for money, worried I’ll lose customers? That I’d read your words and think, damn I’m disappointing my viewers by just offering a kick ass yoga class, I guess I should be a piece of sexy meat while I do it too.

The annoying thing is that I like the idea of all body parts having the same value. That a vulva or a penis aren’t things to hide. That they’re just body parts like our elbows and necks. That I could just go about my yoga teaching and not think about where the camera is, but instead I’m forever mindful to not give a “money shot”. There’s not enough awareness about naturism in the mainstream world. Nudity is equated with sex for most people and I’m doing my best to deliver a pure and wholesome naturist experience. There’s plenty of people who’ve shot yoga videos in which a camera goes slow motion over her curves, and she isn’t really teaching a class. It’s so sad that they’d take such a beautiful spiritual practice and twist into something to wank to. So, I don’t care that some people are disappointed that my classes are just yoga. I can tell when someone has expectations, that it’ll turn sexy, I see them waiting for it, it’s hilarious because I know that moment is never coming. Sorry, not sorry.

I’m just a girl, doing my job, respecting myself and creating a safe space for fellow naturists. I don’t tolerate mixing sex with the beautiful practices of yoga or meditation. Sex is great, I’ve said that before. But all things have their time and place.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on exhibitionism in naturism. I feel like you’re kind of a funny naturist if you are an exhibitionist. But you’re allowed to have opposing thoughts. I know one person in particular that feels very, ta-da! about his body and he’s been a naturist for decades. It fascinates me that he’s so body focused. I think one of the greatest things about naturism is releasing our focus on the body. I wonder if that statement would be confusing to non-naturists?

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