Naturism is a wonderful lifestyle, terrific for mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. I truly believe that. However, naturism is no panacea. Spoiler alert: Naturism does not solve all of life’s problems. I think naturism can help solve or at least help tolerate many of life’s problems, but it is a “fiction” to claim that is the answer to everything.
I say this with renewed belief because I currently have an opportunity for growth by taking on a part-time position at a naturist park nearby. There are pros and cons to assess, and personal relationships to evaluate, before making a decision. Mostly I would be working from home, but I would indeed be getting out to the naturist park more often as a result.
In the process of learning about this new side opportunity, I’ve become privy to information about what is happening at the park now, compared to what was happening over the previous years. And what I realize is that no place is safe from intrigue, bad practices, malfeasance, etc. This is certainly the case, as well, at the cultural institution where I have made my (non-naturist) career, which is at present so grossly mismanaged that decades of careful reputation-building are being undone in a few months of hubris and incompetence.
In the Western imagination, the Garden of Eden is a place of idealized nudity, a literal paradise. But the “fiction” of real-life social nudity as a metaphor for paradise is exposed, paradoxically, in naturist fiction, in books as classic as A Princess of Mars and the other novels in the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and as recent as the Mirror Earth series by P. Z. Walker, contributor to this site, or Ages of Aenya by Nick Alimonos. That said, fictional planets such as Barsoom, Mirror Earth, and Aenya do usually show, or at least evoke from the past, the many advantages of social nudity. It’s just that we earthlings, well… our nudity is an essential part of our humanity, but so, apparently, is conflict, violence, and deceit.
I continue to believe that a deeper understanding of our bodies, our relationships, and our societies through nudity is not only possible but desirable, and potentially very advantageous. But we cannot regard naturism as perfection, because it is a human concept, and we humans are not perfect. The best we can do is to cultivate the attainment of that fleeting sense of plenitude that, for many of us, certainly comes most naturally and most easily when naked.