Month: December 2013

Behind the SF public nudity ban controversy

Behind the SF public nudity ban controversy

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Nudist made sure they were both heard… and seen in court as San Francisco extended a ban on pubic nudity. Several stripped down after the City Council voted on the ban.on.aol.com

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Who is really to blame for the San Francisco public nudity ban?

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The continuing protest against the San Francisco, Calif. public nudity ban ordinance that went into effect Feb.1, 2013 was back in the news recently. “Nudism activist” Gypsy Taub and her fiancé exchanged wedding vows on the steps of City Hall and then stripped in defiance of the ordinance. They were immediately detained by the police and then released a short time later with citations.

Virtual reams of news copy exist on the web that covers this story from beginning to end. For anyone willing to take the time to read some of it, two things are clear. This latest ordinance criminalizing simple nudity should never have needed to be passed. Those responsible for making it a reality are the same group of “urban nudists” who now continue to futilely protest against it.

Having lived there for several years in the past, it is safe to say one would be hard pressed to find a place more liberal and tolerant than San Francisco. That goes double for the Castro neighborhood where the controversy started. The average San Franciscan doesn’t generally have a problem with simple nudity which likely explains why the city never saw the necessity of criminalizing it before now.

If you don’t know much about the genesis of the San Francisco brouhaha over public nudity that culminated with the passage of the ordinance banning it, here is a brief review.

Exactly when or how the “urban nudist” movement got started is still pretty sketchy, but according to SF Weekly News columnist Lauren Smiley, one day in 2009 “A construction supervisor named Barry appeared in his fedora and flip-flops – and nothing else” in a city plaza at Castro and Market. In a classic case of monkey-see-monkey-do it caught on and several other, mostly middle-age, nude men started regularly hanging out in Castro District.

Estimates vary but according to most reports, there ultimately were about a dozen men involved. Three or four regulars formed the core group. Initially there were no claims that the nudity was about free speech, free expression or anything else related to nudist rights. It mostly seemed that the group just decided to take advantage of the fact that San Francisco had no law prohibiting public nudity and chose to see how far they could push the envelope.

Feeling that right was on their side, even when the complaints started rolling in from business owners and residents of the neighborhood, the Castro nudists just grew bolder. That predictably resulted in more complaints. According to the city, it wasn’t just nudity. There was also some public lewdness involved.

The city also asserted that the nude men were going into restaurants and utilizing other public seating without placing anything between their bare butts and the seats which in the opinion of city officials was unsanitary.

In the story she filed for the SF Weekly news, Lauren Smiley reported that at least one of the regulars was observed engaging in a public lewd act by a reporter which seems to illustrate that the city’s version of things, at worst isn’t entirely inaccurate.

The Castro nudists continued to see how far they could push things and in so doing firmly established themselves on the radar of San Francisco officials. That eventually provoked action.

Supervisor Scott Wiener of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors decided the nudity had gotten out of control in the Castro neighborhood, part of the district he was elected to represent. Eventually he put forth a proposed ordinance banning public nudity and it was passed by the board.

In November 2012, Gypsy Taub, became aware that the Board of Supervisors was considering an ordinance to ban public nudity and decided to get involved. Taub, a Russian immigrant, represents herself as a “Russian-style revolutionary” and as “a big rebel” who just likes “to stir sh*t up,” decided to appear at a special meeting of the City Operations and Neighborhood Services committee, called in advance of a vote on the ordinance proposed by Supervisor Weiner.

When it was her turn to speak during the public comments portion of the meeting, Taub used her two minutes to completely disrobe before the committee while branding Wiener’s proposal to ban public nudity “fascist.” Taub, who runs an amateur porn site called Lustful Goddess as well as an interviews-in-the-buff video blog, in so doing, became the face of the public nudity ban protest. She frequently organizes “nude-In” protests which have achieved little more than getting herself cited multiple times for violating the new ordinance.

Recently Taub was one of three plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit in federal court against the City and County of San Francisco, seeking to overturn the ordinance on the primary grounds that the law restricted free speech and that it violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen dismissed the suit, citing as expected the landmark cases that demonstrate that the U.S. Supreme Court has long held that public nudity in and of itself is not inherently expressive, thus not subject to First Amendment protection at all. He noted that the Supreme Court has also long held that laws that regulate public nudity are not aimed at regulating expression but at protecting order and morality which furthers a legitimate and substantial government interest.

[More from Dallas Nudist Culture Examiner: Right to be nude vs. contemporary social values]

Spoiler alert – the San Francisco public nudity ban protest is over whether or not Gypsy Taub and her cohorts are ready to accept it. It ended for all intents and purposes when the ordinance became law. There are no precedents for laws that ban simple nudity being repealed once enacted. Also the ill-advised decision to file a lawsuit based on arguments that have already been tried and rejected numerous times by the Supreme Court was the final nail in the coffin for clothes free rights in San Francisco.

Two of the participants interviewed and mentioned in Lauren Smiley’s article admitted their motivation for going nude in public was that they found it sexually arousing which seems more the definition of exhibitionists than nudists. They probably aren’t the sort of folks that San Francisco nudists should want representing the local lifestyle. Even in the case of Taub, one can’t help but suspect she was a rebel looking for a cause and the public nudity ban passed by the Board of Supervisors conveniently gave her one.

There isn’t anything that says those who started the Castro nudist movement and the self-styled nudist activists can’t identify as nudists if they wish. But the type of public nudity they espouse is certainly not of the wholesome, non-sexual, family-friendly variety that reputable nudist and naturist organizations and most nudists for that matter represent. The American Association for Nude Recreation for example advocates nudity and nude recreation in appropriate settings.

Given the prevailing generally negative attitudes toward nudity in our culture, the public square it could be argued probably isn’t an appropriate setting for public nudity, especially the in- your-face, confrontational style practiced by San Francisco’s urban nudists. It is hard to imagine how that strategy could be effective in winning any hearts and minds or that might translate into increased tolerance for nudity within larger society.

It can’t be forgotten that the opinions and perspectives on nudism formed by the vast majority of those who are largely ignorant of what nudism is really about, are shaped by the news media. The press generated by the urban nudists in the Castro District and “nudist activists” like Gypsy Taub are not helping but hurting the cause.

You don’t have to agree with people who believe that nudity in and of itself is offensive or indecent to agree that in this country all have a right to their own opinions. It has long been a part of our culture that the freedom of the individual to exercise his and her freedoms ends where the rights of others begin. In other words, there is no protected right to infringe on the rights of someone else.

While nudists understand there is nothing offensive about the naked human body, realistically there are many in society who equate nudity with sex and do find nudity offensive. Thus exhibiting oneself in public in circumstances that expose people to nudity against their will only serves to further alienate those people and makes achieving greater tolerance of nudity in our society less likely.

Such behavior is generally considered little more than rude, selfish and well, offensive even by many who don’t really have an issue with nudity.

All of us are offended by something. Take a moment and think about something you personally find offensive. Would it be something you would learn to embrace if someone decided to try and force you against your will to experience it on a regular basis? Not likely.

One take away is that the San Francisco nudist community should have taken an interest in what was going on long before the wheels of legislation were set in motion and an official ban on public nudity was churned out. They should have spoken out as soon as the local media started epitomizing folks like the Castro nudists as representative of what nudism is about.

The urban nudist movement managed to alienate others in one of the most liberal and tolerant cities in the country. It has perpetuated undesirable stereotypes that nudists have been fighting almost since the beginning which in large measure explain why society largely tolerates nudity only in approved spaces like private nudist clubs and resorts. The movement has got in the way of normalizing nude and integrating nudity into everyday life.

Naturists I think have been more effective than nudists when it comes to presenting a wholesome lifestyle that has established philosophies, core values and a common set of principles. For that reason naturist isn’t nearly as polarizing a term as nudist.

Perhaps it is time Americans who enjoy nude recreation and non-sexual clothes free living that want to embrace a descriptive label for their lifestyle should follow the lead of the old British Sunbathers Association which in 1961 agreed that the term nudist was inappropriate and should be discarded in favor of naturist.

It may time for those who practice wholesome, non-sexual nudity to distance themselves from “nudist” altogether and leave that term to the exclusive use of those like exhibitionists, swingers, pornographers and other opportunists who insist they are part of the nudism community and then use the term as a cover for behavior that make the “nudist” more of a pejorative in contemporary society than it already is. What do you think?

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Behind the SF public nudity ban controversy

Giving The Shirts Off Their Backs: The Year In Not-So-Gratuitous Nudity

Giving The Shirts Off Their Backs: The Year In Not-So-Gratuitous Nudity

naked-rowers-2

This year proved hard for a lot of people. It proved hard for them to keep their damn clothes on, particularly if their name started with “Miley” and ended with “not Hemsworth.” While some were quick to slut-shame or otherwise harshly criticize all this scantily-clad chicanery, not all nudity was forpublicity nudity’s sake. This year, hotties the world over doffed their clothes for a cause; whether it be for charity, to raise awareness or just to gift the world with their own hotness. After all, in the end giving is its own reward. Let’s take a look back at the year in not-so-gratuitous nudity.

naked-rowers-bts-1The lovely limey lads of the Warwick Rowers Club teased us with their oft-nude shenanigans.

naked-rowers-bts-rubOver…

naked-rowers-bts-squirt-2…and over…

rowers-bts-6…and over again. But it was all for charity. Proceeds from said shenanigans go towards the anti-bullying and anti-homophobia charity Sport Allies.

The Rowers have apparently set off a trend in the UK with other collegiate athletes stripping down for their favorite charities:

6a00d8341c90b153ef01a3fb338e34970b-500wiSheffield University

6a00d8341c90b153ef01a3fb3382aa970b-500wiOxford University

6a00d8341c90b153ef019b03bf1b33970c-500wiCardaiff University Athletic Union

naked-bi-skydiveAlso across the pond, Brit bisexual diver Dan Cope skydived in the buff for some terminally ill kids.

The annual Dieux du Stade calendar is always eagerly anticipated for anyone who loves naked rugby players — so nearly everyone. Part of the proceeds from the calendar, this year shot by Fred Goudon, are donated to charity. Though the real charity is what the original gods of the stadium hath wrought. Naked calendars for everybody!

DSC01796EditSpotCropGay rugby team the Nashville Grizzlies stripped down for their own calendar to raise money to attend a memorial cup in honor of 9/11 victim Mark Bingham.

BY-gPHQCQAA1Fb6Jeff Probst got naked with some bacon for Two and a Half Men, which can only be seen as an act of mercy since that show should’ve been dead years ago.

miley-protect-the-skin

Future nudist colony resident/activities manager Miley Cyrus eschewed clothes just about anytime she could this year, but this campaign for Marc Jacobs actually benefits cancer research and not just her reputation for being a stunt queen.

wrecking-ball-parodyMiley gave us so much in 2013 that the internet had to give back. And naked dudes came in just like a wrecking ball, whilst riding one, to offer their thanks to Lady Cyrus.

parody5God bless her.

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 6.45.26 PMMeanwhile, fellow pop tart Lady Gaga got naked for her art (or something) and her ARTPOP, which needs as much as help as possible these days.

butch_hogan_ian_somerhalder_07Ian Somerhalder stripped down to raise awareness of how hot Ian Somerhalder still is. A worthwhile cause if there ever was one.

Colorado-Photo by Andrew EcclesBroadway Bares 23 raised temperatures and funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, this year taking the audience on a clothing-optional road trip across America.

From he to shining he, the show raised nearly $1.5 million for the charity.

Before the main event, however, the Broadway Bares boys performed Solo Strips, which raised over $13,000 for BCEFA back in May.

GT-BalletBoyzGayTimes‘s annual naked issue — benefiting England’s leading AIDS charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust — featured a host of hotties including the Balletboyz (above)…

GT-Jack…actor Jack Jefferson…

GT-Ashley…as well as Olympians Ashley Mckenzie…

Chris MearsAnd Chris Mears.

Demitri-Homotography-GT-5-670x455

Olympian speedskater Blake Skjellerup rivaled Mears’s Team GB teammate Tom Daley for his aversion to clothing, but Blake was only (mostly) doing it to raise awareness of how hot and openly gay he is so he could make it to the Sochi Olympics where he would be hot and openly gay in the face of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.

pike-naked-frat-party-inviteThe frat stars of University of Michigan’s Pi Kappa Alpha decided to let their patriotic flag fly, ultimately leading to their suspension. Alas, it was all in the name of their country. And to land some sorority snatch.

Naked chefs and Zesty men were all the rage this year, but this particular culinary cutie cooked up pro-gay pastas in the wake of Barilla chairman Guido Barilla’s anti-gay tirade.

What were your favorite charitable acts of nudity this  year?

Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/giving-the-shirts-off-their-backs-the-year-in-not-so-gratuitous-nudity-20131227/#ixzz2omu3LgI8

Giving The Shirts Off Their Backs: The Year In Not-So-Gratuitous Nudity

What is Family Nudism/Naturism?

Naturism for the family can be an all out domestic affair, or something practiced only in recreational form. But it is most common that once a family embraces natural living, it will encompass the entire domestic scene and the true benefits of Naturism in the home can be seen. Some who have approached nudism from a purely recreation angle find their children overcome by peer influence at puberty, sending them back to a negative self-image. Naturism in the home secures that peer pressure from a culture deluged in negative attitudes about the body will have less impact on the child, and likewise on the family.

There’s that “running around” thing again! Naturist families are not comprised of kooks who get some weird thrill out of being naked in front of others, or who seek to corrupt the minds of their children with sexual immorality, as many would assume or assert. Such assumptions arise from the disturbed notion that anything related to being naked must be something sexual, exhibitionistic, erotic or questionable.

The fact of the matter is, it is unhealthy  to avoid exposing children to what “really is”, leaving them ignorant or partially informed with fairy tales, the say-so of equally ignorant peers and their own conjectures. It is equally negligent to assume that talks, picture books and lessons in school are adequate educators about the natural state of the human being, its functions and purposes. Even the most forthright parent who takes the step to “show and tell” has walked away convinced their child “knows,” when studies prove they do not retain the knowledge very long at all and eventually turn to peers for more information and enlightenment.Naturist families represent a growing class of super-educators who, through something as primal and simple as popping a few buttons and loosening a few straps, enhance a child’s life and awareness of his or her own humanity light years beyond the society around them.

Through Naturism in the home, children arrive at naturally non-judgmental attitudes about the bodies of others and themselves. If the Naturist environment is consistent, they are less inclined to participate in dirty-joke telling, or verbally abusing others who are different from themselves. They experience far less influence from peers who would otherwise guide them into misunderstanding and assumption about extremely important issues; undergo very little or by-pass altogether the typical (and assumed to be “normal”) adolescent anxiety associated with puberty; grow up free from absurd and useless shame and embarrassment about their own bodies and what is natural. Ultimately, Naturist children encounter a home atmosphere of trust and openness which carries with it an inherently natural cohesion more suited to their strong needs for physical warmth and affection.

Reposted from this link which includes discussion:
http://internationalyn.org/forum/index.php?topic=16665.msg153714#msg153714

What is Family Nudism/Naturism?

centauri4-naturism:

nomadicnudist:

http://nomadicnudist.tumblr.com/resources

http://nomadicnudist.tumblr.com/

Naturism as a Way of Living recommends NomadicNudist for its mostly well-balanced assortment of lifestyle oriented article.  A few glamour style photographs including topless or nude woman are include on a regular basis, so please do not download and redistribute content without permission.

Thank you, Naturism as a Way of Living for reposting my image which appeals to people to learn more about nudism.  I just want to dash off a quick response to your concerns about using glamor nudes.

I’ve gone back-and-forth on the decision to include images of nudes on my tumblr.  We all know the old adage, “Sex sells.”  For better of for worse, this statement is true.  The images I choose are non-sexual.  The unfortunate fact is that our culture conflates nudity with sex so people looking for porn are finding these images and, no doubt, wanking to them.  My hope is that I might inspire some people to stop looking and instead actually try nudism.  They could start at home or find a place to skinny dip or possibly even take the big step of going to a place to enjoy social nudity with others.   I’m hoping to use it to sell people on a body-positive lifestyle and eventually desexualize nude recreation in the larger public’s mind.  I admit that I have noticed a lot more traffic on my tumblr since I began reposting images and I hope finding the information I post has opened people up to taking their clothes off.

I have decided to choose photos that I consider positive, artistic and non-sexual.  I look at a photo and think, “Would I be okay in the presence of those people?”   I’m looking for pretty locations, preferably outside, interesting stylization and no sex involved.  What you won’t find are crotch shots or people bent way over, erections or actual images of sex.

Next, I want to point out that images or videos that originate on my tumblr, such as the one here, are images of me.  Yes, that’s me naked.  I am also a member of Rock Lodge, a clothing optional Resort in New Jersey and an active member with various nudist groups in New York City.

Thanks once again, Naturism as a Way of Living, for the repost and the opportunity to discuss.  I welcome further discussion here on this image or at this post that I have set up: Why I Include Glamor Nudes on my Tumblr: A Response.  

Feel free to flame me in the discussion for using the “Sex sells,” argument.  I’m hoping to use it to sell people on a body-positive lifestyle and eventually desexualize nude recreation for more people out there.

Why I Include Glamor Nudes on my Tumblr: A Response

image

Thank you, Naturism as a Way of Living for reposting my image which appeals to people to learn more about nudism.  I just want to dash off a quick response to your concerns.

Naturism as a Way of Living writes:

centauri4-naturism recommends NomadicNudist for its mostly well-balanced assortment of lifestyle oriented article.  A few glamour style photographs including topless or nude woman are include on a regular basis, so please do not download and redistribute content without permission.

I’ve gone back-and-forth on the decision to include images of nudes on my tumblr.  We all know the old adage, “Sex sells.”  For better of for worse, this statement is true.  The images I choose are non-sexual.  The unfortunate fact is that our culture conflates nudity with sex so people looking for porn are finding these images and, no doubt, wanking to them.  My hope is that I might inspire some people to stop looking and instead actually try nudism.  They could start at home or find a place to skinny dip or possibly even take the big step of going to a place to enjoy social nudity with others.   I’m hoping to use it to sell people on a body-positive lifestyle and eventually desexualize nude recreation in the larger public’s mind.  I admit that I have noticed a lot more traffic on my tumblr since I began reposting images and I hope finding the information I post has opened people up to taking their clothes off.

I have decided to choose photos that I consider positive, artistic and non-sexual.  I look at a photo and think, “Would I be okay in the presence of those people?”   I’m looking for pretty locations, preferably outside, interesting stylization and no sex involved.  What you won’t find are crotch shots or people bent way over, erections or actual images of sex.

Next, I want to point out that images or videos that originate on my tumblr, such as the one here, are images of me.  Yes, that’s me naked.  I am also a member of Rock Lodge, a clothing optional Resort in New Jersey and an active member with various nudist groups in New York City.

Thanks once again, Naturism as a Way of Living, for the repost and the opportunity to discuss.  I welcome further discussion here on this and other images.

Feel free to flame me in the discussion below for using the “Sex sells,” argument.  I’m hoping to use it to sell people on a body-positive lifestyle and eventually desexualize nude recreation for more people out there.

Are you a Naked Person?

Are you a Naked Person?

Via on Mar 10, 2011

Your comfort with nudity says a lot about who you are.

Let’s step away for a moment from all the debate surrounding nudity, sex, and whether nudity means selling stuff through sex. Or something.

What I really want to know is this: are you a naked person?

Hey, it’s an important question. I’m not asking if you’re a nudist, an exhibitionist, or a Playboy model. I’m just asking if you’re comfortable in your nakedness. After bikram yoga, do you strip off your sweaty pants in the locker room while chatting with your neighbor? Do you jump into a dressing room with your best friend so you can look at each other’s outfits? Do you feel comfortable sauntering across the bedroom – no, the living room – in just your skivvies while your significant other watches with a surprised grin?

Credit: tallacman1 on Flickr

I think your view of nakedness says more about you than how conventionally beautiful you are. It’s not about how many packs you’ve got in your stomach, or how much bounce you’ve got in your boobs. It’s about how you approach life. People who feel comfortable naked are apt to give bear hugs. They relish food and will share theirs with you, and will also spear some off of your plate. They like to make new friends, and don’t judge others based on what they are wearing.  If they fart in public, they just laugh and say, “Whoops.” Naked people don’t mind what other people think of them, and will take risks in the pursuit of fun. I’m not saying naked people are better; they just approach life differently.

Not-naked people approach life more cautiously. They want to do things right, and worry about being seen as reckless or inappropriate. They value long-standing relationships over meeting new people, and are careful about eating right. Whether or not you’re a naked person says more about you than your zodiac sign, the place you were born, or your level of education.

Credit: AvaJune on Flickr

I asked my sister this question over a couple of beers last year, and she told me that she is definitely not a naked person. If she is in the bedroom, getting ready to go out, and her loving husband walks in and exclaims, “You’re naked!” (no doubt delighted) she becomes self-conscious and dashes into the bathroom.  I, on the other hand, regularly cause my roommate to avert her eyes when I wander into the kitchen for a glass of water with nothing but a thong on. Our mother is not a naked person. Neither is my best friend. I cause all these people consternation when I forget my towel and decide to make the trip to the bathroom without it, propriety be damned. But then again, I cause them consternation in a lot of other ways as well. It’s just the way I am. I would strip off my clothes when I was two-years-old whenever I got the chance.

Try this game next time you are out with a friend: ask them about acquaintances you share and whether they are naked people. You’ll have fun parsing it out. “She makes dirty jokes all the time. She’s definitely a naked person.” Or, “She’s a naked person once you get to know her.”

It becomes shorthand for the nuances of a person’s personality. “Is he a naked person?” can answer the question of how outgoing he is, whether he would accept an offer of a puff of your blunt, whether you should hug him when you first meet, or offer a hand shake.

So maybe next time you really want to get to know somebody, ask him or her this question. “Are you a naked person?”

Are you a Naked Person?

nudeforjoy:

heartlandnaturists:

For decades, the porn industry has brainwashed the public into believing that if two people are nude in the same room, they must have sex.  And if more than two people are nude in the same room, it must be an orgy.  Nudists know that is not true.

Men and women can enjoy being nude together without it being sexual. Nudists do that all the time.  We do that because it is more comfortable and we enjoy the freedom and acceptance that accompanies being nude with our friends.

If you’ve always believed that nudism is about sex, then please do some research and you’ll find that we’re not about sex, orgies, voyeurism, or exhibitionism.  We’re about comfort, freedom, and acceptance to be ourselves in our own skin.

The Heartland Naturists of Kansas City have been promoting wholesome, family-friendly nude recreation since 1982.  If you have any questions, please let us know and we’ll be happy to answer.

HeartlandNaturists.com