Month: March 2014


A German news story entitled “Nobody Wants to Get Naked Anymore” about the troubles with finding new nudists.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

by Thomas T. Hargrove, Ph.D.
It is rare to find monarchs with “liberal ideas” in History. The very few that existed turned quickly into fanatics and lived by the motto, “I’ll make my people happy, even if I have to kill every one of them.”

The most dramatic “revolutionary” of them all lived from 1399 to 1358 B.C., the last pharaoh of the XVIII dynasty in Egypt. He started his rule in 1375 B.C., when, as a young man of twenty-four, he succeeded his famous father Amenhotep III. He was crowned as Amenhotep IV, but he changed that very soon. After quickly founding a new religion he called himself Akhenaton, meaning “it pleases Aton.” Aton was the name of the young pharaoh’s newly proclaimed deity, personified by the life-giving and life-preserving sun. His emblem in the new temples was a likeness of the solar disk.

Up to then the Egyptian Pantheon had been ruled by the sun-got Amon-Ra, whose powerful priesthood now declared the royal reformer to be a heretic. But Akhenaton fought back and his queen stood bravely by his side like a companion in arms. Today she is the best-known ancient Egyptian queen, notwithstanding Cleopatra (who was of Greek descent), and her beautiful features can still be admired in the Museum of Berlin where a well-preserved bust of her has been exhibited for many decades. Her name? Nefretete, often misspelled Nefertiti.

Akhenaton and his wife were a remarkable couple. Inscriptions found before the last world war in newly-excavated tombs, reveal that it was Nefretete who influenced the king with new religious ideas. It was almost pure monotheism in the biblical sense: there is only one God, Aton, and the radiant sun is his symbol.

What wonder that this new and intense cult of the sun soon induced the pharaoh and his queen to preach “the blessing of the exposure of the nude body to the sacred rays of Aton?”

Even before the recent informative inscriptions about Nefretete were found the nudist sun-cult of the royal family and the court was known to two Egyptologists of last century. The German, Georg Ebers, and the Frenchman, August Mariette, discovered a brittle papyrus that mentioned the habit of the royal couple to dress as little as possible and often walk around their palace in the nude. The fact was considered so shocking in the Victorian days that the text of the papyrus was chastely translated into Latin, the “medical” language.

During excavations between the two world wars, three British archeologists discovered the reliefs in the Amarna tombs (named after the Arabian village, Tell-el-Amarna) which show Akhenaton and Nefretete either in thin, transparent robes or completely naked. On one relief the pharaoh is seen kissing the queen as they drive in a chariot.

Such startling frankness was entirely new in Egyptian art. One can easily imagine the upheaval caused by such unheard-of deviation from sacred traditions, jealously supervised by a cast-ridden priesthood.

In the papyrus deciphered by Ebers and Mariette — the latter furnished the story for the libretto of Verdi’s opera, “Aida” — Akhenaton and Nefretete join in a hymn of praise of “the love of beauty in nature and art as inspired by Aton, the Life-Giver, the preserver of the world, to whose beneficial rays we offer our bodies in silent worship, absorbing his divine power through the pores of our skin and receiving his strength in our hearts, the blessing of fertility in man’s semen and woman’s womb.”

But Akhenaton was not content with preaching the new religion. He became a zealous converter and destroyed the old statues of Amon-Ra replacing them with the “sun-disk.” In a royal edict, still preserved in relief-inscriptions, the king forbade any worship of the old gods and their chief, Amon-Ra.

The people rebelled silently and the old priests, chased from their temples, spread evil rumors about the young pharaoh and his wife who refused to reside in the traditional capital, Thebes, and retired to the newly-built capital, Akhetaton, “the horizon of the sun-disk.”

There the king and queen, the nobles and court officials worshiped Aton, dancing solemnly in the sun, nude, and chanting the hymns composed by Akhenaton himself. He and Nefretete led the symbolic round dances, naked like the others, until they were overcome by an ecstatic mood and forced to sit down in silent meditation.

The dethroned priesthood of Amon-Ra considered the pharaoh’s religious nudism a particular sacrilege because only they were traditionally permitted to worship in the nude, except for a small triangular apron tied around their loins. Only the pharaohs, being “sons of deities,” enjoyed the privilege of approaching the inner sanctum completely nude.

This is not unlike a similar tradition found among the ancient Mayan Indians who, in pre-historic times, — as some historians believe — could travel to Africa over the mysterious continent, Atlantis, which sank into the ocean around 10,000 B.C.

What offended the priests of Amon-Ra most was the king’s continual attempt to introduce religious nudism among the common people, which would give them a certain sense of freedom and independence from the old priests since Akhenaton fostered the idea that “nude” and “true” were synonymous. Queen Nefretete, instigator of the new faith, became the main target of the sacerdotal fury. But neither queen nor pharaoh, nor nobles and courtiers let themselves be disturbed by the intrigue of the former priests and continued to build more and more inner courts and patios to be used for sun-bathing in the nude.

The intense anger of the priests is understandable. Their moral reputation was anything but sound. In the Mariette-papyrus are to be found allusions to certain sexual rites in the old temples which Akhenaton ascribed to the secretly-practiced nudism of the cunning priesthood whereas he was preaching and practicing “the new freedom of the body in the sacred rays of the sun,” open and without any secrecy.

The sexual act between all pharaohs and their queens, both being considered divine, was traditionally “attended” by the senior priests of Amon-Ra who chanted hymns to the chief-god beseeching him to give fertilizing power to the seed of the king. When Nefretete energetically demanded full privacy for the royal love-making, such a revolutionary request went beyond the understanding of the ex-priests accustomed to a salacious witnessing of the royal coitus as a sacred ritual. Some Egyptologists have come to the conclusion that it was the lascivious indelicacy of the priests that impelled the queen to do away with “the old superstitions” and to induce Akhenaton to found a “true” religion, practiced in the open air under the rays of the sun.

Henceforth the semi-darkness of the old stone-temples became suspect and most of the nobles, the military chiefs and all the court officials and their families enthusiastically followed the royal example of worshiping in the nude. The best argument against the former forms of worship was that Akhenaton and the queen did not encourage any sexual stimulation in their new mode of worship. This became widely known and helped to refute the priests’ gossip about “the shameless queen.”

Nefretete, beautiful and liberal-minded as she was, had nevertheless a strong mind of her own and did not approve of her husband’s plan to spread the new religion in foreign countries. Akhenaton, in the fourteenth year of his rule, had developed both a Messiah and a martyr complex. He felt he was the chosen apostle of Aton, the Life-Giver, whom he wanted to be worshiped as the only God throughout the world. He also explained his belief in nudism as a pacifistic force with the argument that “naked and unarmed people are sacred to Aton and will not be attacked.”

Nefretete called an energetic halt and when the king remained obstinate she left him and, taking their little son with her, retired to a palace of her own.

From that moment on, Akhenaton’s luck ran short. He withdrew more and more into himself, ever composing new hymns to Aton and chanting them on the sun-baked roof of his palace, offering his nude body to the rays of his god. He became so absorbed in his religious meditations in the nude that he paid scant attention to the rebellious armies in his provinces and in the neighboring countries threatening his rule from all sides.

He received continual “letters” from his generals, imploring him to send military reinforcements, fresh horses and food. Those letters were inscribed on the famous “clay-tablets of Amarna” where an Arabian woman found them in 1887. (The ruins of Akhenaton’s capital are situated around Amarna.)

No replies from the king were ever found. He seems to have removed himself more and more from reality, becoming resigned to end as a martyr for his faith. Perhaps he did not read those clay-tablet messages which still can be seen at the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo. It gives one a weird feeling to look at the Babylonian cuneiform writing that outlasted almost 3400 years.

At last, in 1735 B.C., the invading armies overran Akhenaton’s weakened demoralized troops and his capital fell. Nobody knows to this day what became of the king. The general assumption is that, true to his pacifistic belief, he faced the enemy nude and without arms and permitted himself to be killed by the sword of a rebel warrior. He was only forty-one and had ruled over Egypt for seventeen years.

Queen Nefretete outlived her husband and succeeded in having the crown-prince, Tutankhaton, pronounced king. Some inscriptions report that the royal widow and queen-mother was continuing the nudist worship of Aton in whose faith she had brought up the young pharaoh.

But after he death, the young ruler had to yield to the returning influence and power of the priesthood of Amon-Ra. He foreswore his allegiance to Aton and agreed to the reopening of the old cave temples. He even changed his name to Tutankhamon, “pleasing to Amon,” a name that has become familiar to us since the excavation of his tomb in the early Twenties.

It must have been a painful experience for young Tutankhamon to look on helplessly when the priests chipped the name of his father from most of Akhenaton’s monuments and removed and destroyed the sculptured sun-disks.

The seventeen years of “open nudism” in Egypt had ended and the “secret nudism” of the Amon-Ra priests was practiced again in the exclusive sanctums of the god. “Dark superstition returned to Egypt where the light had ruled for almost two decades,” remarked Egyptologist Ebers in an essay on Akhenaton and his queen, the first missionaries of nudism in history who called attention to its healthful and cleansing aspects when practiced in large groups.

~ from Sun Era magazine, #4 (1962)


10 rules for naked dining: The etiquette of nude resorts

Fox News  By Ruth Wertzberger Carlson  Published March 07, 2014

Once upon a time, etiquette was important: One needed to know which fork to use, which glass to sip from. Those days, my friends, are over. Now, questions of etiquette mainly revolve around how many Instagrams each guest is allowed to take during dinner.

But there remains one corner of the world where table etiquette remains a vexing and important issue: at nude resorts. And it’s a problem for a growing number of people.

“We’re seeing a rise in ‘nakations,’ especially among people in their thirties,’” says Sue Nerud, spokesperson for the American Association for Nude Recreation. Exact statistics are hard to come by, however, since many nudists prefer to remain anonymous. (In fact, several nudists in this article spoke only on the condition their names not be used.) And while Nerud said recent studies show that nakations are great stress relievers, there remain those pesky etiquette issues—which we are about to solve for you.

  • Towel On

    “Naked butts at the table are a big no-no,” says travel writer and photographer David Lansing, who likes to take off his press hat (and everything else) at nudist resorts around the world. For reasons of basic health and safety, everyone brings a towel to sit on. More proof that, as fans of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy know all too well, a towel is “the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker”—or hungry nudist—”can have.”

  • Just Because We’re All Naked Doesn’t Mean We’re All Friends

    “You should wait to be invited to a table,” says Lansing. “This isn’t like going on a cruise; even though there may be eight or 10 people at a large table, they usually all know each other, and there will be a very uncomfortable pause in the conversation if you just sit down at a table uninvited. That said, nudists are some of the friendliest people I’ve met and invariably you’ll be asked to join one group or another for lunch or dinner. But do wait to be asked.”

  • Listen to Your Mother—Use a Napkin!

    “As a matter of etiquette,” says advice columnist April Masini, “covering your private parts with a napkin while at a nudist event is good manners the same way not chewing with your mouth open is. We all know it’s there; we all know what’s happening; we don’t need to see everything at dinner. Just because you take your clothes off doesn’t mean you should strip yourself of manners.”

  • Some Don’t Like It Hot

    “Most nudists resorts will hold traditional barbecues, and first-timers need to be careful around the ‘weenie roast,’” says Tom Mulhall, who owns the Terra Cotta Inn in Palm Springs, California, and writes about nudism for the Huffington Post. Nor is the grill the only danger—the dinner table, too, can be hazardous. “Don’t allow your waiter to serve you a bowl of hot soup. He can spill into your lap,” notes photography instructor Eugene Louie, who visits clothing-optional resorts  for self-reflection. 

  • Listen to Your Mother, Part 2

    “Sit up straight,” says Masini. “Good posture at the dinner table is always a way to show good breeding and good manners, but when you’re nude, slouching and elbows akimbo are not only more noticeable—they create a silhouette that is less attractive than if you have clothes on. Sit up straight!”

  • No One Will Pardon Your Reach

    “Don’t reach—even if you think it’s not a reach,” says Masini. “Nude or naturist dining requires a greater margin of coordination and control. Without a bra, and with a well-endowed chest, reaching—even a little—may result in your breasts in the marinara sauce.”

  • There Is Such a Thing as Too Casual

    “Casual dining doesn’t mean you can put your ankle across your knee, or your feet up on the coffee table—even if it’s an outdoor barbecue with paper plates,” says Masini. “Reconsider the view others will have while eating.” Of course, if you keep a napkin in your lap, this won’t be an issue.

  • Eyes Up Here, Buddy!

    “I’d say the most important table etiquette for nudists is no staring,” says Lansing. “It’s not unusual for nudists to just wrap a gauzy sarong around them as they go straight from the pool (or beach) to the table, so you want to try really hard to maintain eye contact.”  Instead of discussing people’s bodies, it’s safer to talk about the food.

  • Food Porn, OK. Real Porn, No Way!

    Go ahead and Instagram your dinner if the resort allows it, says Nerud, but don’t shoot other guests unless they sign a photo release form.

  • 10 Chill Out

    If you’re nervous about dining in the buff, don’t be. The resort owners I spoke to all said concerns about being naked usually go away after 15 minutes. Nude dining seems naturally relaxing: You don’t have to think about what to wear (or dry-cleaning bills), and you never have to loosen your belt if you overeat. Although, actually, I can’t think of a better motivation to lose weight than the fact that everyone can see your gut (and everything else).

Cheeky rain celebration too rude for Facebook

March 5, 2014

A farmer who bared his bottom to celebrate much-needed rain says being blocked on Facebook will not stop his nude salutes to the sky.

And he and his partner hope it will highlight how much rain means to drought-stricken farmers, particularly in Queensland.

James Rogers and Jody Fraser were thrilled at receiving the first solid downpour in eight months at their property near Cobar in central New South Wales last Friday.

When Mr Rogers decided to go for a celebratory scamper in nothing but his cowboy hat, Ms Fraser snapped a picture of the moment on her phone.

“It was just a random thing James decided it would be funny to do,” she said.

Ms Fraser uploaded the photo to Facebook, and posted it on the Station Photos community page, which features pictures of life on the land from all over Australia.

The shot of the happy nude farmer immediately went viral, attracting thousands of shares and likes for its joyful expression and cheeky sense of humour.

But Mr Rogers soon found himself the butt of Facebook fury, with users reporting the image for graphic content or nudity.

The picture was taken down, and Station Photos was issued a warning and asubsequent 24-hour Facebook ban.

Queensland-based page Higgins Storm Chasing also re-posted the picture and received a warning and a ban.

“I went and made a page for it, and mine got blocked,” Mr Rogers said.

The 22-year-old said he did not understand how such a good-natured photo could be so controversial.

“I couldn’t believe it… it was just a harmless joke and it kept going,” he said.

“There’s much worse things on Facebook than that.”

Ms Fraser said perhaps those who hit the ‘report’ button did not understand just how difficult life without water was.

“We didn’t expect it to go as far as it did, but now that it has, if it can help out other people that are worse off than us, it’s a good thing,” Ms Fraser said.

“We haven’t had as near as tough as some of the people up in Queensland, but we’ve had dams dry up and you go around every day pulling sheep out of the bog.”

Facebook guidelines state that it imposes limitations on the display of nudity, but it aspired to “respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding”.

As for Mr Rogers, his bottom’s rough ride through Facebook will not stop him from celebrating future rainfall any way he likes.

“I’ve done it all my life, pretty much, my mother can vouch for that… every time it rained, me and my brother would be flat out running around in the rain and playing,” he said.

“But not always nude.”