Sunday, February 28, 2010

Naked Bungy 2010

Yesterday was the much anticipated naked bungy jump. I had been looking forward to this day since last year's jump, which had been my first. For those that don't know, WildPlay Bungy in Nanaimo has been holding an annual naked bungy jump weekend in support of Schizophrenia research for a few years now. The idea is simple; come out and jump naked on a Saturday and Sunday in February, pay a fraction of the normal price, all the money goes to a good cause. I like everything about that equation so when I hear about it last year I had to go. The first jump was awesome and now I plan to go every year.

Last year there were 3 of us who went together, and this year I managed to raise that to 4. The crew that came with me this year were none of the people from last year, however. Really it wasn't that bad; one had surgery keeping her from going this year and the other was her cousin, who I don't think I know well enough to bring along this year alone. But I managed to get 3 buddies from work who were all stoked to come along so it was a full car and thus a cheaper ferry ride!

My buddy 'R' and I both worked till 8am the day of the jump, which made for a very exhausting day. The other two guys, 'M' and 'K' both worked till midnight, so they were tired too but looked awesome next to 'R' and I. We saddled up at 8am and went straight to the local breakfast place for a food boost. Then it was off to the ferry for the 10:30 sailing. I slept most of the ferry ride, obviously. Made it to Wild Play by 12:20 and signed in. Then it was the waiting game. It was way busier than I remember it last year and we didn't get to jump until 14:00. I was a little nervous about not making the ferry but it would all work out in the end.

The other jumpers this year were super stoked to be there and the vibe on the bridge was amazing. Everyone was amped and having a great time. There was a whole crew who had body painting done and it looked awesome. Finally we got to jump and it was just as scary as I remember it. Definitely the same rush as last year, and I somehow doubt my brain will ever get used to jumping off a bridge. But it was great and everyone loved it.

Afterwards it was back into the car to race to the ferry. Thankfully we made it back to the 15:00 ferry in time and it was home time. Some dinner and I was ready for bed. I was so exhausted that I went to bed at 20:00 and woke up at 10:00 the next morning. yeah mathematicians, that's a lot of sleep! All in all it was an awesome day and I can't wait to go back again next year. Even non-nudists are awesome when everyone is naked. It just goes back to the idea that everyone is accepting when everyone is naked. Clothes are what create criticism of others, not the way your body looks. Here were 30 or so naked people who were all the same and accepting of everyone. Not necessarily nudists, just people who realize that when we are all naked we have nothing to hide, nothing to fake, nothing to really criticize. Amazing really.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The future needs to be bold

10 people were caught on February 11th on Delray Beach in Florida during Sunsport Gardens' Mid Winter Naturist Festival. The group had intended to form a human peace sign on the peace so an aerial picture could be taken, likely something similar to the photo seen here. The group was not arrested but charges were being discussed by the State Attorney's Office.

I heard about this on another naturist blog and while I normally wouldn't think twice about it, I felt inclined to voice my opinion in regards to other comments that were made about the article.

One person had commented on the article stating that the 'hip-hop iPhone generation' will not be pleased with an incident like this. The owner of the blog went on to say he/she was appalled that naturists would do something like this that would risk tarnishing the image of naturists, and expressed fear that this would create negative publicity for our cause.

Well let me just say that this type of thing is all the 'hip-hop iPhone generation' knows how to do. I seriously doubt if they will even notice this because public defiance is such a part of their culture that they likely won't be phased by something that looks so harmless. I think as a group whether they are nudists or not, the 'iPhone generation' sees little harm in public nudity and little reason for nudity laws. They were born into some of the most violent times in history which makes this kind of thing seem like small potatoes.

That being said, why are we worrying about pushing the envelope so much? If these were ten nude perverts touching kids on a beach, I can understand. But harmless defiance through public nudity can only be a positive thing for our culture. As nudists we have been pushed around too long, and thus have been forced to hide behind the privacy of our homes, or the small handful of beaches we are given to use. And there are even times when hiding in our homes isn't good enough, and nosey neighbours are calling the cops because they can see us naked through the crack in the curtain.

Our unwillingness to draw attention to ourselves is the reason we are labelled as outcasts and forced to maintain privacy. Something as harmless and natural as the human body shouldn't be seen as something more shameful than violence. It makes me sick that breasts cannot be shown on TV but disgusting violence can. It's time we pushed the envelope and fought for our cause instead of hid with our tails tucked between our legs. The only way we are going to be recognized and achieve any sort of victory is if we push the limits and draw attention to ourselves. We need to have a voice, a very loud voice that gets heard. It's time nudity ceased to be shameful and our world realized how backwards our perceptions are. A push for nudism will cure our negative body concepts, instill confidence in our youth, reduce violence, and destroy the pornography industry. Are those things we want to fight for, or should we just continue to hide and see our society continue on it's path of morale destruction? If that's the way we want it, then I guess those ten nudists should just apologize and go back into hiding.

Nude Yoga Is Awesome!

So I tried something new and exciting this weekend; nude yoga! I've been thinking about attending a class for some time now but I've been hesitant for a couple reasons. I'm not really good at yoga since I've only followed a few yoga podcasts in my living room and thus I have no idea if I'm even close to doing the poses correctly. Secondly there really isn't a lot of places to do instructed nude yoga in this city. There is one studio that only does nude yoga but it is male-only and intermediate to advanced yoga.

I personally feel that separating men and women in a nudist environment defeats the purpose of nudism. We are supposed to be free and comfortable with both sexes and move away from the segregation that textile society is constantly demanding. Also, I'm not ready for intermediate to advanced yoga.

So I looked and looked and finally found another guy out there who was looking for the same type of yoga class. Well that's all the encouragement we needed to do what must be done. I found a venue, he found instructors, and suddenly we have the city's only co-ed nude yoga classes every Thursday taught by both a male and female instructor. Yes a very satisfying accomplishment!

So this weekend we had our first introductory session; just the creators and a couple invited guests. Well I went in nervous but ended up loving it. It wasn't super difficult so I was able to push myself a little without going overboard, and obviously I think almost anything worth doing is better when done nude. So of course the feeling of freedom that comes from doing yoga nude is awesome. Everyone was relaxed, the instructor was awesome, and I worked up a great sweat. How gross that would have felt if I was clothed; another time when clothing makes very little sense.

I can see myself really getting into yoga because I really need to be more flexible and that is the perfect way to fix that problem. I would highly recommend doing yoga nude for anyone who already does yoga or is getting into it. It's really the only way to do it. Yoga is all about relaxation and spirituality; why create an artificial border with clothes?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Get Naked: It’s Good for Your Brain | h+ Magazine

I read a very interesting article today that I would like to share. The title caught my eye, claiming that nudity is good for your brain.

The article goes on to say that clothing is restricting our skin from properly sensing our environment. It claims that spending more time naked exercises the brain because it is receiving many more signals than when you are clothed. Apparently naked time, especially time spent barefoot, encourages your brain to do more thinking because of the extra sense. This can help to improve your balance and posture, in addition to helping prevent Alzheimer's!

Nudity also is said to reduce stress and is cleaner since bacteria can be trapped in clothing. And one of the most positive things this article mentions is a reduction in porn addiction. I always say that pornography is a very serious addiction that can ruin relationships, and it's so true that this addiction can be reduced by nudism. This is because the adult entertainment industry thrives off our negative self image and our necessity to hide our bodies. When it's all out in the open, what have they got to market?

Check out the full article here: Get Naked: It’s Good for Your Brain | h+ Magazine

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Intrigued Me About Nudism

My last post touched on some of the things I liked about nudism, but there's really so much more. I won't even touch on all the reasons in this post, and that's really what this blog is about. I intend to continue posting my experiences, thoughts, and things I've learned along my journey into nudism and as a continuing nudist.

The first thing I realized about social nudism was the feeling of immediate acceptance and the lack of judgement. When everyone is naked, nobody judges because our bodies are just what we have. People don't seem to care what you look like naked, it all comes down to personality. In the textile world, it is all about perception. For this reason, we end up worrying about what we wear, trying to hide what's underneath, and trying to influence the perception other people have of us through our clothing. This not only creates false images, but it also prevents certain people from talking to each other. I read an article written by a young adult who had attended a nudist youth camp and had become friends with another girl there. They both acknowledged that in the textile world one is preppy and the other is a goth; this choice of dress would prevent those two from ever uttering a single word to one another. But with the borders down, they were able to communicate and become friends. They were able to get to know the personality, not the perception the clothes created.

Aside from the feeling of acceptance, I instantly loved the feeling of freedom that nudity provided. Suddenly I wasn't hiding anything and it felt great. I was exposed to the world and so were the people around me, and there was an instant feeling of acceptance; we were all exposed and it didn't matter. It didn't matter where I came from or how I looked. It was just me, no artificial perceptions from my clothing. Now I could talk to the goth kid, or the hippie chick, or the preppy couple, or the Harley-riding biker, who actually is much nicer than you'd think. All people I likely would not speak to with clothes on because of that false perception clothing creates.

I also realized my body could now feel the environment around me better, I was more aware of the air on my body, the sand under my feet, the sweat on my skin working to cool me. I realized that my clothing was far less useful than I had previously thought. Clothing doesn't allow the body to naturally cool itself the way it was intended to. Without clothing my sweat was met by the air and my air conditioning system was 100% effective for the first time. I jumped into the water and for the first time I really knew how it felt. I was more aware of the temperature of the water, and the water felt great. And the sun on your naked body is such an awesome feeling. Aside from never having to worry about tan lines, nudism means no more sweaty private parts tucked into hot clothing. Feeling the sun on your whole body, and feeling the air cooling it naturally is such a great feeling. It was all these feelings that kept me coming back to Wreck Beach for the whole summer. How great it was, but I was only just beginning to explore an exciting new world as a nudist. Little did I know all that was waiting for me to find. More on that later...

How it all started

Well I've never really been one to want to take my clothes off. In fact, I think I covered up more than most people. It took me until I was 21 before I even wore sandals. Not really sure what that was all about, but for some reason I always wore socks and would never want to expose my feet. I didn't have a problem with taking my shirt off in the summer time, but the timing would have to be right and I would have to feel it was appropriate.

It must have just been the timing, or just a time in my life of exploration, but finally my inhibitions started to go away. In 2006 I was working a job that took me out to UBC every afternoon to drop off some of the guys I worked with. Well it was summer and it was hot, and my friend 'J' asked me if I wanted to go down to the famous Wreck Beach. I had never gone and I figured what the heck? Being mountain bikers, we had very expensive and rather heavy downhill bikes in the company van with us. We couldn't leave those unattended so we ended up riding them all the way down the Wreck Beach stairs; something I will never do again. We got a lot of weird looks on the way down and almost took out a few people, but we made it and suddenly there was a strange new landscape before me. I stood in wonder at all the naked people; tall, short, large, skinny, people with tattoos and those without, children, adults, teenagers, both genders, and every race I could imagine, they were all there. I was amazed at what I saw. Here was this wonderful place where everyone was comfortable to be naked around each other. I marvelled that all these different people, obviously from all walks of life, could come together and tear down their societal coverings and become equal. And really that's exactly what I saw, because when everyone's naked, everyone is the same. You can't judge people based on what they wear when they aren't wearing anything at all. It was a wonderful experience, and while it was too soon for me to participate, the scene I saw intrigued me.

As I watched everyone around me, I saw very little that I could analyze about people. I couldn't tell who the punk guys were, I didn't know who the lawyers were, I didn't know which group was the college kids, the jocks, or the nerds. The only way I could really know anything about anyone, was to speak to them, or at least sit close enough that I could listen to their conversations. I could only start to draw conclusions once I heard how they spoke, how they acted, and what they had to say. To put it simply, I had to get to know the real person - I couldn't pass judgement based on what I saw. This became even more apparent as the sun started to go down, and people began to get dressed and leave. I watched as the couple next to me put leather motorcycle clothing on. I had no idea they were bikers! And more importantly, I had been laughing along with them earlier, which I probably never would have done had I known they were bikers. I probably would have been afraid to go near them! I watched as the younger people down the beach dressed in clothing I would wear, and they grabbed their books and bags before walking off. So they were the college kids - I never would have known. I watched as all different types of people put on the clothing that typically defines to people who we are, but at the end of the day it's just clothing. What a revelation I was making, and it would change the way I looked at people and the world for the rest of my life.

I ended up going back a short while later while I had some free time and after taking a deep breath, I disrobed. I put my ipod on and laid on the beach for a while enjoying the feeling of the sun all over my body; a feeling I had never felt before but it felt great. It was so liberating, so unrestrictive, and I didn't need to worry about tan lines! I felt suddenly so comfortable with myself and somehow connected to all the likeminded people around me. I marvelled that instead of being ashamed of my body, I felt much more comfortable with everything out in the open. When we wear clothes, we are hiding ourselves, and I think that whether we are aware of it or not, we feel like everyone else is hiding something and there's an underlying sense of secrecy. It may be very subliminal, but looking back at my feelings that day, that was exactly what I was experiencing.

Well I had my first nude experience out of the way and I was hooked. I went down to Wreck every day I could. On work days when I was doing paperwork or doing call outs, I would bring my books down to the beach and do what I needed in the sunshine in the buff. he he, if only all my clients knew where I was when I was calling them. The rest is history, really. I've met some great people as a nudist, and managed to convince a few of my textile friends to join in. There's tons I want to experience still and I look forward to all that's in store and yet to explore as a nudist. I'll share some more experiences and ideas in further posts.