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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Stripping off is a bid for freedom

NATURISM can cause a stir. Several nudist clubs have hit the headlines recently, casting a shadow over an activity enjoyed by many.
As ever increasing amounts of people seek relaxation without the restriction of clothing, we take a look at clubs and societies catering for naturists in Fenland.
Several Fenland based groups and organisations are among about 180 venues in the UK catering for naturists.
Croft Country Club is a family naturist club near Wisbech, Whittlesey's Manor Leisure Centre holds regular naturist swimming sessions, and The Grand in Ramsey holds special naturist screenings for film buffs.
There are also many nudist beaches in the UK, including East Anglia.
The manageress of Croft Country Club, Celia Underwood said she believed people took to naturism because they enjoyed the 'freedom of being undressed'.
"Naturists are such a friendly bunch and you get all sorts, including barristers and the ordinary working man," she said.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005


MISSION: ReNudePride was created in 2003 to provide a healthy, non-threatening environment where men can enjoy being nude together. The group of 150-plus members is open to gay men without regard to their race, age, religion, HIV-status or physical appearance. ReNudePride promotes male bonding and friendship, while working toward overcoming negative perceptions associated with being nudists. One of the group's regular activities is the monthly potluck social.
HOW TO JOIN: The group's web site at lists criteria for applicants. Admission to the group is dependent upon maintaining a full range of ages and body types in the group.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Greenip tries to cover for nudists

A conservative county senator failed yesterday to convince her fellow lawmakers that nudists need some legal cover in case they want to hold winter events in cities like Annapolis.
Sen. Janet Greenip, R-Crofton, pushed an amendment to a bill originally aimed at strip clubs in Prince George's County that would have prevented overeager municipal lawmakers from barring events involving legitimate nudist groups.
The county has two nudist camps, Maryland Health Society in Davidsonville and Pine Tree Associates in Crownsville, that offer naturalist activities such as skinny dipping, tennis and paddleball.

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

German nudes fill museum for unusual exhibit

BERLIN (Reuters) - One hundred virtually naked women between the ages of 18 and 65 have displayed their bodies in a Berlin art gallery to prepare for a one-day exhibit on Friday. Wearing only transparent tights, the 100 nearly nude models stood, kneeled or sat down on the floor of the New National Gallery before a small crowd of journalists on Thursday. Bystanders peered in through windows from outside the building.

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Monday, April 04, 2005

Nudism fosters healthier individuals, society

I was born nude. Nothing unusual here. In 1962, I was 8 years old, my parents took on the management of a nudist club in Colton. For the next 12 years this was my home. My family were members of other clubs before that so I have been a nudist all of my life.

In the late '70s, I spent an afternoon being interviewed by Dennis Craig Smith, who along with William Sparks wrote, "The Naked Child: Growing Up Without Shame/Social Nudity/Its Effect on Children," a statistical study of adults who were brought up in a nudist environment.

This study, along with others, concludes that the idea of exposure to the naked human body during one's formative years is somehow detrimental to one's adult mental state is not only wrong, but that the opposite is true. These studies also point out that there is less drug abuse, fewer unwanted pregnancies and lower rates of sexually deviant behavior exhibited than that of the general population. Additionally, people who grew up in nudist environments are better educated, more tolerant of others and better adjusted to life in general.

With this information at hand, I am completely astounded that, in 2005, there are those whose ignorance of fact allows them to attack a private gathering of nudists under the guise of "protecting the children." (I have to assume we are talking about protecting them from sexual abuse, as opposed to getting caught in the crossfire of spontaneous gang violence).

The primary Bible thumper behind this attack, James Hartline, who brought this "potentially harmful" activity to light (and whose rather complicated background can be examined via a quick online search), has obviously never bothered to educate himself by reading these studies or the Bible he's waving in everybody's face.

Here is one man quoting from Genesis, "They were nude but they were not ashamed." Furthermore, because God created it, Pope John Paul II said, "The human body can remain nude and uncovered and preserve its splendor and its beauty."

As far as protecting the children from a group, it would appear that the Catholic Church should be at the top of Escondido Councilwoman Mare Waldron's list, as well as every other group, both private and public, in which children are present. Groups are not the problem, pedophiles are the problem. These people do not do their damage in public. I can guarantee that no priest has ever molested a child in front of the congregation.

Attacking any group is not the answer, growing healthier adults is. To that end, by all available data, it would appear that bringing the next few generations of children up in an open nudist environment (not necessarily a nudist club, but a healthy "see, I'm OK, you're OK, nothing mysterious here" atmosphere) is the best available option our society has.

By the way, if gang members were naked, it would be damn near impossible to carry a concealed weapon. (And if they did conceal them, they'd be where they belong!)

David Manning lives in Encinitas.

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