Being clothes free in America you will no doubt face some challenge, legal and social. Fragments of perception passed down from the Colonialists have all but died. Today most people reject the label of “Puritan” for it calls forth images of outdated belief and suppression of natural human expression. Unfortunately, many have yet to realize the depth of influence the colonies have had in the shaping of our own minds. We live in a culture of systematic learning. One teaches what was taught to them, but in this age of independent learning many are discovering the imbalance in the lessons from the “simpler times”. As a clothes free person I have encountered and waged war with the outdated ideas pertaining to the free expression of nudity that are present within society and its laws. As a global collective we have made strides in recognizing what is natural, and have begun to reclaim it. The female form is increasingly depicted as the gateway to Life’s physical form. Then again the female body has always been seen as sacred, or as a form of “Soft Nudity” in many areas of our culture. Women in the thousands are rediscovering the sacred rites of there mothers before them and restoring there connection with the earth on so many levels. Sadly, the male form seems to be just now receiving serious consideration of universal presentation.
Where the female body is sexualized the male form is scorned. I became profoundly aware of this one day when I was eating lunch with my eight year old nephew. When the food was placed on the table he (without any hesitation) jumped down and automatically started to do push-ups. I accept at 30 years old I may be slightly out of touch with what is “in”, so I asked what was with the exercise? His response was that he needed to burn calories before he ate anymore. I continued my line of questioning, Strategically. I found that he was trying to have muscles, abs and look like Hercules so that people (children and adults) wouldn’t tease him. At that moment I felt lava rise and fangs descend; the sacred mantra of Kali ma seemed to blast through my mind. Then Shiva in the form of thought cooled my rage, just but a little. I realized I was feeling the same anger that mothers feel when they see aspects of body shaming culture take residence within their daughters minds. The body shaming culture has been proudly fought to the point where women are proudly unified in the fight for body positivity, yet many men seem to have no problem with this epidemic within our circles. I feel as a collective we have forgotten that the same purist ideals that gave birth to the oppression of the natural female form was at the same time dealt to males. It is no secret Men are told not to cry or appear soft; to do so would be a sign of weakness and a disgrace to the “structure” of masculinity. We know this to be not only oppressive but a abusive logic. What if we considered the psychological and emotional ramification?
Being a Black man in America I know all to well of unspoken meanings. I walk down a street and lone women will quickly cross or shrink themselves; attempting to become invisible. I do not feel anger about this because they are simply seeking protection by tactics they have been taught. The interesting thing is I know not if they fear me due to my skin tone or because I am a man? The masculine is taught to be rough, war like and a unbalanced force. Called upon to grant sexual satisfaction, provision and protection. These are the archetypes a male must be recognized to possess for him to have a voice. All other expressions are subject to ridicule and possible revocation of male identity. As a result these quintessentials are pursued aggressively; hence society’s current state of perception on the male nude. The penis is seen as a weapon or as a mindless object of pure sexuality. If neither is the case then its herald as a joke if presented in mainstream entertainment. Rarely is the penis shown to be a life giver, nor is it presented in a non sexual expression. The clothes free community is not penis stigma free either. Many beaches and clubs focused on keeping the ratio between unmarried men and women at a balance of more female than male attendance. Many places do this for security concerns and to keep the atmosphere of safety vibrating, but is this really necessary? If a young girl goes to school with a thin strap shirt, is she a a threat to education? The answer is NO. Once again we find puritan belief living in new flesh . The thought of a gender being inherently anything is on the same ranks of believing the same of race, class, and or culture. All of us that are part of the clothes free culture including those that just like to be nude or that accept nudity as the natural state of reality; have released a level of mental and emotional dependency on various labeling and the need to exist within the limitations of our once self imposed classifications. Thus we are an open minded bunch, and have gained a perspective view of the mainstream. I constantly see pages and posts blocked due to the same thing..male nudity. I have witnessed many FB and IG protests fighting the notion that the sacred lingham is anyway taboo be shutdown; I also know many that currently thrive. I find the difference between these groups is the presentation of the nude male, and with the sensitive issues concerning all men. They often depict male frontal nudity artistically, and with purpose. It bothers me that we must present our self expression as artistic value. I wish the world was ready to accept nude selfies and pictures of clothing-free beach vacations like the clothed. Perhaps one day, but we must fight the patriarchy and tear down the stigma they have placed upon all of us, for any person to live in the full freedoms that life on this earth offers.