Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Public Nudity and the Irksome C. W. Nevius

Walking home from school today, naked, after reading C.W.Nevius' one-sided, inflammatory column in today's Chronicle I passed two little old women on Castro Street. One whispered to the other in a very serious tone, "See, that's what I've been telling you about." Other than that, all of the comments and looks I received were very positive, smiles, nods, one gentleman stopped me to ask if I was taking my responsibility as a tourist attraction seriously. He told me believed everyone enjoyed the nudity. I know I certainly enjoy the nudity, and I enjoy the freedom I have in San Francisco which allows me to enjoy the nudity in spite of some bigots.

Body hatred is a bigotry, we are not born hating our bodies but rather are taught to hate them. Nudity has never caused anyone any harm that I am aware of. When I am naked, I can feel the sun and the breeze on my skin. All of my senses are heightened and I feel closer to nature as there is less that separates me from the nature around me. My animality is exposed, along with my body. I am more equal to nature, rather than removed from it, or above it. I can understand how THAT is a scary and threatening concept for some.

It threatens the status quo, the belief that we are individuals looking out only for ourselves and everything else is put here for our use. That is the paradigm which is getting us in so much trouble: rapid use of global resources, the betting on others losing their homes in the mortgage markets or not being able to afford food in the commodities market, causing untold suffering for millions just so a few of us might profit.

Clothing compulsion is more harmful, I believe, than public nudity. To always hide who we are and seperate ourselves from nature and each other with clothing, no matter what the situation or weather, seems very harmful to me. I believe we would be much better off as a society and a world if we could all experiance casual nudity from time to time. If you have the oppurtunity, and haven't tried it, I would urge you to take a step and work on overcoming some of your fears. You just might like it.


Naked Kevin said...

I read that Chronicle story yesterday too. But I read it online and could not stop posting comments, er rebuttals, to all the narrow minded comments there. I posted something about clothing being an addiction and got all thumbs down. I too go naked wherever and whenever possible, I always get positive feedback from the people I encounter so I don't know where all the prudes came from online>?

Anonymous said...

This is what I am about to email to them. After I read your post, I spent a few hours writing. Still not good enough, but it is all I can do. I will also post it in their commentaries. I will have to chop it into two or three parts I guess.
I read with interest your article from February 10. I was referred to it by a friend:::>Those naked guys on Castro.... Oh the humanity....

It seems that I came to SF from MT 30 years ago just cuz there was a circus type atmosphere there, not unlike the naked men there today. In 1970's and 80's there were: Men having sex with men and not shy about it. Cruising the streets openly, right out in public. Bars that catered to these folks, who should have really been ashamed of themselves for their cheekiness, according to the rest of the world. But this is the very thing that was bringing carloads of my friends to the city. We even rented a bus once. Certainly it was a three ring circus when compared to Whitefish Montana or the Lutheran ethics of my repressive and stultifying home community. They were working for freedom and equality and unabashedly so, not going away, and having fun doing it. Those folks then. Not unlike your tiny band of nudists now. Perhaps it was even worse back then, as there were armies and armies of men looking like clones and fucking like rabbits. Busloads and carloads of men from the hinterlands rushing to take part. Only a few nudists today tho, no rush to join in. Far less threatening, I'd say. But the times back then were... Well... Pretty much Circus-like. Pretty Out There Man. Pretty Weird. "Not in My Back Yard" was heard then too just like with your tiny band of nudists. Get Those Folks to Put that Crap Back into the Closet! Where it belongs. Get those nudies to put their clothes on, straighten up, fly right. You might scare the horses. You might actually have someone who knows humans exists experience humans being humans, actually see it for themselves. Same thing. Different group. But look at all the positive things this paradigm of acceptance has brought about for SF. Didn't it? or do I live in a different fantasy land than you?

Your Stimulus Package

Anonymous said...

Part Two:

The freedom to be on a nude beach by the Golden Gate, to see people being themselves and fly their freak flags high without repentance, or to be in a gay bookstore or bar, or to walk hand in hand with my boyfriend:::>This is why I travel often to CA and to SF in particular. Why I scrimp and save at my crappy job mind numbing job inside my dull existence, to later drop thousands and thousands of dollars right into your coffers. Now that the over-all "gay circus" aspect has subsided a bit, that part of the scenery is now respectable, and it is integrated and accepted by the rest of the culture. I still come to SF because what bred that social revolution and the others is still alive and well and bubbling up from the streets. And now another smaller group of "clowns" as you call them has moved into the ring and taking some of the spotlight, along with those other crazy minorities, they too wanting acceptance. They too drawing tourists. They also encourage freedom seekers to move to your city and spend their hard earned greenbacks, offer their sweat and tears in your salt mines, in your stores, and economy.

SF will continue to make money off of all of this, off of us, in this same very pattern. :::>Any little country mouse, looking for acceptance will visit or move to SF. Then add their talents to the pool of humanity that nourishes you, and drop their money there. If men can stand naked on a street corner today, as pioneering gay men could do holding hands on the Castro in the past, then, well then, any old person of this or that persuasion, artistic talent, or anyone else who feels oppressed in any way, knows intrinsically that there WILL BE A PLACE for them in SF. Un-like any other place on earth. This is what draws the folks to you in SF. Those businessmen who live there and have become complacent and wish this paradigm of SF were not true, they are just stupid. This IS THE engine that makes the place go. That makes the progressive and open atmosphere you all depend on--> exist at all. This "open--ness" is your greatest resources.

I am sorry for the business people and those prudes who are crying for "normalcy", as they have no sense of current reality. We from the hinterlands can see the lay of the land upon entering over your big gaudy orange bridge. Sorry you are upset many others are not beating the drums and joining you to get hopping upset about those naked people. BUT Consider this: Perhaps the facts are not completely lost on everyone else you wish would speak up over this tiny band of naked people. Why do you lament that there are so few people in the area who want to complain about them damned nudist pinko wrinkled faggots mucking it up on the streets. Your audience knows that a generation ago, it was they themselves that were in the same boat. Themselves that changed things for the better for the area because they were freaks and they had no place else to go to be themselves. And they were even less accepted by the culture at large than the naked folks are today. Gosh:::>Business folks are pretty humorless and clueless. Poor things. But maybe the others DO get it.

Yr Stmls Pckg

Anonymous said...

Part Three:

I am banking on the lovely groups of Japanese tourists and New York Jewish grandmas who want their pictures taken standing next to the naked guys. What harmless fun for everyone. Perhaps you could smile too.

Here is a question that your article did not discuss. How much historical change in that area (that used to be pretty damned ratty years ago) depended on just the type of "human circus" that the "accepting everyone" outlook brings. How much did you capitalize financially on the parade of "leather daddies"other loosly described 'clowns""gays"lesbians" etc that existed there over those years. Is this what has made the then crappy rundown area now finally acceptable to young families? Is this what brought the gays and weirdos of all stripes in from the cold hinterlands, and thus make the wonders of gentrification happen for your city? How much of those tourist dollars caused by just this sort of outlying behavior over all those many years, brought about exactly what is making those merchants rich enough to pretend to themselves that they are having a "NORMAL" business district existence. Fool themselves to think they can shun those very types that brought business demand to the area in the first place. Even if these exact folks are not buying from their stores directly, they are the reason they are there and doing well. Why are children less accepting of naked people? Why should parents be so wigged out? Why are prudish people more important than, gays, nudes, or other minorities? Especially when this is their home. Who is more valued? and why.

So you have some naked guys. Oh the humanity! There won't be thousands of them.... never will be. They too will be a positive influence on the area. Who would have thought back then that horny men from all over the world, looking for sex, would bring about such a positive change to any city anywhere in the world. hmm. Strange how history works. But they will be there these sorts of freeks if not the same ones. Short of locking these type of folks in shackles and hauling them away to a gas chamber, of course we tried that as a people once, they will be there and we will have to find a way to live together. They will indeed fight to retain the rights and freedoms that they already have exercised. Just as all other groups in SF have done for hundreds of years. They exist and thrive. They hurt no one! But do attract yet another layer of energy to the circus of humanity that cycles through the place, like it or not. Which brings money, which brings more prospective interest to your now thriving area. As you said this would never fly anywhere else... and that is exactly why they are right there. And no where else.

Anonymous said...

Part Four:

Once an economy is humming it brings those who wish to move in and find it distasteful. Why do people who hate naked people or gay people or anyone else move to the Castro?

We have a similar situation in Montana, believe it or not, but this has to do with the smell of manure. People want to move in from the outside and change what thrives there. To kill the goose laying gold eggs. Farmers set up shop in a valley and farm. Spread their fields with fertilizer and graze animals. This brings in other farmers. A community of particular folks develops that supports and defends farmers. Suddenly the wonderful country life is praised cuz there are a few sheckles there and the views are good. Farmland is lusted after by people who should in no uncertain circumstances settle there.... and all types of developers move mountains to bring in the very people that do not want to look at pigs in feed lots. They do not want to smell shit or dairy farms. Do not want to experience ANY of the realities that makes up the daily fertilizer of the economy or the community strong. They build houses right up close to smelly farms, then complain about the smell. The sound of plowing starting too early in the morning in the fields wakes them up and ruins their morning coffee. Road closures due to moving livestock cause road rage. Don't get me started when straw has to be burned from the fields. The commentators from the minority nude group are right in a way. If you do not want to (see naked people) (see the cows) (hear the noise) (see gay men) (see people of color) (smell manure or crop waste) (etc) then do NOT move right into the areas that have these things as an intrinsic part of their economies, or social norms. Sorry, live out your uptight existence in another part of the state. There is now a very empty house in my home town for sale, perhaps you can buy it from me and I could take your place there in SF and look at those naked guys, I could get your job, get access to your standard of life. I would welcome it. I love SF, nudies, trannies, gays, lesbos, the whole sha-bang! ALL of it. Wish you could too.

Worst case scenario with the nudies? Like when I lived in Europe, those damned Germans were naked at the beach all the time. But not everyone will rush onto the beach to be naked with them. Not even all the other Germans. Nude sections of city parks are well known and everyone lives fine together. Children play right near by the naked people. No problem. It is kinda relaxing, all that acceptance and tolerance. Will a few more nude folks move into the Castro to live a nude lifestyle. Maybe, Maybe Not, who knows. And if they did, they would simply only add to the diversity and strength of the place and strengthen its appeal, as always happens. But the bottom of the universe will not fall out if more gays, more grandpas, more wrinklies, more minorities, sexual or otherwise, more nudies, more artists, and unwashed masses wash up on SF's door step. More power to them.

A "human" Being, from Out of State

AKA Your Stimulus Package

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I had a bizarre experience last summer that exemplifies just how uptight and body-hating our culture is. I was in the men's locker room at my local public pool in Brooklyn, NY changing into my swimsuit. A man shouted across the room to me "There's a little girl in here." I looked and sure enough there was a girl of 5 or 6 there with her father. I didn't find this surprising as parents often bring small children of the other sex into restrooms and locker rooms. I just said "OK" and continued changing. The man continued "You're naked". "Yes", I said, "this is the men's locker room". "But there's a girl in here and you're naked. You should go to the bathroom," he went on. "No," I said, "the locker room is for changing clothes". I really was dumbfounded that someone would chastise me for being naked in the men's locker room. The girl's father hadn't said anything, but what really bugged me is that it made me self-conscious anytime I saw a little girl in the locker room after that. I wondered if the father would think I was being inappropriate. Of course, if a father doesn't want his daughter to see naked men, he shouldn't bring her into the men's locker room, but you never know what people are thinking.
I'd love to live in a place like SF where I can walk around naked on the streets. I had a great time at Folsom last year being naked all day in the hot Sept. SF weather, even going into local shops to buy beer and into bars where I danced naked, masturbated and had sex. Of course I'd only do those things in a gay bar during SF where it is tolerated if not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

I got a nice message back from the author of the article. Saying that my points were "interesting".

I was happy he read my message.

Your Stimulus Package

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed read all this data... it was great seeing all the male nudist around.... I am also a senior male nudist. and being in SF years ago.... Thanks for posting...Catch you later...