Who is Daniel and why doesn't he have any clothes on?
Throughout my whole life, I never liked wearing clothes, but like most people today I was a prisoner of the textile society. This is the same society that dictates who wears what, when, why and how. The society that says if you don't wear this and you don't wear that, you're not cool and that demands you express your individuality by looking like everyone else. Don't be the odd one out. This is the society that has turned many generations of adults and children into an odd combination of superficial, sex obsessed yet prudish, and have then gone on to turn the human body into a commerical enterprise of sick fetishes.
Until I was 20 years old, I was too embarrassed to be seen in public wearing shorts. Even though the summer heat and the touch of clothing was unbearable, the fear of ridicule by others was even worse. The person who helped change that was my dear friend Darlene Wall. She was the first person ever to tell me to not give a damn what other people think about my crippled skinny legs and to dress for my own comfort, not anyone else's. After that day, wearing long pants became a winter thing only. Thank you, Darlene.
Not long after that, I became a "secret nudist." I would go hiking most weekends. Usually the same place a couple miles out in the woods, with nothing but my lunch, my bible and a hammock which I would string up between two trees near the creek. As soon as I got there the clothes came off and didn't come back on until I started for home. There is nothing more peaceful than sitting nude in the middle of a forest near a creek.
When I moved to Phoenix, I became a home nudist. My clothes are off about 30 seconds after getting home and they don't see me again until I am getting ready for work the next morning. Not only am I comfortable, but the electric bill is cheap in the summers.
In 2003, I became an every day nudist. I've joined a private clothing optional resort and now I would rather be boiled in oil before I go hiking with clothes on. For me, the two feel about the same.
Now, I am a nudist advocate. From the individuals and families I have met at the Shangri La Ranch, I have seen the wholesome impact it has had on that very small segment of society.
Outside the resort, if a girl wears a skimpy bathing suit, men and boys work themselves into a frenzy with desire to see and touch what's under it. For nudists, bathing suits don't exist and seeing penises, vaginas and breasts has about as much erotic stimulation as ant farming. This is not to say that sex drive is eliminated, but rather it is put into it's proper perspective. Nudists enjoy making babies too, but they are more aware of the differences between the utilitarian and the intimate purposes of their bodies. To put it simple, it purpose of ones body is not just to get someone else off. The body goes from being a source of obsession or revulsion to being one that simply contains the mind, heart and spirit of the person who occupies it. Sexuality comes from the brain, not what's between our legs.
Some argue that certain things should remain a mystery until marriage, but really, what is the mystery? Everyone knows what a vagina and a penis look like. You either have one or you know someone who does. Again, what is the mystery? Being a nudist does not remove the mystery of sexuality, it removes the obsession with sexuality. Everyone has got one, everyone has seen one, let's move on.
Others will say that they are too fat, too skinny, too ugly, or whatever. I feel sorry for those people because they are giving others the power to decide how they feel about themselves. They do not live in your body, they should not decide what you do to feel comfortable and good about yourself. If you have body issues, take a look at Honoring my body. On the other hand, if it's you that thinks others are too fat, too skinny or too ugly, then I feel sorry for you, because you're probably just unhappy about life in general.
There is also nudism as a source of healing from physical or emotional trauma, be it from disfigurement or sexual abuse. By both omission and commission, society teaches us that being nude makes us more vulnerable, but when you can learn to become comfortable around others in that state, it indicates that healing is taking place. You become able to look all around and see others with their scarred imperfect bodies and realize that you're equal and accepted, not inferior. This is perhaps simplistic, but it is no less valid. I know from personal experience.
Finally, some claim that allowing yourself to be seen nude is a sin...
In a recent news article, some pastor proclaimed that the bible teaches nudity should be private and sacred by stating "That expression of being nude is to be confined to the relationship between a man and a woman in holy marriage ... and that alone." One of my own friends -- a practicing Catholic -- called it the "sin of immodesty". I couldn't find what either of them were talking about in any translation of any bible. In fact, the only possibly applicable reference I could find was Paul instructing women to dress modestly, but it further goes on to clarify that it means that women shouldn't adorn their bodies with a ton jewelry and other decorative crap that would make them look like bimbos. It has nothing to do with clothing, but rather pride and boasting.
When God first created man and woman, they were naked and unashamed. This is the way it was meant to be. They only clothed themselves after they had sinned, obviously in a foolish attempt to hide themselves and their guilt from God, just as small children may hide their face when they do something wrong. The naked body is not the result of sin, clothing is the indicator of sin. That doesn't mean that wearing clothes in a sin, but neither is not wearing clothes.
The concept of mere nudity being sinful is nothing but controlling religious dogma that is not backed up by any of God's commandments. God's laws are very clear and nowhere does He make any command that we must wear clothing and there is nothing in them that would even vaguely refer to the notion that nudity in and of itself is sinful. This is a law made by men who looked to blame and control because of their own impure thoughts.
The more we see non-sexual nudity, the less we will associate nudity with lust. Being nude is about acceptance of ourselves and others. It allows us to understand that who we are comes from within, not from our appearance.