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Next summer's beachwear trend?
Fashion line "Adam and Eve".

by Ingo Koehn

Are we a misguided minority? Perverts? Sinners? Think again! Why do we have to consider ourselves "nudIST" or "naturIST"? As for myself, being naked, bathing without suit, doing sports with others in the nude is something I grew up with. It comes so naturally that it does not need an "-ISM" tag. I suggest we rather consider people deviant who dress before they get wet and tag them something along the lines of "prudishISTS". It was religion that made people think of their bodies and the bodies of others as of something shameful. They even claim the right to judge others' inclinations, be they sexual or otherwise.

I am lucky enough to live in a country where beach life is often clothing optional or officially nude. It is largely tolerated; however, some people think that neither they nor others, especially children, should be exposed to the sight of nude people.

I prefer to spend summer in places that permit nudity or even promote it, resorts, campgrounds, beaches, sometimes even at some remote lakesides and on forest- surrounded meadows where no-one will bother me. Some friends or family will usually join me. I love it when people try it for the first time and to see them feel proud and free just after a few minutes. When our friends' kids do without hesitation what they would not if their parents were around. When women realize that being naked means enjoying their own body instead of inevitably falling prey to voyeurs or worse. When men realize that others' now-not-so-private parts may be even smaller than theirs. Was that really everything that had prevented them from trying nude bathing earlier?

My family, some friends and I consider it to be perfectly natural for anyone to find some naked bodies attractive and, (I dare say that), sexy, others possibly less so, and to feel free and joyful around other naked people. Admiring the beauty of people instead of shyly looking down is perfectly normal and does not constitute voyeurism. Being seen and probably openly looked at by another naked person is no exhibitionism. And finally, someone has got to say it, mainstream thought control aside, naked kids playing at the beach are innocent to look at, there is no moral issue involved, we were born naked although most of us seem to have forgotten. It is the moralists' own gaze that interprets children's bodies in a sexual way, only to insinuate that everyone else be the same. In contrast to that, what you really see at the beach is just - well, naked kids.

I am no Adonis myself, but not at all ashamed of my body because it would mean being ashamed of who I am - of my very self. What more is there to say: We should accept that the sight of naked bodies may sometimes have an erotic touch to it. An enjoyable feeling. So what? Again, there is no morality, just human nature, no harm, just joy.

How will you spot me if we happen to meet somewhere at the beach? You simply will not! Nudity takes away all inequality, social barriers; it does not expose you but lets you be just another person among others. Why not try it as it may well turn out to be one of those things you will never want to miss again.