British Approach To Nudity

I am currently involved in the OneAndOther Project www.oneandother.co.uk .  I am not going to repeat the aims and intentions of the OneAndOther Project, please follow the link above which provides all the background and the plans to involve 2400 people in the UK  to capture in Art form the society we live in for future generations to reference and enjoy.   This project is going to make use of the 4th Plinth in the Trafalgar Square as the stage for each of the 2400 people selected (Plinthers) to make their presentations.

My profile page for OneAndOther is at http://www.oneandother.co.uk/participants/lady-godiva

The background to the 4th Plinth can be found here http://www.london.gov.uk/fourthplinth/commissioning/index.jsp

INTRODUCTION

I had no plans to embark on this mission to discuss the British approach to nudity until I saw an opportunity to be one of the Plinthers on the OneAndOther Project. 

Having the freedom to be nude when it feels right is very important in my life.  Whilst I can quite confidently say that even with my Indian upbringing, I have never had too much issue with nudity, it wasn’t until 11 years ago that I really found the freedom to express myself through my life style and the belief that being in the nude at suitable time, gave me a higher level of confidence and peace.

I don’t have anything to prove or justify, most people in my life are aware of my approach to nudity and some accept it whilst others will never change their attitude.  It is not my intent to attempt a change in the attitude of the world towards nudity,  rather it is my hope to engage in a public debate with the help of those that already believe in the power of nudity and explore the possibility of understanding why those that believe nudity helps them in some way, cannot be allowed to enjoy the natural life.

NATURISTS

People who believe nudity to be good for a healthy life style are commonly referred to as Naturists, this does not mean they all belong to some mythical organisation or sinister cult, just that they may from time to time decide to remain in the nude whether at home or on holidays. 

It is necessary to get the point below off my chest because it is this, the fear held by the general public that anyone who is nude or goes nude has some hidden agenda that has lead to the situation where on one hand the official line is that Nudity is not illegal, and yet if anyone was to go nude in public they are much likely to be arrested.  This has been challenged to a great degree by the OneandOther project.  The acid test will be to see if the Police will still turn a blind eye to a nude person in the Trafalgar Square after the project has ended.  More about this later…

For far too long, at best the Naturist movement in the UK has been seen as a group of old eccentrics.  At worst they have been marked with the suspicion of being some form of perverts.  This is obviously unacceptable.  It is true that some idiots visit the naturist beaches.  It is my experience that the naturists do not welcome people with intents of lewd behaviour.  Therefore I would suggest that;  in the same way you would not blame the general public for the perverts on normal beaches, it is wrong to blame/link the naturists for the idiots that might visit the clothing optional beaches. 

Naturist of course have a vast amount of respect for each other, there is little threat from anyone where true naturists are.  Families are much safer on naturist beaches than they are on normal beaches.  This is because the naturists have a lot more respect for each other and they benefit from more mature attitude towards life.

The youths at the naturist sites are much better behaved because they are there under their parents’ guidance, they develop respect for other because they themselves benefit from the respect of other.

Why are so many naturists middle aged and older?

The fact is that the comment regarding naturists being middle age to older people has been made in the press and by social commentators for a long time.  Now.. unless these naturists are frozen in time and have ever lasting life, it is just possible that old naturists are replaced with new (old?) ones.   Where do these old naturists come from?  What were they before they became old naturists?.. look for the answer and you shall find that some of us, will grow old(if lucky) and take our rightful place as the old naturists!

The only reason why there are more older naturists than young ones, particularly in the UK than anywhere else in my view, is because the young in the UK do not have the confidence to go naked.  At the same time we hear so many reports of the people from the UK causing problems in the holiday resorts around the world where after a few drinks the tops and the bottoms have no importance!  This is confirmed by so many TV programs that have documented, replayed the acts of lewd or nude behaviour of Brits abroad.

If we (the public) are known around the world to be free and confident enough to take our clothes off whilst on holidays, so then why not try it at home!  The answer is probably in the need to retain respect within the society and workplace. 

If we gave nudity a little more respect then there would be no need to consider nude as being rude. 

The Plinth Hour – LadyGod1va.

In my effort to get involved in this debate, I have opened up my home, soul and laid out my life on a table for people to judge and comment.  No one likes to be lectured and this is not my aim.  I am taking a life changing risk by coming out in public, not only from my work associates but also from my family.

So if I can do it with all the risk associated with my action, then why don’t you consider it.  I am going to write further on my experience of going through the ONEANDOTHER Plinth hour.  To whet your appetitive;  please view my hour using the link below.  Whilst some of it might be a little ‘loud’, please note  that some of the ‘lads’  were from far away countries with even lower understanding of nudity than in the UK.  With the exception of a couple of them, English was not their first language so communication and history of Lady Godiva was lost on them.   The comments made by the intoxicated lads were probably  milder than those experienced by some other plinthers (nude or otherwise) .

However, I felt strong and in control and enjoyed the experience.  Please watch and leave comments on this blog or on the ONEANDOTHER site. 

I am assuming that if you have read this blog up to this point you are interested in nudity… so go on.. try to understand my point of view, shed your clothes for a while, leave a comment.. and make my day!!

More about the actual hour in the next blog..

http://www.oneandother.co.uk/participants/lady-godiva

29 Responses to “British Approach To Nudity”

  1. Rodders Says:

    I don’t think that any comments that have already been said before could be improved upon by myself.
    My details are on Skinbook and BN.

  2. Paul Says:

    Hi Kiran,

    You may be interested in this article about Steve Gough (The Naked Rambler)
    http://www.naturistholiday.info/a/1027/What_happened_to_the_Naked_Rambler.aspx

  3. Lee Says:

    Kiran

    Congratulations on your hour on the plinth, along with Suzanne hopefully it will start to loosen attutudes in this country.

    As others have said, in countries like Spain it is more likely you’ll see groups of single women outnumbering single me, something you would never see in the UK. The first time my wife went naked on the beach within 30 secons a man had placed his towel within 6″ on the bottom of hers, fortunately she was asleep so I lent over and suggested that, as this beach was the best part of a mile long I’m sure he could find somewhere else with a little more room. Except, of course I was a lot more Anglo-saxon in my choice of language!

    This, I think is what is stopping more women from taking up naturism, plus the fact that so many women compare themselves with the air-brushed images in the media nad hate the way they look. A friend of mine who I think is really beautiful, with a stunning figure is a good example. If I see her wearing something that I like and tell her, she will always say she thinks it makes her look fat!

    We have a long way to go in this country, hopefully we’ve now made a start thanks to you.

    Lee.

  4. Geff Says:

    As you say, many naturists seem to be middle aged and male (like me – although when I’m naked age seems to be irrelevant) Why, where are the youinger naturists? This made me think about my own experience. I can remember wanting to be naked right back to my teens – but then I thought it was wrong so I suppressed the urge. It wasn’t until I was older that I was able to liberate my thinking from the confines of British society’s views and be what feels natural to me. It took time, confidence, daring, and discovering over many years of little snippets of life where nudity was present that you do have a choice and if you don’t exercise your free will and follow your own heart then you may never do so. So decades of learning life were required for me to start being what feels natural so may be its not surprising that you see/her of fewer younger naturists – they’ve yet to blossom. Also, the pressure to conform is enormous on youngsters – its only when I got older that i not only thought what i wanted but was less concerned about conforming. Even now it is hard – my wife doesn’t like her friends knowing I like being naked as she thinks many will just think I’m a pervert. That really hurts. Yet the same people will topless naked on a foreign beach ot in foreign sauna and not think all the naked people are perverts – yet they don’t see that it’s the thinking/attitude thats wrong rather than the nakedness. Sorry, I’m rambling on.

    geff

  5. Arne Benjaminsen Says:

    You are doing a great job, I hope someone can be inspaierd to do the same,in my contry, Norway.Keep oup the good work !

  6. Jan Says:

    I am not quite sure I understand this part:
    “Whilst I can quite confidently say that even with my Indian upbringing, I have never had too much issue with nudity, it wasn’t until 11 years ago that I really found the freedom to express myself through my life style and the belief that being in the nude at suitable time, gave me a higher level of confidence and peace.”

    As I understand it, holy men walk around in India naked and they are accepted. What IS the general opinion on nudity in India, only in a religious context or what???

    Bare with me
    Jan

  7. Ruth Says:

    A few sheets to the wind, just got this from a friend and understand you want a few more female responses but not much more about it so here goes…!
    I’m definitely middle-aged and terribly English and whole-heartedly agree that we don’t have the confidence to “bare all”. And I do mean more “Women” by “we” but I haven’t read many of the responses on the site so maybe it applies to English men too.
    Have you seen the cartoon of an overweight male slob looking at himself in a mirror and seeing a drop dead gorgeous fit guy? And the drop dead gorgeous fit young woman looking at herself in the mirror and seeing an overweight unattractive hag? That’s me and a pile of my drop dead gorgeous female friends all over. Of course there’s more to beauty than meets the eye and we are confident and mature and attractive enough with clothes on in public, clothes off with a special nother. But clothes off in public? Hmmm think again…
    And I see my budding ten year old dancing confidently with just knickers on in front of my friends-male and female, and I think, WOW, that confidence, without complications of sexual expectations or judgement on appearance, that’s great!
    But she doesn’t like me wandering round with just knickers on!

    • Geff Says:

      Ruth

      By far the most attractive feature of is naked female (and I guess male too?) is the free spirit, the confidence, and the inhibition of being comfortable with their own body and with being naked. The size and shape of the various parts are very much secondary. I remember seeing a rear view of a naked Dawn French in a program once – very sexy! Similarly, I was stunned by the liberation of a lady at a naturist camp site who had only one breast – she was totally comfortable with her body and that more than made up for any missing part.

      When I look in the mirror I can see two of me, one is a slouched, uninspiring and generally unattractive, the other stands tall, looks in reasonable shape and smiling – the difference is merely attitude 9and the posture that goes with it).

      geff

  8. Tiffany Oben Says:

    I did a nude stint on the plinth, necessary as part of my transformance from Man to Woman – see week 9, 1st September, 4-5am, Man: Nude: Woman. I had at first thought to cover my nudity or wear a nude suit, but thought what does it actually matter since everyone knows what I would be trying to hide, so I decided to go for it. I was shocked by the nastiness of the hecklers, but the performance space was very public, outside my usual art environment populated with more enlightened viewers. I almost chickened out of the act iteslf, but had no plan B so had to go for it, the alternative was to re-dress as a man and stand around for an hour. I got naked and aside from the drunken male idiots who can be heard on the One & Other site, it was fine and felt fine and did not feel like I was doing anything strange – aside from the whole thing of being up in the middle of the night, on a plinth, and performing. It was all utterly alien, but the nudity did not figure in this. My only disdain about the whole affair is the semi-naked pole dancer who recieved thousands of views on the site. It made me realize that no matter how enlightened we feel we are about our nudity, for the majority of males the sight of a naked woman makes them act like … idiots? For the majority of men it appears that nudity equates with sex. It’s just not something most women understand and the majority of us do not react in the same way to a naked man – see for example, Jug, the young man who stood naked for an hour at 2pm on the 30th of August. The difference in viewing numbers is vast. It is this difference that makes me wonder if I should not have gone naked after all – although I have no regrets – but I cannot control nor change the attitudes of the viewers. Those of us who see nudity as natural are a minorty amongst those who see it as sexualised. We might want to change attitudes but are we fighting against the tide?

    • Ted Bun Says:

      I have just come back from a holiday in Portugal. Where we watched a young couple make change from being textile to being naked and relaxed over the space of a day or so, simply by being in an environment where nudity was accepted as part of the norm.

      The only way the Lads and the oppressed will ever get understand that nudity is not always about sex is to keep repeating the message and making statements like yours until seeing naked people becomes no big deal.

    • plinthenthusiast Says:

      Dont try to judge your whole experience with regards to web statistics. They are not reliable at all. You think its male only clicking on the pole dancer video but who knows? It can also be a group of supporters or business partners making it a publicity stunt. I agree that the male population will certainly raise their eyebrows on female nudity but you can also have females and people who appreciate public nudity. I wont worry about those statistics or drunk hecklers in the early hours. It doesn’t prove anything. The most important is that you came with a project and did it in a natural way. Comments and statistics have very little value compare to what you did.

  9. Mike Williams Says:

    Hi Kiran; sorry yet another bloke reply and from someone who has commented before. I am still very intriuged by the British approach to nudity and this is what this comment is about, I wish to explore my view of what I see as the unhealthy side of the British approach. Firstly you start off by saying about the right to be nude, I ageee but would add the freedom to be nude without harrassment. Incidentally I don’t think the hecklers while you were on the plinth were too bad they mostly just didn’t understand what you were trying to get over and as you will see from what follows they just made the assumtion that naked equals sex, clearly your message is the contrary. I have been to many Spanish, French and Greek beaches and resorts where full nudity is expected. The atmosphere and sense of purpose on these “Continental” beaches is quite different than the UK. On a small public naturist beach in Spain last year I counted over 20 single women, dozens of children 20 odd couples and about 3 single men. The men were sunbathing in the centre of the beach lying, reading, swimming and minding their own business. Contrast this to a typical UK beach where there would be few children and single women if any, a few couples and lots of single men parading around and leering at the other people. If there are dunes there would be all sorts of lewd activity in the dunes. Why is there this contrast is my question, what is it about the British pshyce that a) says such behaviour is acceptable and b) does very little to stamp it out. An example is that at Abbey House Gardens clothes optional day two years ago about 30 naturists were sunbathing on the lawns when a 30 something lad partially clothed sat in the middle and started playing with himself. Nobody challenged him, is this British stiff upper lip. Surely if the naturists started challenging these people the problem would diminish. I know there has been some success in this direction at Studland but not elsewhere. I am sure those who frequent naturist clubs would say their zones are free of these problems and they are but we need to be free in the wider world. I believe that if women and children flt safer on uk beaches then the balance would swing and nudity in public become less associated with sex. Now as for causes of this divide between anglo saxons and europeans I have no answer, is it the Bamford and Co saucy post card that created this image that nudity is sexual or is it the Victorians, please discuss. Personally I am not sure the naturist industry helps itself, if you visit Chalfont Holidays, Canarian Dreams, Naturist Life, the advert pages of BN and other naturist information sites their pages are dominated by attractive naked women, now I sure this attracts sales but it it portraying the right image for naturism, its the old size zero debate really guise, surely the realy range of human body shape age colour and gender should be proportionatley represented. One thing I am certain of is that it is this misunderstanding of naturism is not religion, both France and Spain are predominantly catholic countries but have much freer attitudes. OK thats off my chest it will be interesting to see what hecklers I get. Mike

  10. Shalini Says:

    Bravo , My hearty Congratulations ,Kiran, for what you have done. I still live in India in a traditional city. Being an indian girl myself (who cannot come out of the shell owing to the conservative indian upbringing), i am extremely proud and honored to see you stick to your commitment and belief. You have done a wonderful job by proving that nudity is not equivalent to sex and it is a great and the most natural feeling in the world. I certainly endorse your views about nudity. But it was shame that you were alloted an odd hour of the day where there were too many jerks asking stupid questions. Maybe you should try to do it again at a better time when there would be more genuine public with similar views as yours and mine.You proved to be an embodiment of confidence with a lovely smile all through the hour. May god bless you with all success in life.(Hope you are religious and excuse me if you aren’t.. its just the indian way of wishing 🙂 )And by the way , is there a link to your interview with the skyarts ? I tried to find it in their website but could not get hold of it. It would be great if you could provide that.

  11. Andy Says:

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you say that the reason most naturists are middle-aged is “because the young in the UK do not have the confidence to go naked”. It certainly applied in my case, as I have far more confidence now than I ever had before I hit 40.

    There is so much more that I was going to type here, then realised I was rambling, so I shall leave it there.

    But well done with your stint on the plinth, you did us nudies no disservice, it’s just a pity you weren’t picked to do it in daylight!

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Andy thanks for your comment, please feel free to send me your ‘ramblings’ in email to ladygod1va@hotmail.co.uk. I would also ask if you can pass on link to my blog to all your contacts. Lets get people talking about the subject and see where it goes!

  12. Naturist Norm Says:

    Lady God1va,

    Well done for showing that nudity is not shameful nor illegal. Why society still suppresses the display of the nude human body is an anachronism that surely must pass. People should be free to be nude. Being nude is as valid as wearing t-shirt and shorts and should be treated no differently.

  13. Nigel Says:

    Well done for such a thought provoking and confident display of nudity. It’s a shame your early morning audience were not able to engage with you. We as a nation have become such prudes, people are afraid of the naked body despite us all having one! Is it the pressure of the media with airbrushed size zeroes or the prevalence of pornography that equates the naked body to sex?

    Either way, if we learned to accept the body as non-threatening and we saw more bodies in our everyday life, perhaps we wouldn’t be so repressed. After all, what harm can a naked body do to anyone?

    Take a trip to Europe, beaches or even parks in many countries allow people to sunbathe nude, and the same applies to saunas/spas. Do people brought up in this healthy environment suffer where body acceptance is the norm? Whereas here in the UK the body is seen as titillating and we have a high teenage pregnancy rate and a rise in STDs.

    Keep up the good work, just wanted to add my support.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Nigel Thank you for the support, I am obviously aware that our views are shared by thousands of others, the challenge is to get these ‘others’ to work together to put pressure on the authorities to change their approach to nudity.

  14. Tam Says:

    Very, very impressive.

    How do you want people to help?

  15. Rob M Says:

    Hi Lady G,

    I thought you were a wonderful ambassador for naturism during your early morning hour on the fourth plinth; you couldn’t have done a better job IMHO – very well done!

    I really liked the messages you held up, which were all very well thought-out and professional. I particularly liked the ‘Naturism begins in the home’ one, which is where I first started going nude – due to a very warm summer we had a few years back..
    Since then, I’m naked as often as possible in the house and garden now, because I find it much more relaxing and comfortable that way.
    Holidays have not been affordable for my-self and family for the last few years, so we haven’t experienced a naturist holiday aboard yet, but I do enjoy going to local naturist swims, plus a few local walks in and around Sherwood Forest (whether permitting) with naturist friends I’ve met on the British Naturism forum.

    I hope that one day, we will succeed in informing and educating the non-naturists in our communities, to a point where the majority of them will be totally at ease and unconcerned when seeing a naturist – be it in the garden next door, local park, beach or countryside. Who knows; there might be a time when it’s even acceptable to stand in the middle of Trafalgar square naked, but one step at a time…
    There are many naturists (my-self included), whose partner hasn’t embraced the naturist life-style for whatever reason; but who are non-the-less tolerant and accepting of our nudity, and love us just as much. We just need the rest of society to adopt a similar level of tolerance I guess.

    Thanks again for your massive contribution in forwarding the hopes and aspirations of my-self and naturists everywhere,

    Best regards,
    Rob

  16. John Clark Says:

    It was a beautiful example of nudity and modesty in harmony. No doubt comparable to the original good lady’s public appearance.

  17. LadyGod1va Says:

    Gordy – Thank you for your comment but Please note the context in which the word ‘Pervert’ is used. It is not I making reference to other naturists as that, my statement is that at time the ‘Public’ i.e. Non Naturists at times may consider naturists with that view. That is my experience, which this blog is based on. I hope this clarifies the situation.

    Sex is indeed part of our existence; it is also something that all living things tend to protect their partners from (Humans, Lions, Birds!) to ensure their success in reproduction. Whilst you may have discrete sex in open air, most will see it as a threat or too personal and it is not something that will ever get a stamp of approval from any authorities.

  18. Gordy Says:

    First of all I would like to say “well done” to Ladygod1va for her plinth appearance. I applied to go on but didn’t get selected but if I had been then I would, most likely, have done a naturist stint.

    The reason naturists often seem to be older people is, I think ,because it is often the “sun clubs” that are featured in the media. These are often quite expensive to join and are often run by people who are, apart from their naturism, very conservative. I would never join one because I have tattoos and piercings which are often not welcome, if not specifically banned. I have been a naturist for many years and have only fairly recently even joined British Naturism.

    The only thing I would take exception to on Ladygod1va’s blog above is the use of the word “pervert”. Yes, there are people who go to beaches for sexual encounters. There is, however, nothing wrong with sex nor is it illegal to meet people for sex. It is not illegal to have sex outdoors, as long as one takes care not to be observed. I can never see the justification for naturists who, after all, have a hobby (or life style choice) in which they appear before each other naked, something which many non-naturists may consider perverted, to call others perverted. If, as naturists, we don’t want people to be judgmental about us, then we can’t be judgmental about others.

    • Lee Says:

      Gordy

      You are quite correct, it is not illegal to have sex or with whomsoever you choose.

      The problem is that many people who go to beaches just to meet people for sex use naturist beaches, therefore to the press and the non-naturist public when this is reported it confirms what most people think, that naturists are perverts who go to clubs and beaches for sex.

      I would also agree with the reference to outdoor sex and taking care not to be observed, but again, people who go to beaches loking for sex more often than not fully intend to be observed.

      I have no problem with the lifestyle anyone chooses to lead, provided it is legal, but it does make me angry when people use naturism as an excuse to fulfill their own desires with no regard for how it affects genuine, family-orientated, naturism.

      A friend of mine, a fellow BN member, was asked to monitor the beach at Carlyon Bay in cornwall, when it was an official naturist beach, because the local council were receiving complaints about some of the activities seen by families on the beach. Whist he was there one day a couple started to have sex on the beach, in full view of everyone else, irrespective of the age of the other beach users. He approached them to ask them to stop and he was told to **** off and that it was an “adult” beach and they could do whatever they liked. This has absolutely nothing to do with naturism, but the press would have reported it as naturists having sex on the bech with families watching. For this reason I think Kiran is fully justified in using “pervert” in that context.

  19. John Gwalter Says:

    Although not a member of British Naturism (to the best of my knowledge) in my opinion you have done more than the majority of members to further body acceptance in Britain.

  20. Howard Anderson Says:

    Warmest congratulations for your hour, wonderful! The views you expressed when on the plinth and on your blog are exactly right. If nudity were more accepted, there would be less sex crime and more happiness.

    I wish you the very best of luck with your future nude ventures.

    Howard

  21. Brian Taylor - PRO for BN Says:

    Hi Lady G,

    You are doing a great job of addressing the all too typical attitudes and, dare I say, prejudice that we often face. Keep up the good work! Thank you.

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