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Sex-positive vs Exhibitionist
I read some comments online recently regarding the propensity of so-called “Genuine Naturists” to criticise or look down upon those nudists and naturists that support a sex-positive outlook and their criticism of anything sexual in the naturist scene.
It seems that there is a divide between those naturists who advocate non-sexual, family-friendly nude social activities, and those who prefer a more “anything goes” hedonistic approach to their clothing-optional behaviour.
I can only talk for myself, and from my own experience, but to me there is a vast difference between being sex-positive and being sexually confronting or even exhibitionist.
I like to think of myself as sex-positive. I believe that everyone has the right to be sexually active in whatever way is important to them. Having said that, I feel that sex is a deeply personal matter between consenting adults. I also feel that sexual connections are best left to the privacy or intimacy of the couple (or group) involved. Behaving in a sexual way in public or in view of people going about their normal business is, in my opinion, inappropriate and lacks common courtesy.
A couple of my readers have commented that they feel that there is no such thing as non-sexual nudity, just the same as there are no non-sexual people. We are all sexual beings, and labelling ourselves non-sexual naturists is disingenuous.
Just because we are all sexual beings, does not mean that we have to display that sexuality to all and sundry. We are all biological beings required to evacuate our digestive systems regularly, but we don’t share this behaviour in public.
I guess if the world was an ideal place, and everyone behaved within the bell curve of social acceptability, then there would be no need to use the non-sexual descriptor. Naturism itself, is for many, outside the boundaries of social norms. Bearing in mind that those boundaries change influenced by time, attitudes and even geographical location.
From my point of view, adding non-sexual to the naturist activities helps define the behaviour and manage expectations, of both participants in the lifestyle and the general public. The fact that there are repeated examples of people willing to push the boundaries and engage in voyeuristic or exhibitionist behaviour, necessitates the use of the term non-sexual for clarification.
To the average member of the public, many of whom have been conditioned to equate nudity with sex, seeing that I am involved in non-sexual nudity puts me in an odd but harmless category of eccentrics, and affords me a level of tolerance. Without specifically excluding sexual behaviour, there is greater scope for misunderstanding and public opposition to my spending time naked.
By labelling myself as a non-sexual naturist, I am telling others unfamiliar with the naturist philosophy that while my behaviour might not be their normal, I am not going to behave in a sexual manner, which is a significant concern for many non-naturists. Basically, I am dealing with a major social misunderstanding before it has the opportunity to gain any traction.
The non-sexual part of the label only applies to my naturism, not to my humanity, and I am not renouncing my human sexuality by using the term. I am setting the expectations for my behaviour and trying to lessen the discomfort for those who might feel threatened by nudity.
My main concern is that as the naturist community fight for acceptance with the general public, any hint of overt sexuality as part of the philosophy damages the message and gives credibility to the arguments of the puritanical critics who consider simple nudity as a gateway to debauchery and deviance.
I fear that just as some people claim to be nudists in a misguided attempt for sexual stimulation, some are claiming to be sex-positive to try and justify their sexualised behaviour.
I dispute the assertion that “Genuine Naturists” or “Non-Sexual” naturists are not sex-positive. It is possible to be sex-positive without displaying sexual behaviour. Furthermore, it is possible to be sex-positive and naked, without displaying sexual behaviour.
Rather than the need for naturists to have to use the “non-sexual” descriptor, perhaps those wishing to include sexual material in the naturist world should label themselves sexual naturists. While none of us particularly like using labels, sometimes it helps to clarify things a little.
Sex-positivity regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally positive. The key word there is consensual. Engaging in sexual activity in a naturist (or any) setting where others have not consented to view is not being sex-positive. It is exhibitionist. If exhibitionism is your thing, then own it and call it what it is. Don’t hide exhibitionist behaviour behind the mask of sex positivity, it weakens the label for everyone.
Being sex-positive does not mean that I want to have sex, with you, with anyone, with everyone, or at all.
Thank you for reading, have a comfortable day.