Last weekend I went with my older son Abhi to Wilbur Hot Springs, for a delicious weekend of soaking in mineral water, hiking, eating good food, and thoroughly enjoy being father and son together. Wilbur Hot Springs is clothing optional. More or less everybody there takes the option of being naked. For the first 15 minutes or so there is a tendency to notice a lot of breasts and genitalia. But, as you may know from being in a mixed gender sauna, or on a nude beach, that passes pretty quickly. And then it feels completely natural. By the second day at Wilbur you hardly notice at all that people are not wearing any clothes.
Which leads us to the very interesting conversation about why human beings have this huge obsession with nudity. Nudity, by the way, does not mean covering your elbows or your ankles or your knees or your ears (unless perhaps you live in Iran). Nudity means covering up “the bits.” It means that we are not allowed to see the mammillary glands (breasts) and we are also not allowed to see any areas associated with urination, excretion or reproduction.
Now why, we might ask, is this so? Who made these decisions, and for what reasons? Genesis would have us believe that all this was decided way back at the very beginning of creation, but I am going to question that story a little bit. Remember that the Bible has been translated many times from one language to another, and approved and sanctioned by the Catholic Church, entirely run by men.
Let us remember for a moment, before we examine the reasons for this prohibition on nudity, that we are the only mammal on the planet that views things in this way. Not sure about that? Kindly remember that dolphins, pigs, horses, cows and even very domesticated animals like dogs, cats and goldfish do not cover their genitalia or breasts. It is only human beings.
I am actually really fascinated to hear your thoughts on this topic, but here are a few of my own:
Less excitement makes us less alive.
You may have noticed, particularly if you are a man, that when you go to a nudist beach, or a clothing optional spa, looking at women’s breasts, hips and vaginas can cause a flutter of excitement and well-being; both in your heart, and potentially down south as well. If you are not used to experiencing this kind of aliveness, it may sometimes even cause you to take action inappropriately and to make advances which are not welcome or reciprocated. So who makes the rules about nudity? In a nutshell, priests and politicians, who have almost entirely been men. And what agenda do priests and politicians have on the whole? To control their populations into conformity, obeying rules and above all not being rebellious. A horny or angry population is more difficult to control.
Whenever anyone feels sufficiently horny or pissed off, they are likely to say “To hell with this, let’s just go for it anyway.”
So that is one good reason I can see why nudity has got a bad rap; because it makes us more herdable, and allows for greater conformity.
You said what?
Yep! You heard me right. Premature ejaculation. I would humbly suggest to you that the prohibition on seeing breasts and vaginas, or indeed letting women see a beautiful penis now and then, was created by men who suffer from premature ejaculation.
How on earth did you come to that conclusion Arjuna? Have you been sniffy that glue again?
Relax a minute, and I’ll tell you.
First of all, I hope you will agree that it is a given that these rules were made by men. So what would cause a man to not want another man to see a woman’s “private” parts, and what might cause that motivation? Men making such rules probably do not care too much at all if you see your neighbors’ great-aunt Mildred in the buff. A man is going to care primarily if you see his wife naked.
Why, we might ask? An obvious conclusion might be that if his wife is beautiful, and another man sees her breasts and vagina, he might feel a quiver of desire. And even worse.. much, much, much worse, dangerously not okay, she might reciprocate and even welcome his advances. Now, what could possibly cause a woman to welcome the advances of a man other than the one with whom she has had children? The most obvious conclusion I know, from years of counseling couples, would be if she is not sexually satisfied. If a woman has had deep, rich, fulfilling orgasms; wave after wave after wave going through her body; she’s very unlikely to go down to the sauna or the watering hole the next morning and find another man irresistibly appealing. That’s been my observation working with couples. Because a woman takes the man into her body, and receives his energy and his DNA within herself, she is naturally quite protective of receiving too many different energetic imprints. In my opinion, a woman only welcomes another man’s advances when she feels sexually frustrated. And a woman is generally going to be sexually frustrated when her husband is unable to sustain sexual arousal long enough for her to be fully satisfied: AKA: premature ejaculation or sometimes the inability to get an erection.
Think about it for a minute. Which culture historically has had the greatest habit of repressing sexual energy? The British, obviously, (I should know because I am one), particularly in the Victorian era. And coincidentally, Britain (the home of Puritanism) has had the biggest problem with the visual display of nudity.
So now we have got the ball rolling (no pun intended). I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic too. We are used to such sweeping words as “immoral” or “obscene” but you would never use these words with any other mammal than with humans. A naked pig, or a naked cat, or a naked dog, or a naked cow, would never be thought of as immoral. Nor, for that matter, would a naked baby.
So why do you think that we have entered together in to this unquestioned agreement about having a problem with nudity?