Is nudity always sexual???

vassillis gonis

 

By Kenneth Justice

~Nudity and sexuality….in Western Culture these two items are often the subject of a lot of debate.

There are those who want to ban sex in the movies and in advertisements and there are those who say it’s not a big deal.

In movies and television the nudity seems to be increasing…especially thanks to popular cable shows from networks like HBO and Showtime, nudity in the movies seem to be on the rise.

There are those who want to ban the nudity in movies and television and there are those who say it’s not a big deal.

The last time I wrote about this subject the reaction was extremely mixed…..

Many people wrote about the positive elements of nudity in relation to nudism, public beaches, and even nudity in film….

While other people wrote about the scandalous nature of nudism, nudity on public beaches, and nudity in film…..

Nowhere do we see such contrary opinions than if we mention the words nudity and sexuality.

Interestingly enough, one of the things that stood out to me from my last post on the subject was how many people related nudity to sex. It seems as though a lot people don’t differentiate the two; in their mind if you are naked than something sexual is occurring…..

I do not believe nudity equals sex.

Nudity can be connected to sex….but it doesn’t have to be…and it definitely doesn’t always!

Take for instance a mother nursing her child; there is nothing sexual about a woman using her breast to feed her child…..nothing at all!

Yet, there are many people who want to ban women from being able to nurse in public.

Others say, “Well as long as the woman covers up they can nurse in public”

Really???

Are we such a sick and demented culture that to merely see a woman’s naked breast as a child latches onto it turns us on?

God I hope not!

If you are sexually turned on by seeing a woman’s breast as she nurses her infant child and you can’t control yourself than I have a solution for you; go back into your house and don’t come out.

CHILL OUT!!!

Control yourself!!!

It’s not that big of a deal!

Nudity does not have to equal sexuality…..

Interestingly enough, when I last wrote about this topic it was the evangelical crowd that blew up my email box and my comment section with their diatribe on the evils of nudity….

But let’s for a moment consider the bible on this topic;

–> Jonathan in making a covenant with David gets naked before him – (1 Samuel  18:3)

–> David dances before God and the people…naked  – (2 Samuel 6:14)

–>Naked outdoor public bathing was normative in biblical times (2 Samuel 11:2)

–> God tells his prophet to remain naked for three years! (Isaiah 20:2)

–> Bartimaeus comes to Jesus naked and isn’t condemned for it (Mark 10:46-50)

–> When Jesus washes the disciples feet…he does so while he is naked (John 13:4-5)

Those are just a sampling of verses and to be fair there are definitely other verses that mention times when it is not appropriate to be naked….

But the point I am making is that the mere act of being naked doesn’t automatically mean we should think something sexual is occurring.

The bible doesn’t condemn nakedness…..

The bible doesn’t even condemn public nakedness….

Nakedness in biblical times was rather normal….it wasn’t the big deal we make it out to be in our day-and-age.

This isn’t to say that we should all become nudists…..but if that is what floats your boat then don’t let me get in your way.

Remember….I am something of a moderate; moderation in all things is my motto.

Nudity is not bad

Whenever I hear people say that nudity is bad….my eye starts to twitch….

I wonder, “Why are they so afraid of nudity?”

–) Nudity doesn’t start wars

–) Nudity doesn’t pull triggers on guns and lead to murder

–) Nudity doesn’t create famines

–) Nudity doesn’t cause cancer (unless you forget to wear your sun-screen!)

–) Nudity doesn’t cause poverty

–) Nudity doesn’t create a 50% divorce rate

The point I am making is that there are a lot of problems in this world and for the small crowd that is obsessed with the ‘evils of nudity’ I only wish they could turn their eyes to the real problems in our culture.

More than a 100,000 people have died in the two year war in Syria…..now THAT is a problem.

People in Greece are struggling….they don’t have jobs….now THAT is a problem.

Angelina Jolie showing her boobs in a film is not a big deal…..

There are bigger issues in this world that we should be concerned about.

Let’s all chill out just a bit…..

And while we are chilling out we can have a cup of coffee, which is what I’m going to do right now.

Kenneth

 

(Special thanks to Vassillis Gonis for permission to use his photo, you can check out more of his photography <here>)

 

 

 

 



Categories: Culture & Society

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37 replies

  1. Seems to me you have a very reasonable/sensible take on the matter.

  2. Nudity is definitely not a sexual thing all the time. It all depends on the mindset of the beholder, of course. Nudity can be art with no further vulgarity.

  3. That person you suggested needs to go back into their house and not come out probably is addicted to porn. Even young people that are viewing the demeaning of women are becoming a desensitized generation. The young girls are reporting these young men can’t see them as human beings. They can’t enjoy simple touch. They see a woman naked and it is just about self satisfaction. Some will say that is the way it has always been and I say read what the psychologists are saying. Human nakedness was once natural and freeing. Today we have people photographing topless women in NY because the body is no longer hers. It is being marketed to men that can’t feel.

    • Camille,

      the sad thing is that I’ve had at least a dozen different conversations with people (in real life) who are very against mothers who nurse in public and at least 6 or 7 different guys have said it is ‘sexually scandalous’ and that the women shouldn’t do it because they are unfairly turning guys on…….I mean COME ONE! Men like that have some serious problems that need to be worked out in a counseling session.

      thanks for your thoughts as always 🙂

  4. We read that breast-feeding a baby is the healthiest and best way to feed our babies, then we force women into bathrooms and cramped dark rooms to hide the “shame” of their breast? I’m with you, man…time to just chill out!

    Good post!

    Peace,
    LBD

    • Littlebirdsdad,

      right on…i like the way you say, “then we force women into bathrooms and cramped dark rooms to hide the ‘shame’ of their breast?”

      actually….now that I think about it, I guess one of my problems with forcing women into bathrooms to feed their babies is because I DETEST public bathrooms! I wouldn’t want to spend much time in there so why would I make a mother and her baby spend time in one!

    • amen, brother! This happened yesterday…I’m sure you saw it. Shameful!

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/diplomat-breastfeeding-_n_3529826.html

      I’d love to organize a flash mob of 100 women that would flash a boob in that country club.

      I never used to be bothered by public restrooms until I had to change my baby’s diaper in one. I’m a man’s man, but that grossed me out.

      LBD

  5. Some people get turned on by shoes… maybe we better not wear any… whoops! There’s a naked foot!

  6. You like to cause controversy, don’t you? 😉 I love it! I don’t think nudity in an of itself is bad but….let’s be honest, the nudity I think a lot of people object to isn’t just bared breasts, or the nude form, but rather bared breasts in a movie for the purpose of a girl flirting/turning on a guy, or showing people naked while simulating sex. And, let me play devil’s advocate for a moment….everyone isn’t depraved or so sexually overstimulated as to make all nudity a sexual thing, but here’s an aspect that may interest you. There are a great number of perverted people in this world, one has only to look at the rape/sexual assault crimes, and all of the sex-addiction therapy classes. A young teenage girl, for example, couldn’t sun bath nude in her front yard. Her act, while innocent enough (getting a tan) would cause her to be bothered in some way, whether it be through whistles, comments, someone trying to take a picture, etc. What parent in their right mind would let their 13 year old do that? Does that mean the girl is wrong for wanting to enjoy the sun? No; but she does need to be protected, and do that in the proper environment. I hope I am drawing a feasible correlation. Nudity isn’t bad, it’s actually very beautiful. From a Christian viewpoint, one can say that God thought that human beings were beautiful, right, He created man, and saw that it was very good; if God had a problem with nudity, then why would He shape us the way we’re shaped, right? In our culture, in modern-day America, because many people are overly sexualized, it isn’t nudity that should be banned, but the innocent who should be protected (as in the sunbathing girl, yeah she has the right to tan, but it wouldn’t be a god idea for her to do so, and needs to be kept safe). Very good piece Kenny, I’m sure you’ll get a lot of people commenting on this one!!

    • Kristina,

      lol actually in real life I HATE controversy….for the most part I just wanna be left alone!

      ha ha but in writing we gotta write what we know about…right?

      I agree with what your getting at in the first part of your comments; a lot of nudity in movies is really nothing more than sensationalistic; the director is throwing it in because they know a couple boobs might increase the number of teens who come to see the film……

      but that being said, I do believe that a lot of the conservative crowd objects to nudity in film as an absolute rule……they just don’t want to see any nudity whatsoever even if it is justified.

      As to the second part of your comments, you make a lot of good points about protecting the innocent.

    • papYeah, controversy in writing is alot different than controversy in your personal life. I love discussion and debates in literary terms. The first English class in college I took, we were doing argumentative essays, and I wrote a great paper on the sale of human organs, and whether it should be legalized or not. It was alot of fun.

  7. Reblogged this on home clothes free and commented:
    Good thoughts

  8. I agree with you. The problems are in the minds of those who chose not to see real beauty. I used to be a docent at our local art museum and it always stunned me when people would object to nudity in art. Sad.

    • Victoria….I think your the first person who has ever used the word ‘docent’ on my website….I wish I had some kind of award to send you! 🙂

  9. Reblogged this on Naked Imp.

  10. Came over from you commenting on my poetry blog. I totally agree that nudity doesn’t automatically equal sexuality, and I for one am a lover of the nude form for art’s sake. I totally love nudity … I have a poem celebrating the nude female form, where you can totally take out the last stanza which is the only one that hints at sexuality, and the poem still works.

    If anyone is interested the poem is here http://poetwhispers.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/naked/ … but- back to the topic. I love your post on it. Totally balanced and a good read. 🙂

  11. Within traditional nudism and naturism, nudity is non-sexual. People dine, dance, swim, play sports and do other normal activities in the nude every day, surrounded by (also nude) family and friends. This is not even a subject of debate. For those of us who live this lifestyle it is just the way it is.

  12. I love nakedness! one of my fsvourite things to do in the summer is skinny dipping at the beach with my friends assuming there is no one else around! : )

  13. Anyone who has read my blog knows that as a Christian and Biblical theologian I have made a similar point many times over. The real interesting thing is that I get lots of comments from nudists and such but I never get much response from conservative Christians.

  14. Yeah nudity doesn’t have to be sexual but it can be funny and sometimes gross. I’ve worked in a water park and some men are not so aware so we usually laughed at them behind their backs.Ah, I was so mean and immature. I think people really have a problem with women’s nakedness. Hence you get people who feel threatened by a woman nursing her child in public.

  15. Awesome article. A great perspective on sexuality and nudity. Way to go, admin.

    I just read Escalada Mera Pico en Nepal

  16. We have been naturists for over twenty years , that’s a lot of sex .
    Tut!, must of missed that !.

  17. I was surprised you didn’t mention the most famous nudity in the Bible–that of Adam and Eve. The story even emphasizes it–they eat the fruit and realized they were naked. What the story does not explain is why they thought their nudity was so bad! Even if they thought the same as most modern people in the Western world do, it makes no sense. They are husband and wife and there is no one else around to see them!

  18. You are so right there are more pressing things happening in the world that need fixing. Nudity is great, and I wonder how many people would riot and go to war if they had to do it naked? You can be naked and not equate it with sex. Love skinny-dipping and walking around the house naked, it’s liberating. I’m also lucky to live out in the country

  19. I think you are entirely correct that nudity does not equal sex. Nudist colonies, as I understand it, are not hotbeds of sexual activity; the nudity tends to nullify sexual desire. In cultures that do not wear clothes, do they have a problem with constant sexual arousal? I don’t think so.
    It seems clear that nudity can be done in a very sexually exploitive manner, as it is done in much of the media, and that it is done so relentlessly in our culture is a result of conditioning. At least it seems to me that the media trains us to perceive nudity as always sexual. It is good business. The sexually aroused male has little sales resistance to any commodity, and I imagine the same is true for females. Associating nudity with sex makes us easier to manipulate.
    I dislike conspiracy theories in general, and my remarks seem to be heading in that direction. But if I were inclined that way…

  20. Nudity forces the onlooker to see the human as it is: An animal. The peoples who have been raised in religion, associate evil with matter. So, they are forced to see the truth, when they see a penis or a women nursing. Their comfort zone is gone. Their superiority feeling is challenged. In fact, except for the distinctive shape, and mostly hairless outside cover, our DNA has a lot in common with the animal kingdom.

    By the way, I would call “act of being naked” an oxymoron!

  21. You bring a refreshing clarity in sharing your perspective.

  22. No, nudity is not always sexual. The problem is, about the only time you see it on TV or in movies or in advertisements is in a sexual context. Thus, people now equate nudity with sexuality.

    Personally, I’d love to see more (tasteful, artistic) nudity in entertainment and much less casual, dirty, porn-like sex that’s being used to sell everything from web hosting to deodorant. Our culture is oversexed and has twisted an intimate form of expression into a cheap and meaningless carnival of thrills.

  23. Although, I have no comment on the biblical references to nudity, I agree with you wholeheartedly in general. I still remember how sad I was when my son was three years old and people started looked at both him and us strangely on a Sydney beach (a quiet, family beach mind you, not one of the super crowded popular beaches!), because my little boy was playing and swimming naked. I felt the pressure and had to tell him that he had to wear his shorts from now on. Then of course, when you have a kid like mine who is clever, he wanted to know why. He wanted to know what is wrong with kids running around ‘nudie’?
    So sad to have to tell him that there is nothing wrong with it except that some people don’t think it’s OK and since everyone has to share the beach, we have to follow their rules. 😦

  24. I, a woman whose breastfed 4 children with another one on the way, definitely think its not ok to flop out boobs in order to breastfed or anything else. Men are visual creators- the Bible states that to even look at a woman with desire is having an affair! I have fed in public discreetly- why do I need to show off my breasts just because I’m breast feeding?? Or why do I need to see other women’s??? In our culture we cover up. In other cultures they don’t- that’s perfectly fine- so take yourself and your nudest friends and live with them!!

  25. Just to say thanks for visiting my blog and deciding to follow. On the topic of `Nudity’: by virtue of the variety of comments the topic seems as flamable as religion and politics. As for my view on the matter; nudity in of itself is totally natural however, unfortunately, western culture has sexualized it I think, for the sole purpose of shunning the practice. This attitude stems to the Victorian period from my understanding and in my humble opinion is one of the root causes to our pervasive social illnesses. When one is naked, they have nothing to hide: he/she who is able to stand naked amongst their peers is validating their honesty without speaking a word.

  26. I think where the issues lies with nudity and sex has more to do with, in America at least, the sexualization of everything, yes even a woman’s breast feeding her child. I was raised by a mother who vacuumed najed and took me skinny dipping in the pool all the time. Now as an adult, I can be a nudist in my own home and as an artist I have drawn nudes and posed nude for other artists. The human body is beautiful in its many shapes, forms and each unique. However, also growing up in sin city USA, Las Vegas. I was and still am exposed to sexualized nudity on billboards and those magazines stands full of sex industry girls. So unfortunately, nudity has been tainted to be sexual for me, especially the female form, specifically the young tight bodied female form. And then that’s where the disgust, sadness and anger come in for me. It’s that our TV shows, movies and music videos predominantly display the same thing, to me, the message is clear, ‘sex is fun and amazing, but only if you are young, heterosexual and attractive, otherwise the world isn’t interested in your sexuality” and another message I often get is “the woman’s body/form is sexual and means sex, every part of it, even broken down into just the legs, lips, eyes, breasts, butt, hair, vagina and waist” and even,”that woman is naked, I bet there is going to be something sexual happening soon”. It’s no wander with these messages coming at us in advertising for food, candy, even chicken and steak, along with what is seen on TV, movies, music videos, billboards, and told to us in music and even read in literature, magazines and books…it’s no wonder people get confused, feel shame and lust, both at the same time, when they see a woman’s bare breast in public breastfeeding her child or a naked toddler running through the sprinklers on a hot afternoon. Yes, we can choose not to take offense and to view the human body for what it truly is, but it’s getting harder and harder to do these days when it seems that every other part of our society reeks of the messages that say nudity means sexy time and that women’s body parts mean something amazing is going to happen and it better be sex or at least better than sex…

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