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What do you say to a naked human?

steve_bank

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There was an old public service commerial about a human being naked without the arts.

What is it about nakedness in our culture? Not just physical but emotional.

No one gets to see us naked in either case unless we consent. Forced nakedness is a crime and disturbing to the individual. Revealing someone emotionally in a public setting at times can be considered a form of abuse.

Not so much anymore, a woman posing naked was considered immoral.

Is it all about hing the fact we are just chimps with a genetic variation?

What are we hiding from?
 

bigfield

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It's mostly about sex organs and religion.

Christianity, like some other religions, is heavily focused on morality, which is to say it is obsessed with controlling people's lives. Christianity (particularly Protestantism) is obsessed with telling people who they can have sex with, and how. You can't have sex outside marriage. Therefore you can't have sex with people above or below your social position. (Unless you're a man in a position of power, in which case none of the rules are really meant for you, anyway.) Therefore, you can't live a lifestyle that isn't compatible with getting married and making more peasants having children. There's absolutely no good reason for you to be getting your genitals out in public, since all of your sexual activity will be occurring at home, behind closed doors.

Our modern laws and attitude regarding the enforced privacy of genitalia and sex is just an artefact of a centuries-old cultural movement that is still going strong in some places, but seems utterly anachronistic in others.

What are we hiding from?

Perhaps a better question is: who benefits from strict sexual mores?
 

rousseau

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My money is on clothes being a useful tool that have evolved over time. Eventually it became normal to wear clothes. In other words, clothing helps us adapt to our environment and is a privilege. When people were naked it was because they were too busy trying not to starve to death.
 

rousseau

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It's mostly about sex organs and religion.

Christianity, like some other religions, is heavily focused on morality, which is to say it is obsessed with controlling people's lives. Christianity (particularly Protestantism) is obsessed with telling people who they can have sex with, and how. You can't have sex outside marriage. Therefore you can't have sex with people above or below your social position. (Unless you're a man in a position of power, in which case none of the rules are really meant for you, anyway.) Therefore, you can't live a lifestyle that isn't compatible with getting married and making more peasants having children. There's absolutely no good reason for you to be getting your genitals out in public, since all of your sexual activity will be occurring at home, behind closed doors.

Our modern laws and attitude regarding the enforced privacy of genitalia and sex is just an artefact of a centuries-old cultural movement that is still going strong in some places, but seems utterly anachronistic in others.

What are we hiding from?

Perhaps a better question is: who benefits from strict sexual mores?

I'm of the opinion that we're usually too quick to pin this kind of thing on religion. Yes, Christian rules did exist, but they were usually a reflection of deeper human nature and human need in the time they were developed, not something that is intrinsic to religion. In other words, our real desires and needs are reflected in religion, not the reverse.

We have a lot of people on this message board who are convinced that religion is the root of all evil, while being completely disconnected from what life would have been like ca 300 - 1000 AD. At the time, rules governing sex would have had real utility to the communities that held them. That is the very point of creating moral rules.

Some of the rules can look regressive now, but also many of them have largely fallen away in favour of more liberal ideas. But we still cover our junk because why wouldn't we if cheap clothes are available?
 

ideologyhunter

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Strange topic because the feelings it arouses are strange. As in curious. Some stray thoughts:
1) The old trope that the more that is covered, the dirtier the minds. By covering or excluding something, you emphasize it.
2) My feelings are conditioned by the lack of health maintenance shown by about 2/3 of Americans (roughly 1/3 of adults here maintain a healthy body mass.) When I went to Britain in the 80s, I was astounded by the visual difference. I was riding a bus in London, looked around me and thought, everyone here looks fit and trim. What's going on? I was the chunkiest person on the bus. In the States, when I'm in a mall or grocery store and see what's coming toward me (often on a motor scooter provided by the store), my first thought is, "Thank Goddddd for clothes!!"
3) When I got seriously into fitness and water aerobics starting in 2011, I realized that I was going to be in a lot of public changing rooms and gang showers, a situation I hadn't been in since my freshman year in college ('72-'73.) And I made a resolution to achieve nonchalance about the situation. Without a lot of thought, that happened. I'm indifferent to being naked in that setting.
4) Curious that, if a Rubens nude or a Picasso nude should come up on the auction block, maybe $50 million will change hands. If Janet Jackson gives the country a peek at a breast in the Super Bowl halftime, it causes a to-do in Congress.
 

TSwizzle

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It works both ways. Imagine the people in your office going about naked, ugh. Take a look at the people in Walmart, most of that lot need more clothes on, not less. Most people naked are gross, they can't all be Gal Gadots or Isla Fishers.
 

steve_bank

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It works both ways. Imagine the people in your office going about naked, ugh. Take a look at the people in Walmart, most of that lot need more clothes on, not less. Most people naked are gross, they can't all be Gal Gadots or Isla Fishers.

Why 'ugh'?
 

steve_bank

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Clthes and shoes are a practical necessity but the quetsion why the terror at being seen naked, and wy the shock at seeing someone naked?r

Back in the 70s when I had coed roommates after a while going naked frorm to shower to your room was no big deal, once the novelty wore off.

Why in any prctcalsense woud nakedness be unconfortable? Is ist just social conditioning?

On anoher thread someone posted a painting of a nude guy with a big dick that was found on an old Roman wall. They ware clothes, but were not bashful.

The quetion forces you to think about what culture is and does.

The norm about nakedness leads to people paying to see naked women.
 

Loren Pechtel

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The US is fucked up about nudity. Back in 1982 we spent some months traveling with a group that was otherwise all from the old world. While I would not call anybody in the group a nudist, neither was nudity an issue. Nobody had swimsuits. When a swimming opportunity presented itself the three people in the group that were 50+ went in in their underwear, the rest of us simply stripped off. It felt a little weird the first time but that's all. That's how it was the whole trip, the truck frequently got used as a changing room by both sexes and not caring if there was someone else in there doing something else.

Locally, though:

On the Nevada side we have Gold Strike hot springs. Now, hot springs out in the wilderness are traditionally nudity-tolerant, but I have heard of someone getting arrested for nudity at Gold Strike. (Note that the trail to get there is hard--there are class 4 spots with fixed ropes. I do not know if there is water access, small kids are certainly not doing the land side approach.)

On the Arizona side we have Arizona hot springs aka Ringbolt hot springs. Arizona law is more sane about nudity. My understanding is that during the week nudity is common there and in the evening it's very common on the hike down there. It's not as hard as Gold Strike but still no walk in the park. The upstream approach has an easy class 3 obstacle, the downstream approach (which can be reached from the river or by hiking) has a substantial ladder that must be climbed with care as water will be pouring on you. I have heard of little kids being carried in backpacks, but there aren't many. The 6 mile/1200' gain round trip is enough to keep out the pretend hikers. I'm sure if you had vote on whether nudity should be permitted in the backcountry with all polling places placed 2 miles from the nearest trailhead that it would pass by a landslide.
 

rousseau

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Clthes and shoes are a practical necessity but the quetsion why the terror at being seen naked, and wy the shock at seeing someone naked?r

Back in the 70s when I had coed roommates after a while going naked frorm to shower to your room was no big deal, once the novelty wore off.

Why in any prctcalsense woud nakedness be unconfortable? Is ist just social conditioning?

On anoher thread someone posted a painting of a nude guy with a big dick that was found on an old Roman wall. They ware clothes, but were not bashful.

The quetion forces you to think about what culture is and does.

The norm about nakedness leads to people paying to see naked women.

It's really not that complicated of an answer. I imagine if you go back far enough in our history the sight of a female naked from the waist down leads to unwanted sexual advances, so it becomes practical (and normal) to cover reproductive organs. Over time this shifts to covering the whole body as a reaction to climate.

Now wearing clothing is just what's done and what people expect. If you want to have sex with someone you wear less clothing, if you don't want to express yourself sexually you wear more clothing. You wouldn't expose your genitals in public in the same way you wouldn't refuse to hold the door open for a person behind you. It's just what we do.

Ultimately it stems from instinct, our sex drive.
 

TSwizzle

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It works both ways. Imagine the people in your office going about naked, ugh. {snip}

Why 'ugh'?

There's not one person in my office under the age of 50 or less than 200lb and none of that weight hanging the right way. I'm no Adonis either so I wouldn't want to subject people to me being naked either.

A buddy of mine used to get naked every chance he got when we went on vacation. It was unsightly. We'd all be sitting playing blackjack and he'd take a seat while naked. Had to tell him, dude, put some shorts on at least. Divvy.

Some people are very comfortable being naked and others are not I guess. When I was young and played soccer, you'd be in locker rooms with lots of naked bodies, some people you knew, lots you didn't. It wasn't uncomfortable and it was appropriate. When we met in the bar afterwards, we'd all have clothes on, it was appropriate. See now, I doubt I'd be comfortable in a locker room of other guys and being naked.
 

Loren Pechtel

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It's really not that complicated of an answer. I imagine if you go back far enough in our history the sight of a female naked from the waist down leads to unwanted sexual advances, so it becomes practical (and normal) to cover reproductive organs. Over time this shifts to covering the whole body as a reaction to climate.

Now wearing clothing is just what's done and what people expect. If you want to have sex with someone you wear less clothing, if you don't want to express yourself sexually you wear more clothing. You wouldn't expose your genitals in public in the same way you wouldn't refuse to hold the door open for a person behind you. It's just what we do.

Ultimately it stems from instinct, our sex drive.

1) I strongly suspect clothing for protection came first.

2) When nudity isn't hidden loses it's sexuality.

It works both ways. Imagine the people in your office going about naked, ugh. {snip}

Why 'ugh'?

There's not one person in my office under the age of 50 or less than 200lb and none of that weight hanging the right way. I'm no Adonis either so I wouldn't want to subject people to me being naked either.

I do agree clothing can improve looks. That doesn't make nudity horrible, though.

A buddy of mine used to get naked every chance he got when we went on vacation. It was unsightly. We'd all be sitting playing blackjack and he'd take a seat while naked. Had to tell him, dude, put some shorts on at least. Divvy.

Some people are very comfortable being naked and others are not I guess. When I was young and played soccer, you'd be in locker rooms with lots of naked bodies, some people you knew, lots you didn't. It wasn't uncomfortable and it was appropriate. When we met in the bar afterwards, we'd all have clothes on, it was appropriate. See now, I doubt I'd be comfortable in a locker room of other guys and being naked.

Note that that's purely a matter of what you consider "proper" and thus easily redefined. Long, long ago I spent some months traveling with a group that other than my parents and I was entirely from the Old World. They're not hung up on nudity like we are--it didn't take much at all for me to adapt to their casualness about it. (Admittedly, I grew up without the religious notion that nudity is evil.)
 

rousseau

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1) I strongly suspect clothing for protection came first.

2) When nudity isn't hidden loses it's sexuality.

It's impossible to really know, but it's feasible that it was a combination of factors. Sexuality, protection, decoration. Physically, our reproductive organs are the body's number one priority so I'd agree that protection may be as important as sexuality, if not more.

For men it's definitely protection for obvious reasons, for women the equation might have been a bit different
 

Loren Pechtel

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1) I strongly suspect clothing for protection came first.

2) When nudity isn't hidden loses it's sexuality.

It's impossible to really know, but it's feasible that it was a combination of factors. Sexuality, protection, decoration. Physically, our reproductive organs are the body's number one priority so I'd agree that protection may be as important as sexuality, if not more.

For men it's definitely protection for obvious reasons, for women the equation might have been a bit different

I wasn't thinking so much of protection of the genitals themselves, but environmental protection in general, both against cold and against scratches and scrapes.
 
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In the winter, "Put some clothes on. It's cold." The rest of the time, nothing much. There some things it is not safe to do naked.

Eldarion Lathria
 
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