The World Wide Web is impressive. A whole hyper-world of information and exchange that despite the utter amazement of self-publishing and Facebook likes, is often overwhelming for the curious yet unaware of the subtleties of a specific subject. Within my range of interests, there no other subject as prone to confuse the uninitiated as naturism.
Harriet Bowen tweeted a few days ago:
To the twitter people….I am NOT a swinger, I am a naturist, please unfollow me if you don't understand the difference between the two
— Harriet Bowen (@HarrietBowen87) February 8, 2014
Kudos for Harriet. A Google search of the term “naturism” yields more than one million results. Last time I checked, number one was the Wikipedia article and number two was the British Naturism website. Both are great sources of information and I’m grateful that they top the results. Nevertheless, hit number three is Vimeo’s videos tagged with “naturism”. Here I find some videos of activities or venues (1, 2), but also voyeuristic and exhibitionist videos among oddities, like a book author with a dildo up her her… well, you got it. Moving on to image search, among natural photos of naturists, one can find voyeur, “look at my vagina” and even a tasteless shot of what appears to be a pre-pubescent child holding a pair of panties (I denounced it to Google). Disgusting.
How is someone who is lurking the web in search of information for his/her naturism curiosity supposed to understand these results? One of our friends told me about his reluctancy to visit a naturist beach because of voyeuristic photographers as seen on the web. It’s not a silly concern: we have dozens of nude photographs and some of our friends have copies of them if we vacationed together, but we are in control of what we share or with the world. We wouldn’t like to have our favourite beach banning cameras, but we also wouldn’t want someone photographing us without consent, even more so to post them at titillating websites. One of our female friends told us recently that she wouldn’t mind appearing nude advocating naturism but, alas, doesn’t do it to avoid unwanted attention from weird perverted strangers. Honestly, I can’t even grasp how hard it must be for Harriet and all those brave naturist females online.
(© Carlos Guillamon)
Browsing so-called naturist websites can be very frustrating: “here, look at the beach” (OK); “here, look at me playing volley” (OK); “here, try to look at my uterus” (not OK at all). The web can make naturism seems tawdry for the oblivious simply because many folks deliberately confuse it with other things you do without clothes. Naturism isn’t an umbrella term for swinging, exhibitionism or, in general terms, meat markets; let’s keep it simple: it’s exactly about the opposite of that – it’s “don’t need to point out I have genitals by specifically wrapping them with lustrous fabrics”.
It’s challenging for a newbie to overcome the lingering taste that querying naturism online can yield. How can we overcome that and separate the waters is something that, I’m afraid, it’s becoming overwhelming.
Anyway, we’re always grateful to find new naturist websites within our frame of what naturism is. If it’s your case, please leave a comment with a link.