All of us suffer from issues of control. Who or what we try to control as well as who or what outside of us is trying to control us. Before I go on with this topic, I want to state that this issue of control includes “self” control, but not necessarily with the meaning that is generally assumed for self-control which is more about caving in to the societal controls as though we are policing ourselves. This has nothing to do with Naturism. This is universal where there is more than one person in the picture. With that said, this blog post will focus on naturism or nudism or just plain “not wearing clothing.”
For starters, nudity-nakedness comes with a gut level response, some of it understandable and most of it coming from the unconscious aspect of one’s self. Positive or negative, we all have a visceral response. Many in the naturist community don’t get this as they assume that once a person tries naturism, they will be positively impressed and be converted. This is very naïve thinking. Some people try over and over again but still can’t get past the negative gut responses that often shows up as physical responses similar to an allergic response. We all have a history that works as a powerful inhibitor. Not everyone is able to break through that embedded psychological imprint. With effort they can accept that it is okay for others, but it “just isn’t right” for them. There is no judgement call demanding others keep their clothing on. “Self” control is about trying to find one’s path through these psychic restrictions.
The other face of “self” control is how we get conditioned by the larger society, and in particular, the micro societies in which we live, including work, family, and community. Societal codes depend on individuals policing themselves to keep societal norms in place. The restrictive scripts are echoes of our parents, extended family, community, religious faith, and other sources of outer authority. There is little thinking involved, we simply obey the unwritten codes that were embedded during our formative years.
Now, when one enters into a relationship with a significant other, a new dance of control ensues. The control can be overt with one dominating the other, usually not a loving form of control. The control is enacted with the intent of moulding the “other” into a prescribed image of what is believed to be the best kind of partner. Resistance to changing to fit into the mould is viewed as stubbornness. “If you loved me, you’d …” is a more passive form of exerting control. Many naturists are familiar with this phrase which is usually spoken to lessen the incidences of nudity by their partner. Somehow, being nude is seen and understood, perhaps even believed to be about the other person. Control of the naturist is essential for the “other” to remain at the centre. It isn’t about love regardless of the words spoken.
“No one wants to see you nude. If you loved me you’d wear clothes and be happy wearing them.”
“There’s no way that I can feel sexually stimulated when you’re naked all the time. Wear clothes and you’ll be more sexually attractive to me.”
“Your nudity is having people shun me and afraid to come over to our house.”
The list goes on and on. But it doesn’t stop there. Two naturists in a significant relationship also face issues of control. It takes a huge effort to lose the compulsion to control the other. Fear is at the root of the problem. “What if …?”
In the comments below, feel free to talk about how you are both victim and controller in your life. I am listening. Contradict me, teach me, affirm my words – your choice. Or, simply remain silent, again your choice.