When I started writing this post I had no idea where it was going to take me, or how I was even going to put it together. I knew I wanted to share my thoughts, but there was not structured approach other than I followed I words. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it…
I recently told one of my girlfriends about how I enjoy the nude lifestyle, the freedom it brings me, and how it has raised my confidence while lowering my stress levels. We were talking the other night and she stated that she loved this “little quirk” of mine. I questioned her use of quirk, and she responded with a “maybe quirk wasn’t the right word, but probably more like a kink.” I wasn’t really sure how to take this, and I felt somewhat offended, but I took a step back and tried to think about if from her perspective. I certainly didn’t want to pass any judgement even though I kinda felt like I was being judged. I knew one thing for sure though, I don’t believe naturism is a kink. At least in my mind it’s not. Given my lack of understanding of what was classified as a kink, I began to do some reading and research to educate myself. Just so we’re all on the same page of understanding I’m going to define a few terms to help you follow along.
Defining a Kink
According to Wikipedia, a kink can be explained as: “In human sexuality, kinkiness is the use of non-conventional sexual practices, concepts or fantasies. The term derives from the idea of a “bend” (cf. a “kink”) in one’s sexual behavior, to contrast such behavior with “straight” or “vanilla” sexual mores and proclivities. The term “kink” has been claimed by some who practice sexual fetishism as a term or synonym for their practices, indicating a range of sexual and sexualistic practices from playful to sexual objectification and certain paraphilias.”
Wikipedia states: “In common parlance, the word fetish is used to refer to any sexually arousing stimuli, not all of which meet the medical criteria for fetishism. This broader usage of fetish covers parts or features of the body (including obesity and body modifications), objects, situations and activities (such as smoking or BDSM). Paraphilias such as urophilia, necrophilia and coprophilia have been described as fetishes.” While there is still some discussion about what is included in a fetish, the WHO continues limits this to non-living objects.
Going back to Wikipedia (again): “Paraphilia (previously known as sexual perversion and sexual deviation) is the experience of intense sexual arousal to atypical objects, situations, fantasies, behaviors, or individuals.” The American Journal of Psychiatry describes paraphilia as “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving” the following:
- Non-human objects (i.e dolls)
- The suffering or humiliation of oneself or partner (BDSM)
- Non-consenting persons
The full list of known or suspected forms of paraphilia can be found in this article
Where do nudist/naturist fall
Based on what I have read, the premise behind the definitions and various “ism’s” that fall under the term kink is fundamentally a sexual desire or arousal that comes from performing the mentioned acts. Within the kinks identified by mental health journals and handbooks, being naked or enjoying your own nudity does not fall or is identified anywhere under the categories. So, if you consider yourself a nudist and you have no sexual gain with being naked, then you could probably safely assume that nudism is not a kink. The only caveat to this thesis relies on the interpretation of the professional and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) category of Not Otherwise Specified. While this may seem like a catch-22 for a mental health professional and allow the diagnosis of nudism as a paraphilia, the underlying conditions needs to exhibit a sexual desire, arousal, or adverse affect. I’m sure most of you reading this do NOT have any sexual gain by sitting on your couch butt naked with a glass of wine. I know I don’t.
With that being said, anything good in our life can always be exploited and cause a blurring of the lines or the superlative assumption that nudist are exhibitionist and/or voyeurs. I have no doubt there are lot of people who enjoy being naked, and they love the attention it brings them. If you are a nudist and you get some level of sexual satisfaction or arousal from being seen, then you very well may have a bit of exhibitionist in you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that providing you don’t seek out disruption of those who don’t agree with it. Basically, don’t go down the street flashing everyone that drives by, or strip off in the middle of a sporting event to streak across the field. If you’re one of these people and you frequent naked friendly venues, then just be respectful of others and enjoy your satisfaction quietly to yourself.
I think voyeurism is probably the one I struggle with the most. I will be the first to admit I love to admire the naked human body. I don’t care if it’s male or female, big or small, tall or short, or any color of skin. I love to see people express themselves through their nudity. I would venture to say most of you do too. I don’t gain a sexual pleasure from seeing them, but I do get a sense of joy that lightens my mood. Does that make me a voyeur? Probably not. I’m certainly not going to hide in the bushes and take pictures or do the nasty. However, like an exhibitionist, there will be some who only come around for the pure sexual enjoyment of watching people in their most intimate moments or states of dress.
Kinks: Good or Bad
Well, this seems like a loaded question. Like most things the answer can be summed up as…it depends. Personally, I don’t consider certain things to be a bad thing at all, but it depends on who is affected by the desired kink. I have a couple of conditions where I draw the line though. Here is what I would consider something to be acceptable or maybe practiced by a large portion of the population.
Consensual and Agreed Upon
I am a strong supporter of keeping the spark in a relationship, and you should strive to please each other emotionally, spiritually ,and physically. These three items will go hand-in-hand, and you can’t have one with out the others, but we will focus on the physical aspect for now. In order for your “kink” to be acceptable it must be consensual for all parties involved. So if you’re into a form of BDSM, then set rules should be put in place and each of you are to respect those rules. The moment any consent is revoked or an action is taken that is not agreed upon, then all acceptance is lost. Quite possibly trust as well.
Only Affects You
This one could result in some lines being blurred or greyed out. If you are into having your own personal doll, or you find sexual desire in being naked at home or outside, then you must ensure it doesn’t affect anyone else but you. If you buy a doll to replace your spouse for sex and love, or you venture into your back yard naked when the neighbors don’t approve, then you’ve taken your ‘kink’ outside the bounds of being acceptable. However, if you are single and have no desire for a human mate, then by all means buy one of those lifelike dolls if it brings you happiness and joy. Also, if you live on 10 acres of land and you want to masturbate on the front porch where no one can see you, then knock yourself out. Just don’t participate in your fantasy in a way that could be adverse or disrespectful to anyone. I see this as just common courtesy.
Does Not Cause Harm
This one is outside the bounds of consenting couples/adults. If you’re into pain or you and your partner are into any role play or masochist activities, then it’s acceptable within the bounds of your agreement. However, there should be no harm to any human or creature, physical, mental, or emotional, which would cause irreparable damage. I’m not going to get into any great detail on this because pretty much all of it are disgusting acts, and pretty much illegal in all developed countries. If you or someone you know is into this, then please seek help. You can look at the list linked above to find out more if you want.
The important thing to realize here is anyone who practices a form of nudism, either socially or privately, should be able to do so without fear of being labeled as having some psychological issue or sexual deviancy. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the feeling of being naked within the private or social avenues with other nudists. The key delineation is then to maintain the segregation of naturism from those of sexual desire and arousal. Nudity is expected in both categories, but it’s what you do with your nudity that separates the two.
When it comes to those who may practice any form of consensual, atypical sexual acts (i.e. kinks) with your partner, then I strongly encourage you to continue that without any shame or guilt. If it is improving your love and happiness with one another, then you should absolutely continue that adventure. Hey, even I have my bucket list of things to try (no, I’m not telling either!!). I will say this though. If you don’t practice some form of non-sexual nudity at home or socially, then I encourage you to try it. Who knows, maybe the heightened sense on your skin and body will transfer over to your bedroom. If it does…let me know. 🙂