Stranger than Fiction

This is intended to be a participatory post. Comments and opinions are not only invited, but strongly encouraged…

Please tell me. WHAT IS THE POINT?

The above clip is an excerpt from a plethora of “nudist movies” that came out during the 50s and 60s as Hollywood was testing the waters as to how much they could get away with in terms of nudity on the big screen. I get that. It was a business venture – disguised as an effort to normalize nudism, but in the last place, I suspect it ridiculed, or at least sexualized nudism in the eyes of the common, church going citizen.

lets-go-naked-movie-poster-9999-1020429343Then there are literally hundreds of DVDs still being made and sold in naturist magazines, (some with very high standards for promoting holistic naturist values,) where you can watch 25 teenage girls swim and play volleyball in a celebration of naturism. No plot – just beautiful, naked young women. I have to assume that’s how those videos play out, as I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy one, but again, this seems more like a business venture that flirts with pornographic values than an earnest effort to normalize the naturist experience.

Yesterday, having just finished Mark Haskell Smith’s Naked at Lunch, I went looking through the Kindle store for a similar read. There are a couple older publications dating from the 30s about the pioneers of naturism, as well as a couple books that come at it from a more historical or sociological perspective, like Ruth Barcan’s Nudity, or Philip Carr-Gomm’s A Brief History of Nakedness, but I’ve read both of those.

Kindle has made it possible for a whole new genre – the self-published “this is how I became a nudist” book, typically about 50il_340x270.788432716_1vkz pages and with varying commitments to grammar, logic, and cohesion. I get this. I grow weary reading another account about the fear of erections, but I suspect these are particularly useful to those considering a first visit to a naturist beach.

Then there are loads and loads of books with titles like (and these are fictitious, to the best of my knowledge – but you get my point) “Naked Murder on the Orient Express” or “Desperate Housewives in the Nudist Colony.” At present, I’m trying to make it through a “true story” account of three teenage girls who are running around the woods of New Jersey in the middle of the night trying not to get caught by the park ranger or charged by a wild boar. The whole premise is so surreal that I can’t help but wonder, what parent would let their adolescent daughters do such a thing, and the farther I read, the more it feels like a bizarre fantasy conjured up by a guy my age. Maybe it’ll deliver a punch at the end, but at the moment, I’m not sure I’ll get that far.

MV5BNzgwMDI1Mzk2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTY1OTUxNTE@._V1_SY317_CR30214317_AL_So to the question. Could SOMEBODY please explain to me what this is all about? There are SO many great books coming out every day, crafted by talented authors who lead you two-hundred pages into a labyrinth of suspense before turning your world upside down. I’m an arts and literature guy, and have great admiration for those who write well. But I’ve yet to find such a book of that caliber that carries a title like “Mr Nude Goes to Washington.”

Am I missing something? Do these publications seek to normalize nudity, or just make us all look a bit more peculiar? Is it just another version of titles like “The Man with One Red Shoe” or “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”?

Please explain this to me. I’m all ears.

11 thoughts on “Stranger than Fiction

  1. finnwest2015 says:

    A very interesting and thought provoking clip. Thank you for sharing it.
    I think the popularity of nudist films without any real story is threefold.
    Firstly, I think their are genuine naturists with an interest in promoting a genuine naturist lifestyle. Almost reality type shows that simply showcase the joys of our lifestyle.

    Secondly, there are many viewers who simply have a voyeuristic curiosity in seeing naked people on camera. The fact that there are will always make the production of these seemingly shallow films financially viable.

    And lastly, there will always be the darker side, where nudist films are produced for the sexual gratification of others. An example is the case of Azov films.

    A very interesting post that certainly can create a lot of debate within the naturist community.

    Finn

    Like

  2. NatureBoy says:

    If you like old books on nudism check out: https://openlibrary.org/books/OL6364147M/The_Body_Taboo
    published in 1937.

    How did you like Ruth Barcan’s book? I have it downloaded, but haven’t been able to push through it yet.

    As for the point of the above, I think there are hundreds of millions of people. Of that, a small percentage will find nudist fantasy stories appealing – whether for erotic purposes or whatever – and there are people who enjoy writing that sort of fiction – again as erotic fantasy or whatever, combine all that with an easy publishing platform like Amazon and you get a bunch of poorly written, implausible nudist fiction.

    Sex sells, and novelty sells. So if someone can find a unique twist they think they have a shot at selling some books.

    Like

    • Naturist Dan says:

      I found the Barcan book difficult to push through as well. It reads something like a doctoral dissertation, but it has been an interesting reference tool on historical and sociological topics.

      Finding it interesting that I’ve received a few book recommendations, but nobody is making a strong case for fiction with naked characters. Just seems like such a peculiar genre to me.

      Like

  3. rglongpre says:

    Try my book “A Small Company Of Pilgrims.” It might surprise you. I agree about the paucity of real literature in which nudity is normalized and not sexualized.

    Like

    • Naturist Dan says:

      I’ll give it a look see!

      Like

    • CalgaryMark says:

      I just read ASCofP – almost in one sitting; it grabbed me. Partly because a friend is about to embark on a part of the camino herself, but I anticipate her experience will not be anything like this story! The characters seem to be realistic and well drawn, the progression of René’s life and changing attitudes on the Camino is fascinating (I see myself there!) and the storyline – well, rather a catalogue of placenames on a map. I would have preferred some more description of the surroundings and their impact on the travellers.

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  4. Bill Bowser says:

    In order to gain more public acceptance of nudism I endorse having nudist themes in popular literature, but there really isn’t anything particularly interesting about nudism. Of course there are a few people who are curious about the lifestyle, and some others who will find the subject tittilating, but I think for most readers we nudists are not worth writing about. How much can be written about otherwise ordinary people who choose to live there lives clothesfree that readers would want to read?

    Like

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