Author’s note: I’ve debated about even putting up this post, as I can’t tell if it’s simply being whiny, or whether it’ll do what it’s intended to do… and that’s to pose the question: Are men simply more drawn to getting naked than women?
I’m slowly coming around to the reality that our annual summer nakation plans may not actually happen this year. We had designs on exploring naked Portugal and southern Spain this year, as well as tentative dates to spend a couple weeks on Corsica – one of our all-time favorite naturist destinations. Don’t get me wrong! We’re in a world crisis right now, and feeling bluesy about missing out on leisure travel is hardly a cause, especially living near New Jersey and New York where people are losing their jobs, and in some cases, their loved ones. Just acknowledging that I know the topic of this blog post is inherently petty.
That said and done, my young adult daughter taught us the word dysthymia last night at the dinner table – the condition of persistent mild depression. We all exchanged knowing glances with consensus, “Yup! That’s it. That’s what I’m feeling right now.” I think in the case of the current circumstance, it’s not only the fact that we’re on day 30-whatever of social distancing, but that there’s no tangible end in sight. No identifiable time when going to the grocery store will become a non-event, or work meetings will be in real time with real humans. And even with all the incentive deals and flexible bookings, it seems something between foolish and self-serving to be booking future travel right now. We’re in a state of perpetual inertia.
That’s where the petty part comes in. Inert and naked sounds a lot like the best parts of a nakation. But at times like this, every daily routine is under revision, including who’s in the house (everybody), and when (always), and how that resembles a naturist holiday. (At the moment, hardly at all.)
I think I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts that while naturism has been a shared value within our family (See our naturist story here), the degree to which nakedness occurs in our home varies from one family member to the next. As seems to be the case in most households, I’m the stereotypical dad who doffs his clothes whenever it’s viable to do so, while my wife is more of a nakation naturist. That is, once we set foot on Ile du Levant or any European naturist resort, her clothes come off for the duration, provided the weather is conducive.
While growing up, our kids were someplace in between those two norms, with no qualms about getting naked at the La Jenny pool, but more likely than not to cover up when wandering about the expansive grounds of a naturist resort. By contrast, I recently met a family from the Midwest that lives naked pretty much all of the time while at home. That has never been the pattern for our family, as our kids were drawn to an unspoken policy that would have read something like “Naked in Croatia any time; clothed in the US all the time.” These days, when the kids come home as adults, everyone knows what to wear in the hot tub (Nothing!), but even for my own spouse, most home nudity ends there.
I have read so many social media profiles over the years that lead out with “my wife lets me be naked at home.” Sort of a regulatory kind of arrangement that implies some level of agreement or concession. Thankfully, that is not the arrangement in our household. My spouse has never allowed me to be naked; she simply has come to expect that if I have the opportunity to do so, I will remove my clothing. Hot tub opens and she’s naked in a heartbeat as well, but it simply “isn’t pragmatic to be naked around the house.” Daily life is not a nakation, even during forced isolation, and daily life is simply more easily executed when clothed.
My limited and unscientific research shows that naked at home seems to be predominantly a guy thing! Where does that come from? I’m well aware there are some avid female bloggers out there who prefer clothes-free living as well, but they are clearly the exception rather to the rule. I can certainly understand why a woman is reluctant to participate in a heavily male-dominated Twitter thread about social nudity, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a profile or a rant from a male partner who reports “my wife always insists on being naked at home.” Ever.
I am well aware of the many arguments related to the unceasing and relentless objectification of women, and would never want to diminish the gravity of any of that. And being the geeky academic type that I am, I’ve read a lot of the research related to perceptions of nudity in the modern age, and in particular, how our opinions and ideals have been shaped by a chaotic mix of commercialism colliding with religious mores.
But what does all that mean for those of us in long-term, committed relationships? (I’ll leave the naked around the children debate for another time.) In this age of rampant internet pornography, and the inundation of seductive advertising, is it even necessary to rationalize the case for casual nudity at home? And why is it even remotely peculiar for partners to be naked around the house? (See: Social Nudity in the Age of Casual Sex)
Where we live, the days and evenings will start warming up soon. We have a nice assortment of patio heaters that make our porch naked friendly several weeks before the weather is compliant. Last night in the hot tub, my wife and I were speculating on whether summer travel, even if possible, would be a prudent idea, which led to my saying something like, “I don’t think I mind the idea of a staycation, but I am already grieving the potential loss of our nakation. Does staying home simply mean that we cut our our mutual naked time this summer?” Our porch has always been a clothing-optional zone, and I have no hesitation of exploiting that, but social nudity is not quite social… nudity… if you’re the only one naked.
So, let me hear from you readers! Especially those of you who have long embraced clothing optional travel. Do the same rules apply at home? Is the man always naked at home? How about the woman? Is this a collective endeavor in your domicile? Or is naked something that only happens on a distant naturist beach in the dog days of summer.
There are a lot of you following this blog – Post a comment below or email Naturist Dan and maybe I can generate a follow-up post that asks fewer questions and provides more answers. Perhaps we’ll find that we’re entering an era where naked is the new normal.
That’s it for now. Gonna go take my clothes off and start my day.