Join 3,559 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


No nudes is good nudes?
October 25, 2007 4:32 AM   Subscribe

Nudism, in the modern, Western, sense seems to have started in Germany (NSFW) back around the turn of the century, and despite the efforts of the Nazis to eradicate the practice Free Body Culture (FKK), as the Germans call it, enjoyed great popularity in East Germany, the Communists thought it expressed solidarity, and everyone else thought it reflected West German freedoms they were being denied. After the reunification it turns out the West Germans aren't so hot on FKK after all... In Germany opponents say nudism is disorderly, in the USA they say its child porn in disguise (SFW) Laws in the USA vary widely. In Arkansas its not only illegal to be nude, but its also illegal to talk about nudism, while in New York its legal for women to be topless, as long as they aren't being paid for it. As usual the gods send mixed messages.
posted by sotonohito (37 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Should mention that the "child porn in disguise" link is hosted by nostatusquo.com, which is the website of Nikki Craft, who makes me look mild mannered, unopiniated, etc.
posted by sotonohito at 4:37 AM on October 25, 2007


I work with a very hot young woman who was recently telling me that not only is she a nudist, she was brought up a nudist -- both her parents and her grandparents before them were part of the nudist/naturist movement and have been going to nudist clubs and beaches for the last sixty years or more.

Because I'd recently seen the site in that child porn in disguise link, I was asking her whether she believed that there was any significant incidence of paedophilia in the movement here in the UK. She was convinced that it's so rare that it's virtually unheard of, which sounded somewhat unlikely to me. I mean, if you were obsessed with the idea of sex with kids, but knew that even buying or looking at kids would get you sent to prison, what else are you gonna do? You'd either go the Len Fairclough route, or you'd join a nudist club and ogle away until you had to leave to conceal your shame.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:42 AM on October 25, 2007


Oh, I mention that my colleague is hot, solely because of my own long standing prejudice that all nudists look like the nudists in Diane Arbus's Aperture monograph.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:44 AM on October 25, 2007


/not nudist
posted by psmealey at 4:49 AM on October 25, 2007


Cameltoes & Wogans subvert the nude not nude dichotomy.
posted by srboisvert at 5:02 AM on October 25, 2007


Wogans?
Terry parades with his plums out?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:04 AM on October 25, 2007


You'd either go the Len Fairclough route, or you'd join a nudist club and ogle away until you had to leave to conceal your shame.

Or you just ogle dressed children. Wouldn't erections in the presence of children cause comment even among nudists?
posted by DU at 5:05 AM on October 25, 2007


The term FKK in German has also taken on a different connotation. Although it still means the same thing to adherents of nudist culture, many swinger clubs and brothels use the term to advertise their activities.

I went to a beach on Sylt once and at the end of the strand there was a sign with the letters FKK on it with a notice that beyond that point was a designated nude beach. So I guess in the case of public notices and signs, it still means "nudist".

Ahem...I did not go beyond the sign.

Because I just went for a dip and the water was really cold.
posted by chillmost at 5:13 AM on October 25, 2007


That Times article seems quite confused. First of all, I doubt that nude bathing was illegal in East Germany, since it's overwhelmingly East Germans who bathe nude, as all the other articles point out. Second of all, it's not really a Masonic-style club that you join like they seem to be suggesting. It's quite simple. Step 1: go to the beach. Step 2: take off all your clothes. Here in Berlin people are nude and half-nude all over the place, even in parks, among the regular bathers. In the West it's more segregated, but it's still just a simple matter of taking off your clothes. I've been to nude beaches in Croatia and Spain as well and no-one has ever addressed me as "friend of light". If they had I would've thought they were some kind of pervert.
posted by creasy boy at 5:21 AM on October 25, 2007


PeterMcDermott:
Wogans?
Terry parades with his plums out?


MY EYES!!!1!
posted by LMGM at 5:26 AM on October 25, 2007


Bikinis, maillots and trunks have become the norm on as many as two-fifths of beaches previously used by nudists since Germany reunified in 1990, the DFK German Naturist Federation estimated.

Fashions change? In the 1970s here in Sweden no self-respecting woman wore a bra, or sunbathed with one on. Today - for whatever reason - it is far less common. Children, however, are always naked on the beach. Putting a bikini or trunks on toddlers is seen as giving them a sexual identity for which they have no need.

Wouldn't erections in the presence of children cause comment even among nudists?

Obviously. The key to a successful nude beach is that everyone is nude. This may be the case in Germany that since reunification not everyone is nude and this causes people who would otherwise practice FKK to cover up.
posted by three blind mice at 5:27 AM on October 25, 2007


And by the way: child pornography in disguise? So: it looks like children are running around nude having innocent fun, and everyone else is minding their own business -- but that's just the disguise! In reality, the children are all having sex!

Is this is true, then that's a truly masterful disguise.
posted by creasy boy at 5:36 AM on October 25, 2007


creasy To be honest, I thought the fact that Arkansas passed a law so obviously at odds with the Constitution was more interesting than the "nudity == sex" line that Ms. Craft is pushing.

Though it was the East vs. West German aspect that most caught my attention.
posted by sotonohito at 5:46 AM on October 25, 2007


Nude swimming? sure.
Nude sunbathing? ok.
Nude in a splintery rowboat? uuuh...
Nude Biking? Nude Lawnmowing? That's called risking danglies. Not for me.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:48 AM on October 25, 2007


Nazi Germany wasn't exactly anti-nudist. Although some nudist organizations were banned early on, the Nazi party later tolerated and even promoted it as part of their worship of the perfect body, which tied in nicely with their eugenic ideas. The SS stood up openly in favour of nudism, and Hitler didn't seem to have a problem with it either.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 5:56 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nude is good. Some people need to experience it, and get over the body hangups.
posted by Goofyy at 6:00 AM on October 25, 2007


Step 1: go to the beach. Step 2: take off all your clothes.

Step 3: PROFIT!!

I am so awfully sorry.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:04 AM on October 25, 2007


Yeah In Grass' The Tin Drum there's a scene with an avuncular sort of figure who takes all the young boys out to go swimming in a frozen lake. Afterwards they frolic around in the nude wrestling with each other. I'm not sure anymore if this is the same character who's vegetarian, but anyway one of the salient aspects of Nazi culture was an ideal of bodily purity that had some connections to both vegetarianism and the FKK movement.

Sotonohito, didn't mean to criticize the post, I just think that Times article is kind of full of shit. There's nothing inherently esoteric about sitting on a beach naked.
posted by creasy boy at 6:05 AM on October 25, 2007


This thread makes me miss San Francisco.
posted by signal at 6:06 AM on October 25, 2007


Mixed Messages:
There is an annual Naked Bike Ride in Burlington VT. (NSFW)
While it's apparently legal to be naked in public, it's illegal to undress in public, so I guess you have to undress at home.
posted by MtDewd at 6:13 AM on October 25, 2007


as a man, i've always thought it strange that i could take off my shirt, walk into a federal post office and buy a stamp, but a woman doing the same would be arrested.

in my travels in the south pacific, i saw a lot of casual nudity, none of which was confined to areas set aside for it. the reactions to it were barely noticeable.

here in the u.s. the reaction would be to arrest the individual, register him or her as a sex offender and move them into a trailer park in florida.
posted by kitchenrat at 6:23 AM on October 25, 2007


Nikki Craft thread and visit here on MeFi.
posted by OmieWise at 6:34 AM on October 25, 2007


This reminds me: a read a few years ago about how the Hindu nationalist group "Shiv Sena" stages nude riots. They're very masculinist and body-purist in the same sort of way the Nazis were, I guess. I asked a friend of mine in India about this and he explained to me that this is no big deal, in India you occasionally see dudes walking around the marketplace stark naked, and sometimes women flail their naked breasts angrily as a tactic of negotiation with street vendors.
posted by creasy boy at 6:35 AM on October 25, 2007


PeterMcDermott:
Wogans?
Terry parades with his plums out?

MY EYES!!!1!
posted by LMGM

Cover your eyes NOW!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 6:46 AM on October 25, 2007


Bum!

The link was:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=487777&in_page_id=1770
posted by Jody Tresidder at 6:47 AM on October 25, 2007


Nikki Craft thread and visit here on MeFi

Oddly enough, the only time I ever went nude in public was in Big Sur with Nikki Craft. She's actually a very nice person.
posted by ubiquity at 6:54 AM on October 25, 2007


I'm not in a situation where perusing links about nudism is a particularly good idea, but what does FKK stand for in German? Is it Frei K├Ârper Kultur, or is it declined somehow?
posted by borkingchikapa at 6:57 AM on October 25, 2007


Freik├Ârperkultur.
posted by creasy boy at 7:03 AM on October 25, 2007


and sometimes women flail their naked breasts angrily as a tactic of negotiation

My imagination will be fixated on this image for the next week.
posted by einer at 7:04 AM on October 25, 2007


Nudity is semi-legal in Texas (and particularly in Austin).
posted by ubiquity at 7:07 AM on October 25, 2007


Wouldn't erections in the presence of children cause comment even among nudists?

Yeah, that was what my comment about leaving to conceal your shame was intended to imply.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:25 AM on October 25, 2007


If God had meant for us to parade around naked, he would have made sure we were born that way.
posted by DreamerFi at 9:11 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


The link for "illegal to be nude, but its also illegal to talk about nudism" is borked, but (at the risk of stating the obvious) any attempt by a state to prevent "talking about nudism" almost surely violates the 1st Amendment.
posted by exogenous at 9:29 AM on October 25, 2007


"This thread makes me miss San Francisco."

Dare I ask why?
posted by drstein at 9:55 AM on October 25, 2007


"This thread makes me miss San Francisco."

Dare I ask why?


Maybe 'cause of the nude beaches around there, like Muir Beach?
posted by Eekacat at 2:38 PM on October 25, 2007


despite the efforts of the Nazis to eradicate the practice Free Body Culture (FKK),

Sounds good but is not true
posted by yoyo_nyc at 6:57 PM on October 25, 2007


Dare I ask why?

People getting naked at the slightest provocation, for halloween, the various gay events, the bay-to-breakers run (where, aside from all the other various naked people, thttp://www.metafilter.com/user/16247
Eekacathere was one old naked guy in a wheelchair).
posted by signal at 8:07 AM on October 26, 2007


« Older When two Williamsburg hipsters met at a party, the...  |  Invest wisely. End poverty.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments