Friday, March 30, 2012

Nudity – Therapy for Autism?

This week alarming new statistics about autism made headlines.  According to the latest release, about one in eighty-eight children will be diagnosed with some form of autism, ranging from mild to more severe cases. [See, for example, this article in USA TODAY ]

We have said many times on Bare Platypus that we are NOT doctors.  When it comes to autism, however, we have been following the condition for some time.  That’s because autism and nudism have crossed paths more than once.  It seems that many autistic people do not like the feeling of clothes on their body.  This may be due to an increased sensitivity to touch.

In our previous work, The Platypus Team in fact took up the case of one young man with moderately-severe autism who had made the transition to living alone.  He had a job and rode the bus line to and from his apartment each day.  He also removed his clothes immediately upon getting home and stayed that way until it was time to go to work.  It’s not clear that he considered any of the more esoteric aspects of “nudism”… he just knew it felt better to have nothing on his skin. 

All went well until he once went out on his balcony to retrieve his cat at about 5:00 in the morning without stopping to dress. [This young man was no pervert… just forgetful  He had signs taped to the inside frame of his front door made by his mother to remind him he needed to put on clothes before leaving for work.] 

A neighbor complained and the apartment complex planned to evict him until we assisted his mother with negotiating with the complex by leveraging the young man’s status under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The landlords recanted; they also helped install new louvered blinds on the balcony to avoid further complications with the neighbors.  We considered this victory to be among our finest of hours.

Nudism and autism have also crossed paths in some studies linking autism with Vitamin D deficiency.  A chief source of Vitamin D is direct exposure to sunlight and about 15 minutes a day on a fully-naked body yields a full day’s supply of this nutrient.

Finally, we strongly encourage you to read this touching story about the mother of a six year old boy who watched him experience genuine freedom and joy when the family stumbled onto the Rooster Rock nude beach. See Living with autism: A beach, a boy, a moment of joy  . 

10/30/13 Update: We came across the following nudity and autism website .On it parents and grandparents of autistic children share tips and experiences. There are even suggested types of clothing for making kids more comfortabl or to seethat certain behavior is addressed. Several parents suggest nudism too.

04/25/12 Update:  Bare Platypus came across this somewhat humorous account from the mother of an autistic teen son with a nudist streak:

07/13 Update:  Another story of one with autism who took to the buff to go swimming in a hotel pond.  Concerned mom and dad got her back safe and sound: Autistic Person's Nude Swim

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Staying Naked Makes Their Terrier Merrier

SOME MEMBERS of the Bare Platypus staff own a Yorkshire Terrier dog for a family pet.  There are many annoying things about this pooch.  He’s usually more spastic than a junkie on crack, for example.  He “yarks”---a combination yelp and bark---at virtually anything.  He runs down the street if he gets loose too.  But the dog has one very impressive quality: he HATES when anyone in the family puts on clothing. 

Pull on a shirt or a pair of pants and the Yorkie promptly goes into his “yark” and directs it at the clothes repeatedly.  Believe it or not, this dog’s even been known to try to pull loose-fitting garments off!  Hey, maybe Lassie could tell June Lockhardt that Timmy fell in the well, but our Platypuses’ pooch would bark at Ms. Lockhardt for putting on clothes!

Why?  We speculate that the Yorkie has learned that clothed caregivers will likely leave home soon.  Once gone, there’s no one to fetch food and water, no one to let him out, or to give him companionship (his favorite attention is a nice, soft, repeated petting). 
Whatever the reason, this dog possesses a special ability indeed. But he isn’t the only dog to recognize that clothes are bad news.  Godiva, the German shepherd mascot at clothes-free Terra Cotta Inn of Palm Springs, California became world-famous. She eyed any dressed person with suspicion as a stranger who didn’t belong, while showing great friendliness to anyone in a birthday suit. Similarly, the owner of a now-closed nudist club in South Florida known as Southern Exposure had a pet Chihuahua. It didn’t like the owner in clothes because this meant he would soon leave.

Dogs are great judges of situations at times.  Of course, plenty of cats will disagree.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Comic “Strips” - Does nudity in the funny pages reflect society's views?

IN OUR last Bare Platypus blog, the team noted that nudity seems to be the frontier that most science fiction television and movie producers won’t cross. Keeping things light and entertainng, we’d like to discuss nudity in the funny pages of your morning newspaper.  We’d also like to introduce a concept we’ll call the comics “BARE-o-meter.”

First, the funny pages: There’s something about drawn cartoons that’s less threatening to the general public than actual photographs when it comes to nudity.  Instinctively we know that a real person isn’t in “danger” of embarrassment. Plus, as the term “comics” implies, nudity in cartoons is usually accepted as humorous rather than offensive.

That may explain why the comics have always been able to get away with flashing an occasional bare bottom at the folks eating their toast and cereal. The list of comic “strips” in series that we’ve seen is quite extensive, ranging from Beetle Bailey to B.C. (Johnny Hart’s cavemen love skinny dipping). 

Family “strips” include the Family Circus, where Jeffy emerges from his bath to answer the front door from time to time, to nudist antics from Dennis the Menace, Marvin, and the brood belonging to Hi & Lois. (Mort Walker, cartoonist for both Beetle Bailey and Hi & Lois seemed particularly willing to “strip” his characters.) Before Bill Watterson retired Calvin and Hobbs, Calvin made running naked through mud puddles and raindrops a regular event that brought smiles to our faces. 

Zits revolves around the life of high school freshman Jeremy Duncan. It has explored his love/hate relationship with nakedness too. From timidly comparing himself to the gorilla-like hairy bodies of seniors in the locker room, to sleeping naked on the porch outside his room or streaking around the house while his parents are away with hilarious results, Jeremy entertains a wide readership that includes Bare Platypuses.

Now, about that Comics BARE-o-meter:  We’ve got a theory that the volume of nudity you see in your morning paper “bares” a strong relationship to society’s openness or resistance to nudity in general.  Heck, some of you may recall that in early 1970’s California, when nude beaches were becoming all the rage, the Los Angeles Times also ran a daily panel (later syndicated) called LOVE IS… It starred a couple which, albeit sans genitals, always appeared sans clothes too as their bare bums attested.

Economists have the consumer price index and the spot price of oil to fret about.  Politicos have Gallup polls and primary results.  Could the  number of monthly comic “STRIPS” become a bare-ometer of how accepting we are to birthday suits? We lost the Coppertone Girl.  Let’s hope we don’t lose more reasons for artists to reach for the flesh colored ink.

4/21/12 Comics BARE-o-meter:  Marvin decides to go bare bum so mom won't have to change diapers anymore: 

4/24/12 Comics BARE-o-meter:  Wren of Baby Blues sees a bare breast on TV and has no reaction because breasts mean "food" to a baby:

5/15/12 Comics BARE-o-meter: Marvin's Presidential campaign aspirations may be dashed by an incriminating nude photo of him on a fur rug that's on the internet:

5/28/12 Update: We revisit the comics bare-o-meter HERE

Nudity – The True Final Frontier

“SPACE. THE final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise…”

So began each episode of the television series Star Trek.  Prior to its launch we had Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers.  On the “strange phenomena” side of things viewers were treated to The Twilight Zone.  Since that time, there’s been a veritable buffet of science fiction and fantasy shows ranging from Fringe, to Eureka, to The X Files, and at least three other Star Trek series (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager).  Some of you may recall Sliders where a team of travelers kept jumping dimensions into parallel universes and alternate time periods.  Let’s not forget Dr. Who, which has aired on the BBC since the 1960’s.

All of these shows explore alternate realities, new species of aliens and beings, as well as thinking that’s clearly outside the box.  There have been dopplegangers (your body double), shape shifters, Klingons, Vorgons, Tribbles, you name it.

Yet, with a few very limited exceptions, there’s one reality that all these shows rarely explore: nudity.  More specifically, while they are perfectly willing to consider that lizard people could inhabit a planet, or an entire civilization be fixated on a book about Roaring 20’s America (remember that Star Trek episode?) the idea of a race of human-like beings that simply elect not to wear clothes “frightens” the writers and producers of movies and TV more than the end of the universe…. Which is so overdone.

Now, we can already hear the geeks among you talking to your computer monitors about the exceptions.  The cartoon series Futurama, for example, once visited a planet with the most famed nudist beach in the galaxy.  Sliders began an episode where the team was just leaving a nude version of the whole city of San Francisco (this was one of those lead-ins before the credits that lasts about 15 seconds).  Counselor Troy of Star Trek the Next Generation had a mom who insisted on being wed in the Betazed custom of nude nuptials.

But how come Captain Piccard was never challenged with visiting a race of people living completely naked where his crew would have had to visit in their birthday suits to avoid violating the prime directive? (For those non-geeks reading, the prime directive is a mandate that Starship crews not interfere with the natural development of civilizations by appearing as unique visitors from space so as to upset the apple cart for people not ready to accept that there’s life on other worlds.) Why is it that so few, if any, parallel universes have naked worlds?

The simplistic answer is that “the censors wouldn’t allow it” but that doesn’t really address the question completely.  Science Fiction never steered from controversial topics  such as human sacrifice, intergalactic warfare, the end of the universe (did we mention that’s so overdone).  Moreover, no one is suggesting that they would have to show genitals, or even buttocks, on camera.  Carefully designed camera angles and props could deal with that. 

Finally, there’s certainly more than a fair share of R rated movies and cable channel shows that don’t have the customary limitations of network TV.  Why can’t any of those explore a civilization where the men, women, and children just lived free and natural?

For the Bare Platypus crew it’s proof that nudity is, indeed, the Final Frontier.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A College Student's First-Time Experience: Bare in the Evening Air at a Nudist Club

THE BARE Platypus Team is made up of nudists from several different ages and stages of life.  This includes college students.  One of our students has gone to nudist resorts with her family since she was an infant.

About eight months ago she began dating a great young man.  They have begun to share much of their lives together, including campus activities, a drama group, and attending a local church service.  So perhaps it was only a matter of time before she asked him to join her for a visit to the local nudist club.

Last night they made an early evening trip and you get to hear about it first-hand.

In these parts, weather turns warm in spring and the local club is open on weekdays.  After driving through the gate, they soon found themselves signing in at the front desk.  The registration clerk recognized our Platypus from many previous visits so the clerk abbreviated some of the orientation speech while the couple completed the customary registration forms. They then walked to a small lakeside beach that is on grounds. 

While still too cold for swimming in its unheated waters, the lake proved the perfect place to get started and our Platypus reports she joyfully removed all of her clothes.  Her boyfriend looked on, a bit taken by the uninhibited ease with which she could take everything off right there. He kept his shorts and t-shirt on. But he was clearly curious.  For a while they sat, alone, and talked on the beach. Then our first-timer excused himself to go to the restroom.

When he emerged he had ditched the t-shirt and shorts, wearing only a towel now.  He let the towel down to sit on it back at the beach and, later, when the couple went for a short paddle-boat ride.  Then it was time for their dinner reservation.  Sitting in the club’s restaurant enjoying a meal of barbeque ribs for two, they smiled at one another and he grinned from time to time as if to say, “I’m here in nothing but a towel and I’m having a great time.”

Our college couple fielded comments and questions from some fascinated folks at the neighboring tables: 

·         “How old are you both?” (Nineteen and in school.)

·         “What brings you to a nudist club?” (She’s been going to them since she was a baby.)

·         “What brings you to this resort?” (We go to college locally and this club is peaceful. Great for a first visit.)

·         “How’s the food? (Delicious)”

Over dinner he confided to her that he likes to walk around his apartment in the buff after a day of classes.  Soon a solo instrumentalist set up in the front of the room and began playing music as folks got up to dance.  With dinner finished, our couple joined in.

“I made him take the towel off to go dancing,” our Platypus reports with a grin.  “It’s a nudist resort, after all. Turns out, he really enjoyed dancing nude.”  She describes the music as a bit dated, however.  “My beau likes lots of sixties and seventies bands but we only recognized about four songs.”  [One of the songs they recognized was Louis Armstrong’s “It’s a wonderful world” from the 1960’s soundtrack of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner starring Sydney Poitier so we can believe the music was, indeed, from a distinctly different generation.] They were also the youngest people attending by far. “We were only about a third of their age but, of course, I’m kinda used to that by now,” she says with a consigned look.

They enjoyed a brief skinny-dip in the club’s heated pool before driving back to campus.  As they drove, our Platypus asked her mate what he thought of the whole experience. His first remark was that he thoroughly enjoyed it.  His second was that he thought it would be more difficult to take his clothes off than it turned out to be.

“We’re already planning to go on a Saturday next month,” she says.

- The Bare Platypus certifies that the foregoing account is a true and accurate report of a trip that took place just yesterday evening.

5/1/12  Update:  Our college couple did in fact return to the nudist club for a day trip.  Read about it in College Nudist Couple Revisited .

Update: Our couple returned yet again to meet the whole Platypus family for a day at the club in Threepeat .

Monday, March 26, 2012

Naked Album Cover Art

IT’S SUNDAY and many of the Platypuses are relaxing now.  What goes better with relaxation than getting naked and listening to some music, right?  Take a look at some of the artists who have albums / CD’s / MP3 sets marketed with nude pictures on the covers or insets. Maybe you can think of some we haven’t listed here:

  • Jackson Browne
  • Led Zeppelin
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  • Nirvana
  • Orleans
  • Puddle of Mudd
  • Taking Back Sunday
  • Talking Heads
  • Wodstock – The Album

Bare Platypus doesn’t think you can get more artistic than with the human body!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Your turn...

SO... WE want to hear from you, fellow platypuses  -- Where is your favorite place to go bare?

Friday, March 23, 2012


DID THE Bare Platypus team mistakenly hit some keys in the title box of this post?  Were we trying to type an obscenity but missed some letters because we're so angry?


This post is marked FKK because those are the letters that usually represent nude beaches and organizations in Germany, as well as other parts of Europe.

Throughout the animal kingdom Platypusses are notoriously bad at spelling and foreign languages aren't a specialty either.  But roughly "FKK" stands for "Frei Korper Kulture." Loosely translated it means "Free Body Culture."  Very clever of the Germans to include that word "culture" to describe the atmosphere of tradition, folkways, and etiquette of going naked.  Because FKK is more than just disrobing, and usually involves philosophy too.

In Germany nude culture is different.  For one thing many, many beaches and public areas have both a clothed side and a nude side.  The line between them can change as more naked, or suited, bathers show up on a given summer day to enjoy the shore. 

Another difference from what you may have experienced is that even bathers who opt for swimwear often change right there on the beach.  It's as if being seen nude by others is neither embarassing nor the issue. Instead, for them they view putting on the speedo like putting on a piece of equipment in preparation of the sport---like donning skis to go skiing.

Regardless of which side of the beach on which they build sandcastles, little tykes through the age of six or more routinely go sans clothes and no one thinks much about it unless they're getting too much sun. Topless bathing for women, like in so many parts of Europe, is common too, including among those who would not consider themselves part of FK culture.

Indoor swimming facilities often have an FKK day / evening each week that's reserved for people who skinny dip.  It appears on many schedules as routine as "with bacon" could appear listed next to a breakfast entree on menus in our country. 

If you travel abroad, consult tourist guides and directories.  Check the index for FKK or naturism and you'll likely find supplemental information on the subject.  Many Platypus readers started out by visiting another country and learning the joys of wearing their own skin.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Vanishing Coppertone Girl

THE OTHER day some of the Platypus team made a run to the local Walmart for office supplies.  At the front of the store near the registers where we waited in line to check out, we noticed a sizeable display for Coppertone sunscreen products

In addition to the rows of bottles and sprays of various colors and SPF markings, we couldn’t help but see the large beach scene depicted in a picture at the top of the display.  In it a girl of about seven years runs along the beach wearing something like a swimsuit / sundress combo that extends from her shoulders to her knees.  A small black dog follows with his mouth “politely” near-closed.

Your Bare Platypus team will now date themselves by remarking that the above-described picture is nothing like Coppertone’s signature illustration that the company began using in the late 1950’s.  In THAT iconic (now vanishing) image, a little girl sporting pigtails runs along the beach with a little black dog behind her, but the dog is pulling on her two-piece swimsuit bottom to reveal her entire, very pale, very naked, bum. A nervous finger at the side of her mouth connotes embarrassment at her unexpected “wardrobe malfunction.”

We understand that this logo, regularly shown in some form on virtually all Coppertone ads through the 1960’s and 70’s, was the work of artist Joyce Ballentine Brand, who used her daughter as the model for the bashful tyke.  The scene once graced huge billboards and even the side of a building near Miami Beach.

The disappearance of the Coppertone Girl was to be expected, we suppose.  She had been working on her vanishing act for more than a decade.  Perhaps it began with the mega-purchase of Schering-Plough, parent of the Coppertone brand, by yet another even larger mega company that didn’t seem to care for tradition.  Perhaps it was the rumored (although never substantiated) appeals from child-protection groups calling for an end to Little Ms. Coppertone because her bare derriere was “child pornography” and degrading in their eyes. Just as likely, the threat of skin cancer from overexposure to the sun’s rays meant sun safety and full covering on the beach trumped exposed skin.

In any event, the logo morphed over time from the full bare-butt shot that first caught beachgoers’ attention when Ike was President.  Gone was the contrasting pale skin of the gal’s bum and dark tan. Gone was the two-piece in favor of a one-piece that the dog pulled down to the small of her back. (This was just goofy.  What did the dog do? Jump up near the girl’s neck like a wear wolf  and pull the lycra off her shoulders???)

Ah. Ce’ La Vie.  The Coppertone girl is no longer with us.  You’ll find no political correctness among us about this, however.  We thought the advertisement in its original form was just plain CUTE. The picture spoke 1,000 words making you instantly understand that you would tan, not burn, if you used the product, but could only tan where you used it.

Bare Platypus does hope that those  charged with responsibility for promoting and protecting nude travel are taking notes.  When bare bottoms and tans are too controversial for a company that built its entire brand around them, can our industry be far behind in making a vanishing act?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Women Fear Nudity at the Gym

THIS JUST in: A Canadian study about women and fitness just wrapped up and the results appear in various news stories from USA Today to Canadian broadcasters.  Their conclusion?  Women are VERY uneasy about changing---and especially being seen naked---in the locker room.

According to Marianne Clark , a Phd candidate who interviewed women visiting various fitness venues, dropping trou (or even seeing other women do so) may be more intimidating than the prospect of running five miles on a treadmill.  Those interviewed cited a number of reasons, ranging from the awkwardness of encountering someone they know from work while either is in the nude, to the close proximity of others on changing room benches. 

Keep in mind that all this "awkwardness" took place in single-sex dressing areas. Self doubts about how their bodies measured up to other women appeared to be a factor, but also keep in mind that all of those interviewed exercised regularly.  Most were quoted in the article as describing themselves "fit."

So what's the problem?  No guys checking them out.  No significant weight or fitness issues. What then?  Just the everyday awkwardness of being naked around someone else!  Interestingly, the writers of the article rounded out their story with interviews of several men who expressed similar sentiments, including a thirty-something man who would rather "drive home stinky" than use a gym shower. 

Both genders describe changing in the bathroom stalls and fitness facilities are sure to take notice.  Can individual changing cubicles be far in the future?  They're probably already in some places although it would seem to complicate mopping the floor, vacuming, and create a lot of extra walls to clean.

Does nudity "scare" you?  Why not start by disrobing in the comfort and privacy of your own home?  Maybe you can progress to taking a little more time in your after-workout regimen including a trip to the shower.  Bare Platypus is fairly certain that anyone else present won't bite.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Controversial Platypus

The editorial team at Bare Platypus thinks it’s time we broke the ice with an editorial that’s controversial.  Write the unexpected. Challenge mindsets. Brave new territory. How’s this? 

Clothes Kill!

You read that one correctly.  Clothes can kill.  Maybe they don’t pick up a gun and aim it at helpless victims, but they are responsible (or could be) for needless deaths.
Let’s start with a study that was done by the Department of the Army concerning preparedness for chemical attacks.  According to that study, the single most effective way to reduce the effects of exposure to chemical agents was removal of all clothing. 

In fact, among the three most critical messages that experts strove to communicate was that “Disrobing IS decontamination.”  Disrobe as much as possible after exposure to chemical weapons and your chances of survival increase considerably.  Read it for yourself at:
Army Decontamination
Guess what? In repeated tests, observers found that subjects' privacy concerns outweighed health concerns. Put another way, most subjects would rather die than be caught naked in public.  That’s why the experts in the study cited above listed numerous ways of dealing with the body anxiety issues that get in the way of first responders trying to save lives:

  • “let them strip down to underwear [though removal of all clothing is best]” 
  • "Responders should set up privacy curtains almost as soon as the life-saving water rinse from firehoses [because];"
  • "People are more willing to shower if provided this privacy."

Does any of this strike you as a bit silly?  We’re so privacy conscious that we wouldn’t strip and shower in public if it meant saving our lives?  How about the people who die each year because they don’t want to talk to their health provider about their breasts? Or men who put off prostate screenings because…. Well…. Someone would touch them "there."

Bare Platypus thinks it’s time for common sense to trump prude, archaic notions.  How’s that for controversial?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Celebrate Holidays… Naturally!

We just wrapped up St. Patrick’s Day. It occurred to the Bare Platypus that we missed an opportunity to discuss the benefits of ringing in such special days while clothes-free.

Here are some ideas for more natural celebrations:

Christmas – Send close friends and family holiday cards with the proverbial Santa hat and birthday suit. “Merry Christmas and a happy nude year” is a perennial favorite;

New Year’s – The New Year baby only wears a sash bearing 20___.  You don’t need more than a sash to sing Auld Lang Syne either;

Valentine’s Day – Hey, remember that Cupid is just a small nakey guy with wings.  Be cupid with your spouse;

President’s Day – John Quincy Adams skinny dipped in the Potomac most days.  There’s an oft-cited story about a woman reporter who sat on his clothes and wouldn’t give them back until he agreed to an interview for her publication.  Lyndon Johnson skinny-dipped in the White House swimming pool. So commemorate the occasion with a skinny dip of your own.  Even if it’s in your own bathtub;

St. Patrick’s Day – Go easy on the Irish whiskey and ale. Find a different pot of gold at the end of the rainbow by enjoying a quiet meal of corned beef and cabbage, some folk music from the Emerald Isle, in your bare skin;

Memorial Day – This weekend marks the traditional start of summer.  Set up a picnic blanket in your fenced back yard and start working on an all-over tan!

Independence Day – The most summer of holidays! Mark the day with independence from clothes. Skinny dip in the family pool.  Later, if you treat your yard with enough spray repellant you can listen to the fireworks pop as you bask in the cool night air of your fenced back yard;

Labor Day – Don’t let the last days of summer pass without at least one more nude sunbath;

Halloween – Come on. You KNOW the best costumes could be built around a nude theme.  Even if you can’t wear it everywhere;

Thanksgiving – Take a break from the relatives (and make some extra room for the turkey you ate) by taking a respite in the oasis that is your own room.  Just a few hours will restore your spirits, leaving you ready to listen to Uncle Fred’s  rants about the days’ football games.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lessons from the Family Pet

Take a lesson from your family’s pet, or platypuses out in the wild.  Their message is the same.
Unless the temperature drops frightfully cold and you bundle your Chihuahua, your cat, or whatever, in a custom made pet sweater the animal is perfectly comfortable in its own fur. In fact, those who have actually tried to put a pet into one of those garments know that it often pulls and claws in an attempt to get rid of the thing. 

Now imagine a thoroughbred racehorse. You could put a horse blanket on it as the stable grooms do from time to time.  But you wouldn’t try to squeeze a magnificent prize-winner into a tutu. Or spandex.

So why are folks so obsessed with trying to clothe one of the most awesome creations of all with artificial fabrics like Dacron, nylon, orlon, and a bunch of other polyester-based stuff ending with the suffix “on?”  They should end such trade names with “off” (Dacroff, nyloff, orloff) because the first thing we think about doing when we have to wear the stuff is taking it off.

Toddlers know that often their bare skin feels best.  So do our four-legged friends. Indeed, even our Creator, during His Sermon on the Mount advised that we should quit obsessing so much about clothes and consider the lilies of the field which do not toil or spin, yet were clothed finer that Solomon in all his glory. 

Hmm… What will it be? Wisdom from the mouths and actions of babes, the Good Lord, AND our family pooches, which are such good judges of character?  Or chemical companies, textile manufacturers, and the garment districts who invented the sweat shop? 
The Platypus is going with the first group. Are you going with the Platypus?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Getting Started

THERE IS, allegedly, an old Chinese proverb that says “even a thousand mile journey begins with a single step.”  So it is with sojourning into a life spent with more naked time each day. 

Some people first got their ideas about “going nudist” by watching that Peter Sellers film from the 1960’s when he ends up in a nudist camp.  Others have said they remember an episode of The Bob Newhardt show when Bob took some of his clients to spend a weekend at a cabin in the woods.  One of them refused to pack, or wear, clothes. I do recall seeing that show as a kid.  Maybe the first thought you’ve entertained comes from visiting the Bare Platypus, for which we would be especially proud.
Whatever gave you the notion, now is a great time to take the next step to a nude you.  Try giving one of these ideas a try:

  • Sleep in the nude…it’s relaxing and no one else has to know!
  • Read  Bare Platypus in the buff when you visit us online.
  • Imagine how you could spend your next day off from work out of your clothes.
  • Think about how you could incorporate some naked time into your next vacation.
  • Imagine telling a close friend that you’re considering becoming a nudist.  What would you tell them?

Remember this: Most of the people we’ve talked to who made the decision to live more of their lives in the nude say that their chief regret is that they didn’t begin sooner.  So don’t delay and start today!

Is the Bare Platypus a Nudist or a Naturist?

THERE'S ALREADY some question about whether the Bare Platypus is a “nudist” or “naturist” site. And the answer is… [drum roll please]… YES!

A bit of explanation about terminology may be in order for those who have not spent much time visiting nude venues.  The word “naturist” means a person who enjoys freedom from clothes—historically because it was more natural / a natural state in harmony with nature.  When the modern idea of taking one's clothes off among others began in Germany and elsewhere, the terms “naturist” and “naturism” emerged to describe folks who practiced it.  Even today the term has a connotation associated with Europe. The “United Nations” of organizations advocating nudity---which represents over sixty countries---is called the International Naturist Federation.
The term naturist would certainly befit the Bare Platypus, although within the United States it’s a term often confused with “naturalist”… someone who studies wildlife.  Naturalists study platypus animals.  Bare Platypuses study naturists.

The term nudist immediately brings certain images to mind also.  Some of those are good, some not so good, and some just archaic.  Even today many people would fill in the following blank [Nudist ________] with the word  “colony.”  For them, nudist evokes thoughts of a nuts and berries crowd living in isolation somewhere, or those 1950’s era postcards that made bare travelers the punch line for jokes.  For still others nudist means a person who prefers plush resorts to simply being bare outdoors in nature. 
All of these preferences are typically based on personal experience and opinion. We at the Bare Platypus don’t think either is right or wrong.  We will use the term nudist often, but only in a generic sense.  We don’t mean to convey any hidden messages in choosing that word. It’s merely the term that, in our experience, most people use when clothes come off.  Think about when a toddler streaks through the kitchen on Saturday morning and dad quips to mom, “I guess we have a budding little nudist.”

Ultimately, Bare Platypuses just like to be bare. If you’re more relaxed when you take your clothes off at home or elsewhere, you’re speaking our language.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You Don’t Have to Leave Your Habitat!

IN ALL the years that members of the Bare Platypus team served the nude travel industry we were charged with one goal: getting people to go somewhere to get nude. 

The reason was quite simple, of course.  Hotel  stays, airline fares, admission fees, even restaurant sales at nude resorts paid for the advertising and membership renewals that paid our salaries.  Nothing wrong with that. In fact, some of the Platypus team’s best memories are from vacation trips taken to nude destinations along with loved ones. Some of our best friendships were forged in meetings at such locations too.
Yet all that promotion of nude travel overlooked a few things.  Some people are “home bodies” and don’t like to travel much. Others cannot afford it financially, or have health conditions that make travel difficult.  Still others have no problem with traveling, but they’re simply not comfortable with the idea of getting naked around other people outside of family.  Collectively, these people represent a huge segment of the U.S. population.

Bare Platypus doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with their reasons, either.  What's key, our team doesn’t  want the people described in the previous paragraph to miss out on how enjoyable life can be with a little more nudity and a little less clothing from time to time.  Even if it means never stepping off one’s own property, paying admission to a nudist venue, or buying a membership to something.
We genuinely believe that taking a trip to a nude beach or destination inhabited by other naked people has numerous joys and benefits.  Much of Bare Platypus will be devoted to helping people make the most out of nude vacations.

But imagine, for a moment, if people in our country embraced nudity more often even if we didn’t sell them a destination.  Imagine family swimming pools and slip n slides of skinny dippers.  Imagine fewer sales of pajamas and swimsuits and other unimportant articles of clothing made by people in Bangladesh at 40 cents a day’s pay. 

Imagine a culture of comfort about the simple human body. One that didn’t jam the talk shows for months discussing the horrors of airing a half second of a bare breast during a Super Bowl halftime show.  Imagine people feeling free to discuss their body with their doctor rather than, literally, dying from embarrassment because they didn’t want to talk about a bump they felt in their breast or scrotum.
If you never leave your natural habitat, but spend more time there in your natural state after visiting us at Bare Platypus regularly, we will surely have fulfilled a mission.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Platypus Anonymous

SOME VISITORS to the Bare Platypus on Twitter, Facebook, and BlogSpot are wondering what we’ve got planned in the coming months.  Okay, we’ll tell you!.. Starting with “Platypus Anonymous.”

During our many years promoting nude travel, it seemed there were two ways to convey information about nude camps, clubs, resorts, and beaches.  The first way was to let those places tell their own story. Whether in travel directories, advertising, carefully crafted copy in nudist publications, brochures, or websites, such clubs controlled the release of information about them.  Nice picture of the hot tub. No information telling potential visitors that the tub’s usually out of service.
The second way was to allow public comments in letters to the editor, message boards, or with online feedback forums similar to the way people give it on sites like eBay.  These increased alternative viewpoints, but had their own set of drawbacks.  Competitors were tempted to post bad things about the competition. Those with personal disputes or “an axe to grind” would regularly post negative things as well, usually refusing to acknowledge any good in those for whom they held grudges. 

The net result with either approach is that they hinder the flow of accurate, quality information which travelers need to make decisions about where to spend vacation dollars.  Platypus aims to deal with those issues by recruiting objective people to serve as mystery guests, a/k/a “platypus anonymous” who later relay their experiences and observations to our readers.  There are no complimentary stays, freebies, or incentives to skew information. “Platypus Aanonymous” pay regular fares for admission, although they may be eligible for reimbursement of expenses that are not reduced for reporting the truth (for bad AND good). Some platypuses will be first-time visitors to a nude beach or venue. All visit without fanfare or advance notice.

Ultimately, we believe that objective reports, mixed with a dose of what the Bare Platypus know from their industry experience, will be information worth paying for.  That’s one key aspect of our business model.

Another aspect is providing quality, regularly-updated ebooks and guides on topics ranging from how to live better nude at home, getting started, the online world, relationships, nudity and family, plus nudity and faith.  These publications have been long in development. Each is sure to be worth the very modest cover price and  will leave readers waiting for the next title.

We’re not looking to make a quick buck off one-time customers. Instead, we plan to faithfully serve fellow platypuses for years to come.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bare + Platypus = FUN

SAY THE word “platypus” out loud. 

Go on. Do it.
Maybe it’s the alliteration of the two p’s in the word. Maybe it’s thinking about the duck bill on the animal quacking out the name for itself. The word is just fun to say.  So is the word “puggles,” which we understand is used for baby platypuses.  Or is it platypi? If you want to say something sure to bring a smile to your face, repeat the phrase, “The platypus and its puggles prefer their natural habitat.”  Some words are just more fun than others.
Some activities are more fun than others too.  We think just being naked is one of those things that make life a little more enjoyable…. With some limits of course. Please don’t walk out to meet your kid's school bus bare.  Ditto when firing up the barbecue.. At least don an apron for that. 

Yet a lot of life just seem to go better with naked.  Try doing some housework in your birthday suit. Wash the dishes or the family dog . Cleanup’s a lot easier. It takes a little of the drudgery out of such routine chores too.

Of course, nudity makes relaxation and recreation more effective too:
  •  Reading a good book;
  •  Taking a short nap au naturale;
  •  Gardening in the privacy of a fenced back yard. 
Give any one of those nude activities a try and we at Bare Platypus bet it will bring a smile to your face.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pictures Without Photos

VISITORS TO Bare Platypus will quickly discover a difference from other nudist sites. There are no cheesecake nude photographs here. Instead, we prefer carefully chosen humorous drawings of our Platypi mascots to illustrate points. Why?

First, ironically most “nudist photos” do not depict nude life accurately at all.  Instead they feature scores of only young, 18-21 year old beautiful models of decidedly one gender traipsing isolated beaches or mixing it up with scores of similarly beautiful friends. (By the way, those images usually come from paid modeling shoots, stock photo sites, even filming assignments in Eastern Europe where buxom travelers are awarded a hotel stay in exchange for agreeing to the body shots.)

It may boost web traffic, but usually doesn’t do much to increase understanding of why nudists do what they do. Worse, it undermines legitimacy as folks instinctively know the marketing hype isn’t real.  Take a look around you in your day-to-day world.  Chances are you find overweight people, skinny people, people with scars, with wrinkles, gray hair, receding hair, and no hair. 

The accompanying text to glamourous photos may say, “We welcome people from all walks of life,” but the images tell a different story.  In fact, they do harm when it comes to explaining the joys of nudity to a spouse. As we’ve noted, we’ve served the nude industry for more than fifteen years. Over those years, we’ve heard a familiar refrain while pointing to the Cover Girl on the brochure or website: “When I look like HER you might get me to take my clothes off. Until then, good-bye!”

Second, the creators of The Platypus include a legal team who know, first-hand, about a quagmire of issues that nude photos may create. (This helps explain why so many “nudist” sites are based offshore.) Among those is having a site or publication classified as “adult,” forced to include one of those hideous disclaimers announcing the “danger” of encountering nude bodies beyond the next mouse click.  Unsurprisingly, web space providers and credit-card companies are reluctant to provide their services to anything that could get them branded as a porn producer.  Models, written releases notwithstanding, sometimes get second thoughts about what they have done.

What’s more, the legal issues associated with photographing nude children means most sites won’t include them (with the tacit message that families shouldn’t try nudism). For the sites that do, it can leave visitors nervous that they’ll have some explaining to do if their web surfing habits become known.

The alternative that some try of cropping the “naughty bits” out of photos to spare controversy sends an equally problem message: That there are, indeed, “naughty” parts of the human body.  Platypi believe that the entire human body is, to quote the Psalmist, “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Third, we sometimes want to reinforce concepts with images that aren’t easy---or even possible---to photograph.  If we want to convey that being naked can put you on cloud nine, our talented illustration staff will give you a platypus dancing on a cloud with the number nine on it.  Well… you get the idea.

Perhaps the most important reason that we don’t offer nude photographs here on Bare Platypus is that we’re looking for a different customer. We’re seeking fellow Platypi who want to experience a more comfortable life in their own skin, rather than ogling Gif’s and JPEGs. 

Are YOU our kind of customer?  Tell us with an email, by following this blog, joining us on Facebook, and/or Twitter.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why Hatch the Bare Platypus?

ON A recent episode of the hit television series Bones two forensic scientists discuss the platypus:

“If you had ever asked me to believe there was such a thing as a venomous, duck-billed, hairy mammal with a beaver-like tail and webbed feet I wouldn’t believe it,” says one. “And yet they ARE real” the other replies.
The team behind Bare Platypus have worked more than fifteen years in the nudist travel industry and heard all about what can and can’t be done:

“You can’t tell the public the good and bad about nude travel. If you do, they won’t try it.”

“Face it. You can’t really sell nudity without selling sex.”

“Adults-only! Families with kids don’t belong visiting nude beaches or venues.”

“You wouldn’t catch ME doing this, but if I can sell you a stay / membership / product… Oh, well…”

“There’s no point discussing how to live better nude in your own home. There’s no buck in it.”

So it goes. Well, we’ve worked a long time promoting nude life and travel. Please forgive us if we think differently. We genuinely would rather be naked than wear clothes. We believe you need accurate information to make informed decisions about the places you visit, and making a home that incorporates nude living.

“Platypus not platitudes.” We believe it’s a winning combination. Join us here regularly if you feel the same.