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.