Friday, June 1, 2012

Naked and on a First Name Basis

IF YOU ever take a trip down to Cypress Cove Nudist Resort and Spa of Florida you should stop in to the American Nudist Research Library located on grounds.

Peruse the bound volumes containing nudist club newsletters from the 1950’s and you’ll see an interesting way that the nudists of old referred to each other in print.  Most of the time, they would write things like, “Our July 4th barbeque is being organized by Sally M.” or “Congratulations to Sam J. and his team on winning the annual volleyball tournament.”

Given societal attitudes to nudism when Eisenhower was in the White House, it’s understandable why folks felt they had to talk in codes and abbreviations.  Things lightened up, eventually, so that by the 1980’s full names were much more common.  National nudist organizations even adopted editorial policies requiring them in newspapers like The Bulletin and Clothed with the Sun (later N) magazine.

As we’ve been quoting of Yogi Berra a lot lately, things are “Deja’ Vu all over again.”  Putting one’s name out there publicly as a nudist may be just ominous as it once was.  The reason?  The internet and the sophistication of search engines like Google.

Folks may not be completely paranoid that someone could find out they’re a nudist, but that doesn’t mean that they want “Nudist Volleyball Champion!” to be the first thing that pops up when someone Googles their name.  For a person with a common name like Greg Smith (the actual name of a past nudist association president) this may not be much of an issue.  There are hundreds, neigh thousands, of Smiths. 

But what if your first and last name are much more unique?  Or what if your picture appears next to that name?  It can cause problems if pages and pages of your nudist exploits trump the Nobel Prize you earned in physics.  What’s more, getting information deleted from the internet can be near to impossible… even when you had no role in putting it there. (Google “Santorum” some time and you may be surprised that the results don’t always discuss the former Senator’s run for President so much as a sexual slang term named for him by gay activists who didn’t like his policies.)

For those who are secure in their own jobs or retired, and equally strong in all matters of social relationships, please join the ranks of those who make a public stand in support of nudism.  For those who cannot make such a commitment, The Platypus understands. Even if we must grit our duck bills about the very real prejudices that nudists still face.