Monday, August 31, 2015

Pan for Gold in the Nude

It's Monday and what better day to suggest an idea that's just a little bit off the wall than on a Monday?  So here goes:  Why not find a secluded spot on a stream or river near you in an area where there is---or used to be---"gold in them thar hills!"  Then strip to the buff (assuming that there's no one around for miles) and gather some of that silt from the stream and swish it around in a metal pie tin until something shiny sifts its way to the bottom.

True, if there never was gold, or if it has been mined completely out of an area you may not get any of the shiny stuff.  But hey, you'll still strike it rich.  Because you'll be outside naked enjoying nature. The Platypus actually once did some 'naked prospecting' and they were peaceful moments indeed.  It was in the Pacific Northwest where God grows the trees big, and tall.  The same could work for fishing, of course...just watch the hooks!

When you spend time in the buff in the great outdoors it can make you appreciate being alive just a bit more. You'll improve your tan until...dare we say it... it reaches a "golden" hue.  You can always just skinny dip in the stream anyway.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sentimental Nudist: Memories of Naked Labor Days

Next weekend will mark the Labor Day holiday. For the Bare Platypus, this brings back many, many memories of quality family time spent together doing what we liked to do best once upon a time: Relaxing and playing naked! See, while the job of promoting the nudist industry had the Platypus traveling frequently throughout the year, this span on the calendar was relatively quiet.  It meant we could enjoy time naturally together. So that’s what we did.  Some of the memories recounted below have worked their way into a Father’s Day homage or two, but they happened over Labor Day weekends, or close to then.  Enjoy.

First Crush.  Mr. and Mrs. Platypus have two sons and two daughters.  When one of our daughters was about thirteen, she had her first “crush.” A boy she met right on the beach at our home nudist club. Oh, she had probably seen him before.  But it changed over one holiday when she realized that he was kinda cute as they built sandcastles together on that beach.  At the end of the weekend she somewhat proudly announced that she “had his phone number and email address.”  It was all very innocent and they exchanged only a brief message or two.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to last. This daughter is now engaged to a different young man.

First Skinny Dip.  With no school to worry about, Labor Day weekends proved to be opportune times to invite some of our adult friends and their “puggles” to accompany us to our local nudist club.  It worked on several levels… especially as something fun to do to celebrate the end of summer.  So it was that one such weekend our friend and her son and daughter joined our family for their first-time nudist experience. Now, her daughter was just a few years younger than our daughters so, when we arrived she promptly followed suit (er… birthday suit) like them and her mom. She quickly dabbed on sunscreen and went for a skinny dip with the other gals.  Her younger brother—six year old “Andy”--- wasn’t so sure.  He looked at her like she must be crazy to strip everything off in front of other people. 

“Andy” doffed his shirt but his cutoff shorts stayed on… with an occasional tight tug up on them as if to reiterate that they would remain in place.  No one said anything though our sons were in their natural state, of course.  About twenty five minutes later that boy looked out at the cool water of the lake.  So inviting.  But did he want to get his shorts wet and have that yucky sand clinging to them? We parents watched from our beach blankets as, reluctantly at first, he lowered the cutoffs and a bright “cotton tail” came into view. Five minutes later the joy in his expressions said it all: “Why didn’t we ever do this BEFORE???” Andy’s family returned with us to the nudist club at least two times after that and each time he was bare before their car got from the front gate to the parking lot!

Yard Dash.  There’s something about spending all day naked at a nudist club that makes someone especially reluctant to put on clothes when it’s time to go home. One Labor Day weekend we all kind of looked at each other as the sun went down and we stood by the car in the parking lot.  “Do we really need to get dressed?,” one of us asked.  It wasn’t that long of a car ride home.  Besides, it would be dark when we arrived. One thing led to another and there we were… all six of us naked as the day we were born, in the family caravan, hoping that we wouldn’t have an awkward moment at a traffic light (the trek was through a fairly rural setting so, few worries).  When we arrived at our somewhat secluded house, we waited to be absolutely sure that there were no headlights coming or going up the street.  Then we made a mad dash for the front door, keys in hand so that we could open it quickly.  Only Mrs. Platypus donned a skimpy pareo wrap.  Had anyone drove up the road at that moment there would have been six full moons shining brightly in those beams. “Stairsteps” … from two forty-somethings… to tweens… and a three year old!  We still laugh about that family adventure!

First Bee Sting.  On holiday weekends the nudist club’s parking lot tends to fill up quickly. As a consequence we once found ourselves in the “overflow lot” which was really little more than a section of grass and clover.  As we walked across this grass our youngest son and puggle let out a yelp.  He had stepped on a bee and, of course, it hurt!  He took the whole incident with remarkable bravery. But we also noticed that he never walked across grass like that again without flip-flops.

Tropical Dance.  Holiday weekends at a nudist club typically involve some kind of special event. Mr. and Mrs. Platypus attended a luau, feasting on pineapple and glazed chicken.  During the dance that followed they shared a romantic kiss on the deck where it was held.  All four of their puggles giggled about it later. Maybe not quite “I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus.”  But you get the idea.


From our family to yours, we hope you enjoy a remarkable, and safe, special time next weekend. And we hope you can be bare for at least some of it. It’s not possible to bottle and cork what days such as this are like for those who don’t “get it.”  Yet we know our readers understand. Thanks for indulging us as we got a little sentimental just now. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Confounded by Social Media's Response to Nudity

There have been many excellent posts prepared by various bloggers on the subject of social media and nudity... especially regarding Facebook.  We have read a number of them and applaud nudist writers for their treatment of the subject.

For our part, the Bare Platypus has commented about the impact that strict anti-nudity policies on some of these websites is having on public perception.  You can read, for example, Facebook Where Art Thou Priorities? You can also read as we ponder the effects of Nudist Twitter Tweets Being Saved for Posterity, and Google Drive with Cloud Storage .  We also asked aloud whether Instagram Should Signal Instant Caution for Nudists ?

Today the Platypus will share some recent observations... and by "recent" we mean what we saw on Facebook and Pinterest last weekend.  On Facebook we saw a couple of images that struck us as memorable... mainly because they happened to be juxtaposed together in our Facebook "feed."  

The first was a picture of some acquaintances from church who took a snap of themselves feasting at a booth in a restaurant that serves "ample" portions.  Everyone at the table was at least 75 pounds overweight. We're not trying to throw stones here (the Platypus weighs too much for his own good, admittedly.)  And we agree that everyone is beautiful as a creation of the Almighty.  No. It was the celebration of overindulgence that pushed the limits here: extra large milkshakes, hamburgers double stacked with heaping mounds of french fries, deserts about to be served to top it all off.

And all perfectly acceptable to snap and post on the world's largest online social gathering.

Just below this, placed by an entirely different group of people in an unrelated posting, was a picture of a bumper sticker that read "Can't feed em'? Don't breed em'"  ... with a bunch of "Likes" and "thumbs ups." The implication was that unless a person was unconditionally prepared to feed their children for eighteen years without needing a hand up---despite the fact that no one is fully able to  forecast failures in health, a job loss, injury, death of a family's breadwinner, divorce, or a hundred other setbacks---they should not ever start a family.

Pardon the Platypus, but we found both of the afore-mentioned entries offensive.  Know what? The Platypus didn't ask that the user(s) who added them to the site be banned. Not that the company would have found such things a violation of its terms of service.  The Platypus realizes that he is free to either stop following those who post things he would rather not read or, as in the case of this weekend, simply ignore the pictures and move on... recognizing that the same Facebook users who did something objectionable to him today may also upload the next thought provoking or encouraging word tomorrow.  

But know something else?  If there were an image of a woman baring her breasts while relaxing in the sun, or a toddler's bare behind toddling down the beach or, heaven forbid a man whose penis is visible or even worse, any teen enjoying life naturally?  Well, that calls for instant banishment from the Zuckerberg kingdom. Or at least temporary probation and a stern lecture supplied by a computer bot.  Pinterest isn't much better. A snap here or there may evade the censors.  But a search for the word "nudist" or "nudism" prompts an automatic reminder that company policy prohibits delving into anything bordering on "sex."

Who said anything about sex?  The Platypus just gets an occasional smile when he comes across an eighty-something couple in their birthday suits, wrinkles and all, walking a wooded path. Or any of the afore-mentioned celebrations as it is fearfully and wonderfully made by our Almighty Creator.  This along with tips for backyard gardening, collecting memorabilia, recipes, and a host of other subjects.

There's something about nudity that warrants a social media "death sentence" with none too many avenues of appeal.  Allnudist.com and the Terra Cotta Inn have been on the wrong side of such kangaroo courts by faceless Facebook  guardians. We have to ask "why" although we already know the answer.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Get Bare! Only 3 Weekends Left in Summer

Consider this your second reminder!  Labor Day weekend is just a couple of weeks away now.  For practical purposes, there are only three weekends left for the summer, though warm weather may linger in some places.  Today marks the beginning of one of those weekends.

Find that secluded skinny dipping spot. Go camping without a stitch. Have an au naturale picnic with your family. Have a squirt gun fight in your fenced backyard wearing nothing but a smile. Stand naked in the rain if it's raining where you are.

Sorry to remind you too often.  But you don't want the season to end without spending at least one weekend completely bare do you?  Go on. You'll thank us later.

Some more serious topics will be coming to the Bare Platypus soon.  But for now? "Life's short.  Play naked!"

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Horse Riders Go Naked to Slow Motorists

This story from London's Daily Mail Says that Horse Riders Are Going Naked to raise awareness among motorists that they should slow down when maneuvering vehicles around steeds. Follow the article and you will find tasteful nudes of both men and women who want to do whatever it takes to get drivers to slow down and think.

Clever.

Next step: get Australians naked to help save the Platypus!

Monday, August 17, 2015

What Did This Woman Learn from her Grandma 'bout Skinny Dippin' ?

Here's some light reading for a Monday to start off your week right: In the following essay, Laura Hankin recounts What My Grandmother Taught Me About Love, Writing, and Skinny Dipping for the Huffington Post.

It's a fitting tribute to what sounds like a wonderful person and role model.  The descriptions about nude swimming demonstrate both a whimsical spirit and tact.  Read for yourself!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Which State is Most Likely to be Naked at Home?

Some of you may have already heard about a survey taken by the Trulia company, which assists home buyers and renters, about the things people like to do in the privacy of their own homes.  You guessed it: the company included a question about whether those who were polled often went naked. They even celebrate the theme with a Youtube Video About a Clothing Optional Home and Deck .

According to a press release that you can read by clicking State Where Folks Are Most Likely to Go Naked at Home , New Jersey is the number one place (142% more likely) where people go nude in their abodes.  It's followed by Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.  That's interesting. It may not line up with where all the nudist clubs tend to be located (e.g California, Florida, Texas).  But that just goes to show that not all nudists are "club" nudists.  There's a huge number of those who prefer their birthday suits... but just enjoy them at home.

By the way... Special thanks to the folks at New Jersey 101.5 - Naked New Jersey's article, whose presence flagged this where the Bare Platypus could find the story.  If you click that link, you get to read some of the comments from people who answered the survey, including a woman whose dog knows that something is up (she's leaving) when she gets dressed.  The Platypus family has experienced the same with its pooches.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Another Advantage of Nudism: Showering Naturally

It’s raining fairly heavy outside right now.  That made Bare Platypus think of showers. And it got us to thinking about how great showers are when they’re enjoyed in a nudist park.  See, in many nudist venues, the showers are set outside… they may be facing and adjoining poolside or Jacuzzi.  Showers may be a kiosk out next to the volleyball nets.  Several nudist places that we have visited had a shower looking out on a forest, or a mountain range. 

In all of these places, it allows one to enjoy warm (or cool) water cascading over your naked body “al frescoe” in the great outdoors and close to nature (or at least the sound of water splashing about the pool.) Point is, when everyone is naked, no one has to worry about segregating showers by gender. Or shielding out others by installing those confining partitions that make you feel like you’re bathing in a broom closet.

True, there may be some nudist clubs that have a “classic” bath and shower arrangement with cubicles. But even these usually have open dressing areas where you don’t have to choose between holding your towel or your shampoo or your change of clothes (there are none!) Because the bench is too small or there’s only one towel hook outside your “stall.” (Platypus disfavors that word.  Stalls are for horses… not for Platypuses or people.)

Wouldn’t you really rather vacation some place where you can enjoy water on your body as it was meant to be, in the open air?  Where you could actually assist your kids with washing the beach from their sandy bottoms while standing next to them? And where you wouldn’t have to put on clothes after getting nice and clean?

We highly recommend installing an outdoor shower in your fenced backyard--if you have one--so that you can experience this ultimate luxury right at home. (We don’t have one, but the hose gets warm in the sun and we have a private spot to rinse off naked after mowing the lawn.)

Showers.  Just one more thing that makes being a nudist great!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

This Nudist Article Really States it Perfectly

We encourage all Bare Platypus readers to take a look at this article: http://elitedaily.com/life/nudist-world-full-of-clothes/1172391/  .  It discusses the top 7 struggles of being a nudist.  It's very clear that the writer "gets us" and is one of us.

For the Platypus, frustration #8 would be what troubled the writer's mom.... that many people don't "get it" when we want to raise our kids free, natural, and without shame like she did.  Congrats to Gigi Engle on a piece that speaks to nudists everywhere!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Bare Platypus Tops 200 K Views

Last weekend the Bare Platypus blog crossed another milestone:  Thanks to the many of you who link to us, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and via Blogger, our page views surpassed 200,000.  This has happened in less than four years.

We realize that, for some of the more popular nudist websites and blogs, 200,000 visitors may be a mere "month's work."  But we are pleased with the growth of a site that began as a hobby and has led to meeting many, many great people. (Candidly, we must also admit that some of those visitors are "search bot" traffic from search engines and marketing-based "web crawlers and spiders.")  We ask you to join us in celebrating!

If you're interested, the number one blog post for which we have received visits is "We Raised 4 Kids as Nudists"  ... with over 22,000 views.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Take Naked Selfies; Keep em Secret, Keep em Safe

A few days ago the Bare Platypus was going through some old photographs from his time as a young man of college age.  The Platypus is aging himself but, in that era, there were no digital cameras - at least not those owned by the general public. Consequently, there really are not pictures in which he appears bare. Similarly, there are no images of Mr. and Mrs. Platypus as nudists from the time they first got married.  There were some images that came later after their puggles came along and with the release of the afore-mentioned digital camera. (Oh, we suppose the Polaroid existed but we didn't employ it to such purposes.)

Know what? Nowadays we wish we had more nude images from our earlier days.  Not for any risque purpose,  you understand.  Just for "remembering when."  The same as we "remember when" in looking at ourselves in our college sweatshirts while attending our Alma Mater.  Or in a camp staff t-shirt.  It's all part of our life story and some of it is missing when it comes to the birthday suits.  We were more physically fit then.  Then there's happiness of a younger person "looking to the future" in our smiles.

With the proliferation of digital-camera-equipped cell phones and "selfies" these days, there's no reason for the "natural" part of your life to be missing as it is preserved in images.  BUT HEAR US OUT: We're not asking you to send us those images! (Please don't) We're not asking you to send them to anyone else! We're not asking you to post a nude on Tumblr during an alcohol-induced moment.  And, for heaven's sake, we're NOT advising you to store any such image(s) in cloud-based servers. (We recognize that, with some cell phones, images may automatically go to cloud storage - check your owner's manual for details and don't snap or post if there's a cloud that could be "hacked" as has happened to celebrities.)

No. If you have a nude image (even if a tasteful one), as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings advised Frodo about the all-powerful ring: "Keep it secret. Keep it safe."  But do consider keeping it.  The day will probably come when you'd like to take a walk down the lane of memories and have some of those memories include a detour through the nudist woods.  You will find the tasteful nude(s) you took to be meaningful to you.

We know thanks to the memories that we have taken after it became easier to do so privately.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Just Say No to the Swimsuit

It's summer.  If the stores you visit have not yet turned to selling fall fashions, wander over to the swimsuit rack. Even at discount places like Kmart, Walmart, and Target you will not believe what they are charging for these pieces of fabric.  Men's trunks are one thing - at least there is some cloth and a liner there.

Women and girls get little more than a piece that uses fewer threads than a necktie. Add a splash of color and, voila', they're often asking $30.00 or more!

Okay, this topic may not be "new" but it bears repeating: You can save lots of money by avoiding the swimsuits and going bare in your pool.  You'll be much happier in your birthday suits. If that's really not an option, see if last year's suits will work for the occasion where you need it.  You'll feel better that you just said no.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Do Comments on Nudist USA Today Article Reflect The State of Things? Hope Not

The Bare Platypus apologizes if another nudist blog has already dealt with this.  We're just getting caught up responding to an article that appeared in the July 11, 2015 online edition of USA Today about the World Record Skinny Dip.  More accurately put, we're responding to the comments that followed the piece.

See, if you follow this link to USA Today World Skinny Dip Article you'll find that the writer for "the nation's largest newspaper" did a relatively nice job of preparing an upbeat description of the event.  No major complaints here.  In fact, the story seemed to capture the spirit of Shangri La Resort in New River, Arizona and the fun of skinny dipping.

The issue is when one starts to read the comments to the story - about 50 in all.  While there were a few positive statements, most were very negative and declaring why the reader(s) would not want to visit.  And the comments fell into three main categories:  (1) Older people should never be nude or go to nudist places;  (2) People with pounds to lose should never be nude or go to nudist places; and (3) Children should never be nude or go to nudist places even if accompanied by their parents and raised that way.

Now, we're well aware of the phenomenon of "internet trolls"... those who write the most incendiary things they can in the hopes of drawing the ire and response of someone... anyone.  In nearly twenty years working to promote the nudist way of life, the Platypus was well-familiar with criticism too.  In fact, decades ago the threat was that "Nudism should be against the law. Period."   Viewed against that backdrop, we suppose, one could view mere derision as "progress" of a sort.

Yet in all the time that passed, the idea that one shouldn't be a nudist unless the public would get something out of looking at you seemed far more secondary then.  Sure, there were offhand comments.  But most of the pro / con debate seemed rooted in questions of morality, e.g. whether it was "okay" to allow nudism based on religious grounds or avoiding something "obscene."

We have to ask, trolls notwithstanding, do the comments reflect a proportionate share of societal views these days?  Would it be okay in John and Jane Q. Public's eyes to have nude beaches as long as we could assure them that only young, beautiful people would participate?  If there were protocols assuring that no one with wrinkles, or overweight, or under 18 would ever appear on those beaches or in nudist clubs, would the objections of the average US voter fade?

If so, we think that's sad.

Really sad.

We can fathom the person who says, "My mom didn't raise me to think that was okay." Or, "The preacher would preach against that where I come from."

But a "rule" against going naked unless the viewer is going to be pleased by what they see or think they should see?  It's a different mindset.  It amounts to, "If I can't stare at a person that person has no business being nude."

This is the antithesis of what a nudist believes, of course.  If the viewpoint of a growing number of people aligns with this "don't bare unless you're a 'looker' " philosophy where do we go from there?

We would never have remained in the nudist industry for long if we paid too much attention to what everybody else thought. But we also took "bare-o-metric" readings on culture in the form of Gallup Polls, Roper Polls, and all manner of surveys so that we could refine the message we made to the world.

Right now?  We're just gonna be shaking our heads for a while.