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Animals don’t wear clothes. We learnt it from early childhood. At three years old, you could keep asking why your cat didn’t wear “some clothes” [1]. You could even get a scientific answer: “animals don’t wear clothes because, for the most part, they are still restricted to climates where they don’t need them” [2]. If you are a little older, you may begin to ask yourself whether taking off clothes brings a man or a woman closer to an animal or even “crosses border” between a human being and an animal.

Once Jacques Derrida [3], a French philosopher, found himself frontally naked “faced with cat’s eyes looking” at him “from head to toe” [4]. He started thinking about “the property unique to animals, what in the last instance distinguishes them from man, is their being naked without knowing it”. The philosopher continued, “naked without knowing it, animals would not be, in truth, naked. They wouldn’t be naked because they are naked. In principle, with the exception of man, no animal has ever thought to dress itself”. It appears that clothing “would be proper to man, one of the “properties” of man”. “There is no nudity “in nature”. Then new questions arose: “Before the cat that looks at me naked, would I be ashamed like an animal that no longer has the sense of nudity? Or on the contrary, like a man who retains the sense of his nudity?” [4]

Leaving all these childish and philosophical questions aside, we can specify what indeed “distinguishes humans from other animals” [5]. The answer lies in the sphere of mind and it is not restricted to awareness of nudity. According to modern scientific studies,”mounting evidence indicates that, in contrast to Darwin’s theory of a continuity of mind between humans and other species, a profound gap separates our intellect from the animal kind”.

Abraham Maslow [6], an American psychologist, introduced the notion of peak experience, “the most wonderful experience or experiences of your life; happiest moments, ecstatic moments, moments of rapture, perhaps from being in love, or from listening to music or suddenly “being hit” by a book or a painting, or from some great creative moment” [7]. Peak experiences can be described “as moments of maximum psychological functioning”, when a person “feels more intelligent, more perceptive, wittier, stronger, or more graceful than at other times” [7,8].

Maslow considered “the taboos on nudity to be entirely a matter of folkways and customs rather than a matter of ethical or moral principle in any cross-cultural sense” [9]. He “had an established but purely theoretical interest in whether nudity would make people in therapy “an awful lot freer, a lot more spontaneous, less guarded” [10].

In the late 1960s, basing, in part, on Maslow’s ideas about peak experiences, it was supposed that nudism can be “a viable path to personal growth, authenticity and transcendence”. The therapy called nude psychotherapy was developed. The naked body was considered “as a metaphor of the “psychological soul”. “Uninhibited exhibition of the nude body revealed that which was most fundamental, truthful, and real” [8,10-12]. “Although nude therapy has an indisputable tabloid character, it is also rooted in a long-standing academic search for authenticity and ultimate meaning through science” [11].

Despite the controversy concerning nude therapy, it gives an insight that nudity does not interfere, but rather helps to realize the human potential.

References
[1] Clare Painter, Learning Through Language in Early Childhood, A&C Black, 2005
[2] Question: why don’t other animals wear clothes?
[3] Jacques Derrida – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[4] Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am, Fordham Univ Press, 2009, see also Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Winter, 2002), pp. 369-418
[5] What Distinguishes Humans from Other Animals?
[6] Abraham Maslow – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[7] Abraham H. Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being, Start Publishing, 2013
[8] Margarita Tartakovsky, The History of Nude Psychotherapy – World of Psychology
[9] Jessica Lynn Grogan, A Cultural History of the Humanistic Psychology Movement in America, ProQuest, 2008
[10] Nude psychotherapy and the quest for inner peace – Mind Hacks
[11] Ian Nicholson, Baring the soul: Paul Bindrim, Abraham Maslow and ‘Nude psychotherapy’, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Volume 43, Issue 4, pages 337–359, 2007
[12] Nude psychotherapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sigmund Freud once said that his favourite dream was “being naked in a crowd of strangers”. I have read about it on Dream Sleep, “the official dream website of … the author of The Hidden Meaning of Dreams and other bestselling titles”. It is also mentioned that “dreams about being naked in a public place are one of the most commonly reported dreams”. Another recognized specialist in dreams points out that “nudity in dreams often occurs in scenarios that would shock us in our waking hours”.

What is the meaning of these dreams? (The interpretation of the dream, of course, “depends on a person’s past experience and the person’s system of values”.) According to dream interpreters,

  • if, in your dream, you appear “nude before friends or colleagues“, it may reflect your feelings of vulnerability, or that you are hiding something, for instance, keeping some aspect of your character a secret.
  • If no one else in the dream notices your nakedness, “it indicates that fears of appearing foolish in front of others are unfounded”.
  • If not you, but others appear nude, “the dream may indicate that the dreamer is able to see through the defenses or lies of others”.
  • If “the dreamer feels disgusted by the nudity of others” in his or her dream, this may mean that he or she is disappointed in them (or even in him- or herself), or don’t want to “let others be themselves”.
  • Finally, if the dreamer accepts the nakedness of those around him”, he or she “has probably shed outmoded beliefs and accepted others for what they are”.

The last interpretation seems the most plausible to me. The events of the dreams give clues to hidden and unacknowledged beliefs. Maybe, one day we, most of us, will acknowledge that we are ready to step out of the dream and drop outmoded beliefs in reality, accepting the nakedness “of those around us” and allowing others to be themselves.

Richard Mauch, The Knights dream (1902)

Richard Mauch, The Knights dream (1902) – Wikimedia Commons

References
1. Dream Sleep, http://www.dreamsleep.net
2. Judith Millidge, The handbook of dreams: how to interpret and understand your dreams, Barnes & Noble Books, 2004.
3. Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Sheryl Martin, The Tao of Dreaming, Berkley Books, New York, 2005.

Bare facts on blood pressure
It’s possible there are more benefits from nudism than readily meet the eye. Results of a recent American Heart Assn. study indicate that residents of a Maryland nudist camp have a much lower incidence of high blood pressure than occurs among the general population.

SourcePopular Mechanics, Volume 148, No 6 (Dec 1977) p. 30

Project 365 #134: 140511 Under Pressure! By comedy_nose | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Project 365 #134: 140511 Under Pressure! By comedy_nose | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

ImageProject 365 #134: 140511 Under Pressure! | Flickr – Photo Sharing! (under Creative Commons license)

All the beneficial therapeutic effects, and also all that is essential in the physical and mental control of the passions, as advocated by the nudists, can be attained by familiarity with the sight of the exposed body while clad only in short trunks, such as men wear at most of the bathing beaches, but without the exposure of the sex organs themselves. Hence there is no adequate excuse for catering to exhibitionism through complete nudism.

Source: Health hints for four-fold health: for the purification and health of the body, mind and emotions by Frank Homer Curtiss (Order of Christian Mystics, 1938, p.13)

At least, ‘No-Pants Days’ are excusable.

No-Pants Day in Paris 2009 By Tonio Vega | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

No-Pants Day in Paris 2009 By Tonio Vega | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Image: No-Pants Day Paris : Culotte & Slip triomphaux ! 16 | Flickr – Photo Sharing! (under Creative Commons license)

More than a year ago the German tabloid Bild has admitted that nudists do not confine themselves to nude beaches or nudist campings – the time has come for nudist sport. All activities mentioned in the article successfully survived to our days.

  1. The best choice for the “most adventurous nudists” may be skydiving. The article in Bild for some reason singled out the “clothes-free parachute jump” that took place over the Baltic island of Usedom.
  2. The nudist resort La Jenny in France (FKK-Anlage La Jenny) on the Atlantic coast is claimed to be probably the only place in Europe with the nudist golf course.
  3. Nude cycling: World Naked Bicycle Ride is for those “who like to move on two wheels”.
  4. Nude yoga
  5. Naked horse riding is on offer, e.g., at the Quinta da Horta naturist resort in Portugal and in Germany near Bonn.
  6. The Carrera Nudista de Sopelana nudist race takes place once a year in Bilbao, Spain. The distance is 5 kilometers, only caps and trainers are allowed. This year the race will be on the 2th July at 12:00 p.m. at Barinatxe beach (also called La Salvaje), located between Sopelana and Getxo villages (Bizkaia).
Uphill by AndyWilson | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Uphill by AndyWilson | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Source:
FKK-Sport: Nacktradeln, Nacktwandern, FKK-Golf & Co. – Lifestyle – Bild.de
Naked sports booming in the sizzling summer heat!
Naturist Golf Resort “La Jenny” in France | Gorilla Golf Blog
la Jenny – Golf
World Naked Bike Ride
World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) – Naked Bicycle People Power!
Carrera Nudista de Sopelana

An article on Runner’s World – ‘No Clothes, No Chafing, No Problem’ –  promotes clothing-optional runs in Florida. The first “nude race” event, Bare Dare 5-K, was organized in the Tampa Bay area last October and “attracted a field of 200 runners from 13 states and Canada”. The organizers expect “300 or more at the same race this fall”. A spring event, Streak the Cove 5-K, is scheduled for May 22, also at a Florida resort. Answering the question whether naked runners tend to be faster or slower than average, Pete Williams, a triathlete and journalist who “launched a business organizing clothing-optional runs in Florida” says:

If you’re asking if people run faster nude, that’s true, at least anecdotally. If you’re asking if our field is faster or slower than average, I’d say it’s slightly faster. Our initial race attracted some prominent runners and triathletes in the area. The winning men’s time was 16:15 and the first female finished in just under 19 minutes.

Anonymous Naked Runner (#13433) by mark sebastian | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Anonymous Naked Runner (#13433) by mark sebastian | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Source: No Clothes, No Chafing, No Problem

Ukraine’s climate and weather is continental, but tempered by the Black Sea; winters and summers are rather temperate near the coast and harsher inland… The mean July temperatures are about 23°C (73°F) in the southwest and 19°C (66°F) in the northeast… (Ukraine: weather and seasons: when to travel)

This summer in Ukraine is anomalous, indeed. Weather Channel predicts up to 92°F (34°C) for the weekend. “For Russia expect a dry, very warm summer’s day and this extends across Belarus into Poland, the Ukraine into Germany” (Weather Online).

The hottest July was in 1931 with about 97°F (36°C) on July 16. It seems like a new weather record may be set. At least, a positive point is that it is higher than eighty-three degrees Fahrenheit.

Summer_Madness by tarielk on deviantART

Summer Madness by tarielk on deviantART

A White Bear (Odessa, Ukraine. July, 2009) by tarielk on deviantART

A White Bear (Odessa, Ukraine. July, 2009) by tarielk on deviantART