Naked Lust

Sometimes a post almost writes itself. In this case a comment on my last post makes a great prompt for another post on a similar subject. I’m going to break down the quote and respond to each part.

Attractive? Yes. Arousing? If I think about it. Lust inducing? Only if I choose to.

Fred from says:

“Don’t know about you but when I wore a younger man’s clothes I lusted after women and wanted to have sex with them. Nude or clothed, it was all the same. The human reproductive drive will not be denied.”

Yes Fred, this is a common feeling among young men. There were many women out there who I lusted after. But then I grew up.

“If I didn’t lust I would never date, never have sex, never marry, never have children. I would react to an interesting girl like a sister – or maybe a close buddy. And the species would be dead if everyone felt that way. Romantic love – pair bonding – is a product of sexuality.”

Maybe. Perhaps the urge isn’t so much “lust” as it is simply the drive to be intimate with someone. We all want someone to share our lives with, and sex is a valuable part of that bond. But it’s not the entire bond or the entire reason for the bond. I would hope your spouse is also your buddy, not just your lover.

“The difficult part is not being a creep about it. And how to feel lust yet not pursue the matter; to just be happy the world contains such marvelous creatures. There is no school for teaching appropriate vs inappropriate techniques to woo or to seduce. Lots of punishments in a futile effort to deter bad behavior but no actual direction in what good behavior is. Empathy, sadly, is not a universal human trait.”

Unfortunately self-control is also not a universal human trait. Lust is a choice. You might find a woman attractive, but you don’t have to feed a sexual desire to have her. The feeling you speak of is attraction, not lust. Attraction can be quite difficult to control, and may even lead to arousal. But lust is a choice. To covet a woman is something you have to think about.

Maybe a big part of the problem is then we confuse the terms lust, attraction, and arousal. Attraction is generally something we don’t control. We are attracted to what we are attracted to. Nudists are no different then everyone else and still find the body of other people attractive. If it looks good it looks good.

Arousal is a little different, it can’t necessarily be controlled, but it can be trained. Part of the reason that the human body is so arousing to most people hidden all the time. By making nudity commonplace we can desensitize ourselves to the arousal. We may still find people attractive but we don’t necessarily become aroused by that attraction.

Lust on the other hand, is completely controllable. When we are attracted to someone and aroused by them we can choose either to ignore it or feed it. Lust is simply feeding covetous desires to our arousal.

Attraction begets arousal. Arousal, when fed, begets lust. It is perfectly possible to have the first and the second without the third.

“Once you are used to social nudity you find that nudity doesn’t increase your sex drive. No matter how much clothing you put on a person, male or female, the sex drive remains constant. It simply refocuses on whatever clues still remain. But being a nudist doesn’t suddenly turn you into a nonsexual character nor does it change a creep into a nice person.”

I have never said that nudists are asexual beings. I merely stated that mixing sexuality with nudism taints nudism. If nudism is the act of going nude for health, hygiene, or comfort reasons, then I fail to see how voyeurism or exhibitionism can be properly label “nudism”. Exhibitionists and voyeurs use nudity as a tool for sexual exploitation, not simple health or hygiene. They are “creeps”, not nudists.

“And the truth is that even if the world were entirely populated by nudists, there would still be a market both for porn and even ordinary pictures of pretty women and girls. That is how humans are largely made. Lust that cannot be fulfilled in reality will be fulfilled in fantasy and pictures and videos are the most common accessories for that.”

Indeed, I won’t disagree with that. But I think it would be far less prevalent.

“By pretending the “nudist” label means men and women don’t look upon each other with lust based entirely on physical factors you create a model of nudism guaranteed to fail.”

By exploiting people’s tendency to lust and calling it “nudism” you are creating a model that is guaranteed to fail.

One of the main reasons I believe nudism (at least in North America) is having a tough time recruiting a younger generation is that the younger generation sees sex for what it is, an intimate act between two committed (or at least consenting) people. The key word being “intimate”. When nudism integrates sex into the equation by allowing swingers or exhibitionists, it reinforces the prevailing cultural attitude that nudity equals sex.

Most people don’t want to be intimate with total strangers. Nudity is already an intimate thing, when you throw sexuality in there you make it just that more awkward for “normal” people. Perhaps some of the population likes to be promiscuous, I dare say the majority do not.

I personally prefer visiting nudist locations where I don’t have to worry about being ogled, fondled, or propositioned for sex. The ogling is enough to put most people off.

“Actually, I still lust after women but I just don’t pursue the issue. It has been a nonstarter since I got married over 3 decades ago. I told my soon-to-be wife I’d always be faithful – but the day I stopped even looking, she might as well bury me because a very important part of my brain would be dead.”

I pity your wife if you really mean that. Noticing is one thing. Being attracted is one thing . Actively lusting is quite another. I’m glad you’ve been able to stay faithful, but damn if you aren’t tempting fate coveting all those women. Perhaps it’s all semantics, but these days semantics are important, especially in blogging.

I hope I don’t come across as a jerk. I really did find your comment challenging and I appreciate it. I think these are precisely the kinds of discussions we need to be having as nudists as we move forward.

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