Published February 17, 2011 in Miami Sun Post
Do you believe in Adam & Eve?
Let me recap the episode. Adam, the first human was living in the Garden of Eden alone, doing just fine. With plenty of fruits, veggies, and animals around, survival was easy but he eventually got lonely. God sensed Adam’s need, extracted one of his ribs while he was asleep, and used it to create his woman, Eve.
For awhile, Adam and Eve lived a happy life together, roaming around the garden, carefree and nude, needing for nothing. God gave all they desired. In exchange, just one condition was imposed: Do NOT eat from the Tree of Knowledge.
It wasn’t long before a persuasive snake convinced Eve to eat an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. The sneaky snake told Eve that eating the fruit would make her more like God. So Eve took a bite and shared it with Adam, who also took a bite. After enjoying the apple, their eyes were opened to their nakedness and they were no longer comfortable in the buff. Adam and Eve committed the original sin by disobeying God and eating the apple. This changed everything and they became embarrassed by their full frontal exposure, so they used fig leaves to cover up. Since then, things have never been the same. Humans are conditioned to cover up and hide our bodies in clothes. Those that don’t are considered crazy. Unless you’re a naturist.
According to the International Naturist Federation, ‘Naturism is a lifestyle in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, and characterized by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment.’ After Adam and Eve ate the apple, nudism took a dive in popularity and wasn’t revived until the free-spirited people of Germany brought it back in the early 20th century. The German naturist movement promotes family and recreational sports, and even formed a group, Deutscher Verband für Freikörperkultur (DFK), an official member of the German Olympic Sport Federation (DOSB). Once the Germans got undressed to play sports, nudists began popping up all over the UK, Canada and the U.S.
The French were the first to offer naturist holiday resorts. Soon after, Quebec, Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean opened naked vacation spots. Nude (also known as free) beaches are all over the world, including our very own Haulover Beach in Miami. But if you’re looking for a place to gawk at girls or preview penile packages, you’re out of luck. Because the naturist movement has nothing to do with sex. In fact, blatant sexuality and/or eroticism are frowned upon in nudist communities. Naturism is about acceptance, equality, freedom and health.
Ironically, none of these adjectives come to mind when most people get naked. In fact, when it comes to nudity and sex, many of us are like Adam and Eve. We’re ashamed to bare it all, especially if the lights are on. Last week, Dr. Oz interviewed married women who had never been nude in front of their husband and a survey in the UK found that one-third of all women think they’re too fat to get naked in front of their spouse. This is not sexy.
I’m not talking about the fat. I’m talking about the fact that women aren’t feeling free in their own skin. Many of us don’t even accept our bodies when clothed and feel pressured to perfect our silhouette with push-ups and Spanx. As my beautiful, single, girlfriend said, “I’m not getting naked in front on anyone until I lose 40 pounds.” She’s been the same weight for at least 10 years and I’m so surprised she stays single.
Embarrassment because of a less than perfect body is not sexy. Men want women who like to be naked and studies show that men and women have very different opinions about the ideal female shape. Women think a size 2-4 is preferred. Men think curves are attractive, confidence is sexy, and vote for a bigger butt and wider hips. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16, and never had any issues accepting her assets or appreciating the attention they inspired. We should all take a lesson from Marilyn.
On Dr. Oz’s show, Laura Berman offered advice to the women who were scared to strip down in front of their spouse. She told then to dim the light by switching to red bulbs and start off wearing lingerie that covered most of the body. Over time, the women were told to slip into something more revealing, and then into just a bra and panties. Dr. Berman told them to keep reducing their clothes until they became comfortable in the nude. My advice is a bit different.
I think we can all take a lesson from naturists. Before heading to Home Depot to get colored bulbs, head over to a nudist beach to get a dose of reality. What you will find is a bunch of happy people enjoying life without obsessing over their all-natural appearance. Fat, firm, flat, flabby, or flaccid. With more than 2.5 million members of the International Nude Federation, it’s all there and always accepted.
A lot has changed since Adam and Eve. According to legend, humans are ashamed of their nude bodies because of the original sin Adam and Eve committed. But now there is a naturist Christian society (www.naturist-christians.org) and besides, most of us are not thinking of God when we’re considering whether to take off clothes for coitus. Not only does nudity make sex a little easier to execute, skin to skin contact releases oxytocin, the feel-good bonding hormone that increases sexual receptiveness and intimacy. Whether or not you wear clothes when you get kinky, it’s important to feel good about your body and adopting the accepting attitude of naturists is one way to get there.
Not ready to get undressed just yet? Instead of comparing yourself to models and porn stars, take a peek at one of the many magazines published by nudist organizations, including Nude and Natural, British Naturism, Naturally, or Going Natural. Look at it by yourself or explore the magazines with your partner. Take off one item of clothing each time you see a person with a less than perfect body part. You’ll be nude before you know it, feeling happy and carefree, just like Adam and Eve.