This is kind of a follow-on from my post “To Cock, Or Not To Cock“.
As you can probably tell by the posts on my alter ego’s “Photo Album” blog, I have a fairly relaxed attitude to being naked. I sleep naked. I happily wander around the house without any clothes on. When the weather permits, I will lie naked in my garden. When I’m on holiday, if local custom permits, I will happily lie naked when sunbathing. For me, there is nothing sexual in these situations, I am simply in a state of being undressed.
Western society, and by which I typically mean US/UK society has some very restrictive views on the naked body. Other societies, such as Germany or Scandinavia, are much more relaxed about such things (although I will admit that sometimes, even I find the Germans a little too relaxed about it).
In the US, and to a slightly lesser extent, here in the UK, nudity is pretty much synonymous with sex and is, at best, frowned upon. Although being naked in public is not an offence in the UK, per se, you can be charged with public indecency or breach of the peace.
Here, as in so many other aspects of our society, a sexual double standard exists. It is perfectly OK for me, as a man, to wander around naked above the waist. If a woman were to do the same thing, she runs the risk of falling foul of one of the above offences.
Why is this? Why is a woman’s chest deemed more sexual than that of a man. Why is a woman’s chest deemed more likely to cause public outrage and be an affront to public decency? Yes, I know we guys (and a lot of you girls) happen to find breasts sexy but, when all is said and done, they are still just the front part of her upper torso. And let’s be honest here for a second fellas; more often than not, the female chest is a lot more attractive than ours, and, dare I say it, a loss less offensive to the eye than what some of us inflict on an unsuspecting world the moment the mercury rises into double figures.
Now, I’m not suggesting we should dispense with clothes and all become nudists. I’m Scottish and it’s far too bloody cold for that. Turning up naked at your Aunt Mabel’s funeral, or popping down to Tesco to do your weekly shop in your birthday suit are not really examples of acceptable behaviour.
I am, however, suggesting that we have over sexualised that most essential of organs; our skin.
Yes, nudity can be sexual and highly arousing. I won’t deny that when I’m ripping a partner’s clothes off, and she’s doing the same to me, with the sole purpose of getting each other naked and getting it on, it is highly sexual. Let’s be honest, we wouldn’t want it any other way. That discovering (or reacquainting ourselves with) the body that lies beneath the outer clothing, the body that is hidden away from public display, the body that we desire and want to do sex things to, is all part of the sexual experience.
At other times, when I’m slobbed out on the sofa and haven’t actually managed to get around to putting clothes on, it is anything but sexual, or indeed sexy, it is simply me in my natural state of undress.
Being undressed does not equate to sex. There are worlds of difference between sexual and non-sexual nudity. Maybe, just maybe, with their naked zones, perhaps the Germans have got it right after all.