Labor Day, USA: Family Play

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Today is Labor Day in the USA. This date is observed on the first Monday of September every year as a tribute to the workforce and saluting their contribution to American society. It’s an extended (three-day) weekend here that many consider the “unofficial” end of the summer season. It’s also the last long holiday of the traditional beach calendar, the other two being Memorial Day in May and the July 4th week.

Many naturists/nudists, no matter their gender attraction, view this holiday with mixed feelings. It’s a long weekend, therefore, a cause for celebration: parties, barbeques, beach trips and other social nude events. It also marks the beginning of the end of summer and the accompanying twinges of regret. We know all-too-well how endless and harsh the winters can be (as also how brief the fun-in-the-sun time truly is).

Aaron and I are on a mini-nakation (naked + vacation = nakation). We’re in northern New Jersey, just outside New York City, at Gateway National Recreation Area (also known as “Sandy Hook”), on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. One of the amenities of this location is Gunnison Beach, a clothing-optional beach complete with its’ well-known “unofficial” same gender loving (gay) area. This is a popular destination for the GLBT community, both nude and clothed, throughout the mid-Atlantic and northeast regions of the USA. As it is a prolonged holiday period here, this destination is especially congested. We knew this would be the case when we planned this excursion.

We’re doing our part to contribute to this overcrowding along the shore. Aaron and I are not here alone; when we made our lodging reservations, we needed a total of three rooms. Luckily, we were able to secure accommodations with a property that’s only a half-hour drive (one way) from the park. Not too bad considering the last-minute scheduling of our trip (three weeks before arrival).

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Accompanying Aaron and I are my identical twin brother, Alex, and his boyfriend, Sudhir. They followed us here in their own SUV so as to transport the five of us to and from our daily trips to the beach. Also with us is David, Aaron’s oldest brother, who very recently came out to us as both bisexual  and a social nudist. The reason for this late-planned venture is to honor our traditional summer nakation with Twin and Sudhir and to full-fill our promise to David to include him on a nude outing.

We arrived here Thursday evening. Too late for any “beach-time” but it allowed us to settle into our rooms, have a nice dinner in a local restaurant and plan the following day. The line of traffic forms early outside the park gates so we all knew we needed to be awake with the sun every morning if we wanted to secure a convenient parking space and a decent site along the shore. The beach is crowded on weekends, especially holidays. We understand the benefits of establishing our sandy “turf” before the mob assembles.

Our first day (Friday) set the pace for the remainder of our sunshine days. Up before the dawn, load up the SUV, pack fruit, sandwiches, lights snacks and water then off to the beach, stopping for a quick breakfast along the way. Friday the surf was a little rough due to the offshore hurricane, Cristobal, moving northward up the Atlantic coast but too far out to sea for any major concern. Days of sun, sand, surf and clothes-free men as far as the eyes can see.

Once on the beach, our routines vary. Twin (Alex) and Sudhir are both sun-loungers. They are both content to spend all their time lying on their blanket with periodic splashes in the ocean. It works for them and that’s fine. Aaron and I are not quite so passive. We’re strollers and swimmers, preferring to stay active, balancing our day between the surf and long walks up and down the shore, taking in all the sights. David is all over the beach, sitting on his blanket watching others pass by, playing in the water and then hiking all along the shore. He’s meeting other singles, exploring his sexuality, enjoying his new, naked freedom.

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 This does not mean that we spent the entire day apart from each other. Throughout our time in the park, we’d cavort in the Atlantic Ocean and along the shore. We unsuccessfully attempted a wet sand statue that ended up looking exactly like its’ contents: a mound of wet sand. I couldn’t resist reminding everyone that before we even started our artistic creation, I informed them that the incoming tide would obliterate any trace of it. But did anyone listen to me? No!

As the beach was too crowded for a Frisbee or football toss, we managed several games of nude Twister each afternoon. This activity is ideal for a congested environment. The tools are simple: all that’s needed is the plastic mat with different colored circles and the cardboard spinner that indicates which foot or hand (left or right) goes on what colored circle. Anyone who is familiar with the game is aware of the interesting results of all the body contact. With all the participants naked, the situations usually are extremely intimate. Whenever we played Twister, most of those around us eagerly begged to join the fun. Needless to add, David enjoyed this game tremendously!

The focus of this mini-nakation is social nudity in a coastal environment: the beach. The result is we haven’t the time for any trips into New York City for any of he clubs there. The early starts to our days here eliminated that possibility and we all understood this from the moment we planned this adventure. Our evening routine is out to dinner at local eateries and then socializing in our room. Saturday night we hosted a gathering of some guys (three) we met Friday and who chose to hang out with us again at the beach on Saturday. The eight of us went out to eat and then all congregated back in our room for nude cards and cocktails. Sunday night, David had a date with one of our new acquaintances so it was just Twin and Sudhir, Aaron and myself for dinner.

As I write this, Aaron and I are alone in our motel room, each of us on a clothing-optional group outing with a biological brother and at least one “brother-in-law” in our party. One big extended happy family having fun on an extended holiday weekend. For the moment, all of us content with the state of the world.

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The above photograph is an aerial view of Sandy Hook at the Gateway National Recreation Area. Gunnison Beach, the only nudist site, is located at the northern end, furthest from the shore. Anyone interested in additional information (including directions), visit the National Park Service  website (click title to view). On the home page, go to State of New Jersey, scroll to Gateway National Recreation Area, then select Sandy Hook and then Gunnison Beach.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger

End of August, 2014

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Bottoms Up!

End of August, 2014

“Summer Sightings”

August is the last full month of Summer, 2014. The season ends next month. Before it’s gone forever, get outside and take advantage of the last final weekend of the month and one of the few remaining ones of summer. Those cold winter days are fast approaching!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger

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Here’s one bonus Bottoms Up! for the end of the month of August!

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Thrifty Nude Retreat

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There’s something comfortable and soothing about being clothes-free outside, feeling the warmth of the sun on one’s skin and a cooling summer breeze embracing one’s nakedness. It’s a feeling that words alone can’t adequately describe. Many poets and writers of prose have tried to do so, none successfully. The sensation of being truly free and unencumbered is beyond language.

This is especially the case when nude in a natural environment. Absent from all the physical and sensual reminders of modern life and surrounded by all the wonders of nature, clothed solely by foliage and vegetation. That is both the attraction and uniqueness of outdoor nudity.

On a hot and humid summer day, there’s no better place to escape what some consider oppressive conditions than the welcoming cool, comfort of the shade of trees. This natural umbrella offers relief from the sun and accessibility to the gentle winds. The tranquility provides a refuge for the mind, body and soul. A respite from the stressful distractions of a fast-paced world.

A stream or other shallow water source enhances one’s adventure in nature. It offers another opportunity to flee the heat and to refresh and renew the nude body and spirit. Relaxing in a shallow body of water restores balance and calm to one’s physical self.

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Most of us, when thinking about summer activities, have visions of themed amusement parks, beaches and pools enter our minds. Others have notions of athletic events, sports stadiums or social gatherings like picnics and barbeques. Few, if any of us, even contemplate the benefits or joys of a quiet adventure into our natural surroundings. For many, this option is the furthest away from our minds.

I realize that not all of us have a beach or pool that’s convenient. In particular, one that’s clothing-optional or exclusively nude. For many of us, the expenses and logistics involved in gaining access to these sites is daunting. Some of us simply don’t have the financial resources to even consider these possibilities. Others may not have the time flexibility. The reasons for not doing something are as numerous as there are people who are not doing it.

That’s why I’m reminding us of this alternative to financially draining and time-consuming nude excursions. As the summer days dwindle from our grasp, a natural nature experience is usually a reality that few of us recognize. It doesn’t require an enormous amount of effort, money or planning and can take place whether alone or in the company of friends. The times I’ve participated in a naked nature outing, I’ve learned that simpler is truly better, especially when it includes friends.

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There are a few suggestions I’d like to offer those interested in trying this clothes-free activity for the first time. These ideas are based on personal experience and with the exception of one or two items, entail no expense. Stripping off clothes and relaxing is always free. Most of us do this several times each day and aren’t even aware that we’re doing it.

1.  Before you go: Explore the location. Select several sites that offer seclusion and a peaceful setting. Choose an area that protects your privacy but gives you a clear vantage of anyone approaching. The same applies if there’s a stream nearby that you may want t use for cooling. Check for any vegetation (such as poison ivy and poison oak) that will cause discomfort. Look for any sharp objects. Stay away from private property unless you have permission.

2.  Purchase: If you don’t already have it, buy an aerosol or ointment that is an insect repellant. Insect bites are annoying and uncomfortable. Make sure that you have enough sunscreen (even if your area is shaded). Sunburn is both harmful and painful. The sun’s rays contain ultraviolet light which is present in shaded spots and on overcast days. Don’t forget sunglasses. Ultraviolet rays can damage the eyes.

3.  Secure valuables: Keep your wallet in a concealed place inside your vehicle. No need to risk losing it. The same for any mobile devices. You can always respond to any communications later. This is time for you to relax.

4.  Car key: Leave all keys locked in your automobile. The only one you’ll need with you is the car key. Secure this to you by a lanyard around your neck or use a safety-pin to attach it to your shorts (it may fall out if loose in your pocket), towel or blanket. If you don’t have it with you, you won’t lose it.

5.  Towel/blanket: You’ll need something to sit on.

6.  Wear only the essential: It’s summer. The basics are a T-shirt (optional, after all, what’s on, comes off. It is a nude outing), shorts and shoes. Don’t go barefoot on unfamiliar grounds. Sharp objects and stinging insects may not always be visible.

7.  Activity: Think about what you want to do. Read, write, listen to music, art? Bring your activity material.

8.  Refreshment: Remember to bring snacks and water. It’s hot because it’s summer.

9.  Skinny-Dipping: Stay in very shallow water (if available). Do NOT skinny-dip alone in unfamiliar water. As mentioned above, use the nearby water source for cooling purposes only. Recall aquatic-safety lessons: don’t swim alone and in strange areas without a lifeguard present.

10. Park legally: You want your car where you left it when you are ready to return home.

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Although not an absolute necessity, I do strongly recommend two considerations. First, when nude in a new environment, I encourage the carrying at least one item of clothing with you at all times. This ensures the reduction of any potential embarrassment if anyone stumbles upon me undetected. This discomfort may be as much out of sensitivity for the feelings of others as it is for myself. Often, the surprise is greater on whoever sees me naked as much as it is for me being discovered nude. I’m simply being me. The other person is the one forced to wear clothes. I have no shame about my nakedness no matter if the other person is nude or not.

Second, use a backpack, messenger bag or satchel to store your gear. I’ve found that it helps to keep me organized and provides storage capabilities. It’s convenient and highly mobile. I carry an empty disposable plastic shopping bag in mine for any trash I may have. I prefer to leave nature in the same condition as I found it. The way I hope to find it when I return.

The remaining days of this year’s summer are rapidly shrinking. Think ahead and take advantage of every opportunity. The forlorn season of winter is all-too-soon upon all of us.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger

 

Pic-Say: Nude Fashion Footwear

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A pic-say is a combination word, picture + essay = pic-say. An essay relying primarily on images and not necessarily text or words. The theme of this blog post is of fashion footwear for the practicing naturist/nudist, specifically for the summer season. Shoes are worn for the protection of our feet. A barrier between them and the germs and debris that clutter the ground we walk on. Anyone who’s suffered a puncture wound, regardless of the severity, knows exactly my point here.

There are the purist nudists who argue that a true nudist is barefoot, without shoes. In a perfect world, I would agree with this premise. Unfortunately, we don’t live in such an environment. Human nature being the beast that it is, we often forget or simply intentionally refuse to clean up after ourselves. The result is countless objects left behind that cause discomfort, injury or worse.

Sandals are the popular summer footwear for both the clothes-free and clothes-wearing. Of the sandal style, the flip-flop or beach thong are my personal favorite. They’re as close to nude as possible, comfortable while still providing safety for my foot’s sole.

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Before reading further, either be barefoot or put on your sandals!

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A barefoot me.

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Wearing flip-flops on a rock.

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My favorite flip-flops for the river. Thick soles but very light-weight of synthetic material.

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My all-time favorite pair. I’ve had them for almost ten years. Canvas straps with a sturdy, thick sole. 

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A pair of Greek flip-flops. Made of leather by hand on the island of Mykanos.

RogFeetWallHangHanging in our hallway, celebrating flip-flops all year-long.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger

Author’s Note: My friend and naked buddy, RobFather-X, of Keepin’ It…REAL! is my inspiration for this blog entry. To read his views on sandals/flip-flops, check out this: An Omen That Summer 2013 Is Gone.

Reminder: I’m visiting my family in Greece this week. I return late Sunday evening. I’ve scheduled a post for Monday and will resume active blogging after I recover from “jet-lag.”

The Race To The Finish!

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Can you believe it? The end of the summer of 2014 is almost upon us. There’s a little more than a month remaining to this season. Exactly where did all the time go? I feel as though I haven’t even begun to have all the fun I imagined! Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m having a wonderful time, it just feels like it should last longer. Soon, the decision of whether or not to be nude outside will not be a viable option.

The rude awakening hit me this past Friday morning as I was doing some last-minute packing for our trip to Greece (we’re spending this week with my family). Damn! It’s already the middle of August!  What’s happened to summer? Aaron was just as amazed as I when I shared this dose of reality with him. At least, it’s not just me living in a time warp. Small consolation, I know, as it doesn’t get me any extra days.

Thinking we could use that evening’s flight to plan what’s left of our summer, I printed a calendar so we could make notes and prioritize. What I forgot to factor in the equation is that Aaron has the ability to fall asleep anywhere (and frequently does). I, on the other hand, have never been able to sleep while travelling, no matter the method of transportation or the distance involved. My mother often comments that even as an infant I was the only one of her eight sons who was always awake during a trip.

Before we left US air-space, Aaron was fast asleep. Saturday morning, we arrived in Athens with a blank calendar and one well-rested boyfriend. Thankfully, I did bring along a paperback suspense novel that I finished reading on our trip.

nkdrunbounceThe result is that the finish line (the last day of summer) is rushing towards us and we still don’t have the remainder of the season planned. For me, it’s as though we’re losing not only the race but also what’s left of the season. It doesn’t seem fair, although, in all honesty, I have no one to blame for this dire predicament other than myself. Within our family unit, I am the one responsible for maintaining our social schedule and appointments.

If it were just the two of us involved, I doubt I’d feel this much stress and urgency. We can be spontaneous, carefree and ready-to-go on almost a moments notice. Our race through the final days of summer doesn’t need to be regimented.

Our struggle against-the-clock affects others as well as ourselves. We get together with Twin (my identical twin brother, Alex) and his partner at least once during the beach season. That hasn’t happened this year. There’s also David (Aaron’s oldest brother), who recently came out to us as both bisexual and an aspiring social nudist. He’s asked for a beach outing before the season changes. This is the primary reason I am feeling the pressure gain the lead in our competition of us versus time.

Then, there’s the fact that we haven’t had our own nude get-away weekend yet. Just the two of us, alone.

It appears as though our time with my family means we’ll need to discuss our future plans. Fortunately, Twin and his boyfriend are here to offer their advice. That’s a relief from part of the burden.

It’s true that time stops for no one, especially a summer-holic as myself. Clearly, we need to rejoin the race, get busy and salvage what’s left of our favorite season of the year. It makes no sense to waste another minute of precious naked time. I need to grab my running shoes and start jogging along the road, clothes-free, of course.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger

Author’s Note: I’ve scheduled posts for the duration of my overseas trip. To all the bloggers I usually visit, I’ll check your sites as soon as possible after I return.

 

Nudecentric Genderphobia

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What I’m talking about here is the unnatural fear of being seen naked by or with members of the opposite gender within the naturist/nudist culture. Hence the label: nudecentric (specific to nudity). The term genderphobia refers to one’s fear of sexual identity (reality). Allow me to add that I’m not sure if genderphobia is even a recognized word. If it isn’t (which is likely), then it should be. But the purpose of this post is not labels or vocabulary so I’ll return to my theme.

I know for a fact that there are a number of men, same gender loving, dual gender loving (bisexual) and otherwise, who dread the very idea of being viewed when nude by women. I’ve asked quite a few about their reactions when someone of the opposite sex approaches them (many are my acquaintances, both gay and straight). If on a public beach, they’ll get up and move to a different if a member of the opposite sex gets too close. There are some who’ll acquire an attitude whenever a female gets near them and usually put their swimsuit back on (if it’s convenient). Others will use their hands or a towel to cover their genitalia if this situation presents itself.

The above is but one example. I’ve seen similar responses at nudist resorts, events and at the World Naked Bike Ride celebrations. No matter the occasion, the reason is usually the same: I’m not comfortable naked around a woman. Even at destinations that specifically cater to the clothes-free GLBT population, some gay men exhibit moderate to extreme discomfort if a lesbian enters the area/facility.

Just as there are men who feel a sense of anxiety around women, the opposite is also true. Some women experience the same when in male company. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to one gender. Although I’m more familiar with the masculine reaction, on numerous occasions I’ve observed women either rapidly dressing or struggling to cover their breasts and vagina with both hands whenever a man is around.

I’ve often wondered about this issue. If a person, of either gender, has overcome personal and societal challenges to the point they’re accepting themselves being socially naked without embarrassment, why should gender make a difference? We’re all, voluntarily, in a clothes-free environment and know, in advance, that both sexes will probably be present. It isn’t as though we live on separate planets (although some may disagree).

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With few exceptions, most people are taught, from a very early age, that “nude is lewd.” Initially instructed by parents/guardians, this lesson is reinforced by faith community leaders, educators, other authority figures and the general society. The result is that many progress through childhood falsely believing that the naked human body is a source of shame and immorality. Good people simply aren’t nude in public. At the onset of adolescence, this myth is modified somewhat that it’s okay to be briefly nude among others of one’s own gender, such as communal showers and in locker rooms at the school gym and neighborhood pools. The message here being that decent people aren’t socially clothes-free with members of the opposite sex.

I understand the historical origin of these untruths adults pass along to their children. They’re all a part of the puritanical legacy that lingers in this country and has permeated radical fundamentalist communities of faith. Adam and Eve sinned, were cast out of the Garden of Eden and were forced to wear clothes as a punishment for their transgression. A fable that persists throughout multiple religions. There’s also the unfounded belief that nudity encourages sexual intimacy out-of-wedlock. A notion that is anathema to belief systems and their followers.

Many practicing social nudists struggle with the problem surrounding the “nude is lewd” falsehood. Humans are not born with a sense of body shame or a natural aversion towards nudity. It is a learned behavior and we all know that those are the most difficult to conquer. Fortunately, there are plentiful resources available on the internet and in the print media on developing a positive body image. With the patience of friends and sympathetic naturist mentors, they are able to work through this issue. I know of several acquaintances who have been in this situation. It wasn’t always an easy process but they managed to resolve the conflict.

The gender concern, unfortunately, isn’t as easy to address or to solve. In addition to the attitudes towards nakedness discussed above, other factors come into play here. First, there is the history of discrimination and reduced status that has been accorded to women in a society long dominated by men. Although illegal, they persist even today. In my own private exchanges with fellow clothes-free enthusiasts, many are reluctant to admit to any unease with the other sex for fear of being labelled misogynist, sexist or guilty of reverse sexism. This has created a feeling of caution and wariness between females and males.

The second, sociologists recognize that people are naturally most comfortable with others they perceive as similar to themselves. Whether naked or clothed, this is true for both sexes. This instinct is reinforced by another acquired behavior that it’s okay to be nude, when necessary, with members of one’s own gender. This permission, which generally occurs in late childhood or at the onset of puberty, often becomes so ingrained that it frequently is overlooked by both men and women as a cause of their discomfort. Again, only when privately pressed about this reason is it acknowledged. Regrettably, there are only a limited number of hard copy (printed) or online resources available on this matter.

There are other considerations for this gender divide. These may include personal experience (life history), environment (home life), gender attraction (objects of affection) and others. Of course, this will vary according to the individuals involved. We all are cognizant that no two life stories are identical.

Allow me to add here that I am not an authority on nudity or human behavior. I offer my observation in order to initiate a possible solution to ease the anxiety some feel when practicing their preference for social nudity. I encourage us all to keep in mind what I refer to as the ART paradigm when interacting with others.

A: Awareness

Be aware that others may feel this way and emotions are legitimate. Sometimes, awareness is a major step toward resolving the concern. Know that others have a different perspective based on their own life experiences.

R: Respect

Be tolerant of others. Understand that others feel the way they do for a reason. Stay nonjudgmental and sensitive to the situation and to the individual. Remember to be a catalyst for a resolution and not a problem.

T: Talk

Be willing to discuss and share ideas. Communication involves at least two people and no one responds well to a lecture. If the other person isn’t receptive to an exchange, simply smile or wave to help the other person relax.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger

The In-Laws: Second Surprise

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The News

As published in my previous post (either scroll down the screen or click here), our nine-day visit with Aaron’s family provided two surprises. The first, David’s (Aaron’s oldest sibling) “coming out” as a dual gender loving (bisexual) social nudist occurred on Sunday, late afternoon. Later that same evening, in the privacy of my partner’s old bedroom, we agreed that news would probably be the most sensational aspect of our time with his family. Little did we know what was to come.

The following day, Monday, July 28, Aaron’s mother greeted us at the door as his father, David, Aaron and I returned from our traditional game of golf. She had just received the news that the U. S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina) had upheld a lower court’s decision that Virginia’s (our home state) ban on same gender marriage was unconstitutional. We all nodded approval and nothing else was said about the matter until our evening meal.

During dinner, the discussion surrounding the 4th Circuit Court’s ruling was general and supportive. Aaron’s father remarked that the overturn of the ban was overdue and offered a quote by Dr. Martin L. King that “inequality anywhere is a danger to equality everywhere.” All of Aaron’s immediate family had voted against the ban when it was a referendum initiative in Virginia in 2006. A little more was added and then the topic was put to rest (or so Aaron and I thought).

The Talk

On Wednesday, David told us that the following day, Thursday afternoon, his parents wanted him to go to visit an aunt who lives nearby. When Aaron said that he would accompany him, their mother said no. She and her husband needed to discuss something with the both of us – in private. When Aaron quizzed her about this, she refused any details. David was similarly clueless.

The twenty-four hour wait seemed like an eternity. In private, we tried to imagine what the hell Aaron’s parents had to share with us. At last, Thursday afternoon arrived and David left to go to see his aunt. Aaron and I were alone with his folks. The anticipated/dreaded moment of curiosity and truth had arrived. His father knocked on our bedroom door and asked us to come down for lemonade and cookies in the dining room.

“The dining room is good,” Aaron signed to me as we descended the stairs. “If something was wrong, they’d talk to us in the living room.”

Once seated around the table, with Aaron sitting across from me so he could interpret in American Sign Language (ASL), Mr. Peterson started the conversation by reiterating their happiness with the two of us and with the fact that gay marriage probably would be available in Virginia within a year or so. Mrs. Peterson added that when we decide to get married (note: not if but instead when), we have their full blessing and support. “We want what’s best for you both and a complete wedding ceremony and reception would make us very proud,” she continued.

Another surprise, duly delivered, inside the Peterson home. Two within the matter of a few days.

Aaron’s father and mother kept this dialogue going for over an hour. It was as though it was a carefully rehearsed movie scene with everyone having a script except the two of us. The more the Peterson’s talked, their level of enthusiasm for our wedding increased, leaving little opportunity for Aaron and I to contribute to the discussion. We barely had a chance to express our gratitude for their acceptance and love before his parents revealed yet another aspect to this drama unfolding before our very eyes.

Parental Intervention

Throughout the entire discourse, Aaron’s father kept a close eye on his watch. The reason for this attention became clear when he opened his laptop and several minutes later directed the screen towards me. There were my parents, in real-time! He directed Aaron to move in beside me then he and his wife took their place behind the two of us. We all moved in closer, they so to hear my parents voices and I in order to see their signing.

Mama and Papa began by congratulating us both on soon having the freedom to marry. Next, they joined in the conversation offering encouragement and endorsement for a nuptial ceremony. At times, they repeated thoughts already expressed by the Petersons  followed by opinions of their own. Almost immediately, it was obvious that this was becoming an exchange between all of our parents advocating legal marriage in a large, ceremonial setting, again, with practically no opportunity for us to share our feelings. I remember thinking to myself: Damn, will this ever end?

As if on cue, at almost this exact moment, Aaron reached over and placed his arm around my shoulders. As my fingers dance across this keyboard, I’m making a mental note to talk to him about his sense of timing. This affectionate gesture caused Mama to exclaim, “You both look so happy and we’re happy for you both!” This brought on another round of pro-wedding sentiments from all our folks.

Just before my parents signed off, my Papa added, “Your mother has some ideas to show you two when you come here (Greece) in two weeks.” In other words: This isn’t over. Great!

After my family went off-line, we thanked the Peterson’s and promised to seriously consider all the options presented to us. We then excused ourselves and took a nice, long walk outside.

Our Dilemma

AGWB8-11-14Aaron and I both admire, love and respect our own parents and our in-law parents. At the same time, we’re also mature and responsible adults in addition to being an independent family unit, separate, yet still a part of  our parents’ families. If there is to be a wedding in our future, it is our determination.

We understand our parents rationale for their actions. They’re seeing this entire picture through the worldview of their generation. For them, marriage is a major life event, a sort of right-of-passage. They only want the best for us and this includes matrimony with all the accompanying celebration. Both sets of parents are believers in equality for everyone, despite the opposition of their particular religions.

Naturally, we’ve discussed marriage before all this, privately between ourselves and among close friends. In all honesty, we’re not in complete agreement on this issue. Aaron wants to get married. For me, it’s not a priority. Although we don’t like being denied the right-to-marry, we differ on the importance of the actual act of a legal wedding.

Neither one of us are men of faith. A religious ceremony, whether inside a church building or in a separate facility and blessed by a priest, holds no significance for us. We are in harmony on this matter. If a belief system condemns who we are, why pretend otherwise?

Since our parental intervention at the Peterson’s home and the one facing us when we fly to Greece this upcoming weekend, we have talked about an option that we both find appealing. A nude wedding, conducted by an authorized person who is not ordained by any religion but legally endorsed, a civil ceremony. One witnessed by the required number, selected from our circle of gay nudist close friends. Perhaps David and Alex, my identical twin brother (Twin), both nudists and queer, could serve as our groomsmen.

The challenge facing us is how to assert our autonomy in this situation while remaining respectful and sensitive to our parents. We want to acknowledge and appreciate their love and support. We want them happy, too. This task isn’t going to be an easy one.

Regardless how we handle this matter, there’s no rush for an immediate resolution. This past Friday, the Commonwealth of Virginia formally appealed the 4th Circuit Court’s ruling to the U. S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). The state’s Attorney General will not defend Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. If the high court agrees to hear the appeal, the earliest a determination on the case will be rendered is June, 2015.

In the meantime, we know our visit to my parents is guaranteed to be interesting (a deliberate understatement).

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger

 

The In-Laws: First Surprise

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For background information on this post, please refer to an earlier publication, Road Trip. Click the title to view.

 Last week, Aaron and I spent nine days with his parents and oldest brother at his folk’s home in Roanoke, Virginia. The weather was great and, as always, this July tradition was perfect. We accomplished all that we’d planned, and more! This year, both of us were completely and pleasantly shocked with two jaw-dropping surprises, the first from his senior sibling, David, and the second from his parents.

Before I proceed further, there are two details I need to add. First, the Peterson house (Aaron and David’s surname) is two-story. The upstairs has the children’s bedrooms, two on the left side of a central hallway and two on the right. Each of the bedrooms is connected by a shared bathroom. As Aaron is the second child, he and David have the same bathroom, accessible from both bedrooms. Second, David knows that Aaron and I are usually nude when in my partner’s old room. Although David has been to nude beaches with us in the past and is naked when there, he has always been fully clothed when in his own bedroom.

The first Sunday of our visit, Mass was followed by a Sunday brunch with all the local extended family. Afterwards, David, Aaron and I went upstairs to change from the church attire and to relax. We (Aaron and I) stripped off our clothes and were lying on the bed when David summoned us both into his room. As we entered, we were both somewhat taken aback to find David wearing only an unbuttoned shirt and nothing else. He motioned for us both to sit on his bed. Note: the accompanying photo is not of David but one I located in my collection.

Clearly nervous, David began by both signing American Sign Language (ASL) and speaking English, apologizing to me for not continuing using ASL. He then asked Aaron to interpret for me. Since his several clothing-optional beach trips with us (the last one being in 2012), he’s become serious about exploring social nudity. He asked that we arrange another weekend at Gunnison Park (Sandy Hook Beach), a nudist destination in northern New Jersey on the Atlantic Ocean shoreline. He’d like for this to happen in early September, before cooler weather arrives.

We both assured him this was no problem. Seeing him almost nude in his childhood room was more of a surprise than his request for a repeat chance. It isn’t all that unusual for someone, after experiencing the freedom of nakedness, to want additional opportunities. His revelation was not a shock. Sensing his continued discomfort, Aaron asked if there was anything else he needed to share. He then teased David about wanting to get naked again while still wearing an open shirt.

Neither one of us expected nor were prepared for what came next. This was the major acknowledgement  that caught us both unaware guard. Time stood still as we tried to absorb this information.

David admitted to having a dual gender attraction (bisexual). As long as I’ve known him, he’s always had a female companion. In the five years I’d attended Peterson family events, I’ve met at least three different women he’s been involved with. Now he knows he enjoys intimacy with both sexes. He admits to being physically attracted to men! Aaron and I could only look at each other and then stare at David.

It seems that during the past eighteen months or so, David has had five or six sexual partners who are male, at least two of them being serious. In his words, more than just casual. He confessed to achieving satisfaction from these encounters above beyond that he’s ever had when with a woman. Even though he appreciates being with women, he’s discovered he’s happier when having sex with his own gender. Bottom line: David feels that it’s better sexual gratification, personally, when he’s with another man.

Although Aaron and I understand his observation, we were unable to comment or empathize with his comparison. Neither of us has knowledge of intimacy with a person of the opposite gender. All of our encounters, before and since we met, have been with our own.

Once we recovered from learning this interesting news, Aaron and I encouraged David to further discussion. As he talked about his feelings, he regained his composure and relaxed considerably. It wasn’t long before the three of us were laughing and joking as we engaged in this “coming out” conversation. A couple of hours passed until we realized that we needed to dress and head back downstairs to join Aaron and David’s parents so they wouldn’t wonder what had happened to us.

Of course, this wasn’t the only time during that week that we discussed either nudity or sexuality. It was the topic whenever the opportunity presented itself. In each of these subsequent interactions, Aaron and I continued to be as supportive as possible. The three of us felt a special affinity before this shared confidence. This knowledge reinforced that bond.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger

High Five, Bare Bear

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A Guy Without Boxers

salutes all our naturist/nudist brothers who allow their body hair to grow, naturally.

Within the culture of nudity, in particular, the gay nudist fellowship, the subject of being natural (clothes-free) and appearing naturally (with one’s own body hair, no matter how sparse or profuse) is controversial. Some prefer to manscape (groom or trim), others to be completely hairless (shaved, waxed, etc.) and still many proudly sport the “nature-look, ” which is keeping whatever body hair nature bestows. This feature on this site honors those who both grow and show their endowment.

Often, Bear Culture refers to men who are both muscular and hairy. However, “bears” are more than just hairy and being hairy doesn’t automatically imply that one is a bear. The following reading recommendations from fellow bisexual/gay bloggers shed some clarification on being a bear, being hairy or both. Despite popular opinion, the two are not synonymous.

My Lebanese blogging friend, Closet Conflicts, offers two entertaining and enlightening looks at the bear culture in our same gender loving community. The first is Subearstitions: 6 Misconceptions About Bear Culture,  the second, My Adventures on Growlr, Part 3. Click on the individual title to view each one. They’re among the best descriptions on bear life that I’ve seen: informative but uncomplicated.

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My naked buddy, blogging brother and friend, RobFather-X, the author of Keepin’ It…Real, presents an astute observation on hirsute masculinity via his Tumblr.com site, Male Oriented Erotica and Perspectives. Click the blog title to go directly to his post. His advice, thoughts and views on the furry male are unique as they are written from his vantage point as a dual gender loving (bisexual) man. He addresses the topic of body hair from an entirely different angle and outside the bear community.

My fellow blogger and friend, Martin Wilson, creator of the blog, Ramblings of a Supposed Disease Free Mind, and self-identified bear, recently published his experience at a London gay club, popular among bears. Click the title, Fitting the Physical Stereotype, to read his adventure. One of his latest posts documents his holiday at the Brighton Bear Weekender event. Click here to see this.

My buddy and aspiring mega-star, Chris, journalist of the site, Colors of Passion, writes of his attraction to and fascination of bear-ish men. The article, Bear Obsession,  (click to view) also features a short video.

It is every man’s prerogative whether or not to grow or groom his body hair. I respect and support this right.

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Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

End of July, 2014

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Bottoms Up!

“Summer Delights”

End of July, 2014

In honor of the first full month of the summer season of 2014. A tribute to the full beauty of our male nudity, as a group and as individuals. The heat is on, so off with the clothes!

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A “bonus” bottoms-up is offered in honor of July being the month of Nude Recreation Week! Get busy and bare your “buns” in the sun! The summertime won’t last forever! Happy last day of July!

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Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Roger

A Guy Without Boxers

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