I’m probably violating all sorts of copyright laws and regulations here, so please send dark chocolate candies to me when I’m locked up in prison. I’ve often written here of my favorite sport: basketball. Professional basketball players (USA), owners and teams are all affiliated with the National Basketball Association (NBA). The NBA also licenses sports gear and other team paraphernalia and products. It’s the umbrella for a multi-billion dollar-a-year industry. That’s the official, copyrighted NBA in the proverbial nutshell.
My NBA is slightly different. It isn’t nearly as prestigious nor as wealthy. It doesn’t sell jerseys and sports gear because…well, there isn’t any. You see, in my world, the initials “NBA” represent Natural (as in naked) Basketball Athletes. I coined that name perhaps eight years ago when I played on an adult, gay and naked recreation basketball (B-ball) league in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. I think our league lasted maybe three or four years until we lost access to a local gymnasium where we played our games and practiced. That’s the unofficial, non-copyrighted (and clothes-free) NBA in the proverbial nutshell. No uniforms, just a pair of basketball shoes, socks, our nude bodies and one basketball.
I don’t remember exactly how I discovered the existence of this league, as it was kept mostly as a local secret within the Washington, DC, same gender loving nudist community. We weren’t permitted to have a large number of spectators so as not to attract large crowds to our games. As most can imagine, an indoor court peopled by all-male nude basketball players is likely to draw a sizable audience of gay men, among others. A sizable number of fans requires professional staff to monitor their behavior and no public facility wanted the label of nude or gay associated with their name.
So for a few years we enjoyed the freedom of playing our favorite sport in relative obscurity and in complete bareness. We’d arrive at the site at the designated time, all parade into the gym, strip down to nothing and for a couple of hours watch basketball until it was time for our team to play, then run freely, bouncing up and down the playing court before having to bundle up in winter clothing and venture back into the textile (clothed) world. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon in the middle of winter: getting exercise, sharing nude camaraderie and athletic competition.
Within the Washington, DC, same gender loving clothes-free community, we basketball-players enjoyed a limited amount of local notoriety. Nothing like that accorded the professional basketball stars but it was nice attending events inside the gay nude culture and being recognized, photographed and offered the occasional free cocktail or mixed drink. It made all those hours of naked practice well-worth the effort. Our just rewards. My particular team, one year, was even treated to complimentary weekend hotel rooms (courtesy of a local fan) at Sandy Hook, the closest clothing-optional beach.
Playing bare basketball wasn’t appreciated by all of our local gay naked community. A few of my social nudist acquaintances questioned if we were really same gender loving because we participated in sports activities. It seems in their narrow minds, gay men and athletics aren’t compatible. This may indeed be a myth, a stereotype but it isn’t fact and it definitely is far from being the truth. Some men who love men may be indifferent to athletic competitions but not all. The seventy plus men who participated in our league on various teams attest to this. I admit I was taken aback by these fellow nudists who criticized us for taking part in any activity that permitted and promoted social nakedness.
I’ve never really understood this type of negativity. There aren’t that many opportunities for gay social nude interaction during the winter months. I’ve always believed we should all be supportive of one another. There are more than enough critics of both social nudity and the same gender loving community than for us to attack our own for no obvious reason aside from a sport-of-choice. But then, there have always been haters in the world, naked or clothed, same gender loving or otherwise.
I appreciate every moment that I spend experiencing nudity. I am happy being a man with the ability to love other men. I am proud to be in love with my man, Aaron. The result is that I truly enjoyed being a part of Natural Basketball Athletes (my NBA). I always liked playing the sport of basketball and consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to engage in that sport, along with gay peers, while completely naked (except for footwear). My only regret is that my “career” ended all-too-soon. At least, I had the chance.
I continue to play basketball whenever possible. I still take part in an adult recreational basketball league, although my team now is not exclusively queer (gay) and we are required to wear a uniform (a sleeveless jersey and basketball shorts, plus shoes). But I do miss the companionship of competing with my brothers, all same gender loving and naked. At least, I have the memories.
There is one more consolation. Despite what the nay-sayers claim, I am still and will continue to be a proud, happy, same gender loving man who indulges in participating in the sport of basketball!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!