I'M OK NAKED

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Nakedness in the West

In much of Western culture, we tend to think that nakedness has always been something to hide. However, this is not true. The Greeks were famous for their acceptance of natural nakedness; indeed, even the original Olympic Games were done naked. The Romans are well known for their public baths, which were often open to mixed sexes. Many of the Gnostic sects in the Second Century embraced nakedness as part of their belief system. By the Fourth Century, the Church had manage to produce a doctrine prohibiting nakedness between the sexes, but the people continued to use the mostly mixed-sex public baths. Greek & Roman culture is the foundation for Western culture.

During the Middle Ages, even some Christian plays showed Adam and Eve totally naked. Most people took baths in public streams or outdoor tubs. One important result of the Crusades in the Twelfth Century was the introduction of public baths to Europe. It wasn't long before people began to leave their clothes at home to avoid theft and just walk naked to the baths. During this time, many festivals included nakedness as part of the celebration. By the end of the Middle Ages, nakedness was officially frowned upon, but that did not stop many people from enjoying being naked. In 1370, when King Charles V of France entered Antwerp, the girls danced naked to celebrate. Art was beginning to show the body again, but with the sex differences minimized. In the early Thirteenth Century, penance was often required to be be done naked by the Church. In the Sixteenth Century, the whole family would undress for bed together before the light was extinguished, and the public baths continued to be used.

index019.jpg During the Renaissance, nakedness began to be depicted in art very realistically. When Philip the Good entered Geneva in 1457 he was met by naked sirens to welcome him. The same when Louis XI was crowned in 1461. A hundred years later nakeness was encouraged as part of many celebrations. By the Eighteenth Century, weathy Europeans were traveling to the Middle East and began to visit Turkish baths naked. They began to take "air baths" naked when back home. All this and more should show that in the West, NAKEDNESS WAS ALWAYS PRACTICED BEHIND THE SOCIAL VENEER EVEN THOUGH IT WAS PROHIBITED OFFICIALLY. It is the same today!

Introduction to Naturism · Nakedness and the Bible · Children and Nakedness · Nakedness in the West · We NEED Research · Further Reading · Volunteer