INSPIRATION: Naturism & Healing Male Sexuality
Healing the Shame that Binds You
By John Bradshaw
We are born naked and then spend the rest of our lives covering our bodies in shame.
Being conditioned to hate our bodies and to feel ashamed whenever we are naked has a toxic effect on our wellbeing.
For many men nowadays, being naked with other men is terrifying. We feel the need to compare our bodies and often feel less than our brothers. It wasn’t always like this.
In the original Olympics, men competed in wild nature together in the nude. Warriorship, brotherhood and naturism were taken for granted. As Arthur Balaskas describes in his book on yoga, BodyLife, "gymnastics, which literally in the Greek means to train the body in the nude," there was no shame in those days in being naked together when we played sports such as running, boxing and wrestling.
YMCA: The 1980s & The Impact of AIDS
Until the early 1980s it was legal for men to swim naked together in public. Socializing together in the nude was no big deal until the mid-1980s and the emergence of AIDS. We had sports centres like the YMCAs, saunas such as the Arabic Hammams and the Turkish baths. The combination of heat and water and massage is universal, and centuries old. From the 1980s onwards, single-sex areas were closed down in the West. But forcing men and women to share all spaces means there is nowhere for people to go to relax with their own gender.
Everyone needs time with their own kind every now and then. Being naked together is natural. It is not about sex. It is about relaxation. The more relaxed we are in our nude bodies, the more relaxed we become with our sexuality.
Naturism is also a useful tool to cure body shame. We are born with no shame about our bodies. Body shame is learnt behaviour. What is learnt can also be unlearnt.
OUR GOD-GIVEN SEXUALITY
Many men have been brought up with unrealistic expectations about our bodies and our sexuality from reading magazines, watching films, and pornography. Watching porn places unrealistic expectations on people and produces guilt and shame around our God-given sexuality. Watching porn is also addictive. It isolates people and encourages depression.
Many clients ask for a naturist massage service. It places the massage therapist on equal footing to the client and creates a relaxing atmosphere. Naturism is a naturally relaxing experience, as long as it is mutually comfortable.