Saturday, May 4, 2013, the first Saturday of the month, is the tenth annual World Naked Gardening Day! A family-friendly phenomenon of naturists throughout the United States and elsewhere, WNGD was founded by the Body Freedom Collaborative. The holiday celebrates nature and health with the best of the bare essentials.
“When you’re out there with a gentle breeze on you, every last hair on your body feels it. You feel completely connected with the natural world in a way you just can’t in clothes.”
“Oh, come on,” you say. You feel very self-conscious about your body. Taking your clothes off seems like an outrageous thing to do. But when you reflect on what’s good in life, you might say to yourself, who cares? John Muir did it. Walt Whitman did it. Amelia Bloomer did it. Maybe even Lady Gaga does it.
Gymnophobia (from “gymnos,” the Greek word for nude) is the fear of being or seeing others naked. Naturists say that a gymnophobic person usually wants to prevent others from experiencing the freedom of not wearing clothes. Many believe that nakedness represents humankind’s original state, a condition worth celebrating. Prurient interests are rare (or at most tertiary) in the true naturist experience. Naturists believe that nudity is not inherently sexual.
Thus the holiday. Here’s what naturists who speak publicly recommend.
- Tend some green plants in your skin, either in private or in public. Landscapes, vegetables, herbs, weeds, or even the spring-flowering bulbs in your window garden.
- Check with the authorities if you want to stay legal: deliberate or enticing public exhibitionism is a crime in many places (which leads to the point of who should decide what’s decent and what isn’t?).
- Do it yourself, with those you love, or with cobelievers. “Just get naked and make your part of the botanical world a healthier and more attractive place.”
Thanks to online sites and to several anonymous sources interviewed. Similar celebrations: Experience Nakedness Project (ENP); Free Beach Trilogy; Naked Freedom Film Festival; World Naked Bike Ride. Or since it’s May, you could check in at your local naked beach. Most coastlines have at least one….
Chicago-based science writer Sandy Dechert has been writing about sexual health and contraception over the past few decades. She recently covered as the national healthcare debate (“Obamacare”) and health issues at the summer Olympics.
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