Cleaning up Australian Naturism
Instagram recently added a new feature to it's platform which allows people to ask questions to their audience and gain responses. Initial thoughts were that this was a pretty cool new feature! The first day it was out, I posted a "sticker" which allowed people to "Ask me a Question". I was excited to see what was going to be asked and I was eager to answer. However, the responses were appalling. It was disheartening to see the types of questions people decided to ask. Some examples include, " I have an erection right now, what will you do with it", "I want to see naked girls", "Why can't you post frontal nudes, I want to see". Ridiculous right? For a brief moment I thought about wiping the account because I just couldn't deal with the shit anymore. Was it really worth it? There are new accounts popping up every day claiming to be 'body positive' and a portrayal of 'true naturism' yet feature only young, slim, attractive females bent over in sexually submissive poses. What has happened to the huge positive movement online using the naked in nature theme to promote body positivity and naturism that gained so much media attention last year? It has been hijacked. Hijacked by the perverts, the sexually entitled, the swingers and the scum of the earth. The Get Naked Australia page has been as strong as ever, but these people are using what we've started for their own perversion and pleasure. We've seen this in how many dropkicks message the females who have contributed to our page or request to follow them. They send dick pics, they ask for nudes, they even request sex as if they are somehow entitled to it because they posted a nude photo online. What started out as a really positive thing still remains but our following is being over run by perverts. Sorry if this offends you, but surprise surprise its consistently the middle aged males who are the culprits.
This problem extends even further. There are a number of 'nudist' communities which have been established on Facebook and there are continual problems here to. Firstly being the terminology. In my experience there seems to be a common trend amongst the males in these groups. They introduce themselves as "genuine nudists", "looking to meet like minded individuals" as "their partners and families aren't into and don't know about it". This sentence might seem genuine but too me, this is a major red flag and I think it is really just a way of saying, I'm a horny guy looking to meet naked girls! Let me explain why.
The major reason for why this is a red flag for me is this; why does the enjoyment of being naked in nature need a label? Being naked, skinny dipping, feeling the sun on our bare skin is HUMAN! It doesn't make you a NUDIST. It just means we enjoy the the feeling of the earth's natural elements on our bodies. This does not need a label. Societies stereotyping and perversion have given it a label. The people I've met since I have started GNA whom are the most genuine down to earth people who just love being naked in nature are the ones that don't give themselves a label of being a nudist. I understand that this might be a generalisation and there are a lot of genuine people just trying to find their way amongst the shit, but no one can deny it. Delving further into these groups, you look at the ratio of people involved; a 90:10 ratio of males to females is generally the norm. I wonder why there are so many males there? Do men just enjoy being more human than females? Do men enjoy the elements on their bodies, or the outdoors more than females do??? No. It's because the females feel uncomfortable and unsafe. This is a HUGE problem.
I am friends with a number of females whom have been administrators of such groups. Until they post that they are going down to the nude beach for a swim, and 65 male members message them asking for more details so they can come too. Sounds pretty appealing yeah? Some of these groups start out with the best of intentions, but creeps weasel their way in. It even gets to the point where administrators and leaders defend actions of the clearly creepy people. "Oh don't mind old mate John, he occasionally messages females inappropriately and will occasionally whack off behind them when they're sunbaking at the beach, but once you get to know him he's a really nice guy." What, the, hell.
The problem gets worse. Google Australian Nudists. Or Australian Nude Beaches. What comes up? A few genuine informative pages (which need a serious makeover btw, but that's one of our future projects) and the rest of it is PORN. Worse yet, go into google images. WTF!? It's no wonder any young person gets put off. Australian culture has hijacked a genuine movement which has stemmed from Europe and made it into a perversion. Australians already have enough of a body shaming culture to deal with. It is devastating to hear when someone works up the courage to go to a nude beach for the first time and really step out of their comfort zone and instead of feeling that complete empowerment, they get bombarded by creepy beach lurkers.
This blog is likely to offend a lot of people. Good. Offence needs to be taken to evoke change. If you are a genuine person, you need not be offended. But the naturism, naked in nature, nudist culture or whatever the hell you wanna call it has been stolen. It's been stolen by the lonely horny men, the truely creepy perverts and the swingers as a way to see naked girls. It's downright disgusting and it needs to change.
I sat down and thought about it. Is it worth continually fighting it? We don't make money off GNA and have been criticised for selling our hats as merchandise. All this time, effort and negatativity for what? Someone once told me that no matter where you are, there are good people everywhere. I thought back to all of the positive messages I've received from the people that have gotten involved in the GNA movement. It is worth it. If all this time makes one person feel better about their image, it has the power to change their lives, so of course it is worth it!!! The GNA social media outlets have a combined total of 250,000 followers. Lets round up and say 100,000 of those are there to look at girls bums (sorry guys, I can't live on my phone and block them all)... that's still 150,000 people who genuinely love what we do. That's enough to make some serious change in this country and take back naturism to it's core values.
So today we've decided that we are going to clean up Australian Naturism. To do this we will explore in more detail the other barriers that are preventing people from getting involved, as well as brainstorm solutions on how to overcome these barriers as well as work out a way to tackle to perverts, and get rid of them once from our nude venues.
This cannot happen without your help, so please if you agree with whats been said, please SHARE it. Talk about GNA, tell people what its about, spread the word, because collectively we can change the way Australians see the naked body and more and more people can join in on the fun!