Non-sexual Nudity

I live on a tropical island. It’s summer. I live by myself. I refuse to use the air-conditioner. What do you think I’m wearing right now?

Correct answer: nothing.

Some people might think that is too much information. I don’t think it is.

My present nudity has nothing to do with sex. It is an entirely practical decision, and I suspect you would make the same choice under the circumstances.

But the defining circumstance is that I am alone, not the temperature. When I lived in California, it was not too cold, and I truly felt safe in my privacy, I would also go nude. I find it liberating to feel so secure, with both myself and my environment, that I do not need my clothes to shield me (unlike at work).

People often assume that nudity is always sexual. But it is not. Two other examples: in the Dutch film Character there is a nude scene which seems completely non-sexual to me, and I know the people who created the Nude Revolutionary Calendar said that it was intended to be non-erotic.

In Taiwan, there are hot springs where people of all genders use the same pools and wear swimsuits, and there are hot springs which are gender segregated and everybody is naked (by gender-segregated, I mean there are only baths for ‘females’ and ‘males’ … the people who set up these hot springs do not seem to think about genderqueer people at all).

Most of the younger Taiwanese women I know say they only go to hot springs where people wear swimsuits, because they are not comfortable with other people seeing their naked bodies, even if it’s just women. I … actually feel the opposite. For one thing, I would have to buy or borrow a swimsuit (I don’t have one with me in Taiwan right now), which would be a hassle. However, the main reason is I like being in a place where it’s okay to be with other people without clothes. We do not need to hide ourselves from each other, we can just be as nature made us. And I really do not mind having a group of Taiwanese women see me naked.

I know that the situation would be different if I did not have cis-privilege … for the record, if I could be 99% certain that the men would not act like jerks, I’d be okay with a nude mixed-gender hot spring bath too. Unfortunately, due to rape culture, I do not trust men not to act like jerks.

I’m not saying that I want to be nude all the time – I most certainly do not – but I think it would be better to divorce nudity from sexuality. Clothing can be sexy; so why can’t nudity be asexy?

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