Naked bodies and no sex

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Rachael Bayuk

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We all start our journey into this world absent of clothing, wailing and writhing. The nakedness we experienced then is not unlike the nakedness we experience after a shower.

The naked form has been socially sexualized beyond repair. Young girl’s shoulders are sexual objects on school grounds. Bare skin is instantly associated with promiscuous activity.

But our nakedness is not inherently sexual. Nakedness is vulnerability. It is also summer heat, relaxation and freedom.

Bare skin isn’t a whispered hint or even a yelled suggestion. The body is a tool, and nakedness is simply a state of being.

Sex is a consensual act, not necessarily always done in full nakedness. No situation can be sexual without consent.

Situations besides sex that people often do naked: showering, cooking breakfast, binge-watching a favorite show, yoga, sleeping, reading a book. None of these things are sexual, yet all of them can be done naked.

There are entire groups who dedicate their social lives to proving that nakedness doesn’t equal sex. “Nudists,” as they are commonly called, are often thought of as freaks.

Cultures around the globe view nakedness as normal and, often, as an easier way to live.

It is our western culture that defines our reaction to bare skin. Long-standing religions have influence over how we treat the human body.

I urge you to consider the last time you were naked, was it a sexual encounter? Or was it getting dressed? Or are you naked right now while reading this?

Nakedness doesn’t equal sex, and nakedness shouldn’t equal shame either.

Rachael Bayuk can be reached at[email protected] or @BayukRachael on Twitter.

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