I hope that you’re naked while reading this. It’s Sunday Morning, you’re at home, relaxing, you rolled over just to read the Jet Set Weekly, why not be naked? More on that later. When people ask about what influenced me to perform burlesque, I have a stock answer. “I grew up in a naked house that was filled with all sorts of music”, I tell them. My parents weren’t nudists. But, they certainly didn’t shy away from being nude. My Pop would often walk from the shower to the bedroom whilst drying off his nuts. Nudity was never a weird thing. We were never conditioned to be ashamed of our bodies. Our parents always made sure that we felt loved and when I was teased by other kids my age because of my dark skin or big nose, my Mom taught me the mantra of “Fuck ’em!” We (my brother and I) have always been secure about our looks whether clothed or not. It’s for that reason that I enjoy being naked. Sometimes that enjoyment takes the form of my being 90% naked on a burlesque stage or 100% naked at home (within 10 minutes of closing the door behind me).
The most magical time for nudity is during an event I created called Naked Camp. In August 2012, I took a solo trip up to Harbin Hot Springs to just be naked and alone for my birthday. I couldn’t imagine a better way to clear my head and reset my spirit. By the time the trip had ended, I decided that the next year I’d go with friends. I put some feelers out (i.e. I posted a FB status update) and three friends got on board to travel with me. One of them suggested a different (less popular, family-owned) hot spring getaway. So, the four of us went there instead. (Don’t worry about where “there” is, just know that it shall be referred to as “Naked Camp” for the remainder of this post.) I’ve gone to Naked Camp with a revolving cast of friends on three separate trips now. I’ve created some rules (for lack of a better word) to ensure that Naked Camp is still the peaceful reset button that I seek. To avoid derailing this post, I won’t list all of the rules. But, I will list the rule that was the catalyst for this post. No never nudes allowed. On one of our trips, Naked Camp 2, there was a never nude wearing a sun dress and a sweater. Let me be clear, at a clothing optional resort someone wore a dress AND a goddamned sweater… in AUGUST… in (inland) California where the average temperature is 89+ in the shade. Do I even need to type W-T-F or have you already said it out loud? Well, we were all annoyed at the never-nude throwing off the vibe of everyone else’s nudity.
It’s worth mentioning… For those of you unfamiliar with the pop culture reference, a never nude is (and this is the distilled definition) an insecure person. Now, before any Psychologists (amateur or professional) get up in arms, I’d like to acknowledge that never nudity is an actual phobia by the name of Gymnophobia (not to be confused with Gynophobia-talk about derailing a post with a typo). Now that you’re up to speed on never nudity, back to the post.
There are clothing optional beaches here in California that are open to the public. Many people frequent these sands and enjoy the ocean with/without clothes and no one gives a shit. Then there are private resorts that require a reservation and a fee to gain access to a safe place where one can be naked and not have to worry about the oddballs (e.g. public wankers). That’s the beauty of Naked Camp, we can make a reservation and pay a fee to be free in this space. That begs the question, why would you pay the money (the place ain’t cheap) and drive the distance (very few people live near Naked Camp) to arrive at a clothing optional resort only to wear a muhfuckin sweater!? Why?
Well, there’s a good chance that the person has some sort of anxiety over sexuality and their own physical appearance. The truth is, they could have a 3-page list of shit that causes anxiety. Hell, their Therapist may have even recommended they visit a Naked Camp in order to conquer their phobia. Well, I’m sorry, I didn’t volunteer to be a part of your healing process. Go and be clothed elsewhere. “Jet, you’re being a dick, what about compassion for those that are healing!?” Everyone at Naked Camp is healing. I don’t want to see you bundled up in a sweater at Naked Camp anymore than you want to see my wang hanging free in a Safeway. San Francisco recently banned public nudity. No problem, “we’ll go to a Naked Camp”, say the nudists. While I understand the difference between clothing optional resorts and nudist colonies, I’d like to invite all never nudes to turn their Gymnophobic asses around and go home! That means you, Bro in the Gap shorts. A comedian (I think it was George Wallace?) once joked about catching a handicapped person parking in one of “our” spots and then kicking his ass because of it. A never nude has the best options possible for laying next to water (you read that right, many of the never nudes don’t even get into the goddamned hot springs they drove so far to reach). So, with all of those clothing required options, why come to my church?
This post was fueled by the rage at reading the following article on the Bold Italic. To be clear, the article wasn’t intended to make anyone angry. But, I was annoyed that such an article even needed to be written. This post is my response to that article. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Vichy [Springs] proprietor Gilbert Ashoff offered this empowering never nude mantra for hot springs resorts: “One is no closer to nirvana with or without a bathing suit.” Vichy requires bathing suits.”
So, if you’re reading this (and you’re a never nude), head to Vichy Springs. They require a bathing suit and they also like to use Jack London as a marketing tool (apparently he considered Vichy to be his favorite). So, Jack London was a racist and a never nude!? Huh! Now, there are two reasons that we’ll never hold Naked Camp at Vichy Springs.
Why am I so passionate about this? How does it effect me? I spend the majority of my working life reassuring people that they are beautiful and unique fucking snowflakes. Society has conditioned most of us to believe that we’re not spectacular specimens of human sexiness. So, as a Fitness Coach, I spend a lot of emotional energy trying to correct that. I’m able to recognize insecurities in other people and it’s a fucking drag. What’s the one thing that no one wants to be reminded of during their decompression/downtime? The emotionally heavy aspect of their career. That’s how it effects me. It effects my friends in other ways.
For the trans community that goes to Naked Camp to have the freedom of nudity that they can’t even experience on the clothing optional beaches, “Never Nudes Go Home!”
For the ladies that don’t want to be stared at by the jackass wearing cargo shorts, “Never Nudes Go Home!”
For those of us that don’t want to overhear you whispering (loudly) about our tattoos and piercings, “Never Nudes Go Home!”
I challenge myself (daily) to have compassion for all people, but not every place is for everybody. Never nudes (hopefully) haven’t been forced to be in a clothing optional resort. Never nudes, it’s easier for the rest of us to have compassion for your condition if you don’t paint yourself into an uncomfortably nude corner. Never nudes, go home.
The Necessity Of Nudity In The Now
In August (on the 20th), I’ll be performing in my first all nude show. That’s right, the full monty will happen on a stage in San Francisco. Stay tuned for more details on that. In the meanwhile…
Upcoming Burlesque Performances
Monday, July 6 – Hubba Hubba Revue @ DNA Lounge in San Francisco
Friday, July 10 – Hubba Hubba Revue @ DNA Lounge in San Francisco
Friday, August 14 – Hubba Hubba Revue @ DNA Lounge in San Francisco
Fitness Classes [Find me on the schedule at Studiomix, in San Francisco]
Studio Road Ride @ 5:45PM
TRX Bodyweight Burn @ 7:15PM
Studio Road Ride @ 7:00AM
Tabata Cross @ 5:45PM
Cross Mix @ 8:00PM
Studio Road Ride @ 6:15AM
Tabata Cross @ 8:30AM