Bare Facts, Part One

Revealing antics from Sandstone

Many children go through a period when they are afraid of the dark. It stops the moment they realize that it’s merely daytime with the light missing. Nudity is merely life with the clothes missing.

Our modesty is one area where our minds are way ahead of our hearts. We tacitly agree that every cell in our body contains the full set of genetic code for our journey from a fertilized egg to a bewhiskered octogenarian. That means, oddly enough, that our genitals contain the genetic blueprint for our brains, our eyes, and our lungs. Likewise every neuron in our brain contains the genetic blueprint for our most intimate nether regions. Feeling uncomfortable thinking about that? Perhaps I’d best not mention where the blood supplying your brain was five minutes ago. Yes, there are legitimate practical and cultural reasons for wearing clothes, but dividing the body into naughty and nice zones ain’t one of them!

Dividing up the body into public and private areas is a cultural thing. You can shake a Muslim’s hand when you meet him but not slap his back. 19th century women were loose if they showed a man their ankle. It isn’t a sensitivity they were born with, for as we all know toddlers have no conception of private areas. Once I saw one of the neighbors’ kids escape from a bath and send his two-year-old birthday suit into public exhibition with his exasperated mother in hot pursuit.

For most, experiencing nudity for the first time feels awkward—as if you had too few clothes or too much anatomy. Oddly enough, the feeling of missing something even extends to wearing contact lenses for the first time while you periodically try to adjust glasses that aren’t there. It’s natural to feel vulnerable and self-conscious without our armor on, wondering if we measure up to the others. Habits, conditioning and learning are a program that over a little time we can become comfortable with. For the ones growing up in a family where nudity was accepted, they were comfortable at Sandstone (from the beginning) as ducks in water.

To be continued…

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