hiking the Appalachian trail in Vermont… as nature intended

Active Naturists

naturist 0004 Appalachian trail, Vermont, USA

Although the US has a fame for being a prude country, there are some local exceptions, and Vermont is one of them: there is no state law against public nudity (though there is one against disrobing in public :D) And with all those green mountains around (just think of the state’s name etymology), it’s a perfect destination for naturists!

My long-time pen pal Ed organizes an  annual summer solstice naked hike in Vermont, and though I could never make it for this group hike itself, I went on the same route with Ed and another friend, Matt, just later in summer (mid-August).

naturist 0000 Appalachian trail, Vermont, USA

The route includes a part of the famous Appalachian trail, so you’d expect a few fellow hikers, but it’s great to have the law on your side – just make sure to leave your car naked, and you don’t need to hide!-)

naturist 0003 Appalachian trail, Vermont, USA

Shortly after the trailhead, we…

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Nudity makes us human, Paris Jackson says

Article courtesy http://www.bbc.co.uk

Paris Jackson has a message for her 1.4 million followers on Instagram – nudity is natural and “part of what makes us human”.

The model and only daughter of the late pop superstar Michael Jackson had earlier been criticised for posting a photo of herself lying in the sun topless alongside her dog – using a pair of strategically placed beetle emojis to cover her nipples.

That post appears to have later been deleted. But Paris, 19, later posted another picture of herself – this time topless and smoking, in black and white – alongside a long message hitting out at critics.

Nudism “started as a movement for ‘going back to nature’,” she wrote, “and was even called a philosophy”. It helps her connect to the earth and is a “beautiful thing” that does not have to be seen as sexual, she said.

“Feminism is being able to express yourself in your own way, whether it’s being conservative and wearing lots of clothes or showing yourself.”

She continued: “The human body is a beautiful thing and no matter what ‘flaws’ you have, whether it be scars, or extra weight, stretch marks, freckles, whatever, it is beautiful and you should express yourself however you feel comfortable.

“If this makes some of you upset i completely understand and i encourage you to maybe no longer follow me, but i cannot apologize for this in any way. it is who i am and i refuse to shy away and keep my beliefs a secret.”

Paris Jackson has recently been in the spotlight, after having reportedly signed a seven-figure deal to be the face of Calvin Klein. She recently attended the Met Gala in New York as a guest of the brand and will also appear in an upcoming Amazon Studios film alongside David Oyelowo, Amanda Seyfried and Charlize Theron, Deadline reports.

Article courtesy of http://www.bbc.co.uk

Photos Reuters/ Paris Jackson/ Instagram


My middle-aged voyage into nudism

By Mark Time (from an article courtesy of http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Reaching my 40’s I’m proud to have recently chalked off two highly important items from my bucket list:

Buy a chainsaw

Go nude sunbathing

(I’ve noted to keep both activities separate._

If nudism was good enough for the Royal Marines and the Spartans, it’s surely good enough for me – even if my once toned stomach now looks like 3kg bag of Nadine potatoes.

Such self-consciousness forced me to dabble in nudism in a land not of my own. I chose Croatia, where both naturism and nudism (there is a difference) are common and the weather is warmer. Both are important to a dilettante.

The island of Lokrum lies off the coast of Dubrovnik. Famed for being the place where Richard The Lionheart was shipwrecked and its nudist beach, I chose it as the perfect place to get my kit off for the very first time and an unlikely spot to run into my old English teacher, Mrs Berry.

I watch people board the island’s ferry to highlight any potential fellow nudists. None are distinct – but then I suppose that’s the whole point. Nudity peels away society’s labels. It’s a great leveller against the deference of class, wealth, and occupation. Even the destitute can afford to be naked.

Upon landing I follow a forlorn sign, but it heralds only a maze of paths and an absence of further signs. I chance my arm at the next limestone beach. Surely the nakedness of its inhabitants will signify its use? It’s deserted. What if I strip and it isn’t a nudist beach? What if it’s a designated area of special scientific interest where schoolkids come to learn about the limestone crops I now stand frozen upon?

I find a spot, brazenly near the showers but timidly out of sight for anyone peering from the walkway. I scan for voyeurs. I throw off my footwear and before I can back out of this exercise in self-doubt, in one swift movement remove my shorts. I am now naked. In public.

The caress of air upon unfamiliar regions is strangely pleasing and any embarrassment I fear is noticeable in its absence. I feel liberated and at one with my surroundings. Perhaps I’m a natural at naturism?

Alone as the king of my own private world, my normal luck prevails when a tourist boat chugs by. Apparently I’m far more interesting than what can be viewed through the glass bottom. A crew of voyeurs hoot and holler like football fans as I stand proudly with my meat and two veg in plain view. It’s strange but I feel a kind of headmaster’s scorn for their childish behaviour. Nor do I feel self-conscious hidden behind my sunglasses, I’m more worried of breaking nudist etiquette by wearing them.

I stand boldly on the limestone cliff, contemplating an ageless world over the azure sea. I feel primordial. I’m a caveman with a smart phone.

My confidence soon withers upon hearing people approach. Stay calm, don’t cover up, but don’t stand like a super hero either. I lie on my front and try to relax while reading Bukowski. I say hello to a group of ladies as coolly as I can while my scrotum is squashed on a rapidly heating patch of limestone.

“Nudity peels away society’s labels. It’s a great leveller against the deference of class, wealth, and occupation”

Mark Time

They disrobe adjacent to where I sit. A whole beach awaits, yet one woman lies with her legs spread so close to me that I could be mistaken for her midwife. Where do I look? While I veer uncomfortably from my natural gaze, will my natural voyeurism, borne from people watching in the name of literature, and a crooked neck, cause me to peer longingly at her overt genitalia?

I’m trying to be adult about my unwanted predicament. Claiming naturism enhances sexual titillation is a natural misconception and I feel no arousal for those around me. No matter how attractive the naked woman sitting five metres away is, she cannot look sexy while eating an egg sandwich. So if there is nothing sexual about this, why, when I stand up, do I suck in my belly – is it the naked equivalent of straightening my tie?

One of the ladies motions to me by holding out a plum. It may seem a comical metaphor; it is a polite invitation to join them. We don’t discuss jobs, nor families; we are satisfyingly bereft of identity. We chat, we share food, and we are naked. I feel totally at ease and why shouldn’t I? It’s the most natural thing in the world.

Mark Time is an adventurer and the author of the ‘Bootneck Threesome’ series

Article courtesy http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Photos credit Alamy