The Blog of Daniel

Just my place to write without any delusions of self-importance.

Naked Etiquette

On the return trip from my sisters place my mother asked if I was upset about her admonishing me about my "nudity" there.  To tell the truth, yep, I was upset and we discussed it at length.  One of the major discussion points was about the existence of etiquette and if I knew what it was.  I've been around long enough to know what manners and etiquette are.

To some people etiquette means not doing anything to insult anyone anywhere.  What one person calls common courtesy another person may call political correctness.  I call it subjective morality.

My sister's resort is not a clothing optional resort so I made it a point to ask her if it was going to be a problem if I was nude at times while there.  Mind you that I did not intend to run around everywhere nude, but would do so when in private.  She stated that nudity doesn't bother her at all.  It was also related to me that when one prospective guest called for reservations and asked if nudity was acceptable, the response was "my brother is nude down by river right now" or something to that effect.

For those times when others were around, I wore either an extra-large t-shirt or a wrap around sarong so as to protect those who believe they are allergic to the site of a human body.

Toward the very end of my stay there both my mom and sister brought up the issue that one of the permanent guests -- who was raised as an upstanding catholic -- may have been offended by my attire.  Apparently, since I'm a male and I am not accustomed to sitting like a girl in a communion dress, if one were to watch me long and intently enough, they might see my penis underneath my garment.  To make things even more traumatic, the longer or more often one looks, the more they see it.  It's a Where ever you go, there you are kinda thing.

Getting back to etiquette, the obvious thing was missed.  I did not go to this persons home, pull up my shirt, and make a formal introduction of "Jill, this is my penis...  Penis, this is Jill..."  This person was at my cabin.  She was the guest.  Actually, she was the guest of a guest.  When a guest is offended by the actions of their host, they have the option of staying or leaving.  Had I been at her home and booze and doobage appeared, I would have politely excused myself.  A guest can also ask the host to cease the offensive behavior, but that is usually considered to be rude.  When in Rome, do as the Romans do, otherwise be quiet and go to France and protest.

The other issue raised had to do with my 6 year old niece seeing me nude.

The first time this happened I was asleep on the couch while they were away in town shopping.  I woke up to her saying "Gramma, Uncle Danny is naked on the couch!"  I was polite, I got up and put a long t-shirt on without saying a word.

The next day I had just got out of the shower and was in my bedroom looking for a shirt to wear; the door was open and my niece walked in and instantly started talking about the rocks she found by the river.  Everyone was painting rocks the last few days.  She didn't appear to notice or care that I had no clothes on.

There are a couple things I could have done in this situation.  Note that my use of the word ?situation?  is for others, not myself, since it's use implies that a notable event is taking place.  I do not consider not doing something; as in not wearing clothes; to be eventful.

I could have quickly grabbed something and covered myself, but this sends the message that I am doing "something bad."

I could have done what the typical adult does and scream at her telling her to get out, but this sends her the message that she did something bad.

Instead, I did what an intelligent adult would do, I asked about her about the rocks while I finished looking for a shirt to wear.  I put it on and we walked out to look at her cool rocks.  For me to do anything else would have been traumatic, if not abusive in nature, toward her.

What concerned my mom the most is that a few times while I was sitting nude on a lounge couch under a tree just above the river my niece came down and sat on the other side of the couch and talked to me.  We talked of more rocks, fishes, frogs and flowers.  She also asked which do I like better...  to be called Uncle Dan, Uncle Danny, or Uncle Daniel.  Again, she didn't seem to notice or care that I was nude.  What she did do -- what most nudists naturally tend to do -- was make more eye contact when talking.

I've brought the eye contact issue up with others in the past and some conclude that the person makes more eye contact as a conscience effort to avoid looking at a persons body.  Human psychology doesn't usually work that way.  When a person is uncomfortable with nudity, they tend to look completely away from the person; they avert their eyes entirely from the person.  What is really happening is that when a person is nude, the face and eyes are restored to being the most communicative and interesting thing to look at on a person.

Mom noted that my niece mentioned my nudity a couple of times so obviously this was exciting/titillating for a little girl to see.  Hearing that is what upset me.  My niece was not shocked, excited, or titillated; she was doing as any child does; in fact she was doing what most adults do; she was amused by something out of the ordinary.  This is very psychology of humor.  People are instinctively amused by abstractions of perceived normalcy.  At the end of the week, it was proven again when my niece giggled and pointed and said "Gramma, Uncle Danny has clothes on!"

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