Winter Bare

Winter Bare
Bare Stare and totally relaxed!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Who's Naked? Who's Nude?





The eternal question: who's naked and who's nude? Of the three gentlemen pictured clothes-free above, which do you believe are naked? (Please note: the man pictured in images #1 and #3 is the same). Which do you believe to be nude? If you honestly think there is no difference between being naked or being nude, please think again. Then read the poem by Robert Graves below. This poem was written just before Graves was killed by the Germans during the Great War (World War I). It was published posthumously in about 1920. The distinction between naked and nude has been asked for at least the past 100 years. Graves' work affords us a glimpse into his thoughts on the difference between being naked and being nude.

The Naked And The Nude
by Robert Graves

For me, the naked and the nude
(by lexicographers construed 
as synonyms that should express
the same deficiency of dress
or shelter) stand as wide apart
as love from lies, or truth from art.

Lovers without reproach will gaze
On bodies naked and ablaze;
The Hippocratic eye will see
In nakedness, anatomy;
And naked shines the Goddess when
She mounts her lion among men.

The nude are bold, the nude are sly
To hold each treasonable eye.
While draping by a showman's trick
Their dishabille in rhetoric,
They grin a mock-religious grin
Of scorn at those of naked skin.

The naked, therefore, who compete
Against the nude may know defeat;
Yet when they both together tread
The briary pastures of the dead,
By Gorgons with long whips pursued,
How naked go the sometime nude!


In the poem, Graves obviously thinks of nude as being nobler, higher and by far better than being naked. It's as though he sees naked as the same as being vulnerable or a sign of weakness and nude as being desirable and gallant. In respect to the above images of three different clothes-free men, #1 and #3 are both nude. The dudes in #2 and #4 are naked. The man in the duplicated pictures in unconcerned about being clothes-free. The two dudes in the other photos are clearly apprehensive and are trying to conceal their nakedness (at least, their penises). 

The fact that he composed a poem on the theme of nude versus naked leads me to believe that Graves, himself, probably appreciated life being clothes-free whenever possible. 


Using the above poem as the point of reference, review your decisions on who's naked and who's nude in photographs 1 - 4 (above). Did any of your determinations change after reading the poem? 

I have no way of knowing whether the author of the poem above, Robert Graves, was a practicing naturist/nudist during his lifetime. In the several biographical sketches that I've read, that piece of information is blatantly missing. Also absent is any reference as to whether he was same gender loving or not. 


Author's Note:

For the purposes of this post for Guys Without Boxers: Bare With Pride, the following definitions are applicable:

Naked: adjective- having no clothes on the body

Nude: adjective- having no clothing; permitting or featuring full exposure of the body

Nudism: noun- the belief in or practice of going nude, especially in secluded, sexually mixed groups for reasons of health or preference

Nudi-: prefix- naked, bare

Bare: adjective- lacking the usual or appropriate covering or clothing, naked; exposed to view, undisguised



As a blogger who considers himself a member of both the same gender loving and naturist/nudist communities, I use all the terms listed above interchangeably and think of them as synonymous (meaning the same). In addition, I frequently employ the words terms bare, clothes-free, unclothed and nudity (and others) to refer to a person who is undressed or not wearing any garment to conceal his body. This is entirely my choice and not any official mandate by a recognized naturist/nudist authority (if such even exists). Similar to the practice of Mr. Robert Graves in his poem, The Naked And The Nude (above), I tend to believe the adjective, nude, denotes a person who is reasonably proud of his/her nudity (nakedness).     

I tend to think of the above man as naked. He's completely exposed to view except that he's covering his genitalia. Whether he's just naturally shy or somewhat ashamed over his nudity, I have no way of knowing. I'm inclined to consider him shy as he maintains direct eye-contact with the camera (photographer) and in no way appears embarrassed by his absence of any covering save his socks.  

Another possibility for his discretion may be his insecurity over the size of his penis. Some men are uncomfortable fearing the dimensions of their masculinity are judged solely on the physical proportions of their penis (cock, dick, junk, etc.). Of course, most of us, as gay men, understand that the two are in no way related. I'm inclined to disregard this as the reason for his modesty because his facial expression is one of confidence as opposed to apprehension.  

In the picture featured above, I interpret this nude dude as being just that: nude. His pose and demeanor exude nothing safe assurance and total confidence surrounding his bareness or his nudity. He's comfortable and apparently has no concern being viewed with his entire body exposed for all to see. He seems accepting of his body as it is and makes no effort to disguise any feature. 

His facial expression displays an air of friendliness, playfulness and relaxation. He appears to be unaware of the fact that although he's being photographed, total strangers will be viewing his bare and exposed body. It looks as if he has no care in his life; being nude is no different than wearing clothes. Evidently, there is no body shame associated with his being nude!  

Continuing with the above reasoning, the nude dude in the photograph above has no body-shame or any modesty (shyness). If anything, his finger-wagging may only indicate the fact that he's camera-shy (doesn't like having his picture taken). After all, he's making no effort to conceal or hide his genitals. Instead, he's smiling happily to the photographer. He's proudly nude and it isn't an issue. 

Another interpretation on the scene above is that the subject, upon seeing the photographer taking his picture, may have raised his index finger in a friendly salute. Either way, he senses nothing wrong with being captured on film without clothes. 

Ultimately, at the end of the day, it matters little to most naturists/nudists whether others think of us as naked or nude. For the majority of us, what's important is that we are able to enjoy ourselves, in the company of our family and friends, without the hassles of wearing clothes. We prefer the freedom of being us in our own skin. How others identify us is as immaterial as a shirt. 

Our nudity, be it perceived as us being naked, nude, bare, clothes-free or whatever, makes us all transparent. This transparency enables all others, regardless of their state of being dressed (clothed, textile) or undressed (without clothing), to see our physical essence (body) as it really is, unhampered by the superficial affectations of garments. This affords us, the naturist/nudist, the virtue of living life honestly and openly. We don't need the artificial material trappings of fashion, accessories, or adornment to present ourselves as someone or something that we're not. We leave such pretensions  to others. We live proudly as the men we truly are.     

Labels are used by society to describe us and our place within the many cultures and communities that constitute the larger society-as-a-whole. We, as individuals, use these labels to self-identify and to forge relationships with others within society's framework of numerous cultures and communities. We similarly employ labels when attempting to describe someone to persons unfamiliar with him. 

Labels become derogatory and offensive when they are used to discriminate. marginalize or stereotype someone or a group of similar men. For this reason, many, understandably, reject and resent being classified or identified by labels.  

However you may describe or identify yourself when completely undressed, it's most important for us all to be the man that we truly are. We are all the man inside our skin, not the clothing that conceals us!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Bare With Pride

1 comment:

Rashad Meekins said...

Cool poem about the differences between naked and nude. Great images, Roger. A very informative article, buddy! Stay bare and proud, dude!