Au Naturel

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The previous post sought to explain a little bit how our tendency to train naked came about. “It’s all about your body and what it can do…” and all that. And, for guys who take pride in working out to get that body in the first place, wanting to show it off – shirtless at the very least – is obvious.

I was therefore amused by a piece in a newspaper (British one, inevitably) about nudism in France. The leading European nation for promoting nudism and nudist vacations, apparently. Contrast the prudery in the US (guys even swim in tee shirts here) – no, never mind: let’s not go down that route for the time being.

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Four million people take naked vacations in France every year. Germans, with their Frei Korper Kultur, top the bill, followed by the Dutch (famed for their naked mixed-sex swimming pools) and then the Brits.

The charter for the main resort demands that holidaymakers “respect nudity whenever the weather permits” and stipulates that “personal cleanliness is compulsory”. I’m with him 100% on that one – who wants to sit on a gym bench that has what we euphemistically call ‘skid marks’?

‘Weather permitting’, for their spokesman, appears to be 21C (70F) or above. We’re cool (sorry, ‘kewl’) shirtless at much lower temperature than that – but once in a gym training weights or acrobatics, the sweat starts to emerge and, even if the air temperature is much colder, the body temperature screams out for shirtlessness or less.

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The same spokesman is keen to differentiate between ‘naturists’ and ‘nudists’. “Nudists go naked only to avoid a tan line and rarely picked up any litter (sic!). Naturists, on the other hand, are ecologically minded folk who prefer family holidays…”

Not sure we truly fit either, then, although as a family (gay mums, gay dads, straight kids), we have all grown up together (!) with a ‘minimalist’ view on clothing. Nakedness for sport appears to be category that the spokesman, M. Leclerc, has overlooked. Yet I recall posting a picture of a group of naked French guys in a gym, preparing for volleyball I think it was, as if it was perfectly natural to play sport that way. As it is – or was in ancient Greek times anyway. That’s ‘gymnastics’ for you – “the naked art”. It didn’t mean gymnastics as we know it today – that was athletics, discus, javelin, wrestling – but it is an excuse now to present some gymnastics pictures for your enjoyment…

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pommel dude

 

Read all about it!

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

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About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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One Response to Au Naturel

  1. Platinumboy says:

    I was born in 1964 and grew up on the West Side of Chicago. (Yes, Mob bosses lived nearby and literally on the same street.) My dad was born in 1901. His Dad was first generation German American while his Mom was born in Germany. We lived in an area largely populated by people of Central European extraction (tons of white-headed males and females!) Dad always slept naked. Mom never did. Eventually I did and still do. Dad retired when I was 9. Prior to that, I rarely saw Dad naked, but as he grew older (70’s/80’s), he cared less who saw him naked. I slept all night, but my sister and one of my brothers (older) say it was not unusual to arrive home after midnight to find Dad naked in his chair smoking a cigarette. Dad had been a competitive swimmer in High School and a mail carrier from 1929-1959. Though Dad was far from a fitness freak, he was a walker who never owned a car after 1929 and had a pretty decent physique (though no Jack La laine) for an 80-year-old man! By the way, I’d occasionally get caught by my Mother and scolded for sneaking into the backyard after dark stark naked!)

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