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Dr. Leisure's Nude News


Nudity an Issue?

It has to be strange that being nude can be a legal issue. Yet for some it is a burning and compelling issue that the human body be covered in some way. Actually if one thinks about the issue it is really one of power. People want power over others. Some individuals have such low self esteem and so little understanding of who or what they are that they believe that imposing dress on someone else is an act with significant moral consequences. They feel that if they can impose this value which they have on someone else that they will have achieved greater status and power in the community. They will be somebody.

It has to be amusing to see the lengths that some people will go to dictate the covering of someone else's body. A body that come's in basically two major designs, with countless variations on the basic themes conveniently designated as male and female.

To most of us the matter of being nude or not nude is a non issue. Yet we are curious about what is happening to others. Certainly it is amusing to hear that police are sneaking around sand dunes to capture sleeping naked maidens in the Florida sun. Obviously it is not amusing to the person arrested.

Like it or not it seems that Dr. Leisure has become of champion of the individuals right to be an individual. Part of that right seems to be the right to be nude. (Someone made the statement that if God had wanted us to be nude we would have been born that way! How profound!) Dr. Leisure is being frequently called in to testify on behalf of those arrested for being nude or in some cases even partially nude, i.e. females with exposed breasts.

This column will be updated from time to time as Dr. Leisure becomes aware of situations where people are being hassled about being a nude human being. The situation may be at the beach, in a public park, or even in the privacy of one's own home. As they say truth is stranger than fiction. Believe me there is a lot of strange things going on out there!

It appears to Dr. Leisure that one can make some significant general observations about the overall quality of the nations values and beliefs by how we deal with our own humanity, which includes being nude. In most cultures, and indeed in the Bible, nudity is not an issue. It is a state of being. The most fundamental of such possible states. The state in which we are all presented to the world.

Readers are encouraged to submit news clippings or other verifiable accounts of how simple nudity is dealt with across the country. Some of the material will be passed on in this column. Send your information to Dr Leisure, P.O. Box 1137, Kihei, Maui, HI 96753 (that is on the island of Maui).

Your views or comments on material in this column is solicited and appreciated.

Dr. Leisure September, 1996

A Behind the Scenes Look at Tennessee's Nudity Law

A year or so ago the state of Tennessee adopted a law making mere nudity in some cases a violation of law. This was a rather strange occurrence since most states have long since moved away from laws which make nudity a criminal offense. (Only three states Indiana, New York and North Carolina seem to get upset with simple nudity the rest deal with nudity only in association with some lewd behavior.)

Nudist resort owners within the state were understandably fearful of a law that would make mere nudity illegal. Such a law would effect their livelihood.

Necessarily they lobbied and obtained provisions within the law that exempted nude resorts. Although the law would impact nudity on nude beaches the resort owners were willing to overlook that issue and let the free beach users fight for that right.

Against this background comes along a rather unique situation. A nudist couple gets a divorce. Between the two they have a female child about seven or eight. The mother decides that she doesn't want her daughter going to nudist resorts with her father. She initiates actions against the father in court. These fail.

Undaunted she turns to her state representative. She successfully gets the legislature to pass a law making it illegal for a non- custodial parent to take son or daughter to a nudist resort.

The final ironies of this maneuvering is that the father in this case has joint custody and the law does not apply to him and his daughter. The law however does impact the nudist resort owner that had chosen not to challenge the state nudity law since it exempted nude resorts. Now that nude resort owner must fight the child custody law in court or be dragged into court for breaking another law related to nudity. Is this the serpent within the garden of Eden biting the nudist in the ass? Or what?

Let us talk about the underlying paranoia that is driving the legislature. It is the unfounded belief that children being nude in the presence of nude adults is somehow child abuse and goes hand in hand with child pornography.

State law makers all want to do the right thing. But somehow they have lost site of some basic facts of life. Namely the natural state of the human animal is nude. In the context of the family unit, or its extension (the nude resort, community or the nude beach etc.) it is an unalienable right protected by a variety of provisions associated with our constitution and bill of rights. It is a concept that one would think is ingrained within the concept of common sense. Hopefully with a little forethought on the part of the law makers the concept of nudity as a wholesome part of the human condition will once again be accepted for what it is and must be.

Commentary by Dr. George R. Harker. Your comments and reactions are solicited. May 2, 1997

Brevard County (Florida) Public Nudity Ordinance

One off the more bizarre prohibitions of public nudity that has come across the desk of Dr. Leisure has to be the ordinance enacted by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners. The Act which went into effect in May 1995 is entitled Brevard County Public Nudity Ordinance. These people were out to stamp out public nudity in any form with some interesting exceptions. The stated intent: "It is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners... to prohibit the conduct of being nude in public places..." Most people have a pretty good idea of what constitutes nudity. It is simply "sans clothes." If you are not dressed you are naked. Apparently the commonly held public definition is not sufficient for those in Brevard who apparently are out to develop their own language. The following definitions are taken directly from the ordinance:

Section 4 Definitions:

b. "Nude" means to openly display or expose,
  1. the human male or female genitals or pubic area with less than a fully opaque covering, or
  2. any portion of the anal cleft or cleavage of the male or female buttocks. Attire which is insufficient to comply with this requirement includes, but in not limited to, G-Strings, T-Back bathing suits, thong bikinis, dental floss or any other clothing or covering that does not completely and opaquely cover the anal cleft or cleavage of the male or female buttocks; or
  3. the portion of the human female breast directly or laterally below a point immediately above the top of the areola with less than a fully opaque covering. This definition shall include the entire lower portion of the human female breast, including the areola and nipple, but shall not include any portion of the cleavage of the human female breast exhibited by a dress, blouse, shirt leotard, bathing suit or other clothing, provided the areola is not exposed: or
  4. human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if completely and opaquely covered.
For purposes of this definition, body paint, body dye, a tattoo, latex, or any similar substances shall not be considered an opaque covering."
Definition four raises (no pun intended) some interesting questions. Given that it is generally accepted that a turgid male genital is an involuntary reaction why are we making such a happening illegal? What about teenage boys known to experience such situations with some degree of regularity? How about the poor fellow who has had a penile implant to correct a problem that some men have later in life? Will he be arrested because the only state for the implant is turgid? Dr. Leisure is off to Florida to testify in yet another "bust" under the Brevard County Ordinance. If you are interested in the legal aspects of recreational nudity I strongly recommend the book by Gordon Gill entitled Recreational Nudity and the Law. Remember: "Don't have a seizure, listen to Dr. Leisure."

Dr. Leisure September 10, 1996 


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