I got a message this morning from Evan Nix that his account, Nudist History (@NaturistVintage) had been suspended from Twitter. With over 20,000 followers, yet another legitimate advocate for naturism has been silenced. Having suffered that indignity myself some six months ago, I can speak to the sense of defeat one feels, investing so much time and effort into developing a readership following, only to be canceled by the algorithm of a bot, or maybe even the thoughtless reaction of a bottom tier employee who saw the word nudist and simply flipped the switch.
I’m sure this post will cull the usual array of reactions about what a waste of time it is to post about naturism on mainstream social media like Twitter and Instagram. Better to find protected corners of the internet, like MeWe or dedicated naturist forums where confirmed naturists can convene with one another in cyber-space. In my estimation, that rather misses the point. Hiding real and substantive information about social nudity in the remote corners of the web is something akin the recurring rant people make about going to a nudist resort behind high fences and locked gates. Those remote corners and high walls simply add to the stigma of it all, making it that much less likely that that the social nudity curious will step outside the boundaries of social acceptance at the risk of being associated with a movement that must, in reality, represent something illicit or perverse.
A friend recently forwarded me a thread from another prolific Twitter poster that I don’t follow, mainly because I no longer follow naturism on Twitter due to the suspension of my account. I hope that @letterfromcamp doesn’t mind me taking the liberty of reproducing his thoughts here, as I think they are spot on – not only pertaining to naturism, but to so many societal movements in these turbulent days.
Back to @NaturistVintage, Evan has developed a national reputation through his social media posts, and more recently, with a series of podcasts on the Naturist Living Show in an effort to document the pioneers and paradigms of a movement that has, indeed, seemingly lost its way. At least in the United States, most nudist resorts have all but abandoned the health-conscious ideals of the early nudist pioneers. Of the three dozen or so naturist places I’ve visited in North America, all but a few have leveraged their marketing position around the upcoming weekend lingerie dance where alcohol flows like water accompanied by parental advisory warnings like “leave your kids at home, where they belong!” No problem there, as most attendees’ children are long grown and gone. (Don’t get me wrong. I love a good party and I’m most certainly not a teetotaler, but how do you rationalize the future of family naturism in an environment where the party starts at noon and runs well into the next day. But that’s a different post.)
If you listen to a few of Evan’s podcasts you’ll hear interviews with the last icons of the Golden Age of American naturism, if I dare to say there ever was one. The founder of Lupin Lodge in California, a nudist activist from San Francisco, and a few other people who have fought the good fight for the right to live and let live. “You don’t have to embrace my values, just allow me to establish my own and live my life!”
I find it ironic that in this age when there’s so much rhetoric about marginalization and privilege we have all fallen victim to a greater foe than government tyranny could ever impose. We are living under the implicit law of capitalist-commercial censorship! If social media deems your cause to be harmful to their advertising base, you will be silenced, without cause or provocation. Done.
I hope Evan will continue his quest in advocacy for the naturist cause. I believe he has quite a lineup of future podcasts in the pipeline. I admire his resilience and tenacity and will continue to follow his research with intrigue and fervor… likely from our favorite naturist spot in France where everyday humans are still afforded the right to live their own lives without the fear of being marginalized for the simple desire to live and be free.
What a strange time we live in.
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