Canceling Nudist History

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.

He writes:

It’s been interesting to observe the naturist community’s response to world events over the past couple of years.  BLM?  Not our problem.  Anti-trans legislation?  Doesn’t affect us.  COVID?  Best ignored.  War erupting in Europe?  Silence. Why this profound cultural disconnect?

Scrolling through social media this morning tells you all you need to know about its priorities.  Mardi Gras party!  Cocktail party!  Yoga classes!  Join today!  Buy our new travel guide!  Become a Patreon!  Get access to our videos and pics! What began as a cultural movement has dissolved into a capitalist movement, with the goal of maximizing profitability by maximizing consumption.  Toss as many bags out the drive-thru window as possible. Keep the customer smiling.

The movement no longer sees itself as a “new paradigm in formation” with hopes of “changing the world,” as Lee Baxandall once suggested.  Its voice is nearly absent from the conversation.  It’s embarrassingly detached from a world that is on fire.

And so the party rages on.  COVID can’t stop the party.  War can’t stop the party.  The cruises must sail.  The buffet must stay open.  The beer must flow.  Conga lines and karaoke.  Coming tomorrow: 10 fun ways to maintain that all-over tan during a nuclear winter.

Twitter: @letterfromcamp

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.

9 responses to “Canceling Nudist History”

  1. So pornography is A-OK (as it should be, IMO) on Twitter but purely social, non-sexual nudity is not? Is anyone aware of any document from Twitter that explains this inconsistency? If so, I’d really like to read it. My brain just can’t process this inconsistency. What’s next, opioidssare legal but not pot? Or a .22 cal pistol for target shooting is verboten but you don’t even need a license for an assault rifle?

    It almost sounds like there’s something else going on…

    Do poople who post porn have to label their site as 18+? There has to be a reason their sites do not get taken down.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am afraid that the only thing we can hope for is the slow evolution of America to a more European style of culture. I imagine it will happen but not with the national organization as they are now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s already happening with the younger generations. I’ve noticed that distinctly less bloomer-like men’s swimwear is crept into ‘mainstream’ websites aimed at younger people. It seems sort of like marijuana. I.e. It’s not that more people are smoking it. It’s just that fewer and fewer people see it as something important enough to have an opinion or make a comment about.

      From 2007 (ish) until Covid about half my work was in colleges. When it came topics like the gender/skin colour of the person you’re dating, what recreational drugs (including alcohol) you use, type and number of tattoos/piercings you have, your religion, etc. I noticed a slight but definite shift toward bafflement as to why anyone would think these contentious issues.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not holding my breath. There was a time in the 70s IIRC – when the “speedo worn so tight you could tell a man’s religion from it” was fashionable among the young and fit. I remember wearing a thong to Venice beach and not feeling out of place. There was even a movement afoot to try to return Venice beach to clothing optional. LA Country refused to relent. Then straights decided that minimalistic swimwear made a guy look “gay” and we went to the opposite extreme, baggies down to the knees.

        Like

  3. It is so very aggravating to see the ‘likes’ of some of those that try to follow me on Twitter. As nudists (naturists) we are misunderstood by the general public. Having the porno followers just confuses the issue further.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your page, Naturist Living Show, and then Naturist Vintage being suspended was enough for me — Deleted my Twitter account. Plus, got tired of the porn type followers and those who’s motives are…..I don’t know, unique…shallow? Sound mean, but…. I’ll stick with a few blogs and webpages. I’m done with naturist social media. Sad state of affairs. But I’m not going to keep participating in something meant to be enjoyable that is anything but. Hope you keep writing here and Evan on his podcasts. Thx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There is hope. Elon Musk is now running Twitter and by his own words, he’s a “free speech absolutist.”

    Both the right and the left are dedicated to the proposition of “Free speech for me, but not for thee!” That’s because each side now views the political contest as a winner takes all battle to the death rather than two friendly branches seeking a practical compromise.

    The right is slowly losing ground in this battle but it doesn’t help us any because nudists as a group couldn’t bring themselves to hook up with the grand alliance of small minorities that make the progressive movement. And if your ghetto is comfortable enough you won’t be willing to take the necessary risks to expand your world.

    Like

  6. I haven’t fact checked this, but I’ve read several times that the shift from speedos to bloomers coincided with a skyrocketting of obesity rates in the US.

    Like

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