How to stop being ashamed of your naked body, Part 2

This is the second part of the series. I strongly recommend you read How to stop being ashamed of your naked body, Part 1, before continuing.

In my previous post I mentioned something called the shame spectrum. This may be a misnomer, though, since I find it possible to visualise each person (in the context of social and non-social nudity) as a line on a two-dimensional plane, which shows how much they are nude in situations of varying social engagement.

This can be easily represented in a chart where the horizontal axis represents how social is a given situation (this is a rough estimation) and the vertical axis represents how likely one is to be nude in such a social situation – or better said, how relaxed one is being naked in such situations. I made an example chart below.

This chart shows how I visualise the nudity-social situation space and how individuals can be represented in that spectrum.

I could have marked the vertical axis so that we measure the likelihood of actually being naked in given situations, but that is slightly beside the point. If I was charting my habits on such a chart, my graph would probably be a flat line near the bottom of the graph, with an occasional slight bump. Moreover, to be accurate we’d need tremendous amounts of statistical data from every person’s life. I made it this way instead because the goal of these posts is not primarily to make someone go naked more, but rather to decrease the anxiety of going naked in the first place.

That said, read the above chart like so:

  1. Pick a point on the horizontal axis (black line). This point represents how social a situation is – on the left are the least social situations (such as being alone and having locked oneself in a room) and further right are gradually more social situations with rightmost situations being things like attending a meeting or being at a soccer game at a large stadium with live TV cameras and all.
  2. Now look at how much above or below the horizontal axis is the line you’re looking at – the further above it is, the more relaxed the person is to be naked in such a situation; conversely, further below it is, the less relaxed that person is naked in that situation.

If you want to chart yourself there, pick a couple of points on the chart and determine how relaxed you are to be naked in a social situation of approximately such intensity. Note that you may have to approximate how relaxed you would be in many different situations of approximately such social involvement, as there is no exact way to precisely order all possible social situations in this way to fit them all on an axis.

I have drawn some lines to begin with. The red line – the one going from bottom-left to upper-right corner – would represent someone who receives some gratification from being seen naked. These would be streakers or exhibitionists in general, though the line is probably exaggerated on both ends. Using the quadrant colors we can say that these are RG type pepole as the line spans through the red and green quadrant.

The purple line (BY type) – going from upper-left to bottom-right – is what I consider to be normal in today’s society – the more social the situation, the less likely one is to feel relaxed while naked. The curvy green line roughly represents me (I’m roughly BY, more specifically BGY). While I’m not always very relaxed about being naked when I’m alone, I’m very relaxed while naked. On the other hand, in very social situations, I’m not relaxed, but I did draw a flat line at the right slightly above the “Never nude” line, just because I would undress without a second thought for the WNBR or if there was some other kind of nude event. I also made a slight bump into the social region around the origin simply because I promote nudity whenever I have the chance – in theory and in practice – and I’m likely to be found enjoying nudist beaches if there are any.

There are three more cases which I’d like to point out, which I haven’t shown on the chart. The first is a flat line at the bottom of the chart (RY type). That would represent someone who is afraid to ever be nude – these people change their underwear (if they ever do) with lightning speed, they shower in their swimwear (or underwear, I don’t really know), they don’t visit the doctor when something’s wrong down there for fear of having to undress, etc. This is the most pathological case.

The next case is a flat line at the top of the chart (BG type). This would represent people like Andrew Martinez (roughly) or Stephen Gough. These are people who have difficulty putting on any clothes whatsoever and go naked all the time regardless of social situations. They either live in nudist-friendly places (such as the guy named Morley in this video), or just ignore everyone and flat-out refuse to put on clothes.

What I think is ideal, however, is a line which coincides with the horizontal axis (typeless). This line demonstrates absolute indiffference to either being or not being naked – a kind of clothing-optional mentality throughout all life situations. In a healthy society this is exactly what one would expect for a healthy individual. This is how newborns can be represented, regardless of parents consistently wrapping them in clothes – the child itself doesn’t care about anything but being cozy.

So, how is this relevant to being ashamed of one’s body (and becoming not-ashamed)?

I said in the previous part of the series, “You don’t improve upon a situation unless you first accept the status quo“. You can’t accept the status quo if you don’t know what it is. And finally, you can’t know how to improve, unless you set your goal. So, go ahead and assess your current situation and then set your goal. How OK do you want to be with being naked in various social situations?

In the next part I’ll be writing about how exactly I think you can reach your goal (at least if you kept it socially acceptable – near or below the purple line).

On to Part 3 –>

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