Thursday, August 31, 2006

Staying Home

I went to the post office in Taipei to mail my card, sending my good wishes to the participants in the 30th World Congress of the International Naturist Federation.
Two years ago, I managed to attend my first INF congress, at the Valalta resort near the picturesque Croatian seaside town of Rovinj. Unfortunately, this year, I've already used up all my holidays with a two-week stay in Italy. Also unfortunately, Italy does not have as many naturist beaches and resorts as neighboring Croatia, so I was unable to do any nude bathing.
At home in Taiwan though, the weather is super hot, with a record temperature of 37.8 degrees centigrade in Taipei yesterday. That's excellent weather for walking around nude, and that's what I do at home, but outside, as you know from my previous postings, there is no such opportunity.
And that's where the INF and its world congresses come in. The organization represents naturist associations worldwide, and its next assembly should be discussing how to promote the cause in areas which are not so familiar yet with naturism. I've noticed the INF web site - you can find it at - is introducing new associations in new parts of the world.
The congress takes place on Spain's east coast, at the naturist camping El Portus near the town of Cartagena, on September 7-10. While I will not be there, I will closely follow the event and hope to report more before and after. Because we in Asia also have to know what the trends are, and how we can do more to bring about naturist beaches and resorts in this part of the world.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Nudity in Advertising : Europe vs. Taiwan

A middle-aged, not so pretty woman sits in a chair in her garden, enjoying the sunshine. She's wearing a straw hat and sandals, but nothing else.
That's the picture on view in Belgium these days as an advert for recycling. The ad is so striking that it is even running in a competition for the best public-service ad of the year organized by prominent Belgian newspaper De Standaard.
While the woman on the picture is naked, the picture takes care not to expose any of what Chinese speakers call her 'three points,' i.e. the nipples and genitals. Yet, the picture is natural, not forced, not artificial, but a celebration of what naturism and enjoyment of ones nakedness are all about. And through the link with recycling and protection of the environment, the ad emphasizes even more that naturism is being in harmony with nature, with one's true environment.
In contrast with that, Taiwanese television stations today showed the multistorey-high picture of the naked backside of a woman. Again, at first sight, nothing wrong with that. If it were an ad for a spa, a health center, or cosmetics, I would say, go ahead, we need more ads like that which propagate body awareness and the freedom nudity brings. Unfortunately, as is so often the case in Taiwan, the ad was for a motel. And motels in Taiwan enjoy a shady reputation akin with that of karaoke bars and piano lounges. The TV stations meanwhile came up with the angle that the ad was hanging just opposite an elementary school, and was therefore completely unsuitable. I would reason that it was unsuitable anywhere if recruiting customers for a shady motel, but highly suitable if it had been for a non-sexual activity that really does involve nudity.
What's the saying, two steps forward, one step back?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Selling Ice Cream

Remember how when you were younger you had one overwhelming wish for the rest of your life? You wanted to be a pilot, or a fire fighter, or in my case, an archaeologist. Well, right now, all I would like to do for the rest of my life is sell ice cream in a naturist resort.
It must be the heat. The weather in Taiwan here has been hot, never mind the occasional typhoon chasing away the sun for 24 hours or less. It's been perfect weather to take off one's clothes, and that's what I've been doing, here at home, in the day, and at night, when I also add the air conditioner to my instruments to help me sleep comfortably.
I spent my vacation in the land of ice cream earlier this month. Yes, Italy. I didn't sell ice cream, but I bought and ate a lot. The good things about Italy are the ice cream, the other food, the weather, and the blue Mediterranean. Unfortunately, while Italian women were some of the most revealing clothes you can think about, real naturism is not popular, at least not with the authorities. Official naturist resorts are few and far between in such a large country, and unofficial nude beaches are hard to locate. Too bad, it's such a beautiful country, so suitable for naturism.
Selling ice cream on a naturist beach might not be the most profitable enterprise, and the job would be hard to find anyway. So for the time being, it'll just stay a dream. I've found another activity though that I can practice in the nude: painting. I have an old apartment that's empty for the time being, and I plan to install a studio there, set up the easel and the canvas, and fire away with acrylic paint. Since the place hardly has any windows - or at least no windows from other apartments that have a good view of it - I can pretty much do there whatever I want. So I'll be working like a real naturist, painting away, and hoping I can sell my pictures at an arts market in Taipei.
Again, too bad Taiwan doesn't have any naturist beaches. But things might be changing over the next few years. Just look at the forum boards on the Clothes Free Web site. There are more and more Asians, recently especially Malaysians, coming out in favor of naturism. So there is hope for Asia. Maybe my dream of selling ice cream will come true right here, in Taiwan.