The “Volunteer” and Body Freedom

Imagine being at home, looking out your front window, and seeing your neighbor checking the mail or taking the trash to the curb.  Your neighbor is stark naked.  What do you do?  Do you call the police? And if so, why?  Is it because you think you are witnessing the “crime” of being naked in public and feel obligated to report it?  Or would you be worried about the mental state of your neighbor and want to get that person help?  Or, perhaps you have a live and let live attitude and just decide to ignore the neighbor’s behavior as you continue watching.  Would the gender and attractiveness of said neighbor affect your actions?

When you really think about it, why do we as a society have such an aversion to seeing an unclothed human body doing regular (i.e. non-sexual) things?  Is it because we associate nudity with sex?  Or is it because our media has so inundated us with images of what “attractive” bodies should look like that we just can’t stand to look at “normal” bodies?  Whatever the reason, society has conditioned most of us to react negatively to the sight of a nude body.

I have worked as a nude model for art classes for over 30 years, and these societal aversions to nudity have even found their way into the art studios as I am expected to be covered with a robe while not posing.  Since I love my job as a model and wish to be asked back to model again, I am not about to challenge such expectations.  I therefore tend to think of the model stand as a little oasis in a desert of textiles.  In this oasis, I can be free and pure, just as God created me, without having to hide from anyone.

While I’m posing, my mind, left to its own devices, tends to wander.  These wanderings provided the genesis of my novel The “Volunteer”.   The novel began, like most stories, with a “what if” question:  What if someone could be naked anywhere and everywhere?  During the development of the story and needing more conflict, that original question was changed to What if someone HAD to be naked everywhere?

Paperback Volunteer

The finished book has really been resonating with body freedom activists, those few who hope to challenge that societal aversion to nudity.  The following review was posted to the book’s Amazon page a couple of days ago:

Body Freedom Review

And within the last couple of months, the book was discussed on the blogs of two other body freedom activists.  The first was the first post of a new blog by a young lady in Oregon.  It can be seen here (be aware that the background image may not be NSFW, depending on where you work, of course):  http://brookesbarebody.blogspot.com/2017/07/living-nude-publicly.html .  The second post was by another author who has apparently been advocating body freedom for a number of years: https://fantasyramblings.blogspot.com/2017/07/i-get-to-be-nude.html

During the writing of The “Volunteer”, I never consciously tried to make a social statement; I was just trying to write a fun story, one that amused me and that I hoped would entertain those who read it.  It is gratifying to see it resonating with others.  As I work on the sequel (which will pick up right after The “Volunteer” and not 20 years later as the Amazon reviewer above suggested), I hope to continue challenging readers, giving them something that really resonates.

4 thoughts on “The “Volunteer” and Body Freedom

  1. I know I’ve said everything I can possibly say about The Volunteer, since I’ve written several reviews, as well as the above mentioned blog about it, but I keep coming back to this book, mainly because I yearn to live this life on my own. I look forward to the sequel not only because it allows me to live publicly nude through Dani, but gives me hope that one day I and others will be able to live pure and free. Thanks, DH.

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