ee our culture represent naked guys as frequently as we do naked girls

as a method to remove the shock value of the bare male.

As everyone knows, nudity is poor. It is simple.
hat they
Nudity equals sex. Which
might have
is why my jaw dropped
joy . . .
when eight years ago, I
learned about a site
called LDS Skinny-Dipper
Connection1. To me, this
name was an oxymoron
on the level of “military intelligence.” I had to check it out.
According to the website, its constituency is “Devoted members
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” “Families
forever, naked and not ashamed,” it said. “Wholesome interest
in societal nudity under appropriate conditions,” it said.
I smirked. This was going to be entertaining, reading the rationalizations of these individuals attempting to warrant this type of
I read through the site. I read every word—and there
were a lot of words! They maintained that nonsexual societal nudity
is a positive, favorable thing. It is informative because it permits
everyone to see what human bodies really look like—instead
than have the glorified, air-brushed images we see in the
media daily. It strips away the mystery of the human
body—particularly those components we keep concealed from each
other—and decreases lust because people become comfortable and familiar with all the body parts. It fight body
shame and negative self-image. It fosters openness and trust
because it allows you to be fully who you are and still be
accepted by others.
as soon as I concluded, to my shock and amazement, I exclaimed,
“They are right! There is absolutely no doctrinal objection to wholesome,
nonsexual social nudity!”
Oh, there were all sorts of LDS ethnic objections, all sorts


D. MICHAEL MARTINDALE is the writer of the critically acclaimed . He has
been a naturist activist for several years and is in the
process of developing a web site on family naturism at
FAMILYSKINNYDIPPERS.COM. Martindale lives in Salt
Lake City, Utah, and works as a Web developer.

of “people doctrines” against it, tons of objections to sexualized nudity. But no bona-fide official doctrine against nonsexual nudity.
It’s just that most folks do not understand there is such a thing as
nonsexual nudity. Recall the equation, “nudity equals sex.”


HAT WAS ALL I needed: permission from individuals who
understood my LDS hang-ups. I printed out the entire
LDS Skinny-Dipper Connection site and presented
the thick sheaf of paper to my wife. “Read this, and tell me
what you believe,” I said to her.
She did not read all of it (there were lots of words!), but she
read a large part of it, given the papers back to me and
said, “Well, I believe it’s rationalization, but if you need to do it,
go ahead.” (Bless her heart.)
I did. I became a full fledged, practicing Mormon naturist.
From other naturist hikers, I learned the way to trek nude safely. I
visited locations for example Diamond Branch hot springs in Spanish
Fork Canyon where a tradition of bare soaking has existed for
decades, and eventually I visited a few naturist resorts and
nude beaches.
The very first time I attended the temple after I started practicing
naturism, I was apprehensive. Walking into that environment,
I didn’t understand how I’d feel, knowing all the things I ‘d done
Nude. Because, actually, all I had was an “intellectual testimony”
of nudism Rationally, I was convinced. But being born and
raised in America and within the LDS Church, I had lots of
emotional conditioning that wasn’t so easily overcome. Would
I feel guilty? Would an evil spirit follow me indoors, alarming a
discerning temple president to my unworthiness? Would God
strike me down? These were the agitated thoughts that
churned in my head as I entered.
But as I walked from the front desk where I showed my urge to the changing room, a feeling of calmness came over
me. It seemed to say, “Do Not worry about it. Everything is acceptable.”
For three years, that was the only religious manifestation I
had that my alternative to adopt naturism was acceptable to
God. But from time to time, it’d hit me how out of step
my nudism was with conventional Mormonism, and uncertainties
would appear—am I actually deceived like most Mormons would
consider me? I recall one time in particular when my wife

and I were invited to a hot tub party with a clothing-optional
dress code. brought her swimsuit; I did not.
Before the celebration, we attended the wedding reception of a
family in the ward. We sat and ate mints and nuts and white
cake with another couple in the ward. The whole time, I kept
wondering what this couple would think of me if they understood
what I’d be off doing right after the reception. After all, it was
not such a long time ago that I was laughing at the notion of a
Mormon fkk.

WHILE MANAGING STANDARD day to day living, I
Fought and studied and meditated and prayed

over the doubts engendered by both halves of my