A few posts back I mentioned Mike tasked me with talking to some of our neighbors to basically get their permission to allow us to be naked in our backyard. Asking their permission seems to be the neighborly thing to do.
BREAKING THE LAW!?
Surprise! In my state, Texas, there are no state laws prohibiting women from being topless. However, if you are causing a disturbance you risk a charge of disorderly conduct or even public lewdness or indecent exposure.
In the context of our nudity, such charges are rare and often end up being thrown out (not that I want to go through the stress of being charged). Typically these charges are dismissed as codes specifically refer to “sexual acts.” Nakedness, by itself, is not defined as sexual. Interesting that the law gets it, but general society doesn’t!
However, the codes do refer to nakedness in regards to genitals. Some codes prohibit exposing “genitalia.” The good news there is breasts aren’t genitals. How nice that our laws recognize that breasts are not sexual organs! But, there is some risk of charges if you are naked “down there.” Where charges tend to get made and tend to stick is when there was clear sexual intent, gratification, arousal, etc., going on. That is not the context for our nudity.
There are some cities in Texas that have codes that explicitly allow women to be topless — anywhere in the city! In most cities it isn’t explicitly allowed, it just isn’t explicitly prohibited. Breastfeeding, nude sunbathing, or public urination have been held up in courts as NOT constituting indecent exposure. And most jurisdictions are not aggressive in trying to broadly interpret the codes as such interpretations typically fail in court. Basically, if no one complains, no action is taken.
The lack of aggression in trying to inforce the “nudity” statutes may also come from the fact not too many people try to push the boundaries. Despite nothing prohibiting it, I haven’t seen or heard of anyone walking topless in public (now Mike, don’t get any ideas!).
Ultimately, most of the prohibition is focused on whether or not the naked person was reckless in failing to consider whether or not someone who is present will be offended or alarmed – thus, asking the neighbors is not just neighborly, it is legally prudent.
Simply put, if no one complains, nothing happens. If someone complains, it is unlikely anything will happen. In the rare cases you are charged, it often gets thrown out. But, because some of these codes fall under “sex crimes,” it is very intimidating to want to try and test the waters as to what the codes permit. And because the legality is often left up to whether or not someone was “offended or alarmed,” well, you can see why it can be risky.
Despite this, my security-conscious private-person-of-a-husband, Mike, feels confident in our moving forward with this. He is as taken to nudism as I am and feels strongly that we should be comfortable mowing our yard naked, sitting on our patio naked, or walking to and from our shed naked. No one can really see us from our patio except maybe our heads – unless they go out of there way to peer over the fence. And where our bodies can be seen, we typically will be moving thus any glimpses will be fleeting — and mostly from the mid-belly upwards — again, unless someone goes out of there way to peer over the fence.
There’s this line I’ve heard that goes something like, “Our sexuality is taken from us, commercialized, then sold back to us at a price.” A comment that society demonizes our sexuality (especially women), then packages it and sells it to us at a price. In other words, it is only accepted if someone else can profit from it. Want to fill our kids with images of sexual suggestiveness, even combine it with violence? Sure thing, every single day, no problem! Allow anyone to see a naked body in a non sexual way? No way, never, what’s wrong with you?!? Oh, I can go on a major rant. But I won’t. Check out www.freethenipple.com.
On to see the neighbors. . .
They live next door. A couple about my age, soon-to-be-empty-nesters with just one child at home – she is 18, just graduated high school and will be attending school away from home in the fall. Four other kids ranging from age 20-25, and some of them drop in frequently.
They have several different vantage points into our yard, but each one only provides a limited view. They would have to stand in the middle of their yard in order to get the best view.
I talk to the wife quite a bit, typically a short hello as we pull in or out of our driveways, but occasionally more meaningful dialogue. I feel good about talking to her about this. She immigrated from Spain, she is an artist, and just has this vibe where I sensed she was going to be fine with this. She was.
She shared she had been to nudist beaches and resorts in Europe when she was younger. Her and her husband even took their two eldest kids back when they were little. It was never thought of as a “trip to the nudist beach,” it was simply, “going to the beach.” They stopped going simply because they moved and it wasn’t convenient to seek out a nude beach and the nudism wasn’t something they felt compelled to pursue. And she didn’t even think of their nudity in the home as being “nudism.” It was simply, “not being dressed yet.”
She shared that they last went to a nude beach about six years ago when their eldest daughter was looking at colleges. They stayed in San Diego and went to a beach that had a nude section. They were intrigued, so the whole lot of them went to the “nude section” and all got naked. At that time the kids ranged from about 11 to 18.
Yep – her family doesn’t have any issues with nudity. Oh – and it just so happens, San Diego is where T2 moved, so, humm…perhaps if we visit him we need to find that beach!
She assured me she was fine with us being naked in our own back yard, that her husband would concur, and her daughter would be fine. Her only concern was that she asked me to be open to any requests for us to be clothed in the event they were expecting guests who may be “offended or alarmed.” Of course!
That was easy!
She lives directly behind us. I don’t know her very well. She is in her late 50’s, retired high school teacher. She is divorced, lives alone, and has two older daughters, each with a child under two. Both daughters visit frequently with their kids and spouses (one is married to a man, the other to a woman).
Her view into our yard is basically from about the shoulders up, except for one area where she could see from about the belly button on up.
She was surprised — “Like, naked naked. As in, no clothes at all naked?” Yep, that’s the kind of naked I was talking about. But she also appeared comfortable.
She then joked, “What’s in our water? Do you know my next-door-neighbors are nudists?”
Yep, her neighbor, who is diagonal to my backyard, are nudists. They have a little higher fence then everyone else… perhaps 8 foot instead of 6. They also have one side of their yard with this dark black mesh extending above the fence about another two feet. I assumed it was to block the sun, but apparently, it also serves to block the view. They also have a large shed and tree in the corner adjacent to my yard, so views to and from that yard into mine are zero – but I hear kids in their swimming pool all the time.
She says she knows the family very well and has no qualms about what they do. She said she can’t see a thing from her house so she wouldn’t even know when and if they are naked.
Wow!. I was ready to pinch myself. 2 for 2! How can I be so fortunate? This was too easy! HOWEVER. . . .
She asked me so, “So, we are talking about just you and your husband?”
I shared that J may be out at times and might be nude, and that we have friends and family members, young and old, who are nudists. It’s rare that we hang out in the backyard when they are over, but, it is always possible.
And then — I explained who Kayla was – after all, we aren’t hiding her relationship.
My revelation seem to shake her a bit, and she started back-peddling on her comfort level with our nudism. It was if my poly situation suddenly made my nudism something shameful. While news of my inferred-bisexuality may have been news to her, she has a gay daughter, so I assumed that wasn’t the issue. It was simply the thought of having this “open” marriage and “What about J?”
It prompted many questions – similar to those I posted about here. The difference is that instead of answering those questions from my sisters or other people who were a bit more connected to me, this neighbor is not much more than stranger. Even though they were the same questions, they felt a lot more “judgey.”
The discussion was very civil, but I did feel judged. But in the end, I felt good about it. She was very nice and while my news shook her a bit, seemed to shrug it off with, “whatever floats your boat.” I was proud I didn’t hesitate to share who Kayla was and what she meant to Mike and I. It isn’t something to be shameful of. And I felt good that ultimately, she accepted it, albeit after some discussion.
Not that I needed her acceptance, but, don’t we all feel better when others accept us, regardless who they are? I think I just needed to convince her my request that day wasn’t about asking to host orgies in my backyard. And odd she didn’t need that convincing until I brought up Kayla.
NUDISM AND KINK
My convo with Neighbor 2 hit on something I have been becoming increasingly sensitive to. Yes, you can describe my DD, D/s, and poly as kinky – I accept they are all unusual aspects of my life. And I accept that nudism is also unusual.
It is also unusual to have a special needs child. It it unusual to have a husband who can work a lot from home. It is unusual that I’ve been able to be a stay-at-home mom for around 20-years. It is unusual that T1 is not my biological son.
Just because there is something that is “not the norm” about a given aspect of my life, doesn’t mean that it should serve, by itself, as a value-statement or that it is automatically connected to some other aspect of my life.
My “kink” is no more related to my nudism than it is related to many other aspects of my life. E would have come into my son’s life without my kink, and we would have been introduced to her lifestyle. I believe we would have embraced it, even if we were still “vanilla.” I will concede that, because of DD, our relationship and mindset is more open to at least considering avant-garde ideas, but nudism? We would have tried it even if we were still vanilla – and I know we would have loved it just the same.
NOT A GOOD NUDIST ADVOCATE
The issue I have tried to be sensitive to, and that my neighbor reinforced, is that I think I do the idea of nudism a disservice when I write about it. My blog is not just “a day in the life” of Jennifer. It is a blog about Domestic Discipline and my relationship with Kayla, and all the other various unusual things (aka kinks) I experience.
It has crossed my mind that my writing about nudism could feed into the false notion that nudism is connected to something sexual, naughty, or forbidden. It is none of those things.
I feel bad knowing so many people connect nudity with lust, shame, and a host of nothing but negative or “sinful” feelings. There was a time I felt all those as well – and I cherish the fact I don’t any longer, and that I am surrounded by people who don’t feel that way either. But sharing things (kink) that others would also label as lust, shame, and a host of other negative or “sinful” feelings ends up connecting the two.
Because I do thing you may not approve – fine, judge me on those things.
Because I may do things you may not approve of while wearing sneakers – fine, judge me on those things and don’t judge my sneakers.
Because I may do things you may not approve of while naked – fine, judge me on those thing and do not judge my nakedness.
Of course, people won’t care about my sneakers as they have no conditioning to connect my sneakers with judgmental, “oh, you are one of those” type thoughts (although I do know some people who are pretty passionate about Nike’s). Also, I don’t value my sneakers enough for to me to care if people think ill of them. But nudism? Many people will care, and I value my families’ embrace of nudism – so I do care if people think ill of it.
THE NUDE NORMAL
The good news — my neighbors! I am grateful my neighbors do not think ill of it. And thus, our nakedness in our backyard begins!
As for me writing about it, well, we will just have to see. I’d love to write about it in a way that shows how beneficial and normal it is, but a “kink” blog is not a good place to normalize anything, except kink!
Speaking of “normal” — Kink is waaaay more normal than people want to admit.
DD, D/s, poly, swinging, or whatever else you want to label as being part of my life — my writing doesn’t normalize it in terms of getting people to think about doing it…it’s been thought of since the dawn of mankind. What I hope it does is hopefully normalize it in terms of people being willing to admit what they already do or admit that they want to do it. In other words, it removes the shame and other negative stigma’s and replaces them with happiness, joy, fulfillment, contentment, and so on.
The fact you found my blog and are reading it tells me you have some level of interest, even if you don’t partake! And you are “normal” either way.