My blogging buddy and same gender loving (gay) bare practitioner (naturist or nudist) friend, Timothy, author of the blog, Almost Wild, wrote a post late last month that relates to my reflection here today. Please click onto the title and read his exposition, Tats & Pubes & Nudists. His post fully enhances my reflection theme, topic and personal opinion.
My pictorial heading for this feature shows Gio Dell, a gay model, male escort and adult actor getting his face shaved by his openly gay and adult actor real life half-brother, Armani. Both of them are completely bare and grow all their body hair. Most of us, if not all of us, have little or no problem whether or not any of us shave or trim our facial hair. We agree that it is an individual choice or preference. Few of us have any issue with that grooming practice or technique.
What conflicts occur, as Timothy concisely examined and explained in Tats & Pubes & Nudists deal with the shaving (or otherwise removal) of pubic and/or body hair (armpits, arms, chest or legs) on bare practitioner (naturist or nudist) men. Also included in this conflict are those who trim, dye or otherwise alter their body hair.
In addition to the hair issue, again, as Timothy discusses, are the “accessory” attributes of tattoos, piercings and make-up. All of these clearly visible on clothes-free men throughout the year.
Like my gay and naturist/nudist blogging friend, Timothy, I’ve frequently encountered fellow same gender loving bare practitioner men and organizations who adhere to one specific opinion or viewpoint on body hair, tattoos, body piercings and make-up and condemn all those who disagree with them. There seems to be no neutral or common-ground position in either category, for or against. Either agree with me or leave and go elsewhere. No time-out and no compromise.
It’s almost as though if you’re shorter than 5’6″ (170 cm) or taller than 6′ (183 cm) you cannot be same gender loving (gay). No matter who you have sex with. Or if you have hairy armpits, you cannot be a naturist or a nudist. Again, even if you n-e-v-e-r wear clothing. No exceptions allowed. Period.
Above photograph, Gio Dell (left) and his half-brother, Armani (right). They have the same mother but different fathers. Both bare and in full view.
Yet not all same gender loving (gay) bare practitioners (naturists or nudists) are equal to or qualify to specific criteria or standards. As Gio and Armani exemplify above, even in families variety exists. The diversity of life guarantees that fact. And what diversity doesn’t necessarily encompass, love certainly manages to find a way to overcome.
Just like virtually every set policy or procedure in existence, an exception will apply.
I’m a man who prefers naturally hairy men (honestly, a man’s hairy armpits really attract my attention and consideration). I shave only my own facial hair and head hair – however, from my neck down, I’ve never altered my body hair in any manner. My armpit, chest, pubic, arm and leg hair are all totally natural. Every man that I’ve ever dated has been hairy – except for one, my legal spouse, Aaron. We were married on August 15, 2015.
Aaron, my husband, has natural armpit and pubic hair but his arms, legs and chest are naturally and virtually hairless. I am Deaf and he his hearing. I’m Greek and he is African-American. He also appreciates male armpit hirsuteness and we both have pierced ears. We accept and appreciate our physical differences – Aaron likes my chest hair and I, equally, admire his hairless chest.
Gio and his half-brother, Armani, in the black and white image of the lead photo.
However, within the naturist or nudist community, there are many who are unable and unwilling to accept differences, whatever the reason. If they prefer smooth-bodied (shaved) men, then everyone else within their circle of friendship should believe or feel the exact same. If they reject men who have body piercings, then, again, everyone around them needs to do likewise. No exceptions. The same judgments apply to those who have tattoos and/or wear some form of make-up. Dissension from their opinions isn’t tolerated in any form.
At times I sit back and wonder how some of these men managed to survive the broader gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) civil rights struggle. Their serious lack of tolerance hardly enabled or encouraged them to accept the broad diversity of our community. I’m not even going to address how they overcame the intolerance of those who are against any GLBTQ inclusion in any equality setting.
I often question how those who choose to self-identify themselves as naturists can afford to sit in judgment on those who retain their body hair. The label – naturist – itself implies those who seek to be “natural” – in keeping with the idea of being clothes free and respecting our environment. Being “natural” includes the growth of our body hair (armpits, arms, chest, legs and pubic hair) as well as our natural resources and vegetation. To eliminate one, in essence, eliminates them all. How else can any of us justify the retention of trees and wildlife and yet shave or otherwise remove or alter any of our body hair?
Consistency is crucial if we hope to maintain any type of credibility. Body hair is just as natural as the environment. If a man wants to shave his own body hair, that’s his prerogative and his right. If a man allows his body hair to grow naturally, then the same holds true for him. After all, what’s fair for one should be fair for everyone.
Now, tattoos, body piercings and make-up are not necessarily natural so addressing that issue is different from the body hair growth/removal process. Simply, it is again the option of each individual to decide their preference and that should be it. “To each their own.” However, there are a number of people who expect their own “point of view” to be the sole judgment on each one of those choices.
Regardless of what a person’s feeling or opinion is on tattoos, body piercings and make-up, it is a decision that each one of us is capable of making. If I don’t like something that doesn’t give me the right to judge others who do like one or the other or all three. It’s their choice and I respect that fact.
I do not like coffee. I detest even the smell of the beverage. However, that doesn’t give me the privilege of banning the drink from existance. My spouse, Aaron, likes that cup when he firsts wakes up – it helps him begin his day. I accept that. It is his choice. It isn’t for me.
Timothy, the creator of Almost Wild and the author of Tats & Pubes & Nudists offered the following observation in his post:
“Why in the world would I care what another person decides to do with their body and why in the world should I think that my own preferences on how to interact with my body should dictate how others should interact with theirs?”
I appreciate Timothy’s posting his views on Almost Wild. I’m glad to know there’s another out there who shares my view, although he did proudly admit that he sometimes trims his own pubic hair!