Canada: “Victoria Day!”

Canada’s current Queen Elizabeth II (left) and Queen Victoria (right)!

In French, an equal language in Canada, the name for this holiday is: Fete de la Reine (Celebration of the Queen)! In all of Canada, this is a public holiday that is observed on the last Monday preceding May 25, annually. Initially in honour of Queen Victoria’s actual birthday (May 24), it is now a tribute to the first monarch of a confederated Canada as well as the official founding of Canada’s sovereignty. This holiday has occurred in Canada since at least 1845, which predates the creation of the confederation.

In addition to giving historical homage to the Queen who granted the Royal Assent (signature) to the British North America Act: the very first step in the inevitable evolution of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of which the current Queen Elizabeth II officially heads.

Posing for Canada!

For a majority of Canadians, Victoria Day serves as the unofficial commencement of the summer season – a long weekend to welcome the return of warmer weather!

Queen Victoria’s Enigma:

Oceanic skinny-dipper!

My spouse, Aaron, is Canadian by birth. His paternal ancestors migrated there through the underground railway before the U.S. Civil War ended the practice of slavery. At his determined insistence, I am offering this thought.

As a nude enthusiast – and advocate – one of the greatest ironies of Queen Victoria’s reign has always been: Did Her Majesty ever skinny-dip (swim naked)? Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837. Prior to inheriting the crown, everyone swam naked. Swim suits didn’t exist before they were commercially designed and produced in the 1850’s. The genders were segregated (if necessary) and people splashed about aquatically naturally (clothes free).

Stereotypically, H. M. Queen Victoria is always considered a very stoic and solemn prude. In reality, was the lady as she is often perceived?

Happy Victoria Day!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Friday, May 27, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Sunglasses: Sunglamour Glory!”

Act-For-Skin!

Sunscreen protection!

Introduction:

It is the month of May and for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, our Summer is rapidly approaching. In order to help remind everyone of the realities of living as a bare practitioner, the message is: we all need to act for protection of our skin! There is enough potential for disaster in our lives already. Failure to act to protect ourselves from over-exposure to the sun is a risky procedure that none of us need to make. Our health is fragile as it is!

Annually, usually during the month of May, I post a summation of the steps we should follow in protecting our skin from the sun. We enjoy our body and clothes freedom, a simple notation of the process to ensure continued fun and pleasure during the summer months is an effort towards the health and safety of us all. To all of our bare practitioners residing in the Southern Hemisphere, earmark this post in preparation when “fun-in-the-sun” season returns to you!

In our eagerness to get outside and frolic in the fresh air and warm sun, many of us forget one of the basic rules of outdoor health: we all need to cover up (protect) our skin before we uncover any part of or all of our body. This cover up entails the use of an appropriate sunscreen applied correctly, adequately (sufficient quantity) and, when necessary, reapplied diligently. Using sunscreen allows most of us to make the most of whatever our sunlight plans may offer. The purpose of sunscreen is to protect ourselves from sunburn (or worse).

Sunscreen instruction review!

It is strongly recommended that bare practitioners and naturists/nudists earmark this post for the duration of the season. In doing so, it is easily available for reference should the need arise. Our health is a vital concern for each one. Please protect yourself and others around you!

Question and Answer Format:

The “Question and Answer” (Q&A) style has been the format for this post entry here since I began publishing in 2017. Those seeking information appreciate the brevity and the focused subject of each inquiry. This type pf presentation encourages additional research if more information is needed.

New this year is an Addendum: Update section featured as a summary for this post entry.

Sunburn on his back!

What is sunburn?

Sunburn is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and not heat. It is important to remember that skin can burn even on overcast or cloudy days, cold winter days and while under shade (shelter from direct sunlight). Sunburn damages or destroys the skin, which controls the amount of heat our body retains or releases, holds in fluids (hydration) and protects us from infections.

Reactions to sunburn range from mild irritation to serious pain. Sunburn may cause fevers and nausea (depending on the severity of the burn) and makes the dead skin peel away. Sunburn may lead to serious health complications later in life.

The information below is very general and is offered as a guide to use in selecting the type of sunscreen that is best for personal protection. Keep in mind that every individual is just that: an individual – a unique person. What is applicable for one may or may not be the same for another. When in doubt, consult a health practitioner. It is better to ask now than to be sorry later!

Applying sunscreen!

What is sunscreen?

Sunscreen is a chemical that, to a certain degree, prevents UV radiation from reaching the skin. While there is no product that totally eliminates UV radiation damage, many variations, when used properly, can and do protect the skin adequately.

What should I look for in a sunscreen?

Regardless of where the sun activity is taking place: backyard, ball playing field, park or beach, the product should contain two elements for effective protection. Always look for a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that contains chemicals that block both UV-A and UV-B radiation from penetrating the skin surface.

While no product is completely waterproof, select a “water-resistant” type that is designed for long-lasting wear, especially if swimming or sweating. Choose a variation that is both easy to apply and feels good on the skin. There are numerous commercial brands available: creams, lotions, moisturizers, gels, sprays and solid stick types.

Sunbathing!

What is SPF?

The initials SPF refer to “sun protection factor.” This is the measure of the effectiveness of the sunscreen in absorbing UV-B radiation. If someone sunburns after about 10 minutes of sun exposure, using a product of SPF15 extends the amount of time before sunburn occurs to 150 minutes or two-and-a-half hours. After this time, it should be reapplied to continue protection.

In terms of percentages, a product of SPF15 blocks 93% of the UV-B sun rays. One of SPF30 blocks 97% of radiation and one of SPF50 blocks 99%. The difference in protection may not justify the added expense of higher SPF sunscreens.

What is the best sunscreen for me?

This depends on many factors, including age, skin type, activity, time of day, location (proximity to the Equator) and the UV index. For most skin types, a sunscreen with a minimum SPF15 is recommended. Persons with fair or lighter skin tones – of all races and ethnicities – and low sun tolerance (burn easily) should use a SPF30. For minimal sun exposure, 90 minutes or less, a moisturizer cream may suffice (with correct SPF level). For extended periods of sun exposure and higher activity engagement, use a longer-lasting product such as a cream, gel or lotion. Spray (aerosol or pump) are beneficial for hairy parts of the body, including the arms and armpits, back, chest, legs and the pubic region. If a person is acne-prone, choose sunscreens that are oil-free or non-carnodegenic.

For individuals with sensitive skin, the chemicals in some sunscreens may cause irritation. Use a product that contains only physical blockers (zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide). A physical blocker does not penetrate the skin layers as do chemicals. Physical blockers stay on the skin surface to provide protection.

Reading application instructions!

What is the best way to use sunscreen?

If you’ve used sunscreen before and burned, it was either applied incorrectly or the wrong SPF. For sunscreen to be effective, it must be in sufficient quantity, applied correctly and thoroughly, used prior to sun exposure and reapplied often. Remember the lips: use a lip balm with a minimum SPF15!

How much?

One ounce (a full shot glass) per adult body per application (minimally). Apply liberally all over the body, including behind the ears and on the edges of the ear and ear lobes.

When to apply?

At least 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Reapply 15 minutes later to ensure that you didn’t miss any part of your body. Once in sunlight, reapply every couple of hours, especially if swimming, perspiring or towel drying.

Who should use sunscreen?

Everyone needs skin protection from the rays of the sun. All races and ethnicities are susceptible to sunburn. Men with darker skin complexions may have a higher tolerance for sun exposure but at some point, they too will experience sunburn. Bear (and bare) in mind that skin damage and serious complications later are a result of the failure to protect the skin.

Rubbing sunscreen lotion into his skin!

What does the expiration date mean?

Sunscreen usually remains stable and effective for a period of three (3) years. After the expiration date, the contents will begin to decompose and will not offer the intended protection. Always check the expiration date before application. Discard any product that is past the expiration date.

For the bare practitioner/naturist/nudist:

Apply sunscreen to the entire body. This includes the anal area, armpits, penis, testicles (both front and back). Follow the reapplication guidelines every couple of hours. Body areas that may not receive direct sunlight absorb UV-A and UV-B radiation indirectly.

Manscaping (body hair removal), no matter the method used, creates sensitive areas on the skin surface. First, apply a gentle body lotion, wait fifteen (15) minutes and then cover with sunscreen – completely.

Summer is a natural season for outdoor freedom and a variety of nudecentric outside activities: aquatics, athletics, barbecues and cookouts, events, festivals and countless socials. It is also the time for quiet solitude such as gardening, hiking, reading a book or a casual stroll down a nature trail. No matter how we choose to spend our leisure time, proper prevention against sunburn ensures all of us freedom from concerns over sun exposure. One less worry as we go about our business of having fun in the sun.

Sunglass protection!

Sunglasses!

A cautious word on sunglasses! It is important to remember sunglasses to prevent harmful UV radiation from damaging the eyes! Even on overcast days, radiation is still available. When purchasing sunglasses, a pair with UV filtering lenses is highly recommended.

Sunscreen application assistance!

Bare Notations: 2022:

If you are a “newbie” (recent arrival) to the bare practitioner world – welcome! If you are a veteran of the body and clothes freedom comity (community and/or culture) – you’re welcome here, too! A new sectional feature here on ReNude Pride’s annual guide to sunscreen protection for us all are these “Bare Notations.” These notations (reminders and/or suggestions) are offered in a nonjudgmental and nonthreatening way to help us all guard and protect the “skin we’re in!” Please feel free to offer your own ideas in the comments area below and remember to have fun and be safe in the sun!

Tan-line: in order to remove all evidence of swimsuit (or other clothing) wearing, generously apply sunscreen all over your entire body – not just the tan-line area. Too many times people only cover the tan-line evidence and neglect the rest of their body. For the best protection, use sunscreen; faithfully and religiously!

Sunglasses: (once again, another subtle reminder) the use of sunglasses is essential in protecting visual health. The shaded lenses guard our eyes from the UV radiation emitted from the sun’s rays. Carefully select a pair that’s comfortable, treated with UV filtration and sturdy. Fresh slices of cucumber may be calming and fine for soothing the eyelids after sun exposure, but they don’t protect against UV damages!

Genitalia: (buttocks and crevice, penis, testicles) are sensitive parts of the body that are usually the least exposed to any sunlight. Carefully and completely cover with sunscreen – and a second thorough application is strongly recommended before sun exposure happens. This ensures full coverage has occurred. Remember the underside of the penis and the backside of testicles. UV radiation is not merely contained to sunlight! Don’t forget the crevice area between the left and right buttock!

Armpits: (underarms) are sensitive parts of the body that are usually a secondary site of minimal sunlight exposure. Armpit hair (underarm fur) – no matter how profuse or sparse – does not eliminate UV penetration. Apply sunscreen the same as you would other areas of the skin. Due to heavy perspiration in the underarms and the human tendency to wipe away heavy amounts of moisture, armpits/underarms may require additional monitoring.

Have a fun and safe summer!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry planned for here is Friday, May 20, 2022, and the proposed topic is “Summer Plans!”

World Naked Gardening Day!

Outdoor gardening!

World Naked Gardening Day is Saturday, May 7, 2022!

World Naked Gardening Day is internationally observed on the first Saturday in May, annually. Many countries, regions, provinces, etc., have a local date/day specific to locality in addition to this global event. Consult neighboring gardening, horticultural, naturist and nudist groups or organizations for actual dates and/or celebrations.

The first annual World Naked Gardening Day occurred on September 10, 2005. In 2007, the event date was changed to the first Saturday in May. In 2018, the New Zealand Naturist Federation adopted the last Saturday in October, annually, as World Naked Gardening Day due to the climate of the Southern Hemisphere. In Canada, the first Saturday in May can be especially cold so the alternate day of the first Saturday in June is Naked Canadian Gardening Day.

Floral display!

Seasonal Interchange

In Winter, when the trees are bare,

We mortals don our winter wear.

In Spring, when trees begin to dress,

We mortals then start wearing less.

Until, for some, with Summer’s heat,

The role reversal is complete.

Rhyme by Michael Aitken

World Naked Gardening Day website:

Click onto the link below:

wngd.info

Planting naturally!

My spouse, Aaron, and I observe World Naked Gardening Day at our home. We invite over other bare practitioner couples to replant house plants (each couple is asked to bring their own). This year – thus far – will be the first celebration of this “nature activity” in two years due to the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic and quarantine. As of today, four other couples have confirmed their joining us for this endeavour!

My legal and significant other has entitled our gathering and planting: BTD (bare transplant day)!

We use our condominium’s balcony as our “garden” area and use blankets and sheets to hang on the railing so we don’t offend any neighbors by our blatant and confident nudity. While socializing and planting, our fellow enthusiasts (guests) often offer new gardening advice. This mid-day activity is then followed by a modest weekend brunch.

World Naked Gardening Day!

Quite naturally, bare landscaping (groundskeeping, yardwork) is also an option for World Naked Gardening Day! An ideal way to encourage comfort, health and open clothes freedom (public naturist/nudist lifestyle)! If possible, join us in promoting our natural leisure pleasures!

Happy World Naked Gardening Day!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Sunday, May 8, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “USA: Mother’s Day!”

Holy Easter, 2022!

A Paschal (Easter) Angel!

At midnight tomorrow night, the bells on Greek Orthodox churches (actually, all Orthodox churches) will begin to ring and the congregations will commence to transmit the flame of light from one paschal candle to another while chanting “Kristos anesti” (Christ is risen). The Easter liturgy for 2022 will start; continuing a tradition that began almost 2,000 years ago.

Afterwards, the congregants will exchange the greeting “Kala Pascha” (good Easter)! While sharing best wishes, they will hold red-dyed eggs in the palm of their hand tapping the eggs of others, in the attempt to crack open the shells of every egg they encounter and emerge with their own egg unscathed and intact!

The egg champion!

Everyone then hurries home for the opening of gifts, the devouring of the Easter breakfast and the mad rush to crawl into bed before sunrise! The Easter feast begins at 4:30 p.m., on Sunday afternoon! Of course, all are completely famished by the time that comes to pass!

Of course, the family gathering is sparse for us. Aaron, my spouse, and I will host Twin (Alex) and his partner Dante, and our first cousin, Michael Poladopoulos and his soon-to-be spouse, Ropati. The remainder of our families all reside in Greece so we do the best that we can to ensure that Easter is a memorable event.

All of us are bare practitioners so there is most definitely a hasty drive from St. Sophia’s Cathedral in northwest Washington, D.C., to our condominium in Arlington, Virginia. We’ll all need to remove our church attire – pronto! Aaron and I have a one bedroom unit, therefore, space is limited. Fortunately, clothing concerns are not an issue for any of us! We avoid a grooming disaster by shaving/showering as a couple and not individually.

Lambropsomo – Easter Bread!

Everyone plans on arriving this afternoon (Friday). In making the Lambropsomo (Easter Bread), we use ya-ya’s (paternal grandmother’s) recipe which both Alex and Michael (as well as myself) own. My culinary skills are nonexistent; however, I do posses the handmade wooden rising bowl that belonged to ya-ya’s mother (our great-grandmother). It is an antique. The Lambropsomo is an eighteen hour process so preparation starts tonight. Ropati has no interest in baking so the two of us plan to play backgammon (tavloo) while the remainder work in our kitchen. As my Aaron so aptly determined: “We’ll keep the R’s (Roger and Ropati) out of our space so we can handle (complete) our business (cooking)!” Rest assured, Ropati and I both intend to comply with those wishes!

Easter feast preparation!

I don’t know for certain if Ropati’s kitchen skills are as poor as mine – however, as long as the majority of our guests are content with the food preparation, I am content to accede to their every desire and need! Too many in our tiny kitchen space can only create chaos, confusion and disaster!

Our Easter Sunday plans are to be laid back and relaxed for most of the day. With the bulk of the meal preparation completed in advance, our 4:30 p.m., dinner will be followed by our guests departing for their homes. Aaron and I prefer doing our own clean-up after the meal as our time to “calm” after a condominium full of family for the entire weekend. Monday is a full day at work for the both of us!

Decorated buttocks!

And a very depressing thought: almost all of my fellow professors at university observed Western Easter the week before. Their holiday recovery is very complete! I have yet to go through the motions!

Kala Pascha to everyone!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, April 25, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “April Appeal: Fantasy!”

April Appeal: Nakations!

Nakation stroll: clothing optional resort!

A combination of two fun-filled words that afford us with desires and dreams and a variety of memories. In the English language, naked is joined with the word vacation and the result is: nakation! A bare practitioner’s imaginative excursion into paradise! There is no established timeline; a nakation can be one day in duration, one week or an entire month. The nakationer (nude enthusiast on vacation) makes the decisions!

The choices are unlimited and can be as complex or as simple as the amount of free time and the financial resources permit. Uncertain of what’s available? Online is accessible to offer suggestions that satisfy most needs and requirements. Acquaintances and friends can make recommendations and give advice on what to do and what to avoid. Careful thinking and common sense are also valuable tools!

“Man designs fashions. Man makes clothes. Man makes mistakes! The measure of a man isn’t based on the clothes he wears. The true measure of a man is determined by the clothes he is not wearing. Bare is the perfection of the human body without the mistakes.” ~ Roger Poladopoulos ~

Nakation relaxation!

For someone who is a newcomer to the body and clothes freedom life, the prospect may seem overpowering. Do not despair! Even with a severely limited financial status, a basic nakation can involve little more than selecting a relatively secluded location, packing food and water (or other beverage) and getting outside to spend a free afternoon in nature. Being natural in nature doesn’t necessarily require time consuming planning and preparation. Reading material (to occupy your time mentally) and ample sunscreen are strongly encouraged for everyone (no matter their ethnicity or race)!

A convenient clothing optional resort involves both money and reservations – especially during the late Spring, Summer and early Autumn times of the year. When making inquiries at the facility, always ask for any policies or restrictions specific to that particular resort. Some destinations actually prohibit same gender loving relationships from even being on the property. It is always a good idea to ask about the clothing optional status of the on-site dining room/restaurant. There are numerous clothing optional establishments that cater especially to the bare practitioner community. At these locations, a person’s sexual identity is rarely a concern or issue.

Nakation comfort: no need to “dress to impress!”

“Bare practitioners are natural inspirations!” ~ Roger Poladopoulos ~ January 6, 2022

A recent trend that is increasing in popularity are clothing/textile restrictive resorts. These places severely limit the areas and times that clothing may be worn. Some of the more stringent facilities mandate that clothing must be removed in the parking area before entry into the actual property. Be advised to question the specifics regarding these regulations. There is no need to be textile if it isn’t necessary!

Nakation together!

GLBTQ+ Friendly:

As discussed in last Monday’s April Appeal: Social Nudity (click link for connection), there is an ever-growing number of locations and resorts promoting (advertising, marketing) themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) accepting, friendly and welcoming. This attention is partly the result of discrimination endured by bare practitioners in the past and partly the result of an increasing number of bare practitioners specifically seeking such accommodations. The end result is a “win-win” situation for both the same gender loving (SGL) vacationers and the commercial establishments.

When visiting a GLBTQ+ friendly facility we don’t need to be as concerned and discreet about our status. However, as each property has different management and procedures, it is highly advised that guests inquire regarding protocols and meal-time dressing codes. Awareness and knowledge are allies in comfort and relaxation!

Cautionary note:

Regardless of the best intentions and precautions of destination management, facilities that publicly announce their GLBTQ+ acceptance sometimes attract the undesirable. There are some who stereotype our community as particularly vulnerable and weak. These individuals may not be guests on the property but they possibly monitor the entrance and exit of the establishment. It is recommended to take note of the surroundings and constantly practice vigilance.

Sunbathing!

Supplies:

Whether on nakation alone, as a couple or with companions, there are two essentials necessary: condoms and sunscreen. Keep in mind the cost of these items are usually higher at the destination rather than a local shop or store near where you reside. Condoms reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A reminder to all that condoms are strongly urged for everyone involved in PrEP.

Sunscreen generally has a shelf life of at least two years. Check the container for the expiration date before departure! Sunburn on the first day of nakation can ruin the remainder of your “play-time.” Better to be safe than sorry!

Sunglasses? A good idea is to always carry an extra pair with you. Better to see than suffer from too much sunlight!

“Often, in jest or in ridicule, the textile ask of bare practitioners, ‘How’s it hanging?’ Perhaps we should respond with an inquiry of our own: ‘How does it feel, to always hide and conceal?'” ~ Roger Peterson-Poladopoulos ~ April 18, 2022

Weather Suggestions:

Perfect weather conditions for a nakation cannot be guaranteed. A suggestion is to carry along a few tools to reduce boredom risks in the event storms appear. A deck of playing cards isn’t bulky and easily fits inside an empty shoe. Another idea is a small (3 x 5 inch or 7.62 x 12.7 cm) memo notebook and a couple of pencils or pens. These can be used for a game of charades, etc. These items aren’t cumbersome nor expensive and offer unpleasant weather options.

A Gentle Reminder Notation:

As I have mentioned throughout this post entry, experiencing a nakation isn’t solely based on the destination and/or the location. The freedom, the joy and the relaxation are major aspects of the nakation opportunity. Equally important and satisfying is the enrichment of our clothes free lives. A successful nakation is the comfort enjoyed from nakedness as determined by the nakationer!

Home alone!

A nakation can be pleasurable and relaxing alone at home. It doesn’t have to involve extensive travel or endless nightmares. Whatever suits the individual is best!

Take care and stay bare!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, April 22, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Holy Easter/Martyr’s Day!”

Our Paths Crossed…

Rodney Lamont Lofton

A Tribute to Rodney Lofton

September 9, 1968 – March 14, 2022

The date was Wednesday, March 16, of this year. At university, a colleague brought in a newspaper from where I lived with my, the city of Richmond, Virginia. He entered my office without knocking and opened the paper and laid it across my desk. I turned from my computer screen and glanced at where he pointed with his finger. A memorial obituary for an acquaintance of mine – Rodney Lofton. He had died from complications with lung cancer on Monday, March 14, in Phoenix, Arizona.

He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in November, 2021. He was pronounced with HIV in 1993. A Richmond, Virginia, native, he returned to the city of his birth after living in New York City for several years. It was while living in New York City that he learned of his HIV status. He immediately became active in HIV+ awareness, education and services not only in Richmond but in Washington, D.C., as well.

Rodney worked to revive and then became a member of the City of Richmond Human Rights Commission. He served two terms in that position.

Rodney served on various boards and commissions nationally and throughout the states. His service in the City of Richmond, Virginia, and for the Commonwealth of Virginia (the focus here for this post), was both beneficial and profound. He was the very first African-American to serve as a senior staff person at the community GLBTQ+ advocacy group, Diversity Richmond. In this capacity he was vice-president and then deputy director. He was instrumental in opening doors previously closed to persons of colour in the former capital city of the old Confederate States.

In his time, he created the Black and Bold Awards to honour the contributions that Black GLBTQ+ persons made to the City of Richmond and to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Later, he created a similar award programme for the Latino community.

Rodney Lofton posing beside his portrait at Diversity Richmond!

In 2015, Rodney was the recipient of the OUTStanding Virginia award presented by Equality Virginia to a person who dutifully positively represented the community in the public eye.

Among his numerous volunteer efforts, he also actively participated in the Red Cross HIV/AIDS prevention education programmes. I will deliver more on this topic in the second part of today’s post here.

Rodney Lofton was the author of two books. The first book entitled The Day I Stopped Being Pretty: A Memoir was published on October 16, 2007. This memoir chronicles his life journey from childhood to adulthood in honest and riveting detail. He relates his bad times, good times and all the moments in between. He bares his soul and affords us the perspective of a gay Black male recognizing his uniqueness in the unfolding world of the “New South.”

Rodney Lofton’s first book.

His second novel was published two years later on June 30, 2009. His second book entitled No More Tomorrows: Two Lives, Two Stories, One Love. Lofton’s second book is a novel relaying the bromance and drama of two contemporary same gender loving men and their relationship. Both titles were nominated the year of publication for a Lambda Literary Award.

Rodney Lofton’s second book!

The current City of Richmond City Council unanimously passed a Statement of Tribute in early March, 2022. It was signed by Mayor Stoney and delivered to Rodney in Phoenix, Arizona, shortly before he died. In the statement, City Council noted: “Rodney served for many years as a local and national GLBTQ+ leader and compassionate voice.”

Rodney Lamont Lofton is survived by his husband, Faron Niles.

*************************

A Personal Thought on Rodney Lofton:

As teenagers, my identical twin brother, Alex, and myself – once we understood our same gender attraction – would frequently visit the riverside park in our city, especially the “gay beach” area where we could “hang out” with our own kind. Twin and I liked the fact that we could be clothes free here while on summer vacation from our residential Deaf school. This was where we met Rodney. He and Twin became friends while Rodney and I remained acquaintances – we’d pass notes while together but that was the limit of our relationship.

Fast forward to the middle 1990’s. Due to the HIV/AIDS crisis, I became a very active volunteer in prevention education with my local chapter of the Red Cross. I worked primarily with teenagers and young adults in outreach efforts to raise knowledge and understanding among their peers. As a Deaf instructor-trainer in the Red Cross HIV/AIDS curriculum, I was frequently sought by the national organization and the various local chapters for advice and service.

I served as a co-chairman on the programme to create, develop and implement a focused curriculum for teens in HIV prevention strategies and techniques. This two-year project culminated with a four-day training conference involving 150 teenage training candidates and the project developers/educators. The name determined for the project was Teen Voice. This provided me the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with Rodney Lofton.

For the duration of the educational sessions, Rodney and I were room-mates at the facility used for the training. At nights after our sessions, we passed notes while naked in our shared room and smoking our cigarettes, expelling the smoke through our open window. Because of our note exchange, we kept the room lights on. At the reception at the end of our programme, one of our co-instructors commented privately that he enjoyed watching the two of us smoking nude in our room at night! We both shared laughter at our “exposure” at the Red Cross Teen Voice conference!

Over the nights and notes, we developed a casual friendship and an understanding of our roles within the Red Cross HIV/AIDS project. We also recalled days at the riverside park in Richmond hanging out nude and skinny-dipping in the river.

The Memorial Service

Memorial Service announcement!

I attended the above memorial service for Rodney. Twin wanted to attend but had a professional commitment that he needed to participate. There was no interpreter present so all I could do was observe the mourners present. It did me good to be there and offer my sentiments internally.

********************

A shared past and our shared nudity!

Rest in peace, Rodney Lofton!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next planned post entry here is for Monday, April 18, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “April Appeal: Nakations!”

April Appeal: Social Nudity!

The image above clearly shows the necessity of social nudity!

Opening Photo Justification:

In the introductory photograph (above), our actual bare practitioner brother, adult film-star Phoenix Fellington, aptly represents the theme of this particular post here on ReNude Pride but also, along with his fellow same gender loving (SGL) adult actors, the importance and necessity that social nudity provides our bare practitioner culture. Phoenix introduces two roles in the above illustration. First, he is the only African American featured – an automatic minority. Secondly, he is likewise the only subject completely and totally naked – another automatic minority.

Mr. Fellington and his co-performing colleagues graphically depict bare practitioner reality and truth. Every one of us, every day of our lives, constitute a “double minority.” Independent of our individual race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, education, or ability, we’re all SGL. Our first minority status. Our second minority status is our naturist/nudist proclivity. Please bear in mind that our minority status may vary and reverse itself depending on each individual. Number one can become number two and vice-versa.

Thus, this one picture shows our peculiar bare practitioner perspective. Two extra “burdens” simply because of who we are. Our representational responsibilities in addition to our respective individual considerations. This image conveys the significance of social nudity to us all as bare practitioners.

Thank you, Phoenix Fellington and your fellow SGL film performers for your awareness education of our dilemma. Please inform your associates they can now strip off the clothing items they’re wearing and get comfortable!

Flexing their arms while naked together!

“Being a bare practitioner in no way adequately defines us yet it is indeed a fun way to accurately describe us!” ~ Roger Peterson-Poladopoulos

Social Nudity:

“The extent or level of our bare involvement is frequently immaterial. The overwhelming majority of naturists/nudists engage in social nudity whether they recognize the action as such or not. We are human and we are a social being. The simple acknowledgement of another’s nakedness constitutes social nudity.” ~Roger Poladopoulos ~ April 11, 2022

Introduction:

Fortunately, social nudity has only two simple qualifications. First, of course, is very basic: our nakedness. The second is almost as simple as the first: it includes at least two nude individuals interacting with one another. That’s it! Basic. Plain. Simple.

There’s no restriction on the type of interaction that happens. We can read together, play cards, perform tasks for pleasure, play tennis, go jogging, skinny-dip, lay in the sun, paint or engage in board games or sew. We can walk or skydive. We can even just sit and converse with one another. As long as we’re bare, casual, relaxed and together (social). Quantity is unimportant and familiarity isn’t a prerequisite.

Social nudity allows us to introduce ourselves and to become acquainted. We can transition from acquaintances into friends. We can evolve and grow from friendship into a relationship and beyond.

There are no stringent guidelines and the possibilities are endless!

Siblings proud to be socially naked together!

“Social nudity is the exotic exuberance of an excellent fashion extravaganza: our nakedness!” ~ Roger Peterson-Poladopoulos April 11, 2022

Ramifications:

Bare practitioners are a friendly, happy, helpful and quite often marginalized group of people. Hence, our “double minority” status. General society, primarily textile (clothes wearing) and judgmental, regard us with both disdain and disgust. Far too often, we are misjudged as nothing more than perverted individuals because of our preference for the clothes free lifestyle – our being naked together is determined as positive proof that sexual pleasure is the only reason that we are collectively nude. All that we supposedly desire is unlimited sexual license!

The above scenario is a common myth transmitted among the fashion-obsessed majority to ensure their continued dominance in society. True, there are some naturist/nudist people who enjoy clothes freedom mainly for sexual engagement but the overwhelming number of us bare practitioners simply prefer being without the burden of garment wearing. Our bodies are us and we relish being free and natural!

A basic truth!

We, as humans, are generally a very congenial, social species. We like being around interacting with others we perceive as being similar to ourselves: bare or clothed. As a bare practitioner, I am comfortable and relaxed while in the company of other bare practitioners. As a Deaf man, I am completely at ease in the presence of others who are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). This is based on human nature and is a fact shared by all of us, regardless of our clothes choice (naked or textile).

Naturists or nudists are humans, first, who readily accept and identify themselves as a comity (group) of like-minded individuals who appreciate their uniqueness in the broader world. As humans, we are we are content and willing to interact and socialize with those who share our inclination. It is easier to establish compatibility and trust with persons who are most like ourselves. Once again, human nature prevails.

Flexibility:

The only essential or basic requirement for social nudity to transpire is that body and clothes freedom must be shared. Therefore, the minimum number of people involved must be two. After all, company determines interaction. Yet flexibility reigns supreme and there is no limitation on the maximum number involved. The quantity of the crowd is endless and is solely restricted by the amount of space available. The often repeated folk adage: “the more the merrier” is entirely applicable in the case of social nudity. Naked together is the guideline!

To be perfectly honest, mandatory and/or obligatory nakedness is not an essential standard in order for social nudity to occur. As long as the textile people present accept, appreciate, respect and understand that the freedom from clothing prevails then the social nudity affixation is both earned and justified.

The optimal belief and premise that covering our bodies or hiding beneath clothes is totally unnecessary!

Naked truth!

As bare practitioners, most of us are employed in a workplace that embraces, and requires, the wearing of clothing – if not a uniform! We accept this reality. However, away from our job we are on our own in fulfilling our lives and circumstances. Body and clothes freedom – our choice, our life, our time – is one aspect we need not compromise. Social nudity (voluntary association with our “own kind”) is both a need and a relief from the stress of everyday living in a distinctly different reality from the acceptable “normalcy” of the vast majority. Our own special haven (heaven) in an otherwise chaotic and fashion-focused world!

In addition to our endorsement of social nudity, as bare practitioners there is another major reason for our encouragement and support of clothes freedom. Not only are we judged by our nakedness by the textile world, within our own naturist/nudist community we are also deemed unacceptable and unwanted by fellow clothes free people due to our same gender loving – bisexual or gay – status. This homophobia isn’t as prevalent or pronounced as it was perhaps twenty years ago, but it still exists and remains within our natural collective. This is one aspect of why we use the term “bare practitioner” instead of “bisexual naturist” or “gay nudist.” For many, the words bisexual and/or gay imply sexuality over attraction.

Social nudity: all together!

There is a growing number of body and clothes freedom establishments and resorts that are now promoting (advertising) themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) accepting, friendly and welcoming. This marketing strategy is underway in order to create more tolerant environments for their guests as well as to ensure the quality of business and it appears to be operable.

There are a few misconceptions regarding the heading: social nudity. A large number of people, no matter there clothing choice, think only in terms of a “party-like” atmosphere exclusively. Actually, social nudity encompasses much more than that. Discussion groups, reading and/or book clubs, athletics, dramatic clubs, hiking groups, garden clubs, etc., all qualify as pertinent to social nudity.

Skinny-dipping!

There are a countless number of SGL naturist/nudist participants who limit their engagement to social nudity activities only. When alone, they aren’t concerned whether they are bare or clothed. They are just as comfortable wearing garments as they are without. It appears as though they only indulge with nudity when they are with others who have no strong bonds or feelings with nakedness unless it is in a total party environment.

My spouse, Aaron, and I sometimes chuckle among ourselves over this seemingly oblivious indifference towards body and clothes freedom. Our humour over the matter possibly derives from our obsession with the state of our nakedness and their apparent lack of concern. Another clear example of the variances of human nature. What may be of paramount importance to one is relatively insignificant to another.

The bottom line being yet another folk adage: “to each one, his/her own!”

A Point To Ponder:

Naked and not quite naked!

The above image begs a question that very few seem to have an answer. Social nudity is widely considered to be a situation where everyone is nude and interacting. However, what if the case is different. If one of the persons is bare and the other is partially or totally textile. Does social nudity still apply? The naked individual is being social through his interaction with the other, who happens to be clothed. It isn’t a completely nude situation, but is the label applicable in a mixed situation? A final thought to ponder today!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, April 15, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Our Paths Crossed…!”

Revival!

Bare practitioners #1

The Good News

The e-mail announcement was sent the day after Spring arrived. All of the recipients were naturally ecstatic over the return of the warming season so the timing of the notification made perfect sense. Keep the “good news” separate from the welcoming of springtime!

The good news? The reviving (return to life) of our little “partner’s club” of bare practitioners appropriately named the BP’s (bare practitioners). In all honesty, we aren’t legally nor officially named anything. We simply refer to ourselves as the BP’s.

Bare practitioners #2

My identical twin, Alex, our first cousin (9 years younger) Michael and I were the initial members of the BP’s along with whoever we were dating at the time. This was before marriage equality and the calm, progressive time-frame of Mr. Obama’s presidency.

Fast forward to the present and add my spouse, Aaron, to the BP’s members listing plus Dante` (Alex’s current mate), Ropati (Michael’s partner and soon-to-be spouse). Non-related now includes my friend, Jay (and his significant, Raheem) and Paul (Aaron’s older brother and his man, Sudhir). Our oldest brother, Nick, is an ex officio member; he’s same gender loving (SGL) but only a discretionary nudist. Somehow, Nick manages to survive being clothed most of the time!

Our BP’s theme!

We constitute the core-group of the BP’s. Others have affiliated over the years but have either ended a relationship, fallen “out-of-touch” (uncommunicative) or physically moved away from the area. To my knowledge, no one has become textile or married someone of the opposite gender!

The coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic caused a two-year hiatus from our joint adventures together. Travel restrictions and group gathering limitations forced us to simply adhere to public safety guidelines and exchange images of ourselves (no clothing allowed) instead of having several BP’s excursions during the course of a calendar year.

Onward to the revival!

In addition to announcing the resuscitation of the BP’s, the e-mail notice contained other information that was personally rewarding for me. Raheem (Jay’s significant other), volunteered to serve as our “BP-of-contact” for the upcoming future. Another “treat” to welcome the return of the warming time of the year!

I’ll again mention here of Raheem’s creativity. He’s the man who made the BRAT entitlement for my January 3, 2022, post entry here on ReNude Pride. His energy is hopefully contagious to us all!

The first BP’s excursion for this post-epidemic season is planned for the end of May. The replies to Raheem are promising which indicate a positive revival of both bare fun as well as BP’s excitement!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, April 11, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “April Appeal: Social Nudity!”

Surprise!

A welcoming invitation!

“Come on! Remove all your clothes so that we all can have a naked celebration today!”

Make the day fun!

Since publishing ReNude Pride, on numerous occasions I have written here that my spouse, Aaron, and I share this month because of our birthdays. In honour of our “special day,” this surprise (unannounced) post entry celebrates the event. I will note that our birthdays are not on the same day! Although we are a married couple, a joint birthdate is just too coincidental! Plus, I already share the day with Alex, my identical twin!

The uniqueness of our birth situations are cause for us to offer a treat to all of you. Please accept a serving of our birthday cake as a token of our appreciation and gratitude for your friendship and support! Help us to commemorate this date by “doing something naked today!”

A cake on his “cakes!”

Today’s bare undertaking doesn’t require any elaborate consideration. Even the simplest and slightest gesture – shrouded in nudity – provides enough happiness and joy for the remainder of the month and beyond!

“Thank you!”

Please “read” his lips! He’s mouthing the words “thank you” from the both of us directly towards each of you!

“Once I have given to you my nudity, that’s the complete gift. In all honesty, there is nothing else left to give. You have the full picture, the total me!”

Aaron: afternoon nap!

Our naked contribution for today, in addition to being born nude, is a reposting of an image of my beloved spouse clothes free (above)!

At a picnic table in the park!

And finally, one of your truly, doing what he does best: nakedness!

Take care and stay bare!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Friday, April 8, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Revival!”

April Arrives!

April blooms!

Notation: I’m unsure of the names of the above flowering plants not their blooming schedule. The pictures are for illustrative purposes only!

During my primary (elementary) school years, Alex, my identical twin brother, and I always dreaded the date; April 1. It was designated April Fool’s Day which we both interpreted as implying that the entire month was committed to fools! Since our birthday is during this month, we resented the offensive implication!

Nick, our oldest brother, always playfully teases us as being his very own “April fools!” This sibling harassment persists even though we’re all older and supposedly mature. Whenever around, our remaining brothers and our mother simply sit back and laugh!

It is then that the laughter is replaced by caution. Inevitably, one of our beloved brothers manages to recall from our earlier years an incident involving either Alex or myself – if not us both – and the humour soon resumes.

The beauty of April!

Coincidentally, my spouse, Aaron’s birthday is also in April. I remember the first time he was with my family during the month (we were only dating at that time). Nick, (unaware of Aaron’s birthdate) made his usual caustic remark about his “April fools.”

Aaron immediately retorted, “You can always identify a fool by the family and friends that he has with him!”

My father (alive at that time), turned to my oldest brother and said, “Nick, you have just been usurped by one far better than you!”

For a moment, everyone was serious and silent. Then my family burst into laughter! The adage, “He who laughs last, laughs best!” was proven true once again!

April Appeal Series:

During this month, April, 2022, ReNude Pride will feature a series entitled “April Appeal.” The initial post entry for this enterprise will appear here on Monday, April 4, and is a photo-essay focused on April Appeal: Bromance concentrating on same gender love (SGL). The goal is to offer (hopefully) at least one posted entry each week of this month dealing or exploring the various “appeal” aspects of April. Other planned subjects include social nudity and followed by nakations.

An extraordinary commemoration of yet another Springtime here in the Northern Hemisphere. As it is still early in this new season, a gentle reminder to everyone that it isn’t too late to implement any Spring Resolutions for personal development, growth and improvement!

Finally, an expression of my appreciation to my spouse, Aaron, for his active collaboration and cooperation in composing and designing of this particular entry of April Appeal: Bromance. He found the photographs of the interracial bare practitioner couple this article contains because he felt they reflected us – bare together and proud! Thank you, my love!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry planned for here is Monday, April 4, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “April Appeal: Bromance!”