ee our culture signify nude men as frequently as we do nude girls

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

As everyone knows, nudity is bad. It’s straightforward.
hat they
Nudity equals sex. Which
might have
is why my jaw dropped
Enjoyment . . .
when eight years past, I
learned about a website
called LDS Skinny-Dipper
Connection1. To me, this
name was an oxymoron
on the degree of “military intelligence.” I had to check it out.
According to the website, its constituency is nudism group
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” “Families
forever, naked and not ashamed,” it said. “Wholesome interest

in societal nudity under suitable circumstances,” it said.
I smirked. This was going to be entertaining, reading the rationalizations of these folks attempting to justify this sort of
I read through the website. I read every word—and there
were lots of words! They maintained that nonsexual social nudity
is a positive, beneficial thing. It is educational because it lets
everyone to see what human bodies really look like—instead
than consuming the glorified, airbrushed images we see in the
media daily. It strips away the mystery of the individual
body—particularly those parts we keep hidden from each
other—and decreases lust because people become comfortable and knowledgeable 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’s absolutely no doctrinal objection to wholesome,
nonsexual social nudity!”
Oh, there were all sorts of LDS cultural objections, all sorts


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

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


HAT WAS ALL I wanted: permission from individuals who
understood my LDS hang ups. I printed out the whole
LDS Skinny-Dipper Connection web 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 substantial part of it, handed the papers back to me and
said, “Well, I think it’s rationalization, but if you desire to do it,
go ahead.” (Bless her heart.)
I did. I became a full fledged, practicing Mormon naturist.
From other naturist hikers, I learned just how to trek bare safely. I
visited areas for example Diamond Fork hot springs in Spanish
Fork Canyon where a convention of nude 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 began practicing
Nudism, I was apprehensive. Walking into that environment,
I didn’t know how I’d feel, knowing all the things I had done
Nude. Because, truly, all I had was an “intellectual testimony”
of naturism Rationally, I was convinced. But being born and
raised in America and within the LDS Church, I had lots of
Mental conditioning that was not so easily overcome. Would
I feel guilty? Would an evil spirit follow me inside, alerting 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 revealed my urge to the changing room, a feeling of calmness came over
me. It appeared to say, “Don’t worry about it. Everything is acceptable.”
For three years, that was the only spiritual indication I
had that my alternative to embrace nudism was to
God. But from time to time, it’d hit me how out of step
my nudism was with conventional Mormonism, and uncertainties
would arise—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. She brought her swimsuit; I did not.
Before the party, 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 entire time, I kept
wondering what this couple would think of me if they knew
what I’d be off doing right after the reception. After all, it was
not so long ago that I was laughing at the idea of a
Mormon fkk.

WHILE MANAGING REGULAR day-to-day living, I
struggled and studied and meditated and prayed
over the uncertainties engendered by both halves of my