Doing What We Need, Not What We Want

The more I read and write about the subject of nudism, the more I come to the conclusion that a person isn’t meant to live their life naked.

Why do I believe that?

This is why:

Being naked feels good. We (i.e., human beings) all know that.


Because we are all naked at least once in our life. We are born naked. We get naked in order to bathe. We get naked in order to have sex. You don’t have to live your life naked to realize that it feels good to climb out of your underwear.

But: We are made for more than feeling good — we are made for more than pleasure.

I found an example of this truth in, of all things, Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989).

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Kiki’s Delivery Service is about a 13-year-old witch named Kiki who, because of tradition, must leave home for a year in order to find her vocation.

One aspect of Kiki’s character is her dislike for the black clothes that she must wear: an aspect of her identity as a witch.

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So, how does Kiki’s Delivery Service illustrate the truth that a person is not meant to always experience the pleasure of not wearing clothes?

Because Kiki must wear clothes in order to do her duty. She, like all of us, must put aside what she wants to do (not wear black clothes) in order to be able to do what she needs to do (find and master a skill).

This doesn’t mean that a person can’t enjoy going naked. Like I said a moment ago: It feels good to be naked. And there are situations were it’s OK to experience the good feelings that come with being naked. For example: When it’s hot outside and people either don’t mind if you go naked, or you are alone.

But: Naked is not meant to be your default state of being. You are not meant to always experience the pleasure of feeling the wind between your legs and the sun on your skin. You are also meant to roll up your sleeves and get to work, doing your duty, whatever your duty is. (Genesis 2:15)

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For further reading:

Why We Are Not Meant To Live Our Lives Naked

Clothes and Identity in “Kiki’s Delivery Service”

God Wants Us To Be More Than Naked

Nudity, Sex, and “Empowerment”


10 thoughts on “Doing What We Need, Not What We Want

  1. This was a really interesting post, I never really looked at clothes that way before but I guess that’s what they mean when they say “the clothes make the man.” We are what we wear?

    1. Thank you for your positive feedback. I’m glad you liked my post.

      I think “We are what we wear” is what the saying “The clothes make the man” means.

      Clothes express our desires, or communicate some aspect of our character.

      For example: If I’m wearing sweatpants and a sweater, those clothes make it clear that I want to feel warm and comfortable — they express, with no words needing to be said, my desire for warmth and comfort. And If I’m a member of a sports team, my jersey makes it clear that one aspect of who I am is “Member of a sports team.”

  2. It is true that, since most of us live in social cultures which expect us to wear clothes, we cannot spend our entire lives nude if we expect to live in the world. But *naked* is in fact our default state.

    God made us “naked and not ashamed”, we are born naked, and we return to our natural state of nudity whenever we wish to cleanse ourselves or engage in the unifying and reproductive activity we call sexual intercourse. Many of us return to this state whenever we prepare for sleep; I insist on sleeping nude even when I stay with my non-naturist family. It is only because most folks insist on The Great Coverup that I wear clothes in their presence.

    (I even joke about it with my musical colleagues sometimes. They’ll say something about what I’m wearing, and I’ll retort, “You’re lucky I’m wearing clothes at all!” *lol*)

    1. Haha!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this.

      On the one hand:

      I agree that naked is our default state because, as you pointed out, God meant us to be “naked without shame,” we are born naked, we are naked when we clean ourselves, and nudity is necessary to create new life.

      On the other hand:

      Because of the imperfect world we live in, it is not possible to be naked all the time, or feel absolutely no shame, for any reason, when it comes to our nakedness. And, in that sense, nudity is not our default state — because, in this imperfect world, there is the impulse or desire to cover up, for one reason or another.

      1. I wonder if we often underestimate the Holy Spirit’s power to take away our sins and the shame that results from them. Through prayer, study, and (for Catholics) the discipline of confession, absolution and penance, we grow ever closer to God’s design for us, and thus have less to be ashamed about. And by reconditioning our minds away from destructive teachings about our bodies, we replace the shame with joy in what God has made.

        If I feel an impulse to cover up now, it is not in any way personal shame; it is rather a response to what I see, hear, and otherwise sense from particular circumstances or people.

      2. Good point: God’s grace and (for Catholics) confession, absolution, and penance, can work wonders.

        I agree that “…by reconditioning our minds away from destructive teachings about our bodies, we replace the shame with joy in what God has made.”

        Replacing shame with joy is how I am able to appreciate nude art and responsible portrayals of nudity and sexuality in popular culture.

        However: Shame will always exist to some extent, because we all fall short to some extent — we are all tempted to sin because of the fallen nature of the world.

        But: God’s grace, and a readjustment in thinking, can help a person battle shame and the temptation to sin.

  3. I am a cradle Catholic and have been a nudist/naturist for many years so there you go. 🙂

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