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Reconciling "Mormon" misconceptions
Frontiersman Offline
#21 Posted : Friday, November 21, 2014 5:32:22 PM(UTC)

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Mr Moonella wrote:
The thing I always found annoying about the supposed beard policy is that there was never any source for it - nowhere I could go and read it. If the prophet had issued a statement, or said it in conference, or put it in the handbook I would know where I stood. Even if I didn't like it, I could accept that as an unusual but clearly stated part of our religion, along with not drinking alcohol.

I quite agree with Mr Moonella here.
When I was asked to shave my beard to be able to work in the temple I asked why it was a Temple Department suggestion, meaning ultimately it is up to the individual Temple Presidents. I was told three things, the first I think is how the Temple Department explains their policy, the second and third I think are how my particular Temple President feels about it.
1) We want to present a look similar to the missionaries, simple, clean-cut, dignified, and uniform.
2) Even if brethren were allowed and a limit was set as to how long you could let it grow, supposedly people would push the line and grow it longer.
3) My personal favorite... We don't want to offend anyone by wearing a beard.
One other thing I might mention that I have often wanted to say but my sarcastic sense of person would get me in trouble for it... Part of the missionary grooming standard is to not shave your head bald. Well, what about those brethren who work in the temple but are balding a little or a lot and decide to shave their head? Yes, some people can't grow hair on the top of their head, that doesn't mean to me that I should be stopped from keeping a well groomed bunch of hair on my face, since I have that ability.
De oppresso liber
LazerusLong Offline
#22 Posted : Friday, November 21, 2014 8:02:21 PM(UTC)

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Frontiersman wrote:
...
1) We want to present a look similar to the missionaries, simple, clean-cut, dignified, and uniform. ...

This idea of uniformity really irks me. Are we not all individuals? Why is the church working so hard to stifle individuality, and spread the conformity & uniformity.

Check out LDS Business College's new policy effects on IMGUR.

Uniformity -> like the society of nearly every distopian scifi novel... Ender's Game, Anthem, Brave New World, The Giver... the list goes on and on.

I don't agree with everything Hugh Nibley said... but his views on the Pharisees of BYU and the ripple effects there of I do agree with whole heartedly.
Quote:
In 1973, he said, "The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism... the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances."
The ways of God, government, & girls are all mysterious & it is not given to mortal man to understand them. - LazarusLong
Frontiersman Offline
#23 Posted : Saturday, November 22, 2014 1:15:56 AM(UTC)

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That is probably the only talk I can say I know came from Nibley, I was introduced to it on my mission and I love it. What part of it don't you agree with LazerusLong?
This is one of the main reasons I tell people I will never attend BYU. The culture that comes prepackaged at those places is so restraining, and to what end? Don't get me wrong, one of my favorite scriptures is section 59 of the Doctrine and Covenants, one of the verses says that we will receive commandments not a few, the thing is is those are commandments not policy.
Come to think of it I am quite the oddly cultured person.
A bearded, Deaf, Mormon naturist.
De oppresso liber
Ravenwarbird Offline
#24 Posted : Saturday, November 22, 2014 1:56:47 AM(UTC)

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Well, I really have no issue with beards, and hope never too (i.e. have one), but I have often wondered about men with beards and if their beards often get caught in stuff like zippers or if stuff gets caught in their beards.
Since I have little issue one way of the other about bearded Priesthood I will address sexual intercourse vs. relations. I agree with GBSmith that in general people are stupid and always looking for loopholes to justify what they want to get away with. I was thinking it was something like going from thou shalt not kill to love your enemy and pray for those who spitefully use you. You would hope that people would know enough and be in tune with the spirit enough to know better. Just because you did not kill the person you hate does not mean you are in the right just as just because you did not have intercourse with a person dose not mean you have not have a sexual relationship with them. Sorry if that was a little confusing, a few double negatives in there. Anyway I think and hope you get my point, I agree that the wording of the covenant had to be changed to broaden the scope of the definition to include what should have and hopefully now is more clear as to what is covered in the covenant.
Also no, sexual relations do not include basic nudity of in other words I agree that social and or non-social nudity is not inherently sexual and so not included in the definition of sexual relations. However what "I" do include in the definition of sexual relations is lustful thinking, just because a person did not act on their desire does not mean they have not sinned in their hearts. We shall be judged not only by our actions but by our intents and thoughts good or wicked.
Remember the simple things are the fundamentals of life. Choose ye your path this day. Si prima non succederet usus duct tape.
Mr Moonella Offline
#25 Posted : Saturday, November 22, 2014 5:27:44 PM(UTC)

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Thanks for all of your interesting info about the so-called beard policy.

GBSmith wrote:
The reason for no beards at BYU was Ernest L. Wilkenson, president at the time. He didn't like democrats, rock and roll, dancing other than ballroom, and hippies.


Thanks for explaining. Obviously my 'polygamist' theory is wrong.

Frontiersman wrote:
1) We want to present a look similar to the missionaries, simple, clean-cut, dignified, and uniform.


It's funny how this sounds like they believe that uniformity is self-evidently desirable. They'd be shocked to discover that most people in the world, myself included, would respond with something like "Why?". In fact, I think most people would find the notion of a religious group wanting uniformity of appearance as being slightly creepy.

Frontiersman wrote:
3) My personal favorite... We don't want to offend anyone by wearing a beard.


When I asked someone why no beards for temple workers, I actually heard someone suggest that they didn't want to SCARE anyone!! Imagine a little old lady going through the temple and suddenly coming face to face with a man with a beard! "Er, yes, why is that scary?" I asked. I doubt that these beard-fearing little old ladies actually exist. If they do, I hope they get over it before they meet their Maker.

Mormondad wrote:
The primary reason for no beards when it comes to the GA's is the notion of setting the right appearance. The standard in the business world is clean shaven, thus the leadership in an effort to appear professional and thus more acceptable with fewer perceived obstacles have chosen to be clean shaven.


I was very surprised to read this. Is it really such a thing in America that the standard in the business world is clean-shaven? That having a beard is somehow unprofessional? Obviously this beard thing goes beyond the church then!

Maybe this was even more true in the 1960s - that being respectable meant being clean shaven and having a beard meant you were a hippie or anti-establishment rebel. But, out of interest, I decided to have a look at the current members of the US senate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_United_States_Senators). Out of 80 male senators, plus another 10 male senators-elect, I see a couple of moustaches, but not a single beard! There are a few in the House of Representatives, so it obviously isn't out of the question, but it seems quite striking to me how few there are. Looking at the British MPs (http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mps/) I wouldn't say that beards are common, but there are clearly more of them, and I would never have considered that 'the standard in the business world is clean shaven' in the UK.

Until now I had wondered when the general authorities had stopped having beards, and whether there had been a general conference where all the general authorities had suddenly appeared without their beards. But now I assume that it just happened naturally. If being clean shaven was a requirement for being respectable in the 1960s, then the GAs wouldn't have needed to be told not to have a beard, any more than they needed telling to wear a suit to church.

Since students weren't quite so conformist and BYU like to enforce a dress code, they made a no-beard rule, so from this and the fact that the GAs conformed to the fashion unanimously, seems to have been enough to make it into an unwritten rule.

On another tangent, I had heard that the weird custom of General Authorities always using their initial was also another standard practice in the American business world. I don't know if this is true, as American politicians don't seem to do it. I would hate that so much - being referred to by everyone forever by an unnatural formal form of my name.
Roamer Offline
#26 Posted : Saturday, November 22, 2014 5:55:16 PM(UTC)
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GBSmith wrote:
mane wrote:
One "misconception" I am pondering is the concept of "sexual relations". I went through 10 Ensign talks about the subject, and never saw one real definition. I have always assumed that it meant "having sex" ie sexual intercourse. The old temple definition of chastity was said "have no sexual intercourse other than with husband, wife" etc. Now the words are substituted with the phrase " no sexual relations other than with husband, wife" etc. Why the change, unless it is to broaden the prohibition--ie, "sexual" being broadened to include somehow social nudism. I have always heard and appreciated that "social nudism" is non sexual, ie, no sexual intercourse. "Relations" defined by the free dictionary online seems to hint that "sexual relations" means sexual intercourse when it says:
1. A logical or natural association between two or more things...connection: the relation between smoking and heart disease...
4. The way in which one person or thing is connected with another: the relation of parent to child.
5. relations a. The mutual dealings or connections of persons, groups, or nations in social, business, or diplomatic matters: international relations.
b. Sexual intercourse.


Would somebody like to comment, pls?


The temple covenant was changed because people were engaging in oral sex, mutual m'ing, etc. and believing they were not violating the command because it wasn't "intercourse". It doesn't apply to social nudism because as practiced by me and others here, I'm sure, is not sexual and has anything to do with anything related to sexual arousal. Until you are able to separate the idea that nudity means sex it will be hard for you to understand but typically about 5 minutes in a safe social nudist setting, either a club, resort or beach and it will all become clear.


I agree with this. It was broadened to make the question more intent based rather than restrict the question to a handful of very specific acts, or worse, having to create a detailed(and ever growing) list of "prohibited" activities and then having to stipulate which ones are unacceptable outside of marriage, but can be acceptable inside of a marriage.

To expand a bit, the nudity angle you attempt to include into that question regarding "sexual activity" is just that. An extension of the intent behind the act, rather than the act itself. A person being being nude in a mixed gender situation(or even one gender situation, for some), can be doing so for a sexual purpose. In which case they are in a sinful status if they're not married to the other involved party.

In a dating context for naturists, this can result in a situation where while being naked in the presence of their date is not sexual(ie sinful) for them, and not an intended/expected outcome, it still can be a sexual experience for their date. Which undoubtedly raises all kinds of other deeper doctrinal/spiritual issues and questions for people to ponder over. As the reality is that situations like that are not just restricted to naturism, it just can be more readily demonstrated.

Which is where many LDS Naturists probably tend to run afoul of their local leadership when it comes to attention of their leadership. Many times they are likely making decisions based "on the least of these" (which may be the leadership themselves in that specific context) rather than the person actually sitting before them.

Because the very concept that two people could be right next to each other, doing the exact same thing at the exact same time... But one of them is sinner for doing so while the other is not, is a concept that would melt the proverbial mind of many members of the LDS Church. (or members of any other faith group for that matter, generally speaking) As most people do not want to believe or understand that many things are situation dependent.
Frontiersman Offline
#27 Posted : Saturday, November 22, 2014 11:33:57 PM(UTC)

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Mr Moonella wrote:
I doubt that these beard-fearing little old ladies actually exist. If they do, I hope they get over it before they meet their Maker.

I gotta say I got a little chuckle out of that statement. So true.

Mr Moonella wrote:
On another tangent, I had heard that the weird custom of General Authorities always using their initial was also another standard practice in the American business world. I don't know if this is true, as American politicians don't seem to do it. I would hate that so much - being referred to by everyone forever by an unnatural formal form of my name.

I've also always been weirded out by that. But then trying to say just first and last name, because of the conditioning, makes that sound weird now too. I certainly don't know if it being a custom among any other groups of people here in the U.S.
De oppresso liber
Mr Moonella Offline
#28 Posted : Sunday, November 23, 2014 2:25:58 AM(UTC)

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Frontiersman wrote:

Mr Moonella wrote:
On another tangent, I had heard that the weird custom of General Authorities always using their initial was also another standard practice in the American business world. I don't know if this is true, as American politicians don't seem to do it. I would hate that so much - being referred to by everyone forever by an unnatural formal form of my name.

I've also always been weirded out by that. But then trying to say just first and last name, because of the conditioning, makes that sound weird now too.


Exactly. The form "Neal A. Maxwell" becomes so standard that everyone uses it and it sounds weird to say anything else. So they are doomed to being known that way for the rest of their lives and probably have to introduce themselves that way. I'd prefer to just say "Neal Maxwell" but can't as it would sound like I was being over familiar or rebellious. If it's a present leader I could say "Elder Anderson" and you'd probably know who I meant, but I can't refer to a past apostle as 'Elder Richards' if there have been several of them.
Mormondad Offline
#29 Posted : Monday, November 24, 2014 12:13:29 PM(UTC)

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I wonder if using the middle initial had something to do with such individuals as "Joseph Smith, Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith" "J. Russell M. Ballard, Melvin J. Ballard" "Ezra T. Benson, Ezra Taft Benson" "John Taylor, John W. Taylor" "George A. Smith, George Albert Smith" etc.
"Modesty died when clothes were born."
---Mark Twain
RetiredOkie Offline
#30 Posted : Monday, November 24, 2014 12:41:35 PM(UTC)
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I use my middle initial for all formal signatures, checks etc. I cannot be confused with many in the world. When I google my name or people search or any people finding programs, I am the only person that comes up. So I could drop the middle initial and still be unique. But with the middle initial I am very unique. Should my name come up in the police blotter ... Well pretty much 100% chance .. Tis I.

But I suppose every body is unique even with no name whatsoever or clothes.
retiredokie

Ravenwarbird Offline
#31 Posted : Monday, November 24, 2014 6:59:06 PM(UTC)

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One of my brothers recently went on a trip over seas and was detained for half an hour when he tried to enter the country he was visiting. They just kept asking him if that was the first time he had been to their country and how many times he had been there until someone new and higher up came in to ask the same questions. It was the fist and likely the last time he had ever been there. When they finally let him go so he could catch his next flight they wrote something in his passport and, as he put it, "Almost" politely asked him to be out of the country within the week like he said he would be. The note they put in his passport said if he was not out of the country by a set date he was to be arrested.

His name was on some kind of a watch list but I don't think they had a middle name for the undesirable person as they only asked about his fist and last name over and over again. I know of at least two other women with the same first and last name as me. You never know what someone might be doing with your name and how it might affect you. One of my brothers also ran into some trouble on his mission because of our last name and the reputation a family in that area had that shared the name.
Remember the simple things are the fundamentals of life. Choose ye your path this day. Si prima non succederet usus duct tape.
Frontiersman Offline
#32 Posted : Monday, November 24, 2014 8:52:46 PM(UTC)

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My first and last names are the same as that of a pop music singer. Also there are many people on facebook with the same first and last names. That is odd to me since growing up I was always the only person with my last name in school. That does make sense why in the modern church they do it for some people, but why everyone?
De oppresso liber
RetiredOkie Offline
#33 Posted : Monday, November 24, 2014 9:06:56 PM(UTC)
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I guess having a very unique name has its advantages. All I need to do is keep my nose clean. But should I get my nose dirty .. Well then I guess my jig is up. Angel
retiredokie

Roamer Offline
#34 Posted : Tuesday, November 25, 2014 8:16:05 AM(UTC)
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Mormondad wrote:
I wonder if using the middle initial had something to do with such individuals as "Joseph Smith, Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith" "J. Russell M. Ballard, Melvin J. Ballard" "Ezra T. Benson, Ezra Taft Benson" "John Taylor, John W. Taylor" "George A. Smith, George Albert Smith" etc.


I am very strongly inclined to think it is the reason that Mormondad brings up. It is probably a holdover from the first 150 years of the church where the same families kept on showing up in the Quorum of the 12 and/or ultimately becoming Presidents of the Church. In particular "Joseph Smith" comes to mind as a very notable example of this as families tend to name children after other (noteworthy) family members as a way of honoring them.

Basically it likely is a future looking situation where if they normally associate an initial with a General Authority at the onset, the less likely it is that a scholar going back to look at those works in the (distant) future is likely to be confused as to which "Joseph Smith" said what. (Never mind that convention doesn't work very well in that particular case because they share middle initials and middle names, so the latter ones had to adopt increasingly more formal means of address)

The other side of it is that aside from outliers like Joseph Fielding Smith, being the third General Authority(and later President) to bear the same name, it also helps "equalize" the members of the quorum so that they will normally be addressed in the same form if they all adopt the use of their middle initial. Which is probably the even more likely reason for that practice having been adopted by the Apostles, even if it may not be needed at any particular moment in time, so that people don't need to "retrain" should it be needed again in the future.
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Frontiersman on 11/25/2014(UTC)
r5ts84n Offline
#35 Posted : Tuesday, June 11, 2019 9:30:43 AM(UTC)

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There seems to be way too much cultural and "religious" stigma to overcome for us as a society to even consider a break from the norm. And too much fear around what others think. Many don't understand or appreciate the underlying philosophy of naturism. For some reason it was wonderful and beautiful for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and when they left the garden, eventually nudity changed into something shameful, dirty, and exclusively sexual. Why?? I don't understand and I believe Satan is behind much of the cultural shift that exiles all notion of inherent value in social nudity, and people wonder why pornography is mainstream now?? Practically NOBODY remembers healthy nudity from 6000 years ago. They've literally forgotten, and now as a result, they resent and/or abuse their own and others' physical bodies; looks like a big win for Satan. The adversary has also tainted the public's view of naturism, such that it is something eclectic and sensational, which in its purest form is the exact opposite of those descriptors; his case to the public is sadly assisted by a number of people out there claiming to be naturists but in reality are artificial naturists with alterior motives, who give naturism a bad name. Jesus please come quickly.
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observer BOSUDA on 6/12/2019(UTC)
Mormondad Offline
#36 Posted : Sunday, July 21, 2019 11:46:48 AM(UTC)

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Shucks, people can't even remember healthy nudity from just a few generations back. Most people have grandparents or great grandparents who swam nude. Many who are still alive won't even acknowledge it today.
"Modesty died when clothes were born."
---Mark Twain
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Nudedad on 11/20/2019(UTC)
Nudedad Offline
#37 Posted : Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:21:47 AM(UTC)

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Mormondad wrote:
Shucks, people can't even remember healthy nudity from just a few generations back. Most people have grandparents or great grandparents who swam nude. Many who are still alive won't even acknowledge it today.

I know from a particular experience that skinny dipping was the norm about 60+ years ago. When I was about 12 my sister caught me skinny dipping in the pond with some friends. Later that evening, at supper, she tattled on me. My dad just said that he didn't have a problem with because he used to go skinny dipping all the time when he was younger. It's only in the past few decades that nudity has become taboo. But I think that people are slowly trying to make it more acceptable.
People condemn what they don't know or understand.
D. Michael Offline
#38 Posted : Sunday, November 24, 2019 6:59:33 PM(UTC)

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As a kid and a teenager, I saw my dad naked, my mom naked, all the boys at school naked, my friends at church naked, my priesthood and youth leaders naked, and my Boy Scout leaders naked. None of us thought the slightest thing about it back then. It was just a part of life.

Then everybody started freaking out about sexual predators and started seeing them behind every bush. Suddenly the whole country became Victorian in their attitudes toward nudity. In American culture, we're still trying to recover from that.

But isn't it interesting that during those prudish decades toward nudity, practically all other standards of morality deteriorated away? I don't think that's a coincidence. Shaming the human body at a fundamental level can't help but have significant negative consequences.

It's too bad Mormons have to anguish over whether nudity is acceptable or not. The answer is a resounding YES! It's a wholesome thing for people to feel comfortable with human bodies, their own and others'. Utah law literally defines the very existence of the human body as "lewd," never mind that the church teaches us it's sacred. Still trying to figure out how something that is sacred is also inherently lewd.
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DadinSW on 11/24/2019(UTC)
Im0nlyme Offline
#39 Posted : Saturday, August 29, 2020 2:20:03 PM(UTC)

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dagadahon wrote:
However, as hard as it is, we will not go back to the 'Standard American Diet' (SAD). Whenever we have said 'oh, just this once' there have always been repercussions - getting sick, tummy aches, head aches, teeth pain and more. But beyond this is the fact that we have been lead to this state by the Spirit and for us this is what we need to be doing.

Naturism is the same thing, we were lead to it by the Spirit - and barring it being decried as evil from the pulpit by a prophet; it is not something we will turn from. For us it is what we are supposed to be doing. There are tools and teachings here that will protect our children from immodesty and pornography with greater effect than the churches 'avoid it'. What happens when you can no longer 'avoid it' because the world is pushing it at you from every angle at every second. The church will need more tools, it currently needs more tools. We will continue to stand as an example to our children, and help them to understand the tools that naturism can bring them.

I'm still afraid that there will be battles to fight on differences of understanding of our children and their teachers. I know our kids will make it through it, just as they've learned to say 'no thank you' when offered food that isn't prepared in our way. They are good kids!



I know this post is old, but since I am new I would like to put in my $.02 worth. I agree with dagadahon about the diet aspect. My wife and I have gluten issues, hers is allergy and mine is intolerance. When ward parties or picnics come we have to be very careful with what we eat, and sometimes we have to eat either before or after. Nothing is said in the WofW about gluten, which is most commonly found in wheat, but it says “All grain is ordained for the use of man...” This is similar in theory as naturism; Naturism is not for everyone, but those that practice it with a chaste mind feel better because of it, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I can’t attest to the social aspect yet, but I can tell you that when my wife and I practice together at home there is a closeness that is felt by me that clothes block. It is not the sexual aspect that I am feeling, even though I can let those feelings start very easily, rather it is pure love. Last night we sat on chairs in our side yard while nude. It was dark and we had the yard umbrella opened to minimize the “scene” from the second story windows of neighbors but it was a wonderful feeling. I remember thinking that it just feels so natural and easy to be with the one I love more than anyone on earth. Even though she was nude, and very attractive to me, I was focused on her as a whole person. What a liberating feeling that was!

Naturism to me is like eating a gluten free diet, when I am true to what I eat I feel good. When there is a cheat (which I don’t do intentionally) or by accident I don’t feel so good. Practicing naturism with a chaste mind keeps my mind in the proper place by allowing me to see others as God has created them. Practicing naturism does away with the urge to view pornography in any of its shapes or forms. I love the Gospel with all my heart and will follow it with everything I have, but I know for me a healthy outlook on life and humanity corresponds with naturism.
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observer BOSUDA on 8/30/2020(UTC)
Nudedad Offline
#40 Posted : Saturday, August 29, 2020 8:28:41 PM(UTC)

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I agree that with practicing naturism and being more comfortable with being naked more, you view people as a whole and not just sexual beings. When you can feel more comfortable being naked around others, you gain more confidence in yourself in so many other areas. It's sad that we, the most species on the planet, have to cover up for everything. Once the inhibitions over the human body is gone, other barriers go away as well.
People condemn what they don't know or understand.
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