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Author Topic: Working Skyclad(nude)  (Read 31488 times)
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« Reply #90: December 12, 2010, 03:26:11 pm »

I wasn't under the impression that we were talking about a public ritual, or that we were talking about someone who purposefully disregards the preset rules. I was thinking of covens or groups that say that no one is allowed to be skyclad ever. Is it your right to say that your coven will always be robed? You bet! I don't necessarily think that that's fair is all. I just think it's a shame that there are apparently not many options for people who prefer a different style, and that it almost seems like people automatically think they're pervs for that preference. Some of the posts on here make it sound like anyone who receives benefit from skyclad ritual wants to drop trou in the middle of the day, on school grounds, while flipping off cops and stabbing kittens, lol! I promise, that's not my MO here. Tongue
   

I honestly don't care if a coven wants to work skyclad or not.  Or even "skyclad if you want to".  Not my issue, not my problem, not my business.

I care when someone insists on being naked in a non-naked space.  Or when nudity is insisted upon outside of a coven situation.  (sure, in a coven, you can set that kind of rule and everyone knows ahead of time.  again, not my problem).

I'd probably run screaming if the local UU church for some reason decided to celebrate naked-day, no matter WHAT the reasons were for it!
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« Reply #91: December 12, 2010, 03:48:49 pm »

I'd probably run screaming if the local UU church for some reason decided to celebrate naked-day, no matter WHAT the reasons were for it!

XD Oh my god I am so glad I wasn't drinking anything. When I'm a UU minister I'm definitely holding Naked Day and inviting you to visit. Cheesy
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« Reply #92: December 12, 2010, 05:23:19 pm »

I wasn't under the impression that we were talking about a public ritual, or that we were talking about someone who purposefully disregards the preset rules. I was thinking of covens or groups that say that no one is allowed to be skyclad ever. Is it your right to say that your coven will always be robed? You bet! I don't necessarily think that that's fair is all. I just think it's a shame that there are apparently not many options for people who prefer a different style, and that it almost seems like people automatically think they're pervs for that preference. Some of the posts on here make it sound like anyone who receives benefit from skyclad ritual wants to drop trou in the middle of the day, on school grounds, while flipping off cops and stabbing kittens, lol! I promise, that's not my MO here. Tongue

Yewberry covered most of what I'd say - but really, I *have* run into people who take the attitude they should be able to drop their clothes in public ritual, non-skyclad optional settings.

And they are often the people who are also engaging in overtly sexual behavior in other ways - staring at and talking to women's breasts (or men's crotches) rather than their faces, not taking basic social cues about hitting on someone, etc. (I admit to liking the way my HPS puts this in initial seeker classes: "People have a right to ask if you'd be interested in something romantic or sexual with them. You have a right to say no, and to have that no respected, and for them to *drop* it once you've said no. If they don't, tell whoever is in charge and/or leave.")

It's not the asking that's a problem: it's the assumption that a single individual's preferences rule the community that's a problem, when the community has already (in one form or another) come up with shared guidelines about behavior.

And, honestly, there *are* options. Just the same way there are options for people who want to work in one specific tradition rather than another, or honor Greek Gods rather than Celtic ones, or whatever other combination of practices you want. You can decide to join with other people doing stuff in a place you can get to. You can decide that's not working for you, and either go elsewhere.

Or you can create your own thing. If it's a thing other people are also interested in, the folks who are interested will find you eventually (and there are well-tested ways to make that easier.) If there's a burning demand in an area for a skyclad group, seems like someone could figure that out within six months or so, if not sooner.

Walking into a ritual and saying "Skyclad now" is just as rude as walking into a ritual and saying "We're going to invoke Zeus and Kali now, because that's what I wanna do." when the group honors Celtic deities. [1]

And, if you have a persuasive argument that is meaningful to the other people there, groups usually have some mechanism (whatever their size) to at least raise the question. But the time and place for that is *not* immediately before a planned ritual with other things in mind. It's at the group's business meeting, or the next time everyone's talking about future ideas for the group, or dinner after ritual, or whatever else is common practice for that community.

To wave one more thing here: my coven explicitly has a policy that covers some of this, which is in some ways influenced by this forum's "Don't be a jerk" rule. Which is: "Each of us has the right and responsibility to decide who we work with."

If someone is unilaterally changing the community rules on me.... I get to decide if I want to be around that. In my own coven, that may mean (after trying to resolve it, if the person's been around the group for a bit), saying "Erm. Not working. Bye bye." In a public ritual, it might mean I go somewhere else. Now, if that's just *me* doing it... well, I do live in one of the largest Pagan communities in the country. It's not like there aren't plenty of other options. But if someone's a jerk to a whole lot of people? Chances are their options are going to get awfully slim eventually.

Again, the problem is not being skyclad, per se. It's being a jerk about it, someone insisting on their right to be skyclad contrary to the expectations not of some larger general public, but of the specific community they're trying to participate with. They get to suggest. (in other words, right time and place for that discussion). The community gets to say "Nah." if it wants.

Any group which is already saying "We don't work skyclad" has already stated its position. 'Not being a jerk' means assuming that there's a reason for that, and that change to that will, at the very least, take some thoughtful conversation.

[1] Example drawn from a famous story of Randall's about a ritual by group design, but hey, it works here.
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« Reply #93: December 12, 2010, 06:52:54 pm »

Personally, I really don't think so. Yes, there is a lot of stigma around the human body, and that needs to be dealt with in a healthy manner. But random unexpected nudity seems to me that it would spring a lot of triggers that don't need to be sprung. If that happened to me, I'd leave the ritual.

I am a sexual assault survivor whose primary flashback trigger is male nudity.

I have also done skyclad ritual.

The major difference between skyclad ritual I've done and random naked guy at PCon was that that ritual was done at the end of two years of intimate, intensive training and trust-building.

The difference between Naked Guy and serious flashback meltdown was about ten years of active work on healing my PTSD.
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« Reply #94: December 12, 2010, 09:01:05 pm »

Walking into a ritual and saying "Skyclad now" is just as rude as walking into a ritual and saying "We're going to invoke Zeus and Kali now, because that's what I wanna do." when the group honors Celtic deities. [1]

There's a comic this reminds me of where the group summoned Kali and the Green Man.  I'll post it if I can dig it up.

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« Reply #95: December 12, 2010, 10:11:20 pm »

There's a comic this reminds me of where the group summoned Kali and the Green Man.  I'll post it if I can dig it up.

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This is it...although it was Kali and Herne...I think the principle still stands. 

http://www.accendi.net/putf/archives/?strip=002

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« Reply #96: December 12, 2010, 10:57:34 pm »

[1] Example drawn from a famous story of Randall's about a ritual by group design, but hey, it works here.

In fairness to the group, they were doing what they usually did: draw the name of a god and goddess from a hat -- with no regard for the feelings of the deities in question or even whether or not the energies worked well together.
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« Reply #97: December 12, 2010, 11:30:46 pm »

OwlMedicine mentioned being comfortable as the only person in a group of 100 who's naked.  Doesn't sound too awfully private or coveny to me.  And when approaching a group you don't know, disregarding the expectations of the wider culture (here in the States, that means "I wear clothes in public") is flouting the "rules".

At first she was talking about looking for a group to join, and that she couldn't find any who were not "absolutely no skyclad". So I was thinking more of a coven setting. Also, in my first post I specified that I didn't agree with everything owlmedicine said. I'm agreeing mostly with what everyone is saying. (i.e. don't be a jerk, don't be a creeper, have respect for other people, don't just strip out of nowhere, etc.) She was saying that she couldn't find any group that was open minded to the idea of skyclad ritual, that she was struggling with that, and I was sympathizing.

Absolutely nobody implied that.  It's "fair" for a coven to set any rules it likes.  If a given covener feels stifled by these expectations, they can leave and find a coven more in line with their values.  Plenty of groups work exclusively skyclad.  Or one could start their own coven.  It's not like the choices aren't available.

That's what she was saying. There were no other choices for her. She was a wee tad frustrated. That is all I was agreeing with. It would be frustrating.

You're being hyperbolic.  People aren't talking about small group work.  It's about larger rituals wherein the participants might not know each other.  It's hard enough to get a disparate group of mostly-strangers to work together in ritual without the added distraction of sudden, unexpected nudity.

*sigh* Yep. I exaggerated. I was kidding. I thought it was pretty clear because of the level of exaggeration (stabbing kittens for goodness sake?!). I did it to lighten the tone of my post.
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« Reply #98: December 13, 2010, 01:26:10 am »

At first she was talking about looking for a group to join, and that she couldn't find any who were not "absolutely no skyclad".

He.  And, for better or worse, I'm pretty sure his gender contributed to the reaction he's gotten.

Quote
She was saying that she couldn't find any group that was open minded to the idea of skyclad ritual, that she was struggling with that, and I was sympathizing.

Siding with someone who insinuates some of us are puritanical for not wanting to work skyclad is bound to be problematic for you.  I don't like it when people imply I should take off my clothes because I'm otherwise not some-narrowly-defined-definition-of-paganism (or whatever).  My initial response (played only in my head) was far less generous, believe me. 

You also said "I think that it should be an individual decision in any group".  But people have pointed out how "doing what you feel" can impact group dynamics and cohesion depending on context.  There's been some good discussion lately about the value of pushing boundaries, and I agree that it's valuable.  It's probably a bad idea to spring it on people, however.

There was definitely some thread drift from OwlMedicine's initial post, and you're right, he did seem to be talking about finding a group to work with that allowed him to work skyclad.  It wasn't until he mentioned the "group of 100" thing that made me think otherwise.

Quote
That's what she was saying. There were no other choices for her. She was a wee tad frustrated. That is all I was agreeing with. It would be frustrating.

Yeah, he was.  And I don't really consider his problem a problem, though.  The world may not be able to conform to our relatively specialized expectations.  The attempt to make people feel like prigs in order to...what?  Guilt them into disrobing?  Isn't the guilt what he was condemning?  Or is only one flavor of guilt problematic?  The sense of entitlement bugged me too.  You want things your way?  Form your own group and see who shows up.  Stop being "dismayed" when people think differently than you and instead create your own vision.

Quote
Yep. I exaggerated. I was kidding. I thought it was pretty clear because of the level of exaggeration (stabbing kittens for goodness sake?!). I did it to lighten the tone of my post.

Depending on timing and context, Random Naked Guy could be a serious problem about which people have every right to take issue.  Claiming it's not as bad as kitten killing is dismissive, and not a valid comparison depending on the situation.

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« Reply #99: December 13, 2010, 02:26:14 am »

At first she was talking about looking for a group to join, and that she couldn't find any who were not "absolutely no skyclad". So I was thinking more of a coven setting. Also, in my first post I specified that I didn't agree with everything owlmedicine said. I'm agreeing mostly with what everyone is saying. (i.e. don't be a jerk, don't be a creeper, have respect for other people, don't just strip out of nowhere, etc.) She was saying that she couldn't find any group that was open minded to the idea of skyclad ritual, that she was struggling with that, and I was sympathizing.

My experience has been a little different. I've never found one that has to state 'no skyclad' as the only ones that do actually do skyclad state in at the outset. Generally, if it isn't mentioned at the beginning, when you are enquiring about it, it isn't done in that particular coven. It seems to make things a lot easier. (It may also be because of the oh so wonderful weather that we get over here-skyclad=bunch of people who have suddenly got the anatomical ability of sumo wrestlers, running aroung like lunatics trying to keep from getting frostbite! And that's in the middle of summer!)

Quote
*sigh* Yep. I exaggerated. I was kidding. I thought it was pretty clear because of the level of exaggeration (stabbing kittens for goodness sake?!). I did it to lighten the tone of my post.

Maybe you need to think on a grander scale? Stabbing woolly mammoths, for example.......
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« Reply #100: December 13, 2010, 08:50:26 pm »

He.  And, for better or worse, I'm pretty sure his gender contributed to the reaction he's gotten.

face/palm Oh jeez I'm such an idiot. Sorry Owlmedicine! Roll Eyes Do you mean my reaction? I don't think I would change my opinion based on gender.

Siding with someone who insinuates some of us are puritanical for not wanting to work skyclad is bound to be problematic for you.  I don't like it when people imply I should take off my clothes because I'm otherwise not some-narrowly-defined-definition-of-paganism (or whatever).  My initial response (played only in my head) was far less generous, believe me. 

Which is why I stressed a couple times that I did not at all agree with everything he said. In my first post on here I stated that I would never expect someone else to get naked if they didn't want to, and I completely agree with you there.

Yeah, he was.  And I don't really consider his problem a problem, though.  The world may not be able to conform to our relatively specialized expectations.  The attempt to make people feel like prigs in order to...what?  Guilt them into disrobing?  Isn't the guilt what he was condemning?  Or is only one flavor of guilt problematic?  The sense of entitlement bugged me too.  You want things your way?  Form your own group and see who shows up.  Stop being "dismayed" when people think differently than you and instead create your own vision.

I'm not arguing for people to feel guilted into anything. I've never implied that, so maybe I was misunderstood. If anything I was saying that no one on either side of the fence should be "guilted". I'm thinking that because I didn't disagree completely with everything that owlmedicine said you're assuming that I agree with his every statement. Not at all true.

Depending on timing and context, Random Naked Guy could be a serious problem about which people have every right to take issue.  Claiming it's not as bad as kitten killing is dismissive, and not a valid comparison depending on the situation.

I've said a few times that I was on a different page there. I was thinking about coven style, not random public style. I didn't mean it that way, it was a joke and I'm sorry that you're offended, but I think you may be nitpicking here.
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« Reply #101: December 13, 2010, 08:53:22 pm »

(It may also be because of the oh so wonderful weather that we get over here-skyclad=bunch of people who have suddenly got the anatomical ability of sumo wrestlers, running aroung like lunatics trying to keep from getting frostbite! And that's in the middle of summer!)


It's even freezing in the summer? Oh man, I would die.

Maybe you need to think on a grander scale? Stabbing woolly mammoths, for example.......

 Cheesy  Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #102: December 13, 2010, 09:29:12 pm »

face/palm Oh jeez I'm such an idiot. Sorry Owlmedicine! Roll Eyes Do you mean my reaction? I don't think I would change my opinion based on gender.

I would.  Let's be honest here...a guy saying "lighten up and take off your clothes" is creepy.  It'd be creepy if a woman said it too, but I wouldn't feel the same degree of yuckitude.  Hence my "for better or worse".

Quote
Which is why I stressed a couple times that I did not at all agree with everything he said. In my first post on here I stated that I would never expect someone else to get naked if they didn't want to, and I completely agree with you there.

He called people who don't want to work skyclad puritanical.  I don't feel you disagreed strongly enough on that point.

Quote
I'm not arguing for people to feel guilted into anything.

I didn't say you did.  I said he did.  Refer to my previous comments.

Quote
I've said a few times that I was on a different page there. I was thinking about coven style, not random public style. I didn't mean it that way, it was a joke and I'm sorry that you're offended, but I think you may be nitpicking here.

I'm not offended.  I'm trying to get my point across...a point about which I'm adamant.  To quote the Godfather, it's business, not personal.

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« Reply #103: December 13, 2010, 10:34:56 pm »

I would.  Let's be honest here...a guy saying "lighten up and take off your clothes" is creepy.  It'd be creepy if a woman said it too, but I wouldn't feel the same degree of yuckitude.  Hence my "for better or worse".

For what it's worth, my reaction is different in these three situations:

* a person on a message board, who I will never meet and who has no relevance to my life, saying "lighten up and take off your clothes"; this is an abstract, intellectual argument in favor of creepiness, not quite, to me, creepiness itself.  My reaction is more likely to be along the lines of, "... well, that's inappropriate" with a sidebar of "I bet you've never heard of a reconstructionist, have you.  Sigh.  <flips coin to see if I feel like the education game today>"

* a woman in some sort of meatspace or meatspace-oriented interaction saying "lighten up and take off your clothes".  Creepy.  Also probably has not heard of a reconstructionist; suspicion would be that she would presume that such conservatism was a sign of patriarchal brainwashing.

* a man in some sort of meatspace or meatspace-oriented interaction saying "lighten up and take off your clothes".  Creepy.  Extremely PTSD-triggering, with 30% chance of adrenaline spike.  Probably has not heard of a reconstructionist; suspicion would be that he doesn't care either.
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« Reply #104: December 13, 2010, 10:35:52 pm »

I would.  Let's be honest here...a guy saying "lighten up and take off your clothes" is creepy.  It'd be creepy if a woman said it too, but I wouldn't feel the same degree of yuckitude.  Hence my "for better or worse".

LOL! Oh, ok. I was thinking about him being skyclad, not him telling other people to be. Ya, I can agree with that, lol.

He called people who don't want to work skyclad puritanical.  I don't feel you disagreed strongly enough on that point.

The thing is that I never referred to that point other than to disagree with it. With an exclamation point, if I recall correctly.
 
I didn't say you did.  I said he did.  Refer to my previous comments.

Right, but you're arguing it to me as though I'm on his side in that respect, when in reality we are on the same side of the fence. Really. Honest. Smiley

I'm not offended.  I'm trying to get my point across...a point about which I'm adamant.  To quote the Godfather, it's business, not personal.

Except that you're basically preaching to the choir at this point. Anything that I said that you disagreed with was cleared up after we got on the same page about personal groups or random acts of public nudity. I think a dead horse is being flogged, perhaps by both of us...

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