The Secret Life of a Naturist # 22 “The Vigil” Part 3

The current story line of The Secret Life of a Naturist was written and conceived earlier in March and it wasn’t until I had roughly sketched Part 2 that I knew I would dedicate it to Human Rights and Gay Activist Raymond Taavel.

Raymond Taavel moved to Nova Scotia in the early 1990’s in hopes to help the conservative province to be more inclusive and accepting of the gay culture.

Born in 1962 in Sault Sainte-Marie Ontario, Raymond knew from an early age that he could make a difference by taking part in community engagement. At the height of the AIDS crisis in the late eighties, he moved to Toronto and was devastated by the suffering and discrimination around him. It was at moment that he became an activist and be a strong voice to help those afflicted. When he moved to Halifax, he brought with him the passion and humanitarian commitment he started in Toronto.

Like many in the LGBTQ community at the time, Raymond found being an “out and proud” gay man a stumbling block to gain acceptance in the professional world. The barriers he faced ignited the fire in him to “Be the Change” and served on various committees of Halifax Pride that included being co-chair in the early 2000’s. Two milestones included getting the Halifax City council to proclaim a Pride Week and have the Pride Flag wave at the Grand Parade.

Later on, he joined NSRAP (Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project) (see link here: and was a founding member and National President of Fiérté Canada Pride which championed for recognition of LGBT rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedom and in Equal Marriage. With these organizations, he opened dialogues with prominent politicians to help people understand that the gay community was not a threat.

Raymond was killed after brutal attack on April 17, 2012 upon leaving a Halifax gay bar. The circumstances of his death was tragic as he was not the initial target. Raymond was protecting a friend from a verbal and physical attack by a mentally ill man. His friend ran to safety while Raymond suffered a lethal blow to the head and died on scene.

Raymond Taavel was a true champion and voice for the gay community and wanted everyone to know that gay rights were human rights. On the evening of his death over 1000 mourners went to site to honour him. The Premier of Nova Scotia Darrell Dexter, gave a deeply heartfelt speech and held a moment of silence in the House of Assembly in recognition of Raymond’s contributions for the LGBT community. A large public vigil and march to Saint Mathew’s Church followed his memorial service.

Many of his honours, include the QE II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community engagement and the advancement of LGBT right in Canada. Halifax City Hall dedicated the Pride Flag at the entrance to his memory and a plaque was installed near the area that he died by the Gottingen 250 committee.

May he rest in peace.


This is: “The Vigil” Part 3


Nude blogger holds naked yoga classes to help empower women (via

An Australian yogi is holding naked yoga classes, to help women learn to love their bodies. 29-year-old Jessica O’Brien calls herself the ‘Nude Blogger’, and uploads Instagram pictures of herself doing everyday activities such as burning sage, charging her yoni eggs and lying on her bed with a crystal dildo balancing on her back – all while naked. She wants to pass this confidence on to other women with her ‘Fempowerment’ yoga classes, which are only open to females.

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Contact. Human contact. Body to body. Soul to soul. We crave touch, affection, and intimacy from one another. A part of us will die without it. Take a look around and see how many wounded souls there are, better yet, how many you feel.

We can plainly see on all social media how people arereaching out in the wrong ways for love and attention. This online world we have built is phenomenal but it is destroying so many of us. I feel the disconnect everywhere I go and through the people I meet. It is heart breaking to me.

I have reached out to physically touch people and emotionally help them only to be looked at in fear, suspicion and/or doubt. When will all this distrust end? We need to learn how to love one another no matter the religion, race, job, etc. This connects with labels once again. Shed this all and you will see a drastic change.

Here is what I have experienced in my life. How you react or respond to others is the ultimate decision you can ever make. Becoming aware of your actions and words will change your life. Trying to understand a fellow humans experience will give you vast expansion in how you view things.

Every person you meet has gone through something and a simple word, touch on the hand or if you dare, a hug, can make such an impact on them. I have been both a giver and a receiver and nothing feels better than human contact.

This disconnect leads to people forming relationships simple because they are lonely and staying together because they are terrified to be alone or going back to someone that is toxic.

We are social beings and cannot hide from the fact that we need others and we need touch. Lets see how you feel when you think of those moments when; a child holds your hand; a friend greets you with a great big warming embrace; a stranger asks you how your day is and lightly touches your arm; someone that is simply in your presence in the time of need;  your partner touches the small of your back, hugs you when you’re feeling down, kisses you when the passion arises.

What comes with contact? Compassion and love for a fellow human being and I mean a genuine for everything that surrounds us.  It truly seems love is the answer to everything andit is what makes the world go round. If we learn how to love ourselves it will only blossom and grow into something more wonderful than we can imagine.

Instructor’s NUDE yoga classes for women of all ages, shapes and sizes (via Mail Online)

The ‘Nude Blogger’ Jessa O’Brien, 28, hosted her first ever nude yoga workshop on the Gold Coast last weekend. She spoke to FEMAIL about the class for women of all ‘ages, shapes and sizes’.

Jessa O’Brien is no stranger to getting naked.

The self-dubbed ‘Nude Blogger’ regularly shares photographs of herself nude on her Instagram page in a variety of yoga positions – whether she’s at the beach, on a tennis court or just practising her poses at home.

But now, the 28-year-old yoga devotee has taken things one step further, by launching her first ever nude yoga workshop on the Gold Coast last weekend.

Jessa hosted a naked class on Saturday evening for women of all ages, shapes and sizes and told FEMAIL ‘we came as strangers but left as sisters’.

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Dare to bare: 15 of the world’s best nude beaches (via

There are hundreds of beaches where it’s perfectly legal to sunbathe, swim and otherwise frolic beside the sea in nothing more than your birthday suit.

Although still taboo in many places, casting aside your clothes at the shore has become a customary practice around the world in recent times.

From rocky coastlines to talcum powder fine sands, and big city bays to secluded shores, there are now hundreds of beaches where it’s perfectly legal (or at least de facto legal) to sunbathe, swim and otherwise frolic beside the sea in nothing more than your birthday suit.

“Soft, smooth sand, warm ocean breeze, gentle ocean waves and lots of other naturists makes for a great clothing-optional beach,” says Nicky Hoffman of The Naturist Society, who’s also the managing editor of Nude & Natural magazine and co-author of “The World’s Best Nude Beaches & Resorts.”

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Two listeners share details about their naturist lifestyle with Rian (via Jacaranda FM)

A married couple from Pretoria spoke to Rian about why they prefer living life in the buff.

Have you ever wondered how your neighbours really live behind closed doors?

Away from the school events and the church bazaars, you would be quite surprised to find out how they spend their time.

And if you happened to find out that your neighbours were naturists, then you might have to re-evaluate your friendship with them. Or, would you?

Estelle* and Pieter* from Pretoria visited the Scenic Drive to talk to Rian van Heerden and the team about what it really means to follow the clothes-free lifestyle.

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A Maori perspective on nudity.

Maori in Aotearoa/New Zealand have a tradition of nudity.

Originally the war haka, or peruperu was performed naked, as was warfare itself. There were phallic implications in this.

British missionaries equated public nudity with licentious behaviour and gross indecency and were shocked at the naked haka and sought to stop it.

In day to day life girls were naked to puberty, there was no restriction on boys. Communal gardens were worked naked, as was the task of hauling logs from the forest to build waka.

Maori had no working clothes, and a narrow definition of nudity. In males this was the exposure of the glans of the penis. Women wore flax skirts.

Waka taua appear to have been crewed naked. A report from 1827 refers to a small European craft apparently pulling aside a large ocean going waka taua moving at great speed : their attention being drawn to shouts and chants and being shocked to discover the occupants were all naked and were fully readied for battle. ( Waka means Maori canoe or vessel. Taua means war. Taua could also mean war party. Waka taua could be also translated as a vessel carrying a war party).

In the original powhiri (welcome), the chiefs would be naked. In “New Zealanders illustrated”, 1844,  George French Angas recorded the throwing of the spear ceremony at Matata pa, part of the powhiri. The ceremonial spear throwing outside the pa, involved the visiting party and the hosts and was conducted naked. Angas’s painting shows three naked males who would have been chiefs. The leader of the pa is shown in the process of throwing. His status is determined by his extensive buttock tattoo. To his left in the party of guests stand the two chiefs of the visiting people, also with extensive buttock tattoos.

In the colonial period the battles of the New Zealand Wars were closely covered by the settler press. It was recorded that the Maori troops who fought against the Colonial and British forces were naked,  this expressed in a way to denigrate Maori. What  was of particular and more pressing concern was, however,  the fighting ability of Maori.            ( “Daily Southern Cross”, 30 July 1861, ”Canterbury Press”, 16 April, 1864.) Fighting naked was in fact the practice of Maori, not that the settlers would have known that.

An account of Maori nudity in combat, immediately before the colonial period,   is contained in “Old New Zealand” by Frederick Edward Manning, published in 1863. The following excerpt was printed in the “Daily Southern Cross” of 14 February 1863 and describes Maori troops about to enter into a fight. “The men  are all equipped for immediate action, that is to say , quite naked, except  their arms and cartridge boxes,  which are the warriors’ clothes…. As I have said, the men are all stripped for action. But I notice that the appearance of nakedness is completely taken away by the tattooing, the colour of the skin, and the arms and equipments. The men in fact look much better than when dressed their Maori clothing.”

The Hauhau  or Pai Marire , were a Maori religious movement active in Maori opposition to the colonial state between 1865 and 1868 and combined elements of traditional beliefs including nudity with an interpretation of the Old Testament. A document explaining Hauhau beliefs in Maori seized by the Colonial forces in 1867 refers to Maori  “standing in a state of nudity” and are the “lost sheep of the House of Israel” (“Daily Southern Cross”, 26 April 1867). Te Kooti is often associated with the Hauhau but this not the case, though it is known the some of Te Kooti’s guerrilla force were  Pai Marire. Both troops were naked in the Maori tradition. (“ Otago Witness”, 30 June 1866 for the Hauhau. “Daily Southern Cross”, 16 January 1869 for Te Kooti’s  forces.) There was a major fight involving Te Kooti’s forces in 1868 which led to Te Kooti being forced into the Ureweras. Skirmishes with Te Kooti continued to 1872. In 1883 he was pardoned. In 1885 there was a huge gathering of Maori outside Napier at a place known as Petane with the purpose of welcoming Te Kooti. According to the press reporter he was received at the river by the Petane natives, stark naked,  who then gave haka in the original way. (“North Otago Times”, 24 December 1885) Te Kooti founded the Ringatu Church.

Reports of Maori nudity are of male nudity. But in 1866 the press reported a strange case from Port Waikato involving one Maraea Rangingu who has been running about in a state of nudity who was sentenced to be detained at the Auckland Lunatic Asylum. (“Southern Cross”, 16 July 1866).

In 1867 there was huge gathering of Maori at Wairoa. A grand gala day was organised.  After  the exhibition of military tactics had  ended the Wairoa Maori divested themselves of all clothing and commenced a haka. The return haka was given by the guests from Nuhaka, Te Mahia, Turanga (Gisborne) and the East Cape. From the description of the  journalist the hakas  were naked in the fullness of the tradition. On the next day the whole body marched to Hatepe, and with some other tribes formed a column 4-5 a breast and 600 yards in length. A rough guess would indicate the total strength of 2500-3000 troops. On nearing the pah they stripped themselves of clothing and advanced in a state of nudity where they were met in a like manner by the Hauhau leader Te Waru and his people. Then ensured a series of war  dances and haka.  (“Southern Cross”, 30 April 1867).

The “Taranaki Herald”  reported an incident involving Tuta Nihiniho in Gisborne of a naked haka involving Nihoniho and his “whole hapu” with fire-arms being discharged. (11 July 1879)

In 1895 two correspondents for the “Hawera & Normandy Star” visited Te Whiti’s settlement at Parihaka and witnessed several naked haka between the followers of the Te Whiti and someone described as his rival known as Tohu Kakahi. On their way in, they reported that the “road before  us appeared  thronged with natives attired much as Adam might have been after the Fall”. (2 March 1895) The same newspaper reported of the activities of Paora Eta in 1880 who had set up a religious cult in the Wairarapa in which his followers, “men and women bathed perfectly naked in a stream each morning” as a religious rite “believing they would be cured of all diseases by doing so.” (19 May 1880)

According to the “Waikato Times” of 25 March 1882, quoting the “Auckland Star”, “the haka in a state of absolute nudity” was being performed at Ohinemutu and for money to boot.

A story carried by several newspapers in 1892 concerned the description of a trip by canoe down the Wanganui River, a sort of travelogue. The party seems to have been made up of European and Maori with a guide. In the “Otago Witness” of 2 June 1892 the reporter refers to himself taking a mid-day bath at Athens. His guide was not so concerned about where he swam “and plunged in from the canoe, as did the girl. The natives seems to bath a good deal, and are not very particular about securing privacy , though the girls usually retain a garment at least when bathing near the village.  As we passed several villages we saw lots of lads playing in the water … and sometimes girls, who modestly crouched down while we glided past.” The “Taranaki Herald” of 6 June 1892 carried  a further account. The reporter describes the scene as they are about to embark on the second day : ”small canoes are darting about, dexterously managed by naked boys, bronze figures in action, some wading the river chin deep, and near the bank small girls bathing, being actually clothed in bathing dresses. I wonder what the old Tory Maori think of this innovation.”

The tide in Maoridom does appear to be turning. A trend has been for males who are already bare chested in kapa haka groups (competitive haka) to wear less : the buttocks are often exposed. In contrast women are still fully clothed. Moko are coming gradually back into fashion and certain Maori tattoo designs are popular amongst non-Maori. Genital tattoos are also making a comeback.

In time we can expect to see the peruperu as it was originally.

Nudist club hosting ‘clothes optional’ open day (via bristolpost)

The club is for people wanting to find out more about the benefits of social nakedness in the open air

Happy to get your kit off in the great outdoors?

Naturist group Pines Outdoor Club (1972) is looking for new members.

Hidden in an eight-acre woodland site the Forest of Dean, it offers an area where people who appreciate the benefits of social nakedness in the open air, where they may do so in comfort and safety

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