Nakedness is our natural state. It means many things to different people. Naked protestors are vulnerable yet powerful. Streakers seek the thrill of transgression. Religions see it as a path to enlightenment and naturists extol the health benefits.

Benjamin Franklin enjoyed daily ‘air baths’ (sitting in front of an open window naked), but a 1930s mob attacked Welsh nudists shouting: “Not even cannibals would lie about in that condition.” Today, Spencer Tunick creates mass nude art events.

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Naturism (or nudism), instituted in 1903 in Germany, was a controversial offshoot of this same search for health and freedom from the inhibitions of modern civilization. Eventually the body, and even sex, would be approached in a more open manner.

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