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Clothing Optional

The title pretty much says it all. A blog all about positively promoting nudism/naturism, body acceptance and social nudity, and showing how simply being nude is not porn, sexual or anything shameful.

Good Naked Morning: How Can We Work to Help People Better Understand Naturism?

Good naked morning, friends!

This fall weather up here in my neck of the woods has been kinda weird, but at the same time nice. I was out in a hunting blind yesterday morning and we didn’t see very many deer, I knew it was getting too warm, it’s another 70-degree weekend up here. It feels great while driving around on the job, but it’s not the greatest for hunting, at least not up here—I do pray for the best my friends at the nearby sportsman’s club who are doing their annual Independence Hunt this weekend for the 100% disabled and our vets. It’s also not the greatest weather for allergies, despite being over my recent headcold these changing temps are affecting my sinuses, and making me cough like crazy. But at least I’m not sick anymore, I’m happy about that. And it’s been absolutely beautiful around here, I’ve been taking color tours pretty much every weekend because the autumn leaves are just so beautiful in the forests just outside of town where I live up here in Northern Michigan.

So I was just watching a video not that long ago talking about a British beach town opening their beach up to nudists, and the reporter was interviewing a lot of the locals in town, many of whom were angry about the decision, thinking automatically that it’s all about sex. One complained saying it wouldn’t be right for kids to see—WHY NOT??? It all comes from the long-time myth about nudity being sexual, of course I would not want my kids to see porn or people having sex in public, that’s just wrong. But simple nudity is not about sex—it’s about comfort in your own skin and appreciating whom you really are. And kids are natural-born nudists, I know, I used to love running around the yard in nothing but my birthday suit. If anything, families should better teach their children about the differences between simple nudity and sex—don’t stop your kids from running around nude, I’d encourage it. All this myth about nudity being a bad thing has to do with how people are raised, and the more we raise our kids to think nudity is bad, the more they’re going to believe it.

It makes me think about riding around with one of the volunteers for his Independence Hunt I’ve been filming for work yesterday, in which I was telling him about how much I enjoy the area and how I feel like a lot of the news you hear today all seems to be towards the masses, the majority of US population that lives in metropolitan areas and you next to never hear about rural America. And he was talking about how as part of this hunt, when it comes to driving out to help collect deer and assisting hunters, he doesn’t have a problem with driving back and forth numerous times for miles in the same day, and how he feels from his experience how a lot of city people would go crazy going from place to place for long distances when they have everything right near them. Everybody’s different, and if you’re not familiar with something it can be hard for you to accept something new and really understand it.

And relating back to naturism and how a majority of society doesn’t understand it illustrates this pretty well. That’s why even though I wasn’t raised a nudist, I’m hoping I can raise my children to better accept their bodies, I would definitely encourage a clothing-optional household. If my kids see me nude, it shouldn’t be a big deal. I feel there should be more efforts made to encourage simple nudity, especially showing it more in TV adversiting. I’ve seen ads for humor, like a Serta ad with a guy wanting to be a nudist and his wife’s comfortable with it now that they have their new bed, that ad makes me laugh—we need more ads with simple nudity, and I think that will better demonstrate to the public that simple nudity is not sexual and it shouldn’t be a problem.

And whyever we blur our body parts is ridiculous too—as I’ve said before, this is why there’s such a disconnect for people. Our world has become so sexually generated, much of it from the porn industry making money, people have lost the fact that the male penis and genitalia and the female breasts are just normal parts of the body with a function like any other. If somebody has a problem with seeing a penis on TV and bothering to block it out because that’s a “sexual” body part supposedly, then you might as well blur out the hands, the mouth, the feet, everything. Same with a woman’s breasts and vulva. Obviously I am against the idea of purposely exposing your regional body parts for sexual purpose (which evolves from sexual society’s exploitation of the body), but the sight of a simple naked person shouldn’t be a big deal. I already know I’m straight and I’m interested in women, so the sight of a penis does not bother me. I think guys who do have a problem with seeing a full naked man have some kind of problem with themselves—same with women. If you’re going to bother showing simple nudity on TV, don’t blur it. Simple as that.

It’s still hard for me to open up to people about being a nudist/naturist, and a lot of the times when I do go to my regular club, I simply tell people I’m going to see friends—because that’s what I’m doing. We act just as we do with clothes on, we just feel more comfortable without, but act just as though we would if we were clothed.

Friends, I’d like to get your opinion. What do you think we can do to make strides to help better positively advocate the positives of naturism to the public?

I’ll talk to y’all soon, and have a great day…and #NudeOn!

David B

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walking through the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Wish I could take adventures like this!

Active Naturists

naturist 0010 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

The oldest living forest is as sacred as it gets for someone who is into natural history – and that is what Schulman grove of the ancient bristlecone pine forest is. Just imagine walking among the living beings that are as old the Egyptian pyramids! Discovery of these ancient plants was very important for dendrochronology, the technique of dating events, particularly climatic changes, by the characteristic patterns of annual growth rings tree trunks. There is a nice tourist information centre, where you can get brochures about these trees and maps with the trails. This is not an official naturist territory, but being a part of the Inyo National Forest, it is a federal land, and there’s no federal law against nudity; needless to say we wanted to experience the hike in this ancient forest ‘as nature intended’, naked. We of course picked the longest trail, which is ~4 miles, and didn’t see any other hikers.

cones 0000 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, USA

Looking at…

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Good Naked Morning: Sleeping Nude and Promoting Better Health

Good naked morning!

Hey friends, it’s a new morning! Hope y’all slept well last night…and nude, I hope. You know it’s funny, because so many people are so afraid of the human body they don’t realize the best way to sleep is when you’re wearing nothing at all.

I grew up in a family where my parents slept nude, and funny enough we kids wore pajamas to bed. And now, as I’ve gotten older, my parents still sleep nude (although my mom’s more modest about family members seeing each other nude) and now in my own place I sleep nude, which I have learned over the years is truly the best way to sleep. I’ve worn all from warm pajamas to hot gym shorts, and I used to sweat in bed a lot. As I started getting older, I started just wearing underwear to bed. For years growing up, I enjoyed the freedom of being naked, but I was always afraid to do so because of what people would think if they saw me in the nude. Finally, after working as an art model and finding enough confidence in myself to officially proclaim myself a nudist, I started sleeping nude all the time…and since I have never regretted it.

You know it’s funny, because every time on TV you see people sleeping in bed, whether it’s for a sleep-aid, or a bed being advertised on TV the couple is always depicted sleeping with clothes on. It’s like when you see ads for families riding in the car, the kids are always in the back seat, because of course they want to promote safety for children. Or fast food commercials for kids meals and the kids are nowadays always eating healthy apples or mandarins instead of fries, to promote better health. Well I know one reason why they always show people in beds with their clothes on, and it’s because of the common myth about society widely looking on nudity as something sexual and shouldn’t be shown on TV. Well, to me, I just feel like depicting people sleeping clothed in bed is a way of boosting that myth, showing that nudity is bad—isn’t that ironic? If people really want to promote better health, I feel they should promote sleeping naked instead of outlawing it. It’s just like the media makes you think bald eagles sound like red-tailed hawks, just to make their ads or movies look and/or sound more attractive.

Like we all know, the porn industry makes money off of the human body—and many have resorted to the fact that because so many see nudity as something sexual because of what the porn industry has done to make money, that all nudity should be bad and shameful, and it’s just not right. And online you read so many articles nowadays about the benefits of sleeping casually nude, and how it’s truly healthier.

Society has put a big lie on what life is really all about—and because of this people, worry about seeing casual nudity, “Oh am I going to be aroused?” “Oh, you’re naked!” “Whaaaat?” SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, THERE’S NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT! And the best way in my opinion to get comfortable with it is to practice simple nudity in your home, and the best way is to lose the clothes and sleep the way nature intended you.

The only thing wrong with nudity is the way people look at it—and because of that, the way people are taught by society to embrace it. Big wake-up call needs to be done, because nudity is not something bad or to be ashamed of, it’s a perfectly normal thing. And you do not need someone with a naïve mind telling you or showing you that sleeping nude is anything more than probably the healthiest way to sleep.

I’ve seen The Doctors talk about sleeping nude, videos from the Discovery Channel, they’ve talked about it on the Today Show on NBC, experts have shown sleeping nude is healthier than sleeping with clothes, so I think if people are going to take the time to advertise things having to do with sleep, show the healthier way of sleeping, with nothing on! And I think this display of simple, non-sexual nudity will help people see being naked really is the better way to live and nothing to fear.

Have a great day friends, and #NudeOn! I will talk to you soon.

David B

hiking the Appalachian trail in Vermont… as nature intended

Active Naturists

naturist 0004 Appalachian trail, Vermont, USA

Although the US has a fame for being a prude country, there are some local exceptions, and Vermont is one of them: there is no state law against public nudity (though there is one against disrobing in public :D) And with all those green mountains around (just think of the state’s name etymology), it’s a perfect destination for naturists!

My long-time pen pal Ed organizes an  annual summer solstice naked hike in Vermont, and though I could never make it for this group hike itself, I went on the same route with Ed and another friend, Matt, just later in summer (mid-August).

naturist 0000 Appalachian trail, Vermont, USA

The route includes a part of the famous Appalachian trail, so you’d expect a few fellow hikers, but it’s great to have the law on your side – just make sure to leave your car naked, and you don’t need to hide!-)

naturist 0003 Appalachian trail, Vermont, USA

Shortly after the trailhead, we…

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Good Naked Morning: Think Positive and Don’t Judge!

Good naked morning, friends! I hope you’re enjoyin’ this wonderful Saturday morning, nude I hope!

Unfortunately it’s a rainy Saturday up here in my neck of the woods, and yeah it’s fall, a little too cold to be outside without a coat, but you know what friends? Let’s celebrate anyway, it’s another day to be alive and see what the new day has ahead of us. If you’ve ever heard of or seen the musical “Mame” (whether Angela Lansbury on Broadway or Lucille Ball on the big screen), take her advice, and declare a holiday because according to Mame, this very minute has history in it. It’s today! Plus fall means apple season, and I’m looking forward to going out for a hot apple dumpling and some ice cream later today.

Yeah, so a reason I’ve been away for some time is simply because I’ve been working almost every weekend—many of you may know, I work for a community cable TV station, and there’s constantly been things going on each of the last few weekends, plus a few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to also get some time to get out with one of my friends to go out hunting (even though we didn’t see anything, it was just too warm of a morning). So I really haven’t had much time to just relax on a Saturday morning and write to you.

I’ve also just been battling a headcold all week—last weekend I was filming a local high school volleyball tournament all day Saturday, and I think I caught it while I was going around the school all day. Tuesday I actually had to take the day off work just ‘cause I felt so lousy, and the medicine I was taking in addition to a headache and being to lazy to eat made me sick to my stomach. I did return to work the next day though, and now I’m starting to feel quite a bit better. But that Tuesday, I did spend much of the day resting in bed, in the nude! Being naked did help me cope with how sick I felt.

Friends, I remember seeing this old pic of our friend Marc from the UK, whom I interviewed earlier this year and shared his story, and thought I’d share ’cause there’s a wise piece of advice here we can relate to.

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“Look at yourself first before judging others.” (Credit: @MarkNudy via Tumblr)

So this post reminded me of when I was checking my FB feed a couple weeks ago to learn the news that a kid I graduated with in high school had passed away. This kid had to be one of the geekiest kids in the school, I admit it, I used to tease him, and I wasn’t the most popular kid in school myself—since then, I’ve grown up a lot and am sorry for what I did, and I was shocked when I found out he’d passed away, nobody knew how this kid died. But yeah, just as he wasn’t perfect, neither was I and still am not to this day. I feel sorry for his grieving family, and wish the best for them.

I know, we’re all guilty of judging others before we judge ourselves—we’re all our worst hypocrites. But we constantly have to keep reminding ourselves we’re not perfect and we should not put others down for being different than ourselves. Naturism has been a great way of helping me remember that, and showing how everyone is uniquely beautiful and matters no matter what we look like or what we agree/disagree on. Like I said, I’m only human, and there are some things I don’t agree with, but I’m working on it, just as we all do every day.

Again, have a great day friends! Think positively, and remember, we’re all human and imperfect, make somebody smile today—even if they’re a lot different than you. Best to y’all, and #NudeOn!

David B

Good Naked Morning: Swimming in the Buff and the Good Ol’ Days

Hey friends, good naked morning on this lovely Sunday. Yeah, normally I blog on a Saturday morning, but I was workin’ all day yesterday—almost passed out. For the beginning of fall, these past few days have felt like how July and August should have felt if only we didn’t have such a cold summer. We hadn’t really had a 90-degree day up here in my area of Northern Michigan until really this weekend, THE FIRST WEEKEND OF FALL! I was down filming a local festival, and yesterday I was filming their queens’ pageant which was a good 2 hours out in the scorching sun and I’m in my sweaty polo—my bottle of water I’d been drinking all morning gone, both of my cameras’ batteries were on the verge of dying…and so was I. The pageant started at 10, and didn’t get over ‘til about 12:30, and I felt so sorry for those girls who had to brave the heat changing behind the tarp curtain in the small bandshell. Luckily when it was all over, the concessions were nearby and I got some pizza for lunch and best of all…an ice cold bottle of water! I started feeling a lot better afterwards.

Right on the edge of the park there in Atlanta is the Thunder Bay River, and I was so tempted to jump in for a swim—especially after I got a notification from one of my [textile] friends from a Christian ministry I belong to, he was working all day but took a break to take a cool swim in the river. I was practically green with envy…I so wanted to do the same, but I couldn’t because I was still on the job! Plus I didn’t have my suit…wish I could’ve just swam nude, but knowing the surroundings and how professional I had to be, I JUST COULDN’T!

That makes me think of a couple recent articles I read about recently, about how guys in high school swimming classes used to swim in the nude. Oddly enough, though, the girls had to wear suits that covered almost their whole body—isn’t that ironic? And this one blog I read online from a guy in my home state of Michigan, no less, talks about how his school (back in the 70s) made guys swim in the nude—and this guy tells what sounds like a horror story for him going through the experience. And a lot of it came from his fear of getting a boner…and seeing other guys’ penises flopping around—why seriously has this world taught us that it’s so awful to be naked because somehow it’s got to be linked with sex?! And this kid ended up wimping out Nowadays, especially on hot days like we’ve had up here in the past couple days, I wish we had nude swimming! My goodness—my high school didn’t even have a swim team, that would be wonderful if only we could have nude swimming back now for public high schools, let alone just public pools and beaches.

I think if people were more exposed to it, they would come to accept that there’s really nothing sexual about simple nudity! Too many people worry about the sexual factor, and just being more exposed to it I think will help many accept it better. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect either—and even naturists like me have our insecurities, and I’m a Republican no less living in a rather conservative area of the state—and I know there are lots of people who still disagree, but I do feel if we truly try we can help people see how great nude swimming is again. We need to have better sex ed classes I feel in schools, which teach kids about that kind of stuff—and better stewards in the media who are more vigilant in what is broadcast on television. You see ED medications being advertised on mainstream TV, and to think in the past that was all kept for safe-harbor hours. And nowadays, it’s all about big companies trying to make that extra dollar in advertising. Not caring at all about the kids in the audiences who could possibly be watching.

It makes me think of the song “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Ol’ Days)” by The Judds, a classic 80s country song I remembered hearing a girl sing in a local festival pageant a couple months ago (I remembered hearing that song years ago in my dad’s old truck, good old days for me), and about how the woman in the song asks her grandfather about how peaceful the world was and how good and respectful people were back in the day. And don’t get me wrong—there’s been disagreements and crime for years, but why do we seriously have to make our actions go so far they hurt someone else? And nowadays, you see Lady Gaga and how skimpy-dressed she is sometimes, and I remember hearing on the radio when a mother called in voicing concern about her daughter wanting to be Lady Gaga for Halloween…or in one of my college composition classes, my professor talking about how his niece asked him what a disco stick was about after hearing it in one of her songs. Nothing personal towards LG, but I just feel too many kids are being exposed to overly risqué stuff that’s so sexually hyped, people have linked it all towards the naked body and that’s just made simple nudity so much more taboo, in my opinion. This shouldn’t have to happen if we teach our kids how harmless and wholesome simple nudity really is—and the more we all are more exposed to it, I feel the better off we’d be. No matter how liberal or conservative you are, I feel at least swimming naked should be more widely accepted.

I’d like to get your thoughts—what do you think about nude swimming in public schools back in the 70s? Did any of you have experiences with this?

Anyway friends, I hope y’all have a great rest of your weekend, and I will talk to ya soon. Best to y’all, and #NudeOn!

David B

Good Naked Morning: Out of Our Boats

Good naked morning, friends!

Well it’s that time of the year again—the “Summer vacation” season is done, and all the kids are back in school, and the chilly air has come upon us here in Northern Michigan. Fall is just around the corner, and unfortunately a lot of our favorite nudist/naturist destinations are closing for the season. But don’t fret friends, I know next summer’s a long way off, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the colder weather, even if you do have to wear clothes. And you can still visit friends and spend time in the buff at home…just keep in mind, you might have to turn up your thermostat a bit, like me, but I’m still managing.

Matter of fact, since I’ve moved up here for work, I’ve really come to embrace each season in its own way—because there’s unique stuff that goes on each time of the year. So I can’t be nude for it all, especially not for work, but fall is exciting because one, it’s apple season—our local apple farm is back open and I’m actually thinking of getting some hot (and possibly hard some time in the future too from their tasting room) cider again today and one of their famous donuts! Plus it’s hunting season, and I’m looking forward to going back out with my pastor and her hubby and have some better luck out in the blind getting hopefully a buck this year. Plus they’ve been great helping me get out on the water on a couple of our many nearby lakes recently to do some fishing, even though I’ve just been catching little ones–I’d always wanted to get more involved with the outdoors, but I was always afraid to ask before (and didn’t know where to start)! Plus it’s fall festival weekend and I got to try kielbasa for the first time last night over at Posen’s Potato Festival, which is a festival up here every September all about celebrating a long-time legacy of local potato farmers and the area’s major Polish heritage. When I come back tomorrow, maybe I’ll try some polka dancing, despite not knowing much about polka music.

One thing I know—many of my friends are happy to see me get out of my boat, as many of my brothers and sisters from church say. I’ve truly been blessed to find a family that cares about me opening up to all I can experience—many of them know there are still certain foods I don’t like, and things I haven’t tried yet—and just as Jesus said, if you’re willing to follow him to get out of your boat and let go of the things that hold you back. I feel like I’ve slowly been doing just that, continuing every day to try new things and conquer my inner fears that hold me back. Well either way, it’s never too late to try something new—good grief, if I hadn’t been so shy, I could’ve asked one of the lovely ladies in the festival’s royal court for a dance, silly me…at least I tried kielbasa, that was a start, which I’d never tried before—that was a real treat.

Friends, that’s one expression many of us can relate to—many of us who are naturists now weren’t always naturists from the start. Some of us are, but some of us found naturism out of some kind of curiosity, like I did. Many of us grew up in more “modest” families like I did, who had hangups about themselves and were afraid to have anybody see them nude—which is odd, because for instance my mother never used to care when we were kids, but as she got older she became more self-conscious about herself. We all still have our hangups, even as naturists—we are only human. But we can all slowly come more and more out of our boat, conquering our fears and opening our minds to new things, as we help more of society get out of their boats and realize how simple nudity is not anything sexual or anything to be censored or ashamed of.

I mean, like I said I’m not perfect either—there are people I’m still afraid to tell that I’m a naturist, and it’s of course something I don’t talk about in the workplace. But I feel I’ve slowly broke the news to others and in the end I’ve felt much better, sometimes it’s hard to speak up because we’re afraid of what will happen in the end—I come from a family of people whom I feel worry way to much, and because of that I know I worry way more than I really should. But I feel within these past few years I’ve been an official nudist/naturist and just within this time I’ve been able to make a new life for myself as a young adult, I’ve slowly been coming out of my boat (my “comfort zone”) and opening myself up to all the world has to offer. And if we help fellow members of society get out of their boats and see how wonderful simple nudity is, we can all be a happier society. Tell a friend about naturism today, or at least find something new that opens you up to something new and make you a better person. And that happens to be one reason, it just shows, we naturists are happier, because we’ve come to find our simple nudity and imperfect bodies are OK and not as bad as society has made us think they should be.

Friends, have a great day, and hopefully nude if you can. Love y’all, and I’ll talk to ya later—till then, have fun and #NudeOn!

David B

All together in the alltogether. Family nudism.

Happy Bare

aaBeing naked together as a family is an important way to share core body image values with your children.  From a very early age they will learn that their bodies are healthy and normal. The chance that they will acquire body image problems and issue in later life will be greatly reduced.  Teach your kids to love themselves and to love their bodies.  They’ll grow up to be happy, healthy, normal adults.

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Good Naked Morning: Labor Day & Fighting the Good Fight

Good naked morning, friends!

I don’t know about you, but up here in my neck of the woods, it’s been a pretty chilly summer at times, and it’s hard to believe it’s finally coming to a close. Well it’s nothing we can control as human beings—only the good Lord above knows the right time for everything. But at least I’ll be getting back to my regular naturist destination, Spruce Hollow, this weekend for Labor Day tomorrow and Monday, which I’m excited about.

It’s just been a busy summer for me—with lots of events taking place around Northern Michigan here where I live, including numerous local summer festivals and county fairs, and within the next month, fall festivals. And it just hasn’t been easy being able to get out there in naturism as much as I wish I could have. Especially as my nearest club happens to be a good two-hour drive for me, but at least we can kick the summer out the right way, weather looks great in the high 70s and mostly sunny for Sunday (and hopefully the rain will hold off Monday ‘til evening, I’m prayin’).

All I can hope is that next summer can bring me better luck in the nudist world—one big thing is living where I do, it’s just very hard to find naturist friends who have a lot in common with me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met lots of great nudists/naturists in person and over social media, but I just feel like it’s still hard to be me sometimes when I know I’m in a minority in so many things—it’s not easy to find fellow naturist friends who love the country and outdoor living, as well as being a Christian and having a more moderate or Conservative view on life. I mean, I know the majority of our society is concentrated around urban areas and most naturists may have more liberal views on things than myself, but I’m sure there are other nudists/naturists out there like myself—they’re just a lot more rare to find because there just aren’t as many of them.

Getting off the naturist subject a little bit, just living in rural America can be hard sometimes. I love it, don’t get me wrong, and it’s the main way I’ve known to live my entire life, but I just feel like we in rural America always get the short end of the stick. Pretty much almost every ad I see on national network TV, or a good 90-95% of the national news you see on TV, seems to target more the city or suburban type, and you next to never see advertising geared towards the small-town/country man. I mean I understand the majority of US population is concentrated as I said before around major cities, but we in small-town America are just as important and unfortunately not a lot of us get the opportunity to get our opinions heard—and it’s funny, because we the 15% or so of the country’s population but we make up about three quarters of the country in size. And I know how it’s like being overlooked, especially as I was bullied as a kid for being different. Well I just feel like that whole trend goes on in society, people don’t understand each other enough and because of that, there’s a big cultural divide.

And going back to being a naturist, I think that’s important—and that’s one reason I decided to speak up, because I know there are other naturists like me, we just don’t as often get our voices heard. I mean just because I’m not the most liberal person in the world and don’t participate in World Naked Bike Rides doesn’t mean I can’t be comfortable in my own skin and feel connected more to nature when I’m my true, simply naked self. And it isn’t easy when a lot of people who I do have stuff in common with don’t agree with my decision to be a naturist. All we can do is, like any minority, fight the good fight and keep our hopes up that some day our voices can be heard and we can be accepted just as we are.

Plus just work can get ya like it did me—living almost paycheck to paycheck, and working for a local cable station covering all these events around our region doesn’t leave me a lot of time to take the long trek just so I can socialize with fellow nudists/naturists, it just isn’t easy. But again, all we can do is think positively and know that even though summer may be ending, we can still find strides to connect with fellow naturists and there’s always next summer.

Friends, I hope you have fun this Labor Day weekend, and I hope you can kick out the summer with a bang, hopefully nude. ‘Til later, y’all have fun and #NudeOn!

David B

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