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  #1  
Old 12-23-2000, 07:06 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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You know how some tribes have traditionally gone stark naked all the time? Australian Aborigines, some Nilotic tribes, Amazonian Indians.

Our habitual way of thinking about sexual arousal has to do with removing clothes. What about when there's nothing to remove? Ever wonder about that? How do they get it on?

Maybe they're not as sex-obsessed as we are. Maybe for them it's just a natural part of life, when you lie down at night and snuggle and cuddle, you just do what comes naturally. But in our civilization, there are sexual enticements bombarded constantly. Maybe the traditionally naked tribes don't need enticements in the media all the time, they just do it when they do it.

I found this quote:
Quote:
"Complete nudity in itself is not erotic. It becomes so only when proceeded by or contrasted to a state of dress. In this limited context then, all clothes become somewhat immoral, if we define immorality as inciting sexual interest. Habitual nakedness may indeed be capable of elevating man to a higher mental plane..."

--(Dr. Marylnn J. Horn, "The Second Skin: An Interdisciplanary Study of Clothing"
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2000, 04:17 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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So far as I know, very few people in the world go completely naked. Usually, when you read about such a tribe, there's always something worn, even if it is only a single leaf hanging down from a belt and covering the loins. There's also various forms of ornamentation and jewelry elsewhere on the body. Perhaps these are commonly removed for sex?

I've seen early American books such as the Leatherstocking Tales refer to an American Indian as naked, when he was wearing a loincloth, leggings, and a breastplate. It's all relative.
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2000, 04:20 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Why is it that they would feel the need just to cover up part of their body then?
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Old 12-23-2000, 04:27 PM
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Why is it that they would feel the need just to cover up part of their body then?
Again, it would vary from tribe to tribe, but it could be for religious resons (Hiding this or that part from the eyes of evil spirits) or modesty. Perhaps having ones buttocks and breasts exposed is common, but to uncover ones navel would be shockingly wanton. Also, some tribes cover the genitals not to conceal them but to artificially enhance the size to intimidate rivals. It's all a matter of custom and rite, and naturally each tribe would vary.
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Old 12-23-2000, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zoggie
Why is it that they would feel the need just to cover up part of their body then?
Have you ever sat on the ground with your genitalia exposed?
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Old 12-23-2000, 05:19 PM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
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Ah, those wild and crazy guys from Papua New Guinea. What a concept, the phallocarp...
http://daphne.palomar.edu/language/language_6.htm

And concerning the Australian Aborigines, sometimes they were wearing belts. You take off your belt, you're naked. http://www.crystalinks.com/aboriginals.html
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The men and women of some tribes are known to have worn a belt around their middle made of hair, animal fur, skin or fiber which they used to carry tools and weapons.
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Old 12-23-2000, 06:09 PM
Mr. Sheepshead Mr. Sheepshead is offline
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The good Doctor's quote is bothering me. I mean, I would think that whenever you see the genetalia of whatever sex you happen to be attracted to, your body would naturally react in an "oh boy, you know what I can do with that!" sort of way. And anyway married people have seen each other naked repeatedly yet most continue to be stimulated by each other's nudity, right?
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Old 12-23-2000, 06:14 PM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chronos
I've seen early American books such as the Leatherstocking Tales refer to an American Indian as naked, when he was wearing a loincloth, leggings, and a breastplate. It's all relative.
When Lewis and Clark reached the mouth of the Columbia, they found that the Chinook and Clatsop tribes there wore nothing below the waist. Both sexes. And that was in winter!

While it's true that it doesn't snow very often in winter in those parts, typical wintertime high temperatures are around 45o F (also the typical wintertime low temp). These people must have been tough.
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2000, 06:21 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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Also I wonder what the reaction of the 'tribe' to a member getting an erection for apparently no reason.
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Old 12-23-2000, 06:27 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Sheepshead
The good Doctor's quote is bothering me. I mean, I would think that whenever you see the genetalia of whatever sex you happen to be attracted to, your body would naturally react in an "oh boy, you know what I can do with that!" sort of way. And anyway married people have seen each other naked repeatedly yet most continue to be stimulated by each other's nudity, right?
Don't think so, Sheepy. Nudists don't go around in a state of constant arousal (I know, I've seen pictures). If you're conditioned to associate naked=sexually aroused and available, it'll work that way, but that conditioning can be broken pretty quick. And while married couples can and do get aroused by seeing their longtime spouses naked, most of the time they're naked together they're not in a sexually excited state. Usually, an atmosphere of intimacy occurs, arousal begins, and is enhanced by the nudity.

And frankly, plain old genitals are not in and of themselves that erotic. I've practiced medicine for 17 years, and done thousands of pelvic exams on women, some quite attractive. But in the context that I'm viewing them, it's about the least erotic thing in the world. Most of my colleagues say the same thing, and we think it's pretty strange when one of our fellow docs gets in trouble for molesting patients.
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  #11  
Old 12-23-2000, 08:31 PM
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Now that this has wandered over to nudists, wouldn't newbies (at least the guys) at a nudist camp or nude beach be, well, obvious?
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  #12  
Old 12-23-2000, 09:46 PM
Occam Occam is offline
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OK, so you're sitting around with your other tribesmen and eveyones naked and you think to yourself, "Shit, I look like all these other guys. What can I do to express my individuality, show my social status, and most importantly, get chicks!?!?!" Then it strikes this guy, "I know! I could put a big stick through my body!"

Yeah....I think this is what happens, and before you know it people have coasters in their lower lip, rings that make their necks 2 feet long, and animal bones the size of 2X4's in their noses.
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  #13  
Old 12-23-2000, 10:59 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Chronos, I wrote "stark naked" because I literally meant stark naked, i.e. not wearing anything at all, not even an itty bitty leaf over the genitals. The tribes I cited in the OP really have all been like that (though the modern world has pretty much trashed their traditional life by now, meaning that they wear the dingy castoff rags of the scum of civilization instead of the proud dignity of their naked bodies).

I'm aware of the metaphorical meaning of "naked" used loosely to mean people wearing clothing you consider insufficient. The most extreme example of such hyperbole I ever heard was a very religiously conservative man criticizing women for being "naked" when what he meant was they were wearing knee-length skirts. This sort of exaggeration is better ignored.

Occam, you're right that decoration, tattooing, scarification, and bod-mod are what happens when you don't wear clothes. People have the innate urge to decorate themselves one way or another.
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  #14  
Old 12-23-2000, 11:01 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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The John Boorman film The Emerald Forest had a remarkable sequence when some white predators enter the Amazon rain forest and raid an Indian tribe. They capture all the young women and make them prostitutes in a whorehouse. They force them to wear clothes so they will take on the role of whores. Then the Indians have a counter raid and liberate the women. It's a striking scene as they run from the whorehouse, tearing off their slut clothes, returning to their original nakedness and becoming themselves again. It was a powerful statement on the use of clothing for immorality.
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  #15  
Old 12-23-2000, 11:42 PM
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When I went to a partially-nudist gathering in the States, it took all of about 5 minutes to get used to the naked people.

Nudity tends to discourage erotic fantasy--you see just how blobby (and, well, average) the average Joe and Jane are.

After a while, I ended up with this train of thought running through the back of my head: which would charge over the hill first--anti-nudist fundamentalist stormtroopers or National Geographic photographers...
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  #16  
Old 12-24-2000, 06:43 AM
Adolph Peewee Adolph Peewee is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by k2dave
Also I wonder what the reaction of the 'tribe' to a member getting an erection for apparently no reason.
I was going to ask this quesiton too. It's not too bad when you're wearing clothes, because you can sit down and sort of hide it by crossing your legs and pulling your pants up higher and make all the fabric hide it....or so my brother told me anyway! :wally

just a tad hard to hide it when there is nothing to hide it with tho, I'm thinking. think I'll stick to wearing clothes.

Also, getting off the track a little, I was just wondering how they go in winter. Call me materialistic, but thermal stuff just barely keeps me warm!
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  #17  
Old 12-24-2000, 07:00 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Quote:
Also, getting off the track a little, I was just wondering how they go in winter. Call me materialistic, but thermal stuff just barely keeps me warm!
Most of the naked peoples are/were in the tropics. No winter. However, there were the Tasmanians and the people of Tierra del Fuego, who went naked in wintry conditions, and faced the icy Antarctic blasts with no covering. They had a different understanding of the human body's needs. The cold apparently didn't bother them much. They had other ways of adapting.
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2000, 11:01 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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One response to the OP is a device used by the women of certain nude Amazonian tribes (women who are naturally without pubic hair).

It's a little belt with a string attached. The string goes down between the vulva lips and is pulled taut and fastened in back. Its effect is to deepen and lengthen the vaginal crack. It makes the labia look longer and bigger. This is a way to emphasize the shape of the vulva and look more sexually attractive to men. These people have solved the question of how to be sexier than unadorned nudity, while still remaining totally naked.
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  #19  
Old 12-29-2000, 06:09 AM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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I dated a girl who generally went naked when at home. It didn't take long at all (minutes) to get used to seeing her naked. Same thing with my wife, I have only been living with her for 8 months and just seeing her naked doesn't arouse me at all. However, in both the cases I mentioned if they were wearing something I thought of as sexy, that was a definite turn on.
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  #20  
Old 12-29-2000, 08:53 AM
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RE: nude beaches or nudist camps and "newbies."

I've visited both and they are decidedly un-erotic. The people who you're with are just like the people you'd be with on a regular beach or park - just without clothing. No big deal and not much to worry about.

I have a theory that I call "The Christmas Present Phenomenon." One reason that lingerie and sexy clothing work to arrouse us is the idea of what's hidden under the wrapping. Sure, a woman in beautiful lingerie is exciting, but its taking the lingerie off (unwrapping the present)that adds so much to the experience.
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  #21  
Old 12-29-2000, 09:13 AM
SuaSponte SuaSponte is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by plnnr
I have a theory that I call "The Christmas Present Phenomenon." One reason that lingerie and sexy clothing work to arrouse us is the idea of what's hidden under the wrapping. Sure, a woman in beautiful lingerie is exciting, but its taking the lingerie off (unwrapping the present)that adds so much to the experience.
Anticipation and imagination is also part of it. Many a year ago, I worked as a pool repairman. One day my partner and I went to a house to fix da pool. On the way around the house, we ran into the 17-y.o.'ish daughter, who was wearing a towel. Waaaaay hot. We talked for a bit, then we went on to the pool and she went back to her sunbathing. She removed her towel to reveal a teeny tiny bikini. Nowhere near as hot as the towel.
I tell this story to men, they get it immediately. Most of the women I tell this story to don't get it at all.

Sua
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  #22  
Old 12-29-2000, 11:23 AM
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I sort of talked about this before when mentioning the flick THE NAKED PREY.

ishmintingas, give me one example of how they would be able to show bare assed naked people to you in US print or TV.
Thats one reason you see them wearing something. duh.
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  #23  
Old 12-29-2000, 01:24 PM
plnnr plnnr is offline
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How cooperative of the natives. "We're going to try and show this documentary in the US, so would you be so kind as to cover up your naughty bits."

Please.
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  #24  
Old 12-30-2000, 01:38 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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ishmintingas, give me one example of how they would be able to show bare assed naked people to you in US print or TV.
I don't understand your question -- nor am I sure what you mean by "US print"--newspapers? magazines? books?

I read about the Amazonian vaginal crack-enhancing string in books on anthropology I found in a university library, books published by academic presses. There were drawings of the string, photos of women wearing it, and interviews with tribal men who lamented that women weren't wearing the strings the way they used to.

As for the film The Emerald Forest, that was a theatrical release and I saw it on rented video. Since many cable channels these days show total nudity, I don't know what was the point of your post.

Anyway, there are very few nude tribes left in the world, none at all outside Amazonia. Modernization has resulted in most of them wearing the castoff rags of the scum of civilization instead of the proud dignity of their naked skin. Aggressive governments in Sudan, greedy land grabbers and prospectors in Amazonia have been destroying their habitat & traditional way of life and committing genocide. Reducing them from a people in harmony with their natural environment and skilled in the lore of plants and animals to merely the lowest despised rung on the scale of our fucked-up modern civilization, fit only for rags and menial labor, alcoholism and prostitution instead of their unique intimate knowledge of their fast-disappearing environment.
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Old 12-30-2000, 11:14 AM
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ishmintingas, there was a time, probably 70's when they would show completely naked natives on tv, films & magazines, but not naked white people.
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  #26  
Old 12-30-2000, 11:53 AM
Wyvern Wyvern is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Sheepshead
The good Doctor's quote is bothering me. I mean, I would think that whenever you see the genetalia of whatever sex you happen to be attracted to, your body would naturally react in an "oh boy, you know what I can do with that!" sort of way. And anyway married people have seen each other naked repeatedly yet most continue to be stimulated by each other's nudity, right?
O.K., I have been married for about six months and lived with my now-husband for over a year before that. In our case, we go around naked a lot when getting ready for work, or just hanging around the house (with the drapes closed, of course). The only time these situation have become sexy is if one of us says something about it or makes a proposition. Maybe this is what groups of naked or semi-nude people do? It not the exposed skin that causes arousal, but suggestions and erotic talk that gets them going.
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Old 12-30-2000, 01:23 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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There are a couple pictures of women wearing the genital string belt published in the article "Brazil's Waurá Indians", National Geographic, January 1966, p. 142-143. I think there were a few other National Geographic articles in the 1960s that showed it too.
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  #28  
Old 12-30-2000, 08:19 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Quote:
ishmintingas, give me one example of how they would be able to show bare assed naked people to you in US print or TV
ishmintingas was correct in his reply. While you won't see totally naked people on CBS or any of the other major networks (With a notable exception . . . when Schindler's List was aired unedited) you can see plenty of nekkid folks on PBS when they run documentaries on other cultures. TLC and Dicovery Channel often run documentaries on the human body in which they show nudity, as well as The History Channel's documentary History Of Sex. The list could go on and on.

Print media is also not shy about nudity. National Geographic comes to mind as a primary example.

It also depends on your definition of nudity. The television program ER had a bit of flack a few years ago when it showed a young woman's naked breasts. Their arguement was that the nudity was not salacious (the young woman had just had surgery to remove a cancerous lum, IIRC) and the furor died down rather quickly. NYPD Blue showed a man's nude buttocks on a few occasions as well.

As a further comment on naked people/sexual arousal:

Opinions on what is erotic varies greatly throughout cultures and time. In the Victorian era of extreme prudery, the sight of a woman's exposed ankle was enough to get men hot and bothered because women wore long, concealing dresses, and a lady could only show the tips of her shoes. It's the RESTRICTION of nudity which makes it erotic. It's, in a way, the forbidden fruit.

I'm sure a man from a Muslim country where women are concealed head-to-toe, and had never been exposed to Western culture and modes of dress, would consider an exposed face, or arm, or hell, even a shoulder to be erotic, simply because it isn't what he's used to seeing.

While in Amazonia, a guy sees a woman's breasts every day, to the point where they become as "natural" a part of her as her face, and are no more erotic than seeing the back of a woman's hand.

Just as a sort of example: In Memoirs of a Geisha (which is one of the more accurate portrayals of the geisha world, I've read) one of the geisha explains that the point of the white makeup is to make men more aware of the naked skin beneath. The geisha would leave a tiny margin of skin around the painted mask to exaggerate the effect. So covering what is common to us, the naked skin of the face, actually made the common erotic.
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  #29  
Old 12-31-2000, 01:58 AM
ShakeNBake ShakeNBake is offline
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If you've ever been around these tribes, as I have, you quickly see that only the youngest breasts are arousing.
They don't wait long for the first child, and the breast break down quickly at that point.
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  #30  
Old 01-01-2001, 08:17 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShakeNBake
If you've ever been around these tribes, as I have, you quickly see that only the youngest breasts are arousing.
They don't wait long for the first child, and the breast break down quickly at that point.
I disagree thoroughly, sorry. My lover's 40, and has fairly large breasts. They began heading south before she was 20. ( And, before both kids ) Personally ( and, arousal is purely a personal thing) I find them wildly arousing- because they're attached to her, AND because they're sexy

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  #31  
Old 01-01-2001, 08:48 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Lissa, you're right about erotic zones of the body being culturally defined.

There was an interesting Tamil film from South India, Rosappu Ravikkaikari (1979). Set in the 1920s, it told a story set in a village where the traditional way of life had not changed for thousands of years. The women wore saris with no blouse underneath. Sometimes the sari would shift and expose a bare breast, but no one minded as that was thought normal. Then one day a young villager marries a wife from the big city and she comes to live in the village. She wears a blouse and a petticoat under her sari, and the villagers think something must be wrong with her. They assume she's a loose woman because she wears these extra adornments instead of the plain simple sari. One village woman gets ideas: she tries wearing a blouse and goes for a walk. Some guys ambush her and attempt to rape her because they thought she was asking for it with this alluring new fashion.

So in old-fashioned South India, wearing more clothing, covering the breasts, was considered immoral. Wearing less clothing with occasional breast exposure was the sign of being morally upright and decent.

Recall from the Bible, when Judah's daughter-in-law Tamar planned a stratagem to seduce him and get with child by him. She disguised herself as an harlot. How? She wore one of those all-enveloping Middle Eastern veils, like a chador, covering even her face.
Quote:
And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.

When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law). (Genesis 38:14-16)
The harlots of that time wore more clothing instead of less, to appear sexy.
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  #32  
Old 01-03-2001, 10:09 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Today I found one answer to the OP:

"The source of energy that triggers sexual arousal varies from culture to culture. Because we are so accustomed to clothing, our sexual arousal is triggered by its removal. Since Aborigines wear no clothing, they define the cause of sexual arousal differently. For the Aborigines, subtle qualities of atmosphere and natural elements are considered the hidden hand of beings who triggered their sexual appetites. A gentle wind wafting through the pubic hair of a young girl is seen as a natural spirit force inducing the current of erotic energies to flow."

--Robert Lawlor, Voices of the First Day: Awakening in the Aboriginal Dreamtime, p. 209-211.
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