Kyle, below, brings up some interesting points. Kyle "confused the map with the territory" and had some conflicts because of it.
One has to be able to hold an ideal and at the same time see the world as it is. If one only sees the world as it is and has no ideal, that's recipe for depression. And if one only has an ideal and does not see the world, that can bring about some harsh experiences.
The philosophy of DOMAI, the joy and innocence and beauty, is an ideal. You can call it a fantasy if you will. But: twenty years ago the amazing world of the World Wide Web was a fantasy. And pocket-sized and ubiquitous cell phones were a fantasy. But the world changed. A few hundred years ago it was fantasy to travel between cities wihout meeting highway robbers. A world having decent plumbing and schools was a fantasy. But the world changed.
Without dreams and ideals the world doesn't change. With them, it does.
It's not necessarily easy. We have much guilt in our minds, and the world has a big cultural lag. But ideals and perseverance will always win in the end, that's my philosophy.
Have fun now. :-)
I am writing this letter in response to the February 1st Newsletter, although I have been considering what I should say to you for years. I am a young man who has been a reader for years. Domai.com has shaped my life in many ways, whether I like it or not.
In his letter, Joe wrote about how the models on DOMAI are fantasy women. We imagine their innocence, their generosity, and their attitudes toward how natural it is to be naked. We see their smiles and marvel at how happy they are to be sharing their beauty with us. It took me years to realize that this was all in my mind. Joe wrote about how dangerous it is to cross the line and replace reality with fantasy. In my young impressionable state I immersed myself in the philosophy of DOMAI and my reality was lost.
As much as I admire all the beauty you've shared and the happiness you've given us, Eolake, I must admit that my life may have been made more difficult because of it. I live in the United States, like many of your readers, so it wouldn't be so bad if I lived in Arizona or Florida or Vermont or Maine or any such area that embraced the natural state of the human body at least a little bit. But I live in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Western Washington. No one ever goes skinny dipping here. Parties don't get quite as wild here. Risqué movies don't show in the theaters here. Some of my fellow Washingtonians may disagree with me, but this is just the way it looks from my personal experience. Seattle never has any nude protests or body painting festivals or anything like that.
Everything I've ever heard suggests that Europe is much more accepting of nudity than the United States. I've always wished my country could be more like that (politically speaking, I wish we could be more like Europe in many ways). However, I may have exaggerated that difference in my mind, thinking of Europe as an enlightened utopia while America lingers in the dark ages. Somehow I got it into my head that all European girls love to be naked and many even enjoy showing their bodies to everyone else. And I believed that was how American girls should be, and then I started thinking that's how some American girls actually are.
Perhaps you're aware of the controversy regarding high school girls and their revealing clothing. Now in Washington State I don't see too many bare midriffs but there's an abundant supply of bare legs with all the short shorts and microskirts, surprisingly even in Winter. I still have no idea what is going through these girls' heads. Maybe it's simply fashion. Maybe it's for their boyfriends. Maybe they're practicing for their future careers in prostitution. The usual rant is that these girls just want attention, but when you consider all the research about how girls have such low self esteem and poor body image, I can't imagine how they would want to draw so much attention to the very thing they're ashamed of. But being a "Dirty Old Man", I developed my own interpretation. I believed they weren't ashamed at all.
I believed that girls exposed parts of their bodies because they wanted to be admired. I imagined that they'd go naked if they were allowed but in the present circumstances wore as little as was acceptable. I saw these girls as benevolent angels who freely gave us the gift of their beauty, who enjoyed feeling the air on their bare skin and disliked the restraint of clothing. And I wondered why everyone else just called them sluts.
I suppose it's really all a game to them. Guys aren't supposed to look at girls so the girls try to make that job as hard as possible. Of course I was never taught the rules of that game, and spent my entire life totally oblivious to the fundamental assumptions of social interaction that everyone else takes for granted. In accordance with DOMAI's teachings, I'm sure you can guess what I did. I looked. And my popularity dropped to zero.
No matter how much I suffered from being regarded as a freak, I never got the message. I kept thinking that following the teachings of DOMAI would make me more popular, that girls should appreciate a guy who truly admires them, especially considering how many guys these girls date and turn out to be jerks. I'm still recovering from this delay in my social development. Ironically enough, my mistake was not following a principle that you mention frequently in your Thoughts of the Day, one that's perhaps not preached as much as the principles about beauty and nudity. My mistake was that I didn't think for myself. I let you do it for me.
In his letter, Joe wrote about how the models probably aren't so enlightened as we think they are, so perhaps I'm off track when I criticize your entire philosophy. Joe didn't say anything was wrong with your teachings, so the implication is that even though the models themselves may not embody the philosophy, the philosophy still works. Even though I may not encounter such girls where I live, it's perfectly possible that there are girls who love sharing their beauty and being admired. We read about them quite often in the stories about DOMAI experiences in the newsletters. I imagine you yourself regularly encounter this sort of girl, Eolake. So hopefully I've learned my lesson, and despite whatever bad experiences I may have, DOMAI reminds me what a beautiful world this really is.
[Please note: the sites linked to below have not requested the links, and are only about naturism.]
Helpful reader Griff points Kyle to: Wreck Beach in Vancouver, BC, is very close to Seattle.
Seattle is home to the world naked bike ride.
And Roger refers to the annual Fremont Summer Festival Solstice Parade.
Chris C points at nudehiker, Seattle.
And Gar to slimetrails and Snoqualmie and Lake Bronson.
Jim B is helpful with AANR.