Spring is in the air, so I decided to award you all a new free gallery this week. To my personal taste, there are some of our best models ever in there! Loveliness abounds.
Tell your friends.
I've been reading the Domai newsletter for some time, and I have enjoyed the various writers' "Domai moments," but never really felt I had anything to contribute. Then it occurred to me that my atypical background might make an interesting counterpoint, because, if I had a "Domai moment," it was certainly when I was too young to remember it. I had two older sisters and nine female cousins my age and older, and I can't ever remember thinking the female form was mysterious. Gorgeous, yes. Fascinating, always! But not some secret mystery.
As kids, we lived with my grandmother in a huge, ramshackle old farmhouse next to a wooded area with a stream and a little dam that made a small lake. The Army built a base nearby and the area is now heavily urbanized but back then it was still way out in the country. My mother's 3 sisters and their families all lived with us. My mother and aunts all married between 1939 and 1942 and they had a total of 11 girls and 1 boy (me) in just seven years, so it was a lot like living in a commune.
As we got older, the girls who had started to "develop" generally wore something when any of the dads were home, but otherwise there were no nudity taboos for the kids. There was no bath time privacy at all, and especially back when we were little, we ran around all summer in whatever state of dress or undress suited whatever games we dreamt up. The moms actually preferred it when we did without clothes, since it made for less laundry and mending. My oldest sister suddenly got shy - or "ladylike," as my mother put it - around 13 or so, but she still went skinnydipping with the mob. Even the moms swam without suits when they were just with the kids, though the dads never did.
My sisters and female cousins ranged from pleasantly buxom to tomboy athletic to swimsuit model gorgeous. By the time I was 11, the girls were all at various stages of adolescence, ranging from a precocious 11 year old (my "twin cousin" and partner in crime) to a stunningly pretty 18 year old. Although I occasionally felt badly outnumbered, I don't ever remember having a girl-hating stage. There was a myth at the time that children were completely innocent of sexual interest before puberty, but even at 10 I had a deep appreciation for the beauty of the feminine form. I remember having big crushes on both my oldest cousin and my youngest aunt, which would have really startled them had they known, since they both had literally changed my diapers!
We moved to Hawaii just when I hit puberty, so I avoided the inevitable crackdown on "being naked in front of your cousins" (and vice versa) that was due to happen very soon. Hawaii was pretty laid back at the time and a lot of the ethnic Hawaiian families were as relaxed about clothes as my family was. As a young teen, I got in with a group that surfed a lot and was very casual about nudity. The beach we favored had no facilities and was often deserted, so we just changed clothes on the beach. When other people were there, we changed into or out of swimsuits by holding up towels for each other. For some reason the joke was that you got to look all you wanted as the price for shielding the changers from public view. However, if you made rude comments, you got even ruder ones back when it was your turn. The joke was rather pointless, since we also found a small freshwater pool where we could skinnydip at the base of the mountains near the beach. There you could look your fill, so no one bothered to stare.
We were "surf geeks," not "cool surfer dudes." As far as I knew, we were all still virgins at 16. That sounds socially retarded by today's standards, but it led to a certain pleasant innocence about skinnydipping and the like. That did not, of course, keep the boys from discussing the girls' finer points in exhaustive detail when we were alone, and there were a lot of nice contrasts for us to discuss. The four girls in the group were a carrottop with masses of freckles, a very nordic looking blue-eyed blond, a Japanese-Hawaiian pixie, and a self-proclaimed "big mutt" - a tall, broad-shouldered Hawaiian-Caucasian-Filipino-
Chinese-whatever mix who looked like a Polynesian goddess when she was riding a wave. I confess I enjoyed the show every bit as much as I enjoyed the surfing, the swimming, and the friendship, and I still treasure those memories.
My family moved back to the mainland when I was 16 and I remember how stuffy and repressed everyone seemed. A Playboy in a school locker was cause for scandal and a suspension, and girls were called sluts if they wore a skirt a few inches too short. What I noticed most about it, though, was that the obsession with flirting and dating and rules and modesty made it almost impossible to have a normal friendship between a girl and a boy. I conformed to the code and soon had a steady girlfriend, but a skinnydipping expedition would have shocked everyone and my girlfriend would never have put up with me having any female friends besides her. I was bored and somewhat lonely for two years, and very glad when I finally got out of high school.
A few years later, we had Woodstock, Hair, and the whole hippie movement and a lot of people who weren't uptight about nudity breathed a big sigh of relief. Three of my cousins actually joined a commune, not because they were hippies but simply because it was a way to raise their kids in a relaxed environment like the one they grew up in. The press treated the whole hippie movement as if it were something brand new, but it wasn't. A lot of the "radicals" were just ordinary people doing what they'd always done. The only difference was they no longer felt they had to hide.
As for Domai and the Simple Nude movement, one reason I enjoy these models and pictures so much is because they remind me of happy times in my childhood. Like the girls I grew up with, DOMAI's girls come in all sizes and shapes; some are buxom, some are lean; some are tall, some are short; some are knock-your-eyes-out beautiful, some are cute, and some are sweetly plain; but they are all bursting with health and they all seem happy to be wherever they are, enjoying the freedom to be nude and the security of being admired!
"Those beautiful girls, happy and care-free, in stunning locations, make the world make sense for a brief moment. I'm reminded of how good life is when I see them. Thank you for providing my happy place, a place where hope and beauty live." - Yours, Sean <seanvdw [at] netactive.co.za>