as a way to remove the shock value of the naked man.

As everyone knows, nudity is awful. It is simple.
hat they
Nudity equals sex. Which
might have
is why my jaw dropped
Delight . . .
when eight years past, I
learned about a website
Named LDS Skinny-Dipper
Connection1. To me, this
name was an oxymoron
on the level of “military intelligence.” I had to check it out.
Based on the site, its constituency is “Faithful members
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” “Families
forever, naked and ,” it said. “Wholesome interest
in social nudity under proper conditions,” it said.
I smirked. This was going to be entertaining, reading the rationalizations of these individuals attempting to warrant this sort of
I read through the website. I read every word—and there
were a lot of words! They claimed that nonsexual social nudity
is a positive, favorable thing. It’s educational because it permits
everyone to see what human bodies actually seem like—instead
than consuming the glorified, airbrushed images we see in the
media every day. It strips away the mystery of the individual
body—particularly those parts we keep concealed from each
other—and decreases lust because people become comfortable and familiar with all the body parts. It battle body
shame and negative self-image. It cultivates openness and trust
because it enables you to be fully who you’re and still be
accepted by others.
as soon as I finished, to my shock and amazement, I exclaimed,
“They are right! There’s no doctrinal objection to wholesome,
nonsexual social nudity!”
Oh, there were all sorts of LDS ethnic objections, all sorts


D. MICHAEL MARTINDALE is the author of the critically acclaimed LDS novel Brother Brigham. He has

been a naturist activist for several years and is in the
process of developing a site on family nudism at
FAMILYSKINNYDIPPERS.COM. Martindale lives in Salt
Lake City, Utah, and works as a Web developer.

of “people doctrines” against it, tons of objections to sexualized nudity. But no bona fide official doctrine against nonsexual nudity.
It’s just that most people do not know there’s such a thing as
nonsexual nudity. Remember the equation, “nudity equals sex.”


HAT WAS ALL I needed: permission from folks who
understood my LDS hang-ups. I printed out the whole
LDS Skinny-Dipper Connection web site and presented
the thick sheaf of paper to . “Read this, and tell me
what you believe,” I said to her.
She did not read all of it (there were lots of words!), but she
read a substantial portion of it, handed the papers back to me and
said, “Well, I believe it’s rationalization, but if you need to do it,
go ahead.” (Bless her heart.)
I did. I became a full-fledged, practicing Mormon naturist.
From other naturist hikers, I learned just how to trek nude safely. I
visited areas such as Diamond Fork hot springs in Spanish
Fork Canyon where a convention of bare soaking has existed for
decades, and eventually I seen a few naturist resorts and
nude beaches.
The first time I attended the temple after I began practicing
naturism, I was apprehensive. Walking into that environment,
I didn’t know how I’d feel, knowing all the things I ‘d done
naked. Because, really, all I had was an “intellectual testimony”
of naturism Rationally, I was convinced. But being born and
raised in America and within the LDS Church, I had lots of
Mental conditioning that wasn’t so readily overcome. Would
I feel guilty? Would an evil spirit follow me inside, alarming a
discerning temple president to my unworthiness? Would God
strike me down? These were the agitated ideas that
churned in my mind as I entered.
But as I walked from the front desk where I revealed my urge to the changing room, a sense of calmness came over
me. It appeared to say, “Do Not worry about it. Everything is okay.”
For three years, that was the only spiritual manifestation I
had that my choice to adopt nudism was adequate to
God. But from time to time, it’d hit me how out of step
my naturism was with traditional Mormonism, and uncertainties
would appear—am I really deceived like most Mormons would
consider me? I recall one time in particular when my wife

and I were invited to a hot tub party with a clothes-optional
dress code. She brought her swimsuit; I didn’t.
Before the party, we attended the wedding reception of a
family in the ward. We sat and ate mints and nuts and white
cake with another couple in the ward. The entire time, I kept
wondering what this couple would think of me if they understood
what I’d be off doing right after the reception. After all, it was
not such a long time ago that I was laughing at the thought of a
Mormon nudist.

WHILE HANDLING STANDARD day to day living, I
struggled and studied and meditated and prayed
over the uncertainties engendered by both halves of my