It's Political, Isn't It?byelerom©
I'm always sorry to get into a discussion of anyone's morals. But sometimes it just breaks my heart, especially when I see things which shouldn't have been controversial since the culture wars of the first half of the 21st century.
And yet...and yet and alas! The old nature-phobe's expression "the shoe is on the other foot" can surely apply to those of us who go perpetually unshod and uncovered. I must make a confession...a confession of love. I love Alice Madison. I was loath to even recognize that there was a category of being called "love" before I met Alice. Of course I recognized that there was a category called "desire." We nudes have desire no less than anyone else, and furthermore our righteousness is enforced by perception. That's why the brothers call anyone who is aroused a "horse"...since that's exactly what it looks like. In the case of a sister its more subtle, but only a fool would fail to pick up the signs.
But I digress from my subject, Alice Madison. What cruel fate put us into the kind of proximity which causes people to notice one another? Like so many nudes I was determined not to give into desire. That's one of the ideological contentions among our people, although I hasten to say that the strictly asexual party is a vanishingly small minority. Yet my expectation was that, when the time was ripe, I would find a sister who would satisfy my inclinations. That is what one does with desire is it not? One satisfies it. Its like thirst, you simply drink a cup of water and that's the end of the matter. But with love its different. Love is essentially insatiable...which embarrassment can be minimized when the lovers are conventional.
But not so with Alice Madison. I must drop the bombshell at this point. Alice was a skin-concealer!
Now that I have disgraced myself with not only our adversaries but more painfully with my sisters and brethren, I'll try to defend myself as best I can. Love may be a crime but it can never be a premeditated crime. One is always set up like a pigeon stool. In my case I was set up by Mr. Leonard Venn. Venn is one of those people who are called "liberals." Of course he's a skin-concealer as well, but that's beside the point. The point is that there is a certain kind of person who insists on being a mediator between progressives and reactionaries. Generally this kind of person is called a "liberal."
Take yourself back forty or fifty years to the now seemingly absurd cultural conflicts over sexual orientation. In those days a "liberal" was someone who insisted on throwing parties called "mixers" where both the liberal's gay and, what at the time was called "straight" friends were both well represented. Never mind that the gays would have vastly preferred to attend an all-gay orgy, or that the dimorphic couples, called "straight" in the lingo of the day, would have infinitely preferred what was called a "swinger" party. Instead everybody entered into a tacit agreement to sacrifice their libido on the altar of inclusiveness. This resulted in an evening of polite and highly edifying chit-chat during which nobody got laid.
Of course all that has changed, but the mentality of the so-called liberal hasn't. A case in point is Mr. Leonard Venn, the well-known terraforming and exobiology magnate, scarcely less well known for his parties in Venn City, the industrial complex off of Puget Sound. Venn is what would have been called a century ago a "New York liberal"...back in the days when there was still a city called New York. One can only wonder what Andy Warhol would have thought of Venn's n-dimensional "pop" monoliths, priceless and delicate works of art forged by robotized factories deep in the gravity nodes of the Lagrange points. Yet undoubtedly the conversation of Warhol's and Venn's crowd would have been mutually intelligible. Both were premised on a studious attention to esthetic details which ignored the obvious.
Disastrously he found me alone in a corner nursing my so-called "drink" of synthe-haul. "There's someone I would like you to meet...Mr...." The tall bespectacled host paused for a diplomatic moment.
"Caledon...Nathanial Caledon. Just call me Nate"
"Nate, this is Alice Madison. She works as an editorialist for Mind-Implant publishers. I understand you're in the same line of work."
"Hardly. I'm a reflexologist."
"Well, ultimately it's the same industry isn't it?"
All three of us burst into an uncomfortable but diplomatic laughter. What Venn had said was utter nonsense and completely unfunny. None the less it was necessary to laugh just to break the ice. Among other conveniences it facilitated the removal of our host to another part of the room where he could concentrate on further "mixing and matching."
For an eternity I sipped on the syntho-haul and hoped this Alice creature would simply go away. For all his condescension about our professional lives, Leonard Venn had failed to mention the obvious. Ms. Madison was smartly dressed in a sequined party gown which fell in diaphanous drapes down to the middle of her thighs. After a few inches' intermission of bare skin around her knees her covering was resumed around her calves by leather from some unfortunate animal which terminated in ridiculous stiletto heals. In addition to this there was shoulder length auburn hair which seemed to be her own, as well as a decorative broach on one shoulder and a corsage on the other. Needless to say I didn't sport any decorations whatsoever, except for that rather complicated endowment which flaps between the legs of a male.
Thus our liberal host had managed to turn a blind eye to the fact that I eschewed clothing, and no doubt thought that he was doing me a great service introducing me to the upcoming assistant editor or whatever. After all, nudes are a minority and should be grateful for acceptance. I looked nervously around the room, and by casual induction reckoned that nudes were somewhat less than a fifth of the invitees. That was in close agreement with the latest demographic sample of the North American population. When asked "Can you wear clothes?" roughly 18.2% responded negatively. A generation ago the question would have been worded "Do you prefer to go naked?" which shows how radically the category "nude" has been refined according to contemporary standards. Probably one could garner a bare majority (pun intended) if that question was asked the old-fashioned way today. But that would be a sell out, a betrayal of the fact that "nude" is not something one does, it is something one is. Ultimately I have faith that science will demonstrate that the rejection of clothing is genetically based, and a trait shared by a far greater segment of humanity than has hitherto been acknowledged.
I was starting to feel a surge of anger. Was Leonard Venn such a calculating liberal that he had adjusted his invite list to the latest demographic findings? Was it to be wondered at that he didn't remember my name if I was just a statistic to register in the cause of political correctness. I looked across the room at an attractive sister. Her name was Ophelia Katz and I frequently ran into her at cell and sector meetings of the CNP. Why hadn't I struck up a conversation with her? She was certainly attractive, her breasts elongated in that pleasant and serviceable way characteristic of women who have never used, or have long eschewed, artificial support. Indeed, why hadn't I struck up a conversation with her...instead of being a sitting duck for people who had less excuse for feathers than ducks did? Perhaps the devious machinations of Mr. Venn and his ilk weren't entirely to blame. Perhaps nudes, as they became more prominent and threatening to the mainstream, were themselves succumbing to nervous self-hatred. Looking over the room, I could see that the nudes were mostly isolated, either peering with feigned curiosity at Venn's collection of monoliths, or trying to avoid the appearance of bunching up by mixing dutifully with the skin-concealers.
"You're either farther out into space than Venn's factories or there's something else in what your holding than syntho-haul."
I was glad that Alice brought me out of my funk. "Sorry. I'm being impolite."
"You don't like me because I go textile? It's political?"
"No, of course not." I lied.
"Really?" This one was sharp. Evidently draping rotting weaves and animal skins on your body didn't ensure a low IQ.
"Well...to be candid. Venn sort of irritates me. Don't you think its kind of patronizing the way he just throws people together at these mixers? I mean...it must be just as embarrassing to you as to me."
So paused just long enough for me to notice how wide and bright her eyes were. There's something about a woman's face which can betray innocence. Except in the darkest chapters of human history women have always been allowed to keep their faces nude. I tried to think about Alice as she was from the neck up. After a while she confessed. "If you mean by embarrassed...that I think talking with a man who doesn't have any clothes is....I don't know....what they used to call 'obscene'? Well, even I'm not quite that conservative. How could I be? Nudes are all over the place today...you'd have to wear blinkers not to notice them. But if you mean we've been set up. Yeah, Leonard is kind of manipulative. He knows that the whole nude against textile thing is the upcoming red button issue in this country...so perhaps he's trying to set off some fireworks in the interests of notoriety...as if he doesn't have enough of that already."
"You mean he wants us to get into a fight?"
She laughed, it was a clean laugh...in fact, if a laugh could be called naked, that was just what it was. "No silly!"
"Look Nate, I don't mean to be rude...but are you into dimorphic sex?"
It took me aback. "If I were why should I tell you?" I felt my anger starting to rise again. It's the legend among skin-coverers that nudes are all sex-maniacs. Never mind that repeated scientific studies have shown this to be a wishful projection of the clothing-bound.
"Well, Leonard is definitely not into dimorphic sex...so it follows that a lot of the invitees to his parties are of the same persuasion. Its just not a given, so I thought I would ask."
"I see. Well, yeah, on occasion I will have sex."
"Well, its an occasion now isn't it?"
I should have seen that coming, but her suggestion blindsided me. I had the sensation of being hit in the solar plexus, which is one of the few situations where I suppose a textile padding might be advantageous. "Just for the record...I hope you will take note that you were the one that propositioned me."
"Listen," she piped up cheerfully, "just because I wear clothes doesn't mean I'm a slave to pride. Why don't we go back to the copulation room for a quick screw?"
"May I ask why...all of a sudden?"
"Well, for one thing, you seem so miserably serious. You may be nude but you're nude like Atlas...carrying a whole world of cares on your shoulders. Unless you lighten up I'm walking away, because I can't waste my time on a party pooper....and unless you're wired differently than any other human being I've ever met, I can't think of any better way than screwing to relax."
She had me boxed in. At this point if I refused it would seem as if I were some sort of ripping fanatic who hated textile wearing people. It is true that they are a bunch of horny hypocrites...but I'm quite willing to let them go extinct in the distant future without hastening their demise. More importantly Alice was an individual in her own right, and I was beginning to see that she had redeeming qualities irrespective of her warped social conventions. True, I might have felt safer with a nude sister like Ophelia Katz. With a naked sister you always know what you are getting, but there is no telling what filth lurks under the clothing of the so-called "textile people." Dirt, disease, and in the worse case...concealed weapons.
"Sure Alice, I'll screw you. After all, its not like we aren't both human is it?"
She laughed her disarming laugh again. "Really Nate...you're almost as good a diplomat as Leonard. But just for your education...when a woman offers you a piece of her ass, don't treat it like it's a peace treaty."
Peace treaty or none, we quickly located the copulation room and slipped inside. Alice removed her leg-sheaths and heels so we could both pad in unobtrusively among the other occupants of the room. I can remember a time when copulation rooms, as a dedicated architectural feature, were a relative novelty. A few years ago Cascadia, which is admittedly more progressive than most states in North America, made them a mandatory element of any private or public establishment where gatherings for the purpose of conviviality were held. Their alleged purpose is to provide a safe venue for casual sex, free of the obvious dangers associated with engaging in sex acts in vehicles or exposed outdoor areas. The nude community in Cascadia was generally cool to the idea, partly out of fear that vocal support would lend further credence to the supposed connection between nudity and orgiastic activity, and in the case of purist ideologues a sentiment that any concealment of natural acts, even in a dimly lit public room, was antithetical to moral progress. Personally I had no qualms about using the room, if for no other reason that nobody would be able to identify me as a nude. There is a vast gap between being a nude and becoming temporarily naked, but in a casual contexts few people are astute enough to notice the difference.
The room was large and dimly lit, and all about us we could hear the groaning of couples in ecstasy. When my eyes had adjusted enough to see the design of the place I could see that it was quite bare, not unlike a gymnasium floor which had been strewn with exercise mats. Also strewn about were assorted items of clothing which had been removed from the bodies of erstwhile textile wearers now engaged in acts of passion. With some difficulty we found an unoccupied mattress at the back of the room. Alice flung herself down on the mat and cast her leg-coverings over to rear wall.
"Well, aren't you going to strip me?" She moaned.
I lay down next to her. "Why are you too lazy to do it yourself?"
"No, that's part of the turn on...you rip my clothes off."
Now it was my turn to laugh. "I can see now why you skin-coverers are an evolutionary dead end!" Throwing caution to the winds I employed the rude word 'skin coverer' on her. Generally nudes don't use that term within earshot of textile wearers.
"You can't procreate without a fetish. We can. End game."
"You really think human beings will some day completely give up wearing clothes?"
"I'm absolutely certain."
"Well, don't hold your breath. You're still in the minority. 18.2% as far as last I heard."
"Not everywhere. Florida is almost a majority nude state by now. And by nude I don't mean people who just go nude occasionally, but rather people who have completely stopped wearing clothing for any reason. People who don't buy or own any clothes at all. They'll be the majority."
Again her invincible laugh. "Well, that's Florida. It's warm down there."
"I know, that's where I moved from. I came to Cascadia as a pioneer. We can't have a nude planet as long as everyone just bunches up around the tropics."
"You must be a masochist."
"On the contrary. The main whether problem around here is the precipitation. For me its no sweat, just like sweat is no sweat...just rolls off my back."
"I've got to admire your courage. Now how about ripping my clothes off?"
"I can't do that."
The statement seemed to irritate her. "Why not."
"Does everything have to be political with you?"
"Unfortunately, in this instance...yes. But it's intra-nude politics. I believe in voluntary and evolutionary progress. That's why I support the CNP...the Center Nude Party. You might call us the majority of the minority."
"I didn't know you even had a party. Like a regular party with elections?"
"You see, that's the irony of all you skin-coverers...sorry, I mean textile people. You don't hear anything about legitimate organizations like the CNP but I bet you know all about the terrorists."
"Terrorists? Well, I don't know if I'd glorify them with that name. But it does seem that you hear more and more news stories about nudes who are stealing our clothes."
"They're not stealing the clothes...they're destroying them. The media isn't reporting it clearly but there are militant organizations like STARC."
"It stands for Strategic Terror Against Remaining Clothes. They want a clothes free world, which is a good thing, but they want to use violent means to attain their end. We can't allow that. Which is why I'm not going to start ripping your clothes off."
Alice just shook her head in disbelief. "This is what one famous writer a hundred years or more ago called a Catch-22. I don't know what to do with you Nate. You won't even let me screw you to cheer you up. Sorry, goodbye." She went over to where she had tossed her leg coverings and after having retrieved them padded delicately out the door.
She left me a lonely man amidst groans of ecstasy from scores of lovers. I suddenly realized that I had gotten a hard on. An erection is, to a male nude, what suddenly finding yourself naked walking down the street would be to a man used to clothing. It was a primary breach of conduct. But just as suddenly I realized that I happened to be in the one place where public erections were legitimately associated with nudity. Alice had certainly been right about one thing. I needed sexual relief.
Without further hesitation I grabbed my rock hard shaft and started to stroke it. Now that my eyes had adjusted to the dim light of the room I could see the impassioned couples around me. It was like being seated in the middle of a 360 degree wide porno theatre. For a moment I could understand what the textile people felt with all their fetishes and voyeur escapades. "Fuck you all!" I muttered under my breath.
Just before I climaxed I noticed something curious. There was a man being ridden by a woman in the mother superior position on one of the adjacent mattresses. The odd thing was that there were no women's clothes spread out next to the couple. It was a sister trying to get away with the same thing I had been thinking of doing with Alice. Just at that moment I realized how much I had lost when that little mouthy textile girl walked away. Just for an instant Alice had truly freed me of my hang-ups...hang-ups which were opposite, but no less real than the like endemic to clothes wearers.
Part of me wanted to rush out in pursuit of Alice, but part of me couldn't draw my eyes from the sister going down on the groaning stud. She was writhing in ecstasy ...having much more fun than a righteous nude sister ought to have, especially with an unclothed hypocrite. In frenzy abandon she shook her hair from her face. Only at that moment did I realize that it was Ophelia Katz. Another shake and the hair flew off completely.
This was impossible! Nudes didn't wear wigs. After all, wigs were clothing like anything else. Bald nudes went proud and natural, but I had never heard of a female bald nude. Realizing her mistake, Ophelia tried to slow the grind of her passion and re-position the wig on her head.
On a hunch, I scuttled over to the security guard outside the entrance to the copulation room. That was one of the provisions of the model Cascadia law, making sure that the copulation rooms did not become an excuse for rapists.
"Do you have cuffs?"
He looked at my still hard erection and laughed. "Man, things must be getting kinky in there! I guess I shouldn't do it...but what the heck, these Leonard Venn parties are always a little over the top."