Episode 106: Mormon Nudists

35 comments on “Episode 106: Mormon Nudists”

  1. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    Fascinating, I had no idea that their was Mormon Nudists. I must admit for the first time I wanted pictures of the pod cast.

  2. brandt Reply

    Whaaaaaat…..??? Wow, I give you a ton of credit if you guys got down to the birthday suit (which, from the nervousness in your voices, it does sound like you did it). I don’t know if I would be able to do that….at all…

    Were there any studio audience guests there with you guys?

    I was riveted. I’m glad you brought up the perception of sexualization within nudism, because basically that was the big question that came to my mind, mainly, how to negotiate that. I found the panelists to be wonderful though.

    “Almost thou persuadest me to become a nudist…”

    • brandt Reply

      And going along with the “Missionaries and nudism” thing, for me serving in South Korea, it was a right of passage to go to the public bath houses. The ones that missionaries visited were seperate mens and womens bath houses, but basically it’s nudism. Strip down, shower really well in public showers, then spend your time hanging out in different temperature pools (usually warm, hot, hottest), then head to the cold pool (probably between 65-70 degrees) to cool down and close up the pores. When we would have a new companion transfer to the area, or a new missionary transfer into an apartment, that was the protocol – go to the bath house. It really does break down walls. I’d do it again…the bath houses were the most relaxing thing I ever did…ever.

  3. Jay Bryner Reply

    To the comment that one of the panel that this sometimes manifests itself in the mission. I never saw anything like that.

    • Anonymous Reply

      “manifests itself” hahaha! Nice. Thanks for the good laugh. Only a Mormon (or one raised in the culture) could use such an expression.

  4. Anonymous Reply

    Great podcast and props to John and Zilpha for having the courage to get naked for the podcast. That takes some doing.

    I think like many other listeners I am intrigued by the idea of nudism— partly because I am a guy and am a visual creature— but probably as much or more because of the way nudity is viewed in the US and more specifically in Mormonism. I think much of what I/we have been raised to think and feel about nudity is because it is forbidden and hidden. I like the idea of having a more healthy view of the human body. I also find the idea of a more intimate and less made-up connection with other people is interesting (and somewhat frightening) as well.

    I took a few life drawing class in community college before attending BYU and had the chance to draw the nude figure— all shapes and sizes. It’s interesting how when you take the nude form out of a sexual context how you can experience it differently and appreciate it’s beauty in a new way.

    Thanks all. Good job.

  5. Oz Reply

    I’m listening nude in my office while staring at a picture of John and Zilpha…kidding.

    John, did you MANSCAPE prior to the recording? LOL

    So right about the “Mission Exhibitionism.” I had seen the occasional naked female body prior to the mission. But MAN, I get to the MTC and the PRUDE NUN flies out of me. I was shocked about the morning shower situation with the group showers or “District Showers” as some called it. I could not believe that was allowed anywhere on Gods land. Then in the field, to have the occasional companion or 2nd companionship who would walk around the apartment naked. I had spent a night with our AP’s one night, woke up the next morning, they are in the kitchen, one drinking OJ and the other eating oatmeal naked. It was uncomfortable and weird.

    Years after the mission, took a camping trip up the California coast with a girlfriend. We saw a sign at a Retreat Center near one of our camping spots in Big Sur that said “Natural Hot Springs, starting at Midnite.” We thought, hey, that would be cool. So we show up along with about 20+ other people, some in their 40’s, 30’s, and 20’s. All normal looking people. The guy in charge leads us to a locker room and explains the rules, “no running, no alcohol, no yelling, no peeing in the pools, and then…..clothing is optional.” WHAT WHAT WHAT, I thought. Then right on que, everyone just starts to get naked. My girlfriend and I looked at each other with shock, and without saying it, just decided to go for it. Next thing we know, we are naked with 20+ other men and women, after the initial shock, it felt pretty dang cool. It was not a sexual experience, yet there was a hint of sexiness with it, there was freedom, there was no pretentiousness, it was a memorable, yet strange, experience.

    Thanks guys, “it was a hoot.”

    • Anonymous Reply

      Your story reminded me of one scout camp out my troop when on when I was a young teen. I couldn’t go but heard about it from friends. Grew up in the south SF bay area in CA and the troop was going to the Presidio. Little did the leaders know that the chosen spot was a short hike from a nude beach. No surprise the YM found knot tying and other camp activities far less interesting than nature hikes down near the beach. The leaders spent the whole campout trying to keep the boys from viewing beach porn.

      And while most of it was driven by the hormones of 13 year old boys— but I think a lot of it was curiosity. You want to see what you’re told you cannot.

      Hands-down winner when the troop was asked where they wanted to go camping next year: The Presidio

    • Stone Reply

      Yeah those “Tree of Life” showers in the MTC were shocking to me too…..I was always scrambling to find the 1 or 2 solo showers. Waaaay to much sausage for me 🙂

      As for your CA trip…. that’s hilarious! I’m sure her parents were so thrilled that their daughter was on a date with an RM 🙂

  6. Hermes Reply

    I can confirm missionary nudity: I was not a participant, but I lived in apartments where other elders occasionally (and some of them regularly) stood around in the buff. Being a very heterosexual male, I was never really bothered by it. Female nudity would have given me fits, though. In fact, when I was a teenager the mere sight of a nubile woman (even fully-clothed) was enough to make me want to run to the bishop and out myself as an all-but-murderer. It sounds ridiculous, but that was how I felt.

    I hear John’s comments about Mormonism “amping up” a widespread obsession with female modesty in conservative America. I ate this obsession up and suffered a lot of fear and guilt as a result, living in terror of the girls and well-endowed women I could not escape dealing with. Before my mission, I never dared to go on any kind of date or relate meaningfully to anyone of the opposite sex who was not at least old enough to be my mom; the closest I got was some perfunctory in-class sparring with female classmates in my karate instructor’s dojo, and even then I was a reluctant participant: I did as little as possible and stayed as distant as possible until my round ended and I could find another partner. Serving a mission in a country where women routinely wore scanty clothing and breast fed in public without giving it a second thought was the start of a cure for me. I realized that I could see women as people rather than sex objects (to be avoided at all costs until marriage, which was somehow supposed to happen in spite of my fear of sharing any kind of personal contact with a female). Sometime between coming home from my mission and having my first child (somehow I did manage to get married without kissing at all or hugging that much: she is one special girl), it dawned on me that people with real sexual integrity are not at the mercy of their neighbor’s wardrobe. In a moment of inspiration I realized that the really moral man or woman would treat other people with respect no matter what they wore or did not wear. If I aspired to be a sexually moral person, I should be prepared to receive anyone in the buff (or any stage of dress or undress) and treat her (or him, as an afterthought) respectfully rather than run like a frightened cur or become some kind of lustful monster (the two options my Mormon mentality gave me). This realization was really empowering. I decided that other people will not ever determine how I express my sexuality: what they wear or do not wear has no bearing on my determination to be a gentleman. I am proud to say that I no longer cringe at the sight of female skin. (My wife is also happy that I enjoy kissing now, not to mention making babies. Needless to say, she has had a pretty hard row to hoe, pun intended.)

  7. Michael Gonda Reply

    I remember hearing missionaries from other districts in the MTC saying their branch president told them that their garments were so sacred that he would rather they left their rooms naked than that their garments be seen in public by other missionaries. Maybe that’s why missionaries like to go around naked so much?

    • Glenn Reply

      A few more examples of missionary nudity from my greenie area, all compliments of my trainer who shall remain un-named, although it kills me to do so because of who he is and what he does now for the church (man it is KILLING me!) — let’s just say he has turned his life around, and I respect him for it — but still, these stories are too good to fade away down the memory hole:

      1. He called himself the streaking samurai — running naked through the japanese neighborhood with a kendo-sword and a rice-patty hat, He had the polaroids to prove it. And one late night about 7 of us also joined in at an elementary school playground. Someone has a photo out there that was dubbed “the sex pit” with a bunch of white american asses essentially mooning the camera from a rope-net children equipment thingy. No one saw except for us and the angels who were silent notes taking. I will have to claim peer pressure on that one. It was 20 years ago. I’ve never told anyone. I feel so free.

      2. He would climb naked into the futon (think of a sleeping bag) of the other missionaries in the apartment and ride them around the room, scooting his naked behind all over their sheets, yelling out, “I’m naked in your futon! I’m naked in your futon!”

      3. He would take the eye glasses from one of the other missionaries while the guy was in the shower, than parade around the apartment with them over the top of his man-parts asking rather obnoxiously, “Has anyone seen Elder X’s glasses? Let’s all ask the Mexican man.”

      Yep. The best two years of my life started with a bang. I wasn’t quite prepared for this in primary. Of course this was Japan, where I also took a sento public bath with my entire zone, including my japanese mission president and his 4-year-old son within two weeks of my mission — so maybe nudity wasn’t such a strange thing for the land of the rising sun in the first place.

  8. zilpha Reply

    It was quite odd to see John naked.
    I mean in sitting in front of a mic. with headphones on.

  9. Glenn Reply

    First of all, I just have to say WELL DONE. John Larsen is now the Howard Stern of Mormon Podcasting. Getting naked, for realz. You totally pulled it off, man. Lilith and Jason were great guests and Zilpha was totally on her game. Good job all around.

    I had several thoughts while listening to this:

    One of my most treasured life experiences was on my mission at a sento (public bath) in Takamatsu, Japan. It was towards the end of my mission –it wasn’t the first time I had been to a sento, so I had already gotten over the initial shock of public nudity – and I was completely alone for this moment of zen, just the right blend of temperature, wind, koto music – it was perfect. So I get it. Or I got it. At least once.

    I loved hearing the nerves come up in John’s throat in the first few minutes of this interview. So genuine and real. Great to listen to.

    The discussion about children and nudists – should you expose them to it early on, or shouldn’t you — made me think back to our Santa Clause discussion from a few months ago, so I just wanted to remind Zilpha that yes, beneath that furry red suit, Santa does have a penis.

    That discussion also reminded me that my 6-year-old son came across an elderly nudist man on the beach this last summer, and his reaction was, “huh – he must be really poor.”

    Tramp Stamps? Those back crack tattoos are really called Tramp Stamps???

    The discussion about sexualizing breast feeding was timely for me. I just recorded another review of the Big Love project I’m doing and told a story about a time I gave a blessing to a woman who was breast feeding her little girl as she was still breast feeding her – it was weird — and then we seg’d from that discussion into pornography because of the little bit of flesh, like Zilpha talked about – only even during the discussion I couldn’t quite say “breast feeding” – it felt “obscene” so I said “nursing” about three times, and when I listened back to it I thought I sounded really stupid. Now I know why.

    I keep hearing these anecdotal studies about Utah leading the country in hair dye, breast augmentation, anti-depressants, porn-consumption, etc. etc. Can we get those from a reliable source in a single place? I certainly agree with the sentiments behind them, but if we are going to promote these figures, I want to be sure they are accurate. Can anyone point me to the studies?

    Another kind of critical question that kept running through my mind – and there is probably a good explanation for this – but If the nudist community is such an open and free place, why don’t people talk openly about their affiliation and/or history with the church? Maybe it’s just because I am such a broken record, but I think that would be one of the first things I would want to talk about with my fellow nuders/nudies. Unless of course someone had a really groovy tramp stamp.

  10. morgoth Reply

    Strange missionary experiences some (most) of you have had. Never happened to me, or anyone I know. 1000s of ‘good and bad’ stories have been told to me over the years, but nothing on this topic – even though an incredible array of peculiarities took place during my mission.

  11. Kia Reply

    I had no idea there was so much nudity on missions! haha
    Here’s an interesting one. In Japan Onsen’s (hot springs, public baths) are part of the culture. People usually just wear a loin cloth but missionaries would frequent them somtimes. As missionaries love to take pictures, we took one of all of us at the Onsen with our loin cloths on. Well, my companion’s father was a stake president in Washington state and Elder Ballard was visiting the stake and stayed overnight at the home of the stake president (my companion father). That picture was up on the refridgerator and Elder Ballard saw it and inquired of it. Im sure it was somthing like this “yes thats my son in that loin cloth and a group of elders on mission in northern Japan”. As you can imagine the crap hit the fan and an edict swiftly came down from on high that missionaries were no longer allowed to go to public Onsen’s. Our days of public nudity were over. We were often reminded to avoid all newspapers and magazines as in Japan there is often a topless geasha pearing out from the pages of even the most mundane periodicals. This was so ingrained into missionaries that one of the elders I was visting with on splits has thumbed through one of these magazines and caught a view of a nudy and was so distraught he had to go back to apartment and “cool off” for the rest of the day, his mind was so distracted. It was like at any minute a glance in the direction of a japanese hottie would send you reeling.

    Im all for the moral code of the church but we mystify nudity and sex so much that young men are totally unprepared when they encounter it, and as I saw on my mission are led to believe one false move could send you on a path to fornication and getting sent home from your mission.

  12. Dan M. Reply

    Missionary nudity? Yes. I had a companion who never closed the door when he was in the bathroom regardless of what he was doing in there. It was kind of his thing. He also didn’t have a problem with walking nude through the apartment after or before showering. I never joined him though.

    Great podcast. Lots of fun.

  13. Steve K Reply

    A bit creepy. But, looking forward to the podcast on LDS wife swapping. Hey by the way, a nice timely topic might be why Utah currently has the highest depression rates in the US or the latest that Utah has the highest per capita plastic surgery rates. I love making suggestions when I am naked.

    • brandt Reply

      Random story related to this: This story was related to me by a second-hand account, and I can get first-hand validation from the invited party at a later date, BUT –

      Apparently, we had a weird younger couple in our ward before my wife and I moved in. He was in school to become a podiatrist, and was always a bit…off. His wife was still nursing a 5 yr old, he made some awkward comments to my friends wife, and he generally gave my friends the heebie-jeebies.

      Well, according to the story, he became friends with another normal couple in our ward. The men began hanging out a lot, and after a certain amount of months hanging out, creepy-guy asked normal guy “Hey, would you guys be interested in some ‘light’ swinging?”

      Normal Guy: I’m not exactly sure what you mean.

      Creepy Guy: You know, light swinging.
      After which he began to explain that light swinging was basically having “relations” with your spouse, but being in the same room (and thus, the same view) as another couple. I’d never heard of this before or since, and I’m not sure if this is something that only he had come up with, or if there’s an underground movement, but I wonder if the “wife swapping” has some relation to this as well. Has anyone heard of “light swinging?”

  14. Pingback: The Naked Truth | Mormon Expression Blogs

  15. spirit of eden Reply

    Man am I glad that I never had any companions in the mission field walk around our apartment in the nude. Frankly I don’t think any missionary dared to after the huge gay sex scandal that happened in my mission. I do however remember the tree of life showers in the MTC, that was so very amusing to me…I am glad I already had experience beforehand due to school athletics

  16. boob lover Reply

    I’m definitely bummed about their not being pictures. I’ve been dying to see not only zilpha’s but john’s boobs for quite some time now. In fact, I rubbed one out to the thought of john’s boobs just last minute.

  17. Jt4131 Reply

    What constitutes modest? It seems to me that most of the definitions fit Jason and Lilith – particularly those that matter most to

    Marked by simplicity
    Having a humble opinion of oneself
    Not large but sufficient in size
    Free from pomp or affectation
    Not offensive to sexual mores in conduct or appearance
    Humble in spirit or manner
    Suggesting retiring mildness

    That was fun… thanks to all.

  18. Fanson Reply

    What no pictures?
    Come on y’all, this IS the Internet after all!
    (tongue firmly in cheek)

  19. KA Reply

    In the podcast, someone mentions a large swinging community in Utah. Is there a reference for this? May I also direct your attention to LDSSexuality.com. There’s a very active thread on there about mormon swingers.

  20. Anonymous Reply

    I worked at a resort camp in NH a couple summers. Every day after lunch we’d skinny dip in the lake to cool off. I never felt weird about it (until the one day that a girl was invited to join us), but I wonder if I would have if there had been other Mormons around…

  21. Knicklets Reply

    You questioned whether there is the same amount of flirting when all are nude.  My experience is that there is the same amount of flirting. 

  22. Dan Reply

    It would be nice if you could interview some folks who are still members of the LDS Church and are Naturists or Nudists

  23. Dan Reply

    I am an active LDS member, (High Priest) I also enjoy non sexual naturist activities, Hiking, Skinny dipping at Orvis Hot Springs in Colorado, watching TV nude. I enjoy the feeling of freedom and comfort of not being bound up in fabric. I don’t know who invented men’s pants, but with a rolled and double stitched seam coming from both legs, and also from front to back all converging in the most uncomfortable place. You Guys know what I am talking about.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *