Naked Versus Nude

Does being naked become more erotic than being nude?
Yesterday as we were driving back from the gig at the Sun Meadow Nudist Resort I began to wonder: Is there a difference between being naked vs. being nude? Which is the more appropriate given the situation we were in? As I was writing yesterday’s blog I referred to being naked up to the point where I become comfortable with it and accepted the situation. I entered the room unclothed then, in my head, somehow switched to nude. It was sort of a subconscious choice that came to me at the time and I was not quite sure why. So this morning I began to delve into it a bit more.

When I began this project I chose to call it The Naked Man Project because it was meant to be about a man who photographs people naked to create nude photography. But more importantly, is was to contain a blog about me exposing my inner thoughts, feelings, concepts, and ideas making my inner self-naked for all to examine. If it had only focused on my images I probably would have called it The Nude Man Project. But that just doesn’t quite have the bite to it and somehow seems less appealing taking on more of a passive tone. In the dictionary the word “nude” seems to have less connotation of exposure as an adjective and refers to is it more as a noun or subject: “wearing no clothes; naked: a painting of a nude model a naked human figure, typically as the subject of a painting, sculpture, or photograph; the representation of the naked human figure as a genre in art.” While the word “naked” seems to deal with it as an adjective dealing with exposure: “(of a person or part of the body) without clothes, figurative exposed to harm; unprotected or vulnerable. Someone who isn’t wearing any clothes is naked; this adjective is usually associated with revealing a part or all of the body.” It goes on the make this distinction: “A naked person who appears in a painting or photograph is called a nude, a euphemistic but more socially acceptable term referring to the unclothed human body.” I love “euphemistic but more socially acceptable” because this really gets to the belly of the issue.

So why does this make being nude more acceptable than being naked? Though the words are interchangeable, there definitely seems to be a distinctively different connotation to the same concept. The nudists at the resort we just visited, though they were naked, did not seem exposed. They were indeed comfortable, confident, and accepting of who they naturally were; it was their norm, their state of existence, and perhaps seeing the artistry of the creation of the natural body. I certainly explore and understand this through my process of creating nude art. In my own mind, I do not see my subjects as naked and tend to not see the nakedness of my models. Perhaps this is why they are so comfortable to work with me and appear more natural. Though I am aware of the sensual nature of this as an art form, I am foremost concerned with beauty of style and form. I also do beautiful portraits of people fully clothed as well. So how does sex play in this context of naked and nude? The nudist seemed far removed from the sexual aspects of being naked. Yet being nude seems to have a direct association with being naked. We sexually fantasize about seeing or being with someone naked. The sexual allure drawing us to what is underneath those cloths that we can desire. To crave and desire a connection to that person. Case in point: Does porn contain images of someone naked or are they nude. Somehow in my mind the modern porn seems to be less artistic and more about exposure and tapping the raw desire. Does this mean only nudes can be artistic? I certainly have seen some very beautiful paintings of nude men that have aroused my sexual desire. In porn the connotation toward naked seems to become a selling point on how explicit it can become; making the naked seem more raw and in a sexual sense more appealing, more vital, more daring, and possibly with a negative connotation. I guess I begin to question others drawn to my images because the subjects are naked or because they become beautiful nudes. I do know that something clicked in my head the other day when I took my cloths off and entered the world of the nudist resort. It’s suddenly become fascinating to explore the difference.

One thought on “Naked Versus Nude

  1. Marklin

    Being nude exposes the body.
    Being naked exposes the soul.
    Anyone can take a photo of a person in the nude. It takes a bit more to capture them naked. That is why your work is so brilliant.

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