reply to post by AshleyD
I'm not sure what aspect of the discussion I'm most focused on, to be honest. I grew up in a very prudish home with a very germ-conscious mother.
That sort of programming takes a lot of conscious and instinctive unpicking.
And of course, this is an intellectual exercise on the part of most of us, as I doubt too many of us are nudists/naturists (although this discussion
might lead to its consideration by some
I enjoyed one of the above posts which raised the issue of males with large breasts as compared with female breasts and basically asked, 'What's the
big difference' with regard to the baring of either in public: why is one 'accepted' and the other 'rude, sexual'. Imo, basically no difference
as far as appearance is concerned, although we can doubt too many straight men will be sexually aroused by the large male breast (maybe that's for
the future ?) -- Actually, no. Present. I've just remembered an article I read last year which said that since advertisers haave been taken to task
for using female breasts, they've since begun using men with well developed chests in commercials and ads, etc.
As to the 'germ' element that might be considered inherent to general nudity, we should bear in mind that the most germ laden part of the human
body is the mouth. The same mouth we use to communicate and kiss and which is used by some to masticate their children's food prior to feeding it to
So, in reality, we're most probably far more exposed to others germs when we sip coffee at a cafe, or eat from utensils in restaurants, than we are
if we sit on a seat or beach or whatever that a nudist previous sat upon.
My germ-conscious mother warned me at a very early age about drinking from other's cups, or from restaurant cups, etc. She would turn the cup around
and drink from it as a left-hander would, in the belief there are far fewer left-handers in society, therefore, there would be less microscopic
fissures in the china of the cup on that side and less chance of 'catching a germ'. I taught my children the same thing and funnily enough,
decades after being thus advised by my mother, science announced that porcelain/china crockery was subject to wear and tear like anything else, and
that tests had shown microscopic cracks in crockery can contain a frightening number of 'germs', despite their having been given a good scrubbing.
So sometimes, mothers do know best.
And while we're on the subject of germs, this will stun you, I think. Years ago I spoke with a woman whose son had been subject to one of the most
baffling cases presented to Australian medical science. A very healthy boy, he'd been stricken with a 'mystery illness' when aged about eight.
He was rushed to hospital in very bad shape. Very high temperature, unable to breath or swallow properly. He was deteriorating fast. Doctors were
at their wits' ends. He was flown to a major city hospital .. same thing. His mother said the interior of his mouth, going all the way down his
throat was filled with dense, white fungus .. looked a bit like chunks of coconut, but worse. She said it came off in big chunks, then regrew again.
The doctors had seen nothing like it and could find nothing compared with it in their texts. It seemed the boy was going to die, regardless of what
efforts to save him the doctors made and regardless of the medication administered.
Then .. and this is amazing I think .. it was learned that an American doctor was visiting the same hospital for just a couple of days. He was an
expert in tropical medicine. He recognised the boy's illness .. said it was known as 'Angelitis' or sounds like. He said the last known cases had
been during WW2. It was contagious. He knew how to deal with it. The boy was saved.
At that point, the Aussie health authorities began a frantic search to discover how this child had contracted a disease last known in WW2. They were
desperate to prevent its spread. They checked every inch of the boy's life .. what he'd eaten, who he'd been exposed to, where he'd been, etc.
Finally, it was narrowed down to his school. None of the other children had ever had Angelitis. No-one in the town had ever heard of it.
The scientists kept tracking. Finally, they located the source of the boy's near brush with death. It was the water-bubbler in the school yard. It
was a tiny water bubbler, because the schoolyard level had been increased over the years. The bubbler only stood a few feet higher than the pavement.
And in the round, stainless steel head of the bubbler they located a miniscule crack. In that crack was the Angelitis germ.
But they still needed to find out how the Angelitis got into the bubbler. It was now an 'extinct' germ. And through painstaking research, they
discovered that some American servicemen who'd been stationed in Brisbane in WW2 had Angelitis. And some American servicemen on leave had visited
the small beachside resort where the boy later lived. The school he attended was only minutes from the beach. The conclusion was that the American
servicemen had drunk from the bubbler, back in the days of WW2 and had deposited the Angelitis germ there .. perhaps before their bodies succumbed to
the germ and hospitalised them.
That germ had lived there, inside the bubbler, for over 45 years, unsuspected, undisturbed. Literally thousands of children had drunk from the
bubbler in the decades after WW2 .. only that one boy had contracted the disease which must have been released from the crack as he drank.
The mother had great religious faith. Not ordinary ..she really had something, imo. Practical, salt of the earth woman, many children and others
she'd taken in over the years. A real worker, very kind. Totally off topic, I realise, but it makes you think, doesn't it .. her son was stricken
with an 'extinct', completely unknown disease .. and right there to save him was an expert in tropical medicine who recognised the disease that had
confounded everyone else.
[edit on 18-8-2009 by St Vaast]