Question: I want to ask what your thoughts are on flashing and flashers in general. Do you, like probably most of the general population, believe that it is an illness and wrong (a form of sexual assault). Or are you like me and feel that it’s because of some people’s fear and disgust of the human body that gives flashers the urge or extra incentive to seek a reaction from flashing. If people weren’t so outraged or disgusted with the human body, flashers wouldn’t get a reaction from the flashee. Aside from that, I think that flashing is no different from people who wear tight, reavealling or provocative clothing, in that consciously or subconsciously they get off on getting a rise/reaction out of people. I’d really value your opinion, because I occasionally flash and I want to know if I’m wrong in my thinking and reasoning.
This is a good question. First, I have to say that if flashing is illegal where you live, and it probably is, then I don’t advocate you do it. There are reasons for anti-flashing laws, and my sense is that they’re good reasons.
Now, I am as concerned and distressed and confused by the current general reaction to nudity as you are. It baffles me that people aren’t allowed to walk around naked whenever they want, that we have a very closed and hostile view toward the naked body, etc. I think it has a lot of unhealthy ramifications for our minds and our bodies and our society in general. What a fun world it would be if nudity was way more accepted.
But it’s not, and I don’t think forcing nudity on people is the way to change that. If you talk to a group of women, you’re going to find that most of them consider being flashed to be an act of violence. Of course, there’s a difference here: being flashed in broad daylight as you walk down the sidewalk with your brother and his five big friends is different than being flashed when you’re all alone at night trying to get into your apartment. The issue is the threat. If something’s threatening, it’s scary, and most people take flashers as threatening because it seems to indicate sexual aggression, even if it rarely does.
So, sure. People are hung up about nudity, but I don’t think submitting them to an act that they take to be violent is the way to cure them of it. And saying that people shouldn’t be hung up about nudity because that would deflate the thrill flashers get is like saying people shouldn’t die when they get shot because that would negate the purpose of shooting someone. People do die when they get shot, and people do feel violated and scared and repulsed by being flashed. They can’t help it anymore than someone can help dying when they get shot.
At least they can’t help it in their current state, but, of course, there’s more wiggle room in reactions to nudity than there are in reactions to bullets. People CAN have a broader, freer, healthier view of nudity, and it’s that that we should be working toward. Flashing them will not do that. You need to show them some respect, even if they are, in your opinion, totally uptight. Remember, most people had their repulsions and morals thrust upon them by their parents, so they didn’t even choose them, so have some understanding and don’t subject them to things that are practically hard-wired into their system.
Now, flashers get a thrill out of flashing, and it can be hard to ignore that thrill, that urge, or that need, whatever you call it. But it’s illegal, and it’s seen as violent, and it’s counter-productive to the ultimate goal of bringing about a more open attitude toward nudity. So my advice is, fight the urge to flash, don’t do it, and instead talk to your friends about nudity, talk on online forums about nudity, write articles about nudity, go to nudist colonies, be a naked advocate and try to open peoples’ minds. That is non-violent, and that is the only way to real progress.