Vimeo censored our videos

This website is barely half a year old in its reincarnation on WordPress and videos powered by Vimeo, and we’ve got the first blow from the latter. All of a sudden, they removed Active Naturists account entirely for ‘ Uploading videos that contain pornography or sexually explicit material’, even though their guidelines say ‘Non-sexual nudity is allowed’.

If you have a moment, write to Vimeo staff and let them know you think it was an error and you miss our vids! You can do so via their email or, if you have an account on Vimeo, through their website.

Here is also our email for reference:

Dear Vimeo Staff,

We do believe it was an erroneous decision to remove our account for ‘uploading… pornography or sexually explicit material’. We find it very sad and unfortunate if you consider any of our videos pornographic and would like to get some explanation from you.
Your guidelines say ‘You may not upload sexually explicit material or pornography. Non-sexual nudity is allowed.’ We are running a blog about naturism, a lifestyle that encourages people to feel comfortable in their natural state, without clothes. In our blog, we particularly emphasized benefits of this attitude in numerous activities including sports, outdoors, dancing… For this reasons, we’ve uploaded a number of videos with us and our friends, as well as several videos from other online sources, where people were performing such various activities as swimming, gymnastics, badminton, rugby, dancing… but we cannot recall having any videos of us or anyone else involved in anything that could be classified as pornographic, even remotely. Of course, since you have erased our account completely, we cannot verify that information and point out to each and every video, but to the best of our knowledge, not only was there no video of people engaging in sexual activities, but there was no one kissing or even hugging. In this respect, we are honestly baffled as to what exactly you consider pornographic.

Your hasty decision to take down all our videos comes even more as a surprise (needless to say, unpleasant), because Vimeo actively promoted anti-SOPA and -PIPA campaigns. But in fact it seems that you act exactly how we feared internet censorship would work: without too much consideration, without clear definitions as to what is allowed and what is not, in other words very subjective and biased. Such actions seem to us especially inappropriate when done without any warning or notice.

Please reconsider your decision, as well as the ways you communicate with your users. My website aims at creating a positive body image and stimulating people to do more sports and outdoor activities, and in the same time speaks for one of the basic and simple human rights that is somehow ignored in mass media – the right to be yourself just the way you are, in your natural state, without necessity to cover yourself in clothes imposed by societal rules. Our videos were essential for the website, and Vimeo appeared to us like a perfect platform for hosting such videos. We hope it is still the case.

Best regards,

Active Naturists

World Naked Bike Ride is next Saturday. We need it in NYC!

Finally, the New York City part of the World Naked Bike Ride is set up for running riding, and even in two parts!

It will take place on the 9th of June, next Saturday, together with most of the Northern Hemisphere cities participating in WNBR. As I wrote earlier, we do need this event in New York, there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of body freedom and biking, and with claims of being the capital of the world, this city should set an example in these issues.

Please take part if you can, and spread the word! Refer to the official WNBR NYC wiki page and WNBR NYC press release for details.

World Naked Bike Ride is in one month. We need it in NYC!

World Naked Bike Ride is a worldwide demonstration promoting cycling as an urban mode of transportation, as well as body acceptance. Riding naked is symbolic and effective way to draw attention to vulnerability of people against the traffic and pollution, and it also shows that being nude is not lewd. That is why we need WNBR so much in New York City, as well as probably any other big city, perhaps with the exception of Berlin, where you can ride your bike wherever you like, and you can be naked even in Tiergarten, Berlin’s equivalent of Central Park. There has a been a stunning improvement in making New York a bike-friendly city, but still, there is no cross-town bike lane in the entire Midtown Manhattan from the 20th to the 90th street, for example. Also, even though it is legal for women to be top-free in public in New York, Felicity from Young Naturists America was arrested for walking topless during an art performance on Wall Street!

This video that went viral a while ago, pretty much summarizes just some of the daily troubles of cyclists in New York City.

WNBR in New York was a big success in 2010.

It gained more momentum as a protest against oil-dependence – it was a year of bp oil spill – and the naked demonstrators did not miss a chance to stop by a bp gas station.

But last year, we did have some issues. First, we had unusually cold and foggy weather on the day of the ride, even though during the week the weather was fine. So the ride was postponed and we only had a after-party-turned-promoparty, which was actually fun.

Then when we had the second date set, there was too much police presence and no one dared to go totally naked for most of the ride.

I opted for a minimalistic jockstrap, as well as many others, and some body paint (it said ‘Green light to bikes’ on my back). I also had a tree fixed in my bike bag, as a symbol of Green.

That cherry bike painted on the back of one of my ride mates was my creation inspired by the logo of Pacha, my favorite dance club in New York. Actually, when I go out there, I do come on my bike 😉

We rode through most of Downtown and Midtown Manhattan,

and made a brief stop at Union Square for some dancing.

Only in the end, when police stopped following us, some finally disrobed totally on Williamsburg Bridge

and arrived to the after-party in Williamsburg just like that 😎

The after-party was at a bike shop, a perfect setting! I was spinning some upbeat electronica in the backyard.

I hope this year we’ll manage to cooperate with police more thoroughly, just like it was at the WNBR in Madrid when I was there in 2009, or as it happens regularly in London, which traditionally gathers the biggest number of naked riders. By the way, I wonder how WNBR will go in London this time, in the summer of the Olympics. But in any case, we need to organize the naked ride in New York, what kind of World Naked Bike Ride will it be without New York City partaking? And so far there is no certain information about WNBR NYC even regarding the date :-/

PS Photos #3 and #5 courtesy of Sheryl.