"Awww -- I just wanted you to know that I was appreciating your input on this thread. "
Yeah, just knowing that one person appreciates it is like a shot of new life for me. So thank you indeed.
You know, I say, "Do animals have some special kind of code?" but I'm guilty as usual of being a little facetious. The truth is, you're right, animals have an amazing ability to talk to each other, with scarcely a fraction of the communication tools that humans generally so poorly use. It's like humans are saying, "Awww, we got all these fancy words; we don't need to be careful about what we say." Meanwhile, our animal friends set the quiet example of us by making the very most of their full range of tools, and they never seem to take anything for granted.
I see you're a dog fan,
, don't worry, I love dogs too, I just have a downright neurotic love affair with cats. I was so struck by this one National Geographic film on cats, where they pointed out that humans sometimes wrongly perceive cats as "cold" or "distant" because they're not jumping all over us with joy to see us like our dog is. But when you watch cats really closely, you start to see their subtle and touching language. It's like they're always playing hard to get, but they're also furtively rubbing you here and there as if to say, "Oh by the way, I love you." Now when your dog greets you, they leave you with no doubt in your mind as to their love for you.
I imagine all the higher animals (e.g. whales? wowsiers) have meaningful communication systems ... and honestly, birds and reptiles seem to have a heart to express too. Don't know how far "down" the evolutionary scale one must go to lose those rich systems of communications. I don't suppose sponges "communicate much," but guess what, even spiders have a considerable system of communication, especially while mating. That poor male has to have a way to tell the female, "Don't eat me yet, I'm here to make love to you." One of the oddest things I ever heard of was a male spider "tickling" the female to soften her heart. Pretty clever for an eight-legged "footnote" on the evolutionary tree.
Re: violent reaction to touch due to past trauma ... I had actually not thought of that, good point. Doesn't mean bad genes are never to blame (in humans that is), but I am reminded of how some "rescued" dogs have to be put down because they're unable to be re-socialized. So is it my place to judge why a human or animal is senselessly aggressive? Hmmmm, no, it's actually not. Perhaps this will help me to have a better spirit of tolerance and understanding (which is always a good thing).
Re: using clothes to protect one's "imperfect body" from being seen ... uh oh, guilty. Yes, I am a victim of the churned-out media messages. Revealing myself: I just don't think I could do it, unless my life depended on it. But at least I'm not so far gone that I can't get that vulnerable during sex. Just have to ignore those little voices in my head telling me, "I'm going to disgust my partner."
That said, I wonder if it isn't one of the more innocent neuroses humans indulge in. After all, we're not killing anyone, we're not threatening anyone, heck we're not even condemning anyone, we're just displaying a chicken frame of mind. "Please! Don't look at me like I really am!" And it's not just clothes, either, is it? Don't we all have parts of ourselves that we cringe from sharing with the world? "I only want you to see my best side, my oh-so-well-adjusted side, not my scared, neurotic side."
Not only is the media guilty of preaching "perfect body image," but we've even heard it preached by non-media persons on this thread. (Okay, I did it too, but we all agree that I cleared that up, right?) "Ah, if only I had a 'perfect body,' all of my problems would be solved ..."
"A desire to avoid being seen naked is about lots more than morality IMO."
Heavy. I kind of suspect that there's a list of "real reasons" too long for us to tap into without gaining much deeper insight into the human subconscious. Morality is like the tip of the iceberg.