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Something that is acceptable is suitable or of a natural that is tolerable. Or it is something that is allowed by a rule, convention or, possibly, arbitrary personal preference.

This, of course, begs the question acceptable to whom or by whom? Acceptability is, after all, in the eye of the beholder. Something that I find acceptable, you might find appalling.

And even when there is a written or verbal rule that defines acceptability in a particular circumstance, it’s rarely sufficiently broad to cover all possibilities. The rule invariable makes some assumptions that might not be justified.

Consider, for example, a restaurant or club that specifies that they will bar anyone not wearing acceptable attire. If you ask them what they mean then, if they are staid and old-fashioned, they might respond with something like, “gentlemen must wear jackets and ties and ladies can’t wear slacks.”

Ignore the sexism inherent in that rule, because that’s not the point I’m trying to make here. The point is that sort of things leaves a lot of leeway doesn’t it? If a gentleman walks in with a jacket and tie, but no pants or underwear then he’s fulfilled the requirements of the “acceptable dress” rule. And, women could walk in naked without breaking the letter of the rule. (Apropos of nothing, I wonder how much porn traffic search engines will send to this this page as a result of putting the words women, naked and porn here?)

Sure, I know what you’re going to say. “Somethings can be assumed.” But can they? Haven’t you ever heard of nudist colonies? Nudists would think that walking in without pants, or any clothes for that matter, is perfectly acceptable.

And haven’t you ever seen the National Geographic pictures of isolated, native tribes. As a boy, I used to spend hours looking at the pictures of those bare-breasted women. Never mind what I was doing while I was looking at the pictures for so long. It’s none of your damned business. Besides, you might not find it acceptable and I wouldn’t want to offend you.

By the way, if any women are planning to test the stated dress rules by trying to get into a restaurant naked, please let me know. I’m male. I’m heterosexual. I’m lonely. And I like to watch. And, no, that’s not sexist. I find it personally acceptable that some women like to watch naked men and that some gays and lesbians like to watch naked people of their own sex, as long as it’s consensual.

So, what is acceptable? Acceptable is in the eye of the beholder. Just don’t blame me if you get thrown out of a club or restaurant for applying your own definition of what’s acceptable.

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