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Fans of watersports [indoor and outdoor] will be interested to hear that their delight in their chosen indulgence is neither as new or as controversial as they [and the variety of specialist magazines devoted to it] have perhaps assumed and even feared.

Just one of the posters showing evidence that Watersports were generally promoted and encouraged - even in conservative Great Heaving.

A recent book on Dorset Transport Posters - published to coincide with the current exhibition Room on Top: 150 Years of The Melplash Corporation Bus Company at the Rowena Westlake Gallery, Melplash - contains inadvertant evidence that, far from being the secretive activity of the eroticised few, an interest in and even a passion for watersports was once openly accepted, widespread and even promoted as part of a healthy exploratory lifestyle.

Health expert and naturist Seymour Fleshe believes that attitudes half a century ago were much more understanding and far less judgemental, suggesting that recent attempts to control watersports enthusiasts and drive them into more private spaces [eg the smaller coves and bays of the Dorset coastline] represent a new spirit of repression and social control.

"In the old days the sense of release associated with watersports and the general feeling of abandonment to "in the moment" adventure was an antidote to the repressive tendencies of work and homelife. Now that there is much greater freedom in the public sphere, it seems that repression has found its home in the private sphere where the lawful [if not-for-everyone] activities of the liberated few are increasingly under scrutiny".

A brief survey of the worldwide interweb confirms that many of the activities enjoyed by those "into their watersports" have taken on a more covert character. It took more than 15 seconds, for example, to source the picture opposite of the underground specialist magazine Dorset Watersports, even with the adult filter turned off.

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