Why get naked?

WHY GET NAKED? ONE YOUNG MAN’S ON NUDITY AND COMFORT

I simply find myself caring about the issue less and less. It’s not a passion for being naked that draws me to nudism, but ambivalence about being clothed. For some people nudity may be about a thrill, or a movement, or even some sort of cause, but for me, getting naked is just about being comfortable.

This YNA guest blog goes back to 2012 but it still rings true. I enjoyed reading Daniel Jacobs’ perspective on nudism and nudity. The last paragraph particularly resonated with me. From the beginning of my involvement in nudism, the comfort of being nude has drawn me to it. I like to feel comfortable in whatever I’m wearing, even if it’s nothing at all. If what I’m wearing, or not wearing, makes others uncomfortable, then perhaps they need to ask themselves why it makes them uncomfortable. If they feel offended or uncomfortable because of my nudity, it’s a choice they’ve made, either consciously or unconsciously.  I’m not the root cause of their discomfort; it goes much deeper than that.

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When I Knew I Was A Naturist

I don’t recall ever having a moment when I realized that I was a naturist. My naturism seemed to gradually evolve over the years.

It was during my overseas tours that I found that I enjoyed relaxing in the nude. It was then that I first engaged in social nudity in the saunas and spas I would often frequent in my travels. I didn’t see these activities as nudism or naturism. Being nude in those situations, either alone or with others, felt natural and clothing didn’t seem appropriate.

Much later I began to investigate nudism and naturism to include the history and philosophy. Many of the ideas of the naturist movement in Europe in the early twentieth century appealed to me, resonating with many of my own ideas that I’d developed over the years. Many of these ideas still form the basis of my naturist philosophy.

I still have vivid memories of my first visit to a naturist camp. From the moment I shed my clothes, being nude among others in nature felt completely natural. I felt no embarrassment nor any self-consciousness. I felt so alive. Subsequent visits to other nudist venues and activities substantiated those feelings.

In the years that followed, I found myself participating less in social nudism and the nudist and naturist venues to which I could visit drew my interest less. My naturalism evolved and I’ve incorporated my naturist ideas my everyday life. For me, naturism is more of an attitude and a perspective toward life. While nudity is at the core of my philosophy, actually being nude isn’t a necessity although I try to engage in nudity whenever it’s feasible to do so. The naturists of a hundred years ago felt the same in that respect.

Camp Natural

Please share your own story in the comments, or by email (campnaturalmn@gmail.com) and we will compile them and share them over time.

When I knew I was a naturist, it was long after I got comfortable being nude. I grew up exploring the wilderness areas of the Midwest, Canada, and the Rocky Mountains. On warm days you stripped and jumped in the water. There was no thought involved, it was a natural as the unspoiled lands we travelled through. But even with that backdrop, it was not until years later, and thousands of miles away, that the lightbulb went off about what naturism was, and what social nudity and body acceptance could do for a person’s mental health and physical wellbeing.

Travelling through Europe I found myself in a small town and was befriended by two locals who showed me the area for a couple of days. It was a…

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What is it about being naked?

« Nudism is a form of freedom. Nudism is pure freedom and happiness. »

While people love to talk about freedom and declare how « free » they are, freedom actually scares most people and they are resentful of those who who express their freedom.

Nu et heureux - Naked and Happy

Come on, it continues to blow my mind, what is it really about being naked and nudism? We all have a body. All women are made the same way, all men too. Of course, some are fatter, thiner, bigger, smaller, darker, lighter, etc. However, we are all coming from the same mold (we share all a lot of the same DNA).

Therefore, the body you are looking in the mirror when you are naked is not very different from another body you could look at when naked. So what the fuss around naked bodies? Well, it’s just the way society wants us to rethink our relationship with our body: money and shame! You need to be ashamed so you can spend money, on clothing, on religion, on stupid useless stuff.

Of course, you need to get protection when it’s cold or dangerous. But in all other case, when the weather…

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clothing is overrated

clothing02

A naturist’s view on clothing

I agree with Paul’s assessment – clothing is overrated. It’s useful for keeping warm when the temperature dips a little too low for comfort but if your surroundings are warm enough so that I don’t need to worry about my core body temperature dropping then what’s the point?

Personally, I’m rather ambivalent about clothing but if wearing clothes is deemed “appropriate and necessary” then I’ll opt for something that’s loose and comfortable that’s not restrictive and won’t leave indentations on my skin.

Despite more than a decade of unlearning the clothes-wearing habit, I still have to live in a clothing-compulsive society with it’s arcane and arbitrary rules about what constitutes “modesty and decency.” If the ambient temperature is warm enough and I have garments covering certain parts of my body it’s most likely for the comfort of others, not my own. I can’t seem to convince them that they’re the ones with the compulsive behavior. They don’t even question the wearing of clothing except maybe to discern whether or not the colors clash. I prefer to go with the default and add to it as needed for warmth, protection, and comfort. Covering my natural state is always a conscious and deliberate decision, not to be taken lightly.

Nobody knows? Does it matter?

171027-07I’m sure somebody knows or maybe a lot of people know that I’m a nudist, a naturists, or someone who prefers to be nude. Does it really matter? It’s not exactly a secret.

If anyone doesn’t know, it’s only because they haven’t made an effort to find out or because they haven’t asked. I’m fine with that, not everyone has to know. I don’t need affirmations for my beliefs or my life philosophies. Nor do I seek to convert anyone to my way of thinking or for anyone to understand it.

For anyone wishing to understand it, all I can suggest is to temporarily suspend your beliefs and assumptions about nudity and nakedness and experience it directly for a while. Maybe it will change you or maybe not. All I can relate is my own experience. Once I experienced the comfort, the naturalness, and the freedom of being in my natural condition, I knew I could never replicate the experience while clothed.

Thinking about Naturism

To be honest, I really haven’t been thinking about naturism much at all lately. I still enjoying being nude but my nudity is usually private and at home. I haven’t partaken of any social nudism since the DWB house party in February. Before that, it was the Skinny-Dip Challenge at Cedar Trails and a free-hike at Chautauqua Gorge in 2010.

It’s been nearly a year since I heard about DWB and I’m still ambivalent about joining. I’ve been to one event. Many of their monthly events have conflicted with other plans and, frankly, those plans were more important to me that hanging out with a group of naked people. This month’s event is a little further than I want to drive but next month’s gathering will be close by so there’s a possibility of attending. It’s on my calendar.

Nudity is natural and our default state although, in our society, it may not be normal. My naturist philosophy is that nudity should be spontaneous and casual without any need for justification or a reason. It’s my natural state, not an event. Naked is what I am, not what I become.

For many, nudity is an event – a visit to an nudist venue or activity, National Nude Day, Nude Recreation Week, World Naked Gardening Day, the World Naked Bike Ride. Even mundane reasons for getting naked like taking a shower or having sex, are events. Ideally, getting dressed for any reason should be considered an event. Wearing clothing should be a deliberate and conscious choice with full awareness that it’s an aberration from the default.

Many of my ideas about naturism may not align with current paradigms in the nudist and naturist world. My views on naturism also conflict with the cultural paradigms of nudity within the society at large. I dream of a world in which casual nudity is normal and appropriate. I know it’s not going to become a reality, at least not in my lifetime. A massive, world-wide cultural shift would be required in which everyone has to unlearn thousands of years of religious, political, cultural, and social shame and indoctrination. That’s a seemingly impossible (and improbable) task but all change begins with one individual. I’m learning to unlearn.

Am I a true naturist? Yes I am.

I’m familiar with the discussion. The discussion, debate, or argument over what defines a true or real nudist or naturist and what kinds of photos are appropriate for a true naturist to post and what types of images a true naturist should never post. Sometimes the discussion goes into the minimum number of images a true naturist should post of him- or herself. There are many in these online communities who feel that any one who does not have at least a nude profile picture is obviously only there to look at everyone else’s’ naked pictures. This “discussion” can be found on nearly every naturist social media site or wherever naturists gather online. It’s probably been going on since the Usenet days.

In all that time, the discussion really hasn’t changed nor has it progressed. I’ve seen so many lists specifying that a true naturist must do this and that but can never do these other things. When I run across these discussions, I generally make a hasty retreat. I’ve found that there is no usually point in expressing a different viewpoint as their minds are made up and to try to use reason and logic with them is futile.

When it comes down to it, we are all self-defined naturists. We are all naturists for personal reasons and how we define ourselves as naturists is as individual, and often as complex, as we are. We each have our own reasons for practicing naturism and have own expectations of how we benefit from it. Sometimes our reasons are hard to articulate, especially to those who don’t have that core experience which serves as a reference.

It’s natural for us to want to fit everyone into neat categories. It’s convenient when pegs fit neatly into their assigned holes. But some of us, probably most of us, have a few rough edges that prevent us from fitting into the hole perfectly. I think it’s those rough edges that make us more interesting to others.

What’s the point of the “true naturist” discussions? I honestly don’t know. I find them largely irrelevant. I don’t care if I meet anyone’s definition of a true naturist. I have the core experience of naturism and although my definition of myself as a naturist is continually evolving, I think I’ve found a good core set of naturist values to guide me, not only in my pursuit of naturism but in my life.

Be the best naturist you can be, naked or clothed. That’s being a true naturist.

Self-Definition as Naturists in a Textile World

In Praise of Aging Nudists

Dan brings up some good points and widened my perspective of the issue. Technically, I’m one of those “aging naturists” but I was already part of that demographic when I discovered naturism a little over a decade ago. Still, I don’t feel that old.

Now that I’m officially retired, I have plenty of discretionary time on my hands but not much discretionary income. Where I live there are some options in that there are three AANR clubs within reasonable driving distance of my home. I’ve been to all of them and they’re quite nice. I’d like to have other options too, places where I can skinny-dip or hike nude with minimal expenses (gas money).

The Meandering Naturist

In my most recent post – Nakation for Dummies – I made a bit of a fuss about finding the right place to experience social nudity for the first time, including a few punchy remarks about geriatric communities and sagging skin. A long-time reader felt compelled to write me a long and thoughtful email suggesting that my comments may have been a bit harsh, particularly when you consider that we are largely indebted to these pioneers of nudism for having any place to go naked at all. Point well taken.

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As it happens, while my insurance company has not yet granted me the benefits the label of geriatric would provide, I’m most certainly getting closer to that mark each and every day. And I would go on to say that I’m a bit envious of those who are ten or twenty years older than I, as it seems there was…

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They happen

“If we are promoting nudism as a natural and viable lifestyle, then erections should be included in the equation. Not that I plan on getting a chubby at the next hot springs I go to, but if we can get past the automatic association with sex, we can get past the inherent embarrassment when one occurs.”

it happens by Timothy Lowe @ The Naktiv Network

I can’t think of anything to add. I know that I sometimes get partial erections at times and in situations that are not at all sexual in their context and sex is the furthest thing from my mind. It just happens.