Nudism : What It Means To Me

Like in the marijuana post, I didn’t plan to jump right into a subject that might scare people away. However, I keep coming back to this subject as I try to think of things to write. So, I decided to get it off of my chest (partly).

Most of my friends know that I’m a nudist. None of my co-workers do. That’s by plan. I just have to keep the two groups apart now…

First, for all of you whose only knowledge of nudism comes from Playboy or Hustler articles (or the like), or from your college buddies who once went to a nudist “colony”, I’ll tell you what true nudism is not.

  • It’s not about sex.
  • It’s not about sex. (just wanted to make sure you saw that one)
  • It’s not about showing off your body — anyone who knows me understands that
  • It’s not about seeing naked people — anyone who has been to a nude beach or nudist resort knows that the perfect 10’s don’t usually come out… or the perfect 9’s or 8’s either.
  • It’s not about showing off or comparing anatomy
  • It’s not about finding a loose woman to hit on or get it on with

When I tell someone new about nudism, they always have certain questions that they ask. Some of them are:

Question : Are there old or young people there?
Answer : There are all ages there, from a few weeks old to men and women in their 90’s and beyond.

Question : Do people have sex at nudist resorts?
Answer : Sure. But like textile (clothed) resorts, they do it in their hotel room or in their cabin. Open sex (or even too much touching of any kind) will get you thrown out of the resort and probably banned from all nudist resorts. It’s pretty rare to even see two people holding hands for fear of displaying enough affection to warrant management intervention.

Question : How do you walk around nude around a bunch of strangers?
Answer : It does take some getting used to. We live in a society that says that nudity=sex=naughty. We are taught to be ashamed of ourselves at a very young age. Once you can get over a little of that, it gets a lot easier. Once you get over the shame aspect of nudity, you find that you feel more free and open than you have ever felt before.

Question : Are there any Christian nudists? Is that a contradiction?
Answer : Absolutely there are Christian nudists. There are nudists from all religions. If there is interest, I’ll write another article why it is acceptable for Christians to be nudists. For those interested, start by reading about Isaiah.

Have I covered the major points?

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For me, nudism is about comfort and freedom. There’s nothing like laying next to a pool in the Sun as the heat of a summer day is building. Feeling the breeze blow over your bare skin combined with the heat from the Sun is just incredible. Then, getting into the pool to cool off and swimming around without a heavy pair of trunks dragging around me is exhilarating.

There is certainly a camaraderie between nudists. We know what it’s like to go home and have to keep our nudism to ourselves. To shut ourselves behind doors and curtains because society believes that we are either perverts or are just lunatics.

When we gather at nudist resorts or beaches, there is a common bond between us that helps us to relax, begin new conversations, and make new friends. Nudists are very open and will start a conversation with little provocation. I like to lay back and listen to conversations mostly. However, I like to join in when I feel I have something of interest to contribute too. In most settings I’d doubt myself and would rarely interject. However, at a nudist venue I feel more outgoing and accepted.

Acceptance is a major part of what nudism is about. Nudists, for the most part, strive to accept everyone — no matter age, size, race, sex, handicap, or scarring of life. I have seen women with mastectomies, men and women with amputated legs and arms, men and women with cerebral palsy, and many other disorders, conditions, or hardships. Everyone is accepted.

Keep in mind, though, that although we accept others and ourselves as we are, many of us still look in the mirror and find things that we want/need to change about ourselves. I am currently working to lose some weight. It’s not that I care what anyone (other than my wife, of course) thinks about my body, but it’s about trying to get down to a healthy weight for myself.

I must note, however, that nudists are people too. There are always people that are prejudiced, judgemental, rude, and just outright mean. Some of them happen to be nudists. However, the vast majority of dedicated nudists are open-minded, friendly, and accepting.

Do I think nudism is for everyone? Not at all. Neither is horseback riding, model airplane flying, astronomy, or any other hobby/lifestyle. Do I think that there are people that want to be involved but are too afraid, ashamed, or nervous about giving it a try? Sure.

A poll of adults by Roper in March 2003 showed that 19% of respondants said that they had skinny-dipped in mixed company. 18% said that they would consider visiting a clothing-optional beach or resort. I would hope that the numbers have grown even more in the last couple of years.

In recent years, nudist vacation businesses have reported tremendous growth. It is the fastest growing sector of the travel industry. The numbers also were outstanding during the major travel slump after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. I guess it just goes to show that nudists are dedicated and have money to burn… On second thought, some of us are just dedicated.

If you want to be involved in (or just read) on-going discussions on nudism, try checking out a nudist bulletin board. For instance, The Clothesfree.com website has a large and very active bulletin board. You should also check out the site of the American Association For Nude Recreation (AANR). They have a lot of practical information about what nudism is and is not, what the role of the AANR is, and how to get involved in nudism if you think it’s right for you.

If there are particular questions that you have about nudism, feel free to post them and I’ll try to answer them in future posts. Keep in mind the Terms Of Conduct For Posting if you decide to write.

–Mark

1 Comment on "Nudism : What It Means To Me"

  1. Yes they do exist. If you’ve never been to a nudist beach bfoere, here are a few guidelines: Gawking is impolite. If you want to go to the nudist beach for a thrill, do everyone a favor and buy a magazine instead. ? Ask for people’s consent bfoere taking their photograph nude. ? If you’re sunbathing nude in a secluded area, leave a bathing suit on a rock to let others know they are approaching an unclothed person. If you’re uncomfortable having your suit out of reach, bring a spare. ? On a wide open beach, position yourself in the open so you can see people coming and put something on bfoere they get there if you need to. ? Get dressed bfoere you leave the nudist beach. ? Be friendly, but respect others’ rights to privacy. ? Avoid sexual activity. It’s illegal and offensive. ? Advances of an unwelcome or unwanted nature are not acceptable anywhere, and especially at a nudist beach. ? Be Prepared. Sometimes, the nudist beach doesn’t have any amenities. Bring water, food, towel, sunscreen and anything else you need. ? Keep the nudist beach clean. If you carried it in, carry it back out.

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