Early in 1998, if you had asked me to
describe myself, nudist would not have occurred to me. Eight months ago I still
would have been hesitant to call myself a nudist-in-process. Now, here I am,
"naked-in-front-of-the-computer" and writing about my new nudist lifestyle for
all the world. For me, the change was dramatic, profound, and personally
Becoming a nudist involved a process of
self-exploration and reflection. It began as a solo endeavor, expanded to
include my husband, then a world of Internet friends, and at the last my
children. Although my first "real" social nude experience occurred only last
spring, I feel like nudism has been part of my life forever. I share my
experiences and look forward to being nude in social situations. All this in
less than a year?!
Yes and no. Yes, many of
these changes have occurred in just a few months. But no, because I realized
that in my heart I have been a nudist for at least 30 years. I have clear
memories of being young, happy, and nude, skinny dipping or playing in the sand.
When I was eleven with a
friend named Jody we went out with our mothers, my grandmother, and another
woman. The four grown-ups disappeared after telling Jody and me to wait in the
car. It was a beautiful summer day, warm and sunny. The woods beckoned us.
Somehow we got out of our clothes and out of the car. We fashioned some nature
dance with elaborate steps and lots of "bottom bumping." We were so wrapped up
in what we were doing, we never noticed the return of the four grown-ups. We
looked up just in time to see four chins collectively fall to the ground and
horrified looks replace previously smiling faces.
We were told several times
how bad we were. But when we pressed the issue, they could never tell us what we
had done wrong. Taking our clothes off is wrong? No, we do that every night
before our bath. Dancing in the woods naked? That might not be socially
acceptable, but we were in a secluded location where no one saw us. Finally,
they settled on embarrassment. "You embarrassed me," said my grandmother. "That
is what you did wrong."
For years that lesson
framed my activities. If taking my clothes off would embarrass someone, then I
should not do it. But I eagerly joined in situations which would not be
Here's an example. Years
later, at a college fraternity party, there must have been 30 of us who sneaked
into the university pool one midnight. No one had suits, no one cared. We swam,
we lounged, we talked. It was less sexually charged than the party at the frat
house. No one was sneaking off to the bedrooms upstairs.
For the record, when I met
Tony, who became my husband, I fell in love and never looked back--20 years now.
He and I have always enjoyed being nude together; but until recently, our nude
activities were pretty traditional. We slept nude, read, watched television, but
rarely ventured beyond the bedroom door. Our children often joined us in
television or reading, so they saw us nude. But doing something non-traditional,
like having a nude dinner, didn't occur to us.
Fast forward to 1998. I
had the opportunity to visit with a high school friend whom I had not seen in 25
years. We had a terrific time laughing, telling stories, and looking at
yearbooks. But like the old song, his happy mask hid an unhappy person. On the
surface, he had everything he wanted: nice home, good job, fabulous car, lots of
friends. But one thing he said stuck with me: "I am not happy with my body."
Now, this guy had no
reason for that. At 180 cm he is a trim 77 kg. He plays tennis four times a
week, is in terrific shape, and is much better looking than he ever was in high
But I could not get his
comment out of my mind. It prompted me to wonder how I felt about my own body. I
could stand to lose a few pounds, but I did not hate myself. I turned to my
source of all information, the Internet, and began to read up on body
acceptance. This quickly led to nudism and naturism, so I began to read about
them too. As I did, my thoughts moved forwards and backwards. Forwards to "I
would like to try this" and backwards to "I have tried this, but a long time
In May I said to Tony, "I
have a very strong urge to spend an extended period of time nude with you." He
looked surprised but said OK. That very night, after we put the kids to bed, we
decided to play nude backgammon. To be honest, we only managed to play about
half a game before the love hormones overcame us. Something about being nude, I
guess, led us to revert to a traditional activity!
But I was not ready to
give up. That weekend, we arranged for the kids to spend the night with some
friends. Once they left the house, at 14:00, our plan was to take off our
clothes and stay that way until the kids returned at 10:00 the next day. Because
we had a longer nude time ahead of us, and even at our most passionate knew we
could not make love for 20 hours, we were able to pace ourselves. We did some
laundry, watched a movie, read, and chatted. We went out to dinner wearing very
loose clothes to keep the nude feeling. As soon as we got home, they came off
again. In the morning we cooked breakfast and read the Sunday paper.
That weekend experiment
was transforming. Suddenly clothes felt confining and restricting. I wanted to
be nude, and I wanted to talk about it. Tony and I discussed our experience, but
we felt like the blind leading the blind. How did others feel? What were their
I discovered an Internet
mailing list and signed up. I lurked for a week, then dived in with a question
about sunscreen. A wonderful thing happened: I was welcomed to the group like a
special friend. Suddenly I could ask all the questions I wanted and people would
reply, honestly and fully. I started corresponding off-list with a few people
who shared many of my thoughts and questions. My nudist world had expanded from
my bedroom to my house and suddenly to the world. I went from knowing no nudists
to knowing hundreds. It was terrific.
Meanwhile, Tony and I
continued to explore our nude time together. We have an outdoor hot tub and
shower. Instead of running to get dressed after emerging from either one, we
would sit on the deck and let the air dry us. (A fence and trees provide
privacy.) We began to eat dinner nude occasionally. I watched the entire NBA
playoffs sans clothes and not in the bedroom. I discovered NIFOC (naked in front
of the computer).
In June we went to Denver.
We made a deal that when we entered the hotel room, the clothes came off. What
to do on our one free afternoon was very important to us. We decided to visit
Mountain Air Ranch, a family nudist resort. How important was nudism becoming to
me? I passed up a chance to visit the Figure Skating Hall of Fame!
Everything I had read was
true: going to Mountain Air I was nervous at first, but that quickly passed. No
one cared what we looked like or who we were, but everyone was friendly. Within
minutes we felt relaxed and comfortable. When one fellow talked about "us" as
nudists, I realized yes, I am in this group. I am a nudist.
I began to think of nudism
as part of my life. I wanted opportunities to be nude with others, and not just
on a trip. But how to handle nudism with my
daughter, 7, and son, 10? My initial thought
was not to involve them. After Colorado, I realized that was not realistic. To
be nude only when they were in bed or at friends' houses would not be practical.
I also recognized that many of our activities are family activities. It would be
a dramatic change to get a baby sitter every time we wanted to go to the beach!
Besides, isn't nudism supposed to be a family experience?
The solution came
naturally. Shortly afterwards, we were all in the hot tub together, my husband
and I nude (which has always been our custom) but the kids in suits. My son was
fussing with a knot on the string of his suit, so I suggested he just take it
off. He did, and my daughter soon did the same. My son immediately realized how
good it felt in the warm water without anything on. That led to a discussion of
being nude with others. Then we told them about our visit to Mountain Air. They
were both very interested and appropriately curious. We showed them a brochure,
with pictures, and answered their questions. My son was very interested in the
concept of a club, wondering if there were any near us. So we showed him the
brochure for Cedar Waters Village in New Hampshire, about an hour from where we
are in Maine. Tony and I visited the place ourselves to check it out, then
returned about two weeks later with our children. After that, my son told me
that he was proud of being a nudist. My daughter seems oblivious to the title
but enjoys the experience. I regularly get asked, "When can we go back to the
So that's how we went from
a clothed family to nudists. We each choose when and where we want to be nude. I
often have dinner nude while my husband wears a T-shirt or is even fully
clothed. My daughter, a natural, is frequently nude around the house, while my
son is usually nude just in the hot tub.
I am still surprised by
how far and how quickly I have come. At first I was intrigued with the idea of a
nude cruise or vacation--a once-a-year special event. After going to Mountain
Air, I realized that a little more often to be nude would be nice, but it was
still in the category of recreation. Now I understand I have a need to be nude.
At times it is a physical need, at times it is a stress reliever. Nudity with
others is lots of fun, but nudity at home with the family is also very important
The process of becoming a
nudist is not complete. There will be more I learn and incorporate into my life.
I look forward to visiting different clubs and resorts and meeting other
nudists. But one thing is clear: nudism is very much a part of my life. A friend
recently commented about my status as a novice nudist and I gently corrected
him: "Not a novice, just a nudist. Once you're there, you know it, deep inside
the fibre of your unclothed body."
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