Explaining Social Nudity to Friends

Telling people I’m a naturist has been an interesting experience. People I thought would really dig it have reacted with bewilderment. In a testament to the people I have chosen as friends that are close enough to tell, no one has reacted adversely. There have been no truly negative experiences. Here’s a small sample:

Let’s start with family. No one in my family knows yet. I expect it to come out inadvertently, maybe if my wife and I and I have kids who tell the grandparents about swimming naked at my club. I’m not trying to keep it a secret but I’m also not trying to broadcast it. When it happens, I just plan to say something like, “I swim naked and I avoid wearing clothes. It’s not a big deal. It’s quite liberating and I’d like for my kids to grow up without shame and body-image issues.” One friend I told that I had expected to be the most into naturism, ironically, shrugged it off. He definitely has what can be described as a hippie side so I thought he would like to check it out. Instead, we simply moved on to other topics. No harm, no foul.

When I told my closest friend E, a lawyer who maintains a professional persona, he started asking a lot of questions. They were not the usual questions about getting aroused or sun-burned in tender areas, they were much more respectful like, “How long?” or “Where do you go?” He told me of a time in high school when he and a friend went skinny-dipping/pool-hopping in his neighborhood. He also brought up that his young son asked why Elmo doesn’t wear any pants and that E simply did not have an answer ready that wasn’t based upon shame. I knew E wouldn’t judge me but I was surprised at how he was so open to it.

When I told my friend of twenty plus years K – the friend that has been in my life the longest – the conversation went something like this:

  • NN: So I’ve been going to a clothing optional resort this summer.
     
  • K: What! Wait, you mean a nudist colony?
  • NN: I guess that’s what some people call it. It’s just a place where really chill people can hang out naked in the sun, skinny dip, hike naked and just be comfortable in the hot weather. Naked isn’t mandatory unless you swim. There are some spouses who go and never take their clothes off while their partners never put their clothes on. It’s just people who are comfortable as themselves. 

K was the most interested and we probably talked for an hour or more. Maybe it was because we had grown up together and we come from -ahem- buttoned-up backgrounds where we ourselves never really fit in. I explained that the people who go don’t seem to have body-image issues. They are people who have simply gotten over themselves, whatever age they are. That does mean that a lot of people are older or have more weight than Victoria’s Secret models; it also means that these naturists are all beautiful and confident. I explained that once you realize, “This is the best I’m ever going to look and I accept it,” social nudity feels normal. It is pure joy to let go of that self-critical lens that society forces so many people to look through. It also makes me look at my wife, who is the most beautiful woman in the world to me, and realize that as we age together we are never going to look as good as we do now. At the same time, age will bring wisdom and love and a whole other beauty to our relationship as our superficial appearances become less tolerable to society. I see people of all shapes and sizes and ages who are just comfortable. The experience with K has been the most common among my close friends. K asked the most questions and was among the most interested so I relate our conversation here. My friends are truly wonderful people, many of whom want to know more instead of making jokes. Several have even asked to accompany me to my club in the spring.

My wife was a little overwhelmed at how much I enjoyed my first time to a clothing optional club. She was further overwhelmed by the fact that I couldn’t wait to go back. She accepts it cheerily, now, only a few months after my first time. In the fall, we went to Zipolite, a nude beach in Mexico, at her suggestion but she did not strip down. She’s just not into social nudity and that’s fine. We simply schedule around our free time together and I always let her know every time I go to an event or resort. I would stop in a heartbeat if she asked me to end it. So that has been my experience so far these last few months.

I would urge anyone with an interest to see how comfortable they are at home naked. If it feels right, try finding a welcoming clothing optional club or resort. You will meet amazing, relaxed people.

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