I often refer to naturism as a hobby rather than a lifestyle. It is something I genuinely cherish. I always have, always will. It’s part of me, an important part. But it doesn’t guide my life. There are many things that are more important. But likewise, there are things that are less important to me. If that makes me less of a naturist to some, so be it. I know who I am and what matters to me.
I have to say though, I know for certain that I am a better person today as a result of being a naturist. It has definitely changed me and helped me grow. There are two areas specifically, where I see this most prominently, body image and acceptance.
When I say body image, I’m not talking about my own. Well, that too I suppose. But I’m talking about others. I’ve definitely come to see beauty in other bodies where I might not have when I was younger. The phrase “all bodies are beautiful” is the truth, and naturism teaches that. What I would have mocked before, I now accept, and even celebrate. I’m definitely less judgmental and critical. It doesn’t mean I don’t value health and fitness. I do. But I can now see beauty, confidence, and elegance in all.
The first time I saw a woman topless I was on a beach in Spain with a group of non-naturist friends. I hadn’t noticed her at first but one of my friends did. She was an older mildly-overweight German woman. The dichotomy between our reactions to seeing her, my friends vs mine, was significant. They went on and on about how no one wants to see that, she should put something on, they couldn’t unsee what they saw, etc…. It was all about how her toplessness impacted them. There were no thoughts about her, her thoughts, motives, feelings about what being topless meant to her.I on the other hand was struck with her beauty. Not just physically, but how she carried herself — supremely confident and content. She knew exactly what she was doing. How these pasty white Americans felt about it was nowhere in the equation. I was impressed.
We saw many topless women on the beach that day and the response was always the same. If she was young, fit, and pert….she got positive comments. Otherwise, it was more of the same. It was sad to see. I wasn’t sure why they felt obliged to pass judgement on these women and their bodies at all. But they did. I had finally had enough and had to point out to them that they weren’t exactly ready for the cover of GQ themselves and they should keep their judgements to themselves. But…they didn’t get it. Too many years of conditioning perhaps.
But this highlighted to me that I was different. My response was different. Sure, I liked to see a pretty naked girl as much as the next guy. But I wasn’t so blind that I couldn’t see beauty in other body types and sizes. I can remember that moment and that German woman like it was yesterday. It was a seminal moment in my naturist evolution and maturing. I remember her fondly.
The other area where naturism has helped me grow is acceptance, specifically of my fellow nudist men. Society discourages men from admitting the beauty in the nude male in any way. You just never hear young men say that another man is good looking. The scourge of homophobia prevents it. To see that accentuated tenfold, witness men’s reaction to other nude men. “Gross, oh my god, sausage party, who wants to see that” they’ll yell as they avert their gaze.Naturism taught me that male nudity is just as beautiful as female nudity, for the same reasons. I simply find nudity beautiful. I don’t worry about how that acceptance impacts my sexuality, because it doesn’t. I can see a nude man and appreciate a beautiful strong penis just as I can see a nude woman, and appreciate beautiful breasts. It’s the nudity that is beautiful. Their sex is immaterial.
So naturism may be a hobby in many ways, but it’s an important ingredient that makes me, me. In addition to providing me years of happiness and fun, its made me wiser and more accepting. I’m not sure who’d I be without it. Glad I don’t have to find out.
What do you think? What has naturism taught you? Leave a comment.