Very nice story of a couple enjoying naturism together.
Pushing boundaries, finding the edge of the envelope, or as THE Bruce Dickinson said, “exploring the space baby” (Blue Oyster Cult…..SNL skit…..more cowbell….anyone?). We all do it, in everything in our lives. At least we should. That’s part of living. But each one of us has a different threshold of what’s too far, what’s too risky, where the risk reward curve turns against us.
We deal with naturism using this same vernacular. I spoke a little bit about this in the post entitled “Risk” but not in any detail. As I’ve discussed previously, that is the big challenge for budding naturists, breaking past the barriers, mostly self imposed. It isn’t just the first time you go nude at a club or beach, although that is certainly a huge step. It’s when you decide in your mind and heart, that despite whatever obstacles are in your way, this is something that’s part of you and something you accept and embrace.
Some of my early boundary pushing grew out of my desire to be more “out” about my naturist proclivities. It translated into creating opportunities where I might accidentally be seen while nude. I don’t mean that in some kind of exhibitionist way. I mean it more as a means of passively letting the cat out of the bag, or simply introducing the topic. It’s funny to think of it now, the very thing I spent so much time and effort trying to avoid, getting caught,….I kind of secretly wanted to happen. It wasn’t so obvious as just walking into the kitchen for dinner nude or something that blatant. It was creating a plausible scenario and allowing the chance that someone might see, someone might find out. I figured, if they did, and objected, I could brush it off. But if they didn’t seem to mind….then I would be a step closer to nirvana, being able to be nude whenever or wherever I chose.
One of my more memorable attempts was walking to and from the shower, in my parents bedroom, nude. This is minor, silly stuff now. But to a tweener, these were giant leaps! To navigate the journey, I had to walk down the hall, past my sister’s room. On occasion, when I was feeling especially bold, I would undress in my room and take the walk nude. Going to the shower wasn’t as big a deal since I already knew if the coast was clear. But coming back carried more risk. Was my sister in her room? Was someone walking down the hall? No way to know. If caught with a negative reaction, it was easy to explain — “Just took a shower, forgot my clothes”. I’d carry a towel just in case. While far from a nudist household, we certainly weren’t prudes so I figured my explanation wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows.
But, despite many such trips, I never ran into anyone. I did walk past my sister’s door on one occasion, with her lying there in bed, in clear view. I started the trip with the towel in hand but once I saw her lying there, I actually put it back in the bathroom. Clearly….on some level, I wanted this to happen. I even lingered as I walked past, wanting her to catch a glimpse so I could test the waters. But she didn’t look up. Didn’t say a word. I asked her years later if she ever saw me. She said she didn’t. Hmmm….all that pushing of the envelope for naught!
Later in life boundary pushing turned into nude adventures — hikes, walks, swims. Essentially, creating nude opportunities in non-official naturist environments. My first Free hike is such an example.
On this occasion it was the first day of an extended summer holiday. My family and I had rented a fairly isolated villa in the Spanish mountains. I know that sounds pretty snooty. It was very nice mind you…but not as fancy as you might be imagining. Anyway, as I rose early and always enjoyed the chance to get some exercise, the idea of a long hike sounded like a great one. It was warm, turning to hot later in the day, with not a cloud in the sky. So, time was of the essence. The idea of enjoying some nude time this morning was in my head from the start. So, I planned accordingly. I lathered myself up in sunblock, especially the whiter bits, and dressed in as few clothes as possible, since I suspected I would take them off at some point. I took some water and a camera in a small backpack, and kissed my wife goodbye, letting her know where I was headed, in case I fell off a cliff or something.
As I left the villa I spent a fair amount of time scanning the area — who was around, what could they see, was I safe? I made my way down a mountain trail below our villa, heading towards a long abandoned farm house about a mile away. About three quarters of the way there I looked back at the villa, still easily being able to make it out but also realizing that the other homes were now completely out of view.
Looking back now, I’m surprised at how quickly I decided to continue on nude. But I did. I suppose it was the perfect environment coupled with the years and years of pent up desire. It was a boundary, being nude outdoors, that I had dabbled in only a couple of times, but definitely wanted to experience more. That bound dry needed pushing! “If not here and now, when”, I thought. So….now it was to be! With my klutz powers on full, I nearly fell down multiple times as I navigated my shorts over my sturdy hiking shoes. I placed my clothes in the small backpack and hiked on….au naturel.
I hiked on for a ways but not too far. I really wasn’t interested in trying to explain naked guy out for a hike….in a foreign language. While I have my interests and desires, and wanted to push the envelope, I am very cognizant of other people’s feelings and sensibilities. So, offending or shocking anyone is out from the start.
As I approached the top of the hill on the return trip and the other villas began to come into view, I reluctantly decided it was probably best if I put my shorts back on, which I did. As I walked in the front door about 20 minutes later my wife greeted me.
“How was your hike?” she asked.
“Awesome” I replied with a grin.
“Cool” she said, as I took off my shorts again, retuning to my preferred vacation garb.
Both of these were key experiences in my continuing development as a naturist. They were exhilarating moments that helped build my naturist confidence. They happened because I pushed a boundary. It was taking a bit of risk, but with tremendous reward. It was living. To those wondering, can I? Should I? I say this…..be smart. But yes…..you can. Live!
A short nice story that’s been out there for a while about how a mother of two discovered and embraced naturism. There are many versions of this story on line. I just chose this one. Others go a bit more in depth and discuss the woman’s body image issues when she was younger.
I found the story especially noteworthy because it highlights a run-of-the-mill family, a mom, a simple curiousity, and a discovery of school merging wonderful. It’s everything naturism actually is vs what some think it is.
However, the story has a dark side too, namely in how her new naturist hobby was greeted by some friends and family. Spoiler alert: One family member behaved badly. I’m a believer that such reactions are in the minority but they still happen to some. Here’s a great write up by Stephane Deschenes, owner of Bare Oaks Naturist Park and tremendous advocate for Naturism through his podcast series The Naturist Living Show and countless other articles and interviews:
Nope, no Archie Bunker if that’s what you were expecting. Certainly no discussion of naturism and how it relates to Archie, Edith, Gloria, and Meathead. Ok….better stop. I think I’m dating myself and losing a few of you.
One of the more commonly discussed or used phrases among naturist circles is a “naturist family”. Writers will say, “I wasn’t raised in a naturist family” or the opposite, “I was raised as a naturist”. But I still wonder….what exactly does that mean? Is someone raised to be a naturist? Is the opposite true? Are some kids raised to be textiles?
I can’t say I’ve ever personally met someone who was raised as a naturist. But it’s certainly possible of course. I just haven’t had the experience. Children are raised to according to specific religions. Some parents raise their kids to point them in a specific career choice — sports, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), or perhaps the family business. So, naturism could certainly fall under that same approach. But I haven’t met many people who truly came to naturism in such a manner.
What I have met, and can personally attest to as both a child and now as a parent, are people who were raised in families where nudity was, under the right circumstances, allowed or at least treated as a ho-hum event. Essentially, they were armed with the tools to make informed decisions. They were given simple facts and allowed to experiment and explore boundaries. Sure, parental influence is part of the equation. There is undoubtedly some bias in how nudity is presented. But it’s all about empowering your kids so they can make choices. Hopefully, good choices.
So in the end, I don’t see it as raising my child as a naturist or to be a naturist. Instead it’s about positioning them so they can make their own decisions about what’s right for them. Not ruling anything in. Not ruling anything out. Let me explain a bit more though my own personal experiences.
As a child: My parents weren’t nudists. Far from it. They didn’t go nude. They didn’t skinny dip. We never went to a nude beach or club. We never discussed the finer aspects of the naturist lifestyle. It just wasn’t something that came up, with my parents or my sister and I. Not surprising really. Why would it have?
However, my parents also weren’t prudes. On occasion, they would wear only underwear as a means of beating the summer heat. In fact my mother told me once that when we were younger, she routinely went nude around the house in the summer. I guess she wasn’t comfortable with the idea when we got older. That’s pretty typical for many parents. Yet, for years, she always wore a very thin nightgown with nothing underneath. We could see…she obviously knew we could see. But no one ever commented. My sister, while learning to speak French, always had a throng of French fashion magazines lying around that routinely featured nudity in their pages and adorning the covers. No one minded. As a family, we all watched a lot of British Programming on PBS and now and again, there was nudity. My parents didn’t seem to mind. Not a word was said, our eyes weren’t covered. Nudity was essentially a non-issue
So, how did this impact me and my development? As I began to become interested in spending time nude, I didn’t have years of conditioning teaching me that nudity was immoral, dirty, and bad. To me, it was a non-issue. That’s how we approached it. Sure, I was aware that choosing to be nude went against the grain. Most people didn’t really do that. But, as I had been brought up, it didn’t seem to be the big deal everyone thought it was. So…why not go nude?
As is obvious now, I chose to go ahead and be nude. Yes, I had roadblocks and concerns but I think it was a different experience than other kids might have had. The difference was the context in which I was raised. “We don’t personally go around naked, but nudity is no big thing”. Not a ringing endorsement but not a condemnation either.
My family never discovered my penchant for being nude. Well…that’s not true. They had plenty of hints. My mother discovered me nude one evening. My bedroom was across from my parents. I was in bed already and Mom was in her room watching TV. As I did quite often, I wanted to take of my pajamas and lie in bed nude. However, I was afraid she would somehow see me, in a dark room, lying in bed, 30 feet away, despite the fact that she was watching a TV show. I didn’t say I was all that smart.
Anyway, I got up and slowly pushed my door about 3/4 of the way closed and hopped back into bed. I laid there for about 10 minutes or so. That’s kid time of course. It was probably about 47 seconds in reality. Anyway, the situation seemed much more secure now so I took off my pajamas and enjoyed some naked time
Of course, what my Mom did notice was my door suddenly being pushed nearly closed. Undoubtedly, this alerted her Mom radar and she decided to investigate. A few moments she came marching into my room, turned on the light, and saw me lying there nude. Without saying a word, she simply walked over and took my pajama shorts, placed them over my feet and pulled them up to my knees. I reached down and pulled them up the rest of the way. No lecture, no discussion.
On another occasion one of my cousins had gleefully shared with the family that I had very willingly taken off my clothes in front of her and let her see me nude. She didn’t mention of course that she had asked me repeatedly to do so. But anyway, as I passed by my father after my nude runway show he simply said, “son, don’t do that again…ok?”
So while some could take both instances as a rejection of my budding naturist interest, I didn’t. Instead I saw both events as reinforcement of our family approach toward nudity — not something we do, but no big deal either. In my mind, the door was left open. I saw it as “there is a time and place for everything….this just wasn’t it. But feel free to keep looking”. So I did.
As a Parent: There are so many important lessons to teach your kids. Being a parent, is the most important job ever. So while nudity is an important topic, it’s nowhere near the top of the list. Not even close. If that makes me less of a naturist in some people’s minds. Fine. I’m ok with that. Those that put a nude lifestyle as a top priority in their kids development are missing the boat. But that’s just my opinion. Is it important and worthy of being addressed? Absolutely. But it’s not in the lead.
For me, naturism was a choice. I found it on my own. I chose to explore it, learn about it, and ultimately embrace it as part of who I am. I never doubted nudity was beautiful, pure, and enlightening. I never saw nudity as harmful, evil, immoral, or dirty. I owe that view, at least in part, to how I was raised. This is how I have approached naturism with my kids.
My wife and I have consciously striven to have nudity be a non-event in our home. We wanted it to be commonplace. We always kept the bathroom door open when we showered. We’ve never covered up when the kids walked in when we were nude. We treated nudity around the house as no big deal.
As with everything else, we answered questions. We taught. We explained. But in regards to naturism, we never directed, insisted, convinced, or cajoled. I often refer to it as the naturist gene. Did my children inherit it? No, it doesn’t look like it so far. But what they have inherited is a very healthy and respectful view of nudity, naturism, and their bodies. Of that, I couldn’t be more proud.
How do I know? Well, one quick example. We were in Spain, at the beach, a non-nudist beach, the only kind we’ve gone to as a family. As I was throwing a ball back and forth with my sons, I noticed a woman approaching behind them. She was going for a stroll along the shoreline. The woman was topless, something we would later discover was very common along this stretch of sand. She was wearing a very small bikini bottom. That was it. And wow…..she was stunningly beautiful. I’ll be the first to say, if I had come across this woman, nearly nude as she was, in my adolescent years, I would have pretty much lost it right there. I had to wonder how my sons would react when they saw her. But my two boys….didn’t bat an eye. Oh yes, they noticed her. But there was no staring, no blushing, no giggling. Not a word was said, other than by one of them who greeted her with an enthusiastic “Hola” as he ran by her to pick up the ball in the surf. I looked over at my wife. We both just smiled. I guess we were doing something right.
So was I raised in a “naturist family”. No. Am I raising my children in a “naturist family”. No, not in so many words. But that was never my goal. I wanted to raise my children to understand that nudity can be wonderfully fun, beautiful, exhilarating, and good. If they inherit the naturist gene and find their way to it, great. But even if they you don’t, society will be better off with their enlightened opinions as a part of it.