There comes a point in naturism where you cease being naked, when you cease being nude.
No, I don’t mean that awful moment when you realise you have to put clothes on and head back to the airport. I mean the moment when you cease feeling naked, when you cease feeling nude, when you cease feeling exposed, embarrassed or vulnerable.
Yes, you feel all these things when making your nude debut because it’s something you’ve never experienced before. You’re out of your comfort zone. Apart from a sports or swimming changing room the chances are you’ve never been naked in public before, and even in a sports changing room it will be strictly segregated by gender. Even within a sports changing room you’ll find people wearing swimwear in the showers, or keeping a towel tightly wrapped around themselves while they change.
I felt dreadfully embarrassed on my debut, like the eyes of the world (or those around the pool) were upon me.
In reality, no one cared, and there won’t have been many who gave me much more than a glance. Their eyes would not have alighted upon me any more than had I been wearing a bikini. Indeed, my own nude debut day began with me in a bikini, before I lost the top and then the bottoms. It would have been a red-faced run to the pool being naked, outdoors, amongst strangers for the first time.
Those of you who are naturists will remember your nude debut in vivid detail. I would parallel your recollections of it with the first time you had sex. You remember where you were, who you were with, how it felt, all in minute detail. On a one-to-one sexual experience, even before you had sex for the first time, you can maybe recall a sense of embarrassment -not quite ‘shame’- when you exposed your intimate parts to someone of the other sex for the first time.
I’ll merrily admit that my nude debut arrived before I lost my virginity, so I didn’t have any framework of saying ‘OK, guys have seen my boobs or bits before’. When I made that red-faced, embarrassed run to the pool for the first time, I felt I wanted the world to open up and swallow me.
I’m not sure when that stopped. Every time I did something new, while naked, I’d be thinking ‘oh, wow, that’s the first time I’ve done that naked’. I’d tick off a list of first times. First nude sunbathing? Yep. First nude swim? Oh wow, it feels fabulous not having a costume on. Yep, tick that off too. First time walking along a beach. Yep. First time doing…whatever. Yep, tick it off. First time seeing a gorgeous specimen of the opposite sex nude. Yep.
Walking on what were public roads, in daylight, seemed odd, strange, liberating & exciting the first time I ever did it (at Cap D’Agde). Now? I don’t give it a second thought. I don’t give any of it a second thought. I arrive at a naturist location and am out of my clothes before even unzipping my case. After what is often an early start, a flight, and a drive before arriving at our destination, invariably warmer than home, I desperately want out of those sweaty, wrinkled clothes. I never think ‘oh, I’m naked now’. I tend to think ‘oh, how nice it is to be out of those grimy clothes’. For the next 7,10,14 days it’s the most natural thing in the world to be naked, and for that to be my natural state of being. I don’t ever think, now, that I’m naked, that I’m nude. I’ve ceased to be naked or nude, I’ve reached a point where that’s normal behaviour. For me to think ‘I’m naked’ would be as weird as you (naturist or textile) thinking ‘I’ve got a pair of black knickers/boxer shorts on today’. From getting up until going to bed, you won’t have given the colour of your underwear a second thought. Go on…tell me what colour your undies are, without looking. It’s something you’ve given no thought to.
Friends, at Summerdream’s sundial, no longer thinking of each other as ‘naked’
In naturism, you quickly learn that you don’t even think about the fact that you’ve got no knickers/boxers on. It’s something you give no thought to.
The beautiful thing is that your fellow naturists are almost all at this same state of naked grace. We have ceased to see each other as being naked. We have simply acknowledged we’re in our natural state.