I’m no longer ‘naked’, I’m just naturally me.

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.

An hour later, it felt fine. It felt natural. My head was thinking ‘I like the feeling of being naked’. But I was still thinking in terms of being naked, outdoors and in public.maria_001b

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.

And then, eventually, you arrive at a point where you aren’t even thinking about your own naked state. It has become natural.maria2_001b

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.



Naturist Tropes (No.1)

A trope, in literature, is a ‘recurring theme’.

And I was thinking that there are also ‘naturist tropes’, recurring themes, scenes, events, occurrences that I see each time I’m off on holiday.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to run an occasional series in which we explore these themes, the things that simply happen despite a revolving number of holiday makers, some experiencing naturism for the first time. Explanation over, let’s dive straight in…

No.1 The first-time nervous naturist

An affliction that both sexes encounter, for different reasons. For the female, she had perhaps been a topless sunbather for some time, and already encountered all of the fears and insecurities regarding the baring of her boobs. Are they too big? Too small? Too saggy? Is one bigger than the other? Are my nipples too pink? Too brown? Are the areola too large? Too small?

Maybe she’s over that. In my experience most European females will have indulged in some form of toplessness by the time they’re 20, certainly. Maybe they’ve been doing it all their lives. Only occasionally will you see the shy girl for whom it remains a big deal. And generally she’ll get over it with, with gentle encouragement from her friends, boyfriends or whoever. And in some case the insecurity of teenage is all-consuming. Often you’ll see ‘Mum’, happily topless or even fully nude, while teenage daughter wrestles with the insecurities of teenage and the straps on her bikini bra. More amusingly, you occasionally see a naked and unconcerned ‘Gran’ swimming or sunbathing naked while her teenage grand-daughter is filled with self-doubt. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

But she still has to confront the bigger obstacle, losing her bikini briefs. Often, women of all ages will happily go topless and never go fully nude. And in a naturist setting, you’ll see those first-timers for whom this is the crossing of the Styx. Yep. It’s the bridge between ‘the earth’ as she’s previously known it, and ‘the underworld’ (certainly the ‘unknown’) of total, public nudity.

And so for the first couple of days she may remain wedged into her bikini briefs. Not just nervous teenagers, but nervous women of all ages.

And some will nervously strip off to sunbathe face down and, when rolling over, pull themselves into a sitting position so best to hide their exposed genitals. Some will sunbathe nude, and pull on bikini briefs to walk to the sea for a swim, then take them off again when they return to their towel. And, regularly, I see women walk, in the briefs, to the water’s edge, only to return, nude, with said briefs in their hand! Why? I’m not sure. I guess that there are times when the power of the waves are pulling their briefs this way and that, and suddenly it makes sense to go without. And at other times it may be that they slip them off in the water, realise what an enjoyable feeling naked swimming is, and decide enough’s enough; they’re going to go fully nude.


A familiar scene at a naturist beach. A woman enters the sea in her bikini briefs, and removes them on exiting the water.

towel a

Mercedes models Muschi’s L$1 tanlines (as a tattoo layer)

towel b

Mercedes models Muschi’s ‘front only’ towel. With use of the correct pose, it could be made to look as if it was being held in place.

towel c

Mercedes wearing the ‘front only’ towel from Muschi, a rear view.

I specifically asked Mercedes to provide a rear view of the ‘front only’ towel because, keeping the ‘nervious first timer’ theme in mind, I once witnessed a young Mum going through that very nervous, quite evidently nude debut moment herself. With a towel clasped in place over her front, she was filming her husband and two young children in a pool at a naturist place we were holidaying at, and clutching firmly at it with her elbows down to hold it there as she filmed. She seemed unconcered at her rear being bare in public. As she continued to film, and clearly feeling herself enjoying the experience, suddenly the towel dropped away and she was naked in public for the first time. Her husband, still in the pool with the children, glanced over and gave her the greatest grin of approval I’ve ever seen. And with that, her nervousness, self-doubts and feelings of insecurity were gone. I didn’t see her holding the towel for the rest of the holiday.

For males, well, they’ve been exposing their nipples their entire lives! So ‘topless’ has never been an issue. But what about that moment when they drop their shorts for the first time? My view is that males can and do embrace public nudity a little more readily than females. Why? I don’t really know, other than maybe they’re more used to it, in sports changing rooms and thus the concept isn’t wholly alien, even if in a single sex environment.

But you can still observe the nervous male, his nervousness almost solely coming from his worry that he doesn’t ‘match up’ to the other men. Is his penis small? Average? Large? I’d say that those guys who are quietly confident about being ‘above average’ will often confidently strip off because they’re proud of their equipment and want everyone to share a sense of how well-endowed they are. And yes, this would be the case in genuine naturist environments as well. The less well-endowed maintain a sense of nervousness in case they don’t measure up to expectations. The odd thing is that female naturists aren’t desperately focused on male genitalia. Someone who keeps in shape and who is well-toned, regardless of penis size, will tick more boxes for women.

howie and rick_001b

A couple of my male friends, Howie and Rick, both confess to modelling their avis on their real selves, right down to ‘equipment size’. (Both are European, and Howie is circumcised while Rick is, more typically for Europe, not). Both are also committed RL naturists. So I asked each of them about their experiences of their public debut as naturists, and in particular how they felt about their ‘equipment’.

‘I’d no sense of shame about size’, confesses Howie. ‘I was maybe a little more embarrased by looking different in being circumcised, until I realised that some naturists are circumcised, but in Europe most are not. While in a minority, I did see other guys who were also circumcised, so I don’t feel like I was totally isolated in that regard. To be honest, when I made my public nudity debut, I had booked it because I’d been unwell for a period of time, was confined to the house, wasn’t working following surgery and just sat around getting fat, hahah! We booked a sunny holiday just for the experience of lying in the sun for a fortnight, and I was probably more ashamed that I was out of condition, carrying a bit of a belly and all that. I wasn’t bothered about size, even though I’m maybe average or below average in that regard.’

And what of Rick, who acknowledges that, by contrast he’s maybe ‘above average’ in that regard (although how we quantify ‘average’ is anyone’s guess)? ‘I just stripped off. That was it. Wasn’t remotely embarrassed. I don’t, incidentally, look at other males and think ‘oh, I’m so much better than him’. I think we all carry other insecurities anyway. I hate the shape of my ears, I have a bump in my nose as a result of having it broken when I was a kid, my teeth aren’t perfect. So if I was measuring myself against other guys, the size of my penis wouldn’t be the thing I’d fixate on, or thinking ‘Your girl would be better off with me’. I’d be looking at guys in the sense of ‘he’s better looking than me, I can see why his girlfriend is just gorgeous’. Something like that. No, I don’t get hung up on it. Anyway, I think in genuine naturism the over-riding factor is always ‘how interesting are they?’, male or female. I’ve met stunning girls who don’t have two brain cells to rub together, met Mumsy types who have simply magnetic personalities. Maybe she’s a bit overweight, not stunningly beautiful, but I know I’d prefer to spend time with her than the one who looks like the supermodel, because the Mumsy, frumpier woman has sparkling conversational skills and a winning personality. In a naturist setting I’m still not focusing on their boobs or whatever. I want a sharp intellect and a sense of humour. Looks aren’t part of the deal.’

Both guys, then, suggest didn’t feel any sense of nervousness in their public, nude debut, at least regarding penis size. Which, let’s face it, is the core issue in going publicly nude for men and women alike, exposure of the genital area.

I haven’t, yet, commented on the awkward female who also goes through a ridiculous number of stages on the way to full nudity. I know. I was that female! Face down, bikini strap undone. Still face down, bikini done up again, a movement that I suggest defies all sense of human movement. Then the strap undone, hands holding the bra cups in place and the shoulder straps hanginf free. And now the entire back gets some sun! Then the half-way house of bikini top finally off, but a ‘hand bra‘ liberally used to keep those boobs covered. But maybe there’s a second or two when a boob does say ‘hello’ to the general public. Accidentally, often. Deliberately, as a sense of daring rises, occasionally. Then the moment when they finally make their first public appearance. A lot of looking down. A lot of nervous looking around. A lot of towel use from time to time to re-cover them. And then a period of sitting at a sun lounger, boobs bared. Then, finally, the confidence to walk to the water’s edge, play some beach tennis or volleyball fully, properly topless.

And we haven’t even got to the point yet where our intrepid female is going to tackle the bikini briefs. Maybe we’ll leave that for another day. After all, that’s the timescale often involved in losing the wretched, wet, clingy things. 🙂

Credits: Towel & panties down clothing (between L$90 & L$110), and tanlines (L$1) at Muschi. (also on the marketplace).