Wikipedia defines nudism or naturism as a cultural and political movement practicing, advocating, and defending personal and social nudity, most but not all of whch takes place on private property. The term may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family or social nudism. Naturism may take a number of forms. It may be practiced individually, with a family, socially or in public.
I was 18 when I had my first experience with nudism as a practice. I was visiting an aunt in Hawaii with my sister following my high school graduation. A cousin of our aunt’s ran a nudist camp there. Our Aunt suggested we visit as if it was just another of the sights we should see during our visit like Pearl Harbor. So we did. We were told that removing our clothing was optional.
I don’t remember feeling all that self conscious at the camp even though we did go nude. I think the part that was most uncomfortable was seeing cousin Larry naked. We had only met a few times at family functions. He was seriously overweight. I had not seen many men naked. I reminded myself to make eye contact with the people we met. I think I may have been the youngest camper. I didn’t care about the experience much one way or another.
My body has undergone dramatic changes since I was 18. It has gained significant weight, borne 2 children, became disabled by a stroke, yet, I find that I don’t care that much like how I felt in my 18 year old, pristine body in Hawaii in 1981.
I recently became romantically involved with a self-proclaimed nudist. He likes to visit New Jersey’s nude beach and seriously dislikes swimming in a bathing suit.
When we first started spending weekends at the lake, he told me how much he hated bathing suits. We wore them for the first several swims in water. It’s a private, homeowners only lake that is very quiet.
Over the course of the 17 years I’ve been going to the lake, I have gone in the water naked a few times. I remember being on the dock with my husband as our marriage was unraveling when I took off my bathing suit and went swimming. I knew he was mortified that someone might see me so of course I got loud about it yelling out to the vast nothingness of the lake, “Look at me!!” There wasn’t a soul in sight. He was still embarrassed. Whatever. The marriage is over now.
There were many days at the lake this summer when there was no one in sight. My boyfriend convinced me that we don’t need to wear our bathing suits. I found that it was a true delight. I’ll admit I was not completely unconcerned about the neighbors next door whom I have known since our kids were small. Their daughters are adults now so I convinced myself that it was fine among adults.
The only minor fallout from our nude swimming and sun bathing on the dock was the phone call I got from my husband who had returned to the lake on Sunday night because it’s where he has been living since we broke up. He said, “I just got a complaint from the neighbors about my wife and her boyfriend parading around naked on the dock in broad daylight.” Sorry, honey, I guess I’m a nudist now.
Can we all just relax about seeing each other naked? To say it is the most natural thing in the world is from the statement of the obvious files.
Thank you for reading. :)