Should You Tell Your Friends & Family About Your Naturism?
You started out enjoying being naked around the house, occasionally daring to slip outside when no one was noticing. Along the way you heard that there was a nude beach or resort near you where other people hung out nude. Your curiosity was piqued to the point where you gathered up the courage to finally check out the scene, and you realized that everyone there was very friendly. The people were from all walks of life, but they were the same more than they were different because when people are nude all pretexts are removed. You felt the freedom of being outside nude with no judgment by anyone, so you kept coming back until you realized that you were now a nudist.
Up to now only you and/or your partner was aware of enjoyment of naturism. You’d go off to the beach or resort to socialize with your new nudist friends, but you would not tell your friends and family about what you were doing because of the connotation behind nudity. On the other hand, you now realize the naturalness of being nude and the fact that social nudity is not sexual in the least bit. You have a quandary, because you want to share your enjoyment of naturism with friends and family, but you are concerned about what they will think of you. Additionally, you are reluctant to post or say anything on social media that could impact your career or friendships, yet you know that what you are doing is perfectly natural. What do you do?
It is a tough call because each of our situations are different as are our personalities. Not all of us feel strong enough about naturism to become activists and totally go public. We are concerned about how people will perceive us because society places shame around nudity. We call it modesty because proper people are not supposed to be as bold as to exhibit their nude bodies to others. As a side note, I stopped having dreams about waking up in class in my underwear since I became a nudist. You could just continue on keeping your secret pleasure to yourself. It is much easier that way, and I know many people that keep their enjoyment of nudism away from their friends and family.
On the one hand, you want to share your new-found freedom with your friends and family. On the other hand, you are likely to encounter people that just do not see things the same way that you see them. You need to tread lightly because there not as many people with minds open enough to accept a new or different point of view in today’s highly polarized society. A former neighbor of mine did not want me or my friends’ nude in my yard where he could see them from his house. He thought it was weird no matter how I explained it to him. My advice is to share your enjoyment of naturism/nudism on a need to know basis only. I wish I could tell you to be bold and open about it because we need to spread the word that social nudity is not about sex; it is about comfort, body acceptance, nature, and freedom. Unfortunately, I have seen some negative repercussions with some openness.
I am not advocating being secretive about it either. You should tell those you want to know and that you feel will not be judgmental about it. If it comes up in casual conversation, feel out the situation. Discuss and advocate for it as much as you feel comfortable. I was at a neighborhood party around our lake when one of the women brought up going to a nude beach in the Caribbean. Of course, there was the usual discussion of whether others had been or would go. I redirected the discussion to ask how each person felt about being nude on a beach or other places in public. Almost all of them replied that it was an enjoyable experience. About half said that they would do it again. The ones that enjoyed the experience mentioned how their visit was not at all as they expected, and that the people were just everyday people out at the beach or resort. The discussion came to a halt when I suggested that we make our beach clothing optional. It was obvious that I had pushed the subject beyond their comfort level at that point.
My point is that you have to know when to stop the discussion. There are many other articles that discuss the obvious benefits to naturism that you can share, but do not push your agenda to the point where you may turn off or upset people. Different people and groups have different limitations. I will discuss those next.
Your family is typically more accepting and understanding than other groups. They should be tolerant of other family members lifestyle choices although there are exceptions. My parents did not even flinch when I told them that I frequently attended a nude beach because I was brought up in a home where nudity was not shameful. I had a girlfriend whose parents were less comfortable, but they accepted her choice when she explained what naturism was about. Her grandmother wanted to go to the beach with us next time we went. Other relatives around your own age or younger are generally more open about naturism and may even give it a try. My cousin ended up taking her family to a nude beach in Florida after I told her that I was a long-time nudist. Occasionally you will have to endure the occasional teasing.
Bring it up if you want to share naturism with family members. If you are confronted by a family member that knows you are a nudist, then do not go on the defensive. Turn the tables and ask them about what they know or feel about it. The discussion will end up more positively. If you want your immediate family to be nudists, start with your spouse if she is not already one. Discuss and introduce it to your kids only when you both are comfortable and can fully explain it to them. I know many families that are naturists that have a wonderful time with it all. Kids are more willing to be nudists than adults because they do not have the years of shame to contend.
It is much harder to give advice on how to discuss naturism with friends because there are all different classifications of friends. Your close friends are like family and are usually very understanding of your choices and decisions. Most of my close friends know I’m a nudist, and they never mention it except for one friend that occasionally ribs me about it. I always have a crass response for him too. If you choose to tell a friend then once you explain your reason for being involved in naturism, they should be supportive of your choice.
Other friends and acquaintances are hit and miss. I’d only bring it up with them it the topic comes up in conversation and you feel comfortable discussing it. In these situations, you may encounter judgement so be careful how much you tell them of your involvement, but you can still be an advocate. I have had some friends distance themselves from me once they found out I was a nudist. I accepted their intolerance and moved on, but you may not feel the same way about parting with them so be cautious.
Alcohol usually makes the discussion easier. It can backfire on you too. It has gone both ways for me. Sitting around at a lounge or party drinking, you become less inhibited. Discussions may turn racier so mentioning things not fully accepted by all of society become easier. This may be the opportunity to have an open and frank discussion of naturism but be warned that when people sober up, they may turn judgmental. I introduced more than one person to naturism this way, and one of them has become quite active in our group. She barely even knew of naturism when I brought it up one night at a bar, but wholeheartedly embraced it once she did it for the first time. It did backfire on me once when we had a backyard party after going to the clothing optional beach. My friend and I got naked in a friends’ backyard. We started it and others followed. Everyone was drinking and it was legal so who cares right? Well a rather prudish colleague showed up and decided to blab it around the office the next Monday. My discussion with him did not make any difference, but it made for some uncomfortable workplace situations for a short time.
My previous example brings me to my final category of colleagues. My recommendation is to not even get close to the subject in the workplace. Today’s workplace is highly charged and sensitive to anything that could be perceived as harassment. Even this slightest hint of nudity could bring very negative repercussions against you especially if the other person is of the opposite sex. In this ultra-PC environment, nudity is definitely equated to sex and making other people feel uncomfortable.
This environment is unfortunate because in the past I have had some very enjoyable nudist experiences with colleagues. Each situation happened rather spontaneously whether it was swimming at the lake, being at the beach, or enjoying a sauna. They all revolved around some activity where doing it nude was the best way or only day to do it at the time. In every situation we all handled it maturely, and thought it was no big deal. My experience was in the past, and we are in the now; therefore, my advice is stay clear of discussing naturism in the workplace or around colleagues.
I purposely chose to avoid discussing the merits of being a nudist because there are literally hundreds of articles in publications and the Internet covering it. I Definitely would avoid any religious discussions unless you are very well versed on theology first. Before you enter into a discussion, think about who is your audience? What is their level of tolerance? Are they judgmental? How well do you know them? Would it be best to start the discussion with a generic discussion of naturism/nudism before disclosing your involvement and enjoyment? Being nude is not taboo, and we should not be made to feel like we are freaks for enjoying being nude either. Do not set yourself up for a discussion that ends that way. A little forethought will go a long way into properly sharing your experiences. Who knows? You may even make a convert.
Written by Mark M.