Naturism is often controversial. Although our polling has shown a positive public reception, often the fringe opinions matter most. Those with the loudest voices are heard, and unfortunately the law is misunderstood. Stigma still exists, and especially for men. And let’s face it, a naked man will always raise more concern than a naked woman. So what is it really like to live as a Male Naturist? What are the pitfalls and what does it mean to stand out? We sat down with ‘M’ from Belgium to find out.
‘Not everyone understands naturism.’ – M, Male Naturist.
Naturism is Liberation
M is an independent Consultant from Belgium, and began his journey in Naturism twenty-five years ago. Like many, his experience began with a naked sauna and swimming. He recounts his memories fondly, telling us;
It started 25 years ago with sauna, which is public, nude and mixed in Belgium. And in that period I discovered also the freedom of swimming without swimming trunks…Naturism is for me, above all, the feeling of freedom. Literally no restricting clothes (stress falls off with the clothes get off), but even more the liberating feeling in my head.
Naturally, M’s experience was very personal. But like many, he found a new freedom not just in body, but in mind. And as his journey continued, he began to branch out into new activities. He told us that naturism can be experienced in many ways, and in many places. He said;
(Naturism can be practiced in,) obvious places like home and beaches, rivers or lakes. But I am also a fan of making aka ”nude hiking.” I have practised it already in Spain, Belgium, France and Slovenia. It is adrenaline on the one hand and fun on the other. ‘
But like many others, ‘M’ has found his new liberation often curtailed by those who don’t understand him.
Naturism and Reluctance
Although Naturism is on the rise, and more accepted through the development of resorts and hikes, public perception will only shift slowly. For ‘M’, his home country of Belgium is still one where is behaviour is seen as an exception. ‘M’ tells us that although he is confident, there is still some trepidation about stepping outside;
‘There is still a reluctance to make it public (the same with me, only my friends and good colleagues know my life style).
And like us, ‘M’ feels that the main problem is simply that the public do not understand that Naturism. Instead of embracing an individual’s attempt to liberate themselves, they perceive it as oppressive to themselves. And the law itself does not help, with the legality of the practice often misunderstood. He told us that the law needs to catch up, and that Naturism need not be a concern. He advocates change, saying;
First of all (change) the law, so that it is not illegal when it has no sexual connotation.
He is also very aware of the gender difference in public perception. Where a naked woman may only raise questions, a naked man raises accusations;
Also (change) the prejudices from the public in general (especially towards men: “a naked woman in public is brave, a naked man in public is a pervert”)
Naturism And The Future
Although ‘M’ is aware of the risks of his practice, for him the benefits of sharing the gift outweigh the risks. Having already introduced the concept to over 125 people, and many took to the practice without hesitance. He is happy to provide a safe environment to do so, and feels it natural to spread a positive message;
I would recommend it to everyone. It is very good to get more self-confident. Also in clothed situations afterwards, because one get less influenced by what people think about them, and this is a main reason for insecurity. Additionally it would help to get naturism more accepted in society.Prejudices fall away (no social class, style, social conventions).
And more than anything, ‘M’ extolls the virtues of self confidence, contentment and liberation that Naturism brings. Perhaps with time, and the good work of others like him, all of us can be happy to step out into a more accepting world. In the mean time, his story can be one on inspiration. And he leaves us with one final message about how Naturism can make you feel;
(Naturism made me feel) more self-confidence, more accepting of myself as I am.
Join the Movement
- Fancy sharing your story on anakedgirl.com? Or want to help? Checkout the Work With Me page.
- Read more about The Stigma of Naturism
- Learn new activities to do naked.