In a previous post, I addressed the issue of the struggles we face as nudists embracing a nudist lifestyle. As I was lying naked on my couch sipping some tea, I remembered how cool it was to stay in a nudist setting. You don’t have to struggle with the idea of somebody seeing you naked, and potentially judging you wrongly. And one idea led to the other. If being naked is the most comfortable clothing option, being naked in a nudist setting brings another layer of comfort: the social one.
Discovering a new world
Physical comfort is generally why you come to nudism. Being naked is really, really comfortable. No wet and soggy swimsuit when you go swimming. No clothes between the air, the sun and your skin. No skin rash due to constant chaffing of fabric. Just pure freedom.
I remember that as a kid, when my parents and I arrived on this naked beach, and my parents completely undressed, the moment felt awkward. Although my mother asked me to get naked and not to be sissy, it felt weird. But everybody was naked, and nobody was watching us. This feeling of weirdness lasted a few minutes and was replaced by normalcy. Yes, being naked on that beach felt totally normal. Not only normal, really cool! That experience sealed my allegiance to nudism. Back to our rentals on that day, I remembered taking a shower and staying naked to play on the terrace.
Wanting more of the new world
Years later, as a young adult, I experienced the same feeling of normalcy and comfort when I undressed completely on the nude beach I went to. The second part of my nudist life was beginning. Since that day, the physical comfort of nudity has never ceased.
However, this comfort induced hormones and neurotransmitters that provided my brain with powerful mechanisms to want more of it. If nudity was so comfortable, why not having more of it. Beyond the beach, I started to stay naked at home, to seize any opportunity to undress and to look for ways to get more nude time.
Nudism was getting deeper under my skin not only as a comfortable state, but as an incredible satisfying lifestyle of freedom. But, I had questions. If it was okay to feel right nude on a beach, was it right to feel the need to be nude in other places than a nude beach. With a nascent internet, I found some answers. Not only, I was not alone, but nudism was right and shared by millions of nudists. I was relieved and happy. My psychological discomfort was starting to vanish. Wanting more of nudism was just right.
Nudity goes into your brain
The second stage with comfortable nudity is psychological. You need to feel well being naked. I believe you cannot enjoy your physical comfort if you do not have crossed the threshold of being comfortably naked in your mind. Let me explain.
In a previous post, I went over the few struggles nudists have to face. Being a nudist and being open about it requires that you accept being seen naked by others. In the case of other nudists, it sometimes require a few hours when you start your nudist journey, or sometimes it’s not even a question and you are immediately comfortable being naked. The latter was my case, as I went back to nudism as a young adult, having know nudism as a kid. Some new nudists need to get used to being seen and actually not stared at.
The best possible way to get used to being seen naked is to go to nude beaches and resorts. It will take a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, rarely a few days, to realize that nobody cares if you’re naked. Actually, it’s wrong. Everybody cares that you’re naked, because that the way you should be. In a nudist setting, you’re noticed the moment you’re clothed. You don’t fit it! By being naked, you fit in, you’re right, you display the right clothing option. When you realize that being naked is the normal way, a switch toggles in your brain, and nudity becomes psychologically comfortable.
It’s another story with clothed people that may see you naked. You may not feel this is something you can be comfortable with. You may imagine the situation before it occurs and feel you’re not ready for it. Sometimes, this happens even in a naturist setting where a shop assistant is clothed and you’re naked. However, if the latter experience happened to you, I encourage you to reflect and tell you that there was really no logical reason to feel uncomfortable. You are in a naturist setting and being naked is totally normal. Shop assistant are generally clothed for hygienic reasons that can be well understood.
This can also happen on a naturist beach. Many times, I had to talk nicely to strangers wearing swimsuits to remind them this was a naturist beach. If they wanted to respect others, they needed to get naked. I always actually felt very good being naked in such a situation because it shows textiles that nudity is nothing to be ashamed of and a perfectly normal state. I’ve never had a bad experience from those interactions with textiles.
By getting used to this kind of situation, and detach any emotion that arise from it, you contribute to normalize nudity more. You become more and more psychologically comfortable with being nude in front of clothed people. The next step is to get totally comfortable in front of clothed people in non naturist settings, like your home, your garden or even nature. Many nudists do not want to go that step. They state that nudity should only be experienced in naturist settings and they are good with this. I totally respect this point of view. In my case, nudity is so physically comfortable that I consciously make the effort to make it psychologically comfortable in every situation, including encounters with textile in non naturist settings.
Taking the conscious step of totally normalising nudity in every situation is what I called being psychologically naked. Staying naked with clothed people tells them that nudity does not bother me and should not bother them either. I’m not naked to shock or cause distress. I’m naked because we all have the same body and it feels right to be naked.
It may shock and cause distress to people who see the naked body as harmful. I’m completely conscious of this. It’s the reason I always have a cover-up ready in case the person is really stressed and risks to freak out. I respect opposite points of view. However, this will not stop me to voice out my disagreement and provide reasons why they should not be stressed. In this situations, the problem is no longer me, it’s them.
You may not be ready to make this step and this is totally understandable. It may be seen extreme, even by seasoned nudists. Being psychologically naked is not for everybody, but feeling good naked is intertwined with another notion that many nudists enjoy: social comfort.
Every day can be a nude day if you decide so. Therefore nude time is when you decide. When I go to a nude beach or a nude resort, nudity begins in the car if I travel by car. The moment you enter a nudist space, social comfort sets in. Nudity is no longer something seen as weird, indecent or not right. It’s the exact contrary. Nudity is the de facto state of undress.
First timers are sometimes baffled by the comfort they feel being naked among other naked people. In fact, in a nudist setting, nudity is a non-event. You don’t notice nudity anymore. When everyone is naked, nudity is forgotten. Because nudity is the de facto state of undress, social comfort is the de facto state of comfort.
No questions are asked. No challenges are set. Gone is the fear of being seen naked. It’s a really liberating feeling that allows to stay naked all day, to go our own life, to do our preferred activities without having to think about being seen naked and judged by our state of undress. Nudity really sets in deep into our skin, our brain and our interaction with others. Physical, psychological and social comforts, all in one.
I remember well the first time I went running naked a Sunday morning in a naturist resort. I usually run naked in non-naturist setting, but pay attention to any potential encounter and carry a cover-up. On that Sunday morning, I could step out my tiny house, go and run, without cover-up and without paying attention to potential encounters. I met a few people, who just smiled and greeted me. That was a life-changer.
The mirror effect
Neuropsychologists discovered mirror neurons in the 80s. Still the object of intense research, mirror neurons may be important for understanding the actions of other people, and for learning new skills by imitation. When we speak about other naturists, we tend to refer them to “like-minded people”. In the same spirit, when we come for the first time in a new community, we tend to fit in by asking about the behaviours, the written and unwritten rules.
We also tend to observe and adapt our own behaviours. I cannot say whether mirror neurons are involved. However, this adaptation to our environment is what I call the mirror effect. When people are relaxed, we tend to be relaxed. When we see people wandering around entirely naked, we cannot but quickly wander around entirely naked and feel it’s completely normal.
This mirror effect allows us to quickly feel this social comfort with other naturists. I wonder sometimes if it’s not those mirror neurons and this mirror effect that create this level of kindness and openness in a naturist setting that is often described by newcomers. Yes, nudists share this love of nudity, but they share more, they share the physical, psychological and social comfort of simple nudity.
If you’ve never been to a nudist resort or village, it’s an experience you need to live. Being naked is incredibly comfortable. Being naked in a nudist setting is incredibly more comfortable. It brings nudism to a new level, a shared level of acceptance, tolerance and respect.
It’s a very strange feeling the first times. But quickly it sets in, it becomes an integral part of who you really are. Hence, living this experience is life changing. The disappearance of fear opens a wide area of comfort, fear of being seen, fear of being judged, fear of what people thinks, fear of being ostracized. Comfort of simplicity, comfort of being, just being who you are, comfort of normalcy being without anything to hide ourselves behind.
I could write millions of words about these comforts, but nothing would replace their experience. You probably understood that if you’re physically comfortable by being naked, even if you are feeling psychologically comfortable, embracing social comfort will let you discover a new world, right within you, right within reach. Don’t wait, just go and experience it.
Strip Naked, Stay Naked, Live Naked and Share the Naked Love!