Previous part: Nudity, plain and simple
Being naked is being yourself. You cannot cheat on your body when you’re entirely naked. You cannot cheat on your behaviour when you’re entirely naked. This is one of the reasons that nudist settings are not suited for voyeurs, exhibitionists or paedophiles. They can’t hide their behaviour and are, naturally, expelled from the environment.
Talking of such behaviours, we need to be clear on a few definitions first, so we free the path to simple and plain nudity, in a simple and plain nudist setting. Then, we will focus on how to be our natural self among others, in a graceful and plain simplicity.
A Few Definitions
Nudists, like any group of like-minded people, tend to have their vocabulary. There’s nothing wrong with that unless you are not familiar with the group and the way it sees things, through its lens. Let’s briefly define a few words and their meaning in a nudist setting.
Nudism/Naturism. We encountered those two words at the beginning of the chapter. They define our “art de vivre”. The subtle differences in semantics hide the commonality with the two that is plain and simple nudity. Nudism and naturism are lifestyles that are founded on nudity, without any other meaning than being nude. Nudism and naturism are lifestyles that are founded on shared nudity, that is advocating being naked with each other, with no other intentions that just being naked. Nudism and naturism are family-friendly and advocate nudity among family members, despite gender and age. Nudism and naturism ignore nudity as being inherently sexual. They are not sexual lifestyles.
Nudist/Naturist. A nudist or a naturist is a nudism or naturism practitioner. A nudist or a naturist sees nudity as a state of being, natural and normal. A nudist or a naturist does not see nudity as inherently sexual, or as a state that leads to sexuality. A nudist or a naturist gets naked because he or she finds nudity comfortable and pleasant.
Textile/Textilist. A textile or a textilist is the opposite of a nudist or a naturist. A textile or a textilist does not see nudity as a natural or normal state. A textile or a textilist does equate nudity to sexuality. A textile or a textilist sees nudity as inherently sexual, or a state that leads to sexuality. A textile or a textilist does not get naked, outside his or her bathroom, because he or she finds nudity indecent and unpleasant.
Nude/Naked/Bare. Being nude, naked or bare is being without any clothing. The only clothing that can be worn, while the wearer is nude, naked or bare, are shoes and a hat. Jewellery does not count. You can be nude, naked or bare and not be a nudist/naturist. However, the moment you are embracing plain and simple nudity to carry out normal activities, alone or with others, you, de facto, become a nudist/naturist.
Exhibitionist/Exhibitionism. With exhibitionism, we enter the realm of sexual gratification. Exhibitionism is not naturism and naturism is not exhibitionism. An exhibitionist is somebody who obtains sexual gratification by exposing his or her body, particularly genitals, to other people who may not have given their consent. The medical field considers exhibitionism as a sexual disorder, or paraphilia, that may require psychotherapy.
Voyeur/Voyeurism. Like exhibitionism, voyeurism is a paraphilia. A voyeur obtains sexual excitement by watching unsuspecting people who are naked, disrobing or having sex. Naturism is not voyeurism and voyeurism is not naturism. We may find voyeurs in the nudist community, particularly on nude beaches. They are spotted quickly and asked to leave the premises. MDs consider voyeurism as a sexual disorder that may require psychotherapy.
Now that we have cleared a set of words revolving around nudism and nudity, you can get naked and enjoy plain and simple nudity. As we advocate in the book, nothing is wrong with being nude, alone or with others. Being nude does not carry any hidden meaning, sexual or not. When I undress at home after a long day at work or while driving to a nude beach or naturist resort, I do so because nudity feels good.
What does feel good mean, though? Once again, you should not overthink here. Let’s say you’re having a drink with friends, you should feel good, shouldn’t you? You’re playing with your kids, you should feel good, shouldn’t you? You’re doing an activity you love doing, for instance, playing board games or hiking, you should feel good, shouldn’t you? All these situations are pleasant and you feel good. There’s no hidden meaning to feeling good here. This is the same for a nudist when he or she’s nude. He or she feels good.
Being naked feels just good. The moment you reach that mindset, you can claim being a nudist, I think. But this also means that you are not attaching any meaning to your nudity. It’s just you, naked, for the comfort it creates. Time has come to get out of your closet and the confines of your home.
Enjoying nudity outside creates another level of comfort. The sun and wind on the bare skin can become a real addiction, with little to no side effect if you respect obvious rules to protect your skin. There are feeling of increased comfort and freedom when you are naked outside, on your balcony, in your garden or out in nature.
All nudist will tell you that being naked outside is what makes nudism unique and awesome. Of course, one of the first ideas that comes to mind when you step out is the fear of being seen. I will be addressing this concern in following chapters. In some countries, it may be illegal or considered illegal to be naked outside, and sometimes even inside, when being able to be seen from the outside. The first piece of advice here is to now the legality of nudity in your country. If simple nudity is legal, the second piece of advice is to learn, step by step, to answer questions about your nudity and to learn to be at ease with being seen while naked.
The more you go out naked, the more you will forget about the fear of being seen. The more you go out naked, the more nudity will feel normal and natural. Up to a point, that you will forget that you are naked.
Our modern society has transformed simple nudity into a sexual state. Becoming a nudist unties the knot between simple nudity and sexuality, as we have seen in the previous chapter. Hence, by becoming a nudist, your simple nudity becomes a normal state of being, unlinked to any other idea or meaning.
As I am naked most of the time I’m home, outside in the garden and in nature, I forget I’m naked. Nudity is my normal state of being. I do not view it as something I should be afraid or ashamed of. This goes to the limits that I can open the door to deliveries or greet my neighbour while being naked. I know that some people consider me as the weirdo nudist. I don’t care. I am not living through the eyes of others but in my skin.
If you practise nudism long enough with other nudists, you will quickly forget that you and others are naked. You are not seeing naked people, you are seeing people. You are not spotting flaws, scars or genitals, you are seeing people. Forgetting nudity is one of the most beautiful steps in your nudist journey. You are just who you are, your natural self.
Our Natural Self
Forgetting nudity is what I consider the ultimate step in embracing nudity and the nudist lifestyle. It’s the step that opens the door to who you are, without anything that hides you. As we will see in the next chapter, being physically naked leads to being psychologically naked.
Exposing our body exposes the mind. We will see in chapter 4, The end of shame, that shame plays a critical role in society. It’s a strong emotion used in many situations to create a form of dependency. Embracing nudity and our natural self contributes erasing body shame and to find our true self. I believe nudism is the ultimate equalizer.
When you discuss with nudists, most will tell you there are no social classes in nudism. On a nude beach, you may meet CEOs, workers, civil servants and private sector employees with the same love of plain and simple nudity. If this is somehow a cliché, it’s true that because nobody hides behind clothes, people will seem simpler, friendlier and open-minded.
I, personally, feel being my true self when I’m naked at a nude beach, at home or at a nudist resort. When I wear a piece of clothing, I’m playing a role that society wants me to play. My only way to “rebel” is to wear “rebel” clothing. I always feel better when I’m naked, even when I’m the only naked person, as it happens sometimes.
To close this chapter, I want to address the penultimate issues of labels. By claiming being a nudist, we label people. We are nudists, proud nudists, happy nudists, etc. However, if I am a proud nudist, I am more than anything else a proud human being, respecting myself, others and the environment to the best of my knowledge and abilities. Some people will refuse their nudity, I will respect this as long as they accept my choice of nudity. Some people will be only nudists in nudist settings like beaches and resorts, but not in nature or in their garden. I respect this as long as they respect my choice of nudity. Some people will respect nudity while staying clothed. I respect this. Being a nudist is not a label per se, as there are as many nudists as there are human beings. Everybody lives his or her nudism differently. Nudism is about self-awareness, respect, freedom and simplicity. It’s not a label, it’s a way of life, an “art de vivre”.
When people discover nudism, they are often positively surprised at how freeing it is and how it’s not at all what they imagined. Nudism is an incredible lifestyle, and embracing plain and simple nudity allows to enjoy its many benefits, as we are about to see in the next chapter.
Strip Nude, Stay Nude, Live Nude and Share the Nude Love!