When I started to engage in more nudist and naturist activities, a question kept popping in my head: should I ask if I can be naked when nudity could be an option? It was the case, for instance, at friends and family places over the summer when invited for a barbecue, or during holidays spent with friends or family.
Of course, I feared being wrongly judged and put in a box as a weirdo. I feared being cast away and losing some relationships. Then, I started to define simple strategies to open the nudism discussion. Here are few examples. When going to a beach, I would point out there was a nudist beach and asked if it were OK to go there. When spending time at a friend’s swimming pool, I started to ask if it were OK if I bathed naked. Slowly, I became comfortable sharing with others I was a nudist and preferred being naked when it was possible and was not causing any distress.
Over the years, I came up with five simple strategies to be and stay nude more often. Here they are.
1. Have a Thorough Discussion about nudism
Nudism suffers many prejudices and most textiles have a preconceived idea of what it is. Talking about nudism provides an opportunity to dispel myths and explain what nudism is. Many nudists don’t know how to start a conversation about nudism. Here are a few tactics I’m successfully using.
Use a pro-nudism article or a social network post you’ve read: “I’ve recently come across an article about nudism. It was quite interesting to dispel myths that surround nudism resorts and beaches. Have you ever tried nudism?” Those two simple sentences and question work like a charm as an ice breaker.
Use a nudist magazine: “There are many great articles in this magazine dedicated only to nudism. I also enjoyed the fact that pictures are of normal people and not super photoshopped models. Let me read you this particular article.” This can be a little bit more awkward, but it really works well and you get quicker to the fact that you’re a nudist.
Use a nudist book: “I’ve come across this book the other day. It’s very informative about what nudism is really. Would you want to read it?” This works like a charm with my last book Becoming a Nudist and the previous one Embracing Nudity. But you can use any book you like or have in your library (books on #naturism).
Using a prop, like an article, a magazine or a book, legitimises nudism and help to stir the conversation in the right direction. Having a discussion about nudism helps to ensure your interlocutor understands what you’re talking about and allows to answer questions he or she may have with the right aspect of what nudism is. Of course, it may not be easy conversation, at least at the start.
2. Overcome the Discomfort if the Conversation
I learned a leadership skill a few years ago, coined being comfortably uncomfortable. In other words, how to handle discomfort in the most comfortable way. Growth is only possible if you not only learn to become uncomfortable, but come to appreciate being uncomfortable. I have developed a simple approach to discomfort: something uncomfortable is a trigger for action. And this action matters to you. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t be uncomfortable.
Therefore, the only way to move from discomfort to comfort is to take action and have this conversation. In a vast majority of cases, the fear is only in your mind. The worst that may happen is people being surprised about you being a nudist. However, there are a few immediate benefits to going over your discomfort. First, your discussion partner knows now that you’re a nudist. Second, you’ve created an opportunity to educate a textile about nudism. Third, you overcame your fear and expanded your comfort zone.
You may hesitate as you think about possible retaliation. It’s true that some people are still seeing nudism as a bad thing and ostracise nudists. You need to weigh your options, although with friends and family, openness should be your preferred choice. Finally, some people will disagree with your choice and will not allow nudity in their presence. Those are times you need to compromise.
3. Find a Compromise but don’t Surrender
You can’t be naked all the time. It’s not only because of temperature or security, but because people you love and care about are not entirely comfortable with your nudity, and you’re fine with respecting them. Staying clothed in their presence is what I call a compromise. However, it’s not because you compromise that you need to surrender. What do I mean by this? Simply that if you really love nudism, you need to stay true to being a nudist.
The first aspect of nudism, in my opinion, is respect. Respect goes both ways. Hence, sometimes, you’ll have to respect the other party and keep your clothes on. However, compromising is also making the other party agree on time and place nudity is acceptable, for instance, at the pool. This means that uncomfortable discussions need to happen. Those discussions and compromises you’re seeking send a strong signal: you’re ready to find a balance but not at the expense of your wellbeing.
As a reader of this blog, you know that I’m a passionate nudist. I love nudism, I live nudism, I breathe nudism and I look for any possible opportunity to talk about and share nudism. Compromise is part of who I am, as is not surrendering. There have been many occasions where I had to push a little bit harder than usual, confront my fear of not being accepted or faced an unexpected resistance, but I stood strong and showed that my decision mattered. When nude time comes, nude time it is!
4. Make Time Nude Time
When you feel you need to be nude and you can, then be nude. In the previous paragraphs, I told not to surrender. Not surrendering is going forward on your decision to be naked event though there are some reluctance around. Let’s take an example to illustrate that point. Let’s imagine that you’ve decided to go to the beach with friends. One couple with a kid does not want to go to the nude beach because they are textiles and don’t want their child to see naked people. Of course, you can spend time convincing them, it may take long and you may fail.
The other option is to agree that for you going to the beach is going to the nude beach. However, since we all want to go together, we can go to the border of the nude beach so those who want to be naked will be, and the others will stay clothed. This does not solve the issue of the couple’s kid seeing naked people for sure, but the call is now in their hands, as you’ve compromised.
As I wrote, when time to be naked comes, just be naked. As I’m a time control freak, I even plan my nude time. Look at my post How to Set Nude Year Resolutions That Work. Nudism is a life category for me, as are professional, fitness, financial and personal. Hence, I set nudist objectives and key results to reach. One of them is called Nude Days. The result to achieve is set at 20 days per quarter. A nude day is measured as being nude for at least 22 hours. As of writing this post, I’m late on this objective, being at 37 days, when I should be above 40. This pushes me to find new opportunities in the coming weeks to be naked. I told you, I’m passionate about nudism. Nude time is critical for my mental and physical health.
5. Behave Naturally
The last aspect about nudism, particularly with textiles, is to behave naturally. Being an accepted nudist is not making a difference between being clothed or being naked. Being an accepted nudist is not changing whom you are whether clothed or naked. Being an accepted nudist is doing everyday activities in the nude, normally, naturally.
There should not be a difference between your behaviour clothed or nude. For many people, this is puzzling. How could you behave normally when you’re entirely naked? Shouldn’t you be aroused when naked? Well, if you disassociate nudity and sexuality, as they should be, nudity becomes a totally natural way of being. This is why it’s important to behave naturally when naked: it sends a signal to others that nudity and sexuality are two different things. I wrote a lot about sexuality and nudism, particularly in my book Becoming a Nudist. Decoupling the two leads to understanding nudism and social nudity, but more importantly to be able to rip the many benefits of nudism.
Of course, even when behaving naturally naked, a lot of people will be surprised to the least or shocked to the worst by your nudity. If you stay calm and smiling, they won’t have much to say and their surprise, shock or anger will vanish. Anger only fuels on anger. When encounters like that happen, I tend to cover up to cool down the conversation. Respect and making one stop towards the other party. This avoids unnecessary escalation. In all cases, stay strong, stay calm, and smile!
Hooray! You’ve reached the point of being accepted as a nudist. I know it’s a long journey, but nudism is a journey, not a destination. It’s a rewarding journey, though. For all those years, I’ve not regretted one single moment of nudity, even when I was confronted by angry passersby and started a conversation about nudity and it’s normality. I met wonderful people who share my views in almost every corner of the world. Nudism is universal. I wish you a wonderful time nude, alone and with others, in this amazing simplicity and comfort!
Strip Naked, Stay Naked, Live Naked and Share the Naked Love!
Do you want to know more about nudism? I’ve written books about it that can be purchased on Amazon, in digital and paper format. They are great to learn more about nudism, as well as gifts for textiles and other nudists. Purchasing one (or many) help me run this site and fund initiatives to develop naturism and nudism. Thank you!