Social nudity is not for everyone, but only because most people cannot imagine taking their clothes off in a group setting. Many believe social nudity is abnormal, immoral or perverted. Many automatically associate nudity with sex, therefore those who participate in social nudity must be sex addicts, exhibitionist and voyeurs. Of course nothing is further from the truth.
People have negative views about social nudity because they have been taught from an early age that the human body is shameful, that it’s wrong to expose your body to anyone other than your spouse, and some people are reluctant to do even that. They’ve been influenced by their parents, the media, religion and government. Except for the minority that have listened to their instincts, that recognize the human body is a wonderful creation that should be enjoyed and celebrated, most people have developed mindsets that will never allow them to see social nudity as a joyful, enlightening experience.
If you had grown up in a home where your parents had no reservations about walking around the house nude, you would have done the same thing. You would have grown up believing nudity is natural and that there are circumstances where there is no reason to wear clothes. When you noticed your father’s penis was bigger, you would have assumed yours would be too when you are older, just like the rest of the body. When you were old enough to be curious about pubic hair, your mother would have told you it’s part of being an adult. You would have grown up wondering why anyone would think the human body is shameful. You wouldn’t understand why anyone thinks there is something immoral about not wearing clothes.
So the fact is social nudity is indeed for everyone. The only reason so many disagree is because of what they were taught growing up. Children simply are not ashamed of their bodies; they are taught their bodies are shameful. It’s the same doctrine as religion. If you were born and raised in Israel, you will almost certainly believe in the Jewish faith; in the Middle East you will believe in the Muslim faith; in a Catholic household you will believe in the Catholic faith; that is if you believe in any religion at all. In a household that rejects nudity, you will grow up believing social nudity is immoral.
Here a dad is spending time with his daughters. They’ve seen him and their mother nude since their earliest memory. Their nudity is incidental. They are likely a more closely bonded family because all the barriers between them have been removed.
Perhaps, even if you have been raised to believe nudity is immoral, you have a secret desire to find out what social nudity is all about. Perhaps you’re wondering if you are brave enough to try it and are wondering how. The following essay tells us how one lady in California went about it.
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“There is a workshop at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. They have two areas where clothing is optional — the swimming pool and around the natural hot tubs. I think clothing is optional down on the edge of the ocean, as well.
I grew up in New England, home of the Puritans. Nudity was not something I saw growing up in my family or anywhere else, really. It was not something I was used to.
But I believed that the body should not be an object of shame. I believed there was no reason in particular, other than social convention, that we should have to remain clothed for modesty’s sake. The notion of nudity being non-modest per se never made much sense to me. It’s just convention, and convention can be changed if you are in a group that holds to a different convention.
At Esalen, nudity is perfectly acceptable. But it isn’t required. What I found was that after spending a day in an intense workshop with people, that going to the hot tubs showed me yet another side of people.
When clothes came off, so did any remaining barriers between us. People became more open when their clothes were off. Somehow, they seemed more like themselves. They could say the things they wanted to. They seemed more honest. More friendly and loving. The conversations in the nude were more like conversations that some people seem to need drugs to have. It wasn’t so much that inhibitions were lessened, although they did seem to be, but that it was the kind on inhibitions — not about sex, but about being forthcoming and authentic. As I said, people seemed more like themselves.
I also found my judgments about bodies slipping away. Sure, I noticed the elderly woman was carrying a lot of weight, but it didn’t matter. We weren’t competing on looks. We weren’t competing at all. We were just sharing ourselves openly. It seemed to me that being naked had a lot to do with that. Without our clothes as our false fronts, we were simply ourselves. The symbolic lack of semblance turned into a real openness.
Being nude with other people is a process. At first, your mind will be running crazy. Can I really do this? What will people think? All those self-conscious thoughts.
But after a while, when you see everyone else is nude and no one else is hurting you for it, you start to relax. Then, in the hot water with the beautiful ocean and surrounded by authentic people, you start to really let go of your need to pretend. To act like your clothes are you. You start being able to be yourself.
I would give into the process as best you can, but also trust that these things will happen, whether you are ready for them or not. The nudity itself will almost require that you open up. It almost forces you to feel safe. This probably sounds a little ridiculous, but that was my experience, and the experience of others I spoke with.Pin It
Have you gotten a little thicker around the middle, maybe a lot thicker? Are your hips too wide or is your butt too big? Do you have a few wrinkles here and there? Are your breasts too small, or are they large and sagging? Is your pubic area too hairy or are your labia protruding? Well, since you are very much like most women, you are a perfect candidate for nude socializing.
Or maybe you have always taken care of yourself. You walk, jog and exercise. You always watch calories and eat the right foods. If you are young, you now and then turn heads. If you are older, you may have a few stretch marks, or a scar from your cesarean incision, or you may have a few a few wrinkles or varicose veins. You still look pretty good for your age, but no one ever sees just how beautiful you are, nor do you see them.
You grew up in a home where everyone always wore clothes. Since then you have lived in a society that has subtly and overtly convinced you the human body is shameful and must never be exposed, not so much as a nipple and certainly not the private parts between your legs. It’s time to think all of this through. It’s time to let go of all those inhibitions and get out of your clothes.
I was fortunate enough to come across this piece on social nudity that was written by a woman. I don’t think she would mind if I share it with you.
By Heather F.
How do you feel about your body? If you’re like the overwhelming majority of people in American society, then you probably would use some of the following statements to describe yourself: I’m too fat, too skinny, too big, too small, not muscular enough. The bottom line is you’re not happy with how you look.
Unfortunately, these statements about our bodies are all too often commonly held views in not only the overwhelming majority of American society, but increasingly in other societies where a diversity of body types, shapes and sizes are often celebrated. These views stem partly from a steady diet of images on TV and in the magazines that we read where bodies are always in “perfect shape.” We are told and made to believe that this is what we have to look like in order to be accepted, to be beautiful or handsome. While many of us acknowledge that we could never achieve this model of “perfection” we still act as if we can attain perfection, if only we’d try harder. Sadly, we have as a society become so paranoid and obsessive about our looks and our bodies that we don’t know whether to hide it or show it off, to be proud of it or to be ashamed of it. So just what are the factors that affect our acceptance of our bodies, what is body acceptance, and why is it so important, and how is body acceptance linked to naturism.
When I first met my husband, George, back in 1998, it would be more than accurate to say that I struggled with the way I looked. The first three lines of this page would describe me perfectly back then. I struggled with acceptance of my body and by extension myself for multiple reasons. First and foremost I saw all these women and girls around me on TV and in the magazines I read and looked at that looked like models. 5’8” to 5’11”, 110 to 115 pounds, large breasts, small hips and waist, and a tight little butt; everyone around me, the other girls at school, the characters in the programs I watched on TV, and even society as a whole held – and still holds – these images up as what I had to look like to be beautiful, to get a guy, to be one of the popular girls.
Then there was the teasing, the snide comments and remarks about my appearance and my body by my family and some of my so-called friends. Combine these things together and it’s no wonder I was struggling with body acceptance, or that females in general have such problems with body acceptance.
However, these problems are not just limited to females; males struggle with this too. Many males (writing with my husband’s help here for the male’s view) feel that they have to be muscular, thin, and without an inch of Continue readingPin It
It’s a freedom many will never experience, getting out of your clothes and hiking through the wilderness with a group of like-minded people. Watch the film, imagine yourself with them, feel the exhilaration of sharing yourself with nature.Pin It