Growing Up in a Naked House
There are times when I wish that I grew up as part of a naturist family, who knows how my life would have turned out. Caroline O’Donoghue did and wrote an article for The Pool, listing being comfortable in her own skin as an advantage, but then going on to tell how other family members would do a gentle ‘courtesy’ knock before entering a room, assuming they bothered in the first place. Overall though, the impression given is that O’Donoghue is pleased that she grew up in a nude-friendly household. So much so, O’Donoghue wrote: “…if I’m in a bikini, or in a tiny dress, I feel self-conscious; if I’m nude, I’m delighted with life. Who cares if the people in the opposite apartment can see? I don’t know them! Sure, it’s only a nipple!” While her friend Jen, another frequent visitor to naturist beaches, said: “When a woman is naked, she’s just a woman. When she puts on a bikini, she becomes a product.” I hope I’m not being presumptuous, but surely that can be true of men too, when they put on their Speedo swimming trunks?
Changing Room Lessons
If I had lived in a nude-friendly house then maybe I wouldn’t have gone crashing down to the floor. Let me explain. The changing room for the school gym was communal, just benches with clothes hooks above; a changing room for each gender (we only had two genders in the 1970s). Suddenly the changing room door swung open and the noise the two girls who opened it made was a mixture of laughter and screams. You see, I was in the middle of pulling up my underpants. With the garment in its proper place, I moved quickly the door to slam it shut, only to have my foot slide from under me on the wet floor. Somehow I managed to close the door and got up just as Mr Davis, the PE teacher, walked in through that same door, asking what was all the noise for. We explained and he rolled his eyes. All this could have only taken a minute or so, but it seemed like ages at the time. Later, I learned that a friend had not long left the shower and still been naked when the door was swung open by the girls, and he chose to continue towel drying himself. What else could he do? After a bit of thinking, I wished I could have been that cool.
That is my version of the attitude changing events that Canadian professional tri-althlete, Sarah Kim Bonner went through when she competed in Europe. Bonner described how people would do a strange ‘dance’ in North American changing rooms as they changed clothes under towels, or found somewhere a bit more private. In Europe however, she saw plenty of bare bums as competitors changed in the street after a bike race, or were less coy in changing rooms. What she learned while in Europe hasn’t totally cured her of body insecurities, but Bonner learned that she can control them and whatever her body might look like, its normal.
Defining what is normal is the subject of a well written post for Clothing Optional Trips by an unnamed US blogger and posited that it might be better if all beaches had a clothing optional section. It is based on the unreal versus the real, between the likes of The Kardashians and the likes of you me. Naturally we agree, there should be more clothes optional places, where people can choose to be either adorned or unadorned, or where the two can mix if they want to. Yet, despite the logic of his arguments that such beaches could improve how people perceive their body’s image, is this an argument that would persuade public authorities, either in the UK or the US, to allocate beaches or parts of beaches to nudists? It’s doubtful as the argument put forward is a bit… well fluffy for a politician of any hue to take in, and will… quite frankly ignore.
True, even naturists vote but how often do people link their clothes free lifestyle to politics? We need to talk a different language, one politicians and business people understand, and one they cannot ignore.
Organised naturism began with clubs but for some reason they don’t seem to have to be favoured anymore, at least not in the UK for a variety of reasons. Yet, according to an article in Nu et Heureux clubs are ideal places for new naturists to venture out in “public” for the first time, it being a “controlled” setting. Let’s face it, stripping off on a beach is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ with some people (in particular women) concerned about voyeurs hiding in the bushes or looking down from a nearby clifftop. In truth, it much more likely to be the fear of voyeurs than their actual existence. For similar reasons, clubs could be good places for nervous young families too, because of their secure environments. The only issue is the negative impression that naturist clubs have in the UK, even so if you’re new or an old hand put off by the stories you’ve been told, isn’t it time you took another look? You can learn where your nearest club is by visiting the ABNC website.
Just a quick reminder that the NAG has a photo competition with a prize worth up to £1,000. Just go to our dedicated website to enter, not forgetting the appropriate model release form. With a price of just £10 for the first three images, and £3.50 for each image above that, its pretty good value for money too. Well, I would say that wouldn’t I, but apart from donations this is our only means of income your participation is not only welcome, it’s vital.