Hi! Welcome to my message board! Use it to contact me or others or to post questions and share ideas and experiences. The topic should always be related to nudism / naturism. Feel free to respond to posts from others in a respectful way if you have something helpful or meaningful to contribute. Let's keep it light, lively, and most of all, fun! Thanks!
So.... Lots of interesting discussion since I last felt motivated to join in. I try to add something of value. I'm not always successful but, hey, nothing ventured...
"Recently", from my perspective, Sunny and Unlikely shared stories involving the reaction of mature parents' discovery of their adult children's nudism/naturism. Those reactions are quite normal and understandable. What follows is in NO way a negative judgement of those reactions.
Rather, I couldn't help but think of my parents and wanted to put in a good word for them. This is probably a repeat from previous posts buried waayyy back in other threads, but why not...
I don't think it jeopardizes my anonymity to say that I come from a Wisconsin German Lutheran heritage. Starting in the 1950's. No shortage of those folks, right?!
At any rate, my parents were in no way "nudists". I never saw my mom in less than a summer nightgown. And usually with a wrap she called a house coat. My dad, brother, and I were nude around bath time on a regular basis of course. And there were the usual open showers at the campgrounds we visited in the 50's and 60's. And group showers after gym class started for me in the 5th grade.
But interestingly, I was never forced to be dressed or shamed for being nude around the house. I recently confirmed that this was also true for my (older) brother. We didn't have a pool, but I remember running through the sprinkler naked as a very young boy. Later, doing something outside involving water in a swimsuit, I was told to take the suit off in the basement laundry area, which obviously meant a nude trip upstairs to dress. A heat wave when I was about 13 (no air conditioning in that house other than a window unit in my parents' room) caused my mom to tell me to sleep in the nude if I wanted to. Proof that you don't ALWAYS have to tell a teenage boy something twice!
My dad was quite artistic in his own way. There were coffee table books of fine art, especially from the Renaissance. No shortage of nudity of course, accepted as a legitimate part of Life and Art. Certainly satisfying to my adolescent curiosity, but also establishing a standard of lack of shame regarding the human body.
In high school, different house, my mom didn't want sweaty clothes in the laundry hamper above the washer. So even though the "chute" was in my room, she had me get undressed in the laundry room when I came in from mowing the lawn. With the predictable nude trip upstairs to shower and dress, with a stop on the way for something to drink in the kitchen. In college years I figured out that the rear patio was invisible to the neighbors, and I was allowed a few all-over tanning sessions.
There are more anecdotal examples, but I think you get the picture. By the 1980's, in their retirement on Lake Lanier in Georgia, the same leave your sweaty clothes in the laundry room revealed my all-over tan, resulting in a smile or "nice tan" compliment.
So, anonymous as they will remain, at least I can give them this much "credit" for a growing-up experience free from body shame.
After I finished something seemed missing. Then I remembered.
Another common theme in many recent (and not so recent) threads is the concept of "first time" experiences. BeachBunny writes so prolifically and eloquently about these. Thank you BB. It's not a one and done topic, and we always learn something new, so keep up the "good work".
And that's part of the larger context of my recognizing my parents' influence: I never had the more traditional first experiences with nude recreation, especially with others. At least not in the "is this o.k. or is it wrong" sense, or the "can I do this?/ am I really doing this?" sense. I grew up learning that nudity was a normal, natural, and GOOD thing at proper times and in proper places. So the only question in any given moment was one of time, place, and companion(s).
And this also explains my attitudes about being the only one nude, or in a minority of those nude among a clothed majority. Growing up, Mom was always clothed and Dad usually so. My being nude was never contingent upon any safety-in-numbers. So "Do you mind if I take off my suit" was a frequently asked question, and I must have had pretty good instincts as to when to ask, because the answer was always "go ahead"...
So once more, Thank you Mom and Dad, for a healthy relatively shame-free environment in my youth.
Thanks, Jim. Maybe there's something about Germans, even away from the FKK culture of Germany, that makes causal nudity more okay?
We know a somewhat older couple, both ethnically German, though the husband was born in America and the wife was born in Germany. They met when he was overseas in Germany. Like many young couples back then in Germany, they did the nude beach and nude sauna thing, including a visit to the English Gardens in Munich. For her, it was just a normal part of getting serious with a boyfriend to visit nude places together. For him — well, it was a much bigger step. Of course he loved it (what American guy in his early 20s would mind his girlfriend asking him to visit a nude beach?), but it was a much bigger deal for him to drop his swimsuit on the nude beach than it was for her to pull her T-shirt over her head and pull down her shorts while he watched her. He'd been surprised early in their dating life when his girlfriend walked around casually at home in a T-shirt with no bra with her parents around, and the surprise was much bigger when she explained to him, "They've seen me for years in saunas and at beaches with nothing at all. Why bother with an uncomfortable bra when I don't need it? I usually take it off right after I get home." That was how he first learned of her love for social nudity, and because she didn't know how he'd react, she was looking for a casual way to tell him she usually swam nude and always used saunas nude.
For him, going with her to nude beaches and nude saunas was difficult at first, but he understood that everybody else was nude, so "when in Germany, do what the Germans do." The most difficult "first time" experience for him was visiting the English Gardens in Munich and undressing in a public park where many people were nude, but not all. They visited with several other experienced nudist couples, but for him, undressing in a park that looked like any other city park, with lots of people strolling around, seemed very strange, and it was even stranger for him to walk around nude with his girlfriend and for her to interact with other people who were sometimes nude, sometimes not.
Their children are now young adults, both about the age their parents were when they met. They grew up with a "clothing casual" attitude at home, both in Germany and America. Even in America, they rarely paid much attention to covering up after showers and usually swam nude when they lived in places where they had a suitably concealed pool. When living in Germany for a few years and when visiting relatives later on, they were regulars at saunas and FKK beaches. The daughter, who I know better than the son, said she was especially grateful in Germany to realize it's perfectly normal to go to a nude beach or sauna with a German boyfriend. It helped her a lot with body confidence to have a realistic idea what people look like without their clothes, and to know she'll see some of her fellow students (not all but more than a few) without their clothes at some point.
I don't know the son well. He doesn't live around here but comes to visit his parents. This comment reminded me of him: