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!
Our niece, soon to be 17, passed her Missouri driver's test when she turned 16, got a Chevy Spark, and coming home from school had a wreck. She's okay and shopping for a replacement vehicle with a higher loan interest and higher insurance rate. Linda and I were talking about her future. We were not sure how her driver's education classes went, but she did take a short high school course in driving, and kept her "student driver" window sign. What few times Linda and she went driving in our Venza, the girl drove very well.
Today, Linda and I were discussing the girl's sex education. She does have a boy friend about a year older. Missouri does not require sex education in school. Some states in our country require "abstinence only" sex education. I cannot fathom how that would work, but we are imagining an "abstinence only" driver's education:
"First -- you get your license. Then you can borrow the car!"
If a parent (and what parent keeps up with the kids' skills today?) if a parent, let alone grandparent, watches the youngsters progress, standing by hoping that they understand exactly what we hope we understood back when we were younger, We are doing our kids a disservice turning all this education over to the state!
With autonomous vehicles, kids might be okay driving, but if we disallow statues that earlier generations studied, kids today might not be able to navigate the maze we are throwing in their way.
I expect to hear the disclaimers that nudity is NOT about sex, but I am getting ready for a discussion. Bring it on.
Hi, Beach Bunny:
We cannot ignore the elephant in the room if we keep on disregarding it. Almost everything we do is about sex -- except sex. Sex is about relationship, power, feelings, and sometimes, love.
Our group likes to discuss nudity as though it has nothing to do about sex, though with the position which each of us is embroidered to on this social fabric we live in, we need to be aware of each other and where they are lurking, and how they are doing, and what they are thinking about us.
Social nudity, gardening in our backyard, naturism in acceptable locations, and any kind of uncovering, can be harmless, but if we foist our nakedness onto others without warning, they might be offended.
Now the sex education, nakedness notwithstanding. Linda and I believe that IF -- IF we had it to do over (none of us do) but if we faced child rearing once again, we would have handled our son and our daughter more effectively.
We believe so . . .
As parents, as teachers in our schools (Linda's a retired art teacher in an elementary school) as neighbors, etc., we all are somewhat responsible for the children in our life.
If we cannot discuss situations -- we don't need to demonstrate 'em -- all we need to do is discuss, if we can. If we cannot discuss situations where being unclothed briefly is harmless, and how to handle those situations, we will not graduate to the next level of living naturism.
I agree with the Florida situation being unnecessarily out of control. Perhaps there was too much surprise and not enough discussion, although, if people can't think about social nudity, naturism, or even harmless, brief encounters without any intention of "foisting" our lifestyle onto someone else, Law takes over.
We need to be able to talk. If no one listens, we can't talk, and if we can't talk, we can't show what we believe.
I gotta go collect my thoughts. I'll be back.
When a new driver gets behind the wheel, s/he is not thinking, "Okay. Now, I am in a Sherman Tank. The world better watch out." but rather, "Oh -- gosh -- how do you keep this thing in control? Is this even safe?"
Parents, educators, and state revenue offices (some states do have a Department of Motor Vehicles, but here in Missouri, it's the Department of Revenue) All these people, parents, educators, and governments want drivers to be safe! Drivers and pedestrians to be able to co-exist.
Naturism tendencies notwithstanding, any time our society allows youngsters to get together, we want them to be able to handle, not bungle, the changing circumstances, so we offer sex education.
Ideally, this involves accurate information.
Somehow the American idea of nakedness is seen as something hazardous. Seeing is harmless, but governments and our current culture treat brief exposure as a danger, or a gateway behavior to danger, often to the point of refusing even to discuss it. We are not permitted to mingle without proper armor.
What do we do when an inexperienced driver asks for advice? When a newbie asks me for encouragement, I don't try to squelch them for thinking.
Thanks, VeryGary. I showed your post to my husband, and to friends at the cottage (weather was great so we spent time up there), and to our college friends, who saw your Saturday post while they were still enjoying the beaches on spring break and your Monday post after they got back.
We think we understand your point is we already give young people drivers' education so they don't wreck their cars or their lives, so should give them sex education so they don't wreck their bodies or their lives, but rather (as with driving) learn to enjoy themselves while remaining safe and using things the right way, as they were designed to be used, to get people where they should be going.
The problem is unlike drivers' education, not everybody agrees on the rules for intimate relationships or where people should be going or the right route to get there. Our friends Zilin and Meirong got me and my husband involved because Katie and Rob are strongly committed to "save it for later," meaning marriage. That's increasingly unusual for college students.
How are we trying to educate our friends on social nudity? As you correctly point out:
It's harder for working professionals to rearrange schedules than college students. Since we wanted to commit to a meeting before Katie got cold feet and backed out, we ended up meeting in my town rather than near her campus. Katie preferred that since nobody would know her, and if we met near their campus, she was afraid someone would overhear a discussion about nudism and gossip about her. Also, she and Rob could have a long private talk in the car driving to our town and driving back.
When Katie makes up her mind to do something she doesn't delay. Just a few days later on a Monday evening, my husband and I left our offices and found ourselves sitting in a booth near the back of a coffee shop near his office. We met after the post-work crowd had picked up their coffee and bagels or pastries to take home so the coffee shop was mostly empty, especially the back where we were sitting.
Not long after we arrived, we saw Rob, dressed in a nice "business casual" outfit of slacks and an open collar shirt, open the door for Katie, who as usual was dressed great: a pearl-colored well-fitted V-neck blouse, paired with black low-heeled shoes and a gray skirt that came just below her knees and accented the legs she worked hard to keep toned with regular cycling. Right behind were Meirong and her husband, followed by Zilin and her boyfriend, all in designer jeans except Zilin with a denim skirt, the men with button-down shirts that could have been business casual without the jeans and the women wearing nice blouses. Zilin wore heels as usual, but Meirong had flats and the men wore casual shoes.
Our town doesn't have many minorities so five nicely-dressed Asians walking in attracted notice. The waitress, likely expecting a nice tip, came to take our orders which we quickly gave her (Katie had already checked the online menu so all knew what they wanted) and then we got down to talking.
Katie surprised me and my husband by telling us she was far closer to trying social nudity than she'd let on. She said last week after I left the cottage, she had a serious talk with Zilin and Meirong. She had almost taken the cottage owner up on her offer to stay overnight, skip Friday classes, call Rob to join her on Friday morning to spend the day nude together when they could have the cottage and pool and hot tub all to themselves for swimming and suntanning and learning to enjoy spending time together nude, and then stay for the weekend when lots of others would arrive Friday night for the weekend's events. Katie said she and Rob were seriously tempted and might have done it if it weren't for plans to have a nude party that weekend at the cottage run by the cottage owners' adult daughter that would be more risque than most events. Zilin said she'd attended previous parties hosted by the owners' daughter and it wouldn't be a good weekend for a first-timer. Zilin wasn't comfortable with the “nightclub and dancing” atmosphere and was sure Katie wouldn't like it.
That opened the door to Katie reminding us why she wanted to talk to me and my husband with largely shared values, values Meirong only partly shares and that Zilin and her mother have largely rejected. Getting involved in social nudity was much easier for Zilin, whose mother had nude beach experience in Europe while working as a flight attendant, and while Meirong's values are more traditional, she and her husband married after they went much farther one night than they had intended, and after a scary wait of several weeks, were sure the test results were right and she wasn't pregnant.
I don't know how to say this without offending both the "looser" and the "stricter" kind of nudists, but huge numbers of young people break free from parental rules once they are living in college dorms or an off-campus apartment and make bad decisions they later regret. Statistics show about half of college freshmen come to campus as virgins but the percentages drop off quickly.
The response of too many in the "traditional values" community is to make all sorts of rules to downplay or even deny physical attraction between young people, which often turns into telling women what kind of clothes they can wear, telling dating couples not to spend time alone together, and restricting them from going to the places where most of their college friends are meeting each other. Yeah, nightclubs, bars and similar places can be full of people looking for a hookup, not a relationship. But what is wrong with doing in college what many of us did in high school, with boys and girls enjoying swimming together since it allows them to see much more of each other?
Hey VeryGary and BeachBunny, et al.
It will be fun to see where this conversation goes.
So I had a thought. I'll postulate that sex is the gorilla in the room. The elephant is sin.
We were created to be nude. Adam and Eve were "naked and unashamed". Sin corrupted that of course. We don't live in the Garden of Eden anymore. Most of us need clothes most of the time.
I think I can safely generalize that many/most of us here subscribe to the notion that the "fall" didn't render our bodies shameful, especially to the One who made them. Nudity is not in itself sinful- shameful, indecent, you name it. But that's where the elephant comes in. There are now temptations to misuse it.
So, yeah, social nudity, family nudity, dating nudity, marriage nudity- et cetera- all have at least the potential for a "sexual" component. And that can be a positive thing just as often as a negative. As BeachBunny regularly reminds us, we're CREATED to enjoy seeing each other. That enjoyment does NOT automatically result in lustful, adulterous, you-get-the-idea behavior. They have fun, not orgies, at the lake cottage.
I guess that will do for now....
Hi, Group (BeachBunny, Jim, and others)
I'm a barefooter and a nudist. Barefooting is a bit more acceptable though there are times and places where it's not allowed. Nudity is okay, but one must keep it hidden, even secret, and sometimes, not even discuss it.
We have visitors who say that they don't mind that my wife and I live naked around our house and back yard, but they choke on the perception of us actually living that way. Until a person can accept the idea, it's still a crime.
We teach young drivers how to drive, but that involves their accepting the possibility. How often are children instructed -- even ordered -- to put shoes on before they go outside? Nudity is an outrageous subject. Often we can't even talk about the possibility because others will not listen.
It requires acceptance and then practice.
VeryGary, I have some extra free time today. So I have the luxury of responding sooner than much later, as is often the case.
Of course we're on the same page, in a broad sense. I'm perplexed and/or saddened by what seems to be a history of very negative feedback on your nudism. I'm curious about specific instances that you might feel comfortable sharing.
Of course I've been careful/selective about with whom I've revealed my inclinations to over the decades, but I've told enough stories here to convey that many of my feedback was surprisingly positive. I wish that you could visit with a friend of mine who is the most non-nudist person you could ever meet, who nonetheless is 100% understanding of the freedom that we choose to enjoy. Let me put it this way: if she was your one neighbor, and your backyard was not completely screened from view of her house/yard, she would tell you to be yourselves, enjoy yourselves in your yard, and not worry about her, because your nude bodies are not in and of themselves offensive, it's your yard, and any way she doesn't have to look. I'll hold back on the specifics, but she's as much as told me that very thing.
I wish that you COULD be more open about who you are with people that you apparently want to really know you.
Please answer this specifically: can you NOT say that if you lose them as friends, they weren't very good friends?
Have I been unusually blessed with a sympathetic audience?
This is Springfield, Missouri, the Bible Belt Buckle of America, and I really feel that our town is generally apprehensive of deviants.
The house next door has a hydrant in front and our house had one in the back, so the single mother, empty nester, and I traded faucets. I hooked up a hose to hers when I needed water in front and she used ours in back for her backyard. Several times she happened upon me sunning on our back deck, and assured me that she was okay with that.
A new single mother with three children, ages 6, 8, and 11, now lives next door, so my wife suggested not even mentioning that I work back there naked. The 3 kids have swum in our backyard pool, but we are careful now not to divulge anything until we get better acquainted. The byline today is “Think of the children’”
Linda’s a retired elementary school art teacher, and most of her friends accept the idea, but not the practice. Linda also has a sister, who has told us that we better not ever let her catch us “indecent.”
I just turned 81, and any deviance could be read as senility, so I have become cautious about broadcasting that we are nudists. My barometer is our barefooting; if visitors are aghast at that, we won’t scare them with more details. One guy across the street told me that he would have to report me if he ever found out for sure.
To answer your pointed questions: If friends were no longer friends, we would still be okay.
You may not have had a more sympathetic audience, though I may have decided to be a nudist too late. I was 68 that Saturday the 9th of July I realized that I did not need shoes or clothes.
Thanks VeryGary. My friend is also in Missouri. I told her about our conversation. She validated what I told you she would say if she was your neighbor. She suggested the Bible Belt influence. We both sympathize with you. Turn you in? For thinking thoughts, and doing things in private?! Wow.
Yeah, I think I had a more sympathetic audience in the Upper Midwest. Be very careful with the neighbor with children. Armed robbery isn't a crime in New York City as long as you don't fire the gun, I hear. Be 81 years old and have a child get an accidental glimpse, and your life could be effectively over. My ex wife would have turned you in, no doubt about that.
You have our sympathy.
I read an encounter with a woman and a marriage counselor (martyklein.com) where the woman asked what she should do about her 5-year-old daughter – she had caught the girl “playing doctor.”
The mother seriously wanted advice on how to handle the situation, but Dr. Klein would not advise her to reprimand or punish the child. Apparently the two kids were playing with each other, and the counselor asked for clarification: “...as with her vulva?
The mother did not know what to say but the he waited until she responded. Finally the mother reminded him, “They’re only five years old!”
“What do you want to do – wait until she’s ten? Or fifteen?”
This reminded me of Katie’s predicament (BeachBunny’s post, April 6) when she had to call Rob to say, “We need to talk.” If kids don’t learn how to drive at a younger age, they will have more difficulty later. Understandably, earlier learning will not hold any significance to the social world they try to navigate, though children are better able to fathom the difference between real and imagined dangers with something besides Abstinence Only Education.
It won’t be impossible, but it will be harder.
At that age, it's a completely innocent curiosity. You just to take them aside and have a conversation about privacy and touching. If "playing doctor" is just undressing and looking at each other, then it's even easier. You just talk about where and with who we take our clothes off, assuming there was any problem with the situation, like perhaps with a friend who's parents don't approve. As far as the rest of it, driving or sex ed, I strongly believe that parents need to get out in front of it.
We had the basic birds and bees talk with the kids at age 8 (consent and inappropriate touching were much earlier). It's a nice age because they haven't learned to be embarrassed talking to parents and really take what you have to say to heart, yet are perfectly capable of understanding both the basic biology and the morality involved. We discussed things like STDs and contraception about a year or two later. Earlier if questions came up.
When they finally covered it in school, it was supplemental and a chance to ask questions of someone other than us.
You continue to follow up with more age approriate versions, branching out into relationships, dating ettiquette, how to handle temptation or pressure, etc... Ideally all their lives if they trust you enough to seek your advice.
Thanks DipperDave for weighing in. I myself have lived only in the middle of the USA, so I really cannot comment on the Swedish model or the European method, although it really does appear that the melting pot of civilization we have here is scared to death of the subject of sex.
Is it the mix of religions, the protective stance we assume so that strangers we didn’t grow up with won’t see us, or maybe the inevitable privacy afforded by affluence?
Maybe Oscar Wilde isn’t a good example, but I appreciate his idea that “Democracy is bludgeoning of people, by people, for people.” That is almost the kind of rule we have imposed on each other.
Unlike you, I did not – Linda and I did not really educate our son and daughter about the facts of life. All we did was answer their questions. If a child asks a pointed question, s/he should be given a pointed answer. Both of us felt that maybe we should have been proactive.
It is an experiment!
I appreciated your point about letting them go for a “second opinion” when you said that school was supplemental and afforded your children to educators other than their parents, and then your final thought that it is continuing education, if they trust us enough to seek our advice.
It is such a regimen of continuity that I myself am still learning about it, though we must admit that neither my wife nor me are what we used to be!
Our kids need to be able to come to us as crucially as husband and wife need to go to each other. The formula for living has to be figured out, but everybody can use a few hints. And applause.
I need to admit that teaching a youngster how to drive involves more behavior than technique. When we turn a driver loose on the streets, in addition to necessary basic driving procedures, the new driver needs to learn manners. Linda and I were not nudists at the time, so nudity notwithstanding, we showed mostly by example, how to conduct ourselves around the opposex..
Okay – okay – young learners still need to understand how the equipment works. I am looking at the many different states in the United States which allow different sex education methods. I’ve looked at a few different driver’s education programs around, and none of them suggest “abstinence only driver’s education.” Most states intend for drivers to learn how to drive!
We mention that the internet is a “terrible place to go looking for answers.” I would admit that those answers can work – can be made to work – if a new driver and a parent review those examples together. Let youngsters acquire their temperament and sentiment from the internet, from peers, from school, and from experienced drivers.
In that same way, sex should be taught. Show the equipment, explain the procedure, recommend the protections and cautions, and answer the questions. Don’t hedge. These are students of life and do not want to be bewildered.
There will be test questions, and we want them to be able to answer correctly!
Thanks for your comments, Jim and VeryGary. Jim's right — the "elephant or gorilla in the room" is sex and sin. Many nudists avoid ANY discussion that social nudity might be even slightly related to sexuality. Especially older people and the resort crowd, who can be more prudish than the people VeryGary talks about.
When I ask people who act like that how they first got involved in social nudity, sometimes the husband was raised in a nudist or nude-friendly family and talked his wife or girlfriend into joining him. He brings up "nude prude" expectations he was raised with when inviting his girlfriend or wife to try social nudity together. "Honey, it's not what you think. The resort really isn't about sex, it's about enjoying the freedom of swimming and suntanning without a swimsuit." That's true, but...
Sometimes a young or middle-age married couple found out about a nude beach while vacationing, tried it, and got hooked. I feel married couples experience social nudity differently from singles or dating couples. A husband learns what it's like to see nude women other than his wife, and a wife experiences men other than her husband seeing her nude (and learns to accept her own physical attraction to nude men other than her husband). It may be their first time in years or even decades being nude with someone other than their spouse. Jealousy by both husbands and wives, and mental struggles for a married woman accepting it's okay for her husband to enjoy seeing a nude woman other than her, and for that wife accepting that it's okay for her to enjoy a man looking at her nude body, and for her to enjoy seeing a nude man — it's not easy. They may claim social nudity has nothing to do with physical attraction rather than accepting that it's normal, natural and healthy for men and woman to be attracted to each other. I expect men will be attracted to me when I wear a nice dress at work, but that doesn't mean jumping in bed with them. Why should it be different at a nude beach when friends take off their swimsuits?
What I hear more often is that back when the "nude prude" couple were dating but not yet married, they went to a nude beach together or skinnydipped together in a secluded creek or lake or a private pool with a group of friends who wanted to see each other naked. Maybe friends were swimming or hot tubbing and someone dared someone else to take off their swimsuit and before long the friends found out they really liked seeing each other nude. People who get involved in social nudity at a younger age before marriage go to nude beaches for the same reason most young couples go to textile beaches: they're excited about seeing their friends wearing a lot less, and not only their boyfriend or girlfriend but other friends. We're kidding ourselves if we think that excitement has nothing to do with physical attraction. The point is we're not animals, we can control ourselves, and we don't jump into bed with everyone we think is cute.
What changed for these "nudist prudes"? I feel many young couples who get involved in social nudity seek out likeminded friends from whom they don't need to hide a big part of their lives. They may join a resort where they don't need to worry about jerks with a camera on the beach getting them fired. Also, after marriage, at resorts they don't need to worry about safety for their families.
What I try to tell "nudist prude" people is after being nudists for years or even decades, they're attacking the things that got them interested in social nudity — the natural, normal, and healthy attraction young people have for each other.
As for sin, most people I knew when I first got involved in social nudity didn't think about that. Nearly all my male college friends and most of my female friends were sleeping with someone, or had in the past. Some (usually women) had serious regrets and wished they'd waited, and some of those women were the ones who were the most worried about me and my boyfriend regularly visiting the nude beach.
Part of what I like about this message board is we mostly share common values here, unlike many nudists, especially younger nudists. Meirong and Zilin got me involved with their friends Katie and Rob because unlike Meirong and Zilin, whose worries about nudity are mostly cultural fears of shaming their families, Katie (also ethnically Chinese) is actively involved in a Chinese church and she and her boyfriend are both seriously committed to "save it for later." Especially for Meirong, she realized the only way Katie would ever agree to try social nudity would be if someone like me, who isn't Asian, could convince Katie that there would be very little difference between her feelings when Rob sees her in a bikini and her feelings when Rob drops his shorts and she unties her bikini. It's only a few inches of thin fabric.
Let's start with a fun article from the New York Times last weekend, definitely a respectable paper and not a scandal sheet, about social nudity being part of the dating for a couple in Berlin: "After the Nude Spa, They Knew Their Relationship Had Shifted" https://www.nytimesn7cgmftshazwhfgzm37qxb44r64ytbb2dj3x62d2lljsciiyd.onion/2023/04/28/style/simon-halliday-michelle-bryant-wedding.html
From the article: "Mr. Halliday began visiting Ms. Bryant in Berlin in March 2018, which was when the two realized something had shifted in their relationship. On his second visit, Ms. Bryant took him for a surprise trip to a spa, with a twist — it was fully nude. 'It is quite shocking for the first five minutes, and then weirdly, you get used to it very quickly,' she said."
Some more responses.
Thanks for your comments. I had no idea that I wrote that kind of hilarity into my comments about educating youngsters, though I’m glad that I could entertain a couple of girls with the subject, “...giggling at the bluntness of that idea.” Way too often, even thinking about the possibility of nakedness in a non-segregated crowd is a taboo subject. We really can’t talk about it!
I have one neighbor across the street who takes hikes with me from time to time. He’s 77 and I’m 81, but we like to update each other about our families, except for one aspect. I mentioned one time that my wife and I like to swim and sunbathe naked, and do some of our gardening out there naked, but he told me that if he ever found out for sure, he’d have to report me.
I don’t think that the city council here would back him up, but Springfield does have some public nonsense concerns from time to time: privacy fences no higher than six feet high, etc.
Back to this subject of education – you mention that “...sex education in Europe is somewhat like that.” Living here in the middle of America, I have no experience about what most of the rest of the world is like except for what I read.
Nudity (and sex) have become entirely social subjects. We no longer treat them as biological. We even need to be careful discussing it with the overly cautious people.
Hi Beach Bunny:
You wrote "... our friends were wondering what might happen if it was proved the lower doses of UV rays from sunshine would kill the virus. (They won't. Sunshine benefits people, but UV doses high enough to disinfect the virus are too high for people.)"
I won't argue that point; I will point out that ample doses of Vitamin D, preferably taken as sunshine rather than tablets, do promote a stronger immune system, possibly helping to prevent disease. I take about 10,000 IU/day. So far as I and my doctor can see there are no ill effects. I recently had a bone density test, and it is as good as can be (and I'll be 81 in less than a month).
BTW, I passed my driver's test medical, too...
I worry that people with some extra pounds, people with a few more birthdays and the wrinkles that come with it will feel like they don't have the looks to be "on display" at a nudist resort or at an informal get together such as the ones Beachbunny hosts.
Of course, one trip to a Florida nudist resort will throw all those notions out the window, but one can only assume that a fair number of people visiting this site simply don't have real world social nudity experience.
The smaller resorts are more socially intimate, there are always the greeters, both formal and naturally gregarious types, but once you get settled in, you don't remain the constant center of attention. Whether that is a disappointment to you or a relief, it's just not all about you (nor all about me either!).
At the larger resorts and perhaps the nude beaches, it's easier to disappear into a crowd, even if you are taller, shorter, darker, paler, hairier or whatever than the average.
Whether small campground or mega-resort, it's about all of us as a community.
The best thing to do is simply make friends, engage in some sort of activity, whether it be soaking in a hot tub, swimming laps, volleyball, playing board games, petanque, or something.
There's always a certain amount of sunbathing, which is fine in moderation, but I think that sports or conversation is the best way to get over the jitters and self-consciousness that afflict some people just beginning to venture into nudist life.
Nudist venues draw people from all walks of life and professions and you probably will be more drawn to some folks than others. I don't take offense when conversation falls flat, but being friendly will put you on pretty good terms with everyone.
So, to sum it up, it's not a beauty contest. It sounds weird, but you'll probably forget that you are naked after a while. An odd goal for a nudist to have, but letting nude become your new normal is a very good sign!
You make a good point, Ramblin'
We certainly don't want to give the impression that it's all a "show" for everyone's enjoyment.
When my now wife started out at our current resort, she certainly was not on board with being "on display." So we stayed on the far end of the lake, or furtively slipped in the pool. This "discreet nudism" lasted until she started challenging herself to do activities on the lake (mostly paddle-boarding); and when we started making friends. As she became more "physical" and more social, she also became aware that sometimes she was also "more noticed." And sometimes she is comfortable with it; sometimes she just likes to "blend in" or be away from other people.
My point is that it's a personal choice; and people can choose to "disappear" in the crowd or be more "outgoing." But you can't be "outgoing" and not expect people to notice. That shouldn't dissuade anyone from trying social nudism, but the expectation should be realistic.
I can't resist throwing this out. As I've related before, my traditional social nudism was in the 70s and 80s. Then a marriage that spent three decades deteriorating into nothing. In a narrow sense my being a nudist didn't cause that, but the differing values that were at the core of our two (nude vs. prude) identities WERE absolutely the cause.
In short, what I saw then and see now as a healthy lack of shame on my part was to her a deal-breaking character flaw.
I have to pause and finish this later...
So ... Nudony's reference to "Naked confidence" being attractive is what I am ultimately commenting on. Let's see if I can get there in a coherent and understandable way.
My wife is anything but a prude but will likely never have naked confidence, at least in any kind of "public" setting. Miracles can happen, but a lifetime may not be long enough to recover from certain traumas. I'll leave it at that. But where this is going is her understanding and support of my naked confidence.
Since we got married in '19 just months before COVID, that and other considerations put a damper on vacations we might have taken. Some day we'll get to a "nude" beach, probably Cape Canaveral, and she'll go with whatever the "flow" is for her at the time. But contrast that to what I suffered with all those years ago. Suffice it to say that we'll be the couple that walks far enough down the beach to be in our own "space", although visible to others from a "distance".
So my wife views nudity, particularly mine, as a normal, natural, healthy thing regardless of how "complicated" it can be for her. In that sense our relationship is often "CFNM", not in the kinky/fetish way, but simply as the way we often are. And that can be and often is fun in its own way.
Social nudity is most often referred to here as the "traditional" warm weather outdoor activities, although BeachBunny describes indoor parties and other cool weather get-togethers at the lake cottage as well. And thanks largely to her, we're now out-in-the-open about the enjoyment of seeing each other and being seen in the nude that inevitably goes along with the "activities" being pursued.
What if the seeing/being-seen part was the point/objective of the nudity?
Yes, this is the part where I BECOME vulnerable, beyond just talking about it...
Once, while planning a home dinner "date" (I'm the chef in the family) where CFNM would be the order of the day, I jokingly suggested that sometime she should have a lunch/tea-party under similar "circumstances". To my (not unpleasant) surprise, she said that would be a great idea! I said "you really mean that?!", and she said "absolutely!. Now this will most likely never happen, because the friends she would invite are for the most part imaginary. But that doesn't matter. The point is how accepting and supportive she is of "social" nudity- being nude around others in a variety of circumstances, beyond traditional outdoor recreational activities- and my naked confidence in particular.
So in this relationship I can truly be myself, not just by being physically nude when I can, but especially emotionally/intellectually, which is priceless.
I'm Jim. I have NO idea where the Jeff came from. Just caught it now. Tiny print on a phone screen, tri-focals- go figure.
verygary made the point that he and his wife have experienced personal growth over the years and it is fair to say that painfully shy people can grow too.
But growth is primarily a function of experiences that are attainable enough for us to attempt them, but provide a degree of challenge. That is very likely to bring change for the better.
Something else has been bothering me. For the right to not wear what we want, we need to pay – or be fined: go somewhere where it’s sanctioned to frolic without a necktie, shoes, or a towel around our torso. You cannot use your backyard, private balcony, or secluded rooftop for nude activity (or non-activity) if anyone could see you naked or even “know” that you are naked out there.
Our city just developed a 30-acre piece of land between an abandoned train track and a 6-lane highway. In this development, a number of four-story, sixteen apartment complexes are being constructed, fifteen, so far. It’s hard to guess which we have more of in our city: apartments or mini-storage units. Often, people need space to store their extra things while they’re living in an apartment.
Point being: if an apartment dweller does not have a hidden balcony, a secluded rooftop, or a private back yard, they will be relegated to going somewhere to pay for the right to sunbathe or lounge nude, and sunbathing needs sunshine. If a spot cannot be set up for a person to indulge privately, they will need to pay to go to a nudist venue for that privilege.
That’s not fair! If we can’t be ourselves in our own homes, but would be required to pay for the right to be ourselves somewhere where it’s okay, then the impetus to try being socially nude is practically outlawed.
I want to respond to Ramblinman, too, about growth: as long as growing into a new practice doesn’t overwhelm us, we can keep adjusting our relationships. As a group, we want to encourage newbies to jump in, but we don’t want new nudists to scare anybody, so acquaintances must be reassured that we are not pushing our lifestyle onto them. If Linda and I wanted to visit another couple, we would need to find out first if they would be okay. In fact, we would want to be invited to make ourselves comfortable before we invaded their home. Not the same as if we were at our home.
I understand much of what you are expressing. Don't take what follows as a challenge or disagreement; it's just what comes to mind.
One of my hobbies involves guns- call it target shooting. An oversimplification but it will do. I used to live in the country where I had enough land to do it safely and legally. Now I pay to go to a range. Another hobby is amateur ("ham") radio. Depending on who I want to talk to and where, that equipment requires antennas. The bigger the better. Not legal where I live. Oops. So I make due with what can sort of work and go unnoticed or unreported by neighbors. Nude sunbathing should be way less problematic than those to examples, but that's rarely the case. Not every neighbor is like the friend I described earlier...
I wish that laws could be changed. Much of Europe, from what I see and read on the net, is far more tolerant of what you don't wear on your patio, balcony, or in your backyard. Will we live long enough to see that change? I doubt it. So we do what we can IN our homes, and travel somehow to somewhere where we can buy the desired freedom.
Maybe there's an opportunity in the realm of Air B&B, to upgrade the sunbathing privacy of those kinds of properties. A better mousetrap?
Wow...this thread is "all over the place" lol! I'm not sure "who is saying what" at this point lol!!
But I'll add this:
Yes of course to "lol" and the complex topic part.
I should/could have been a little, or a lot, clearer: the see/seen understanding was NOT in an overtly sexual way.
(Watch the 1936 musical Top Hat, the third of Fred A. and Ginger R. The opening scene is in a true gentleman's club, NOT what goes by that name over here today!)
Yes it's not black and white. I'm intentionally challenging the prevailing template. The parties that sometimes take place at the lake cottage might be part of my "example"- the activity itself isn't conducive to nudity as the daytime outdoor swimming and sunning, where the seeing/seen part automatically follows. At the party, snacking on eye candy might be the main event, so-to-speak. Which is fine by me. Just say what it really is. That's how I interpret not being scared of "naked confidence".
I would like to clarify something else. I understand completely the way that both of your wives gradually found a comfort zone around others that was anything but instantaneous.
My first wife was a prude and is not part of this discussion. My wife of late is anything but a prude. She approves of "social" nudity and would like to have the confidence to participate. Her best "chance" is a beach like Cape Canaveral Seashore, where she can ease into whatever state of undress she's comfortable easing into, at what to her is a "safe" distance where she won't stand out for not being nude. We'll see...
I am personally outside of the "template" in that I have sometimes been nude when others were not for my entire life. I've described my boyhood home life several times. In my late twenties I posed nude for two female semi- professional photographers. So sometimes I throw that out just for fun...
I think you made an important distinction between treating women as eye candy and being seen and accepted for your own sake.
i do notice women who are conventionally attractive, but some people light up the room or poolside because he or she has presence, perhaps even a radiance. That kind of person gets noticed too. Is that soul candy?
Thanks for the replies, Nudony, CalgaryMark and others... with graduations and some glorious weather, we've spent more time enjoying nudism than writing about it.
Now that it's memorial weekend and Katie and Rob are here at the cottage enjoying nudity with us, we're ready to go back to our conversation at the coffee shop....
In that coffee shop talk before their group vacation trip to the nude beach, I told Rob and Katie their moral worries about swimming nude together were arguments against Rob watching Katie swimming in a bikini, or Rob and Katie seeing each other wearing crop tops and shorts on a hot day, and even against Katie wearing makeup and a well-fitting blouse and a nice skirt. Rob admitted he was first attracted to Katie at a church event for second-generation Chinese wearing the same blouse, skirt, and shoes she was wearing with us that day at the coffee shop.
My point was Katie and Rob were inconsistent. If they feared seeing each other nude would entice them to lustful thoughts, they needed to stop other things, too. I told Rob the difference between seeing Katie in a bikini and seeing her nude was a few inches of very thin fabric, and he'd feel the same way seeing Katie nude as he was already feeling seeing her in a bikini.
Rob protested that it'd be very different seeing Katie fully nude than in a bikini. We explained that yes, Katie would be scared her first time undressing with Rob, and Rob would be very excited, but before long their bodies would take over, drowning out nervousness and fear so not only Rob but also Katie would enjoy being nude together. After a few times nude together, both would feel the same way looking over each other's nude bodies as they already felt seeing each other in swimsuits.
Neither believed us. So Meirong's husband, who knows Rob much better, asked Rob and Katie some very personal questions that embarrassed both of them. Rob was uncomfortable, and Katie much more uncomfortable, squirming in her seat, crossing and uncrossing her legs, pulling the hem of her skirt downward, and at times blushing a deep shade of red. Rob reached over, put his hand on her knee, held her hand and assured her they didn't need to be embarrassed to answer honestly to close friends.
Since my husband and I, like Rob and Katie, were also committed to "save it for later," we felt very bad for Rob and especially Katie as they were asked some intimate details of their dating life. Omitting details, what counts is they'd never seen each other, or anyone else they'd dated, in less than bra and panties for her, and shorts for him, but very much enjoyed seeing what was under each other's clothes so long as they weren't wearing less than a swimsuit.
I asked Rob whether, when he was making out with Katie, if he wanted to see Katie without her bra. He looked at me like I was asking a stupid question. "Well, of course!" he exclaimed. "And how do you feel about that, Katie?" I asked her. Katie giggled, crossed her legs and arms, covered her mouth with her hand, and nervously admitted she loved women-only nude swims with Meirong, Zilin and me, and would love to swim nude with Rob, but was embarrassed to admit that she'd enjoy Rob watching her swim nude almost as much as she enjoyed swimming nude with us.
"Katie, you're already beyond lots of first-time nudists," Meirong said, pointing out that many women from their shared Chinese ethnic background are terrified being nude with their boyfriends and only give in because of pressure from the men they love. Even after marriage, some newlywed women struggle with being nude with their own husbands until they learn to enjoy rather than endure the men they love watching them undress and enjoying their bodies.
Once we realized just how far Katie had come in her openness to nudity, we did what we usually do at coffee shop discussions with young couples considering social nudity. We asked them to visualize what it would be like for Katie to watch Rob take off the clothes he was wearing right then, and for Rob to watch Katie take off the clothes she was wearing, and to shower together and then swim nude.
With giggles and nervous smiles, Katie admitted she was much more ready to try being nude with her boyfriend than we realized. After some "hemming and hawing," we got Rob and Katie to admit that Rob loved undressing Katie with his eyes. For a long time Katie had been uncomfortable with that, but eventually learned to appreciate Rob's appreciation for her body. We got them to admit what we suspected, that Rob had remembered the outfit he'd seen Katie wearing the first time he met her, and while making out in the dorm room, Rob very much enjoyed taking that outfit off her, though he'd never yet seen her without bra and panties, and Katie never let Rob take off his shorts.
Katie nervously laughed. "But I'm not sure I need to. His Speedos don't conceal much when wet, and even less when he's enjoying my bikini."
Both Rob and Katie were clearly embarrassed, but we'd managed to get them to the point we wanted.
"Katie, I totally understand why you and your boyfriend want to save sex for marriage," I said. "You're afraid being nude together will lead to sex. But please listen to me. I'm married, I love my husband, I love making love with him, and what you two are doing is foreplay. Men and women were created to enjoy each other, Katie, and if you and Rob keep going down the road you're on, some night when you're in that dorm room together with nobody else around, you'll let Rob unhook your bra, and the physical sensations of touch will overcome your modesty. Before long, your panties will be off and Rob's shorts will be off, and you'll be in bed doing things you promised each other you'd never do."
"What you really need to do, Rob and Katie, is finish undressing, but do it with friends you trust, and enjoy a day of suntanning and swimming nude, not only with each other, but with your friends. If you haven't already guessed, Rob, that V-neck on the blouse Katie is wearing was designed by the clothing company to draw men's eyes downward so they'll notice that the blouse fits her figure very snugly. Same for her swimsuit, and same for her bra, and same for most other women's clothing. That skirt you like was designed to draw your eyes to her legs, and when she sits down, the hem comes up to show her knees. You don't think that is an accident, do you? Fashion designers make tons of money creating clothes that show off women's bodies and get men to notice them."
I think this is the point in retelling the story about our coffee shop conversation that we can respond to some of the comments posted here. I say "we" because Rob and Katie are reading this at the lakefront cottage, along with Katie's Chinese roommate Jessica. Now that the academic year is over, Meirong and her husband, and Zilin and her boyfriend, and several other mutual friends aren't here, but they've seen SunnyDay's page and replied to us.
Some of our friends pointed out that even though our coffee shop conversation was long before VeryGary posted this thread about "drivers education," much of our discussion at the coffee shop was really about helping a young couple learn to "navigate" their mutual attraction without making mistakes they'd regret. As we've told Katie, Rob, and other young couples, men and women were created to be attracted to each other, and when men and women see each other nude, especially when they are already attracted to each other but even more when they are in love, it is natural, normal and healthy for our bodies to take over and melt away our socially conditioned modesty. Yes, it can take some time, and often it takes longer for women than for men, but nearly always, within 10 to 15 minutes, maybe half an hour, even the most modest of women feel their natural human responses to a man they love beginning to overcome their modesty.
As Jim/Jeff said, "a healthy lack of shame" often results. Being confident while nude is attractive. While an overly modest visitor (often a first-timer) will be noticed, and I just love what I call the "adorable awkwardness" of a dating couple learning to be socially nude together, a woman who is confident in her nudity attracts other people to her on a nude beach. (Confident men are only helpful to people who are already good friends, and outgoing men on a nude beach will likely be misunderstood.)
Still, experienced nudists know it's not so simple. It's not unusual for women to feel guilty about their natural and healthy feelings, which is why I feel it is so valuable for women to swim nude so they can experience the sensations of water gliding over their bodies. The feeling of swimming nude is very sensual but isn't connected with sexual stimulation, and particularly for very modest women, it helps to have their bodies stimulated by gliding through the water which not only feels good but hides their bodies from view. Of course, water coverage is far from complete, and it's helpful for an overly modest young woman to swim nude and then tread water next to a male friend, ideally a boyfriend but any man she trusts will be okay, and get used to the man being able to see most of her upper body through the water, and learn how two completely nude male and female friends can enjoy a conversation when both are nude next to each other. Then, as they walk out of the water together, they can get used to "seeing and being seen" and learn to enjoy the feeling of warm sun and warm breezes drying off their bodies.
Ramblinman and Nudony mentioned "treating women as eye candy." They said what needed to be said.
Also appreciated Nudony and CalgaryMark's comments, including the benefits of sun and learning to accept spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends being appreciated by others. Will say more later.
Guess I'm going to skirt- or cross- the light lively fun line.... Maybe this gets taken down. Oh well...
I need to give and get clarity on this eye candy thing. I encountered the phrase some years ago- my friend (whom I've frequently referenced) used it as a compliment, to me- yes, I was nude. But in a non-"sexual", "innocent" way, if that's possible. She had encountered it in books she has read, referring to handsome clothed men- hunks if you will.
It appeared here a while back referring to a young recently married couple. Again not it a tawdry way. They were simply the young attractive nude couple at a resort, in the evening, where most couples were older and not all partially or completely nude.
I more recently used the phrase in a similar, non-sex-specific, way, only trying to say one more time that there's no shame in the visual esthetics being part of the "ambiance" of something like a nude party. Just tell it like it is, as the saying goes. Did I put that delicately enough?
And I think Ramblinman was expressing sympathy/understanding with Nudony in that his wives, when very new to social nudity in a resort setting, would be conscious/apprehensive of being "noticed".
But- if I'm wrong tell me- I sense something in "what needed to be said" as a connection to something quite different: the notion that women (especially nude women) usually (always? ) start out, to men, as "eye candy" and may or may not "graduate" to something else. If that's true, then I suggest that it should be unsaid.
For a long time I've struggled with the undercurrent/tone of the "men assertions" made here. Men are this, men do that: most men go to a nude beach for the fist time to look at the women. Really? I didn't! Some do, for sure. But "most" makes this squarely one of the "men assertions" that are at best the exception that makes the rule, and in at least one case flat-out wrong.
We are sensitive, complex, nuanced creatures. And more often than you'd think, WE are the eye candy!
Thank you for your measured response.
I get it; and always have. The newbie evolution: gradual change of perspectives/ paradigms, if that's not too much "wordplay".
And I am VERY aware that the "process" can be much longer and more complex for women as opposed to men. Yes, since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden women have had more "at stake" than men in the nudity department. Does anyone recall that I've said that there are things I won't reveal about my wife, even in anonymity? Reflect on that...
And of course the more time we spend nude with someone, be it spouse, "significant other", friends and acquaintances at a nudist venue, et cetera, there is a certain familiarity that developes, in a good way.
But I reject categorically and most strongly that we men, as a "default setting" TREAT women as "eye candy". And that recent assertion prompted my rant on men assertions, by which I stand.
Enough is enough. We all enjoy seeing each other, and being seen, in the nude, to varying degrees in various situations. We should always be sensitive to the fact that those around us can be at different levels/stages of "naked confidence". Can't we just leave it there?
Remember "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma" by Melanie from 1970? I looked it up to get the year...
So maybe you've been singing Look What They've Done To My Thread to that tune!
Mea culpa I suppose. I just wanted to let you know that if you're shaking your head in bewilderment, it's on me. But as the saying goes, it is what it is. There's been a lot of good discussion here over time about not just what we do but why we do it. I'll try this for a summary: if you want to know how really "secure" you are in a relationship, take off your clothes. You'll find out right away...
But we have to be careful- very careful- when we venture from describing our personal values and motivations, into defining the values and motivations of others.
The defense rests, your honor.
Jim: “honor” should be capitalized.
There’s more to sex than just the sex, and sex has become such a bad word. We cannot discuss the potential of a sexual connection in the open, like we could driving. Sex is way too taboo. We can’t even talk about sex out loud in most circles, and that even spills over into discussing the possibility of social nudity.
…because nudity implies sex!
Only after a group agrees that nudity is okay, likely won’t lead to any unwarranted or unwanted touching, and is mere frolicking with each other, can that group enjoy each other’s company and scrutiny, but until everyone is comfortable, the old American way kicks in: thou shalt not be exposed.
We’ve kicked around the idea of “eye candy.” Well, okay – if we could think of each other as decoration, maybe that’s more tolerable.
For the girls, I want to comment about that age-old fear that the woman thinks that she’s not good enough to “decorate” an area. She is.
I continually reassure Linda, “You don’t look at you the way I do, so you can’t see the woman I can see.” I have my idea of what a woman wants to see in me, but I have to admit that I don’t actually know. I want to believe that they all like to listen to me, but I don’t actually know.
Ladies, quit trying to avoid being eye candy, but with or without anything on, try to be decorative and furthermore, be reassured that if you’re a friendly person, I want you to stay with us. If you are a good conversationalist, I want you with me. I probably like you in spite of your body.
One pastor joked from the pulpit, "When we guys get married, other women don't suddenly become ugly!" Obviously they remain just as pretty as ever.
By the same token, when we become nudists, we don't suddenly lose the male/female attraction that is natural. If you do lose that attraction, you need to see a doctor. It is part of being human, nudist, textile, married or single!
But here's where I think we cross the line into impropriety: when we shun women (or men) who are not outwardly attractive to us and show favoritism toward the "pretty ones".
I would have a much more pleasant afternoon conversing with anyone, plain or pretty if she or he has a pleasant personality.
If you are single and at one of those resorts or campgrounds that actually happens to have singles, then attraction on all levels, including physical, can legitimately play a part as you both begin deciding if you want to go out on a date. After all, would you actually date a woman you found repulsive to look at?
But truth be told, I am not attracted to the outward appearance of most of the women I meet at camp. On any given day, I might see one or two who elicit the reaction, "Wow, she's pretty!".
By contrast, a textile beach or a water park is a far better place for some guy who simply wants to go girl-watching.
What I like about meeting nudist women is that we share some important values about the body, nature and the camaraderie that we have in the nudist/naturist community.
Total nudity is a big deal to the newbie, first few visits. Later on, that excitement moderates and we are left with the aesthetic beauty of the nude form: the unbroken lines of our contours, the beauty of uninterrupted skin tones (unless you are still in cotton tail mode).
So it would be dishonest to claim that social nudity never involves sexual attraction, but in my experience, it's not that common.
On a couple of occasions Beachbunny made a pointed distinction between the sensual joy of nude swimming or the delight of basking in the warm sun in contrast to erotic thrills. Family naturism is not erotic in the public areas. However, to anyone who worries that social nudity will destroy the thrill of private delights with one's spouse...
Well let's just say: nudists have children and sometimes quite a few of them. No worries about that! It just goes on in private!
Jim, I hoped some of our other occasional female posters would chip in here about "eye candy," but since nobody did, and my post on that was so short (saying that others had said what needed to be said), I need to comment.
VeryGary is right. Too many nudists are afraid to discuss physical attraction. Older people and long-term nudists sometimes act so unwelcoming that younger visitors never come back. Young dating couples in love are often in college, are just beginning to learn to enjoy being nude together, and need places they won't be interrupted by roommates in college dorms or off-campus apartments. Even young married couples may live in small apartments with no opportunity to swim or sunbathe nude. Those are problems a nudist place is perfectly positioned to solve! Sadly, young couples who show affection toward each other at some nudist places have behavior get frowned at that is perfectly okay for any dating couple walking down a public street or sitting in a public restaurant.
I've said many times it's perfectly normal, natural and healthy for young people to enjoy seeing their friends without clothes. Is that "eye candy?" Not exactly, but not completely wrong. Attractive young women on a textile beach know they'll attract men's eyes. Why pretend nudists are genderless robots who never like looking at anyone?
We're having wonderful weather, and not long ago a dating couple who are mutual friends came to our home for their first time nude with anyone else, and only their second time nude as a couple. (They took our advice to shower nude before they came.) We were hosting another couple as house guests for the week who we've known since the nude beach near our college campus, but all four of us dressed before our friends came over to avoid shocking the newbies with four fully nude people lounging around the pool.
The woman wore a loose-fitting sleeveless V-neck blouse with straps, and as we were enjoying lunch sitting at the poolside table, she bent over to pick up something she had dropped and reflexively put her hand to her neck to cover up and prevent my husband from seeing down her blouse. I gently pointed out we'd already agreed to undress together after lunch, so it was kind of silly to keep my husband from seeing a small portion of her body when all of us would soon be completely nude.
Our friend giggled and had to agree I was right. I was pleasantly surprised she took that as her cue to pull her top off, unhook her bra, and finish the rest of lunch topless. (I joined her right away in taking off my own bikini top, leaving my shorts on.) After lunch, her boyfriend, who was very happy about her willingness to go topless, took off his clothes, joined by my husband and our two houseguests, then I pulled off my shorts, and finally our friend unzipped her slacks, pulled them down, looked around at the rest of our naked bodies, and got the courage to pull down her panties and join us in complete nudity.
We encouraged her boyfriend to give her a hug, so both stood fully nude holding each other by their waists, looking up and down each other's bodies, and enjoying skin-to-skin contact, including one of her breasts pressed into his chest. As they learned to enjoy seeing each other nude, even more important, they learned it's perfectly healthy and natural for the boyfriend to enjoy seeing me nude, and for the girlfriend to enjoy seeing my husband nude. We complimented her on her unexpected courage to go topless, and after a lot of blushing, she began to enjoy being seen nude.
Being nude is exciting, especially for first-timers. That's good, not bad. It helps young couples, especially young woman, overcome modesty. Within maybe 10 to 15 minutes we were all swimming together nude in our pool and bouncing a beach ball back and forth, and learning to enjoy rather than fear "seeing and being seen." My husband pointed out she was actually much more "sexy" trying to keep him from looking down her blouse, and then being topless and blushing, than she was fully nude, swimming and suntanning uninhibited afterward.
I'm not sure that would have happened at some resorts that would tell a visiting couple they couldn't show any signs of physical affection.
Did the dating couple have sex? Absolutely not. In fact, they were quite proud when they talked to us the next morning and said they spent the whole night sleeping nude together at her off-campus apartment (her roommate was gone for the week) without doing more than making out.
The girlfriend learned to accept men enjoying seeing her nude body. If someone wants to say she was "eye candy," she wouldn't use those words, but that doesn't mean the words would be wrong.
And that's perfectly okay.
Learning to enjoy being nude, and to enjoy seeing other people nude, and to enjoy being seen nude, is good. If resorts penalize young couples for enjoying hugs and handholding, they'll find somewhere else to enjoy being nude together.
Some time ago I posted on this very topic in another forum. A "nudism-curious" individual (whom I presume was a woman) responded that she'd be "utterly mortified" if she felt her naked body was assigned "esthetic value" by onlookers. I didn't respond to that; but I thought: "Maybe you're just not ready for social nudity."
I think this is a "tricky" topic to bring up with newbies. Many nudist "experts" will say that: "nudism is not about looking or being looked at" or "no one pays attention" in an attempt to defuse "newbie anxiety/concerns." But it's a "clumsy" way to do that, because it basically ignores human nature.
The fear of being objectified can really be overcome only when it is "let go of." And that often comes with trust, confidence and experience (i.e. going to the "right" places and meeting the "right" people). Because then it no longer matters whether people (as long as they're respectful) think you're "eye candy"...or not.
At a "higher level" of confidence one can even embrace bringing "esthetic value" to the nudist environment. My wife was very flattered when admiration for her prowess and bravery paddle-boarding naked was vocalized. And although she doesn't seek out "eye candy status"; she does not outright reject it either when it does occur. Also, we have a friend who works out and keeps a very toned physique; and she's very well aware of "looking good naked", as we've all vocalized it.
This is all a pretty small part of what social nudity is all about (especially for us old-timers who are just used to nakedness); but it is an important and enjoyable part.
Jim, I really like these two comments:
It's easier for men to undress. When a man pulls down his shorts, yes, there's the feeling of the breeze and warm sun on parts of his skin that aren't used to it, and he's going to be embarrassed for a while as his female friends see him nude, but once he realizes he's not going to get aroused (which almost never happens) he slowly gets comfortable being seen nude and gets comfortable with enjoying seeing female friends nude.
For women, it's more complicated. We're socialized since childhood to sit like a lady, not to let men see certain parts of our bodies, etc. But unlike men whose pants completely cover their "private parts," modern women's clothing, even quite modest dresses and blouses, is designed to accent the shape of our figures -- breasts, waists and hips -- even if all our skin is covered from knees to neck. Men have a pretty good idea what we look like nude if they've seen us in turtleneck and jeans.
And it's not just men who enjoy nudism.
As Nudony wrote,
Nudony, I responded mostly to Jim but didn't mean to ignore you. You said great things.
One was this: