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Bonding experiences

On a different thread, several people have responded to my comment that "getting undressed in a group of male and female friends is a bonding experience that's hard to explain."

Among them are NakedOne, Bluetrain, Duane, and maybe some others I've missed.

I wanted to pull this out and put it into a separate thread because some really good comments by others risk getting lost in the other thread on introducing reluctant wives or girlfriends to nudism.

NakedOne wrote this:

NakedOne
I have asked my daughters if they ever have been to a nude beach they each say no. They all say they have been to a topless beach and participated. They say they felt comfortable being topless in a group setting with other same girls being topless. They each laughed and said at first all the guys watched them closely but after awhile there were to many topless girls to watch just them. They also all said they were all comfortable being topless because of taking showers with naked girls over many years of playing sports. Maybe playing sports makes one more comfortable and confident about their body type and about being naked in front of people.


I responded with this:

BeachBunny
Almost every student who visited the beach with us went through the whole "breaking the taboo" thing. Most were scared, most felt they were doing something wrong, but once they undressed, the sheer exhilaration of being nude and seeing others nude overcame their fears.


I feel NakedOne is totally right about how athletic activities which include same-sex showering can lead to greater comfort with social nudity. Same for showering before using private pools at people's homes.

Here are some more things I wrote:

BeachBunny
For those who do agree to shower before swimming, we've found it's a real bonding experience for friends to undress together and then shower together. Sometimes that means women-only swims and can lead to really valuable conversations as women and their daughters who have no experience with nudity shower together, and the daughters get to ask questions which otherwise wouldn't come up. But the co-ed showers are especially valuable.

I don't want to get into this too much, but even apart from social nudity, I think it helps when moms take their daughters to swim classes at the YMCA or some other place and discuss female bodies afterward. Teen girls need to have realistic ideas of what women's bodies look like so they don't get body image problems based on totally unrealistic photos of models. Undressing in a women's locker room can help a young girl in many ways and it should be more common than it is, even if it's only women present."


Again,

BeachBunny
I want to follow up what NakedOne said about the "great experience" of realizing "we were all alike." My last post on benefits for young women of showering with other women, and realizing the reality of what average women's bodies look like, applies to co-ed showering as well, and for men as well as women.

Men who haven't seen many real-life women without clothes benefit from seeing women who aren't airbrushed models. Married and dating couples say satisfaction with each others' appearance greatly improves when men realize female friends don't actually look as great as they might think once their makeup and clothes are off, and their hair is messed up by swimming. Clothes hide many things and so do makeup and a good hairdresser.


And again:

BeachBunny
First-time showers with newbies are usually filled with embarrassment. The physical sensation of warm water and being caressed by a husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend goes a long way toward associating group nudity with pleasure, not embarrassment, and seems to help a lot. Later on, after the first few experiences, showers help normalize nudity.

Re: Bonding experiences

I don't really know how to describe this feeling I'm calling a "bonding experience."

It's not sexual, though those feelings aren't completely absent, at least initially. I actually feel social nudity helps break the linkage between sexuality and nudity. Women have a "sixth sense," sometimes called "women's intuition," and we're not unaware when a male friend is noticing our bodies. I can't think of many male friends who have seen me naked who haven't become less interested in my body when seeing me clothed after swimming nude with me than they were before the nude beach or nude pool visit. It's as if, once men see female friends naked, their curiosity gets satisfied and they're not quite as interested anymore.

As one male friend said, "Yeah, BeachBunny is wearing a cute blouse and that skirt shows off her nice legs, but after seeing her Saturday without any clothes on at all, why fantasize what she might look like without them? I've seen the same thing her husband sees every night and he's a lucky man."

No, I need to change that. My husband is reading this and reminds me that back when we were dating, when we undressed and showered together our first time on the morning before visiting the nude beach near our campus, it was like throwing gas on a fire when it came to his interest in my body. He says because we had committed ourselves to no sex before marriage, it was increasingly difficult for him to see me nude because he wanted to do much more than merely see me. But at the same time, he says nudity helped our relationship a lot because after seeing many other women nude, including me, he had a realistic idea of what women looked like without their clothes and felt free to be focused on my body, not other women's bodies.

For friends other than him, while there is certainly some awkwardness about going to class on Monday with someone who we were naked with on the beach during the weekend, I think social nudity is a bonding experience. Especially for women, getting the courage to untie their bikini top and pull down their bikini bottoms with male friends is REALLY difficult. Much more than for men to pull down their swim trunks.

I feel for men, seeing an attractive female friend naked "gets it out of their system" and once they both know what they look like without clothes, it eliminates the "mystery" and "hiddenness" that clothes, especially women's clothes, are often carefully designed to create. That's even more true about women's swimsuits. Male friends in college who visited textile beaches with me usually said they were much more attracted to my body at a textile beach than they were on the nude beach. I'd usually smile and ask, "Why do you think women's swimsuits cost more than men's swimsuits?"

It's contrary to logic, but most male nudists agree that the majority of women look sexier in a swimsuit than in tightly fitting jeans and T-shirts, but less sexy when their clothes are completely off. As for me, yeah, I like seeing a man with "ripped abs" take off his T-shirt, but that happens at textile beaches too. I don't particularly feel much when he pulls off his shorts, but it's different for men watching women take off their swimsuits. Male and female bodies are different and different things get men and women interested in each other. I'm more "turned on" when my husband does something nice for me at home than I am when he and I are showering together, and like many husbands, he figured out that doing stuff on the "honey do" list is a good way to get me interested in other things.

For both men and women, I feel being nude together helps take already existing friendships to a new level by sharing something very personal, and for women, by going through what is often a very difficult experience of undressing. Maybe it's impossible for men to fully understand how hard it is for a woman to unhook the clasp on her bra with a man watching. Whether or not we want to call it a "bonding experience," it's surely something a woman new to nudism will not quickly forget.

Re: Bonding experiences

Again you have demonstrated that you understand how complicated all of this is. And that's good.

I don't think bonding is the right word but I can't think of any other word, either. It is what happens when you spend a lot of "ordinary" time together, not stressful or difficult or anything like that. That's not to say that ordinary, everyday living doesn't have it's stressful moments, because it does, all the time. Anyway, it doesn't just happen at home. It happens where you work, too. I can't really think of any other places where you might be spending a lot of your time besides at home and at work.

So what am I talking about? You simply become more familiar with each other and are relaxed in one another's presence. Typically, you even come to like being with others like that, here referring to a work situation, and they start to become like family. Whether or not there is any sexuality present depends of course on the people involved. Where I work, for example, there are a couple of women who dress to kill. But on the other hand, as usual, some contemporary fashions for women are very attractive to men. And that was true fifty years ago when I was in high school (53 to be exact). We're just kidding ourselves if we can't admit that much. Beyond that, however, you begin to see the other person as a whole person, not as an object. You know when they don't feel well, you learn their personalities and so on. But you usually don't have an after work relationship, even though you are always talking about after work activities; the weekend, the family, other friends, your hobbies and interests, and so on.

Another thing that happens where I work, to some degree, is department activities that are actually intended to bond people. I have no idea if they work or not but they are officially described as team building activities. Some are fun but others are more of an excuse to get out of the office or visit the other location and have a free lunch. They're usually fun, at least.

That make sense?

Re: Bonding experiences

BlueTrain
Again you have demonstrated that you understand how complicated all of this is. And that's good.


Thanks!

BlueTrain
I don't think bonding is the right word but I can't think of any other word, either. It is what happens when you spend a lot of "ordinary" time together, not stressful or difficult or anything like that.


Not sure we're talking about the same thing. What I mean by a "bonding experience" is an experience of sharing something that is very difficult and stressful, and overcoming it. I know only a few women who didn't consider their first time with social nudity to be incredibly difficult and stressful.

For many women that's true even when undressing with a boyfriend. One of my friends, for example, talked to me a few days after her first time with her fiancé. She knows I visit nude beaches and wanted to ask how I handle it. Her view was "that first button was the HARDEST thing I've ever done in my life." I didn't agree with her decision not to wait for marriage, and she knows it, so all I could do was ask if she felt the pleasure was worth it. She cracked a smile and said, not the first time, but after the third or fourth time together it started to feel good. I suggested to her that if she had decided to stop at making out nude or showering nude, she and her boyfriend might have learned more about how to enjoy each other's bodies and not felt so guilty about going all the way.

BlueTrain
Whether or not there is any sexuality present depends of course on the people involved. Where I work, for example, there are a couple of women who dress to kill. But on the other hand, as usual, some contemporary fashions for women are very attractive to men. And that was true fifty years ago when I was in high school (53 to be exact). We're just kidding ourselves if we can't admit that much.


We agree. And that's what I'm trying to explain about how we can't deny that there is going to be some level of attraction present anytime a group of men and women are together. That's true in professional office clothes, in casual clothes, in swimsuits, or completely nude.

I'd probably be one of the "dressed to kill" women you mention. Like you I also know lots of women who dress casually in ways which are very successful at getting guy's eyes, which is what they want.

BlueTrain
Beyond that, however, you begin to see the other person as a whole person, not as an object. You know when they don't feel well, you learn their personalities and so on. But you usually don't have an after work relationship, even though you are always talking about after work activities; the weekend, the family, other friends, your hobbies and interests, and so on.


Yep, and that's what makes social nudity with friends different from meeting strangers on a nude beach or at a resort. We're friends, not "objects." We sympathize with each other's nervousness as we undress together and slowly get used to seeing each other nude.

BlueTrain
That make sense?


Yes, and hope my responses make sense too!

Re: Bonding experiences

BeachBunny
. . "getting undressed in a group of male and female friends is a bonding experience that's hard to explain."
. . .
I don't really know how to describe this feeling I'm calling a "bonding experience."

BlueTrain
I don't think bonding is the right word but I can't think of any other word, either.

acclimate: [ak-luh-meyt, uh-klahy-mit]; to accustom or become accustomed to a new climate or environment; adapt.
synonyms: accommodate, adjust, conform, fit, reconcile, train, (re)configure

In the same dictionary the word “bond” had, between the nouns and verbs, 28 different definitions.
A few: a cord, rope, band, or ligament.

something that binds a person or persons to a certain circumstance or line of behavior: the bond of matrimony.

something, as an agreement or friendship, that unites individuals or peoples into a group; covenant: the bond between nations.

binding security; firm assurance: My word is my bond.

I guess there is more than one thing being discussed here. Gee, what a surprise!
There is the activity itself and then the internalization of it.

Some have mentioned military experiences. That would be the training type. Where the recruits are shown what they are expected to learn and then how they will go through the training. The intent is to reconfigure the mindset and perspective of the recruit to a new and preferred way of thinking. After that many of them will have a bond from that shared experience.

Joining a new company and learning a new skill or job would also apply. Becoming a valuable and functioning member of the group of employees is a type of bonding.

Choosing to be a member of a club or group requires that you conform in some way to their rules and/or beliefs. Yet another type.

I guess, like when BlueTrain mentions “team building”, some activities do not appear to me as a real bonding type activity. I always enjoyed the places I have worked and was happy to be there and do my job, but by job never defined who or what I am. So anything that was work related never rose to the level of a “bonding” event. There must be a deeper personal relationship for that to occur with me. i.e. a friend or family member. Being in a group shower might be a bonding event if it were with the right person. But not with a stranger or a casual acquaintence.

For me, in order for there to be a bond there must be some sort of personal involvement. A risk, if you will. When that is present I know that the other(s) also have the same level of “risk” and that is the basis of the “bond”.

So, using a different word than bond that implies a form of a change in life, thinking or experience would work for me. i.e. acclimate. That is one I can get behind.

Bond, for me is a more intimate word that describes a level of commitment that a word like accommodate or acclimate does not reach. Those words define a type of event that can contribute and enrich my overall life experience. If, by chance I make a new friend with whom I can eventually bond as a result, my life is further enriched.

I’m guessing that the point of the group showering is to not only cleanse the body but to also begin the process of cleansing the mind of all the cultural and emotional baggage associated with nudity. In this I can agree with your use of the word “bonding”. That would lift the shower to the level of a “ritual with a good purpose”. If this is sort of what you mean, I will agree with you.

On this site I am assuming that those of us that are participants are likely more different than we might realize, yet we have a couple things in common. We enjoy being naked in places the majority of folks wouldn’t and a few of us have a religious faith that we share. There must be a common experience or belief for there to be any kind of significant bond.

With so many different people posting ideas here, obviously we are going to see and hear different definitions that mean the same thing.

Your opinion may vary.

Re: Bonding experiences

Duane
I’m guessing that the point of the group showering is to not only cleanse the body but to also begin the process of cleansing the mind of all the cultural and emotional baggage associated with nudity. In this I can agree with your use of the word “bonding”. That would lift the shower to the level of a “ritual with a good purpose”. If this is sort of what you mean, I will agree with you... There must be a common experience or belief for there to be any kind of significant bond. With so many different people posting ideas here, obviously we are going to see and hear different definitions that mean the same thing. Your opinion may vary.


I like your definition, Duane, and your choice of words!

I never quite viewed it that way, but yes, I can see how showering together is a way of "cleansing the mind of all the cultural and emotional baggage associated with nudity."

In connection with a group nude swim, showering is a good way for people who are nervous about nudity to get comfortable being nude together. Most people understand why they should shower before using a swimming pool, and even most first-timers can be talked relatively easily into showering together. For those with modesty problems, there's an easy answer: "Why not? We're all going to see each other naked anyway, so why not enjoy showering together?"

A huge added "plus" is that showering together gives nervous newbies something to do rather than just looking at each other's bodies. Too many newbie women who showered at home before coming jump right into the pool to get covered up by water shortly after undressing. If they don't jump in the pool, they'll sit on a deck chair with legs pressed together as tightly as if they were wearing an above-the-knee skirt, and often hold an arm against their chest in an effort to cover up. When a newbie showers at her home before coming to the pool, we've learned to offer her something to drink right after she undresses and to walk her around our patio and introduce her to (already naked) friends. That way she's discouraged from sitting down, one hand is occupied by holding something, and she needs the other hand to shake hands with guests.

Showering together prevents all those problems.

All of that applies even if the woman is single. If she's coming with a boyfriend or husband, showering takes on an added element of pleasure. No need to go into details, but being soaped up and rinsed off under warm water is inherently enjoyable.

As I've said before, our bodies were created for men and women to enjoy each other. Replacing the unwarranted fear of being naked with the pleasure of enjoying nudity is a good thing, and showering together is one good way to encourage that.

Re: Bonding experiences

Wow. I've gone back and re-read all of what I wrote this morning before work, and what I wrote this afternoon after coming back. Never intended to say so much.

I was going to write something else but I think I've said way too much already. I planned to copy and paste something I've written to a young couple we know who are now attending the college from which we graduated, answering their questions about how we handled friends who asked to go with us to the nude beach.

I'll probably post that later but for now I think I should wait. No need to overwhelm everyone. Better to let people read and respond, and then write more after people have had the chance to read what's already out there.

Re: Bonding experiences

Since we've said all sorts of things about why certain people came here and whether they're real or not, I'll say a few things about my real world experiences discussing social nudity, not online, with those who are interested.

Let's take "Amy," not her real name. She'd been in class with me in a previous semester but it was a large class and we didn't know each other well. She was interested in visiting the nearby nude beach near our college but was a little concerned about going by herself since she wasn't dating anyone, and a female friend she planned to go with backed out when her boyfriend objected.

I got a phone call one day in my dorm saying, "Hey, BeachBunny, do you remember me from _____ class? I'm told by _____ (name of a mutual friend deleted) that you might be able to tell me more about _____ Beach."

We talked for a little while and I decided it would be better to meet in person. I heard some laughing in the background and wondered if I was being set up for a prank. I later learned her roommate was laughing about something totally unrelated. No problem. But I was still glad we talked face-to-face.

Amy agreed to meet later at a local off-campus coffee shop. I got there before the scheduled time and sat near the back but in a place where I could see the door. I recognized Amy as she came in, and as her eyes adjusted to the lower light inside, I waved her over to my table in the mostly empty coffee shop. Amy got her coffee and walked over.

I made some mental notes. Amy is fairly tall, slim but not especially athletic, and was wearing shorts, tennis shoes, and a halter top, with hair pulled up in a ponytail. As she got closer I noticed she had a deep tan, lots of freckles, and her halter top showed the outlines of bikini straps. Clearly she spent a lot of time in the sun, but from the tan lines it was just as clear she had little if any experience even suntanning topless.

After some pleasantries, I moved into why were talking.

"So tell me, Amy, what got you interested in _____ Beach?"

Surely Amy must have been expecting the question, so I was surprised when she got a bit nervous. She gave reasons which might identify her if I repeated the details, but the basics are she was dumped by an ex-boyfriend who thought another girl was more attractive and the other girl was willing to do things that Amy didn't want to do. Amy had drawn her line at keeping her clothes on while making out, her ex-boyfriend wanted more, Amy said no, and the boyfriend, who was already interested in another girl, left Amy for that other girl.

I told Amy she was better off without her ex, and that any man who doesn't respect her boundaries, whatever they are, isn't worth dating. Amy agreed, but said she shared her ex-boyfriend's curiosity about what people look like without clothes, and wanted to visit a place where she could see what real people look like apart from romantic issues.

"So Amy, you say you'd like to see what other people look like on a nude beach," I said. "It goes both ways, you know. How do you feel about people looking at you?"

Amy blushed and admitted it would be difficult. We had a good talk about my own initial nervousness, and Amy explained that part of why she now told boys "no" on taking off her clothes was that she had gone farther than she intended with several boyfriends in high school, and in her senior year had been terrified for about a month when she missed a period until her pregnancy tests had come back negative. Since then she'd been much more careful, including a "clothes stay on always" rule.

I asked Amy if she understood that unlike a dating couple who undress together, who are clearly interested in each other's bodies for sexual reasons, most people at a nude beach wouldn't be looking at her that way.

"Yes, Amy, people will look at you, and many of the people on the beach will be men," I said. "But any beach regular has seen hundreds of women, and you will just be one more woman on the beach, not someone the guy is looking at the way your former boyfriends looked at you when you took off your clothes. You will get noticed because you're new, and because of your tan lines, not mainly because you're nude, because everyone else is nude too."

Amy said she thought that would help.

We had a good talk and I asked if I could call my boyfriend, now husband, to join us. (I'd planned for him to be ready, just in case.) So I called him, he came down to the coffee shop, and he answered some of Amy's questions from a male perspective. Most of what Amy asked had to do with how men react to nude women, and since most nudists know the answers already, I won't repeat them.

(CONTINUED)

Re: Bonding experiences

(CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST)

After she and he had talked for a while, I asked Amy directly: "Amy, if you go to the beach with us, how do you think you will feel when my boyfriend watches you pull off that top, unhook your bra, and pull down your shorts? And after you're naked, how do you think you'll feel if you see another student you know on the beach?"

Amy lowered her eyes, looked at her hands, and paused before looking up at us.

"Yeah, I know that will happen. I guess I'm okay with it," she said.

I picked up on her body language, which was clearly saying "no" even though her words were saying "okay."

"Amy, I won't lie to you. It will be difficult, it may be scary, and you need to be sure you're ready, not just 'guess you're okay with it.'"

Amy, my boyfriend, and I had a good talk. We discussed lots of things. I asked her to imagine laying on a beach towel, completely nude, and to see a particularly good-looking guy we all know came walking over to us just as nude as we were. I asked her to imagine walking onto the beach and seeing that man already there and turning around to watch her undress, or seeing him take off his pants while we watch.

Amy giggled.

"You know, I'd be more than okay with that," she said.

I then asked her to change the guy. What if it was somebody she didn't like very much? What if she saw her ex walking on the beach with his current girlfriend? What she saw her ex and his current girlfriend walking around gawking at bodies, and she was far away from her beach blanket and couldn't cover up? How about someone she REALLY didn't like? How did she feel about maybe having someone get a surreptitious photo?

Amy hadn't considered the problem of photos and that stopped her for a few weeks, but finally she decided even that was okay.

Our beach visit went well with none of those problems. Amy asked that my boyfriend and me undress first, which we did, but she was able to go topless almost right away and she did what some other first-time women do, walking down to the water, swimming for a while, taking her bottoms off underwater, tying them to her arm, continuing to swim for a while, and then walking back to her beach towel fully nude.

We cautioned Amy about the need to use lots of suntan lotion on her bottom and her breasts, which worked fine.

"BeachBunny, I thought I'd be scared but this isn't bad. It's actually fun! And it's nice that we could meet _____ and his girlfriend ____ here, and also _____ and _____ and _____. It felt a little strange when _____ looked up and down my body, but I just felt, 'Hey, he's just as naked as me and I like seeing him, too.'"

Amy was an obvious newbie due to her tan lines but she became a regular and those quickly disappeared, helped by her decision to start using a tanning bed to get rid of them as fast as possible. Not what we'd usually recommend, and for a couple of weeks her "whitetail" was more pink than either white or brown, but it worked. She decided she especially liked swimming nude and started making beach visits part of her regular routine, using it more than the university's pool.

Amy is not especially athletic. She's a recreational swimmer, not competitive in any way. But slow lap swimming is quite different from free open water swimming, and between that and the fairly rigorous walk from campus to the beach, Amy said she liked the way swimming, walking, and steep hill climbing was firming up some of her muscles which didn't normally get used. After some time on the beach, her muscles must have developed enough for one of her male friends to notice them when she wore shorts on a particularly hot day, and he asked what exercise she was doing to develop them. The male friend was taken completely by surprise that Amy, who he knew was a swimmer, was also now climbing up and down a steep route to the nude beach.

The male friend had visited the nude beach a few times but wasn't a regular. He agreed to come with her the next Saturday, and after the normal nervousness of friends bashfully undressing, they both walked down to the water, went swimming together, came back to where we had set up our beach blankets, and spent the next few hours talking about the nude beach.

It wasn't too long before he asked Amy out and they quickly became a dating couple.

Clearly a success story. I wish all went as well as hers.

Re: Bonding experiences

Well said and done BB; I love reading stories like that and you told it well.

Re: Bonding experiences

CalgaryMark
Well said and done BB; I love reading stories like that and you told it well.


Thanks, CalgaryMark. I wish all of our experiences went as well.

I feel college students away from home for the first time like experimenting with things they wouldn't have tried in the past for all sorts of reasons ranging from peer pressure to parental objections. Leaving their hometown and their friends can open up possibilities of finding new groups of friends with new types of interests. Lots of young people want to "spread their wings" and try things they always wanted to do but didn't dare do before, or try new things they never thought of doing before the idea was suggested to them by their new friends.

When a popular nude beach is near a college campus, it's not surprising when some students try it out.

It's not for everybody, though, and sometimes things don't go well.

I've emailed a friend, an ABC (American Born Chinese) woman who, at the time, was dating an American guy who wanted her to go to the beach with him. She got talked into going, she went to the beach with us, and she did go topless often and fully nude a few times, but her first-time experience did not go well and she had some other bad experiences too. I want to make sure she's okay with me posting things before I do so.

She's married now and she and her husband (a Chinese man from Taiwan) regularly swim nude in their home pool but they no longer visit beaches except on vacations far away from home. I think she'll be okay with me posting but I want to check first.

Re: Bonding experiences

Well, I'm hoping I get to contribute to this thread in the near future with Mrs... ;-) We're going back home in January and meeting up with some good friends... who have also finally fessed up that they too are semi-nudies! Number of nude beach visits, etc. She was reluctant at first apparently, but now loves it... and both hubby and wife are aware of our situation, so some good conversation is likely to ensue. And it gets better... cause we're spending an afternoon at the spa. Will let you know if any CO opportunities arise... LOL

That being said... I did have a kinda cool bonding experience recently. My wife and I have recently started attending a new church closer to home, and we've connected to a large group of folks our age and slightly younger. I've been stressed lately, so I decided to take a mini-vacation out at this tiny resort we often go to in the mountains. (more of a hostel, so SUPER cheap) They have a wood fired sauna, nice view of the mountains, so I go there to unwind every now and again. When I mentioned where I was going to a new friend at church, his eyes went wide and he basically begged me to come! LOL! I was reluctant initially, because quite frankly... I WANTED MY NAKED TIME!!!

But we chatted and I figured what the heck, I could use a friend, so I invited him to destress too. We chatted over the next couple of days as we prepped, and the inevitable question came up over the phone, "So, about the sauna... I assume I should bring a bathing suit?" I had hesitated mentioning anything prior to this because, well... most Christians aren't very comfortable with social nudity. So I very carefully replied with, "Well... put it this way... the question of the bathing suit is entirely up to you." So he responded with, "Okay... well, in that case... I'm assuming then that you're going to be... less dressed?" LOL So I replied candidly, "Yes, that is my preference... but it is entirely up to you what you do."

So he said that he'd bring his along, but then we'd play it by ear. And when Sunday came along (we were each taking a long weekend, staying over until Monday) he was ITCHING to get out on the road! Turns out he's been stressed too, and was really looking forward to unwinding a bit. So we finally got there, and I got the best news possible... it was a cold weekend, so EVERYONE else had cancelled, and we had the entire resort to ourselves! We'd been placed in our own private cabin too, as that meant they had to heat less of the place, so we had our own private kitchen and everything! (more on that in a moment!)

Re: Bonding experiences

(continuation)

So we got the fire going to cook our steaks (this was an unwinding weekend... so we were gonna eat well!) and I fired up the sauna for when dinner was done. So after we cooked and ate (and if I may say, they were the best steaks I've EVER made!) the sauna was ready to go... so I got all my stuff ready, and he was over there checking it out, so I went over to the hooks outside... and started to undress. He said, "Oh, I guess I'll go get myself ready then" and headed back to the cabin to get his water bottle and such, so I finished getting undressed and hopped in to the sauna, wondering what he was going to do next. Well he arrived outside, started getting undressed... and then next thing I knew, he was stepping into the sauna... NUDE.

We actually spent the next four hours in and out of the sauna, getting to know each other and having some real male bonding time... which was great, because it's been a long time since I've had good male friends, since I moved from out east. And we got into some real good conversation, including... his seeming comfort with being nude. I could tell this wasn't his first rodeo, so I asked him a number of careful questions, which ended up revealing... that yes, he's pretty much a home nudist, though he said he'd never use the term "nudist" to describe himself. Though he did repeat a funny line his wife said to him just the other week, while he was getting dressed as they were getting ready to go out... "Oh... so THAT'S what you look like WITH CLOTHES ON!" LOOOOOOL!!!

So now that we'd covered that subject, I piped up with, "Well, that's good to know... I guess that means we don't have to bother getting dressed to head off to bed then!" And with that having been said... we didn't! We stayed nude for the rest of the evening, and the next morning, since we knew there was no one else on site... I got out of bed, and didn't bother putting any clothes on. It was WONDERFUL to finally have a friend who genuinely didn't care, and I spent my morning in the nude, we shared some breakfast, more great conversation, and I actually got far more relaxing naked time than I'd anticipated that weekend. I came hope way less stressed, and have a new good friend to boot!

So yes indeed, nudity can be a real bonding experience. AND... we're already talking about doing some back country camping in the summer, where yes indeed... CLOTHING WILL BE OPTIONAL. HOORAY!!!

Re: Bonding experiences

BeachBunny
I've emailed a friend, an ABC (American Born Chinese) woman who, at the time, was dating an American guy who wanted her to go to the beach with him. She got talked into going, she went to the beach with us, and she did go topless often and fully nude a few times, but her first-time experience did not go well and she had some other bad experiences too. I want to make sure she's okay with me posting things before I do so. She's married now and she and her husband (a Chinese man from Taiwan) regularly swim nude in their home pool but they no longer visit beaches except on vacations far away from home. I think she'll be okay with me posting but I want to check first.


I've gotten an email back from my Chinese friend and she's okay with me posting. I commented on the "First steps to introduce to a possably reluctant wife or girl friend to nudism" thread since I think what I wrote goes better there than here.

What I didn't write on the other thread is what I meant by her first-time experience not going well. I kept the comments in the other thread positive. She was looking forward to the experience, and while understandably nervous, she was okay with it.

Things went well at first. She undressed without too much delay, taking off her top and slacks shortly after arrival and maybe half an hour later she took off the bikini bottoms she had worn under her slacks. However, until she agreed to go down to the water with me for a swim, she kept on a pair of dark sunglasses out of worry she'd be recognized.

As we walked back to our beach blanket after our swim, she got recognized by some male students she knew. It would have been better for her if they had been nude, but none of the men in that group had yet undressed and she was REALLY embarrassed when one of the men called out to her by name and said they were surprised to see her. Not only had she been recognized, but her name had been called out for anyone within earshot! Her boyfriend saw what was going on and walked over which made it easier for her, and eventually my own boyfriend joined us and nicely suggested the guys ought to undress if they were going to be on a nude beach. They understood, they planned to go nude anyway, so they took off their swimsuits and my Chinese friend enjoyed the experience of seeing male embarrassment.

We thought things went well that day, and at the beach, they did. Unfortunately one of the guys in that group told some of his friends about the "hot girls" (meaning me and my Chinese friend) he'd seen nude on the beach, and word started to circulate in her social circles about her nude beach visit.

That caused her many problems. I'll just leave it at that.

For her next few beach visits, she came in a swimsuit and kept it on though eventually we talked her into going topless, which she agreed made sense since one of her main reasons for going to the nude beach was that she liked wearing sleeveless, backless, and strapless dresses, and wanted to get rid of tan lines. The next time we got her to go completely nude, one of the beach gawkers picked her out as an object of his attention.

From then on, our friend rarely went completely nude though she continued tanning topless and swimming nude, taking off her bottoms underwater. Occasionally when there weren't many people around, we got her to keep her bottoms off after a swim.

I wish the nude beach had been a positive experience for her. In some ways it was. She "bonded" with me, my boyfriend and several other couples. Unfortunately she got more and more pressure from some of her friends not to go to the beach, friends who started nitpicking and complaining about her boyfriend who they blamed for her nude beach visits. Eventually they started to have relationship problems. They might have had trouble anyway since her parents weren't happy with her boyfriend's career choice and taking their daughter to nude beaches was just one more reason they didn't like him. By the end of the academic year the nude beach was the least of their problems and they broke up over the summer.

Much later, after going through several other relationships, she got serious with a Chinese man from Taiwan. After they were engaged, they visited the nude beach a few times with us during their senior year in college. He enjoyed nude swimming but wasn't comfortable visiting a beach where they could be recognized. She tells me after their marriage, they've visited Haulover several times on vacation and also other nude beaches, and suntanned nude on a Caribbean cruise, but don't go nude anywhere near where they live. She does regularly swim and suntan nude in their home pool, and her husband swims nude with her, but that's the extent of their participation today in social nudity.

Gawkers and gossipers are a real problem and do real damage.

Re: Bonding experiences

I suspect that what you have just described is much more of a problem for women than for men. Even so, that is why nudist clubs in this country were so secretive and probably still are. You know, the first names only sort of thing.

The basic problem is in doing something that might under any circumstances embarrass you, including both someone actually seeing you, in this case, at a nude beach or merely hearing about it. You described both situations.

The obvious solution is to only visit nude beaches when you are on vacation. I actually think many people do that and to the detriment of organized nudist clubs. There are other factors that have hurt nudist clubs in this country but they're another subject.

Otherwise, one should never do things that would embarrass you like that. But that also means you could be up front with your nudist activities. That's easy for a 40-year old man but not so much for a 25-year woman. If I were to tell people at work (there's hardly anyone else to tell) that I visited a nudist club over the weekend, assuming that it was July and not December, it might cause a few raised eyebrows but little else. Some might consider that to be "too much information" and would rather not hear any more about it. Others might be more interested. Who knows? Most would be bored about what I did yesterday, though. We all have friends and acquaintances that we share our personal stories with but we just have to be discreet about what we share with whom. I'd say that most people have some surprising and interesting thing to share, only most people won't do that.

Essentially all I'm saying is never do anything that someone can hold over your head. At the same time, though, never tell anyone everything; just try to make it sound like you are.