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!
I've "officially" been a nudist for about five years, but I've always preferred nude to clothes. And for my entire conscious life, I've wondered why others don't feel the same way. I've had different theories through the years, but I wanted to see if you guys had any. Figured I might learn something.
My best theory so far is that naturists tend to view their bodies as whole and complete, not needing anything else added to them to be full, normal and functional, whereas most textiles feel almost as if they're not fully human without their clothes on, if that makes any sense. It seems sometimes like textiles see their clothes as their skin, and naturists see their skin as their clothes. Am I crazy?
Possibly because it is confining rather than liberating. You have to live behind closed doors, drawn blinds and fences. Do otherwise and you're in trouble.
Thoreau actually referred to the shirt as something like a second skin, like the bark of a tree, something common everywhere all over the world and without it, the same as the bark on a tree, people would wither and die. But I think he was overthinking it.
Likewise, people have said they wonder why other people wear clothes and go into great detail about the expense and bother with expensive and (even) complicated clothes. While that may be a legitimate question and believe me, was asked before any of us were born, unless you're over 90. It just might be possible that most people do not in fact wear expensive, complicated clothes but cheap simple clothes about which they don't give a second thought. Just don't overthink the matter or worry about what other people think.
I discovered the pleasure of nudity in the 1950s at my all-boys’ boarding high school, where it was mandatory to swim naked (except during open days and at competitions). Much later, I discovered the internet had copious information and my interest was rekindled, about 1998. I re-developed and recovered the mind set and on vacation by myself in Spain, discovered the pleasures of CO beaches and a campground. Now, I seek out places where I can go to be nude, for my comfort and pleasure. I have enjoyed 'resorts' where clothing is required only in the restaurant (why?); I have enjoyed more a few places, a campground and those Spanish beaches, where clothing is not required at all.
To answer the question 'why not?', because ...
• Society needs/wants us to wear clothes much of the time, and we comply;
• It is too cold much of the time (where I live) to do without clothes;
• In some cases, protective clothing is a requirement (welding, frying bacon).
BeachBunny's comments about wedding photography brought this to my mind. My wife and I were married in Scotland and the lady photographer who took our pictures (not this one, and neither of us is in the photographs, so far as I know) recently sent us this short video:
Now, getting back on track...
Beach Bunny's posts are so thorough and thoughtful, I am almost embarrassed to even attempt a post following hers.
For those who may have been wondering, I'm reposting below is the core of one of my deleted posts from last week. I have eliminated an entire section that came after where this now ends.
I originally said that I know some women don't think the way I described. I gave an example of a woman I know who is very confident and comfortable with her body, and then several other couples who send messages with their choice of clothes which may be very different from how they actually live their lives. One couple lived together for two years but had an extremely modest engagement photo with a stiff pose in formal clothing. Another couple, while completely committed to "save it for later," lives in a warm part of the country and they often wear loose fitting clothing which reveals a lot of their bodies, and are very expressive of their love in hugging and kissing, and it shows in their engagement photos.
I really ought to ask for these people's permission before posting about them, even if they're anonymous.
The main woman in my deleted post is now married, and when I went to her Facebook page to send her a message, I saw numerous photos of her hugging her boyfriend/fiance/husband (the same guy -- their relationship progressed from dating to engagement to marriage) and decided it might not be the best time to ask for permission to post about her carefree and uninhibited time swimming nude with us. I'll probably ask her the next time she comes swimming with us once the water warms up, if she comes. We haven't talked since early fall when she last came to one of our swims.
Again, another good and thoughtful post. Nothing like mine at all. It really isn't easy making a good post on a forum, seeing as how it is usually written off the cuff and relying totally on memory for details sometimes. It's rare that any post rises to the level of a term paper, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I mentioned in some other post, which I did not follow up on, about a book on early nudism in Germany (where else?) and how the term included nudists, hikers and conservationists. The book is very scholarly and although not really that thick, includes about 1/4 of the book in references and footnotes. Anyway, it is so scholarly that it almost never really gets into the subjects, mostly talking about the organizations and people involved in the movements.
Your posts, Beach Bunny, deserve good replies but I'm afraid that I need more time to compose my thoughts and put them on paper first.
Here's the rest of what I posted to CalgaryMark and then deleted.
I spent two years in Germany when I was in the army and my son spent one year in Germany in the army (his second year was spent in Iraq) and even my daughter spent two years in Germany. None of us went to the beach, however. I went to Berlin and several places in Bavaria. My son went to the Netherlands and my daughter went to France. We even visited her and went to France, too. We intended to visit one of the D-day beaches in Normandy but couldn't even get close to the beach for the traffic. So that's our story.
My wife, however, did a grand tour of Europe after college and visited beaches wherever she could. In Denmark, she was only "topless." None of the other beaches, I think in Greece or Italy was nude or topless. But that was in the 1970s. All the talk about nude beaches in Europe is somewhat exaggerated, just like saying that all women in the United States wear bikinis, which is certainly not true. In fact, when I was there, Germany was quite conservative, meaning less casual as far as public appearances go, generally speaking. We were even expected to dress up when we went out in public. Berlin, though, was different and always has been.
I understand that today, there is some resistance or objection to nudity along the northern coast of Germany on the Baltic and the North Sea. So one should be a little cautious when you hear claims about nudity in Europe. They are certainly more relaxed about nudity or near nudity than Americans might be but there's more to the story than that. By the way, if you ever have a chance to visit the seashore in Germany, by all means do so. But take a sweater with you.
Thanks to both Beachbunny and CJM. Your responses are both right to the point and worth some reflection. I'll leave it at that so I don't drag this thread in a wrong direction.
Since this was originally CJM's thread, I want to go back to his post, here:
I think you may have touched on a couple of things that have tended to destroy the nude beach environment both in this country and abroad. Too many people have taken the freedom of a nude beach and gone too far with licentious behaviour in public. And for that reason, conservative people never see that public nudity, which is what we're talking about, can be perfectly innocent.
It can be, can't it?
There are other factors, too. One is that there are alternatives to a nude beach in the United States, at least for those able to travel a little farther. There are clothing-optional resorts in the Caribbean where one can go to enjoy a "textile-fee" vacation, which reduces public pressure to have a legal nude beach in the states. After all, a trip to the beach is a big deal for people who don't live near the ocean and it's only a little further to places in the Caribbean.
Also, nude beaches may tend to be lumped in with all sorts of alternative lifestyles that more conservative, family-oriented people may wish to avoid. I doubt that children are bothered by very much of this but their parents probably would be and for that matter, so might some of those in alternative worlds. Anyway, just a few random thoughts.
I can't believe how fast this thread is moving! I had a response quite a whie ago but lost it when our internet went down so it never got posted. So just a few quick observations as it is reflected in my life.
At one time my first wife and I did much the same as BeachBunny and her husband. We often came home from work and went straight to the bedroom to strip. Then we would prepare dinner, eat, clean up after, then cuddle on the couch watching TV. Sometime those sessions would lead to other things but more often after a day of work nothing much. After the birth of our child she began insisting we wear clothes all the time. I took it to mean her insecurities but it was part of a controlling behavior. She could then be the one to initiate sexual activity or at least control it by saying she was too tired to get undressed and redressed, too cold to be naked and "what if's" galore.
Second wife and we are naked at home quite often. Before we moved into our newest home we repainted the whole house, rented a carpet scrubber and cleaned before we moved furniture. All this was done naked and I must say clean up after was a treat' as Bunny mentioned those touches, cleaning each other in the shower after doing all that work. We have stayed naked 24/7 at home until some of her medical problems. So if it's cold or if the air conditioning gets to her she will wear something but I stay nude. Since retirement I have gone for days without wearing anything!
Being so far inland I seldom get to a beach, let alone a nude one but I take exception to the thought that beach pictures of young attractive women are such a good thing. To me it may send the message that slightly out of shape people are not welcome there. Or they may get ridiculed as not everyone understands that nudists are very welcoming despite body type.
Although we used to go the beach a couple of times a year, always to the Outer Banks of North Carolina where the family owned a cottage until a couple of years ago, I don't go anymore. I try not to be creepy but in the spirt of full disclosure, I am 70. I have been thinking about many of the things I've posted about for the last 50 years and in fact, some of my experiences that I've mentioned are older than that.
BeachBunny, you said: "While organized nudism may be getting older, grayer and fewer in numbers, I'm not sure that's true for informal social nudity".
While I have relatively little beach & resort experience for my 74 years [in the spirit of 'full disclosure' as if nudity itself weren't full disclosure ;-)] my observation on Spanish beaches is that there is a much wider age-range than the limited exposure I have to N. American sites. One of my fondest memories from nude-day 1 on a beach near Marbella, Spain, was a young family of mother, father and a couple of young kids, all nude, building sandcastles and taking family photographs. On the same day I walked past the older, black-clad Spanish ladies who were obviously unconcerned about nudity (or they wouldn't have come to that beach).
The one (central American) place I have been to which was a small eco-resort had a wide variety of ages. I was probably the oldest, the youngest were middle-aged and many were there to go diving from nearby diving establishments. The resort advertises itself as unsuitable for young children, and kids would have been in school at that time of year, so I am not surprised. Price would also have been a factor for some younger people, as well as air fare.
My observation in California last August (midweek days) at Black's Beach, De Anza Springs and Olive Dell - deserted, aged.