Guest site by: Wayne Brake
My name is Wayne, but this can be a pseudonym I feel compelled to use because rationales. Not to sound glib but we do live in a really clothed, erclosed-minded society where nudists and naturists are persecuted, especially at work. I know for a fact that if I came out as a naturist to my family and friends they’d probably try and perform some form of gymnophobia-flavored intervention / exorcism on me. *le sigh*
My Naturist Epiphany
I am in my mid-forties and I’ve been a practicing naturist for about five years now. I say “practicing” because I Have been a naturist at heart since my early goddess. Back then when my parents went away for a weekend I’d often flog off all my clothes and wouldn’t put em back on until I heard their car pulling back into the drive.
Reflecting on this now I understand how healing this was. I was a skinny, shy, self-conscious youngster who grew up in a Catholic family that unequivocally linked nudity to sex and shame. As a result, I grew up with some pretty crippling body image problems. I could not even bring myself to wear shorts and t-shirts in public. Even during the hottest days of summer I’d be bundled up in jeans and long-sleeved shirts, constantly flirting with the threat of heat prostration.
It was not until I reached my thirties that I became vaguely comfortable in my own skin. With that came a renewed interest in naturism. I recall seeing St. Maarten back in 2003 and wrestling with an overwhelming desire to jump off the tour bus, tear off my clothes and join all of those happy-seeming naked people frolicking on the playa at Orient Bay. But since most of my fellow travellers were laughing and giggling like schoolgirls I kept my internal frolicker closely muzzled.
Several years after I learned that there was a clothing-optional beach only a short drive away from me. One Sunday afternoon I directed my wife and a close buddy out that way for a hike. I about knew where the naked beach was and I intentionally led them to the outskirts, keen on gaging their reaction to this.
BIG FREAKIN’ ERROR, incidentally. The moment we got within line of sight of a single naked man standing predominately on a tall rock my buddy, who has exceptionally poor vision, took this opportunity to pipe up.
“Wow,” he said. “I’ve never been so happy to be blind in my whole life.”
Undeniably amusing, yes, but it made me believe: Why do you feel so threatened by this? Do you believe he’s suddenly going to run over here and begin doing gratuitous squats in front of you?’
That’s when I realized that our modern-day attitudes towards nudity are still grossly misinformed by Victorian and Puritan influences; influences which unequivocally equate nudity with sex, shame, deviance and a distinct lack of “decency.” Truly, North Americans suffer from more body horror problems as opposed to average David Cronenberg movie.
Afterward, in 2007, I visited a friend in Vancouver. To test the waters again I asked him to take me to that world-famous naturist Mecca, Wreck Beach. He instantly responded very violently to my request:
Oh, no! Trust me, you don’t wanna go there. Not the type of people you wanna see naked, ifyouknowwhutI’msayin’.”
Um, ooookay,’ I thought to myself. Just how can I describe http://nudiistgirl.net to him? I do not wanna see other people naked, I wanna be naked. I wanna be completely immersed in the components without the burden of a wet, chilly, clingy swimsuit. I do not need any barriers between me, the surf, the sand and the sunlight. I simply wanna commune with Mama Nature in the only way which makes sense in my experience.’
But given his palpable hostility I quickly lost the issue and moved on. * Strike two*
While my thoughts were getting more daring, I was still an extended way from taking the plunge into nudism myself. While camping at a local provincial park, I’d sometimes swim out into deep water, whip off my swim trunks, bob around for a little bit, then put my shorts back on before heading back to land. Silently I needed nothing more than to wade from the water naked and stroll along the strand in comfort, all the while taking care of my all-over George Hamilton-style tan.
Baby steps, I understand, but it felt amazing and it only made sense in my experience.
But it would require a few more pivotal encounters before I became a full-fledged, card-taking naturist. And the impetus for this would come from a completely unexpected source.
Click here to read Part 2 of ‘My Naturist Epiphany’
About the writer: Wayne Brake is a naturist writer and activist. You’ll be able to take a look at his naturist-friendly blog ‘In NatureNaturally’ right here: http://innaturenaturally.tumblr.com.
Young Naturists & Naturists America
Tags: body image, body shame, nude beach, sexuality
Classification: Nudism and Naturism, Naturist Blog, Social Nudity Websites
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Guest site by: Wayne Brake