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Gateways to naturism
Like many pleasurable activities, enjoyment of social nudity is addictive - in a good way. Here are ideas for how to get others "addicted".
Note: If you’re an experienced naturist, the ideas here aren’t so much for you, although there are a number of them you may not have considered. Instead, these ideas are for people you know or have recently met who might be open to an interest in naturism.
There really isn’t much question about it. Good experiences of a true naturist kind lead people who have the experiences to want more of the same. Maybe it’s pleasant afternoons at a clothing-optional beach, making new friends at a naturist club, or simply watching movies naked with others a few times in the homes of naturist friends. The result is the same: people who’ve enjoyed such things want to make them a more important part of their lives.
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It’s not unreasonable to consider such results to be an “addiction”, and it resembles the addictive effect of many drugs (whether or not they have a legitimate medical purpose). Actual addiction to drugs is harmful, because of the negative health effects and motivation to engage in criminal behavior to obtain the addictive drugs.
But it is reasonable to think of enthusiasm for naturism as a good type of “addiction”. That’s provided no behavior harmful to oneself or others is involved - which is the case with all genuine naturist activities. If you’re uncomfortable thinking of naturism as in the same category as harmful addictions, then just accept the usage of the term here as a metaphor. Genuine naturism really does have a number of clear benefits in terms of social, mental, and physical health. Active naturists understand this very well - and can cite these benefits for promoting naturism to others.
So let’s take the analogy (or metaphor if you prefer) with “addiction” one step further. Use of prescription drugs like opioids or recreational drugs like nicotine or marijuana certainly can lead to harmful cravings for other drugs that are more potent - yet justifiably illegal. Necessary or relatively harmless drugs that have this effect are called “gateway drugs” because of the cravings they may engender.
In the newsletter article just preceding this one, there was a discussion of how to find people who might have a more open-minded attitude towards naturism than exists in most of the general public. Such people will have little problem accepting your interest in naturism, and might even consider trying it themselves. In particular, they might, given the right circumstances, be willing to get naked in order to enjoy a hot tub or spa, experiment with nude yoga, or have fun with nude body painting. If they find something like that enjoyable, they may well become interested in other naturist activities. So preliminary experiences with nudity that have this effect can be considered as “gateways” to actual naturism.
Visiting somewhere that’s already used by many naturists is probably the best way for a person to get started in naturism. In practice, at least in the U.S., this is mainly either clothing-optional beaches or established naturist resorts, parks, and clubs (landed or nonlanded). Unfortunately, there are at least two serious problems with that approach. The first is simply that someone potentially interested in naturism may be insufficiently self-confident about being naked in the presence of others, and so would prefer to start out alone, for instance by going naked at home (if nobody else is around) or sleeping naked.
However, even if self-confidence isn’t a big factor, it’s also unfortunately true that the nearest suitable naturist clubs and resorts may be far away from home. This is even a much larger problem with clothing-optional beaches in the U.S. There simply are very few naturist-friendly beaches in the country, and most are on either the East or West coast. In the middle of South Dakota? Fuggid about it.
The rest of this article will suggest a number of activities that involve nudity in some way, aren’t terribly inconvenient, but which the “general public” may consider somewhat less “appalling” or “shocking” than happily socializing naked with other people who unashamedly prefer wearing nothing. These activity ideas can help someone evolve from curiosity about and tolerance of social nudity to enthusiastic participation in it. The net result is more naturists, the strengthening of naturism itself, and eventually broader social acceptability of the naturist lifestyle.
No doubt there are plenty of other ideas that could also be useful as “gateways to naturism”. Please add comments with any suggestions you have for additional ideas.
Simply going naked at home - if and when that’s possible and comfortable - is clearly an easy and low-risk way to get started, although it’s short of actual social nudity, unless others are also naked.
Sleeping naked is also easy and risk-free. A number of health benefits are often cited in favor of the practice.
If one has access to a private spa/hot tub (indoors or outside), wearing anything there is silly. A significant other should have no objection to doing likewise, and perhaps other family members too.
A private backyard that’s not fully shaded is a perfect place for sunbathing - naked, of course.
For people living in an apartment or a house whose backyard isn’t very private, there are commercial places even in small towns to get an all-over tan. Such places usually have no objection to nudity, and keep their facilities clean and hygienic. Just don’t overdo it, especially if you have a very fair complexion.
Naked gardening can be done in a sufficiently private part of one’s property. Not only is it satisfying by itself in terms of successful results, but it’s a more active way to get a good tan. And afterwards a quick shower is sufficient to clean up, without any dirty clothes.
Anyone who’s fortunate to have a private swimming pool in a private location should certainly use it naked, along with friends and other family members if possible.
Exercise for fitness and endurance is easier and more enjoyable without restrictive clothing. Many people now have treadmills, stationary bikes, or similar devices, and the health benefits alone justify the expense.
Naked yoga is becoming increasingly popular. For novices, lessons are available by video links in the privacy of one’s home. Instructional DVDs are also available for practicing alone. More difficult advanced poses are even harder when wearing anything. A few yoga studios in metropolitan areas offer naked yoga sessions for groups.
Housecleaning chores of most types aren’t much fun, but are generally unavoidable. Doing them naked not only feels better but avoids getting clothes dirty or sweaty - so less laundry to do.
Visiting clothing-optional beaches, skinny-dipping places, or remote hot springs - and ditching the clothes - is an ideal way to get into naturism. Going with others is good for safety, even if others don’t choose to get naked. The problem is that such places aren’t usually very nearby for most people, or are well-kept secrets.
Naked hiking is possible in many remote locations in national forests or on similar public lands, such as those managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). However, it’s a good idea to enquire with a suitable official whether there are specific local regulations against nudity.
For anyone who just wants to spend one or more days clothesfree outdoors, naked camping is often possible in the same areas as naked hiking. It’s usually necessary to scout around beforehand for good camping spots that aren’t likely to be visited by others. Roads in such areas are often in poor condition, so a high-clearance or 4WD drive vehicle is advisable. Checks on local anti-nudity laws and campfire regulations should also be made. (Here’s a detailed article on naked car camping.)
Anyone with the self-confidence to be naked in front of others for a worthy purpose should certainly consider life modeling. Many higher education facilities - from junior colleges on up - have classes in figure drawing or painting, sculpture, etc. They usually want models, of diverse body types, willing to pose naked in classes - and generally offer reasonable pay for the work. However, it can be tiring work and takes experience to be done well.
A variation on nude modeling is body painting, where the model is actually the canvas rather than the subject. (No permanent paint, of course.) Such acjtivities are usually arranged by small groups of body-positive people who may invite friends and acquaintances to participate. But anyone who knows others (especially naturists) who might be interested can take the organizing initiative. Painting on limited body areas could be enough for a start - but might go further, assuming full consent. Humans seem to have a natural impulse for decoration of their bodies. Numerous online videos exist showing the impressive work of artists who do body painting.
There are many opportunities to enjoy non-contact sports naked - running, tennis, volleyball, etc. (Just like ancient Greeks.) Naturist clubs and resorts usually offer at least tennis and volleyball. Most places these days don’t require nudity at all times, except around their swimming pools and spas. With tennis, for instance, you can either visit with nudity-tolerant friends or make friends with tennis players there. A few places hold naked 5K (only about 3 miles) “marathons” once a year for anyone interested.
River rafting is a lot of fun, although not exactly a sport (unless you’re needed to help with the paddling). But some rafting companies will take groups that include some or all who’re naked - at least on rivers not frequently used by the general public.
Another water-based activity is houseboating. You just need to interest enough friends who’re tolerant of nudity to join you and share the cost. Lakes where houseboating is available often have a few fairly private coves along the shores where nudity won’t even be noticed. (But check on local regulations.)
Obiously, it’s very helpful to have “nudity-tolerant” friends and/or relatives in order to enjoy many if not most of these ideas. As long as they don’t have significant objections to the nudity of others (including you), these are precisely the people who are most likely to become interested in naturism themselves. Indeed, the possibility of interesting these friends in trying naturism is every bit as important as providing you with opportunities to experience a variety of naturist activities. This is a win-win situation for everyone - and for naturism itself.
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