By Steve Jacobson
It’s been said that you can’t really understand someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. That saying seems very appropriate when it comes to those of us who embrace the nudist lifestyle. Trying to explain to someone about whom we are and what we do can be a daunting task. Some of us have been open and honest with relatives and friends and others need to be more cautious when trying to explain where they go on weekends or where we live.
The old description about how it feels to go skinny-dipping is always a starting point. Trying to show that being a nudist is more of a feeling than anything rooted in just being naked, is difficult to do. And of course there’s always that “sexual thing” that always enters the discussion. The hardest part of trying to explain the nudist lifestyle is separating being naked from having sex.
When it comes to non-nudists, there seems to be several levels of understanding, or the lack thereof. On one level you have those who just can’t get past the naked part of being a nudist. I suspect that they may have other issues when it comes to body acceptance or individual sexuality. These people will not come around so it’s best not to try.
Folks on the next level are a little more open minded. They at least will listen. They may not be able to get their head around that “naked” thing but they will hear you out and maybe ask some questions. Using your honest impressions about the liberating feeling of being naked, the closeness of the nudist community, and the overall freshness of dealing with everyday problems from a different point of view, may strike a chord with them. It’s best to answer all their questions directly and to the point. It’s important that you show no embarrassment and that you have a certain pride in your lifestyle choices.
The next level can be fun. For it’s these folks who have an interest in nudism, but it’s locked behind their minds’ closed doors. These people could be called “closet nudists” and there are many more of them around than you may know. These people are naked at home and never thought of themselves as nudists or they have never had opportunity to go to a club or still feel embarrassed to talk about being naked. I have found that these people want to have conversations, ask questions, and get involved but need some help in taking that first step. They usually are surprised to find so many other people feel the same way as them. It’s always neat to see people who just discovered the nudist lifestyle. Just the looks on their faces is worth it.
There will always be a need for anonymity when dealing with some relatives and friends. We all know which level we’re dealing with. The important thing is that we, as nudists, need to be honest with ourselves and understand that living the nudist lifestyle is fun and exhilarating and nothing to hide or be ashamed of.