Sharing Your Naturism

Recognizing the difficulty in sharing the nudist experience with non-nudists, AANR and TNS (The Naturist Society) have assembled a team of human behavior experts who pooled their knowledge into a comprehensive reference on how to successfully share nudist experiences with others entitled "Sharing Your Naturism."

The resulting articles appear in the print versions of AANR's The Bulletin and TNS' N Magazine and will be published below each month.

Do you have a comment or question about Sharing Your Naturism? Share your comments here

How Long Should You Wait To Tell The World You're A Nudist? (Part 7)

Final Installment

By now, we hope you may have found the courage, conviction and strategies to be open about your nudism or naturism with more people in your life. This should be an on-going process so that an increasing segment of society not only understands what nudism really means but are also motivated to try nude recreation themselves.  Part VII ends this series.  It offers two final disclosure strategies along with suggestions for acknowledging positive support and evaluating your approaches to see what has worked or to create new and different strategies that you can share with others.

Using positive deviance and personal stories

Positive deviance refers to an uncommon action that differs from 'the way things are usually done,' but whose outcome is well intended and successful. Nudists are often considered different than others because they believe in their right and privilege to be clothing free with their friends.  Actually, the nudist community and their national organizations use positive deviance frequently in public relations events such as sponsored beach cleanups and skinny dips; wearing clothes or displaying items with pro-nudist slogans like "I'm a nudist and I vote;" and even the occasional peaceful public protest. 

Intentional communities (or special interest groups) are typically subsets of a broad cross section of society that share a particular activity or characteristic, i.e., vegetarians, sport enthusiasts, volunteers for particular charities and the like. Each group embraces its particular interest area with enthusiasm and the desire to share this with others. Their personal stories are often very persuasive in involving people in their cause, recruiting others into their group or helping others understand the basis of their passion.  This equally applies to nudists.  Nudists represent all segments of society but are viewed as different because they share the unique characteristic of enjoying freedom from clothing when socializing with their friends. Most nudists have a story about how their life, or the life of someone they know, has been dramatically improved by the body acceptance, increased self-confidence, self esteem and supportive community that come naturally with nude living and recreation. Continuing to tell these stories demonstrates that a nudist's life may actually be better and more fulfilling than that of the general population. 

Acknowledging acceptance

More often than not, good friends, family and colleagues will accept the disclosure of your nudism in a matter of fact manner.  It is equally important to acknowledge their acceptance, providing positive reinforcement for both of you.  The exercise below contains suggested responses to a listener's positive statement.  You can also initiate the acknowledgement by stating, "Thank you for letting me share something that is truly meaningful to me.  There are so many misconceptions about nudists and nude recreation it is good to be able to tell it like it is and dispel the myths.  I wish everybody could understand the benefits that we derive from the right to be clothing free with our friends."

Recipient's positive comment

Reciprocal affirmations

Thank you for sharing this information.

I expected you would be perfectly ok with it and it is so much more comfortable to be able to talk about this important part of my life.

I had a hunch that both of you were nudists.

We really want people to know how positive and healthy this lifestyle is.

I never thought about the benefits that come with nudism or naturism.

       OR

You make it sound wonderful.

Truly, it provides us with relaxation, a sense of freedom, self-acceptance and esteem...I could go on and on about this.

Who knows...perhaps I would consider it some day.

It would be wonderful to have you meet the friendly folks at our camp.  And most people who try nude recreation end up saying, "I wish I had done this years ago."

I had my doubts about children being in a nudist environment.

Children are natural nudists. It is healthy for them to see that most of us do not look like the models on TV and in the movies.  And at our facility we safeguard the wellbeing of all of our guests and visitors, but particularly our children

I assumed that most religions would frown on naturism.

There are some that do, but we have devout, conservative members who feel that their nudism is compatible with their religious beliefs. In fact there is a Christian Nudists Association.

You know, a lot of people aren't going to accept this as well as I did.

You are right...that's why we hope folks like you will be able to dispel some of the misconceptions that others hold.

Evaluating your success

Evaluation of your approaches and results should be the final step.  If you have learned a new technique...such as a particularly effective verbal response, story or slogan...share this with fellow nudists and AANR/TNS so that they can be shared more broadly with other nudists/naturists. Every situation is different, and as such, you should identify which approaches work best for a particular situation, exactly how to use them, and when to apply them.  With practice, you will figure out how individuals might react to information that differs from their attitudes or that alters their belief about their influence and control over you. And despite all good intention, there is always the possibility of unknown factors negatively affecting the outcome you desired.  If this occurs, try to analyze the cause and remember that being prepared with contingency plans should always be part of the strategy.

Summary

The information that has been presented throughout the series can be used to successfully tell the world you are a nudist, educate them about nudism and naturism and then thank them for their positive acceptance as reinforcement.  Using the philosophy of public health, our goal should be 'the greatest good for the greatest number.' Thus, each of us has a role in promoting the right and privilege to be clothing free in acceptable places and in greatly increasing those places deemed to be acceptable!  Even those who legitimately are unable to reveal their nudist way of life can help to change public attitudes toward nude recreation by writing letters to legislators or commenting positively and factually in blog posts and news articles.

Robbie Collins, the second major American team player to openly acknowledge being gay recently said: 'The more people that choose to live an honest and genuine life, the better it is for everyone ... [and the more it] will change people's perceptions and challenge the misconceptions out there."  This is a message for all of us.

PS: How long should you wait to tell the world you're a nudist?  The answer is NOW!! 

 

Editor’s Note: This article and other articles in this series are based on the work of the Joint AANR/TNS Ad Hoc Committee on Sharing your Naturism.