When you’re at a nudist destination, you share common cause with everyone there. Perhaps that’s why everyone is so nice and conversation flows among strangers easily.
I think about my time on clothed beaches or really at any destination where I’ve taken some leisure time. In those spaces, we keep to ourselves, one of hundreds of ships passing in the night. Think about it. Do you just start up a conversation with random people you see at the park or a beach? People would look at you suspiciously, wouldn’t they?
But when you’re at a nudist destination, you’ve all worked really hard to get there for one specific purpose. You’re probably all keeping your activities at some level a secret. And so, it’s a relief to be among people who hold the same values you do, at least in terms of practicing nudism. These are your people.
A common saying is that nudism is egalitarian. Without clothes and other accoutrements of daily life, you have no idea how much the person the next towel over makes, how much education they might have, or even what they believe politically (though I have heard a rather amicable discussion despite disagreement on the candidate at one venue). Stripping away clothing strips away all those preconceived notions. The important part is that you’re all there.
At The Ledges, in Wilmington, we’ve had long conversations with people we’d never met before, some we’d never meet again. Often, the discussion begins with what brought us there, how long we’ve been part of this community, and other topics that revolve around being nudists. Then, after a bit, the conversation will shift toward general topics.
What has struck me at every venue I’ve attended is just how pleasant and accommodating everyone is. In fact, I’ve only met one rude nudist in my life. My guess is that our common cause makes us be kinder than how people are in everyday life. The mentality is that we’re all in this together, let’s not screw this up, and we’ll probably run into each other again.
Perhaps, we’re just so happy to have a venue that serves our interests, so why would we be grouchy with one another?
In life, I’ve been part of churches, sports teams, school classes, families, and work staffs. No matter what, I’ve found the nudist community, my community, to be the kindest that I’ve ever met.
Additionally, we practice non-judgment. It doesn’t matter how you look, if you fit classical standards of beauty, or if you’re the embodiment of features the wider society likes to ridicule. We all have our insecurities, but I feel less self-conscious nude than when in a bathing suit. Consider, our swimsuits draw attention to our bodies, drawing the gaze to certain areas. The modesty suit actually sexualizes us, while the birthday suit equalizes us.
Is every nudist a paragon of all that’s good in the world? Of course not. But I’ve found that our sense of community draws out the best within us. And for that, I’m grateful to have this community in my life.