When I was coming to terms with myself as a nudist (because, of course, society puts so much emphasis on the “evils” of the human body), a person from a lifelong nudist family helped me figure out how to own my identity and way of being.
To this day I’ve never met him or spoken with him, but we communicated online. He was related to someone who worked for one of the major naturist organizations in the U.S., so I knew I could trust him. He didn’t owe me any outreach, but I think he saw someone who wanted to embrace his full self and felt he, as someone much more confident in this world, could offer the support and advice I needed. It helped immensely.
Via this blog, sometimes folks reach out to me. Recently someone who identifies as a nudist/naturist, but without any context in their regular life, reached out to me for similar advice and discussion. We’ve never met, of course, and the mode of communication is easier and more immediate than in the early-2000s. I was thinking about how bewildered I was two decades ago with nowhere to turn and it was never a question to me that I’d be available to them.
This is the second person I’ve been open with this year. The first is an old friend who I’ve only seen online who was intrigued when I discussed nudism and who is now committed to attending their local resort for a weeklong summer vacation. I believe our way of living and our attitudes about the human body are valuable to perpetuate. And my experience is that our community is one of the kindest and most welcoming.
In some ways, we do owe newbies who feel overwhelmed a safe place to ask questions as they initiate this adventure. We also owe our way of being, our movement perhaps, an openness to ensure its perpetuation. There’s certainly a perception, whether real or imagined, that nudism could be waning.
By showing openness to beginners, especially in this era where people long for connection but aren’t necessarily joiners, we all can ensure our community flourishes one person at a time.