Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Overcoming Your Fear of Social Nudity

Many people have a deep seated fear of appearing nude in a public setting. In fact for many, it has been observed that only the fear of public speaking rivals public nudity for the power to induce sheer terror in the hearts of many of us. Still being nude in public holds a certain degree of appeal for many of us causing it to be an experience that some secretly long to try. If you've ever given thought to trying social nudity but feel that you are just too nervous to try it, allow me to offer some suggestions that might enable you to overcome your fear and embrace the joys of going au naturel.

Fear of public nudity is quite common and natural given that most of us have been socialized since childhood to feel that exposing our bodies in mixed company is wrong or even sinful. Coupling that with that the common fear of the unknown that most human beings have, one can quite readily understand why someone wouldn’t be immediately comfortable with the idea of going nude in a communal setting. Phobias are usually best overcome by taking small steps. As a child you first learned to crawl, then to stand, then to take a few wobbly steps and much later you finally learned to run. This is a good method to employ in any endeavor that you feel is challenging and just a bit scary. Take your time and progress by taking small steps.

Looking at pictures of nude people in public social nudity situations may help you to relax a little as it will help you to accept that it isn’t abnormal or lewd behavior. Many times it helps to know you won’t be the first person in the world to go naked in front of complete strangers. I don’t suggest that you choose pornography for this exercise as pornography is intentionally calculated to cause sexual arousal for the viewer. The very first thing one must do when contemplating nudity from a naturists perspective is to debase oneself of the idea that casual social nudity has anything to do with sex because that is simply not the case. For those who have no experience with being nude outside the context of sexual activity it is sometimes difficult to draw the distinction between nudity and sex, but just trust me you can learn to do so and many before you have done exactly that. There are plenty of non-erotic, non-sexual nudist sites where you can have ample opportunities to view real nudists in real social nudity situations.

Another non-threatening way of helping to learn to feel more comfortable with the idea of trying social nudity is to first learn to feel comfortable with your own nudity. It’s okay, we are NOT professionals and it IS okay to try this at home. Try to experience nudity outside the context of sexual activity or the context of bathing or showering, the only experience with nudity that many of us may have ever had. It may be for some that the first small steps toward gaining some comfortableness with their own nudity that they may be able to manage is to go nude within the safe confines of their own home. If that happens to be the case for you there is absolutely nothing wrong with it and that’s fine in the beginning. Just get completely nude and I suggest do some simple everyday activities while nude: Read a book, do some common household chores or watch television. I think you will be surprised at how quickly you acclimate to be spending time in the buff and perhaps even more surprised by how quickly you come to enjoy the feeling of being free of restrictive, binding clothing when you don’t have to be clothed. If you do harbor that spark of desire to try social nudity, then once you have become comfortable with home nudity it is time to push the envelope just a bit.

Most of us can easily learn to feel comfortable being nude in the safety of our home, but the idea of being nude outdoors is a bit more daunting. Still if you are willing, you can do it and learn that it really isn’t so scary after all. If you have a backyard with a privacy fence or an apartment patio or balcony with substantial privacy, you can try the next experiment any time without fear of someone observing you. Even those who live in an apartment setting and have a patio or balcony that offers little in the way of privacy can do it too just as long as you wait until it is dark out and perhaps a bit late at night when there are fewer people out and about who might see you. For the first time, take a watch with you and commit yourself to spending a minimum of 15 minutes nude outdoors in your backyard, on your patio or on your balcony. Then simply get completely naked and make yourself go out the door. While I have every reason to believe that you will have come to feel much more comfortable at the end of the 15 minutes than you might have felt at the beginning, you still may be left with a few reservations and that’s certainly okay. But for that very reason, you should really try this experiment several times rather than just once, and you might try extending the amount of time by 5 minutes each time you repeat it. I think you will feel much more comfortable than you every imagined possible after a few experiences with this and being nude outdoors will really help you gain some confidence towards trying social nudity for the first time. Actually, the majority of social nudity experiences occur in an outdoor setting which is why it is important to get a feel for being nude outdoors.

Finally, you have gotten a bit more comfortable both with your own nudity and with being nude outdoors. It is now time for your first solo to use an aviator’s term. After perhaps many practice runs, it is time to fly. Some might choose to visit a clothing-optional beach if there is one located nearby since this is a designated venue for nudists and one where you can go to experience social nudity for the first time. Personally, this would not be my first choice for a couple of reasons. First, clothing-optional means exactly that so even in the area where there will be people completely nude, you are also likely to encounter just as many folks who are clothed, if only in swimwear. The presence of clothed people will really make it all that much more difficult for you to decide to get nude. Secondly, it is an unfortunate fact of life that many voyeurs haunt clothing-optional areas and perv on nudists which is likely to be very upsetting and intimidating to the first timer. Even if they happen to be a good distance away using telephoto lenses or binoculars they are unlikely to escape your attention and the effects will be the same.

The other alternative is a clothing-optional club or resort. Here I’m talking about a club or resort that owns their own land and club facilities and where you generally find things like swimming pools, hot tubs, clubhouses, nature trails and the like. Almost without exception, the owners and staff of such clubs and resorts know that a person can’t overcome years of socialization in an instant and you should not feel pressured at all to immediately get naked. Oftentimes they will talk with you for a period of time, explain the club layout, inform you of activities available and review any rules. That is usually followed up with a tour and the whole time this is taking place you can remain clothed. If you feel too intimidated or nervous to go alone, try recruiting a friend or friends to accompany you. There is always strength in numbers. The more familiar faces you have to go through this with you, the more likely you are to try it and actually enjoy it.

Even those venues advertised as “clothing-optional” will eventually get around to the subject of you getting nude if you are a male. This is because it is the one sure way to separate nudists, even new ones from voyeurs and they want the other guests to feel comfortable by knowing voyeurs are excluded from the premises. Women on the other hand in these venues are frequently allowed to keep their clothes on as long as they wish and only expected to get nude when they are personally comfortable with the idea. Some women beginners like to start out with going topless for a while before deciding to remove the clothing covering their lower body areas. After a period of time you may find you actually feel a bit uncomfortable being clothed when nearly everyone else is nude.

While visiting a resort of club, be sure to participate in as many activities as possible. Enjoy the sun, go for a swim and try hiking on the nature trails if any. But also make sure to mingle with the nude people. Strike up some conversations. Once you see so many people around you going naked and not only feeling comfortable about it, but actually finding it enjoyable, you too will likely to begin feeling much more comfortable with the idea yourself. In talking with some of the other nudists you will quickly discover that most of the ones you'll encounter are friendly and welcoming. Be forewarned that initially your eyes will likely be drawn involuntarily towards the breasts, genitals and bottoms of others present and that is absolutely okay. Looking is fine and expected, while starring is not. It is simply human nature to be curious about what other people’s body parts look like when you are unaccustomed to seeing them in full view. But quickly this too shall pass and you will find yourself looking people in the eyes and concentrating on their faces while speaking to them. Also when visiting established nudist or clothing optional clubs or resorts, don’t forget to take a towel along as it is common and expected nudist etiquette to sit on your own towel while using public seating.

Once you gain a degree of feeling comfortable with being nude among some total strangers in a club or resort setting, you can reinforce this by making it a habit to be nude on occasion in front of some friends who won’t be offended by it or around your significant other. Even spending time nude in the presence of close friends you trust can make future experiences of spending time nude in social environments with strangers of both sexes seem like a much smaller leap. Some may even want to add this step before that first trip to a club or resort to prime the pump so to speak.

You can also continue practicing spending time nude in your own backyard or on your patio or balcony. This will continue to reinforce the feeling of being comfortable while nude and outside your own home. In time you will gain greater comfort with spending time nude and greater confidence too. Some people often reach a point where they are no longer satisfied with just spending time nude in designated nudist environments and that is okay too. You might pick a secluded spot for some new nudity experiences: Some nearby wooded area, perhaps a quiet and deserted meadow with enough trees to offer sufficient privacy or even a national or state park in an area with low to non-existent people traffic. You do want to reduce your chances of getting caught as much as possible when practicing outdoor nudity away from established nudist venues, because unfortunately many people are quite uncomfortable with nudity, especially the nudity of others and may become easily offended. Once you get to the point of trying these venues, I think you can pat yourself on the back and consider yourself a true nudist. Now might be the time when you are ready to tackle that clothing-optional beach if you have one available and the voyeurs be damned.

A few things to be cautious about especially once you feel confident enough to go nude in other than established nudist venues is don’t go naked anywhere you could possibly be observed by children. Outside of family-friendly nudist resorts, even those people in general society most tolerant to nudity are offended by anyone who would "expose" their genitals in the presence of children. Also, as mentioned previously, there are those in our society who are simply offended by nudity for a variety of reasons. It isn't the aim of any true naturist to offend anyone. While we enjoy being nude, we limit it to appropriate locations and circumstances where there is little if any risk of being observed by anyone who might be offended. It is always best to err on the safe side rather than running the risk of going afoul of the law by being a bit too confident and brazen about your public nudity practices. Now that you have the tools, go forth and conquer your fears about public nudity and learn just how much fun and how freeing it feels to go clothes free.

13 comments:

  1. Right now, the major issue I face as a backyard nudist is the presence of a two-story apartment complex on the next block: I have six feet of fence, but it doesn't entirely block one particular unit. There's enough cover for me to spread a blanket and lie out in the sun, at least.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great guide for beginners. The more normal, usual, common, etc. the nudity becomes the more you will find relaxation. Some of the most relaxing vacations I have had were at nudist resorts you can simply let it all go. The vast majority of the nudists I have met in alost 20 years of participating were friendly interesting people who came from all walks of life. However you never knew who was the banker or who was the construction worker because we are out of our uniform so to speak.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is quite interesting. I was just talking with my neighbor about this particular subject yesterday. We both would like to explore the freedom of being nude; but living in Utah presents its own set of challenges.
    It is very hard to find places and circumstances where to feel free of clothing.

    It would have been fantastic being able to walk out to my back yard and lay out; Specially now in the dog days of Summer!

    I suppose, we will start by visiting each other's house and laugh it up in the living room

    ReplyDelete
  4. interesting ideas to feel nude in society special when your apartment located in public place like near to park etc. it would great fun to do such stuff. any how its good to feel nude in your own limitations rather to expose to other.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent article. Need to have my wife read it so she can truly enjoy life's freedoms!

    ReplyDelete
  6. most of the guys i talk to about social nudism's #1 concern is erections - first of all getting them when it's not appropriate - secondly, becoming "desensitized" about nudity possibly making it harder to get erections when they do want them. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  7. What if I'm self conscience about pens size?

    ReplyDelete
  8. The size of your penis doesn't matter unless you equate nudity with sex.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Excellent information. This makes me want to try finding a place to be nude outside!

    ReplyDelete
  10. An excellent article.

    What surprises most people is just how quickly they can throw off the years of social conditioning that created the fear in the first place. Often it can take as little as 10 minutes when someone finally 'takes the plunge'.

    Here are a couple of actual first-time experiences to further encourage anyone thinking of giving it a go:
    http://www.bn.org.uk/articles.php/_/information/about-naturism/first-time-experiences/diving-in-by-matt-r26
    http://www.bn.org.uk/articles.php/_/information/about-naturism/first-time-experiences/a-new-and-a-maze-ing-experience-by-mike-r25

    ReplyDelete
  11. Absolutely loved it! And the first time I was a 40 yr old male.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I used to be shitscared (pardon my profanity but no other term suffices) of nudity - the horror of showers at school, along with the inevitable erection. The problem in my 20s was that naturist clubs often had a strict couples-only policy and this prevented me embracing social nudity.

    ReplyDelete