It used to be hard for me to understand why anyone would want to become a nudist. Being naked was always so embarrassing and uncomfortable for me, even when alone or in front of my husband. I kept my body well-covered at all times. Fear of ridicule and humiliation kept me so uptight for so long, I often had nightmares about being seen naked. To give up my clothing willingly was something I would never have considered, especially as a lifestyle choice. I thought nudists were the beautiful people, either already perfect, or wealthy enough to buy it. What other reason would someone have to go naked in front of others? It must be a mutual admiration society, right? Wrong!
This image of perfection as a criteria for being a nudist couldn't be further from the truth. Nudists don't congregate to worship and admire each others' perfect bodies. We gather together to shed uncomfortable clothing and to experience the joy of feeling the sun and wind all over us - not just on the body parts that society deems acceptable to be seen. Sharing the lifestyle with like-minded people further enhances our nudist experience. Nudism is not about being seen; it's about the freedom to accept ourselves and others just as we are.
We are no different than you. We are normal people with jobs, families, joys and sorrows. We are young, old, thin, fat, Black, Asian, Caucasian, gay and straight. Love of this lifestyle brings us together as friends. Nothing else can give such a wonderful feeling of freedom as moving away from social dictates and living naturally whenever possible. I know that freedom means different things to different people. For those of us who enjoy nudism, freedom requires taking a huge step across social barricades into something that many claim to be perverse and sinful. It is not.
It is nearly impossible to understand how wholesome nudism is without experiencing it for yourself. I made the choice to try nudism because I needed so badly to overcome the negative force that body-shame was having on my life and my attitude toward myself. I never dreamed how far-reaching and positive the effects would be. When I saw a child playing naked in the mud without reprisal from angry parents worried about ruined clothing, I knew I had come home at last. At long last. And then I played naked in the mud, too.
We are not judgmental, as you probably believe us to be. We don't critique, grade, categorize, or dismiss you based on your body shape and size. You are what you are, and so am I. I am free to be who and what I am without prejudice. Body flaws and shame cease to close us off from living life fully because of something we cannot change. And in leaving that shame behind, we become truly free.
Taking your clothes off will have some amazing side-effects in your life. You will discover that your body image starts to improve. You will begin to think differently about the connection between nudity and sexuality, and you will realize that they don't walk hand-in-hand. Men and women can socialize together naked without it being an orgy. Respect for yourself and others will increase, because you'll know firsthand how difficult it is to take that first step. You'll realize that nudists are unique people, indeed.
Clothing does not make you what you are. We are not our clothes, and they are not us. As a nudist, you will discover how important it is to be accepted for who you are and not what you wear. It takes courage to push your personal boundaries and go naked with others. Not everyone is able to do this, but I invite you to try it and see for yourself the changes that will occur in your life.
I still have dreams of being naked in public, but they are no longer nightmares. They are glimpses into a soul set free. Fear no longer dictates my direction, so I can turn my attention to more important things. And from now on, I will play naked in the mud whenever I can.
Julie Dailey Copyright © 1997
Comment or questions for Julie?
Email her via sunlady120 at aol dot com
Want to read more of Julie's view on naturism? Visit her Woman to Woman article.
Return to the