Are You a Secret Nudist as Well?
People Don’t Know I’m A Naturist Underneath These Clothes.. Are You Out Of The Nudist Closet?
Secret Nudist – If you’re a nudist or tried out naturism, does everyone in your life know? All your friends, family, possibly coworkers? Or Friday comes, you leave for the beach, and strip out of your textile-identity costume like Superman in a phone booth. Except you’re totally nude and probably even more yourself in essence than you were before.
So who DO you tell? Or who CAN you tell about your nudist lifestyle? Sometimes it’s difficult to foresee reactions. You might get shock, disgust, embarrassment, giggles. In my case, I’ve actually spent most of my life being secretive about this little subculture of mine. When I was younger my parents instructed me not to go around telling everyone I was a nudist because not everyone would understand it.
However this didn’t keep me from blurting it out to some girls and a leader in my girl scout troupe while on a car ride when I was 8 or 9. While the girls were a bit surprised and confused, thankfully our leader wasn’t and nonchalantly said something like, “Yeah some people do like to go nude in the summer or on the beach.”
Some of my best friends growing up were very modest, and I refrained from telling them until I was 11 or 12. My most modest friend said she went into shock for 3 days. This is it, I thought, everyone is going to be freaked out about this, and I have to be wary of telling anyone. In high school, I realized that cautiousness wasn’t so necessary, as I gained some very liberal and open-minded friends who were surprised, but accepting and curious to know about it. The same happened with college friends.
I was always secretive, though, only telling my closest friends. Granted, grade school and high school are all about fitting in; you’re not allowed to be different and nudist is definitely classified as different. And yet, many people young and old will still choose to hide this part of their lives, not wanting colleagues or “textilists” to know, people who would think it’s weird, wrong, disturbing, etc.
Many naturists keep their naked life a secret because of the incredibly taboo nature of nudity in this country. Nakedness is associated with those feelings of disgust, embarrassment, shame, lust and immorality. In general, any violation of this taboo is going to be rejected by our society.
An article, “Confronting the public nudity taboo” by Anthony Layng, originally published in USA Today, explains in detail the reasons and rules of this nude taboo, where it stems from in history, and how it compares to other countries and societies. He touches on its roots in American Puritanism, the Victorian era, and Christian fundamentalism. He states, “By associating unclothed bodies with sex and immorality, public nudity is considered obscene”(p. 1).
It should only take a short reflection to think of how often nudity, sex and immorality are tied together in the U.S., and this is prolonging the puritan attitudes towards the naked form. He points out that the particular body parts we choose to cover and when are cultural norms, such as a woman covering her breasts while breastfeeding. Americans’ aversion to public nudity contrasts deeply with many countries in Europe, Africa, and beyond, where nude sunbathing and public breastfeeding are commonplace and normal.
Meanwhile, anyone who has tried it knows that naturism only means we enjoy being outside in nature, being completely ourselves, and enjoying it with other people who accept us as we accept them.
The author of this article also states, “Although many educated Americans consider our public nudity taboo to be anachronistic, there presently is no organized national effort to challenge it, and I do not anticipate any sort of social movement devoted to the demise. However, there has been a long-term trend suggesting that, in the not too distant future, America will grow more accepting of nudity” (p.6).
Well we NATURISTS are the social movement! We don’t have to hold on to these puritan attitudes and taboos that condemn our opting to go nude. So why not speed up our progress by telling more people in our lives about our love of nudism?
It’s still necessary to be careful about telling others (like your boss). But if we want to drive the naturist movement on, people should meet nudists to know they are out there, to ask questions, and to learn naturists are normal, good people. We shouldn’t have to hide it as if it’s wrong and forbidden. It’s only nudity, so go out and tell people you’re a naturist! You might face some negative reactions as you talk about going publicly naked in a country of people brought up to feel repulsed or ashamed by public nudity.
Yet you might be surprised, too; whoever you tell could turn into your newest nude-beach-best-friend by next summer. Or that friend who mysteriously stops calling you..(Eh, who needs’em?) Now let’s make a world where nudists don’t have to hide their love of going naked!
This secret nudist post was published by – Young Naturists and Nudists America YNA