Be who you are. Not who the world wants you to be.
This is one of the tweets I send out almost every day.
It sounds so simple, but if there is a group of people that sticks to it as much as possible, I think it’s the naturist community. The nudists, the clothes-free folks, the ones that drop their garments as soon as it’s convenient and possible.
Being real, being us, is what scares so many others. We’re not afraid to be ourselves, without artificial clothing additives. Come to think of it, the fact that we are us, with all our flaws, scars and odd bits showing, is what scares the textile the most, perhaps.
Because in their hearts they know they look like us. They too have their scars, dimples, wobbles, flab and whatever imperfection we have to show. With the difference that we show them and we’re fine with that. They aren’t. They feel safe in their artificial environment. In who the world wants them to be.
Yes. That sounds weird. Still, we do it. Maybe not all of us, but many. I’m convinced of that.
When we’re inside, out of our clothes, we’re still practising naturism. In the wintertime that’s usually the way I manifest the lifestyle, anyway. I know there are people who are braver than I am, and they go out into the cold no matter what.
My idea for that is: “Go ahead, have your fun while I have mine.”
If nature chases us inside, there’s no harm in saying you’re in your naturist attire when you’re naked. Being inside where it’s warm is in our ‘nature’, right?
I find it interesting to see how flexible ‘naturism’ is as a term and way of life. It can mean you want/need to be outside, in nature, but it can also be you’re in a natural (naked) state.
Of course, there are those who claim that, once you’re naked inside, you’re a nudist, not a naturist, but that’s a word-feud that will rage on as long as there are naked people, I’m sure, so I’m not going there.
I, for one, am happy with this arrangement. Especially since there is no one around that could give me any cr@p about being naked. My neighbours can’t see me so that’s fine. I’m on the 4th floor (5th for Americans 😀 ) , so people in the street aren’t bothered either.
A hot day. 2 priests are walking past a river. One priests says, “I would love to take a dip in there to cool down.” The other priest argues they have no bathing suits with them.
Priest 1 says, “That’s no problem. There’s no one around.” Number 2 is convinced, so the two throw off their clothes and jump into the river to cool down. Of course, 5 minutes later a tourist bus drives past.
The priests grab their clothes and run off. When they are safe from the viewers, priest 2 asks, “Why did you put your habit over your head instead of over your you-know-what?”
Priest 1 says, “I don’t know how they recognise you, but with me it’s my face.”
Note: that was the joke. From here things might get more serious, but no guarantee for that.
So why this joke?
Well… with nudists and naturists having to wear masks, I suddenly thought that some people who have never considered naturism, might feel ‘safe’ to give it a try. Because of the mask on their face. Because, as priest 1 said, “I don’t know how they recognise you, but with me it’s my face.“
Having that ‘fence of recognition’ there could give people a sense of safety to try something they would otherwise never try.
Maybe I am entirely wrong, but the idea that arose from the memory of that joke made me think of this.
Perhaps I am the only one, because not everyone knows that joke. Which is a pity. I think it’s a good one. And it might benefit the hopefully former naturists to give our lifestyle a try.
I saw this a while ago and had to save it. When I started writing this post, I heard just the latest episode of the Naturist Living Show and I remembered this image.
So what do these two have in common for me?
Naturism and nature
Most of the time I treat naturism and nudism as the same thing, simply because it’s easy. Now, however, for this post, I tear them apart. And here’s why.
Nudism for me is the desire to be naked as much as possible, wherever. To enjoy the feeling of being clothes-free, at home, inside, outside, anyside. (And yes, I just made that up.)
Naturism for me is the desire to be in touch with nature as much as possible, in the most natural state of being. This, you guessed it, is naked.
Being naked and as much in touch with nature always makes me fall in love with nature. For simply being able to be there, for feeling in my proper place. For the sheer exhilaration of sensing everything nature throws at me without being fenced off by roofs, clothes and stuff like that.
As the poster at the top says, it’s a revolution that starts inside us. I don’t believe that anyone wants to be nude without an inner desire, a drive, a sense of wanting it. In that respect nudism and naturism line up perfectly. Nudism, I might say, is the first step. Being nude. Natural. Naturism takes it a step further by being nude in nature.
But nudists can be in nature too!
I hear you. Nudists visit nude beaches, nudist resorts, nude venues and play nude volleyball / petanque / tennis etc.
Absolutely true and more be the power to them.
The difference here, for me, is that naturists are trying to be more aware of nature. Of the lifestyle they are carrying. Of respect and care.
If you, dear nudist reader, feel that nudists do the same as naturists, then that’s wonderful. I’m simply laying out the difference for me.
I am convinced that people being naked in nature is the best thing that can happen to nature. It puts us in our place the way we naturally are. Clothes make you less vulnerable and therefore more prone to damaging nature. Rough nature that damages your skin? A solid coat or shirt handles that. Difficult ground? Massive boots solve that. A terrain is hard to get through? Joe, hand me that bulldozer.
The natural human
I understand that sometimes things like that need to happen in the name of advancement, but the way humanity is abusing our planet at the moment, with plastic crap everywhere (even in our food!) and pollution all around us, we’re not doing anyone or anything a favour.
Falling in love with nature might be the best thing that can happen.
When you love something, you care about it, you nurture it, make it better. You don’t rip it apart for most profit.
In the podcast which I mentioned above, Stephane mentions ‘Ethical naturism’. I think that captures all my words in a very nice way. Still, my words will stay up here.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope this post made some sense. 🙂 Please, fall in love with nature.
What do these two have in common? This may seem a strange question but there is something to it.
Have you ever tried to explain naturism to a person? I have. You may have as well. And did it work as in did you make someone go along, become a naturist or at least try it? Not exactly for me. If you managed it, do share your magic in a comment, we’re all curious.
I think naturism and oranges share the same trait: they have to be experienced to be understood. Try explaining the taste of an orange to someone who has never seen or heard of one.
Imagine someone coming up to you and talking about a purple thing you can eat. It is triangular, you need special tools to open it but it tastes great. It can taste a bit salty, or sour, or bitter-sweet, “but you’ll love it”. Would you know what this person is talking about? Do you think you would like it? (I admit I wouldn’t since I made the whole thing up right here.)
That goes for oranges as well, even when they aren’t purple. And for naturism, which isn’t orange unless body-paint has been applied.
We all know naturism is a great thing. A great “fruit”. The trick is to make others eat it. It’s always worth trying to convince someone but, as with oranges (or aforementioned purple fruit) it may not suit everybody’s taste.
The power here is to accept that.
That doesn’t mean I would give up on someone. Give the talk as well as you can and leave it at that for a while. If they are genuinely against it, they won’t mention it again. It’s your guess and estimate to figure out if you want to bring it up again.
Maybe you triggered their curiosity but they need time to get to the point where they want to know more. Or they read about it and they want to experiment/experience it on their own for a while. Golden tip here: if you talk about naturism and you encourage someone to read about it, make sure you have valid references on the web, don’t let people look for naturism on their own. We all know where that leads!
Maybe… who knows… they will find a way to naturism as if they would find a way to the store where triangular purple fruit is sold. With the tools to open it. And then they might surprise you:
Yes. I had ‘an experience’ again. With an unexperienced person.
On my Dutch author blog I wrote about naturism, because I released a Dutch crime story that also deals with naturism. An acquaintance writer/poet from near here let me know she’d read the article and though it was “very courageous” to tell the world I’m a naturist.
That is what happened in my head. An alarm bell. Courageous? What’s so courageous about telling the truth?
I asked her that same question and I got a very deflecting answer: “I really like wearing my clothes, and on the beach I always wear a bathing suit.“
This of course made me ask what benefit the bathing suit had since it doesn’t make you a better bather nor does it keep you warm or dry in the water. “So people don’t see my body.“
Aha. So you are ashamed of your body. There was not a clear response on that one, so the answer is ‘yes’…
Which is a shame, as we all know. There is nothing to be ashamed of, but the media are good at creating this impossible image, and keep changing it.
I asked her once more about her aversion to being naked, quoting her words that she liked wearing her clothes and asking if she had ever tried to be naked for a while. The NO!!! which followed that made it clear to me that she’s not yet ready to give this any thought.
The sad thing of course is that many people think this way, that warped way that’s been glued between their ears. They love their clothes. They won’t change. They will buy a bigger air conditioning unit when it gets hot, instead of doing the sensible thing.
So, to all the readers and followers of this naked-skin-oriented blog: be just as courageous and talk about your naturism. No need to overdo it, or to bring it up at any occasion, but if the opportunity is there and you feel confident, go for it.
We’re all people, all born naked, and we’re all naked beneath the textile layers that society forces upon us.
Let’s enjoy the sensible way of life as much and often as we can, and if any of you have a great way to bring up naturism in a friendly circle, do share it with us. Together we stand!
Yes. I hear you. Faketurists? What the hell are you talking (writing) about here? Let me tell you.
Time and again I come across posts on Twitter and other places where genuine naturists/nudists mention being followed by ‘other naturists’, who after some quick inspection prove to be swingers, sex- and porn-lovers and the like. I am sure we all know the kind by now.
These folks always have pictures on their timeline/profile, and they are not as naturist and calm as the one here.
Fake naturists. Hence faketurists.
They’re a pain in the eye and the mind for real naturists, and with reason.
It’s difficult to get rid of them in their entirety since going after them and ‘exterminating’ them is a) time consuming, b) costly and c) illegal. So we end up blocking them, reporting them, the works. I’m sure most people reading this post recognise the problems.
The crap thing is that, yes, sometimes it’s hard work to check each account that is following you, me, anyone. Still: keep doing it. No one is doing it for you, and if you want to keep your presence as clean as possible, it’s a necessary evil. The ones with explicit names or profile images are easy to catch. Some require inquiry. Alas.
An idea I suddenly had was to get some kind of swap-space going where naturists can swap their block lists, at least the one from Twitter. On Twitter you can export your blocked-list by clicking your profile image and select Settings and privacy from the menu:
From there select Blocked Accounts on the left, click advanced options and export your list:
Save the list and that’s most of the work. On the swap space everyone can then download your list and import it to their own blocked accounts (which, as you see, is also a choice in the advanced options, and that will save everyone a lot of work going after each suspicious account.
A drawback is that you might block an account that someone finds offensive, gross of insulting while you might like that account very much. It’s a personal trade-off.
I wonder what you think of this idea, and if you have specific ‘controls’ in place to keep your online, naturist presence ‘clean’.
I doubt this powder will turn you into one of those (and if they have powder for the other colours too) so I decided to click the link. Sometimes I’m a fearless rebel without a clue, you should know.
And that is what I saw…
And yes, the label actually says Naturism!
Maybe someone who visits this particular article is experienced enough in Japanese to convey what this is all about. It made me laugh more than it should, but I like to laugh so that is all fine.
Of course now I wonder if there are other people who have discovered weird references to naturism, nudism or the nude way of life. I’d love to hear/ read about them because I always fancy a good laugh!
Is there a difference? I know that in most of the US of A the words are used interchangeably.
I also know that in Europe, for instance, the two words are used differently. Naturism appeared after nudism. I’ve been thinking about those two words recently.
Thoughts on the difference.
Nudism. The word has ‘nude’ as its base. Being nude. Like the people in the image on the right, playing bowling, having a clothes free, good time. Great for them, and if you’d ask me I’d join them in an instant. For one it’s a great way to be socially nude, and for another it would be nice to practice bowling again. (I truly suck at it.)
Naturism. The word has ‘nature’ at its base. Being with/part of nature, like the people
on the left. Naked in nature, being part of it and experiencing it that way. Exposing themselves to the real, rough world in their own vulnerability. It’s a way to get things into perspective.
An average human, in clothing (be it protective or not), will consider himself or herself master of the world, maybe because we’ve conquered just about everything. How untrue such a statement is when you’re naked and perhaps even afraid!
We’ve not conquered things. We’re adjusting them – and often with disastrous results, like the acid rain the world faced and still faces, climate change, and earthquakes that happen because we empty the earth below us from fossil fuels.
Can you be a nudist and a naturist?
I think that’s perfectly possible. Being naked in and around your house, whenever that’s possible, makes you a nudist (in my view at least). Enjoying the outside in the nude, being close to and having respect for nature (one of the pillars of naturism according to the INF) makes you a naturist.
More and more I feel like dropping all those words and labels. Be who you really are. Be naked and nude and a nudist and a naturist and clothes-free. As long as you feel good about it and you don’t intend to shock others when you’re in your natural state.
Sounds kind of logical, doesn’t it? Naturists should have some connection to nature. They do, even when some don’t know it. In nature nothing’s clothed. People, how shocking this might be to some, are part of nature, so they shouldn’t be required to be clothed either if there’s no good reason for that.
But without clothes you’re… naked!
Yup. You got that damned right. And guess what… that’s the whole point. Tell me one thing that’s not naked out there in nature, apart from most human beings.
Oh, dogs with their fur? Bears with their fur? Birds with their feathers?
How could I have forgotten! Of course I didn’t. Those creatures didn’t go shopping for fur or feathers to cover themselves. They don’t rummage through shops and online catalogues to get the latest and greatest in new fashion. That is how they are. In that light you might agree that naked people are also what they are.
Like this. Just natural, the way they were born, without the obligatory garments.
Don’t get me wrong: clothes can be necessary. When it’s cold, or when the environment is too dangerous for bare skin.
Unclothed creatures are the real deal. The “what you see is what you get”. Like with animals, furry, feathered or scaled. When you hide behind clothes you are hiding your true self. No one will ever know the real you because all they see is the projection of you that you chose at that moment.
Consider that. People see what you want them to see. This means that you also just see what others want you to see! Do you really know the people you know?