I generally don’t give much credence to labels and identities but for the sake of convenience, I will refer to myself as a naturist but that “identity” is just one small aspect of who I am and what I do. I became interested in nudism in the latter part of 2005 and had my first experience with social nudism in June 2007. Since that first experience I’ve been to several other resorts and swims and taken part in other naturist activities.
I’m a former member of the American Association for Nude Recreation, and The Naturist Society. I let my memberships lapse for financial reasons and once my economic situation stabilizes I will undoubtedly rejoin their membership ranks.
Though a late convert, the seeds were planted throughout my life. Growing up, I didn’t have any penchant for being nude. I never even skinny-dipped. I don’t recall my parents instilling ideas about body shame or modesty either. I don’t remember these topics ever surfacing. In my PE classes, changing and showering with other males was not an issue. My attitudes about nudity, as with most of my attitudes about life, evolved after I had left the nest. Being overseas in the military exposed me to new cultures and ideas, many involving a more casual acceptance of nudity. When I traveled during my military tours in Europe, I’d often use local saunas and spas where mixed-gender nudity was the norm. I was quite comfortable with that and couldn’t imagine any other way. I also found that I felt relaxed and comfortable without clothes.
I see naturism as more than a clothes-free lifestyle and nude recreation. Being nude in natural settings doesn’t really play a large role for me. I feel that nudity is part of an overall lifestyle that promotes body acceptance, tolerance, fitness and health, and a simple, balanced and harmonious life. I believe that living clothes-free, both privately and socially, is beneficial to our physical, mental, and spiritual health. I further believe that simple nudity is not a moral issue nor should it be a legal or criminal issue. I also hold that mere nudity is not, in itself, offensive or immodest. If one is offended by nudity, then it is by their choice. No one can offend you without your permission.