Many people are interested in nudism but never give it a try. There are a number of reasons for this - and a number of excuses.
What’s the difference? If it’s a reason, it’s something that is actually preventing you from trying it. Maybe you live too far from a nudist venue. Or the people around you are not accepting of the idea. Or you’re worried about the professional implications if someone found out that you’re a nudist.
These are all potentially legitimate reasons you can’t participate in nudism, or at least some aspect of it. (You can always try it at home when everyone else is gone, or you can go somewhere secluded…) But in this post I’m talking about excuses, not legitimate reasons. Excuses are just as likely to keep someone from trying out nudism, especially social nudism - in fact, they might be even more likely to stop someone than legitimate reasons are.
There are many fears associated with nudism that fall into this category. Heck, that’s the reason I wrote my first book on nudism! I recognized that if a wannabe nudist were armed with a little more knowledge, they could probably get past many of their misgivings.
People’s fears about nudity and nudism aren’t really surprising. Our society’s attitudes turn into negative messages that we hear every single day.
Nudity is sexualized. Bodies are commodified. Seeing nude people is morally wrong. Nude people is disgusting. No one wants to see that!
The modern world is a pretty unfriendly place for nudists, in many ways. It’s not surprising that we internalize those messages, and turn them into reasons not to be who we want to be.
I hope it’s clear that I don’t blame people for the excuses they make for not being nudists. But I think that addressing the most common fears directly, and examining these most common excuses, is a step towards people embracing the nudist self they want to be. We’ve all been there, but there’s a light at the end of the nudist beach for those who embrace the freedom in experiencing a more clothes-free life.
There’s one very common reason I hear from people who want to try nudism but don’t. It’s this:
I don’t look good enough to be nude in front of other people.
You’ll hear this from people of every size and shape. Young people with bodies that are objectively beautiful in every way pick out invisible flaws in their bodies. Women are terrified about revealing the stretch marks on their breasts, and buttocks. Men are worried about their proportions and body hair. Everyone worried that they’re overweight.
Weight is the most common flaw people see in themselves. It’s not just people who are obese. Some people see a tiny amount of fat on their belly, and they can’t imagine letting it out from behind its protective covering of clothing. Others will talk about the supposedly awful shape their body fat gives them: they talk about their paunch or hip dips or bingo wings or big butt. They have saggy parts and scars and blemishes of every kind.
The fear often manifests as a kind of promise. “I’d love to try a nude beach - I’d just have to lose twenty pounds before I can try it.”
What these people are really saying is that they have completely know what bodies are supposed to look like. They know because society tells them constantly: the only people who should be seen without clothes (or minimal clothes) are slim, muscular, unblemished young people.
If this is how you feel about yourself, I have good news for you.
Nudism is the answer to your problem.
First, let’s get one major misconception out of the way. If you’ve never been in a nudist venue before, you probably imagine it like this:
You take your clothes off, every head turning towards your nude body, every eye on you. You fold up your clothes, and everyone murmurs quietly as they discuss the many flaws they see in your body. You straighten up and walk through the gathered crowd, and the murmuring grows louder. There’s some tittering and people are exchanging looks.
That never, ever happens.
Here’s what really goes down: you take your clothes off. No one notices. You fold your clothes and straighten up. No one notices. You walk through the crowd of people and find a chair to sit on. The people around you smile and say hello.
Our society has given us every reason to be critical of our bodies, and the treatment of nudity in our media suggests that those criticisms are going to come from all sides. It’s not surprising that many new nudists expect that other nudists will watch them closely and judge them harshly for all the flaws that are so obviously on display.
Nudism really is the answer. In seconds, I promise, you’ll realize that all your fears and misgivings and self-criticisms were misplaced. It’s safe to be with nudists with an imperfect body.
Really, one of the things that makes social nudity so enjoyable is that we’re all mutually trusting each other with our vulnerability. Because we’re all naked, all our flaws are on display. And because we’re trusting each other that much, we automatically seem to be able to look past the physical bodies - flaws or beauty or any other way you might judge a body - and we look only at the person as they really are.
The best way to stop worrying about what you perceive to be your physical flaws is to get nude with a bunch of other people who are just as perfectly imperfect as you are.
You don’t need to lose any weight at all before you participate in nudism. The only thing you need to lose are your preconceptions about your body and others’ bodies.
It doesn’t matter how you look - nudism is for you!
What fears and misconceptions are keeping you from trying nudism? If you’re already a nudist, can you remember what held you back when you first thought about trying it? How did you get past those fears?