Many people think that nudism is a risky business.

Trying anything for the first time always has an element of risk. That’s a fact. To many, nudism seems to carry a huge amount of risk with it, often because of society’s many negative messages about nudity, perpetuated through our media for decades. For first-time nudists, it often feels like you’re defying every moral and convention in our society when you think about taking your clothes off with others.

But in large part, the risk is in our heads, and far smaller than we think. Here are some of the biggest risks that nudists perceive, and the reality of the risk that is (or isn’t) there.

Professional Problems

The Risk

Some people work in fields where they handle sensitive information, or people at risk (including children). Others have public positions where any deviation from societal norms is considered problematic. These positions could include jobs where they work with children or other vulnerable people, or where they are in a position of public trust.

The risk is predicated on the association of nudity with sexuality, of course. If you are willingly nude with other people, you are probably a sexual deviant, or at least opening yourself up for blackmail or extortion. You are not, the reasoning seems to be, a trustworthy person if you are a nudist.

In addition, if you do not work in a positive work environment, the revelation that you are a nudist could prompt other workers to make unwelcome comments or insinuations. Because society is often unsympathetic to nudism, you might also feel that you cannot complain about those comments, even if they are egregious. That can seriously degrade the quality of your working life.

The Reality

This risk is one of the few perceived risks that is at least partially grounded in reality. People do have negative stereotypes about nudists, and they could make the association between nudism and sexuality. If you work with vulnerable persons, or indeed in any position where you have a “morality clause” or something similar in your employment contract, it would be worth considering whether social nudity is something you can partake in.

You might have to be careful about who you tell about your recreation activities, too. (That can be true for any unconventional hobbies too - video games, sports, and crafts can all seem strange to others sometimes.) Some co-workers can’t be entrusted with this level of personal revelation. And if you have to worry about the reactions of some co-workers, you really have to worry about all of them: sometimes word gets around in any organization, and it always seems to get to the wrong people.

However, the reality is that you’re far less likely to have to worry about this than you may think. While there are occupations that might be sensitive to nude recreation, most are not. Unless they explicitly state the limits on what you can do while you’re employed there, being a nudist outside of working hours should not be a problem.

And that leads to the best way to handle this risk: if you’re worried about professional ramifications of nude recreation, just don’t tell anyone. Your co-workers don’t have to know about what you do with your free time. If they ask what your weekend was like, you can just omit the part about being nude at the time. “I went swimming and read a fantastic book” is enough - you don’t need to include “with a bunch of other nude people” at all.

I’ll See Someone I Know

The Risk

“What if I run into someone I know?”

Here’s the nightmare scenario: someone you know in your clothed life - a friend, acquaintance, co-worker, even a family member - ends up at the same place as you. Now you’re without clothes in front of someone who’s never seen you nude before!

Imagining the embarrassment and awkwardness is almost too much. Now this person, who has only known you in the controlled environment where you’ve been able to cover up to your own comfort level, is suddenly able to see you - all of you. It’s a level of intimacy and exposure that you might never have wanted with this person. What’s more, they now have some knowledge about you that they can use against you - they know you’re a nudist!

The Reality

This is one of those problems that might seem huge, but in fact is a minor problem at worst - and a huge opportunity at best.

Running into a friend or family member while you’re both nude can in fact be a very positive experience. Now you have something in common you didn’t know about before! This could lead to having someone new to hang out nude with, or someone to go to nudist venues with in the future. There are so many new possibilities when you know other nudists!

I’ll Be Judged

The Risk

You might have been nude in front of only a very small number of people in the past, and they were probably close to you. It’s natural to think that, if you expose your body to a large number of people, especially people you don’t know, you’ll be judged for all the flaws you perceive about yourself - every part of you that you’ve looked at in the mirror and felt was wrong, inadequate, or unattractive.

The Reality

In a nudist context, whether at a beach, a resort, a gathering, or any other kind of social nudity venue… no one cares.

That’s right. You are alone in judging your body; no other nudist is going to notice all of these flaws and deficiencies. Because in a nudist space, everyone is exposed. We’ve all got ourselves fully on display, and that’s because we agree, collectively, that none of that matters.

In fact, being around other normal nude people can be quite uplifting. It’s one of the few antidotes to society’s ideas about what we should look like, or even what is acceptable to other people. Spend an hour or two among other nude people, and you’ll quickly see through the myth of how anyone is supposed to look, and what a body is supposed to be. It might be the most affirming and positive experience you’ll ever encounter.

I Won’t Like It

The Risk

You could agree with all this, and get past all the other fears and hangups that society puts on nudity, and still worry that when you get there… you won’t like being nude. Nudists are definitely a minority in our society, so there are many who don’t enjoy social nudity - maybe it just won’t be for you.

The Reality

It’s natural to feel some trepidation about something like social nudity, because you’ve been bombarded with negative messages about nude bodies all your life. But let me tell you from experience, all of those messages - without exception - are false.

But sure, there’s a possibility that you won’t actually enjoy it when you try it. Maybe the vibe isn’t right, or maybe you’re unable to really let go and get comfortable. Not everyone tries nudism and becomes a convert.

So you put on your clothes and go home.

Really, it’s that simple. If you don’t like it, you can back out at any time. No one is going to demand to know where you’re going. And if you decide later that you want to try it again, no one is going to hold it against you. This is about as un-risky as it can possibly be. And if it turns out that you just don’t like nudist environments, there’s nothing wrong with being nude at home, in private!

Risk and Reward

The real calculation that you must make is whether the risk is worth the potential reward. The risks, I hope I’ve been able to demonstrate, are actually minor - all are much easier to handle than they might seem before you try nudism for yourself.

But the rewards can be huge. It’s not simply naturist propaganda to say that many, many people have found their lives irrevocably changed for the better when they started going nude. That’s why there are nudist clubs, and resorts, and beaches - because thousands and thousands of others have tried nudism for themselves, and decided to adopt it as a recreation option - or even as a way of life.

It won’t solve all your problems, it’s not a cure-all, it might not even change the world. But it definitely isn’t the big, scary, risky thing you have probably led yourself to believe it was. And the rewards could stay with you for the rest of your new, nude life.

Share your thoughts…

If you’re a naturist already, what did you think the biggest risks were before you tried nudism for the first time, and how did they work out? If you haven’t tried it yet, what are the big risks that are preventing you from going nude for your first time? Let me know in the comments!

Most people who are new to nudism are keenly aware that they haven’t yet had many of the nudist experiences that others talk about and enjoy. They wonder, what makes someone a nudist? What do I have to do before I can call myself that?

It would be easier, maybe, if there was a checklist - if you’ve done six of the following ten things, you might already be a nudist! But that’s not the way it works.

As a new nudist, you might never have been nude in public, in front of others. Or you might have been to a nude beach, completely anonymously, or you might have been to a resort, but just once or twice, and on your own.

Even more commonly for new and curious nudists, you might never have been out of your house nude. Maybe you just hang out in your own bedroom nude, with the door locked and a robe close to hand if someone knocks. Or perhaps you lurk around nude late at night, when no one else is around.

You might have been outside nude. Perhaps you know a secret, secluded bit of nature where you can be confident no one will find you naked. Or maybe you quietly slip out the back door at night, stash your clothes near the step, and go for a little nude walk. 

But maybe you have been out there. You’ve skinny-dipped with some friends (and want to do it some more). You’ve visited a local nude beach once or twice. You might have even gone to a local nudist club or event (though you aren’t a member yet).

So what do you have to do to become a real, live nudist? How do you unlock that one, all-important achievement?

It’s easy.

It isn’t whether you like being nude all the time. It isn’t whether you like being nude with others. There are no barriers get over, no nudity high score you have to beat, no qualifications, no checklist to complete.

If you like being nude, you’re a nudist.

Are you really a nudist? 

Yes. You are if you want to be.

Now go be nude!

Share your thoughts

Do you consider yourself a “real” nudist? What made you get to this point? If you don’t consider yourself to be a nudist, but want to be, what’s holding you back? Let me know in the comments!

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.

The Most Common Excuse

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.

Nudism Is the Answer

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.

That’s it.

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!

Share Your Thoughts

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?