How I Got Here

My mother and I in Hawaii, 1975

First let me say that my mom & dad were great parents. Like many, I didn’t appreciate how lucky I was, until I was older and saw what some kids go through. I had a stable family life, everything I needed, and a fair amount of what I wanted. Still, there are a few things I wish had been different. Mom didn’t allow me to be barefoot, except at bedtime, until I was about 12. Now I know how much healthier it is to be barefoot (when protection isn’t necessary) as much as possible, especially for kids whose feet are still developing. They were fairly conservative and religious, but believed firmly in science, and treated things with logic and practicality. As far as nudity went, they were surprisingly open about changing clothes without closing doors. They treated it like it wasn’t a big deal, but they didn’t encourage nudity around the house either. My dad would occasionally talk about going skinny-dipping as a boy, saying “Nothing wrong with that”. So I got some mixed messages, but I wasn’t made to feel like my body was something to be ashamed of, for which I am grateful.

When I was about 12, I ran across an article about nudism. I was surprised to learn that there were beaches and resorts where nudity was permitted. I thought that was a great idea, and tried to find out all I could about it. In the process, I learned about nudist beliefs, that nudity isn’t obscene or sexual, and how liberating it can be. I decided right then I wanted to be a nudist. My elementary school required showers after gym class for 5th-8th grades. So I had that experience before I learned about nudism, and already knew that after that first time or two, it stopped being a big deal.

When I was 14, my parents took me to Hawaii. I knew from my research that Hawaii had nude beaches, and was hoping to find one near one of our hotels, but sadly, I didn’t. The hotel we stayed at on Kauai was right on the beach. When the manager was welcoming our tour group, he quipped, “If you want to skinny-dip, just make sure it’s after midnight.” Since Dad didn’t seem to think that nude swimming was a big deal, I suggested that it sounded like fun. They didn’t just say “no”, but instead Mom said, “Oh, I’m sure he was just joking.” She almost made it sound like, if he wasn’t joking, and it didn’t involve being out after midnight, she might not disapprove. But it wasn’t brought up again.

Throughout my teenage years, I tried to find opportunities to swim naked. Didn’t find many, only one time did I really get to skinny-dip with a friend. It felt so amazing being in the water naked, and not being embarrassed. Around that time I started sleeping in the nude. Mom wasn’t thrilled about that, but she didn’t forbid it either. I found times when I could be naked by myself, and enjoyed the feeling, but I also felt like it was something that should be shared with friends. When I was about 18, I discovered a townhouse complex nearby that had a detached, fenced swimming pool. There was no security, so one night I got up my courage, hopped the fence, stripped off and swam around for a while. Did that a number of times, even bringing a friend a couple of times. Eventually I decided I was pushing my luck, and didn’t want to get arrested, so I stopped.

Over the next 7 years, I was busy with college and jobs. I met my wife, and we got married when I was 25. I still felt like I was a nudist, but there were no opportunities to practice nudism among others. By the time I was in my mid-30s, I started really got the itch to experience a true nudist environment. My wife knew this was something I wanted, and although she wasn’t exactly excited at the idea, she agreed to go along and give it a try, if I could find a good place to do so.

It was the 1990s. The internet was brand new at the time, and America in general was still not very accepting of nudism, so information wasn’t as easy to find as it is today. But I was able to track down some information, and decided the best option was to join a local nudist group that had regular meetings and outings. So we joined Canyon State Naturists, and The Naturist Society. We had always enjoyed camping, and I was intrigued by the planned “Nude Olympics”, so the campout that CSN had planned for “National Nude Recreation Week” sounded like fun, and we went camping.

The group had staked out a large clearing in the forest of northern Arizona (not far south of Flagstaff), and posted signs along the forest service road leading to it from the main highway warning that a clothing-optional gathering was ahead. We arrived Friday afternoon, and there were already a lot of people there, some had been camping all week. More kept arriving all evening and into the night. By Saturday morning there were several hundred people there. A few were still reluctant to strip off, but most were naked. I stripped off with only a little hesitation, and was soon comfortable. To my pleasant surprise, my wife went ahead and took off her top, and eventually was nude as well.

There was plenty to do. There was an above ground pool, ping-pong, and a trampoline. And of course, a volleyball court. I discovered that I loved playing nude volleyball, it was amazing. The people came in campers, RVs, or just cars with tents, like us. Every kind of person was there. All ages, all body shapes and sizes, and no judgement, only acceptance and friendliness.

We both enjoyed it so much that we attended the same event the next year. Another great experience. During the summer following that first campout, we visited San Diego, and found Black’s Beach. I loved swimming and bodyboarding in the nude, and just relaxing on the beach. My wife wasn’t quite as comfortable there, as there were some gawkers. Also, the trail down to the beach is steep and a bit treacherous, so we didn’t go back there. Unfortunately my wife’s health and lack of money caused us to drop our memberships after these escapades, so we didn’t attend any more functions.

We had a pool at home, so my nudism was limited to skinny-dipping alone. Then, in the early-mid 2000s, I made a very good friend. He knew I was a nudist and didn’t care. Didn’t express any interest in swimming naked, and I wore a swimsuit when he came over out of respect. After he had been coming over to swim for a couple of years, one day he said, “I forgot my swim suit. Oh well, we can just swim naked.” I was surprised and pleased. So for the next several years I had a naked swim buddy, and it definitely made him more confident and comfortable about nudity.

Which brings me to the present. Our pool now sits empty, and we don’t have the means to fix it. My wife is now disabled, and I am her caretaker. So these days I’m just an at-home nudist. When I turned 60, during the first year of the pandemic, I decided that I was going to open up more about being a nudist, and that I no longer cared much about what others thought. The reports of people spending lockdowns in the nude, and an increase in interest about nudism, encouraged me even more. I started posting about nudism on my Twitter account, and following other nudists’ accounts. And I decided to start this blog.

I’m hoping my naked adventures aren’t over yet, and that I can meet some like-minded people in my area for get-togethers or outings in the future. But in the meantime, I’ll continue to discuss and promote healthy, non-sexual nudity.

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