Making a nudist event special

The choice of clothing or not is pretty much a practical decision for the avid nudist. For just as some activities are made better by clothing (snow skiing, arc welding, and of course bacon-frying) others are made better by absence of clothing (sunbathing, swimming, and sleeping, among many others). As we’ve discussed previously, enjoying social nudity at one’s home can be a liberating experience, but I wanted to explore the tricky area of transforming the concept of “enjoying a party while naked” to “enjoying a naked party”.

Well, beyond the idea that anything that can be done naked feels better because you aren’t wearing clothes, there are some things that are better while naked. Swimming or lounging in the hot tub is one obvious focus, and one that we use regularly. Another activity we commonly feature at our parties is Cards Against Humanity, the adult card game with plenty of rude, crude, and sexually themed humor. It’s actually better naked than clothed, in a counter-intuitive sort of way. Being surrounded by non-sexual nudity and simultaneously dishing out sexually-loaded outrageous answers is an enhancing contrast, like sweet and sour flavors.

For our latest party, we wanted to try something different, and so we leveraged the proximity to Halloween as a reason to have a partial costume party, and feature body paint for those that wanted it. It was a great success, with lots of creative effort and fun. So, to date, we’ve found hot tub, Cards Against Humanity, and body-painted costumes as ways to make a superior nudist event.

What ideas do you have to try?

Recruiting

My father once told me about one of his squadron-mates in the Navy, who was the sort to be known as having a girl in every port. He said to me, “Son, he got more rejections from women than I’d ever even considered asking out. But, he scored with more women than almost anyone else in the squadron, too.”

Well, I never had the guts to proposition that many women. So I possibly missed out on some amazingly intense short-term relationships (of course, I may have missed out on some pretty intense consequences, too). But the lesson stuck around—you can’t win unless you try. But trying is sometimes risky…

And yet, here I am, talking to more and more people about nudism. Most of whom listen politely, then decline. I don’t talk with obvious bigots or small-minded people who are simply looking for leverage. Still, my success rate is low—maybe 10-20% who actually try an event and then stay in the lifestyle. Depending on how you look at it, it could be either encouraging or discouraging.

The hard part is the personal vulnerability. At what point am I comfortable with the risk of social stigma? How well do I need to know someone to approach them about nudism? What potential backlash if I offend someone? I’m an academic physician, which both gives more protection (academic freedoms associated with faculty status) and at the same time more risk (TITLE IX, which includes sexual harassment).

At the end of the day, I just have to realize that nudism is one of my true passions, just as patient-centered medical care is. Having that status, it naturally engenders advocacy within me. So, here I am, a nudist ambassador. Who would have thought it…

Creating a nudist haven at home

The joy of social nudity in your own home.

AKA: Transforming our home into a nudist haven and how we got there.

Present state:
Sunday morning, too-early o’clock, or what my military father used to call O-Dark:30

The cats want to be fed. I’m tired and not really inclined to get up, but I don’t want them disturbing everyone else, so I get up and go downstairs to feed them. Unlike almost any other time we’ve had guests stay over, I walk down the stairs wearing my usual night-attire, which is nothing. From the kitchen I can see two of our guests sleeping on the sofa bed. I hear one of the children stirring upstairs, but am not sure which child is up. I feed the cats and return to my bedroom. One of the cats is a kitten, and she has decided that it is time for everyone to be up to entertain her. This rouses the female half of the sofa-bed couple, as I discovered while hustling back downstairs to hopefully quiet the kitten and let anyone who wants sleep to get it. She is sitting up in the bed, playing with the ferocious three-pound pouncing critter. The room is plenty warm, so she has no need to cover herself and is contentedly naked and not in the least self-conscious. Her husband has gone outside, so is dressed in t-shirt and shorts. Another lady joins us, this time from the upstairs visiting couple, wearing a robe and with totally frazzled hair. My wife joins us, wearing a robe both because she is chilly and cooking. The male half of the upstairs couple joins us naked, and his wife ditches the robe. The coffee gets started, breakfast is set up, and everyone gathers to eat. At that point we have two naked women, one clothed woman, two naked men, and one clothed man who had just come in from outside, plus four children, all gathered around the tables, chatting and eating. A scene that was remarkable, even though at the time it felt so unremarkable and natural. It was an idyllic nudist scene, all the more so for occurring in a typical American suburb, right under the noses of the body-shaming, nudity-is-evil conservatives who would outlaw all nudity unless it was pitch dark.

Really, this is amazing. One guest family is corralling their children and I get a chance to speak with the wife. She is clearly relaxed and enjoying herself, and laughingly describes her husband as being a kid in a toy store. Our unexpected guest couple are lounging back and chatting while several of us clean the kitchen and breakfast room of debris. How did we get here?

Well, the immediate answer is that we’d hosted a clothing-optional party the night before. We were hosting a family from out-of-town whom we had met at our local resort, so the parents were staying in our guest room and their boys on air mattresses in the bonus room. The sofa-bed couple stayed over as they weren’t safe to drive, so they were an unexpected bonus. But really, how did we get HERE, to a state where all of this felt good and normal?

Well, like most things, it was a process. So we should take a bit of a step back, to the beginning of a socially nude home. We had been a privately nude home for what seems like forever…my wife and I were very comfortable being casually naked, especially when doing indoor chores that involved a lot of sweating (I despise sweaty clothes) and/or dirt. It was always more practical to simply get sweaty/dirty while naked then jump in the shower once before getting dressed. We had started going to nudist resorts before our children were born, but all social nudity was in that context. We had only once had a couple we had met at a resort over to our house and were no longer in contact with them since moving 500 miles away. We certainly had never tried to mix nudists and textiles into a party. Once our girls were born, we were careful to NOT shield them from seeing us naked (but closed and locked the door for sex 😉 ) so that they were comfortable with nudity as being normal and acceptable. Still, we had gone from having a private nudist home to a family nudist home. Something was still missing too—by limiting nudism to an immediate family phenomenon, it somehow made it still feel somehow shameful or illicit, because it was something that we hid from anyone not from the resorts. There was our normal life, and our nude life and they didn’t intersect all that much. When neighbors or children’s friends visited, we had to be clothed, so our identification as a nudist family was more a regular family who happen to be nudists when no one else was around.

So how to enhance our nudist lives? Moving onto a resort would have been amazing but wasn’t practical. So we did the next best thing—started participating a little more actively at our local resort and especially involving our children. We were very fortunate in that our resort had just started a summer camp for children the prior year, and we enrolled our girls.

On our most recent visit to the local resort, I’d met several couples who I thought would be fun to get to know better, so we decided to host a movie and hot tub night. It was a little odd in that I’d seen all of these people naked before, and yet it felt different to get naked in front of them in our own home. We ate dinner clothed, and moved down to the basement and transitioned toward the hot tub. Of course everyone was naked at that point, and no one put clothes back on until the party was over.

We enjoyed the event, and decided to host a few more. At various times we had new guests, some of whom had been to nudist environments and others who were curious. Since we controlled the guest list, we didn’t have to worry about people coming solely to gawk, so we made all of the events clothing-optional. Some guests would come by and stay dressed the whole time, but return to a future event and fully participate. Others would stay dressed and have a nice time but decide that nudism wasn’t for them. And some would jump right in and get naked with the rest of us, with the typical comment of “Why haven’t we ever done this before?”

Sunscreen

OK, time for some actual medical advice, rather than mere pontification…

Regarding sunscreen, I hear the same advice everyone else does–use higher numbers, use often, and stay out of the sun anyway!

That advice sucks, in my professional opinion. Why? Because the main reason for sunscreen failure is failure to reapply properly. Even the best, nearly waterproof formulas rub off, usually all too easily. No commercially available sunscreen is actually rated to last more than 80 minutes. So really, we should reapply every hour…but no one does that!

Ever wonder why people don’t? In many cases it is because it is a total pain to reapply sunscreen–it smears, is sticky, and never soaks in properly. That’s true for essentially all of the higher SPF formulas. So people convince themselves to put SPF 50 on, do it once, then get fried.

Here’s what I recommend:

Use something SPF 30 or higher for your initial application. Apply generously and rub it in thoroughly. Do this 30 minutes BEFORE going out into the sun, on cool DRY skin. If you have to get dressed then undressed again, then reapply the same sunscreen in areas where clothing may have rubbed it off.

After that, don’t bother with the high formulas for the rest of the day, except perhaps on your face/ears/nose etc. Instead, get a bottle of SPF 8, and use that EVERY HOUR. You’ll end up using a lot of 8, but you’ll do much better overall, because SPF 8 will go on properly even on hot and/or sweaty skin.

Try it–I’ll bet you thank me!

Oh, two more things…

One, try to develop a pattern that you use every time–as nudists there’s a lot of skin to cover, and you don’t want to miss your arms because you forgot about them…

Two, never forget to apply sunscreen to ALL of you–sunburned breasts and genitals hurt. A lot.

Out of the closet or not?

So the question comes to the forefront…do I come “out of the closet” or not?

As with all decisions, there are pros and cons associated. I can only wonder if this is in any way similar to the struggle faced decades ago by the gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual community, or whether this is really a smaller issue…

Part of me wants to tell the world:

1) I am a nudist, and proud to say so.
2) I believe that: The human body is a beautiful creation and its variety and differences are part of its beauty.
3) I stand for respect for the human body, and the freedom to show it whenever and wherever I choose, without concern for condemnation or prosecution.
4) I stand against body-shaming in any form, and do not condone that behavior, whether or not it is perceived as being “for their own good”.
5) I do not believe that any one should be “forced” or coerced in any way to participate or approve of nudism; however, I also do not believe that they should be allowed to forbid that to me or my family.

The other part says:

1) Don’t rock the boat—appreciate that in the US you can enjoy nudist resorts and much less persecution than would otherwise be typical in other parts of the world,
2) Don’t jeopardize your childrens’ social lives, or your wife’s business, because you want to “stand up for something”.
3) Don’t risk for what is likely to be minimal reward.

What do you think?

Promoting Nudism, Part 1

Hi everyone. I wanted to place a quick post for anyone who is interested in an independent film that promotes nudism in a (mostly) realistic way. It is the only movie I’ve seen that even approaches what nudism really is and why it matters to nudists. It does stress the body-acceptance theme that I’m so passionate about, and overall is fun to watch. The movie is called Act Naturally and can be seen on YouTube, iTunes, or Amazon instant video.

They are even filming a sequel (almost unheard of in indie films) which is getting close to final production: http://igg.me/at/act-super-naturally-finishing-fund/x

I hope you like it as much as I did!

An introverted nudist and the laptop phenomenon

Like most aspects of life, the experience of nudism is described in the context of the person doing the describing. In other words, what nudism means to an individual will vary, though there are many common themes.

For me, nudism is an opportunity to enjoy social interactions more easily than I typically can. I am an introvert, which means that I find interacting with large groups of people to be very energy draining, unlike the extrovert who is charged up by interactions with groups.

For non-introverts, the most useful contemporary analogy is what I like to call the social laptop phenomenon.

Imagine for a moment that you are traveling internationally, with a laptop computer that is essential for your work. You remembered to bring the charger, of course, but forgot to include the universal power converter, and your charger won’t plug in. Your hotel’s manager has a similar laptop to yours, and she has graciously allowed you to use her charger at the hotel, but you can’t take it with you during the day.

So, with that framework in mind, can you envision how you use the laptop during the day? The battery level is EVERYTHING, and you are always conscious of how much charge is left, and how your present activity is affecting the charge. To run out of battery power would be a serious problem, one to be carefully avoided.

Socially, introverts can interact and enjoy social groups, but our time is limited and we are always vigilant about running out of “social battery” as it were. We don’t like being socially inept, so the very act of watching our battery level is stressful. Hence, we usually need to go be alone for a while after being with a group.

The freedom of being able to socialize without having to watch one’s battery state is a tremendously empowering sensation. On reflection, I think that the anti-judgmental nature of nudist social interactions functionally turns me into an extrovert; therefore I draw energy from being in a nudist environment.