Compulsion to be Nude

One thing that nudists don't talk about much is our compulsion to be nude. The reasons given for shunning textiles are usually body acceptance, freedom, or naturalness. But many of us also feel compelled to take off our clothes.

A compulsion is defined as "an irrational need to perform some action, often despite negative consequences". In my late teens I would be out sunbathing in a secluded field near my home and would feel the urge to take off my shorts, and often did so when I knew nobody was around. I took a photography class, and it did not take long before I was taking nude self-portraits. In later life, I would strip down whenever I knew I was going to be alone in the house for an extended period of time.

I was never caught, so I kept it a secret until just a couple of years ago. I suppressed the urge to be nude for many years, and was so successful that I actually experienced a reverse compulsion - I felt a need to be clothed at all times. This is the compulsion that now exists in the mind of most people in the United States. Why do people put on clothing to go to sleep? Why do people put on clothing to go swimming? Why do people put on clothing when they exercise, or when they do housework, when they get out of the shower in the morning, or even when they go outside to get some sun? It's the compulsion or need to be clothed.

The need to be clothed is based upon many factors, both cultural and religious, and reinforced by politics and laws. A very strong incentive to wear clothes is the fear of being arrested.

What made the 18,000 Mexicans get naked for Spencer Tunick last week? Suddenly the legal ramifications for being nude were lifted, and these people were compelled to sign up and strip down. For some it must have been for a lark, for others perhaps peer pressure, but for many it had to be the compulsion to be nude, and to be nude with others. It's a primal force.

Last week a fellow nudist said to me, "We're just like other people, we do normal things, it's just that we like to be nude." This implied to me that as nudists we were somehow abnormal, and certainly this is how most of society views the nudist lifestyle. But I would argue that the centuries of societal restrictions have covered up the true and natural naked state of the human being, covering up the body with non-protective and unnecessary clothing, and suppressing normal nudity. The compulsion to be clothed is unnatural, and the compulsion to be naked is just the true nature of humans emerging. Nobody is born wearing clothes, but within minutes every newborn baby is shoved into a gown, and when someone dies, they are dressed in their best clothes to wear into the grave.

Even though I spend almost all my home time in the nude, sometimes when I put on clothes I will try on a couple of shirts before I settle on one that "looks good" on me. When I am nude there is no such choice to be made. This is the beauty of social nudism, when everybody is naked and free of the definitions imposed by the color and shape of clothing.

If you read "first time" reports by nudists (there are tons of these stories on the Internet, just do a Google search), many of these people exclaim that being naked with others is the "best thing" they have ever done. So when you feel compelled to be nude, don't be ashamed, or afraid, or hesitant, just take off your clothes and enjoy your natural state, and it won't be long before you lose your irrational compulsion to be clothed.