Finding the Courage: A Challenge

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY It took a certain amount of courage for me to declare myself a nudist to my wife more than two years ago. Although my wife still does not quite share my enthusiasm for nudism (she is about a 4.5 on the N scale), she completely accepts my forays into social nudism, as well as my distaste for wearing clothing at home. I still hold out a strong hope that she, too, will make the plunge into social nudism.

But nudism does not end at merely recognizing one's self as having the proclivity, or at sharing the experience with like-minded people. Naturists and nudists are still basically a cult, looked upon by a clothed society as an aberration, an oddity, a group of eccentrics or aging hippies that are trying to recapture a part of youth that has nearly faded into oblivion. Part of the problem is that nudists hide in the shadows, reticent to declare their lifestyle to friends, family, co-workers and just about anyone else, for fear of being thought of as deviant, or some sort of sexual pervert. Aside from high-profile venues in Florida and California, most nudists struggle to even find places in which to be legally nude, constantly being threatened by anti-nudity laws that threaten to label them sexual criminals for the simple, natural act of being without clothes.

I was recently alerted to a Yahoo group called Shame Breakers, which seeks to find ways to bring nudism more out in the open, to break the stigma in society which is somewhat self-imposed. Just the idea of breaking out beyond the cocoon of nudism is a bit frightening. The thought of losing friends, shunning family, and alienating co-workers is enough to discourage anyone from going any further.

So here is a challenge to all you nudists and naturists out there, whether you are comfortable in your own skin at home, or have ventured out into the social world of nudism, to take it to the next level. If you do not belong to a local club, join one, If you do not belong to AANR or TNS, send in your dues and get your membership card. If you have never visited a landed club, do it this summer. If you have never told a friend about naturism, choose a trusted confidant and let him or her know, and invite them to the next swim or event. TAKE THE NEXT STEP. If we all do that this summer, then the lifestyle will make a quantum leap forward.

As for me, I promise to visit several landed clubs in Ohio. I also promise to take an active interest in my local clubs, to become more activist and open about what I am doing. When the right time presents itself, I am going to tell a close friend about naturism. I am going to make a concerted effort to find someone in my circle of friends to accompany me to a nude swim.

Yes, it takes a certain amount of courage to come out as a nudist to people who simply might not understand, but from personal experience, as in the case of telling my wife, the process was far less painful than the anticipation of how she would react.

Break the shame. Find the courage. Now is the time.

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