A Nudist With His Clothes On

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY A freelance writer in Cheboygan, Michigan, visited his son and daughter-in-law at their nudist trailer park in Florida, but could not bring himself to join the naked masses.
At the park, I would be among people also naked but, still, it does not appeal to me. At my stage of life, I am pudgy and wrinkled. But that isn't it. Even when I was young and fit, I shouldn't have wanted to be nude around people. In those days, I was underweight and scrawny and I had no waist.
It's interesting that this writer does not seem to have a moral problem with nudism, it's all about his own body image, something that has plagued him for life. He undoubtedly grew up reading comic books with ads for Charles Atlas bodybuilding courses and became ashamed of his own "98-pound weakling" status.

He also has a paranoia about looking at other people who are nude.
At the nudist camp, I kept trying to remember where I looked at people when I met them at a cocktail party or in somebody's home. I couldn't for the life of me remember. I thought I must have looked at their eyes and I tried to do that with the naked people but it didn't seem right. It felt unnatural to keep looking at somebody's face and pretending that nothing existed below their shoulders.
Any nudist will tell you that it's OK to look, it's just not OK to stare. Just as it's perfectly normal to notice someone's suit, dress or shoes, it's normal to notice their body parts. What is not OK is trying to give compliments. Saying "nice breasts" is not quite the same as saying "nice sweater". Human beings are visual in nature, and there is nothing wrong with looking around, just avoid the leering.

Then there's the risk-of-injury argument.
I do a lot of woodwork and, as I may have mentioned, tend to be accident prone. I rarely finish a project without getting a little blood on it or into it. As long as I have enough Band Aids on hand, I can function. But most of my injuries are confined to my hands. I hate to think what kind of trouble I might get into if I were undressed in the workshop.
Nudists are not stupid people. When it gets chilly, they put on clothes. When they are doing woodwork, they put on the appropriate protective attire.

But there is hope for the writer.
One thing about being nude is that I wouldn't mind sitting around and chatting in that condition. But I am not sure I would want to engage in other activities. The thought of playing badminton in the raw or pitching horse shoes does not appeal to me.
I think the real problem here is that the writer and his wife are visiting family at the nudist resort in Florida. While nudism is definitely family-friendly, it's difficult to set aside the societal taboo of being nude in front of your children. It's much easier when the kids are young, but getting naked for the first time with adult children is definitely more difficult. My wife and I easily visit nudist parks and mingle with strangers, but I don't think I would feel comfortable if we were accompanied by our college-age daughter, and vice-versa.

I have to give the writer a lot of credit for trying to understand his son's chosen lifestyle. Many people would not be nearly as understanding, and would never undertake an actual visit. So in some ways he has become a nudist with his clothes on, and that at least is a step in the right direction.

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