I want a naked body and a naked soul.
Clothing keeps us so inside ourselves that it becomes hard to be real. I remember when I was just a boy. I walked way out into the country to a small fishing pond, stripped off my clothes, and played in the trees. It was there at age 12 that I had my first taste of freedom since I was newborn.
I didn’t find any other nudists until I was about 18. I went to a gathering and there were a few people who never wore clothes. One was an anti circumcision activist who stood naked with a sign decrying the practice. Everyone swam naked of course. It all seemed natural and unremarkable.
The next year, I happened upon a nude beach in Rhode Island. That was a little different. There were some “creepy” people there including a guy with some magazines and a bottle of mineral oil that he used on himself and any handsome young men who might have enjoyed the shade of his canopy. (yes)
I encountered nudists almost every year after that, usually at gatherings and hot springs. As always, it was just natural. It’s how we’re born of course.
Somewhere along the way though, I stopped going to the gatherings and except for an old friend I’d met years before at a hot springs north of Taos who showed up at my house and did nude yoga in the back yard, I didn’t meet any nudists for years. (the oldtimers on the mountain loved her for that and there was more traffic on the gravel road running past my house than I’d seen for years)
I’ve been back to gatherings again for the past several years and once again am comfortable in my skin. I camped at a nudist camp during summer solstice last year. It wasn’t a requirement that anyone take their clothes, I did, but we had many visitors who didn’t.
One of our non-nudist guests was a veteran with PTSD who eventually did take his clothes off. I ran into him elsewhere at the gathering a day or two after he did and he was just bubbly. He said that he was going to the nudist camp every day, stripping down, and that it was the most effective therapy he’d yet encountered.
The swimming hole at that gathering was beautiful too. Try to imagine forty or fifty naked people all splashing, playing, and diving in the water of a clear mountain stream while a three piece jazz fusion band played naked on the rocks. I think that will forever be one of my favorite memories.
I apologize for the length of this post, (although I anticipate you enjoying the read), and will close to say that this is my naked soul. I thank you for respecting me as I am that I might share it.