What I Love About Being a Nudist

What I Love About Being a Nudist
ccasionally I get to do my own clothes shopping. A couple of months ago I proudly came home from Goodwill with a pair of brown pants. I got home, went to the closet, and picked out a shirt. As I passed through the bedroom, my wife said that the shirt I’d picked out didn’t go with the brown pants. This is much less of a problem at nudist venues. 
At my age, and with my surgical history, it may appear that not all my parts are really parts of the same individual. They are definitely not all factory originals. One thing I love about nudism is that nobody pays too much attention to things like that. I particularly admire the women who’ve had mastectomies and still bare it all – like a couple of women in San Antonio, Texas, who have had no reconstruction and do not plan to. Nobody cares what we look like. There is an article in the Valley View Hot Springs newsletter, in which the author said that when people are clothed, others tend to imagine what’s under the clothes – namely the skin. But when people are naked, others tend to imagine what’s under the skin – namely the real person. So, one of the things I love about nudism is that I don’t have to worry about how I look.
A former student, now a college freshman, recently told his girlfriend that he predicted that being a nudist would produce a feeling of freedom. As far as I know he hasn’t tested his hypothesis, but when he does, readers of The Bulletin know that the prediction will be confirmed. When I tell non-nudists that nudism is largely about freedom, I have a hard time explicitly explaining the feeling of freedom. It is, perhaps, an ineffable experience. We can give non-nudists an idea of what this freedom doesn’t feel like, as in “How would it feel to take a bath or shower with all your clothes on?” I can tell of the times when I especially had this feeling of freedom, like running naked in the middle of the night on a trail at Pedernales State Park near Johnson City, Texas. 
Or I can try to describe my first experience of public nudity: In the summer of 1970, I was interim pastor at the Presbyterian Church in Goleta, California. There are a lot of areas in Santa Barbara and Goleta where people can find a nude beach. One of these was under the bluff below a golf course. My first day there, I walked up and down the beach with my swim trunks on. The next day, the trunks were off, but I spent my time there lying face down on the sand. After that, I was totally free. The most liberating feeling came as I wrote my Sunday sermons lying or sitting naked on the sand. 
Many Bulletin writers recently have referred to another kind of freedom — the freedom to be able to say “Hi” to strangers. At a nude beach or resort it’s the natural thing to do. At a clothing-required beach, saying “Hi” to a stranger may elicit a response that questions your intentions. So, I add the freedom to be friendly to the list of why I love being a nudist.

Taken from the AANR Monthly Bulletin, "Across the Board" brings information and thoughts from the Governing Board of AANR to you. The Board values your membership and wants to make sure that it is doing what is right for the members and clubs. The first step is good two-way communication.