The more that people know about Naturism, the better things will be. Many people don’t even know they know a Naturist and assume that we are still that fringe minority on the far edges of society. In fact, we are their next-door neighbours, their work colleagues, the people on the next table in the pub, in the airplane seats in the row in front, in the car hire queue behind them at the airport... everywhere.
We completely understand the individual fears and possible complications to having an easy life, but do want to encourage you to help Naturism in the UK to grow and to become normal. While it remains hidden, misguided and incorrect views of Naturism will continue. We want to escape from the association that nudity means sex, or even worse, perversion. There is now scientific evidence that we’re onto something. Why stay quiet about that?
It’s daunting, but here’s a new initiative that we’ve launched for those that need to think about it a bit, find their feet, be ready before they ‘come out’. Don’t stress about making everyone in your life aware, tell Just One Person. It’s probably quite easy to pick someone who would not be judgemental. You’ll probably find that you get a positive or sympathetic reaction. Don’t assume it will be bad. Feedback says that you will feel better having told someone – it may actually be a relief!
We’d like also to encourage those people who have already told Just One Person (or more than one) to tell us about that first time to help others take those first steps. We’ll publish them in our magazine, and on the website and forum. Below you will find some we have already received.
From a Naturist perspective, the more it is talked about and shared, the more others will be encouraged to understand or even explore it for themselves. As Naturists we are in danger of killing this natural life choice by fear. We need to talk about it for it to survive.
Think about telling Just One Person and please do tell us how it went. Let’s lose the fear.
Someone had been asking us how many go to our swim. I thought was worth an approach. We had a conversation about Naturism and I felt she would benefit by the experience. I am pleased to say she agreed to try it when we start again at the end of September. Once over that hurdle of the initial contact and fear of being rejected it is fine. It is worth plugging away with the benefits, the health and confidence boosting and starting that initial conversation.
What I have found is that once you tell one person it then becomes easier to tell other people as the first time is always the worst. A small minority will be uncomfortable but most people will accept it. However I have found that the relief of being myself and not having to live a lie far outweighs the risk of disapproval.
Not that I start conversations about Naturism that often now. Once people know you are a Naturist people will start asking questions and raise the subject themselves. They will even watch us on television. My workmates, who are mostly women in their 50s like me, they watched the GBSD programme as I had aroused their curiosity with my own experiences of Naturism.
We told my sister and she giggled. She giggled again. She now giggles most times we speak to her. She is unlikely ever to be a Naturist, but admits to admiring how 'brave' we both are. Probably just a little jealous!
For those who worry declaring their Naturist background I can only say most people have no problem with it, many are interested and none so far have shown any negative reaction. We certainly haven't lost friends and most of them are used to us stripping in our spa. Some now strip with us for the spa as well. If we had lost a friend we would have considered them not worth knowing anyway.
I told my best friend and a few others about my clothes free lifestyle and all of them have been supportive.
I recently decided to tell a couple that I used to work with that I am a Naturist. I did this because I had seen this new Just One Person campaign and thought it was the perfect opportunity to tell them after years of keeping it to myself.
I find mentioning I visited a nude beach whilst on holiday as a good way to introduce it given that's probably most likely considered by non-naturists to be the most common association.
I’d visited my Mum and was planning on going to a swim en route home, meaning that I had a strict deadline for getting back so had to reveal that I needed to leave by a certain time. Of course this led to the revelation that I had plans to go swimming, prompting the obvious question from my Mum, “Well do you have your swimming costume?”. “Um.. mumble, mumble… people don’t really wear swimming costumes at that swim.” Although my soul wilted at the time, my Mum was less concerned and a few months later when my Mum visited, she wanted to try the naturist swim so I took her and she had a good time. It showed me that naturism is less of a big deal to those around us than we expect.
We live in a small village and we told Just One Person and now the whole village knows! Not a problem and I suspect several residents are secretly envious of the fun we have in our Naturist world! Regrettably many are far too set in their ways to change but at least they accept us!
When our new neighbours arrived, we invited them and another neighbour couple for a drink. The conversation turned to holidays, we explained we usually go to France in the summer with our camper, one of them said "Just shorts for 2 weeks, then?". "Oh, no", I said, "far less.” Job done! In fact, most of our friends and neighbours have seen us naked in our garden one way or another, and that includes our roofers, tree surgeon, stone mason. No-one has ever been fazed by it - in fact our tree surgeon remarked that he often strips off in the woods for a lunchtime sunbathe.
We were in the pub in the nearest village to Thorney Lakes at the last Nudefest, and some locals began some "Nudge nudge wink wink phwooar" conversation about the "Nudies" up the road at Thorney Lakes. Looking across at us, sitting with our beers waiting for our food, it suddenly dawned on them. We smiled, said "Yes we are two of the Naturists", and then had a friendly and sensible conversation with them. Perhaps we helped them realise that we're just nice normal people.
The other evening I decided to 'out' myself on Facebook. It was more or less a 'nice afternoon at the naturist beach with friends' kind of post and suddenly, boom! I appeared to have gone viral within a working environment. Co-workers added me, tagged me, shared the post and messaged me. Now I've more FB co-worker friends, and even those that don't use FB appear to have heard and are asking those with FB to ask me questions.There’s been totally positive feedback. 'Oh, I go to nudist beaches if there's one nearby when I'm on holiday', messages one colleague. 'Any chance of me coming along with you next time? It's one of those things I'm desperate to try out for myself', reads another.
We got back from Nudefest 2017 all fired up with the "Just One Person" message. We decided which of our friends to tell. I took the bloke down the pub and the girls stayed home for a girly chat. More than a little trepidation... took the plunge and...turns out that he's into naturism also! She's supportive but not confident enough to do it herself. There's more of us around than you think!
Today, my radiologist commented about my skin being a nice colour. He said" Have you been anywhere nice or are you always that brown?” I replied " I'm this colour pretty much all of the year as I'm a Naturist.” Raised eyebrows from the female radiologist but the guy said "Good for you mate.” And, you know, it made me feel good.