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  • Women in Focus - Helen hears from Sadie Tann

    side.jpg.fb2f75fc78032de86b15767d1ef229ae.jpgHelen meets Sadie Tann, conservation student and forager. Part of 'The Freewilders' group who recently rode tandems naked from John O'Groats to Lands End in aid of charity.

    Q: What got you into naturism/nudism?
    A: I've always felt more comfortable naked, and have been naked in nature from my early teens. Public nudity is more recent. Colin and I started to go to pubs and cycle through very populated areas then eventually the bike ride!

    Q: Is there a difference between the two labels?
    A: I'm not really a fan of the labels around naturism, although if I had to choose one I'd say naturism as it feels its more about being natural and nature connections.

    Q: How does it impact your life on a day-to-day basis?
    A: I feel so much more at ease clothes free and have a huge relief from anxieties and pressures. There's many times in everyday life where I'd prefer to be naked but not able to be i.e. lectures in uni!

    Q: What challenges do women face in naturism generally?
    A: Women are seemingly outnumbered by men in naturist circles and I know this can sometimes be off-putting for some. Women receive a considerable amount of unwanted advances when posting in naturist groups etc and this can put them off being so open about it which is a huge shame. Personally I feel able to handle it and either have no response or simply say "this is not what this group is about" but I know many women have simply been put off naturist groups and events altogether.

    Q: How can we encourage more women to try it?
    A: I think seeing more women talk about naturism and their experiences with it & how it makes them feel is massively inspiring for other women. I've had lots of women approach me saying they feel inspired seeing other women being so free and it makes them feel able to do things themselves!

    Q: How can women help in desexualising nudity?
    A: Both women and men can help in desexualising nudity simply by carrying out normal, everyday activities naked. I think women have a tougher deal given that we can be judged in society by how sexy we are or whether we're having children or of a child bearing age. It's so empowering to strip away all of that expectation and judgement and say I am enough as I am.

    Q: How can we encourage body positivity and acceptance?
    A: Seeing normal bodies in the media is a huge part of body acceptance and positivity. I'm a huge advocate for the need to declare when an image is edited or airbrushed. Celebrating and accepting who we are instead of what we look like. Focusing more on the inside than the outside and accepting that we are all exactly as we need to be and there's no need to change or alter anything to be 'beautiful'.

    Q: What advice would you offer to women curious about naturism?
    A: The advice I would give is to try it! And don't wait until you're confident because you'll be waiting all your life. My confidence has grown more and more from being naked in different places. The first time I was naked in a very public place I didn't feel 'ready'. I just did it amongst a whole load of anxiety and excitement and by the end of the day felt no nerves at all.

    Q: What drives your passion in promoting naturism?
    A: My driving passion in promoting naturism is to help others feel the same freedom I feel! I have struggled with body confidence and self esteem and am now at a place of acceptance. I love that I can help others find relief from that and experience an element of freedom.

    Q: Is your family supportive?
    A: The people close to me are very supportive in everything I do. My friends feel able to confide in me because I feel they see an openness and an honesty/vulnerability in being so comfortable in my skin.

    Q: Has naturism changed since you first got involved?
    A: Naturism seems to be much more widely accepted now. I think our bike ride is a good example of that. Overall we had a very positive reaction from the public! 99.9% cheers, waves and people saying they felt inspired and empowered. In an ideal world this will continue in the future and nakedness will no longer be seen as something sordid or perverse. Sexuality can never be completely separated from any part of our lives, but it isn't and shouldn't be viewed as 'just about that'.


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