Talking to a gym buddy the other week, she asked me where I go to swim and I told her it was at the Naturist Club in our village. She looked at me with amused interest whilst inadvertently covering her clothed chest with both arms in a protective way. This is often the reaction I see when telling another woman. It is as though she believes the very mention of naked swimming makes her clothes see-through and indicates an instinctive vulnerability. Many say, ‘I couldn’t do that’.
I understand for many Naturists that just ‘being naked’ is what they crave, and to do everyday activities in the nude. I don’t feel that need - for me clothes can be preferable on many occasions. The reason I choose the clothes-free option to swim and do other activities is because it makes sense. I hope that looking at it from this perspective may help others outside who struggle with their own nakedness to see that there are sensible reasons not to wear clothes on occasion, reasons that seem to have been forgotten by the clothed community in this country.
You don’t know until you try. All my childhood and adult life until these latter years I struggled with tight uncomfortable swimming costumes. Some are even padded which is odd when you think about what a ‘swimming’ costume is for, and they are often uncomfortable when being dragged by water or when sitting in a sauna. Being in a sauna means sweat, lots of it, all being soaked up in that tight clingy cloth and padding! It is far more comfortable and sensible to get back to basics, and not put that costume on in the first place.
We all know that viruses, yeast, and bacteria love to live in warm, moist places. Keeping on a wet costume means it’s rubbing up against all the bits you have covered and can lead to infections. You may notice when abroad that some people seem to wear costumes as all round clothing options; going from beach, to the pool and drying in the sun, then slipping on a sarong or shorts over it to go to lunch or the shops, picking up everything in the atmosphere along the way and then back down to that costume for another dip in the pool later…. let’s not stop to think too much about what is then being dragged through the water alongside the bodies! For us, we take the clothes off, have a quick douse before slipping in the water to swim - and into cleaner pools because of it.
I know I am really lucky to have a Naturist club near to me, but when I sat down and worked the finance out, I realised my membership of the club, where I generally swim twice a week, works out far cheaper than swimming in the local public pool. It really is what some would term as a ‘no brainer’.
When on holiday at a Spanish Naturist resort recently we wandered from ‘our’ beach to another on the ‘clothed side’. It was a sunny weekend admittedly, but that beach was packed and noisy. You could not put a pin between people and sunbeds and all their ‘stuff’. I could not wait to retreat to the tranquility, back to the more comfortable side where I could reach out and touch the space, feel the calm, hear the sea and breathe in the experience.
Not only do we benefit from space, but also from that lovely relaxed atmosphere that envelopes us at our chosen resorts, beaches, clubs. There is usually a physical natural beauty combined with the sense of well-being that seems to surround us in these environments. It is as though we have found the complete escape from the stresses of everyday life.
This one comes as a double whammy.
Personal safety - I can be stark naked around stark naked men and women and I have never felt safer in my life. The community is respectful and considerate. When everything is laid bare, there is nowhere to hide. That brings a sense of comfort and even freedom. It does seem surprising really. Why would being naked make you feel safe? I think it is because in a naked state everyone is equal and no one appears dominant or threatening. You could also say everyone is equally vulnerable. Whichever way you look at it, it leads to a safer place to be.
Security - I am far more easygoing when mixing within the community about belongings. Perhaps it is because we mix freely, talk to each other and feel comfortable with each other, but I certainly never worry that anything will go missing. Quite the opposite, people look out for each other. Obviously ‘no pockets’ means there is nowhere for anything to be hidden! Whatever the reason, I do not worry about theft or about my belongings when I am within the community, which I certainly do when I am away from it.
‘You are brave’ my friend said, ‘I still couldn't do it’. ‘Not brave’ I said, ‘it really is just better.’ I hadn’t mentioned the ‘Naturist’ word once. My friend may not choose to try a naked dip, but at least she understands why I do. You don’t need to use the often misunderstood ‘Naturist’ label when common sense and a logical, sensible approach speaks for itself.