Martin and I had seen an advert for a naturist holiday in America and discussed that when funds allowed us we would like to go. At this point in time we were unaware of organisations such as the YBN or naturist clubs and that they existed in the UK. Looking back, I am not sure why this type of holiday appealed to us so much. I think it just looked so relaxing to be in the sun without any clothes on.
On an evening at the pub with Debbie, a close friend I have known since school, I brought up the subject of going on a naturist holiday. I wasn’t nervous talking to Debbie about this as we talk about anything. Debbie went quiet for a bit and then said she had something to tell me. She told me she was a naturist and had been all her life. Her family are naturists, she met her boyfriend through naturism and had only ever been on one or two ‘textile’ holidays, one of which was with me.
Debbie had been advised by her family to keep her lifestyle as a naturist secret because of the many misconceptions and prejudices, which, to a certain extent I can now understand. However, I didn’t think any less of her and asked straight away if Martin and myself could go with her to a YBN meet. YBN was a group she had become increasingly involved with and it sounded a lot of fun.
Martin and I are both open-minded people and are willing to try new things so we were keen to experience naturism, if anything, just to say we had tried it. People ask if either of us needed any persuasion but I think if this was the case we wouldn’t have gone through with it, as it is definitely something you have to feel comfortable with. Getting into naturism for me has been made very easy by Debbie and Martin and I understand how hard it could be for someone who wants to experience it but are either approaching it alone or don’t know anyone already involved.
We went to a few non-naturist events with YBN members including a weekend at Butlins and a weekend at a youth hostel in Epping Forest. We met some really friendly people all of whom made us feel very at ease and kept assuring us there was no pressure at all to take our clothes off. Obviously there were hundreds of things we wanted to ask and know about naturism and everyone was very willing to answer them for us as honestly as possible.
The first time I took my clothes off was on a weekend away with YBN when we went to a swim at Waterworld. There were hundreds of people there which made it easier as I was just one in a crowd of people. No one apart from YBN members knew it was my first time so why would they look at me differently to anyone else. I felt fine and then sunbathed with no clothes on the day after at the Telford club. Both times Martin kept making sure I was feeling ok without any clothes on, this reassured me that I was definitely under no pressure from him.
As a young lady with a body nothing like those on the television or in magazines normally I am quite conscious of how I look. However after meeting members of the YBN I felt totally at ease with them and knew no one judged anyone by the way they looked. This is the main aspect of naturism I find so good, everyone is so secure with his or her own self image which in the society we live in is so rarely the case.
I have told my housemates, (all of whom are girls) and my brother about Martin and I being involved with naturism. Their first reaction was to giggle at the thought of us and a load of other people sitting around naked. However they have not been negative in any way, and say if that’s what we want to do it is up to us but it wouldn’t be for them. One of my housemates made a point that she could never do it because she hates her naked body. This really got to me - if she could only bring herself to go to a naturist club she may become aware her looks aren’t everything and gain more confidence with her body and, in turn, herself.
YBN has introduced and allowed Martin and I to participate in many new things. We have been to fancy dress parties, swim nights and areas of the country we have never visited before, learnt to play volleyball and miniten and even camped in the pouring rain which I vowed never to do! We’ve enjoyed the way of life so much and have now also booked that naturist holiday that spurred our interest in the first place!