Discovering Naturism is often a turning point in people's lives. New Naturists tell us all the time how great they feel, how they now can't imagine life without the opportunity to be happily naked and be part of such a strong, welcoming, non-judgemental community.
It's all good...but when it comes to talking about it to others we suddenly get shy and hesitant, worrying about what people will say and what they will think of us. It's not surprising. Decades of social conditioning has made most people believe that there is something wrong with simple human nudity and that anyone who wants to be naked - let alone naked with other naked people - is weird, provocative, perhaps even dangerous.
We've been encouraging people to get over those fears with our campaign to tell 'Just One Person'. Don't 'come out' to everyone you know in one go if that doesn't feel right, just pick someone that you can talk to - a friend, a member of your family, a neighbour, a work colleague - and tell them what you like to do on a hot afternoon.
It's working really well. Most people are finding it not only liberating that they finally don't have to keep something they feel so good about to themselves, and getting surprisingly positive reactions. Sometimes they find the people they are telling enjoy being clothes-free too!
BN members can post their experiences on the members' forum (log in required) and thus encourage others. Success breeds success.
Here's a few of the recent forum posts:
We have a footpath across a field by our back fence which I hadn't seen used for years. Since lockdown a few local dog walkers have started to use it and seen me in my back garden doing the gardening naked. No adverse comments, just polite conversations over the fence. I think most people are fairly tolerant of naturism.
I have been using Twitter for many years but had only, in the last year, decided to start following some of the more well-known naturist Twitter users - our naturism is not something we particularly broadcast. This didn't seem to cause any reaction so I have now started to "like" posts that I found interesting which prompted a query from my brother as to why I was liking tweets from a "naked woman in Florida.” It will be interesting to see where this line of family conversation leads.
Whilst staying with a couple of friends at the weekend the conversation got round to our new camper van and where were we going to go with it. So we talked about plans to go to Acorns, Nudefest and a number of different naturist campsites across France. One of the ladies was extremely interested in the naturism, asking a lot of questions, all in a positive way and seemed quite keen.
I attended a photography event and took the opportunity to wear a T-shirt that both displayed the new "British Naturism" logo and promoted the BHF Naked Heart Walk. Promoting our activities led to some very positive conversations and enthusiasm for what British Naturism is currently doing. One person I spoke to used to work as a life guard at Alton Towers many moons ago and spoke enthusiastically about what great guests we are compared to other patrons. In his words, they could have given us the keys and gone to the pub, we were such trustworthy guests.
I accidentally left my BN membership card in my car when it went in for a service. I got the knowing look from the lads but one plucked up courage to ask me about it and is interested in attending a swim with his partner. It is amazing how a simple action can spread the word without any effort.
During the excellent BN Bournemouth weekend we went to a local gallery. The twenty-something sales girl asked us what we were doing in Bournemouth. So we told her we were there for a weekend of naked dining and dancing to live bands. Her reaction, 'that sounds really cool!'.
This week I sat down with another work colleague and told them about being a naturist. Again they were very positive about it, asked lots of questions and left with a BN 2020 guide. They then thanked me the following day for telling them all about it. I'll be ordering some more guides as I only have a couple left now.
I keep BN flyers in my car and give them to anyone who shows interest whist I am at trade fairs selling guitar stuff, and sometimes wear a BN T-shirt. The T-shirt is a conversation starter. "What does BN stand for?". That's what might be called a segue…
We were having the flat roof at home re covered today. The builders weren't here for long before they discovered a naked man lives here and it wasn't long before they were talking to me and treating me the same way they would if I was dressed.
I told The Ramblers when I answered their request to advise them why I engaged with their ‘Don’t lose your way’ campaign action to identify all paths across every grid square in England and Wales. I gave three reasons: Government threat to make trespass a criminal offence, towpaths and other industrial paths, and quiet paths that are mostly used by Naturists.
Just emailed the company HR director agreeing to be furloughed from the middle of April. Amongst the positives I highlighted in not having to go into work for the next two and a half months was to tell her that the washing machine wasn't going to get a lot of use as I was at least looking forward to spending most if not all of the time in the nude! Later, I made an expenses claim and had a similar conversation with a woman in the finance department. Her reply? ‘Me too!' I find clothing so restrictive!
I belong to a ramblers’ group and was leading a walk recently when I said to another person in the group how much I enjoy naturism. They told me one of our fellow walkers that day was also a naturist. I spoke to her and we had a very pleasant conversation about our wonderful world. I am so delighted that at last someone in my circle of friends and acquaintances shares my passion!