“Oh my goodness, there is a naked man coming towards us!” I looked towards my husband Philip and saw the biggest grin you can imagine. I can’t even blame him for turning up to our first naturist campsite, which happened to be the only one in Slovakia, as I had chosen it. I hadn’t realised until this point after 40 years of marriage, how much Philip had wanted to camp as a Naturist. So, as I wasn’t prepared to try to find another campsite, I bit the bullet and within 10 minutes I was walking naked in a beautiful location and passing other naked people who seemed so friendly and welcoming and doing what seemed perfectly natural to them. On our return journey back to the UK, to cement my conversion, we stopped off at a large Naturist site in Germany where I found myself playing boule with a group of strangers all naked, which at first seemed so surreal. What was I doing?! But it was such fun and as an avid swimmer what could be better than swimming naked. I was hooked!
I did have one reservation which was that as a Christian I needed to be reassured that social nudity sat well with my faith. The concern was laid to rest when we went to The Gathering at Dunoon and I attended the Sunday inter-denomination service with a congregation of 20 plus. I soon realised that Naturism and Faith were very similar and both embraced values such as trust, respect and a sharing of kindred spirit.
That was two years ago and since then we decided to embark on a discovery of various different types of Naturist holidays including Fuerteventura, The Gathering at Dunoon, Nudefest and stays at several clubs in the UK with our caravan. We also wanted to experience Naturism in other parts of Europe, so last year with our caravan we went through Belgium, Germany, Austria and Croatia during May/ June and then France and Spain in September/October. This year we’ve explored more naturist campsites in France and Spain.
Our experiences have been enriching and along the way we have met so many interesting and like minded people, many of whom have become friends. There is an immediate connection with people. People look you in the eye and make you feel welcome and you feel you are part of a world wide community, often reconnecting with people from one year to another.
One question remained on our minds, ‘Who should we tell? We had avoided telling our children initially until we were certain this was a path we wanted to stick to, so within a year we broke the news to our children. Our daughter said that’s why she had body confidence because we had always been quite open at home and our son laughed and his partner who is German said she often went swimming naked in lakes. We began to tell friends and Philip enjoyed leaving the BN magazine out in the kitchen in full view. We have had various reactions but no negative remarks or expressions of shock. We have come to the conclusion that because there is nothing to be ashamed of we have become more and more vociferous about our new found life-style.
“Tell me one unusual thing you have done that no one else will know!” This was the information I had to give my tennis captain which would form a guessing game as part of our annual get together. I decided to be daring and my snippet was “I have walked 65k in the Spanish mountains naked.” No one guessed it was me, but everyone knew at the end of the quiz after I told my story! Believe or not I am still in the team and even get asked where we will be camping and walking on our next trip!
Becoming a naturist has been very liberating for me - I didn’t even go topless on beaches although was quite happy to go swimming naked as long as nobody else was looking! It just took a small leap of faith and being with men and women who were naked and like minded. I soon realised that you didn’t have to have the perfect body and that after a while you didn’t notice shape or size of others. The overriding wow factor is the feel of air or water on your body, which brings you closer to nature, the elements and connects you to kindred spirits.