Shadow Side of Naturism

There’s a down side to the whole having naturism/nudism become a part of one’s way of being in the world.

The upside is easy – freedom, freshness, and the exhilarating  feeling when one feels the sun and the breeze touch the whole body. When around others who are in a state of undress, there somehow seems to be less anxiety about one’s body. The visible proof that almost all bodies are imperfect in comparison tells the truth about one’s own body. In a strange way, even relationship becomes more honest.

But the downside exists. At some point a person has to return back to the real world and find a place within that real world. Unless one’s work and family are all contained within the tiny spaces in which one can find for being clothing free, one buries that face of one’s self in order to protect one’s hidden identity.

Risking disclosure is just that, a risk. With that risk comes the potential loss of respect and relationship in the clothed community. Does one risk showing too much skin, even in the privacy of home without closing all the curtains and draperies and making sure the doors are all locked? Does one dare to be bare in the back yard when curious eyes might spy one’s condition and work the rumour mill. perhaps even taking photos or videos to spice up the rumours? In some situations, the risk is not so great, especially in larger metropolitan areas where one doesn’t know one’s neighbours. In other situations the risk is very high, especially in small rural communities where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Regardless of where one is, it is about risk. In worse case scenarios, one also needs to consider the laws against nudity. The punishment for refusing to conform are often harsh.

But what about the psyche? How does one manage to build a positive sense of self that includes nudism or naturism when almost everyone that surrounds a person views naturism and nudism as a perversion? One builds an identity in relation to others. When the collective decides that a particular identity is defective, it works like a toxin on the ego that has adopted such an identity. The only way to continue to hold to the naturist or nudist identity is to go underground, meeting in relative secrecy with others who hold the same needs.

At what point does it all come crashing down?

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