You Don't Have to be Naked Alone

In a Canadian private garden

In a few days, Saturday, August 5th, ┬áit will be National Be Naked Day in the United Kingdom. We had our National Nude Day in Canada in July. And we all celebrated Naked Gardening Day in May. It seems we don’t need much of an excuse to get our clothing off. The truth is, no excuse is needed. Life just seems better when clothing free.

I know that for myself, anytime I can be outdoors in the sunshine without my clothes on, the better I feel about myself. If I find my time for naked freedom limited, I feel stressed and my mood deteriorates so that I am less carefree, smiling less. It’s not that I turn into a grumpy old man. Rather, it is more about nuances.

I have three of my grandchildren down for a week, and prior to that, I had all seven grandchildren and their parents here for almost a week. During these times, being clothing-free is a rarity. Yet, the sheer energy and enthusiasm of my family keeps my mood up. The same can’t be said when it is weather that forces me to have my clothes on should I venture outdoors.

In an English public garden.

I am not alone when it comes to having these needs for nude time, for sun time. I somehow have the feeling that for most of my friends in the United Kingdom, the limiting of sun time with its associated nude time, is exasperating. The number of days for warmth and sunshine is much more limited than my time skyclad outdoors on the prairies. Another factor limiting nude time is where one is in their lifespan. Those invested in careers or young families, find their time even more circumscribed.

So, with time, regardless of where one lives, limited, becoming part of a larger group such as British Naturism of the Federation of Canadian Naturism, allows us to fill in the spots we are able to carve out for ourselves so that we can share what we love with others who want nude time. Social naturism or nudism allows us to feel connected as naturists, rather than being the odd person out in a predominantly textile society. I encourage you to find out about your national group or nudist resort and make the commitment to honour your preference for being nude when possible and practical. You won’t be disappointed.

Nakedness and Reducing Stress

Stress reduction by simply being outdoors, skyclad.

The grandkids are here – the three youngest grandsons to be exact. The excitement begins each day no later than 6:30 in the morning as the youngest comes into our room. There is no pretending to be asleep so I send him to the kitchen to put on the coffee. He’s gone just long enough for me to put on some pyjama bottoms and then engage with him in a game or two before he declares that he is hungry for some breakfast.

The two of us stay busy until his cousins wake up an hour and a half later, at which time, I am left in the dust so he could play with his older cousins. When all finally have breakfast, I have a bird house building project that is meant to keep them busy for much of the morning. Less than an hour later, the task is done. And no, they don’t want to paint their birdhouses. So, up they go onto the fence with the other bird houses built by the oldest three grandsons who aren’t part of the present action.

It’s a cool morning with occasional threats of light showers that persuade the boys to play games in the house. Occasionally I win – occasionally. And now, they are with Grandma at the pool while I get some time to myself. Naturally, I waste no time in losing my clothes and just relaxing. Outdoors I go and allow my whole body to breathe. Soon, the boys will be back and it will be full-steam ahead until bed time. I love being a grandfather.

Self-Definition as Naturists in a Textile World

Keep Calm and Drink Tea

I have this friend on Twitter. Like myself, she occasionally posts a self portrait for her Twitter friends. Because of the nature of our universe, both of us are careful about what we expose to the world which is not always a safe place for full disclosure.

Besides Twitter and Facebook, I get to meet naturists and nudists online at the NOOK. Recently, there was a bit of discussion about photos and being a “true” naturist. According to a number of people, if you’re a true naturist you will show your whole body including your face. The site also advises that if genitals are showing without a recognisable head, the photo will be removed. Photos where genitals are cropped are taken as signs that one is not really a naturist, but perhaps a pervert who wants to hang out with real naturists to get their eye full of either male or female genitalia, the forbidden fruit.

Of course everyone is entitled to their opinions, but like most things in life, one’s self-definition is more valid than anyone else standing on the sidelines. From what I know about my friend above and myself, we are both self-declared naturists. That definition isn’t measured by how many hours of nudity we manage to fit into our busy lives, or by tan lines or their absence, or by the images we present to the world as we disclose to the world a small part of who we are as humans.

Then there is the issue of why post such photos at all? Well, for my part, it is a deliberate act of defining who I am to the world as a naturist. There is no need for you to see genitals as in this photo to the right. It’s obvious that I am fully nude. There is no need to see my friend’s face in the photo above either. The image is quite clear: she is telling the world the same message – I am a naturist.

Sunday morning sunflower.

A second reason exists for me, that of defiance in a manner that skirts around social media censorship such as Facebook where my posts get advertised. The defiance is not just in the world of social media either. People who know me in my face-to-face world get confronted with my images that often make them uncomfortable, especially given the location of many of the images that are tied to my home community. Basically everyone knows I am a naturist – I have published books which have had success in sales in my community, books that include images as well as text that disclose my preference, perhaps even need for nudity.

And then there is the issue of being exhibitionists – yes, when we as humans post images of ourselves, whether clothed or not, we are in some way, exhibitionists. We want to be seen. We want to have others see us and acknowledge us as both naturists, and as worthy human beings. As well, when there is resonance that is heard from others, our self-image grows. As self-image grows the images we put forward change. We dare being ordinary while naked rather than simply posed, an act that makes us more vulnerable.

All that being said, I am a naturist. My friend is a naturist. I am a male and she is a female. She is married with children, as am I. Our friendship is based on a shared philosophy of life as naturists, not on some distant hope for “more.” There is a trust that has grown over time. That is one of the most powerful things about naturism. With all exposed, the real person emerges making friendships authentic in spite of not having a face-to-face dimension.

Nude Outdoors in Small Doses During a Heat Wave

Heat wave is stressing out our apple tree and the apples are falling.

It is again over thirty Celsius today. It has been almost two months since we’ve had a good rain. Everything in our garden and on the surrounding farms, is suffering as a result. The only good thing about the heat wave is that there are no mosquitoes or other biting insects plaguing us when we sit outdoors in the morning and evening. And of course, all this sunshine means that all the tan lines have long disappeared.

This morning before it got too hot, I go on a ladder and picked off the crab apples over our walkway as they were constantly falling off the tree because of the lack of moisture. The only things we are watering are the roses, Hasta plants, and our vegetable garden. Most of the water comes from saved dish and bath/shower water. You’d be surprised at how much water a person can save with this effort. For us, it adds up to about 15 litres per day. Dry spells and water rationing has taught us well over the years about what is important and what can wait. Still, everything is suffering from too much sun and too much heat – including humans.

One of the other adjustments I have made is to spend less time in the full sunshine in spite of the fact that I love heat and the sun’s rays on my body. It isn’t because I am worried about UV rays or sunburn; it’s because it just isn’t safe when the core body temperature has no way of cooling down. One of the other downsides is the fact that our walks have become shorter while we walk in the evenings. There are no heroes lurking in our bodies saying “do it or die trying.”

Mother Nature is no stranger to extremes and making powerful statements. Western Canada is plagued with wildfires and forest fires, while at the same time in the north-central regions the issue is too much rain. Sometimes I think we puny humans think too much of ourselves and too little of Mother Nature’s power.

 

In Search of the Naked Truth

It seems that I am avoiding posting here, or writing in my journal. I realise that there is something behind this, but at the moment, I am not quite aware what is behind this reluctance to write. I noticed it about three days ago. Rather than write, I wandered through this site and saw a lot that needed pruning.

If you look into the archives, almost four hundred posts have been deleted leaving one hundred and seventy-seven posts. Of those removed, most were short and of-the-moment and had no value for readers who come here looking for information or reasoned opinions about naturism, and about naturism as therapy. Likely, I still have a few posts remaining that should also be deleted. But, now is not the time.

As a result of this blog-site introspection, I am left questioning the motivation for posting here, and the motivation of others who come here to read. I noticed that when I use the images of others who are known in the naturist community that readership is up. When I get too serious, readership declines. When I post frivolous “fillers” the response is predictably low in terms of readers. More than two hundred thousand visitors have wandered through my blog site at one time or other with many of those visitors reading more than one post during each visit. And frequently there are comments when a visitor finds something he or she either resonates or disagrees with in the post. All of this is very interesting for me as a writer, but it doesn’t really answer the question of motivation.

Am I posting simply as an excuse to put up photos, perhaps as a subconscious exhibitionist? I can’t exactly rule that out as I do post photos of myself here in cyberspace. However, for the most part, there is little sexual intent in the photos such as the one above. Most of the time, the genitals are either invisible due to strategic cropping, or the use of shadow to darken the area. Obviously, each photo tells the reader that I am naked, but that is about it. So then it comes down to the story the photo is trying to tell, or perhaps attempting to illustrate visually, the content of the text in the post.

Perhaps the greatest motivator for posting here is the sense that I have found a cyber-community in which I feel a sense of belonging. Though I haven’t met the vast majority of my readers, over time I have connected with enough of these readers via comments here, through social media interactions, e-mail exchanges, and for a few – face-to-face interactions. Without exception, the face-to-face meetings only confirmed the sense of friendship that had existed prior to the meetings where interaction was only on-line.

As I look back, I also see the “teacher” in myself offering what I know to others who come searching for … typically what they don’t even know they are looking for. Like myself, perhaps it is simply to feel a sense of belonging, that they are worthy beings who just happen to prefer being nude.

So I leave you with two questions that I hope you will answer, either here as a comment, or via e-mail, or as a comment on the social media platform from where you accessed this post. Why do you return to visit my pages? What is it here that you want most to see?

The Art of Compromise and Social Nudism

Checking out our garden after a week away from home.

We have returned home from six sun-filled days at Green Haven Sun Club. Of course, I just had to check out the garden while there was still a bit of light outside. The garden is doing well though it is slower this year because of so many cool nights and almost no rain.

It is hard to describe just how good it feels to spend almost a week without clothing on. Only the cold mornings had us put on housecoats for warmth while we were at the campgrounds. I did have to dress for the drive to Regina for a book-signing event (sold 13 books) on Saturday, and again on Sunday evening when we returned to take our grandson out for a shared birthday meal at his current favourite restaurant, I Love Sushi.

We were gifted with new friends who had come to the campgrounds after us, a couple from Ontario. For the next four days we played games outside, swam in the pool, relaxed in the sunshine with them. Though they are ten years (or slightly more) younger than us, there was a shared level of energy and enthusiasm that soon has us planning for future meetups.

Because of the opportunities to engage with energy with another couple, our days as a couple at the campground became easier. Though we were both nude the whole time, she is not a naturist. She takes part once a year just to please me, at some naturist event or other. Contrary to what many proclaim, experiencing a naturist venue and social nudism does not convert a person. There are other factors which are psychological and sociological that play a role in how a person responds to nudism, even when they take part with a smile and full openness. At least both parties get to know each other better through accommodation to preferences and needs.

Naked Rays Filtered by Smoke Haze

This might be the last picking of berries if there is no rain in the near future.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, my wife and I drive off to spend four days at Green Haven Sun Club. Today has become a busy time with taking care of last minute things such as mowing the lawn, putting the final foodstuffs into the camping trailer, and picking raspberries. And yes, I picked them all skyclad which meant that I walked between the rows with no protection from the thorns. Needless to say, I picked with a mindful attitude – mindful of being present with what I was doing and the conditions around me.

With the temperature falling overnight to only 8 C., and with a north wind, it has been a chilly day which makes being skyclad a bit more of a challenge. Thankfully, the forecast for the rest of the week sounds good, as least good for us but likely not so good for my farmer friends and our garden.

Today I can smell, and almost taste, the smoke that has travelled from the overdose of forest fires that are plaguing British Columbia. It is amazing to think that what happens a thousand kilometres away has a real impact on our life here. The sky now has a smoke haze that filters sunlight. On the up side for many, this means less chance of sunburn. On the down side, it isn’t all that good for one’s lungs, especially if one has allergy issues. But enough about the weather. I have to finish my chores and be ready for an early morning departure. Until the next time, dear reader.