A common theme with people who practice social nudism is: “I wish I had tried this sooner.”  There are plenty of personal accounts of individuals who initially had misgivings about going clothes-free in an appropriate setting.  Even academia is paying attention, as there is scholarly research regarding the benefits of engaging in a nudist or naturist practice.  

One way the average individual can help increase interest for those who have never gone nude socially is to be aware of opportunities to mention it in a matter-of-fact way.  Here’s an example from when I was seeing a medical provider.  I had a dermatologist appointment a few months ago which involved the doctor looking over every area of my skin, given I have a history of basal cell carcinoma.  Before the doctor arrived in the exam room, the nurse directed me to strip down to my underwear and put on the gown.  The doctor then arrived, accompanied by an intern.  She reviewed my information, asked some questions, then informed me of the skin examination process.  When she arrived at my groin area, she asked, “is it OK if I look where the sun don’t shine?”  I told her that was no problem,  Subsequently she eased my briefs aside, checking my genital area and backside.  

The doctor, the intern, and the nurse all are female.  I am a male.  Yet I had no embarrassment or sense of shame.  First, these are medical professionals who do this type of exam every day.  Second, since I engage in social nudism I have no shame about any area of my body.   Being accustomed to going clothes-free in the right setting (and weather) made this entire medical visit very stress-free.  

I decided, in that moment, to share I had no sense of being uneasy about this exam and the reason why.  I disclosed that I engage in social nudism, emphasizing I do so in a non sexual activity-oriented environment.  I added how it’s great for one’s mental health and general self-esteem and an added benefit is that it makes medical exams such as these much easier on the patient.  The three individuals appeared to listen and then went on with their work.  

I don’t know if my sharing had any effect.  But…one never knows.  Maybe it’s through opportunities such as this that can help plant seeds that may result in someone giving nudism a try.  I also believe that since I presented it without any need to apologize and without appearing awkward, maybe this too will help normalize it for perhaps these three people.  

Granted, this doesn’t mean everyone who engages in nudism should shout it from the rooftops.  There are still many misunderstandings about people who choose to go without clothes, even in an appropriate environment.  And some people could risk their livelihoods.  I recall some years back, at Terra Cotta Inn in Palm Springs, where one guest was a teacher and she had to be extremely cautious about being a nudist.  She noted if her employers found out about her being a nudist she could be fired on the spot.  

So, those of you who do practice nudism/naturism, be aware for opportunities to bring it into conversation.  And for those of you who haven’t tried the clothes-free experience, consider visiting a place such as Oakwood.  You’d be surprised just how beneficial shedding your clothes—just for the sake of taking them off—can be.