After spending a delightful weekend at one of my favorite hot springs resorts, I wanted to share a few initial thoughts about my experience, because it so perfectly illustrates a particular attitude that I wish to portray regarding nudism and sexuality. Like many such resorts, this location offers a clothing-optional policy and, indeed, 99% of all guests opt for total nudity most of the time. It is a wonderful facility, in a beautiful setting, with an amazing diversity of visitors. Including, I will particularly point-out, a demographic skewed toward an atypically younger, energetic, and healthy & fitness-oriented crowd. It is a very nearly idyllic place; of all the circumstances under which I’ve enjoyed being naked with larger groups of people, I can’t think of any that match the sheer bliss and pure, positive energy of this particular location. (And—sorry—I am not even going to name the place, for fear that—as usual—some people will take what I have to say about it in the “wrong” way and it will be branded in a negative light by the closed-minds out there that can only see black and white.)
For as long as I’ve been enjoying social nudity (almost 20 years), I’ve always felt a slight “disturbance in the force,” so to speak, when I encounter the very often-repeated refrain that “nudism has nothing to do with sex.” It’s not that I feel the statement is “wrong,” per se. I am, in fact, in lock-step agreement with the traditional nudist objective of doing whatever it takes to keep overt sexualization completely out of the picture. I absolutely don’t want nudism to become or to be perceived as nothing more than an avenue for obsessive sex-seeking, or an open door for invasive and grotesquely lewd behavior. That sort of inflated emphasis on sexual activity is not natural and does not serve the broader purpose of enjoying nudity as a means to promote freedom, acceptance, confidence, and liberation.
At the same time, however, my instinct tells me it is just as unnatural to make people feel as if they are doing something wrong if and when they encounter any connection at all to their own, personal sexuality as a result of the inevitable sensuality of nakedness. Our bodies are attenuated precisely to revel in the delights of warmth, sunshine, and open air on our bare skin. Those sensations are all very understandably heightened when we are completely naked, and as any nudist knows quite well, there is also a sort of mysteriously infectious synergy when we experience those sensations with other people. It feels wonderful, in other words, to be with other people that are simultaneously experiencing the same feelings—to know that they are feeling fantastic and have them know, too, that you are as well. It isn’t, in and of itself, a “sexual” experience in the sense that there is a direct line drawn between the experience I am describing and inviting sex. But most people do not have a simple “off” switch for their sexuality, and thus they are going to feel that personal connection, quite naturally, in an environment that is so beautifully open to sensual experience.
And—YES!—at least some small part of that experience includes the visual sensation. Anyone that claims to me that they don’t appreciate the opportunity to see people, and to be seen, without their clothes on is either lying or has had their humanity removed. It is encoded by our evolutionary history: we are strongly oriented by our visual sense, and seeing one-another naked is a perfectly harmless pleasure that need not be denied or downplayed, on the one hand, or specifically highlighted and fixated-upon, on the other. It is possible, in other words, to naturally enjoy the subtle pleasures of mutually-invited exhibitionism & voyeurism, while still maintaining complete respect for one-another’s boundaries.
My experiences this past weekend almost perfectly exemplify the attitude and fun-oriented approach to nudism that I am attempting to convey, here. This past Summer, as a whole, has been quite memorable in terms of incredibly fun, wonderful times spent being naked in the sun, with good friends. On a last-minute lark, as one of perhaps the last truly nice weekends of the Fall, I decided to book a couple nights and go to the resort by myself. And, as most of you probably know, single and unaccompanied females are very distinctly not the norm at most nudist venues—in fact it’s a rather outlying rarity. I don’t mind being one of those females on occasion, but I am also not stupid, and know that I need to be ready to raise my “guard” when needed.
At this resort, I have never had the slightest degree of trepidation or anxiety about removing my clothing when I’m there alone. In fact I rather like the experience of being on my own, and on this occasion—as per usual—I could hardly wait to be nude. I checked into my campsite, disrobed, wrapped a light towel, made my way immediately to the bathing/sunning area, and took off the towel the instant I was in the clothing-optional zone. Within seconds my mind was in a completely different space, transported to that now-familiar (but never mundane) zone where the movement of time is replaced by a feeling of total body-mind energy and overflowing sensual delight. It is as if suddenly all the positive energy of my inner emotions correlate with one-another and I have an awareness that says `yes, this is what it means to be human and to accept oneself as such.’
It’s a sensation so wonderful and moving that one would think that it could hardly get better. But it does. The soaking pools at this resort are spectacular, with varying temperatures and conditions for silence and stillness. Slipping quietly and slowly into those pools is to experience a sort of translucent cross-over into a wholly separate dimension of sensual immersion. There is no way to describe in words just how totally relaxing the experience is. And I mean “relaxing” in the complete sense, as in: a perfect invitation to let go of meaningless inhibitions and joyfully experience all the pleasures of being alive. It’s simply fantastic, and I cannot even begin to wrap my head around the idea that anyone could possibly wish to be anything other than totally nude. To my way of thinking it would be an absolute travesty to enter those sacred waters clad in some idiotic “bathing attire.” It just couldn’t possibly be the same. Nudity is an absolute must if one wishes to embrace the experience.
And the experience is even better, still, with the added ingredient of sharing it with others. It would be one thing to enter the waters, as I’ve just described, by oneself. The feelings of heavenly delight would still be present, obviously, but add the ingredient of being in those waters with others, and the experience that emerges is one of beautiful, totally accepting intimacy. I would describe it almost as a sort of magic spell that relies on a sort of mutually-respectful acknowledgement of one-another’s innermost personal experiences and vulnerability. It is a very delicately-balanced phenomena—the spell is delicate and can easily be broken by the errant or standoffish behavior of any one person. Everyone must cooperate in filling themselves with a desire to both respect and participate in the process of making one-another feel welcome and wonderful.
I’ll attempt to describe that experience: as I arrive at and stand ready to descend into the waters of the hot soaking pool, I can somehow immediately apprehend the presence of “the spell.” I feel a very sudden and extremely profound awareness of being totally naked. There is a mild rush of nervous energy associated with it, which I take as the final blush of inhibition leaving the mind and body at once. And once that final blush is gone, it is replaced by a notion of complete satisfaction in enjoying the attention of those in my presence that wish to notice and mark their appreciation of the visual appearance of my naked body. The brief gazes, and pleasantly-exchanged, calm, smiling looks of knowingly-intermingled sensuality, add something intensely and immaculately intimate to the experience. Let one of those appreciative gazes wander into the territory of a fixated stare or convey the intent of wanton lust, and—again—the beautiful spell will fall flat.
The sensuality of the experience, and the deeply satisfying inner connection to one’s personal sexuality, is tied to the warm, inviting, shared intimacy of the moment, not in the hurried anticipation of a culminating sexual encounter. It is an alluring sense of underlying sexual arousal that is so incredibly subtle as to be “fuzzy” and absolutely unfocused on the goal of “getting off” as soon as possible, with any one particular partner. It represents an entire shift in the experience of one’s sexuality—one of total surrender to intimacy and openness, in which nudity becomes a form of total honesty. It begins to represent the mutual desire that we all, as humans, have deeply inside of ourselves to be seen and accepted as the person we truly are. In that context, the nature of sensual attraction is truly revealed, and I (for one) begin to recognize the spectacular, mind-blowing, radiant beauty of all who accept themselves fully. This, again, at least to me, is what nudism is all about, and why I do think that it goes beyond the level of silliness to try to extract from it the naturally joyful connection to sexuality that seems quite inherently a part of it.
The question begged at this point, I think, becomes simply this: can, or should, an experience such as the one I’ve just described provide an atmosphere in which people, if they so choose, open themselves to opportunities for expanding their sense of shared intimacy to the realm of sharing sexual energy by direct engagement with stronger feelings of arousal and a desire to experience erotic touch? My own answer—guardedly so, and with many caveats—is that there is indeed a time and place for almost anything. But it is a line that is even finer and more subtle to maintain than is that which maintains “the spell” that I described earlier. The level of care, decorum, and discretion required to experience eroticism alongside nudism, and maintain complete respect, is so incredibly high as to make it something that should be an extreme rarity, at least in my opinion. But I do think that the doorway leading to that type of enjoyment should NOT be totally closed. I think that people should have the right to feel as if they can explore boundaries and comfortably engage with one-another in ways that may indeed lead to sexual attraction, arousal, and culminating erotic interaction.
PLEASE understand that I am in NO way whatsoever trying to imply here that I think there is EVER a time or place in which nudism should be open to blatantly public displays of sexual activity. At MOST, I am suggesting a simple tolerance toward prudently discrete interactions of affectionate intimacy, and increasing the comfort level of those that may find themselves potentially open to the notion of finding someplace PRIVATE to act on mutual sexual attraction that has its origin, perhaps, in the waters of a communal soaking pool.
Those are some of my initial thoughts on the matter, and probably enough for now… I will write down more, and expand my ideas as more comes to mind! Thanks for reading. Please re-blog and comment, and message me privately if you’d like to engage in dialog. Particularly if you DISAGREE with me, I’d love to hear what you have to say!