December 24, 2018 in Uncategorized
And so … after many months, I finally get around to putting some more words down. I could make all kinds of excuses. I’ve been so busy with work that by the time I get home in the evening, it’s all I can do to get out of my clothes and put my feet up. That even at weekends I’ve become lazy and am happy just to relax rather than go in search of adventure. There are other things that make me inactive at times, but one thing has been constant during these past months – and that is that I’ve been naked whenever possible. What started as an exploration, then became more of a habit has now become a way of life.
But this way of life has largely been confined to home and garden, with few opportunities to engage socially with others naked, or to wander in nature without clothes. But all through the months of work and discreet naturism I promised myself that I would plan ahead to spend this end of year vacation naked and free.
So I find myself writing now from an island in the Atlantic Ocean. Outside the waves are crashing on the rocks. The skies are blue and the sun is mild and warm. At dawn I wake and walk out my front door naked, greet my neighbours and plunge into the ocean before breakfast. This village is open. No fences, walls or gates. No lists of rules. No dos and don’ts. There is an assumption that as intelligent human beings, people know how to behave in a naturist environment. And when someone does wander in with other ideas, someone will tell them off before long.
There are couples – male, female, mixed. Singles. Few families. The sound of a car is a rarity. Only the ocean. Occasionally someone passes by naked between my front door and the sea, smiles and waves. People are open, friendly. Some arrive and stick to themselves, but after some days they seem to lose the will to be unsocial and start chatting. The natural grumpiness, wariness, weariness, whatever, that they have packed and carried with them – like the few items of clothing in their suitcases – falls away. It serves no purpose here.
I’ve met and chatted with people from many countries. All of us naked under the sun enjoying this priceless freedom. And there’s a sense that, while each person is unique, we are all somehow the same. We have all ended up here. Discovered this time and place and way of living and being. Surrounded by so many naked people of all shapes and sizes and colours, it does not take long to realise that a person’s true beauty comes from within.
June 11, 2018 in Uncategorized
Since becoming a member of this site, I’m intrigued by the diversity of people I’ve come across here. I see people of all ages. For a newcomer like me, it’s wonderful to read about the experiences and hear the advice of people that have been living as naturists for decades already. To appreciate how naturism has evolved and changed over the years. For better or worse. Has a broader acceptance (in some countries) come at a price? There are many like myself that are just discovering this lifestyle (though approaching 50). There is a younger generation of naturists emerging too? They get to stand on the shoulders of those that have come before (as do I), who advocated for greater acceptance and understanding of naturism around the world. There are home nudists. Singles. Couples. Those who participate in activities with large groups. There are religious or spiritual naturists. Those who have aligned their naturist lifestyle with their spiritual beliefs and practices. Naturism is truly a lifestyle and way of being in the world that includes people of all shapes, sizes, beliefs and backgrounds.
Within this wonderful diversity, I’ve come across a situation that many members describe, which I can really relate to. That is, the impact of where (and how) we live on our freedom and opportunities to be naked. Some live in cold climates, which limits outdoor nakedness to a few months of the year. If you can take off to the sun in winter, great! But not everyone can. Others live in cities with little privacy, and worry about neighbours or gawkers, as well as possible trouble with the law. Some people have more freedom, but no other naturists nearby. Some are in mixed marriages. Half naturist, half non-naturist. Their partners may be accepting, or it may be a source of conflict.
I live in a wonderful climate, but there is no organised naturism in this country, and I don’t know of any other naturists living nearby. It’s quite conservative here, and although I’ve been discreetly naked at the beach, I would be hesitant to go hiking through the countryside naked for fear of freaking out the locals. When I see photos people post of hiking alone through the wilderness naked, or in groups on a mountainside, at rivers, lakes, beaches, I’m sometimes envious. It makes me think that I have only mastered half of the Naktiv equation. The naked part I have embraced. A growing acceptance of my own naked body, with all its flaws and imperfections. A realisation that there are no ‘flaws and imperfections’, but that each body is unique. It’s the active part of the equation that I would like to embrace more. To energise my body (and mind) by getting out and about naked in nature.
I spend a lot of time behind a desk. In front of a computer. In meetings. Travelling. So it’s not always easy to take off to the mountains and lakes. Because I live in a city in a religiously conservative country, I’m careful about who I might offend if I’m seen naked outdoors. I look forward to holidays, when I’ll have more time and freedom. To when I can swim naked in the ocean. Hike naked through the woods. But I’ve decided not to wait. A month ago I was tip-toeing around naked inside in my own house behind closed curtains. Since then, I reclaimed my garden and have been enjoying the sunshine at weekends. Working or reading or just relaxing naked outdoors. Now I’m planning a trip to a beach by a lake, where I’m on a mission to find a secluded trail where I can wander naked in nature. I’ll let you know how I get on. For now, I’m tired of being inaktiv.
May 30, 2018 in Uncategorized
I came across a post on this site by a member asking/suggesting that people sending friend requests should provide more information in their profiles. Also, that it is a good idea to get to know someone a bit better (via messages, etc.) before requesting friendship. The post resonated with me because I have also received requests, although very new to the site, from members with threadbare profiles that provide only basic information. When I receive a friend request, the profile is the first place I go. Who is this person? What are their interests? Are they just very friendly by nature, or do we have something in common that has prompted this friend request.
But I’m also very interested to see if this would-be new friend has posted any blogs. Reading a blog opens a door on to someone’s views on life. At least on a small part of it. Photos of course also help. As the saying goes, a picture’s worth a thousand words. A friend on this site commented recently that the photos we post here are self-expressions, but they also project something to those that view them. Empty photo galleries neither express nor project. So where to next?
Well, of course I can send a private (or public) message to someone in order to start getting to know them better, and this is usually what I do. If I send a friend request, I accompany or precede it with some private messages. But these messages (and friend requests) are inspired by something that has caught my attention in someone’s profile or blog or photo gallery. Maybe something I feel we have in common. Or maybe I just liked a certain photo or comment. But something resonated enough with me to make me take the leap to communicate directly.
Everyone is on their own journey, and even in a community where baring all is the norm, people are entitled to their privacy. Some members (like myself) may be quite new to naturism, and are still just dipping their toes in the waters to test the temperature. But even veteran naturists don’t necessarily bare all online (metaphorically or physically), from what I have observed on this site. But I echo the sentiments of the post that started this blog. I feel a bit conflicted when I receive a friend request from someone whose profile tells me very little, and does not send any message to introduce themselves. I don’t want to dismiss it out of hand. But I’m also hesitant to accept it, knowing so little about who has sent it. As Paul McCartney sang:
And, in the end
The love you take
is equal to the love you make.
May 26, 2018 in Uncategorized
This morning I was feeling a bit glum being back in the city, after spending the past days at the lake. I walked around the house naked doing some jobs. This house is quite cool, which is great during the height of summer, but a bit too cool sometimes. As I walked into the kitchen, which gets a lot of sun, a wave of warm air hit me. Outside the weather was great, but inside a bit too cold.
I have somebody who works for me in the garden, which cramps my style to say the least if I want to be naked outdoors at home. The front garden is visible from the street, but the back, where I grow some fruit and vegetables is more secluded. Well, today I made a decision. It’s my garden and my body. So I took some wicker furniture to a corner of the back yard under the trees, and let my worker know that I was going to work outside (with my computer) today to enjoy the heat.
I was already wearing nothing but shorts when I told him. He’s a nice guy and so as not to disturb my work, he kept to the front garden, which allowed me to sit naked in the sun in my own garden for the first time in this country. I could even do a bit of naked gardening, which really only consisted of looking at the plants.
So what changed for me today? Well, you only live once, and if I have to hide who I am and even my own body from the rest of the world, then something’s not quite right. And that’s what I think changed today. Not consciously really. But on some level, I reaffirmed my commitment to enjoy my short life as much as possible. And today that meant being naked in the garden.
May 25, 2018 in Uncategorized
Although I’m living in a warm climate in Southern Africa, opportunities to be naked outdoors are very limited. My own garden offers no privacy as people passing on the main road can see right in. So I’m confined to being naked indoors, which is OK, but just not the same. I miss the feeling of warm sun on my skin, and the direct contact between my bare skin and the earth.
This week, I was out of town for work at a lodge by a lake with sandy shores. In the late afternoons, if the work ended early enough, I would plunge into the lake, which is vast, warm and refreshing. When the work went later, this wasn’t an option as the mosquitoes emerge in droves at dusk and this is a malaria zone.
This morning was my last day by the lake before returning to the hustle and bustle and noise of the city. For some reason, I woke up at about 5AM, much earlier than I was planning to rise. I rolled over in the bed but was just not falling back to sleep. Eventually, I peeked out through the curtains to see that the sun was rising, and decided to head down to the beach for an early morning swim and maybe I could take a few photos au naturel.
I was the first one up in the lodge and had to get the guard to unlock the gate leading down to the beach. It was still very early but the traffic of locals walking up and down the beach was busy. People rise very early here. Many fishermen setting out in their boats, children with their schoolbags already making the long trek to school, some people jogging on the beach, and many others starting about their daily business. For the communities living by the lake, the beach shore is their main thoroughfare.
As I walked along the shore, I wasn’t holding out much hope that I would find a discreet place to be naked and enjoy the beautiful sunrise and view of the lake. After walking some distance, I set my towel down under a tree on a dune back from the shore. People here are very friendly and most waved to me (the white guy) as they passed by, coming from both directions along the shore. When there were some lulls in the traffic, I took advantage to remove my shorts and take a few photos of myself naked enjoying the beautiful morning. Whenever I saw people approaching, I covered up – not out of modesty, but so as to avoid offending anyone. This is quite a conservative country.
However, at times people emerged from behind dunes and bushes, whom I didn’t notice until they were already quite close. Then they would pass by and wave as I sat there naked, although sitting in a discreet pose. And then I realised – they really weren’t that bothered at all. They were getting on with their morning business, and if I was sitting there naked admiring the view, well … whatever. Good for me.
I had made the assumption that the sight of a naked white man sitting by the shore in the early morning would offend or shock passers-by. It was a wonderful feeling to suddenly realise that, not only were the people passing by friendly, but they also appeared to be carefree. None of them paid much attention to me, other than to wave and smile. And then I remembered the Four Agreementsof Don Miguel Ruiz from his book of the same name. Number 3: Don’t make assumptions!