I had a friend who I had started to spend more time with away from our group of friends, we still mixed with the others but we were finding we had more common interests and spent a lot of time at each others homes. I can't remember if we were 11 or 12 when he told me something that I am still very grateful for.
We grew up in the country and used to roam quite a lot in the surrounding area on our bikes, as well as through the fields. One day we had cycled to a river and were wandering along its banks. He said that he had something to tell me as long as I promised not to tell anyone. His mother wanted him to tell me that their family preferred to be naked at home and that I was welcome to continue visiting there, but they'd not get dressed any more when I did so. I was welcome to stay clothed, or to try out social nudity with them, which ever I was comfortable with. But I was not to tell anyone, not my parents and family, nor friends.
My family were not into nudity, the only early memories I have of being naked are of sharing a bath with my sister when we were very young. From then on nudity did not occur at home as far as I remember.
It had to be a secret because of the usual worries along the lines of what if so and so finds out. I asked a lot of questions, the sort that a 12 year old would. I understood the need for confidentiality and was very intrigued. I'd come across the terms for people living naked before and had been interested by this idea, I hadn't expected the chance to try it so soon though.
We went back to his place and he told his mother about our conversation. She reminded me that it had to be our secret but that she was pleased to hear that I was open to the idea of nudity. My friend had a brother and two sisters but they were not there. My friend took me up to his room and we stripped off. We went back down the stairs and out into their large garden. I can't remember exactly what we spent the next hour or two doing, the usual type of things that 12 year old boys did probably.
I was taking to nudity almost like a duck to water, I loved it. His mother left us to ourselves, I guess she felt I'd be a bit nervous. I only remember hearing her call out that she'd left some drinks for us on a table outside. At the end of the afternoon I knew I was a nudist. I use this term as my friend had referred to his family as being nudists and I now wanted to experience nudism a lot more. It was about being natural on a hot summers day, everything seemed more enjoyable naked. The only time I remember feeling some shyness about my nudity was as I went indoors to dress because I was due home shortly. His mother saw me as I passed a doorway to go upstairs. Apart from my early years I can't remember being naked in front of anyone other than in the showers after sport at school, nothing was said. As I was dressing I thought about this and convinced myself that as I really wanted to be nude there again, that I was fine with being nude with the family.
As I was about to go his mother asked how I'd enjoyed the time there naked and explained that next time it might not just be me and my friend who were nude, other members of the family may be too, was I OK with that? I could think of no reason not to be and again promised not to tell anyone.
The next afternoon I went round to my friends. He was nude when he answered the door and I went upstairs and undressed as well. We were chatting away as we went outside and then I realised that today was a bit different. His brother, elder sister and a friend of hers were all outside and all were naked. As I took this in I knew that this was right, naked was the way to be. I'd never seen naked girls like this before, or been naked in front of them, but that this was how I wanted it to be.
My friends brother and we two spent most of the time doing boy things I believe. The girls seemed to be mainly looking at magazines or comics at a table. I again felt completely at ease with social nudity and this time when we were told that there were drinks for us we joined my friends mother and the two girls. His mother, who was dressed, explained that her daughter's friend was in on the nudist secret too and that the family were happy that all of their kids now had a friend who joined them. All sorts of things were rushing through my brain about being nude, being naked with other people, my friend, his mum seeing me naked and two girls seeing me naked and me seeing them naked. I knew his sister, and her friend quite well, we'd all spent a fair amount of time at this house before. The difference was that we'd been clothed previously. It soon didn't seem very different though, our nakedness seemed not to matter as how I'd thought it might, it seemed very natural. We all stayed in the same part of the garden for some time, we were a bunch of 10-13 year old kids at ease with our nudity. It mattered not a jot that the clothed mother was with us.
Unusually for the time the family had a pool, it wasn't very big but was perfect for nudists to cool down in on a hot day. All of us kids went and enjoyed splashing around in it after we'd had the drinks, just as we'd have done in swimming costumes at that age, but we all now knew a far better way to enjoy the pool.
Some people that I've told this story to have questioned the parents encouraging other children to be naked in their company. I know that they didn't want to discourage their kids from inviting friends round, but at the same time they wanted to be able to live at home as nudists. All of their kids only had the one friend who was in on the secret, we all kept to our promise to keep quiet about it, and to best of my knowledge the friends all took to being naked socially like I did, and have continued to be nudists.
I'll always be grateful to this early introduction to nudism, its something that I've always really enjoyed since. This day changed my life to one where clothes are only worn when they have to be, not just because they are there, because of societal convention. A life where as I got older, clothes continued to be liked less, so are worn less, but there are still too many times when I'd rather be nude!