Tragedy of Those Who Were Never Allowed To Experience Nudism Growing Up

My first nudist experience was when my parents surprised me with a trip to Sandy Hook beach in New Jersey. It was awkward at first, but open minded as I am, I quickly got over it and embraced the waters.
At first, I went into the water to hide, but realized that I enjoyed the liberating feel of it. At that point, I forgot that I wasn’t wearing anything and just enjoyed the lack of confinement.

I then realized the fallacy of prudes. Living in their clothes all the time, they don’t understand the purity of nudism because they don’t know any different. I felt pity and thought, how sad for one to go their whole life, confined in their clothes, just because they had fear instilled in them as a children. Words can never awaken them, as one must have an open mind to understand that there is more to it then what you see.

As I got out of the water, I realized that it really didn’t make sense to be uncomfortable. There were some old people, but I never looked directly at them. In fact, despite being around so many naked people, I never saw any genitals. The idea of zeroing in on that just seemed petty and immature.

After that day, I have actually been absent from the nudist lifestyle. But somewhere around 4 or 6 years ago, I was visiting a neighbor. They had a toddler who went into the bedroom. Spontaneously and unexpectedly, she came rushing out completely nude, laughing and giggling.

That made me wonder if nudism was actually natural as opposed to being some unique fad. If I remember correctly, her mother scolded her and quickly made her put her clothes on. That’s when it dawned on me. The psychological dependency on clothes and censorship is instilled through fear by parents.

Sometime after that, I started doing research and what I found was a surprise. I’ve learned that nudist communities exist in my country and all over the world. And this is nothing new. This has existed since at least the dawn of recorded history. But the great tragedy is that these people long for their freedom, but are oppressed by an ignorant majority with unrealistic prudish perceptions.

From my experience in embracing nudism for the first time, we never notice the uncomfortable, confining sensation of wearing clothes until we learn to cast aside the fear that was instilled in us as children. Once we do, we feel free at last, as if we've been suffocating all this time.

Since then, I’ve become an activist, striving to promote tolerance for these peoples freedom and encourage other nudist activists to help me educate the public on this injustice.

But what I’ve found was that people are firmly locked in their insecurities, never to challenge what they have been instilled with logic and reason. And another tragedy is that nudists are a submissive group, too afraid to stand up for their rights, hiding like criminals.

There are many nudists, but activists are few and far between. The only nudist that I know of who stands up for this community's rights as bravely as I do are Stephen Gough and The Gypsy Ms. Taub. No, they are even more daring then I. But alone, we are powerless in educating the public against the false impressions the majority holds on nudism. The rest of the community agrees with us, but does not join us out of fear of discrimination.

14 thoughts on “Tragedy of Those Who Were Never Allowed To Experience Nudism Growing Up”

  1. Nice story Barnard. I too have been exposed to nudism as a kid in Croatia by my parents. And I forgot, but kept that feeling of freedom deep inside. And then ended up by chance on a nude beach almost 20 years ago. Since that day, I knew I was a nudist/naturist, and since then, this is it, nude as much as I can, preaching the virtue of nudity.

  2. Allen, my parents are actually neutral regarding nudism. They neither support it, nor condemn it. Up until the incident of the friend shaming her child, I simply thought of nudism as something you participate in when you feel like it.

    The shaming actually pointed out something about society that I hadn't noticed before. And I'm sure the members of society in general hasn't noticed it either – the majority forces their lifestyle on the minority. This used to happen in the gay community, and its happening in modern times against the nudist community. What I have realized is that people who are insecure about their body parts, or bodies in general are oppressing the minority of people who are secure with themselves, by shaming their body parts. This, I swore, was bullying. This was an injustice!

    What I do as an activist is speak up when people talk about nudism as a joke. I also try to organize nudists online to come together.

    Unfortunately, the nudist community has proven to be very complacent. Most do not pay attention, or respond to my suggestions on liberating ourselves. My main suggestions are to remedy our biggest weakness – our division and isolation. Unfortunately, nudists seem deaf to the obvious solution of coming together.

    On Facebook, they remain divided by creating multiple groups for the same thing – nudist discussion.

    On the internet in general, nudists remain divided by creating multiple message board websites – TrueNudist, Clothesfreeforums, and so on.

    You would think that nudists would develop common sense and unify by merging the Facebook groups / website message boards into one unified or affiliated entity. These are the things that I try to encourage.

    I've also considered promoting acceptance of nudism by writing nudist fiction. Very few nudists have read or commented on my work as I previewed it to them, leaving me to think that I was wasting my time writing. If not even nudists will support an effort to promote nudism, there is little hope.

    My latest effort is to try to create a network of local based groups that I hope will turn into an organization geared toward uniting nudists locally. But it's currently getting little attention.

    Dennis, that would be because psychological dependency on clothes requires a lack of dignity of the body.

  3. As a nubee,in the short period since my naturist awakening,I have quickly seen that wearing clothing without need is the source of lots of accidental misery and has become the "abby normal"(for all you Marty Feldman fans) for me.

  4. It sounds like you've become aware that you were more fortunate than you realized at the time to have parents who were "free" enough not only to spend time at Sandy Hook, but to take you with and let you experience their freedom: sounds like a "no shame" situation, and that's powerful.

    It's interesting that you came back to the idea of nudism as a social force after watching a friend shame her child for emerging naked from the bedroom: that's a powerful statement in it's own right.

    What do you do as a nudist/naked-person/"Naktive" activist?

    And how do you help empower more of the rest of us to become more engaged as activists for the right to be naked in a greater number of social settings?

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