I am a nudist who would go through life completely unclothed if it were socially acceptable. Unfortunately I rarely have the opportunity to visit a nudist resort, and worse, I cannot even roam freely in my own home out of respect for my step-daughter. As I go through daily life uncomfortably in my clothes, I have no choice but to appreciate nudism vicariously through the Internet. There are many sites devoted to the practice of social nudity, some as innocent as the practice itself and others that lean towards sexuality. There are many ideas and misconceptions about why people enjoy being nude in public, and what really happens at nudist places or events. I have given this a great deal of thought, and although everyone is different, I would like to combine my personal experiences and motivating reasons with what I have seen and read on the Internet to discuss the nudist culture.
Why would anyone want to walk around naked in front of other naked people? I believe that there are three separate motivators, and that most nudists will be influenced by one, two or a combination of all three. Before mentioning them, however, it is important to point out that I whole-heartedly believe that at no point does sexuality enter the equation. The vast majority of nudists will agree that there is nothing sexual, sensual, lustful, romantic or dirty about what we do.
We live in a world where many people are brought up believing that nudity is wrong or indecent. That it is for bathing or for sharing our most intimate moments with a loved one. This is engrained in our culture and in our identities; it is how we are socialized. To break free from this is a little like walking on the moon, flying like a bird, or breathing underwater. It is foreign, and different, exciting and scary, and it gives a natural high that is safer than drugs or alcohol.
The first motivating factor that nudists may or may not experience is exhibitionism. It is extraordinarily thrilling to break the rules of society and not get into trouble, allowing others to see what you have been brought up to hide. It is also the feeling you get when you are proud of who you are and what you look like, a feeling that is exponentially greater when you have no clothes to cover you.
Secondly, nudists might be motivated by the absolutely fascinating aspect of voyeurism. It is wonderful and intriguing to witness other people, proud of who they are, unabashedly acting natural with nothing to hide.
Last but not least, some people are compelled to spend as much time nude as possible for the sheer comfort and enjoyment of it. This is my definition of naturism. It just feels good to lie nude in the sun, to walk around and feel the breeze on your skin, or to jump in the water without a bathing suit. You might have a favorite pair of jeans or a cozy leisure suit you love to wear, but lets face it, there is nothing more comfortable then wearing nothing at all!
People that are entirely influenced by exhibitionism would go nude anywhere it happened to be allowed, without caring whether or not anyone else did the same. Those influenced only by voyeurism tend to frequent clothing optional locations, so that they can witness nudism without practicing it. Naturists are those that dont care about looking or being seen, they just enjoy the feeling of being nude. I believe that most nudists will identify to some extent with each of these three concepts.
Some people seek exhilaration by bungee jumping, sky diving, or climbing up the side of a mountain, while others travel around the world to see and try exciting new things. Nudists get to relax comfortably, be themselves, meet friendly new people and break away from at least one of the conceptual boxes that society limits us to. Some people try it reluctantly, perhaps at the insistence of their partner, and identify with it immediately. Others cannot seem to bring themselves to cross the societal barrier that can allow such behavior. Nudism is a wonderful experience that I would deeply encourage everyone to try for themselves.