Why nude recreation? When I was asked to write this article, I didn’t think that I would have a problem doing so. Having been a nudist for many years and traveling to nudist resorts in several different states and Canada, I thought it would be easy. I was wrong, it was hard. Some internet sites and magazine articles talked about the freedom of childhood. Remembering how much fun it was to take off your clothes and run around the house. Or run through the sprinklers on a hot day sans clothes. I grew up on a farm and we didn’t have sprinklers. But I do remember working in the fields during the summers and there were usually ponds nearby. Many times the kids, that were working in the fields, would go skinny dipping to cool off. The water felt great on our bare bodies.
Before the Judeo-Christian-Moslem concept of body shame, most of the tropical and temperate world was one big nudist camp. Greeks and Romans wore clothing when necessary or for certain social functions, but bathing and sports were openly enjoyed while naked. As exhibited by their sculpture and ceramics, the Greeks revered youth and physical fitness. To them the body was truly a work of divinity to be admired in its entirety. The Olympics were an offering of the best young athletes, unencumbered by restrictive and concealing clothes. Gymnos, or naked, was how the athlete trained and competed.
Early man (and women) invented clothes to help protect themselves from the environment. People in the northern (cooler) climates wore significant more clothing than those in the warmer, southern regions. That changed however and the pendulum swung far into the other direction. The first settlers in North America were so afraid of being nude, that they did not even bath.
So why participate in nude recreation, social nudism, or nude camping? In interviewing many people, it seems like the keyword is freedom. Clothes not only act as protection from the elements, but they also act as a shield keeping emotions and tensions in.
Have you ever gone on vacation or tried to enjoy yourself on a weekend only to find that you just can’t relax? Your mind is still back at the office or school. At home, the lawn chair looks inviting but the household chores are also there. Nude recreation helps your body relax faster. When your clothes come off, so do many of the bonds that hold you to the everyday world. This is why so many people say that nude recreation or nude camping can provide them with a week’s worth of relaxation in just a weekend.
At a nudist resort, you don’t have to worry about what clothes to wear that day. You don’t have to wonder if your swim suit is dried from the day before so it doesn’t feel cold and clammy when you put it on. You don’t have to pack as many clothes.
Being nude also enhances social interaction with others. Nudists are bank tellers, housewives, bartenders, teachers, waitresses, priests, judges, college students, truck drivers, and professors who enjoy the unrestricted feeling of being clothes-free. Many times clothing indicates social status. Some people would feel intimidated talking with a lawyer, judge, school teacher, truck driver, or others. Without clothes, you can’t tell who people are. They are people who are open-minded enough to recognize their bodies as good, not something to be ashamed of or lusted after. Friendships are formed that can last a lifetime.
The AANR has a page that discusses the nudist experience that can be found here http://www.aanr.com/top_experience.html
For a humorous list of what you can and can’t do nude visit: http://members.aol.com/nudstralph/do_nude.htm