This was inspired by a little article I saw on naturism, more specifically, the best beaches in Europe for it. That’s right, the best beaches where you can bathe and sunbathe naked. In the nude. Without any clothes on.
While naturism is something that is, to a certain extent, quite widely spread out, especially if you include, as some seem to, topless into almost halfway there (and apparently, there’s bottomless beaches out there too, but it’s not something I’ve devoted any real research to as yet, so I can’t comment ☺), it’s still something that people are less than sure about in general. And it’s a very liberating experience, contrary to the conservative, pious fears of some people; I know this, because it’s something I’ve experienced myself.
I may absolutely love my little VS bikini, and I don’t care even just a little bit whether or not someone somewhere thinks that tan lines are a problem (lol, for one, I’ve already got the love of my life, who cares more about how I feel, how we both feel in the relationship, and what kind of a person I am… and I presume the people caring are still searching, and that this kind of criticism isn’t helping them any! ☺), but I do also adore the feeling of wearing nothing… just the breeze and the sand and the water straight on your skin.
It’s a brilliant experience, even though it seems that a lot of people still feel worried about it, mostly for socially induced reasons. But let’s look at all this bit by bit.
IS GOING NAKED EXHIBITIONISM?
That’s something that I think I meet most often with people… this strange fear that suddenly, this is a world full of exhibitionists wanting to flash their stuff at you. But you couldn’t be further from wrong. While I am sure that you will always, everywhere, meet people who are technically ogling, I’ve never personally had an experience of that, and that even on that little part of the beach in Slovenia that has become an unofficial nudist place. In general, people who opt for nudism are just people – and yes, where the cultural spirit is less amiable, you’re going to be around less amiable people in general, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gathering info for fantasising later, it is more likely to mean you’re going to get into pointless fights (tip – just avoid countries that are full of annoying, nasty characters ☺; to start with, you can figure this out real easy if you look at any equality – be it LGBT or simple man/woman equality… countries that have less equality in general have less amiable socio/cultural character all in all).
If this still isn’t calming your fears, think. I tend to remember Peppermint Patty from Snoopy. She says – We’ll look weird. But if everyone looks weird, maybe no one will look weird. – when they go to France on an exchange trip.
Patty is completely correct. Exhibitionism is generally (not counting some pious grandmother’s issues somewhere) a wish to flash your stuff to fully clothed people, while you yourself at least appear to be clothed.
In a context where everyone is naked, well, that’s not exactly an exhibitionist’s dream, is it? In fact, the one act of weird I’ve ever seen was a solitary guy who was giving himself a manly handshake on a beach… yes, he was naked, but he was observing two fully clothed girls.
And yes, it’s weird, and he needs help, but he was not dangerous to anyone, but possibly himself, because sitting on a sharp rock butt-naked and in plain sight and then trying to desperately hide what you were doing when people pass by and nearly falling off onto equally sharp rocks… is not safe.
I could go into psych stuff on exhibitionism, but I think that this is not the place, since this isn’t an article on that particular issue. As for the pious fears of moralists, well, I don’t think I need to lose time on them either… because to them, often, exhibitionism starts with a woman wearing trousers. Point made, case closed.
SO WHAT IS GOING NAKED ABOUT, THEN?
In reality, going naked has to do with the feeling of freedom. And it is a wonderful feeling, partly because it is something that has been socially, culturally and religiously so strongly suppressed. We’ve nothing to feel ashamed about when it comes to our bodies… and if you’ve got body shape issues, you’ll note that being naked makes people look a lot more streamlined and aesthetic even when they’re big than being stuffed into any kind of clothes will. Don’t feel ashamed, don’t give in to pressure… and if you want to change the way you look, well, there’s exercise for this, and you might become an even happier person for achieving something that you (not others, but you!) wanted to achieve.
IS GOING NAKED DANGEROUS? ESPECIALLY FOR THE LADIES?
If you mean health-wise, we’ll cover that in the cons, apart from the little fact that you may want to make sure you don’t sit on especially sand in the way that makes it climb into your lady cave. I don’t think it’s actually particularly dangerous (barring possibly risking an infection that may be quite annoying, and some unpleasant rubbing of the sand particles), but trust me, it’s no fun to have sand up anywhere.
If you mean are you going to be in danger from suddenly sex-crazed men (or women, for that matter) that surely go to those beaches, then the answer is no. I’m sure nudist beaches everywhere have their share of annoying people, but to most nudists, going nude isn’t actually anything sexual… it’s about being free from cultural restraints and, most importantly, clothes. Which you can see as a cultural restraint or not, that’s up to you and your own interpretation. ☺
My money on any kind of harassment would be on people next door… people who have issues and may see this as an excuse to act in a more than obnoxious way. But you can’t avoid this completely… because you can’t avoid the fact that people who have issues exist, and that they will potentially harass you, on the street, at work place, anywhere and everywhere. My advice there is to learn not to be a victim. Martial arts are your friend… as is realising that simple catcalls, while they may be annoying, aren’t actually dangerous to you, and neither are they degrading to you. In truth, they are degrading only to the person who is catcalling… because they’ve just shown themselves, in front of a full street, to be a complete and utter caveman.
So, with that out of the way, why don’t we look at actual pros and cons?
Starting, of course, with the the pros. ☺
PROS OF GOING NUDE
There is nothing that can describe the feeling of complete freedom of this. Nothing. I could harp on about it for hours, but I still couldn’t give you the feeling itself. For me, to be naked like this is to be fully and truly myself in a way, and that without anyone feeling weird about it. And while I don’t tend to feel tense about things such as “Did I shave my legs?” “How’s my bikini line doing?” “OMG, I’m pre-period… I KNOW I look fat, I KNOW it!!”, I have found I feel even more relaxed about that when I’m totally naked. (Oh, for ladies who would love to go bathing on their period as well – any kind of cordless tampons are your best friend for this! I’m not joking, they’re far better than even the Diva Cup, which used to be my go-to for bathing and periods!)
Going naked is also a brilliant confidence boost. If you have a little bit of padding, your bathing suit is likely to bite in a bit, making you look like you’re wearing a small size just to appear smaller pretty quickly, even if you are wearing your perfect size – the reason for that is that in the sun, all the vessels in your body expand somewhat, and so does the rest of the tissue (giving even smaller guys that well-hung look, whereas the cold may be somewhat minimising). This may be the body’s way of coping, but it’s also a beautiful way of looking like a melting cake trying to escape the tray… but that will be almost invisible if you’re naked, because what’s there to pinch at you?
Also, completely psychologically (at least if you can get past the indoctrination of “this must be horrible”, which will be making you nervy and tense)… how great do you think it feels to show that you love yourself the way you are, and that you’re not ashamed to show yourself in all your glory? Pretty damn good. Definitely worth to experience.
You’re also likely to meet very nice people. Most nudists I’ve ever met were kindly, nice people (the nastier, tetchy people are usually the natives, at least in Slovenia, but that’s the afore mentioned cultural character), who gave each other and you the space you all desired, and behaved in an amiable, relaxed manner. Often, a couple who’s been together for their entire life is STILL being nudists, and it’s as touching to see them this way as it is to see old people still holding hands. It’s also less likely, at least in my experience, that people will look askance at you for anything – for being LGBT with a couple, for laughing loudly with your friends, for being young or old. In general, people tend to leave each other alone.
Another thing going nude is great for? The body gets a good healthy airing. Seriously. Nothing to be the barrier between you and the air and the sun. Absolutely nothing. You also get a good stretch that way (and doing nude yoga on the beach is not so weird, actually…), because what’s there to restrain you?
And yes, if you’re into hating tan lines, you’ll be getting a nice tan without them.
CONS OF GOING NUDE
While some sun is good for you, a lot of it isn’t. And while there’s no point in fearing skin cancer to the point where you’re never going to pop your head out if there’s no fog in the way, which isn’t going to help you get any healthier either, there’s no point in trying to roast yourself silly.
If you wish to sunbathe, use the early hours for it, or the late afternoon, when the sun isn’t so hot any more (but the beach is, and so is the water, especially in the afternoon, and you get the benefit of watching the sunset ☺ … whereas the early hours offer you the option of a slightly crisper, fresh morning feeling, with that clear blue sky and the absolute loveliness of the sea and the beach that are more likely to be still empty, and that are busy with the animals and with, well, that morning feeling, you know what I mean ☺ ). Also, use a good lotion, or even oil (cream can get heavy on almost all types of skin) before, and even during, if this is a prolonged stay, and definitely apply lots and lots of aloe vera gel in its purest form afterwards. It will boost the skin’s elasticity, and it will help it get nicely caramelised without starting to look weary.
Another con of going nude – on a sandy beach, you’ll be getting sand places. On a rocky beach, you may get some pretty oddly placed scratches and cuts. My suggestion? Use a nice thick towel to sit on, or a mat.
A big con for circumcised guys – this is something I’ve come across and you may want to consider. With the glans penis (the head of your proud manhood) totally exposed to the elements, which it’s not naturally meant to be, you may be in danger of getting some pretty nasty sunburn there. Seriously, I have come across guys who reported getting sunburnt, and even the penis peeling strangely and painfully, even after being in strong sun in their swimming trunks. While I’m not an expert on this, I’d suspect that this isn’t a good thing for anyone, not just because it can be painful, and can influence your psychology badly, but also because there is no way that this is healthy. So, if you’re circumcised, I’d suggest you look into what you can apply as a sunblock on your shaft, even if you’re not naked completely. The sun’s getting hotter, guys, and don’t ever think that your bits aren’t sensitive to it… even clothed!
If you have a tendency to feel vulnerable, I suggest you start off slow. Go to a more deserted beach, with a friend or two you trust. Maybe start slow, with just going topless (if you’re a guy… I can’t help you there… ☺). If you’re worried about your looks, well, this might be a good reason to figure out why. Before you go, stand in front of a mirror and try to see yourself for what you are – beautiful or handsome, as your preference lies, a nice person, good to hang around… whatever your favourite characteristics of you are.
If you’re reading this in cold winter time, well, then maybe you could figure out what you prefer your look to be, and work towards it from now on? Big may be very beautiful, and some people wear it really well, but fit is healthier by far. And I mean fit, not skinny. There’s a difference. ☺
Sometimes, the nude beaches are more secluded, and may require a bit of a trek to get to. Make sure you don’t break anything, and bring good shoes.
Oh, and you may be getting some weird pious shit from the moralists. But hey – why were you trying to impress them anyway?