There’s something you should know: I’m writing this nude… Well technically I’m nude underneath my clothes. But I’m thinking of giving nude-blogging a try as I reckon naturists might be onto something.
Recently, naturism has come to my attention (quite literally… but I’ll get to that in a minute). Call me naive but I didn’t realise it was such a thing – and in Perth it’s definitely a thing. I had a vague awareness that the nudist lifestyle existed, but I‘ve never given it much thought. In Sydney the nude beaches are tucked away in coves that you wouldn’t find accidentally, but here in Perth I have one just a few minutes from my doorstep (no way is that an accident, I hear some of you shout). The other day during a beach stroll I ‘found’ the nudist part and discovered nudists will go out in all sorts of weather – all out. I was definitely not prepared to see nude power walkers or a 60-something year old man doing naked push-ups on this busy beach. Trying not to laugh I made my way home and began to wonder – what’s the appeal?
A quick search – yes my Google history will forever have me marked as a nudist – revealed three nudist clubs in Perth (Sunseekers, Phoenix & Apollo). These clubs are family friendly and safe environments and explain to newcomers that the same rules of society apply here – so anything sexual in public is not on. Events the clubs organise include things like swimming, bush walking, yoga, tennis, bowling, volleyball, pool comps, weekends away, BBQs, glow in the dark night, laser tag, nude games featuring a ‘Best Bum” competition, and even a nude bike ride through the city (!). Many of the events are set in beautiful parks and respecting nature and respecting each other is key to the naturist lifestyle.
For inspiration in why being nude is appealing I turned to the only true nudists I know – my three nieces. For them a post-bath nudie run around the house is pure joy, nude trampolining is standard practice, and tears are often shed when you force them to get dressed. They have no shame or body-hang ups, and let everything be. There is a certain kind of freedom from wearing no clothes that is like no other.
I had my own nudist experience last year. Holidaying in Croatia my friends and I discovered (again accidentally) a secluded nude beach. The only other visitors were local families so I decided if I was ever to get my gear off in public this was the time (it was on my bucket list, okay). After warning my besties of the imminent display, I ditched the bikini and enjoyed a brief nude sunbake session. For me, this was a bit of an awakening. Here I was, having never sunbathed topless or skinny dipped in my life, and I was totally nude on a beach in Croatia with my two giggling mates lying next to me.
After a quick application of sunscreen (very important) I enjoyed a moment of utter contentment as the sun beamed places it had never been before. Here I was, lying naked on the beach, and absolutely nothing bad happened: no one leered, no one jeered, and no one jumped out of the bushes pointing and yelling “fatty fat fat fat”… I’ve felt more objectified covered head to toe walking through the city on my way to the office at 8 in the morning. But exposed and naked on the beach I felt good – and that good feeling hung around. Being nude in front of friends and strangers had given me a certain kind of self-confidence – not just from the even tan-lines. I now had a friendly voice inside that says: you know what, you are FINE.
So maybe we could all learn something from the naturist lifestyle. I’m not saying I’ll be joining my mate down at Swanbourne for a push-up comp, or be participating in the nude bike ride, but I certainly care less when I’m getting changed at the pool or trying on new togs and the shop assistant bursts in. When you remove your clothes your identity is you and you can’t be judged by anything else. You truly have nothing to hide.