Sharlene Hansen: I’m delighted that your wonderful family was able to accept our dinner invitation so soon. Pete has been almost bursting with curiosity to learn more about your family’s adventures with nudism. Dinner’s in the oven now. It’s a standing rib roast – should be plenty enough there for all of us. But it needs to cook a while longer. Let’s go into the living room so you can tell us about what’s been going on since I saw you a couple of weeks ago.
Jan: Thanks so much for your hospitality, Sharlene. I’d never have expected anyone to be so interested and positive about what’s been going on with us. Frankly, I can’t say I understand it very well myself. No doubt Dave and the kids will talk as long as you care to listen about how much they’ve enjoyed becoming nudists. It’s to the point now that if I see any of them with clothes on I have to wonder whether they have plans they haven’t told me about – or whether I have a piano student that I’ve forgotten about who’s coming for a lesson.
Pete Hansen: I believe we have to thank all of you for being so open and honest about this new enthusiasm of yours. After all, we live in a fairly small and not exceptionally sophisticated community. So as far as Sharlene and I know it must be pretty unusual for people around here to develop such an ardor as your family seems to have for nudity. I’m truly impressed that Dave and your kids seem to have become so comfortable being naked with neighbors like us who, to be honest, probably haven’t been among your closest friends. You must all be very brave people.
Jan: Well, as you can plainly see, I’m still pretty much of a holdout from going naked compared to the rest of my family. But that definitely doesn’t mean I disapprove of what Dave and the kids are doing. I admire their passion – and their bravery – in being happy to go naked as much as they do.
Sharlene: Oh, we certainly understand that, Jan. The amount of comfort one can have with nudity must be a very personal thing. Your hesitation in developing anything like the same comfort as the rest of your family is surely far more common. Before I happened to learn about how easily the rest of your family – Dave especially – have become unapologetic nudists, I’d have said that comfort with nudity was very uncommon.
Pete: Sharlene and I agree that as far as we know we’ve never been acquainted with any actual nudists. But perhaps that’s because most nudists are rather secretive about what they do. I suppose that if most nudists were less secretive, they wouldn’t seem to be so uncommon and so little understood by the rest of us.
Dave: Or perhaps you and Sharlene just deserve lots of credit for being so accepting and open-minded about nudity and a person’s choice to enjoy being naked. If there were more tolerant people like you, I’m sure nudism wouldn’t be such a mystery to the rest of society.
Sharlene: Thanks for giving us so much credit, but I think that’s enough of such preliminaries. Perhaps since we’ve sufficiently complimented each other – and you and your kids are now comfortably naked – we should let you tell us more about your nudist lives until dinner’s ready.
Pete: I hope I don’t embarrass Danielle by mentioning this, but I must say that was a very attractive little thing she was wearing when she arrived. And it was so graceful how easily is slipped off with just a little pull. It’s evidently not the sort of thing one would wear any place a random accidental movement would cause it to fall off! Is it what’s called a sarong?
Danielle: Yes, it’s called a sarong, or also a “pareo”. I think either term is used. How readily it comes off is a feature, not a bug! I love how quickly and easily it lets me get completely naked. Much less awkward than pulling a shirt off over my head, and then bending down to pull off my shorts.
Pete: But surely it might come at least partly undone accidentally, no?
Danielle: Oh, well, if it should come off “accidentally”, in most circumstances I’d be more pleased than embarrassed. I could still claim it was an “accident”, if necessary. I’ve had that “accident” happen more than a few times now! Maybe that’s sort of naughty – but nobody’s objected yet.
Sean: Danielle’s gotten pretty good at that maneuver of letting her pareo come undone. As often as not, someone will simply say “Oh, don’t bother putting it back on. We know you’d probably rather be naked, and it’s no problem for us if you are.” That’s what she’s waiting to hear so she doesn’t have to worry about being naked around whoever it is. It’s easier than just coming out and asking “does anyone mind if I take all my clothes off?” I have a pareo too, but I just wear it wrapped around my waist. And it’s also been known to fall off “accidentally” a few times.
Danielle: Sean’s right. About half the time people who know I enjoy nudity won’t say anything at all if the pareo happens to slip off, even if they haven’t seen me naked before. Guys are lucky they aren’t expected to cover their chest the way girls are. So if they’re wearing only shorts, it’s that much easier for them to get naked.
Sean: Yeah, but at first when nudity was a thing at out place Danielle was generally bare-chested herself at home and with her friends before she decided to just go with full nudity. So before that point, just pulling the shorts down was all she needed to get naked.
Danielle: When I started going naked more openly, I didn’t know how to ask whether anyone minded if I were naked, without that being a little embarrassing for both me and others. Since almost everyone who came for a visit at our house was aware that nudity was common, I avoided having to ask by simply being naked when they arrived. But if I were visiting someone else, then I couldn’t be naked when I arrived, so this was a little problem. But generally only at first, if at all. If I visited a friend someplace where I’d been naked before, but didn’t strip off quickly enough, my friend might say something like “you can just put what you’re wearing in that closet if you want”.
Sharlene: If I may change the subject now, I’m still very interested in that camping trip you all had with the family of Danielle’s friend, Shelley. As you recall, I had to leave before we could get around to talking about that. I’ve already told Pete just about everything I could remember up to that point, and I don’t think I missed much, so you can assume he knows what happened before the trip itself.
Sean: Is it OK if I start off talking about that?
Dave: Certainly. Go ahead.
Sean: Thanks. Near the end of our visit at the Ambersons the subject of camping came up, because Shelley’s father, Mark, and maybe others had said it’s been one of their favorite things to do naked. Our family has also quite enjoyed camping, but of course not naked. Mark said that they had a camping trip planned for the very next week. It wasn’t going to be at an official campground, since that would rule out any real nudity. Instead they liked to go to places in a nearby National Forest, where camping is allowed almost anywhere. They had in mind a place that was pretty remote, but quite beautiful. You needed to go quite a way on dirt roads to get there. Fortunately, Dad has a 4wd truck we use for camping, and it can handle such roads easily.
Dave: The place they had in mind was a small meadow in the forest, so there was plenty of room for setting up tents and other camping equipment – for both of our families. A variety of activities were possible in the area, such as hiking, playing in a small nearby river, setting up a volleyball net, and so on. Plus sitting around a campfire in the evening after dinner and just relaxing.
Sean: And bird-watching! That’s something I’m really interested in. Mark also mentioned that there it was likely we’d have the area to ourselves, at least the area around the campsite. There might be other people on the trails, but they’d probably be camped at other spots. Naturally, all the Ambersons expected to be naked the whole time, and it wouldn’t bother them at all in case anyone else happened to see them. They told us that campers in that area are quite used to seeing nudity, even if they aren’t naked themselves. So there’d be no problem for anyone in our family who wanted to be naked some or all of the time. I was pretty sure that would include me, at least part of the time. After all, that would just make good sense for playing in the river.
Danielle: I thought the idea of going naked outdoors sounded like great fun – especially playing in the river. I knew I’d be quite tempted to do that. But I was afraid I might be too chicken to try it – especially if there could be people other than my family and the Ambersons around. At that point in time Dad was usually naked most of the time, and Sean was cautiously experimenting with going naked, just like Dad. However, the only time he was sure to be naked was around our backyard pool. Indoors he seemed somewhat less comfortable being naked. Right now you can see I’m very comfortable being naked in a situation like this – actually almost all the time, just like Dad and Sean. But back then, before the camping trip, about the only time others in the family ever saw me naked was if I’d forgotten to bring my towel into the bathroom for a shower. After the camping trip, however, I was much more comfortable being naked, as Sharlene could see when she dropped in on us.
Sean: I guess – because I’m a guy and Dad was already naked most of the time – that in the days leading up to the camping trip I was somewhat less nervous about being naked than Danielle was. So I spent some time every day being naked around the house – not just around the pool. Pretty soon I was naked at mealtimes, just like Dad. How could there be any problem with me being naked if Dad was too? And there wasn’t any problem. So I was pretty sure I could be naked for the whole camping trip, as long as it didn’t become too cold.
Danielle: Sean asked me several times before the trip whether I planned to get naked at least some of the time. I told him the truth, which was that I couldn’t really predict what I’d do. And I never made up my mind until we were fairly close to the camping place. As Shelley’s father said they’d planned, they stopped their truck at a spot well away from the main road. All of Shelley’s family got naked at that point, and Sean and Dad did also. I took my shirt off then, but not my shorts. However, just a few minutes later after we were moving again, on impulse I decided that I’d try to stay naked too for the whole time, so I pulled off my shorts. And I never put them back on until we got back close to the main road!
Sharlene: Was the place you were camping reasonably warm, even late in the day and at night?
Danielle: Well, it did get pretty chilly after dark, so I put on a hoodie, but nothing else, while we were sitting around the campfire. I got naked again in the tent and in my sleeping bag, which was quite comfy. It was also cold when we got up in the morning, but I decided I’d be tough and not put anything on. I was goose bumps all over, and my nipples were complaining. It was too cold even for Shelley, but somehow I managed to get along OK staying naked. I just kept pretty close to the fire until the air warmed up. But that first evening was the only time I wasn’t completely naked. I simply decided that I should stay naked just to prove to myself – and others – that I could do it, no matter how cold it got.
Sean: It turned out that we had to share that camping area at the meadow with others. The day after we got there, another family showed up about noon, and they wanted to camp at a nice spot about 100 feet away from us. There were two boys in the family, about the same age as Danielle and me, as well as their parents. They weren’t nudists, so they didn’t plan to get naked, but they didn’t have any objections at all to our nudity. In fact, when they saw we were all naked – except for Mom – they asked politely whether we’d mind, even though they planned to keep their clothes on, if they camped about 100 feet away. Shelley’s parents said they were fine with that, so my parents didn’t object either.
Danielle: As you can imagine, that was a little unsettling to me. But I was quite visibly naked, and they all saw me while they were talking about setting up nearby. So I figured I’d just better go through with my plan to stay naked the whole time, no matter what. And I did.
Sean: Shelley’s dad had planned to take Shelley and her brother, Terry, and Danielle and me on a hike one day. None of us would be wearing anything but boots and a day pack. But Mark invited the two boys of the other family to come with us too, and they happily agreed.
Danielle: So there we were, two naked girls with our naked brothers – and two other guys who were dressed normally. Five males altogether, counting Mark. Two girls and three guys were in the altogether. All going for a five or six hour hike in the woods. At least there was one – naked – adult along to supervise things.
Sharlene: Sounds like it must have been a pretty fun excursion for everyone. Did you meet anyone else on the trail?
Danielle: Yep, one family with two younger girls, fully dressed, who must have been camping somewhere nearby. They were a little surprised, but not really fazed by what they saw. We just smiled at each other and went on our ways. Who know what they told their girls.
Jan: In fact, that family walked by our camp, where Dave, Shelley’s mother, Julie, and I were chatting. I wasn’t naked but Dave and Julie, of course, were. This family told us what they’d seen, and we admitted we were with those others but skipped the hike. They just laughed and said it wasn’t the first time they’d encountered naked people out in the woods, so they weren’t too perturbed. The girls understood that there were simply a few people around who just didn’t care much for wearing clothes, and that was OK.
Danielle: Yeah, it’s really true. People who enjoy being naked and others who prefer to wear clothes are perfectly capable of getting along very well and having a good time together. But before then, if anyone had told me I’d happily be doing what we did, I wouldn’t have believed it. Yet I got comfortable with the situation pretty quickly. I really didn’t want to miss the hike. I didn’t want to put any clothes back on either. So I just went naked, and it was fine. The boys from the other family were very well behaved and respectful. It was just like nobody cared who was naked and who wasn’t – because that’s really how it was. I thought to myself, “Hey, self, this is really peachy keen. How come I ever thought it was such a scary thing to be naked?”
Pete: What other fun things did you do on this trip?
Danielle: Besides the hike, Sean, Dad, and Mark went off on several shorter walks so Sean could try to spot interesting birds. The rest of us stayed behind in camp while the others were away. The two boys from the other family joined us to work on a jigsaw puzzle and play board games.
Sean: At various other times, the kids in our group and the other two boys played in the river. Unfortunately, we couldn’t convince them to go in without swimming trunks, despite our best efforts.
Danielle: One night the other family invited us to their site to have dinner with them. So all of those folks got quite an eyeful of totally naked me and the rest of us nudists!
Sharlene: And yet you never changed your mind about being naked.
Danielle: Nope, I never changed my mind. And I’m so glad I didn’t. That’s probably the main thing that completely changed how I felt about nudity! Unsurprisingly, I was rather disconcerted about the situation at first – and that’s an understatement. But it wasn’t long at all before my discomfort just sort of disappeared. What I realized is that I could be comfortably naked around people I hardly knew – boys especially – and they could potentially see every single naked square inch of me. In fact, they probably came fairly close to doing so, considering how uninhibited I felt playing in the water, and doing cartwheels around the campsite. I even climbed a few trees naked after Sean did and dared me to do also. Yeah, I know, I was acting rather crazy there. Mom did look at me like “what the fuck does she think she’s doing?” But nobody actually said anything to calm me down.
Jan: Perhaps you can imagine I almost freaked out about how uninhibitedly Danielle was showing off every bit of herself. I almost – almost – started to have a word with her and suggest she should be just a bit more restrained. But I suppose, since nothing bad happened and Danielle gained a great deal of self-confidence, it was on balance for the best. As a result of that self-confidence Danielle’s now become fairly comfortable being naked. In any case, Danielle wasn’t alone in her disinhibition, as Shelley was doing pretty much the same things.
Danielle: Oh, come on, Mom. Yeah, I’m pretty uninhibited now when I think the situation is appropriate. But I do try fairly hard not to embarrass myself or anyone else if how I’m naked seems it might cause offense. I try to be careful and considerate of others until I have a sense of their attitudes towards nudity. But as long as I feel confident that others are OK with nudity and don’t have any unacceptable intentions, I’m happy to let them see me naked.
Sharlene: So you’ve become a full-fledged nudist like your father and brother since the camping trip?
Danielle: Well, yes, I definitely am now. But it wasn’t quite that simple. I didn’t become a full-time nudist immediately. See, in that situation at the camp, there was just my own family, Shelley’s family, who are all nudists, and that other family, who weren’t nudists, but were very tolerant of our nudity. That family were strangers to us. They don’t live anywhere nearby, and they turned out to be pretty nice folks. But we’ll probably never see them again. And even if we did, we knew they were OK with nudity. Back here at home, however, I have a lot of friends, and I don’t have any idea how most of them feel about nudity. At least, I didn’t know at the time we got home, though I have a better idea now. So I figured that I needed to proceed somewhat cautiously. I didn’t want to take a chance on alienating friends, if I could avoid it.
Sean: I have the same problem too. It’s one thing to be naked at home when nobody’s around but family. However, friends who come to visit, or whom I intend to visit at their homes, are another matter. There are ongoing relationships I’d just as soon not damage, if at all possible.
Danielle: I definitely had second thoughts about this stuff when we got home. You know, when you’re camping you’re out in nature, you have this sense that the rules may be different from what they are back in “civilization”, that is, at home. Camping is just a different environment, and the rules may well not be the same. I mean, at home you never know when a friend who’s not aware that you enjoy nudity might drop in unexpectedly – just as Sharlene did.
Sharlene: You’re lucky, I guess, I’m a pretty easy-going, open-minded sort of person!
Danielle: Definitely. Anyhow, it’s hard not to consider that some careful re-evaluation might be in order. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I was concerned that my behavior at the campsite was just a bit reckless. I started to have some regrets, and I worried that unless I dialed back my enthusiasm for nudity, at least temporarily, I could find myself in a situation where I’d have to choose between uninhibited nudity and the prospect of hurting relationships with people who are important to me – perhaps even my mother, who was clearly not yet especially enthusiastic about nudity.
Jan: I’m glad you decided to take a more cautious approach. Although you’re now a pretty committed nudist, and I don’t expect or want that to change, it’s good that you chose to examine things more carefully before proceeding.
Danielle: Yeah. Here’s one thing I was thinking. Let’s suppose that I immediately gave up wearing any clothes at home and did everything I could naked. Then nudity might become like an addiction I couldn’t easily give up. That could lead me to do things – who knows what? – that I might really regret later. Although I knew by then that I definitely loved being naked, I realized that it could be a very painful quandary if I ever had to choose between nudity and something else just as important.
Sharlene: Would you care to give an example or two?
Danielle: Um, let’s see. Maybe I’d fall in love some day with a guy who couldn’t stand letting other people see me naked. Then I’d have to choose between the guy and the nudity I love. Or maybe when I’m older and have to support myself I might want a career that would be incompatible with nudity, such as elementary school teaching or going into politics. Maybe the only satisfying job I could find would be working in a strip club. Those are just hypotheticals, but you get the idea.
Sharlene: Thank you.
Danielle: So, to make a long story short, I decided to start being naked at home somewhat less than all the time. That would give me some time to think more carefully about this stuff, without allowing myself to become addicted to nudity too soon.
Sharlene: This is a very fascinating discussion. But I think dinner should be almost done, so I suggest we take a break while I get things ready so we can eat. We can resume this conversation at the table.