Sharlene: I’m sorry I had to interrupt our conversation because dinner was nearly ready. Perhaps we can resume now, where Danielle was about to tell us about what happened after that eventful camping trip – which was the first time she started to really enjoy nudity. Ready to go back to that now, Danielle?
Danielle: Sure. When Sharlene dropped in on us unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago she first saw me naked when I came in from the pool to get some lunch. As I said, I’d decided after the trip to proceed cautiously in being naked for long periods of time. At first, I was naked only for using our pool and working on getting rid of my tan lines.
Sharlene: You seem to have done a very good job of that.
Danielle: Well, remember that I tan pretty easily and seldom burn. But I definitely wanted to get rid of the tan lines, even though others on my swim team would realize I’d been spending a lot of time naked in the sun, just like Shelley. In my case, they’d know that this was something new for me. But your visit was the first time someone besides my family saw me naked at home. However, the pool was the only place I was naked for relatively long periods of time then.
Sean: I should get some credit for nudging Danielle to be naked at home more frequently. She mentioned that one day she overslept and Mom sent me to wake her up for breakfast. She’d already been sleeping naked all the time, but that morning I encouraged her to stay naked at least for breakfast.
Danielle: That wasn’t so radical, since both Sean and Dad had for a while been naked most of the time at home, not just for meals. It was just a first for me. And it felt really good – just like my naked experience on the camping trip. So I decided then to stay naked the whole day, simply to prove I could. It went just fine, and was pretty routine, except for my nudity – just a normal day – practicing the piano, reading a book, checking Facebook, and swimming and sunbathing. It seemed so normal that after an hour or so I wasn’t especially aware of being naked! Occasionally, though, I thought “Wow, I’ve been fully naked and exposed the whole day, and I really like that, yet nobody acts like this is anything unusual.” But I shouldn’t have been surprised, because that’s how it was on the camping trip.
Sean: Yeah, she was so oblivious to the fact she was bare ass that at one point she was halfway out the front door to take our dog for a walk. I had to shout “Hey, Danielle, do you realize you don’t have any clothes on?” Maybe I should have let her go out, just to see what would happen! I was wondering whether perhaps she intended to go out butt naked.
Danielle: Going out was definitely not my intention. It just shows how much I wasn’t thinking about my nudity. Being naked feels great, but it’s easy to forget about it. So now I make an effort to remember not to walk out the front door partly or fully naked.
Sharlene: Sounds like you were in some in-between state – seriously enjoying being naked, but having to not let that lead to something you weren’t quite ready for.
Danielle: Yes, that’s a good way to put it. Part of me wanted to be naked as much as possible, but the other part feared what I might do, and what that could lead to, because I wasn’t clear about what was actually “possible”.
Sharlene: Perhaps your naked euphoria would let you miss signals from someone else who wasn’t comfortable with your nudity.
Danielle: Yeah, and that leaves me feeling ambivalent. It’s taken me some time to work through that ambivalence. But now I’m on a path to being fully naked as often as the situation allows. It may be very hard to turn around and go back the farther I am along that path. But sometimes one can’t avoid making choices, and where I’m headed now seems like the right direction for me.
Sharlene: Well, you know, you can’t wade in the same river twice, because it’s always moving and changing. But there will be times that you’ll have different paths to choose between. They won’t be the same alternatives as before, but they will exist.
Danielle: That’s true. A big reason I’ve made the choice I have is that both Dad and Sean made the same choice – to be naked most of the time at home – and they’ve seemed to feel very good about it. Shelley and her brother, Terry, never really had to make that choice, but their parents did. The people I know on that path still feel it’s a very good choice. I think, or at least I hope, that it’s the right choice for them and me, because we’re similar enough in ways that matter. But it could be wrong for others.
Sharlene: What “ways” do you think matter?
Danielle: Oh, various things. Being sensitive to what other people are thinking, so we don’t piss them off or push the wrong buttons for them. Having a sense of how much we can get away with, and what would be “too much”. Having intuitions of how to get sympathy for one’s point of view. That sort of thing.
Sharlene: Sounds like a recipe for a successful politician.
Danielle: I don’t know anything about politics, but I doubt that many successful politicians have been known as nudists. Whatever. Our choice might be wrong, even disastrous, for people who aren’t similar in those ways. When it comes down to making everyday decisions, our intuitions tend to be accurate. For instance, we know when some times are not suitable for being naked, such as when we’re expecting visits from certain neighbors, friends of someone in the family, or repair and service people.
Sharlene: It can take some people longer to decide on the “right” path – years, perhaps. But generally there will be later opportunities to choose again if a previous choice hasn’t been quite right.
Danielle: Yeah. It takes some people, like me, more time to commit to major changes. Mom still has significant reservations about going naked. I’ve been a little more adventuresome, but until recently I’ve played it safe by limiting my nudity to times when visitors are unlikely – so in the middle of the day I generally wore something, except when I was in or around the pool. I usually take more chances now.
Sharlene: Another compromise would be to wear just a little, but not enough to be “properly dressed” by conventional standards, no?
Danielle: Right. Often I’d wear only shorts but no top. Most people are surprised to encounter a bare-chested girl my age, but much less than a totally naked girl. Most sensible people wouldn’t make a fuss about a girl who was bare to the waist. According to what I’ve read, there are places – like New York City – where it’s not only legal for a female to be topfree in public, it actually happens in certain spots. Anyhow, when you came to bring Mom some roses I was still in “cautious” mode. I was naked when you arrived only because I’d been in the pool and just came in to get some lunch.
Sharlene: Well, as you know, your and Sean’s nudity didn’t bother me at all. I just hope I didn’t cause you any embarrassment.
Danielle: You obviously didn’t mind. Having unexpected visitors while being naked happened more for Dad and Sean as long as they were naked more than I was, but it did happen to me a few times. However, even then I wasn’t especially embarrassed, since I felt increasingly more comfortable without any clothes on, even around people who’re dressed normally. Like Sean and Dad I’d decided that in our own home wearing nothing is a very reasonable alternative to wearing something.
Sharlene: There’s no reason to feel embarrassed at all, since it’s your home, not theirs, and nothing’s wrong or bad about being naked at home. That’s your right if someone visits who’s not expected. Your home, your rules!
Danielle: I agree, of course. However, when that happens I usually offer calmly to put something on if the visitor prefers. I think I should go a little out of my way to be considerate. Most visitors can tell I’m naked because I like to be, not just by accident. I want to be sure they don’t mind my nudity, but I still want to make it clear I’m not embarrassed about being naked. As often as not visitors will say that since I’m not embarrassed I needn’t bother putting anything on. I feel good when that happens.
Dave: Sean and I feel the same way. It’s our home too. But we don’t want to be boorish, so we do just what Danielle does and ask whether a visitor wants us to put something on. So far we haven’t had any situation that hasn’t been handled satisfactorily for us and the visitor.
Sharlene: You seem considerably more comfortable and happy being naked than the last time I saw you, Danielle.
Danielle: Well, a few days after you were here was when I started going naked at home most of the time. Since that’s worked out pretty well, even when there’ve been unexpected visitors, I feel a lot more confident about nudity now. Even if there’s a little initial embarrassment with an unexpected visitor, it quickly disappears, I know I can be naked again pretty soon, and everyone’s satisfied. So I realized there wasn’t any good reason not to be naked most of the time here. Nudity is very much the norm now.
Pete: That all sounds very positive, very reassuring. But are there problems with good friends any of you have? If one of you has a visit from a good friend, I’m sure the others will be considerate and do the right thing if that friend isn’t comfortable with nudity. However, some good friends probably visit more or less frequently. Wouldn’t all three of you really prefer the friend to become more at ease with nudity – for the sake of the friendship?
Dave: Yes, of course. But most of my close friends are part of a couple, and they’re considered friends of our whole family – just like you and Sharlene. These friends generally only visit as a couple, usually not unexpectedly, and with their kids if they have any. Jan and I aren’t the most sociable sort of people, but we do enjoy having company from time to time. We’ve had only a few adult friends visit since all of us but Jan have been going naked. That’s usually been in the evening, for dinner and conversation.
Pete: How did those visits go?
Dave: In one case our friends brought their kids, who happened to be fairly young. So rather than have them decide whether they were ready for the kids to get OK with seeing nudity, we all wore some clothes. But other cases were couples who either didn’t bring their kids or didn’t have any. In all of these instances the friends knew about our interest in nudity, because I’d discussed it with them. Their attitude was that it was no problem if anyone wanted to be naked. Also, one time we visited friends as a family, and with our friends’ encouragement all of us except Jan quickly got naked.
Sharlene: Now that it’s summer, you’ll probably be relaxing and eating outside by your pool a fair amount, and having friends over for that sort of thing.
Dave: That’s true. Jan and I are still discussing how to proceed in specific cases. Some of these friends are primarily friends of hers rather than mine, of course.
Jan: Generally there are two possibilities. The first is if I think nudity won’t put them off too much. Then I’ll tell them about what Dave and our kids are doing. If they’re OK with that, then no problem. Otherwise I’ll ask the others in my family to wear something or other. That works for the second possibility too, so I don’t even have to bring up the issue. For better or worse, however, the word’s probably going to get around that most in our family enjoy being naked, so I might have to discuss how they feel about that anyhow.
Dave: For friends of Jan and myself, the possible problems are at least a little simpler, since the visits are usually a result of a specific invitation, not just folks randomly dropping in on us. If one or both of the couple are among my friends, I may be more interested in letting them know about my interest in nudism and the fact that I – and now my kids too – prefer to be naked when possible. So we have a conversation about that. Then
the dress code will be based on the friends’ reactions. They’ll either say “fine, go ahead and be as naked as you like” or not. Either way all of us know what to expect, so there’s no problem.
Sharlene: What about you kids? How do you handle being naked around your friends?
Sean: That hasn’t been much of a problem for me, but then I don’t have as many friends as Danielle. I’ve already told most of my friends who are likely to come by unexpectedly that I like to be naked as much as possible now. But all of these friends are guys. I don’t know any girls very well who might surprise me by just dropping in. That could be rather interesting, but I’m not expecting it.
Pete: Are your friends very surprised when you tell them how interested you are in nudity?
Sean: Sure, at least in the first few cases. Since this has all happened relatively quickly, it can be quite a surprise. But now that I’ve told some friends I enjoy being naked, the word seems to have gotten around to a majority of people who know me. I haven’t asked anyone to keep it a secret. So even if someone happens to come by without telling me first, chances are they’ll already know what to expect.
Pete: But if they haven’t heard already, what’s their reaction?
Sean: Some guys say something like “Hey, man, just do whatever suits you.” But in other cases I’ll have to give a longer explanation. It’s so unusual in our society to admit you like being naked that doing so is considered at least a little weird. I think this is even more true for people my age, since we are usually more concerned with what others think about us than people who’re older. However, only a few of my friends have said they’re unlikely to visit unless I’m wearing something. Maybe they’re afraid I’m gay.
Sharlene: Do you tell your friends that your father and Danielle are also naked most of the time?
Sean: Yes. If they know I’ll be naked, that information probably won’t change their decision to visit. But if they think Danielle may be naked too, then for some strange reason they may feel more positive about nudity.
Pete: What about your friends’ parents? Even if your friends don’t mind seeing nudity their parents might have objections.
Sean: I know, so for friends who decide to come visit I also ask them to tell their parents that Danielle and my father will probably be naked too. That’s just covering my ass in case a friend’s parents might feel that it wouldn’t be cool if they learned their son were around naked people.
Sharlene: Danielle, do you have any problem if Sean has friends visiting while you’re naked?
Danielle: Nope, not at all. Earlier, before I was more comfortable with nudity, it would have been a problem. But now I’m past being bothered if guys see me naked – as long as they behave themselves. Remember, it wasn’t a problem on that camping trip. However, although I had little experience being naked then, that was a rather unusual situation, since I wanted to make the most of it and prove I was brave enough to ditch all my clothes. In fact now, if I’m interested in what Sean and his friends are doing – watching videos, playing computer games, swimming, or whatever – and if I’m welcome to join them – then I’m be fine being naked in that situation.
Pete: Now I’m wondering about the reverse situation, Sean. Have you been naked when visiting a friend?
Sean: Yeah, sometimes, especially if I’ve discussed nudity with the friend, and his whole family thinks it’s OK. If they actually express some approval of the idea or I’ve been naked at that home before, they might even invite me to get naked if I feel like it. However, that’s just been with one or two friends at a time. I haven’t been naked in a larger group yet – but I will be pretty soon, since Corey, one my best friends, has invited me to a party next week at his home, with a bunch of other guys who’re seriously into computer games, as I am also. It’ll be a pretty simple thing. We just bring our favorite games and anything we need to run them on. People can try out games they haven’t yet had a chance to. There’ll be pizza, other snacks – and probably lots of Red Bull. Corey knows I like to be naked, and his family’s OK with it. So I’m about to find out how it goes.
Pete: I assume you wouldn’t just drop in unexpectedly on someone who didn’t know you like to be naked.
Sean: No, of course not. It’s just common sense to inform people ahead of time. In general I’d prefer to be naked at someone else’s place, just like at home. Anyone I visit would certainly want to find out beforehand how his family and anyone else who might be there would feel about my nudity. If I don’t already know somehow whether that would be OK I’ll ask about it before I go. What it all comes down to is that the best approach is to not keep it a secret that I enjoy nudity. So anyone who wants to visit me or for me to visit them is well prepared and knows what to expect. That’s simply in my own best interest, since I don’t want any unpleasantness with friends. I’m not a fanatic about this nudity stuff.
Sharlene: How about you, Danielle? I have the impression you’ve already been naked with some of your friends. What’s that been like?
Danielle: Well, don’t forget it hasn’t been very long that I’ve usually been naked at home, even considering times I’ve been naked only in or around the pool. So Sean has had to deal with this situation more than I have. I agree with most of what he said. If a friend wants to visit me at home, the first thing to consider is whether they know nudity’s the norm at our place. If they don’t and I’m ready to let people know, I’ll tell them. Once they know, I’ll find out how they feel about nudity. If I know they’re OK with nudity, then there’s no problem, and I can be naked myself. In any other case and Dad or Sean will be around, I’ll ask them not to be naked during the visit. They always cooperate. Net result is that anyone who I’m not sure is OK with nudity won’t have to see it.
Sharlene: How do your friends react when you’re actually naked with them?
Danielle: To be honest, many seem a little embarrassed at first. That’s hardly surprising, since in our society if friends see each other naked it’s almost always either briefly or in the context of something like an overnight sleepover – not with someone who’s naked all or most of the time, and maybe with other people around.
Sharlene: But there are others who are immediately cool with the nudity?
Danielle: Sure, and not just people like Shelley who’re used to nudity. There are more than I would have expected. One example is Kimberly, who’s probably my best friend on the swimming team. Like everyone else on the team she knows Shelley is an enthusiastic nudist, and she’s even visited Shelley’s family several times. She says that the nudity wasn’t any problem for her at all. Last week she came home with me after a practice. She knew I was at least a part-time nudist since my tan lines had mostly disappeared. I told her I was actually naked most of the time now, and of course that was fine with her.
Sharlene: Ah, another potential nudist, maybe?
Danielle: Well, it would be great if she were. Then there’d be three of us nudists on the team – me, Kimberly, and Shelley! But I don’t know whether it’s a real possibility. I told her a little about experiences my family and I have had with nudity, including the camping trip with Shelley. She was very curious about my experiences and how it feels to be naked most of the time. I could understand the curiosity, since she’d never seriously considered the possibility of going naked.
Sharlene: Sounds like a hint she’s considering it now.
Danielle: Oh, she definitely is. Since she knew Shelley was a nudist and suspected I was becoming one, she has discussed the idea with her parents. She told them she’d, at least, like to find out what it’s like to be naked around other people. Although she was afraid her parents would just laugh at her, she was surprised they had no strong objection, at least as an experiment. Then she became nervous about what she might be getting into, as the possibility of experimenting became real. However, her parents didn’t want her to be naked at home, because of concerns about how their neighbors might react if Kimberly were seen naked at home – especially since their backyard pool isn’t very private.
Sharlene: Not being able to swim naked in the pool would eliminate one of the best reasons for being naked.
Danielle: Right. Kimberly was eager to come home with me after our practice so she could experience being naked at my place and in our pool, and also so we could talk more about my experiences. Before we got home I pointed out that Sean and my father would also be naked. But that was fine with her. She’d seen Shelley’s whole family naked on her visits with them, and she was actually hoping to be naked with people she knew who were also. When Mom came to pick me up I asked whether Kimberly could come and have dinner with us, and Mom was happy to have her join us.
Sharlene: So how’d it go?
Danielle: Just fine. Kimberly and I stripped completely just as soon as we got inside. She talked with the others in my family for a few minutes in order to explain why she wanted to visit. We then went outside to swim – naked and in a more leisurely way than was possible during practice. She never put any clothes back on – through all of dinner and until it was time to leave.
Dave: Actually, we’re now having various people from around the neighborhood come to visit for some reason or other – people who’ve known us for some time but haven’t been among our closest friends. Most people in the neighborhood apparently know that all of us except for Jan usually don’t wear clothes at home anymore. Whatever their stated reason for visiting, there’s usually at least a brief discussion of how Sean, Danielle, and I are usually naked. We regard this as a good development. It shows that there are a number of people who didn’t know dispensing with clothes is a reasonable way to live, and that there’s generally nothing wrong with it. Yet hardly any of these people, as far as we know, have tried being naked in their own homes. Since being naked isn’t at all embarrassing to us, we’re fine with these visits. And we now feel closer to some of these people we hadn’t known very well before.
Jan: Some of these folks have been visiting more regularly now for perfectly good reasons, such as using our pool or chatting about something in which there’s a mutual interest, like gardening or sports or movies, perhaps. Yet they don’t show any interest in being naked here or around their own homes. If they actually are interested, at least they don’t mention it. Dave thinks this may be like the situation at clothing-optional beaches he’s read about where many people regularly use the beach, even though they don’t get naked, yet have no objection if others do.
Sean: Here’s an example. There’s one family around here that has twin kids, Andy and Allie, who are a few years younger then Danielle and me. Several times the twins’ father or mother has brought them here to use our pool and left them with us for a little while to run some errands. The kids always wear bathing suits, but they and their parents are fine with us being naked. Yesterday the kids even stayed long enough to have dinner with us.
Jan: It’s getting to the point where people ask why I’m still a holdout on nudity. It’s becoming increasingly hard for me to explain that, but I just say “Look at your own family. Not everyone finds it especially easy to give up wearing clothes. The rest of my family are the exceptions.”
Danielle: The world would be a much better place if people could be as accepting about personal differences of many kinds, not just feelings about nudity. For lots of things there simply isn’t a single way that’s right for everyone. The big problem is people who gain some advantage by putting down groups of people who are “different”. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. It’s just silly and harmful to disrespect others who wear different types of clothes – or make different choices about wearing clothes at all. People who disrespect others because of differences they think are important – but that really aren’t – just bring on disrespect towards themselves.