Monika: [After a brief pause in the conversation] I think we’ve heard from almost everyone. Sally, would you like to say a little?
Sally: Sure. Um, well, I’m working as a waitress in a chain restaurant. Not a job I really care for, but it helps pay the bills. I’m living with a guy named Eric. I suppose I have to say we’re now both naturists, since we’ve been part of the naturist group that almost everyone who’s not new to this women’s group also belongs to. It was started a few months ago for people who enjoy being naked at least some of the time and also want to spread the word about naturism. The objective is to get more people interested in naturism. Eric works in an outdoor sporting goods store, which is where I met him. We have a lot in common, since we both enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, river rafting, rock climbing, and so on.
Zoey: Plenty of opportunity to get naked doing things like that.
Sally: Yep. Before we got involved with the naturist group there’d often be occasions we might be naked while mainly enjoying some other activity. While pursuing outdoor activities it’s sometimes tricky to avoid being naked in the presence of others, even if naturism isn’t a big interest of yours. Examples include changing clothes, skinny-dipping in a lake or river, soaking in a hot spring if one can be found, sunbathing in camp or during rest stops, or using a camp shower – if there is one. So outdoor recreation enthusiasts tend to be fairly casual about nudity.
Erin: But now that you’re involved with naturism, are you naked a lot more than just occasionally?
Sally: Of course. Now that we’re taking naturism seriously, we’re naked most of the time in our apartment, and we try to be as naked as possible while engaging in outdoor activities. We don’t take needless risks, so we’ll wear life jackets – but nothing else – while kayaking or river rafting. That’s even if we’re in a group where most or all of the others aren’t naked. Usually nobody objects. In case some do, however, we try to respect that – but make a mental note to avoid doing things with them in the future. More often, though, at least one or two others will decide to get naked also. So we’re helping promote naturism that way.
Joyce: Seems like I should say more about myself too. I already mentioned that, like Sheila, I always slept naked and I’d sometimes be naked in my dorm room during the day too. That was something a few people like me did, and hardly anyone else objected. Since I was majoring in drama, and had hopes of being an actor – at least in amateur theaters – I was usually studying for a part in some play or other. Many of those parts required some amount of nudity on stage, possibly for the entire play. Not only did I perform naked, I made a point of being naked even when rehearsing. I liked to rehearse unofficially in the dorm too, and I’d invite others to watch in order to give me feedback. So anyhow I was fairly used to being naked around others, even though I never considered myself a naturist.
Danielle: But since you apparently sought roles in plays where nudity was required – as well as just being naked occasionally in your room – you must have enjoyed being naked.
Joyce: Yeah, that’s a reasonable conclusion. But I don’t really know how I got to be like that. I can’t recall having much interest in nudity before I started college. I mean, as far as I knew, normal people don’t go around naked. I acted in a few plays in high school, but of course nudity wasn’t ever a part of those. I suppose a psychologist might connect this quirk of mine with how I’ve enjoyed performing – albeit clothed – in front of an audience. I have to admit that can be addicting. Probably I liked performing because I started taking violin lessons when I was about seven. So I got reasonably proficient as a violinist, and I played first violin in my high school orchestra. Unfortunately, I haven’t so far been able to perform naked as a soloist. I’ve started playing in a local string quartet. It’s fair to say that, finally, just this year I’ve become a serious naturist who tries to be naked as much as possible, but I won’t bore you with the details. The quartet I’m with now doesn’t mind me being naked in rehearsals with them – but of course, unfortunately, not when we’re performing in public. However, the U. U. congregation that has been helpful to our naturist group is planning to put on more events involving nudity for the general public.
Kelli: That is, of course, the group of people who allowed us to put on our Bare Fair along with one of their bake sales.
Joyce. Right. The Bare Fair seemed to be fairly successful. In fact one nice result is that it’s managed to get Alana, Kathya, and Alana’s sister Sheila to participate in this group today.
Kelli: Most people who were at the fair and spoke with me seemed to think it was interesting and a good thing. Some of them said they might like to become more involved with our naturist group. It hasn’t been very long, but so far I haven’t heard back from any of those. No doubt there were many who decided that naturism just wasn’t for them, but I wasn’t aware of serious objections.
Joyce: My impression is that most of what we had at the Fair appealed largely to younger folks who were there with their parents. It’s nice that the parents of those kids were open-minded enough to allow them to have a good time being naked. But what we’re planning to do next should appeal more to adults. For example, I’m starting to look for one-act plays that could be performed with some or all of the cast naked. I’m also thinking about writing some plays like that. Necessarily I’m also looking for anyone who might be interested in performing in such plays. I certainly would, but if it were only me, it might be a monologue, and probably of limited interest. Possibly more like stand-up comedy, though I’ve never tried doing that, let alone doing it naked. I’m sure I could persuade my quartet to perform, though I’d be the only one naked. Perhaps we could have a program with several soloists.
Erin: I’m sure that my son Kyle would love to perform something on piano – if his teacher, Jan, thinks he good enough yet to do a decent job.
Jan: Oh, yes, he’s definitely good enough with the right pieces. He’s my best student currently. But I can ask around among former students I’m still in touch with who’re quite good too. And I have other current students who could also do a fine job, with enough practice. However, Kyle’s the only one of these possibilities that I know enjoys being naked. And most of the others don’t yet know I’m now a naturist myself. But I’m no longer afraid to let people know about that. So we’ll see what I can turn up when I start asking around.
Joyce: I’ve also started asking around among musicians I know whether they’d consider performing naked. But no luck with that so far. At least nobody had said that sounds like a ridiculous thing to do. So that’s about all I can tell you right now about other things that might be done at the U. U. place. But I’m quite hopeful there’ll be more, if we can grow the size of our general naturist group. If any of you know of people who might be interested in this sort of thing, please let me know! It’s not necessary to have people who’re already naturists or might be interested in naturism – but they’d need to be brave enough to perform naked for an audience.
Sara Holmes: I’m very proud of how Joyce and others have been working so hard with members of her own group and members of our congregation to do great things for naturism together. Kelli has also been fantastic with all the effort she put in on making the Bare Fair a success. But others have also helped significantly, especially some of the younger ones, such as Danielle and Sally. I don’t mean to slight the menfolk who’ve also done great work, but I just wanted to praise the women who’re here this afternoon.
Joyce: You probably deserve the most praise of all, Sara. Without your leadership, your people and ours wouldn’t have gotten together at all.
Sara: As people know who’ve been in the local naturist group from the beginning, I’m the board president of the U. U. congregation at whose meeting place the Bare Fair was held. I can hardly wait to see all of the projects we’re already planning to do be as successful as the Bare Fair. But I’m just an old lady who has been a nudist in her younger years. I’m still proud of that and very much hoping that the naturist group is just beginning to make a major improvement in how naturism is perceived in our community. You know, when I was an active nudist, most of what we did only happened behind high fences around private camps and resorts, or else at remote clothing optional beaches that most of the public didn’t even know about. But now we’re working to bring naturism right out into the open, so it’s available to anyone who sees the value of it.
Jan: Don’t be so modest, Sara. You’re a real leader.
Sara: Oh, no, I’m just a figurehead. Most of the hard work is done by people from both sides of our partnership. I can tell you folks that most of the people from my side sincerely believe in the value of naturism, even if they’re not able to actively participate in it themselves. We believe in that because naked bodies are beautiful. If I were 10 years younger and my late husband Albert were still around, I can assure you we’d both be working hard on this effort with you. That’s about all I have to say.
Monika: Don’t sell yourself short, Sara. Without your enthusiastic support we’d hardly have accomplished anything so far. Well, this process of introducing ourselves to the newcomers has taken a bit longer than I expected – but that’s fine. I think many different topics have come up that we’d be talking about anyhow. Speaking just for myself, I’ve already learned a lot about the variety of different motivations people have for ceasing to wear clothes – to whatever extent they do so. I love all of you because you’ve motivated me to spend more time naked every week. Of course, my son and daughter have also played a major role in that.
Katryna: No, Mom, it’s you who’s motivated me to overcome my own fears of nudity – which is something I’m still working on.