Grassroots naturism, part 6A

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Jenna Collins, her husband, and one of her two children, had mostly stopped wearing clothes about two weeks ago. Nevertheless, she went immediately to answer the front door when the doorbell rang. Since Jenna’s husband, Troy, had placed a sign beside the door to inform visitors that anyone in the house would probably be naked, she never hesitated to go to the door.

Jenna: Good morning, Edda. Please come in.

Edda Crawford: I hope I haven’t interrupted anything important. I simply wanted to bring you some chocolate chip cookies I just baked.

Jenna: Why, thank you so much. Everyone here loves your cookies!

Edda: You’re very welcome. I admit I was also hoping to learn how your family’s experiment with nudity was going. I’ll return some other time if it’s more convenient.

Jenna: Oh, please stay. I’d love to tell you what’s happening with the experiment. I’ve only been editing a manuscript from a new writer who needs a lot of help. That’s my job, after all. But I could certainly use a break. The experiment’s been going very well. No serious problems worth mentioning.

Edda: I’ve been so excited for all of you to learn about your plans. I’m still adjusting to the idea that I may seldom, if ever, see you or others in your family wearing clothes again. But you know what? After just two weeks I’m so used to seeing all of you naked, except for Poney, it seems you’ve always been that way.

Jenna: We feel exactly the same way. Wearing nothing seems so normal now that we hardly even think about it. Poney finally stopped wearing any clothes two days ago. She says the feeling of being completely naked still feels strange to her – but not as unpleasant as she feared at first. She agrees about being used to seeing the rest of us naked, but is still surprised to notice her own nudity.

Edda: Oh, that’s really good news. It would have been awkward for her to be the only holdout. No doubt she’ll get used to her own nudity as quickly as the rest of you.

Jenna: That feeling of being surprised by one’s own nudity fades slowly. I still experience it occasionally. Perhaps I’m talking to some visitor here, or the UPS driver, and I think, “Hey, I’m stark naked while talking to this person, yet it seems perfectly normal.”

Edda: Your nudity is a uniform, much like the UPS driver’s uniform. It’s entirely appropriate for you – and the rest of your family.

Jenna: A friend of mine has joked that visiting me here is now a lot like visiting an Amish family’s home – everyone dresses the same way every day.

Edda: You know I thoroughly approve of your decision to stay naked, even though I can’t imagine doing that myself. It’s just so interesting you’ve decided your whole family should stop wearing any clothes as much as possible.

Jenna: We’re well aware that almost everyone who knows us will be surprised about our resolve to be naked – that it will seem so sudden and unexpected. You and Roger are just among the first to learn about it. But that was inevitable, since we’re next-door neighbors and long-time friends. However, we’re still happy you’ve accepted our nudity so readily. Others will probably take longer to accept what we’re doing, and some won’t accept it at all.

Edda: I recall you and Troy expressing an interest in “social nudity” before you started going naked. But for your whole family to actually do that is not a minor step. So I’m still very curious about why you’ve done it. Surely you must have excellent reasons. But, of course, you don’t need to explain anything if you don’t want to.

Jenna: I don’t mind questions about this at all. We want everyone to know what we’re doing. But it’s even more important for everyone to know why. It’s a long story, so it’s best to go into the details some other time when Troy can help explain it. He and I have had earlier experience with nudity. On some of our vacations before having kids we visited countries like France and Germany where there are extensive nude beaches, and many other places to enjoy naturist activities, such as campgrounds, resorts, bathing places, and saunas. We tried a number of those on our travels and found almost all of them very enjoyable. That convinced us nudity can be very good and wholesome, instead of being questionable and probably immoral, as most people in our society seem to think.

Edda: Have you been able to do things like that more recently?

Jenna: No, unfortunately. Around here it’s hard to find anything similar. Now with the kids, it’s harder yet, since we’re not independently wealthy. We’d certainly have introduced our kids to that kind of nudity if it had been possible. So we haven’t thought much more about any of that until recently. I’m sure we’d still find it quite enjoyable, and our kids would too.

Edda: I know what you mean about the ridiculously negative attitudes towards nudity in our society. I just can’t fathom why there’s so much opposition to innocent nudity like yours. I’ve read about nude beaches being closed to nude use because people nearby believed, incorrectly, they were just havens for perverts and pedophiles. I can only shake my head, because other people I’ve known who’ve been to nude beaches tell me the stereotype’s simply not true.

Jenna: Troy and I have become very outraged by the disparaging attitudes most people seem to have towards nudity. That’s mainly what’s motivated our decision to dispense with clothes. There are many other examples of people’s nonsensical antipathy and aversion to innocent, nonsexual nudity. For instance, naturists often rent commercial or public swimming pools for their exclusive use, so their families can enjoy the facilities without any conflicts with non-naturists. Nevertheless, in various communities where this is attempted there’s significant public opposition – for no good reason except the pools will be used by naked people.

Edda: That’s very unfair and disgusting.

Jenna: Another disgusting example is with the media – whether it’s newspapers, magazines, TV, cable, or online. They never show visual images with explicit nudity in stories where it’s a major issue. Such images are always censored somehow or else people in it are positioned so that genital areas or female breasts are never visible. The rationale is to “protect” adults from being “offended” or children from seeing such things. Such “protection” might make sense in easily accessible media. But it also happens even in media usually seen only by intelligent adults. Almost as bad, many stories use demeaning stereotypes of nudists, or idiotic cliches that refer to “nudist colonies”, “the naked truth”, “the bare facts”, or the like. And “naturist” is often confused with “naturalist”. It’s no wonder the general public is so ignorant about wholesome social nudity.

Edda: That’s really stupid, and such a shame.

Jenna: And here’s one more thing. It’s related to why most mainstream media censor any nudity in pictures. There’s a widespread belief that children shouldn’t be exposed to nudity – on beaches, for example. It’s ridiculous, since there are many children on naturist beaches and campgrounds in Europe. Or worse, many people think children shouldn’t see nudity even in their own homes – or at least not after they’re a certain age. Of course, we think such attitudes are wrong, as long as the nudity is nonsexual. Obviously, we’ve encouraged both Rowan and Poney to be naked with us as much as possible.

Edda: Such beliefs certainly cause kids to think that there’s something very wrong with nonsexual nudity. Kids can’t help thinking that once they realize they’re not allowed to be naked or see others naked in their homes. And since so many learn as children the false lesson that nudity must be “wrong”, it’s no wonder that attitudes towards nudity are so terrible in our society.

Jenna: Exactly. This is one way kids are conditioned to think nudity is “wrong”. The resulting mindless abhorrence of simple, innocent nudity is the basic reason Troy and I decided our whole family should be naked as much as possible. We don’t intend to publicize what we’re doing to the whole world. But we know a lot of people around here, and most of them will learn we’ve stopped wearing clothes. We hope what we’re doing will make many more people aware of the issues, if nothing else. And we’re very curious to find out what effect that might have.

Edda: What sort of effect could your family have by going naked as much as possible? For instance, do you think restrictions on public nudity might eventually be reduced?

Jenna: It depends on what you mean by “public”. We hope that someday it will be possible for people to be naked in public places like beaches, hiking trails, campgrounds, and parks – at least some significant portion of those. It’s simply unreasonable for nearly 100% of such places to exclude nudity.

Edda: But how will what you’re doing lead to that?

Jenna: We don’t know. Realistically, that’s unlikely to happen soon. We’re just nobodies, after all. We’re not going to lead naked demonstrations in nearby parks to allow more nudity. But there’s a more limited sense of “public” where we might have some effect. We’re fairly sociable folks, although Poney’s a bit more of a loner. So we’d like the ability to socialize naked with others who enjoy nudity, as well as any sensible people who’re tolerant of nudity, even if they don’t go naked like us. That could happen in private homes – at dinner parties, or just informal gatherings in a backyard or around a swimming pool

Edda: That would be awesome. I’ll talk with Roger so we can be among the first to do that.

Jenna: Of course, if we’re invited to parties or gatherings where many or most others aren’t naked we’ll certainly be asked about our nudity, providing us with an opportunity to explain why we think nudity’s so wonderful, and why it shouldn’t be treated so poorly by most of society. We expect the same sort of thing to happen if some of the friends Poney and Rowan currently have invited them to activities along with other young people who aren’t naked.

Edda: Mixing together people who enjoy nudity along with others who might also enjoy it if they knew more about it seems like a clever idea that could persuade a few at least to learn more about social nudity.

Jenna: We’d also like to encourage nudity in more public venues, such as restaurants that are willing to host lunches or dinners where clothed and naked people are equally welcome. Other possibilities might be places that host cultural events – such as movie showings, musical performances, live theater. And especially if nudity in featured in the events.

Edda: I’d think that such things would be possible as soon as your family’s enthusiasm for nudity energizes enough people to join with you to persuade people in a position to help do what’s needed so that your ideas are implemented. Have you discussed your ideas with others yet?

Jenna: No, we haven’t gotten that far, but we’ve learned there’s already a naturist group in the area that has similar ideas. So far we’ve discussed our own plans with rather few friends and acquaintances. But many of those have said they’d be glad to invite all of us to parties and other gatherings in their own homes – remaining just as naked as in our own home. And they’d expect that naked and non-naked guests would get along with each other.

Edda: I certainly admire what you’re doing. I also understand and completely agree with your motivating opinions. I’m pretty sure Roger will feel the same way. It will certainly be interesting to follow your progress.

Jenna: I’m happy with the progress so far. The pieces are falling into place nicely. Most importantly, Rowan, and even Poney, are becoming more interested in our goals. Rowan quickly became enthusiastic about nudity. He stripped off soon after we explained our plans – and has stayed fully naked. Apparently, at 12, he’s still early enough in puberty to have few concerns about nudity. Poney’s been slower to get into it, but I think she’s coming around.

Edda: Since Poney’s a girl, somewhat introverted, and now 15, it’s quite understandable that nudity worries her more.

Jenna: Nevertheless she’s gradually warming up to our plans, in spite of serious concerns. At first she experimented with nudity only occasionally. But for the past two days she’s been naked all the time at home, though still nervous about it. She won’t answer the front door naked yet, for example.

Edda: How your kids handle the idea is probably key to the whole thing. If they aren’t fully committed you aren’t really a “naked family”.

Jenna: Yes, certainly. I’m taking several approaches to start Poney thinking about how nudity could be very good for her. For instance, she’ll have interesting new social opportunities if she gets comfortable wearing nothing.

Edda: What sort of opportunities?

Jenna: As I said before, we know there’s an active naturist group in the area. Most kids of families in the group are avid naturists, we’re told, so they should make good friends for both Poney and Rowan. The group is also planning activities especially for kids their age. Best of all, they’re having a campout at the end of the month. Poney, especially, enjoys camping, so she’s excited about that.

Edda: No doubt.

Jenna: But she’s pretty worried about downsides of nudity, both known and unknown, so she’s afraid of going all-in with it. She vacillates several times a day between embracing nudity or keeping her options open. We’re trying not to put pressure on her about her choice – but she knows what the rest of us want her to decide.

Edda: I understand how scary going naked must seem to a girl her age. But what’s she specifically afraid of?

Jenna: Various things, but two main ones. First, she’s very worried about her friends’ reactions if she stops wearing clothes. She fears losing many friends as a result. Second, she thinks she’ll be embarrassed being naked when nobody else is or if boys are around, such as at a party.

Edda: Isn’t Rowan worried about such things?

Jenna: Nope. He’s clearly enjoyed being naked since he started, and he says it’s never been embarrassing. He’s sure the upsides greatly outweigh the downsides.

Edda: I wish Roger and I could do something to assuage Poney’s worries, besides assuring her we think you and Troy want to do what’s best for your family. She’ll always be very welcome in our house, whether naked or not. Where is she now, by the way?

Jenna: She’s on the back patio reading – her third straight day of complete nudity. Our backyard’s very private, so she’s comfortable being naked there. Although she’s still quite shy about other people seeing her naked, she knows you well enough that if she came inside, your seeing her unclothed shouldn’t be a problem.

Edda: Good. I’d hate to cause her any embarrassment. Is there other progress you could mention – for your whole family, or Poney in particular?

Jenna: Yes, there’s another example of progress for Poney. She and I have been doing something new together – naked yoga. I’ve dabbled in yoga for some time – the ordinary kind. While Troy and were learning about naturism, we discovered that naked yoga was popular with naturists. So I wondered whether there were any naked yoga classes nearby. I called some regular yoga studios in the area to inquire. The first one said they were aware of the interest in naked yoga, but didn’t have anything to offer. It seemed doubtful naked yoga is “real” yoga.

Edda: That’s too bad.

Jenna: Yes, but the second studio was more helpful. The person I spoke with there said they didn’t have naked yoga classes, but they’d just added a new, novice assistant instructor named Sally, who’s interested in naked yoga. They said she’s a naturist herself, and she’d be glad to have private sessions – fully naked – with me and Poney. So I said we’ll do it – if Poney’s actually interested.

Edda: The result?

Jenna: Fortunately, Poney had done a little traditional yoga herself, since she knew it interested me. So she knew what yoga was all about and could do the basic poses fairly well. She even had her own yoga mat. When I suggested going for a private naked yoga session, Poney agreed immediately, and we made an appointment for the very next day. It went very well, so Poney and I have practiced naked yoga together ever since then.

Edda: Wonderful.

Jenna: She now loves naked yoga, because there are no annoying clothes to bother with, and it’s possible to see all of her body doing the poses. She’d love to have friends to do naked yoga with. However, she hasn’t yet told any friends she’s started being naked all the time – and that might continue indefinitely.

Edda: But you two now have something fun to do together naked. And she’ll certainly make new friends with kids in that naturist group you mentioned.

Jenna: Exactly. We found that Sally wasn’t just into naked yoga. She’s also an active member of that naturist group. In fact, she’s helping organize the group’s naked campout!

Edda: How much do you know about that?

Jenna: We know enough to know what to bring along, and to borrow or purchase any additional needed things. It’s going to start in two weeks. They’re renting a government-maintained group camp. Only naturist group people and friends they invite who’re OK with nudity will be there. Most people probably will be naked the whole time. There are hiking trails, places on a stream to play in the water, plus all the usual campground stuff like tent areas, picnic tables, and grills for cooking. We’re all very excited about it.

Edda: How fortunate for you! If you hadn’t tried naked yoga and met Sally, you mightn’t have learned about the group soon enough for the campout.

Jenna: Yes, we were quite lucky. We haven’t met any of the other group members yet, but Sally was sure we’d get along well with them – especially considering our enthusiasm for nudity. There might even be some who’ll do naked yoga with us and Sally during the campout.

Edda: Is there additional good news on your plans?

Jenna: Well, Rowan’s persuaded some of his best friends to accept his nudity. He’s quite happy about that. Only two boys he considers among his best friends said they couldn’t understand the idea of usually being naked. They said their parents would expect him to wear clothes while visiting their homes – and they couldn’t visit here if anyone around were naked.

Edda: That’s disappointing.

Jenna: Yes, but fortunately two friends thought the idea of never wearing clothes was pretty cool. Even better, when they discussed the idea with their parents, they got permission for Rowan to visit them, fully naked if he desired, and for his friends to visit here. Rowan wants both of them to get permission to try nudity also. Some others weren’t sure how they felt and needed to discuss it with their parents.

Edda: Has either of those with permission actually visited here yet?

Jenna: Yes, a friend named Gary. Rowan expects the other friend will visit soon. Rowan’s actually been spending most of the week with Gary’s family. They’ve not only given the boys permission to visit each other’s homes, but also said that Gary can be naked here. Rowan and Gary’s family have been at a cabin in the woods. They’re sure nudity will be OK there, since others in the same group of cabins skinny-dip in a nearby swimming hole. Rowan expected to return sometime today. However, Gary’s family isn’t going directly home, because they’re going somewhere else after leaving the cabin. But it’s convenient for them and Troy to meet somewhere to bring Rowan home.

Edda: I’m sure Rowan has really enjoyed that. Does Gary have siblings?

Jenna: Just an older sister, Tasha, who’s going to be a senior in high school.

Edda: I’m very interested to learn how that went for Rowan. You say Poney hasn’t begun talking with her best friends about nudity?

Jenna: Yes, unfortunately. Poney’s naturally shy and easily embarrassed to begin with. She’s also afraid of losing many of her current friends if she tells them she might usually be naked. But I don’t think it’ll be that bad. And even if she does lose friends she’ll almost certainly make new friends in the naturist group. Most girls and boys in the group must enjoy nudity, so it should be easy making friends there.

Edda: Having friends like that should make it easier for Poney to be naked more of the time – she’ll certainly be naked with those friends.

Jenna: And the more time she’s naked the more she’ll be comfortable that way and enjoy it, so more likely to continue. We think, and hope, she’ll get used to being naked fairly quickly and increasingly enjoy it. Once that happens, she should open up to her friends about it and may not talk about much else until at least some of them accept her as someone who simply prefers being naked.

Edda: Enjoying nudity herself and having friends who accept or even enjoy it should be very good for her.

Jenna: That exactly what we’re hoping, so she’ll eventually choose full-time nudity, like the rest of us.

Edda: What about boys? Being naked a lot could make existing friendships with them somewhat awkward. Has she dated much?

Jenna: Some, but because of her shyness she’s dated less than other girls her age. However, she’s had occasional dates with boys she likes. Obviously, making new friends with boys and dating will be much more complicated if she commits to being naked.

Edda: That probably worries her a lot. Preferring to be naked is considerably weaker than committing to it – which doesn’t allow her any choice. Would she actually wear nothing on a date, perhaps to a party where nudity was acceptable? Would you really want her to be naked on a date?

Jenna: Clearly it would be tricky, but I’d encourage her to do exactly that if it seems safe.

Edda: That’s fine if it’s related to the naturist group, but you’d still encourage her to wear nothing on a date if it weren’t?

Jenna: Sure. If Poney stays naked enough to get used to it, wearing nothing will be normal for her, and that includes going on a date. Anyone who asks her for a date should expect she’ll choose to be naked. We want her to realize – like the rest of us – she can live her life just fine like anyone else, even wearing nothing.

Edda: I see. Is this something like, “you need to take this medicine – it’ll be good for you”?

Jenna: Well, that’s one way of looking at it, but I don’t see it that way. What Poney’s most afraid of is that going naked will make drastic changes in her life in many ways, not just in dating. I’m confident it’ll make far less difference than she fears. She’ll be making friends in the naturist group. Including those new friends with her current friends who accept her nudity may well be a gain.

Edda: Doing things with other naturists shouldn’t be too difficult.

Jenna: Right. I think Poney’s already almost a naturist, since she doesn’t have serious objections to nudity per se – and has easily stayed naked for two days now. The rest of us are now avid naturists who are naked as much as possible. She’ll realize she’ll probably also be naked a lot, even if not as much as possible.

Edda: Once she accepts being a naturist as part of her identity, doing many things naked, including dating, should be easier.

Jenna: That’s certainly the case with activities in the naturist group, where nudity is fully accepted. As far as dating is concerned, any suitable date would have to be OK with nudity – which should be true of anyone who wants to date a naturist. It should also be true for any activity or event where nudity is accepted.

Edda: But what if it turns out that nobody else at the event is naked, even though nudity is supposedly acceptable?

Jenna: I’d hope Poney could still handle being the only one naked, although it might take a little more time for her to build up enough self-confidence.

Edda: But don’t most parties where there’s nudity – excepting naturist ones – eventually result in at least a little sexual activity?

Jenna: I don’t know the answer to that. But we think Poney’s very sensible and responsible in terms of sexuality. That’s essential if she’s going to be naked most of the time.

Edda: So you think it’s quite possible to have a nearly “normal” social life even wearing nothing.

Jenna: Definitely. That’s what Troy and I expect for ourselves as well as our kids. We think that’s true for social events with enough tolerant, open-minded, and trustworthy people. For instance, parties like I mentioned earlier where both naturists and non-naturists are invited.

Edda: I hope you’re right. What you’re doing seems so wonderful to me – because it’s what you want – that I hope nothing spoils it.

Jenna: Yes, it’s depressing even to think there could be problems with our desire to be a naked family.

Edda: So just don’t think about it! Here, take a cookie or three to dismiss that thought.

Jenna: Thanks.

Edda: Is there anything else that’s progress towards your goal?

Before Jenna could answer, Troy and Rowan walked into the living room.

Troy: Oh, hi, Edda. Just here for a chat with Jenna?

Edda: Yes. I brought some cookies I just baked for your family, but I also wanted to hear from Jenna how your family’s adventure with full-time nudity has been going. We’ve had a very pleasant conversation.

Jenna: I thought you were going out for some shopping, Troy, but had no idea you’d already gone to pick up Rowan.

Troy: Well, I went out earlier for the shopping, but while I was out I got a phone call from Rowan that he and Gary’s family were already near the place I was supposed to meet them. So I headed there right away.

Edda: How was your week at the cabin, Rowan?

Rowan: It was fantastic, just great! There was a pretty good size swimming hole, so Gary and I spent hours every day skinny-dipping and horsing around. Six or seven others skinny-dipped there too. Even Tasha went in naked a few times – but she was clothed, at least a little, every other time I saw her. Gary and I didn’t wear anything the whole time, of course.

Edda: How wonderful for you. It sounds to me like you’ve adapted very well to being naked all the time.

Rowan: Yep. I’d love to tell you more, but I just arranged to go with another friend to a birthday party for a female cousin of his. I didn’t think I’d be back in time – but I am. His parents should be here any minute to pick me up, so I can’t stay and talk right now.

Edda: Well, don’t dally any longer. You must have things to do first. We can talk some other time.

Rowan: Yeah, just a few things – but putting on clothes isn’t one of them.

This entry was posted in Dialogues, Family naturism, General naturism, Naked living, Promoting naturism, Psychology of nudity. Bookmark the permalink.

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